Zero Punctuation: Dragon Age: Inquisition - Fantasy Commander Shepard

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Dragon Age: Inquisition - Fantasy Commander Shepard

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Dragon Age: Inquisition.

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I think I remember the original Dragon Age's Zero Punctuation mentioning that despite having a twenty five hour playtime there was still a desire to see the ending. This gives off the opposite message so I suppose DAO was doing the MMO thing where you are just entertained enough to keep going but never massively enthralled and DAI is sweeter but burns out faster. Ah, piecing together Zero Punctuations certainly makes understanding new ZP opinions easier.

sounds like it just has a bunch of STUFF in it. That's the problem with sandboxes at times; they're so concerned with making them BIG, but actually loading them with substance is really, really hard so they just fill it with STUFF. Padding. Fluff, something that is there solely to make things seem more epic than they really are.

Evonisia:
I think I remember the original Dragon Age's Zero Punctuation mentioning that despite having a twenty five hour playtime there was still a desire to see the ending. This gives off the opposite message so I suppose DAO was doing the MMO thing where you are just entertained enough to keep going but never massively enthralled and DAI is sweeter but burns out faster. Ah, piecing together Zero Punctuations certainly makes understanding new ZP opinions easier.

In fairness, it sounds like he mostly became unintersted because of the sidequest quota. And honestly, that can kill my interest in any game, even if the story is sweet.

Well, except Saints Row. I can screw around in those for hours. Faff quota? Well, I passed that four hours ago, so...Full access!

Spot on with the fantasy Commander Shepard, the endgame is a straight rehashing of Ilos from ME1.

I just started the game myself and not only did I roll a mage but also an elf so becoming the chosen one is kinda besare since elfs are enslaved and mages are disliked in this world.

The tactical command is not as good as DA:O..... and its much to much button mashy focused....

The war table missions do weigh down the pace a bit, but most of the rime they are not essential (even instant in some cases). Later on in the game however there are some war table missions that can take upwards of 20 hours to complete (!)

Luckily if you are on PC and naughty, you can con the game by ALT+TAB'ing, changing the date and back again and returning to the game. Don't know if this may be done on console (might require exiting the game in their case).

Jman1236:
I just started the game myself and not only did I roll a mage but also an elf so becoming the chosen one is kinda besare since elfs are enslaved and mages are disliked in this world.

Well, if you choose to be an elf in Dragon Age: Inquisition, you're Dalish, so... not at all enslaved, but the part about being a mage is true enough, even though it is not true for the Dalish.

Jman1236:
I just started the game myself and not only did I roll a mage but also an elf so becoming the chosen one is kinda besare since elfs are enslaved and mages are disliked in this world.

Creating some cosmic irony was half the fun making your character this time around

A Qunari mage as the Maker's chosen? The Maker must be havin a laugh!

I heard a lot of people saying that this game becomes good after 20 odd hours. Is it just me or is that fucking mental? If it's true however, I'd like to give it rename Dragon Age: Inquisition to Dragon Age: Stockholm Syndrome

As funny as this was, I feel it added 5 years to the waiting time for Half Life 3 because of the Gaben joke.

But there are still dragons in this game, right?
But yeah, it wouldn't be a BioWare RPG without the INCREDIBLY finicky equipping system.
But you got me with AC:Unity having the guy's head disappear and leave his eyes and teeth floating there.

Laurents van Cauwenberghe:
I heard a lot of people saying that this game becomes good after 20 odd hours. Is it just me or is that fucking mental? If it's true however, I'd like to give it rename Dragon Age: Inquisition to Dragon Age: Stockholm Syndrome

No, the game is good from the start. What people refer to is the end of the first act, which for a lot of people upgrades the game from good to great.

Darth_Payn:
But there are still dragons in this game, right?
But yeah, it wouldn't be a BioWare RPG without the INCREDIBLY finicky equipping system.
But you got me with AC:Unity having the guy's head disappear and leave his eyes and teeth floating there.

There are 10 optional dragon bosses and one mandatory.

Zachary Amaranth:
In fairness, it sounds like he mostly became unintersted because of the sidequest quota. And honestly, that can kill my interest in any game, even if the story is sweet.

Well, except Saints Row. I can screw around in those for hours. Faff quota? Well, I passed that four hours ago, so...Full access!

That's because a lot of the side quests in DA:I are just you doing the same thing over and over. Every new area has the same rifts to close, shards to find, and 'connect the dots' star puzzles to solve. The other chunk is person A telling you to go say something important to person B, quest completed.

Maybe if the story amounted to anything and the characters were memorable and fun to be with, this wouldn't have weighed down the experience.

Morthasa:
The war table missions do weigh down the pace a bit, but most of the rime they are not essential (even instant in some cases). Later on in the game however there are some war table missions that can take upwards of 20 hours to complete (!)

Luckily if you are on PC and naughty, you can con the game by ALT+TAB'ing, changing the date and back again and returning to the game. Don't know if this may be done on console (might require exiting the game in their case).

You can do that on the consoles too from what my friends have been telling me. I never considered them anything important enough to attempt it for the ones I needed to do were always instant.

Caramel Frappe:
If I get an Xbox One for Christmas, this will be the game i'll get it for. Heard to many bad stories about it going over to PC.
Glad it's still a great game despite some of the heavy issues. Also 3 hours? ... That is a bit much, but ... won't kill me will it?

I am playing it on the PC and haven't encountered any issues aside from not being happy with the KB/M controls when in tactical view which they are working on. There have been many reports of driver issues on the PC version as well, but I have been lucky and not encountered any. If you do the digital download route, you can download the game off Origin (not a third party key site) and play it for up to 24 hours and get a full refund if you don't like the game or encounter problems. I did that with Battlefield 4 when I had server issues with multiplayer.

I think the biggest problem with the game is The Hinterlands shouldn't have been the first place to go after the prologue for a lot of people are getting burnt out there and I believe a smaller zone such as the Storm Coast would have been better for it would be a stepping stone to a major hub like The Hinterlands.

AAA games are adopting the Pay to Win approach? Not surprising.

Uh, did I miss something? How long have blind children looked like Baymax?

Huh.

I was watching Yahtzee on his Youtube channel a couple of weeks ago, and when asked how his experience of this game was going, he said 'fucking arduous'. Now I know why. Guess that's another one on the pile of 'Things to Avoid'.

captcha - that's hot - apparently, not

Hutzpah Chicken:
AAA games are adopting the Pay to Win approach? Not surprising.

Those packs are the game if you buy them in the "gold" you find while completing a multiplayer map or buy them with "platinum" that you purchase with real money. Its just a lottery to see if its what you really want.

pot on with the fantasy Commander Shepard

Can't wait for them to give the Inquisitor massive PTSD in Dragon Age 5... Although they could do it to the Warden... Maybe they'll end the series with all the protagonists founding a World Saviors Anonymous mutual aid group.

You know, I remember once yahtzee complaining about the tendency to turn every game into a sand-box, and I remember at the time thinking he must be off his meds. Well ... I stand corrected. After AC:U, FC 4 and now DA:I I feel this needs to be said, no, yelled out loud: A game with a focused narative, well paced story and interesting characters can be just as god, if not better than a gigantic sandbox.

I remember starting DA:I a few days ago and putting in some solid 10-15 hours over 2 days, only for me to get so bored with it's sandbox and the boring uninteresting generic story that I just forgot to boot up the game again. DA:I, like AC:U and FC 4, felt like a big toy-box of time wasting bullshit. I heard from a friend that Inquisition actually gets interesting at some point after you get your own fortress and companion quests unlock but then he goes ahead and tells me it took him 40 hours to get there ... and that was the point where I removed the game from my drive and asked for a refund. 40 hours? 40 fucking hours? I'm a completionist by nature, so it would probably take me even more ... screw it. At least in FC 4 I can get on that helicopter thing and shit grenades on poor sods while listening to Long Tall Sally in the background and laughing like a maniac when I get bored. What can I do in DA:I? Nothing.

So for me a new rule just developed: Your game shall not have a sandbox unless your gameplay can support pure mindless fun in it, or you have a damn good story to keep me in the game. DA:I has neither (well .. partially incorect ... the story gets good after 20 to 40 hours in I am told ... yeah and that excuse flyed so well with FF 13 didn't it? I say now what I said back then: shove your 20 hours where the sun don't shine. Either it's good now or you can go to hell)

Laurents van Cauwenberghe:
I heard a lot of people saying that this game becomes good after 20 odd hours. Is it just me or is that fucking mental? If it's true however, I'd like to give it rename Dragon Age: Inquisition to Dragon Age: Stockholm Syndrome

For me it's sort of the opposite in that the game gets a bit boring after about 40 hours in. The problem is that everything's just sortof there. At first it's fun to explore the rather big open world area and search for loot and equipment. Until you find out that the loot purely constists of garbage. I am not kidding here, i am 50 hours in and am still using the sword and armor i crafted 10 hours into the game, because there just isn't anything better around. Additionally the open world regions are just kinda there. You are required to go to 3 regions for main missions, 3 out of around 10 open world regions. They are there, but there's really no reward for going there and doing everything which is dissapointing.
The War table mission are a cool feature that let's you feel like you command a grand army. Again until you realize that none of them give you any good rewards. Additionally the loading times are really really long. This wouldn't be a problem, if accessing the war table wouldn't require you to go through 2 seperate loading screens each time to get there. First return to headquarters, walk all the way through headquarters because the game spawns you as far away from the war table as possible, then wait through another loading screen, because the war table has to get loaded seperatly.
It's also really fun at first to collect power. You really feel like each little sidemission you do pushes forward the goal of the inquisition and increases it's power and influence over the world. ... until you realize that power is absolutly worthless. It's needed to trigger a few main missions here and there and very very few operations in the open world regions and is worthless otherwise while there is tons upon tons of power around. I am at 260 power right now and the next main mission costs 20. Yeah.
Additionally the combat is just not very fun. They try to get somewhat of a balance between action and tactics and end up bad in both aspects. If the game would have been completely action-focused it could have gotten fun and challenge out of requiring twitch reflexes and carefull manouvering from the player. But it doesn't and you just end up button-mashing with a few abilities thrown into the mix.
If it would have been tactic-focused it could have presented carefully crafted encounters that are designed to challenge your party in different ways with different tactics. But it doesn't. You just button-mash and tactics are difficult to use even if you want to since the tactics camera is horrible, just horrible.

Overall i feel the game could have been much better, but they ended up trying to cram feature upon feature into the title and none of the features are fully fleshed out. The Power mechanics is useless, the loot is worthless, the exploration is not rewarding, the story is boring, the war table is boring. There is a lot of content, but it doesn't work well together and everything gets boring after a while.
That being said i did get about 50 hours into the game so you're likely get your moneys worth at least in the amount of time you can spent in the game.

XDSkyFreak:
snip

Actually the story doesn't get any better when you get the fortress. It just unlocks more things to collect, upgrade and do.

The problem I have with Dragon Age after the second one is that they feel to me as just Medieval Mass Effect now, which I don't like for some reason. But while I never played any Baldur's Gate-like games back in the day, Origins felt more like a game than these ones to me. Dunno why though.

With this video I get the feeling that he just ran through the game without even really paying attention or trying to challenge himself because this is a very different game on nightmare mode, and crafting is absolutely required. Crafting is one of the best parts of this game for me, you can even rename all your gear to put that personal touch on everything if you want. Being able to craft everything to a specific direction makes it all worthwhile when you have to face off against the high dragons which are incredibly awesome fights on nightmare.

Love how people cry about about the game being brain dead easy or not requiring tactics at all when they played on normal lol. Play it on nightmare and come back and tell me all you did was spam attacks, you wont make it past the first intro boss.

XDSkyFreak:
I heard from a friend that Inquisition actually gets interesting at some point after you get your own fortress and companion quests unlock but then he goes ahead and tells me it took him 40 hours to get there

40 HOURS!? I got to the fortress in a little more than 15, and I did a fair amount of sidequests, you don't have to do all the stuff inmediately, you can go simply back to those areas later if you really need to get the XP and resources, I understand being a completionist but I can't see how it took him more than 20 unless he went to areas he wasn't supposed to yet, there's completing side quests and then theres stalling the main quest.

The romance with the sexy Spanish.. err antivan diplomat was well done, and I am only slightly disappointed that I didn't get to see her bum.

As a tip to others, don't bother trying to complete everything before the end. Once you get past level 20 finish the game and then next play through try some of the other zones you missed.

Caramel Frappe:
If I get an Xbox One for Christmas, this will be the game i'll get it for. Heard to many bad stories about it going over to PC.
Glad it's still a great game despite some of the heavy issues. Also 3 hours? ... That is a bit much, but ... won't kill me will it?

3 hours is nothing, some of the later operations require up to 23 hours depending on how many agents you recruited while completing missions (the agents lower the time it takes to complete operations with certain advisors). None of the war table missions are mandatory except the main mission ones which you unlock with power. Also the missions keep going even while the game is turned off so you don't have to be playing in order to finish the missions.

I'm glad someone else finally pointed out how much DA: I feels like an MMO, because that has been my main gripe with the game and was also the reason i did a 100% collectibles run of The Last of Us over thanksgiving rather than play Inquisition.

The game just moves too fucking slow, there's a whole bunch of not really anything around the game world, and even on casual difficulty you can bumble into areas that require a higher level to properly manage. Also Leliana's face makes her look like a wax doll. Actually i think in terms of character appearences this game's the worst of them all. So much for me holding out hope the graphics wouldn't be a glossy mess.

And sidequest exhaustion? Christ, after about 6 hours of play all i had to show for it was a handful of complete quests and a log that i'm probably never ever going to bother plowing through, and that's me talking as someone who always completes every assignment in Mass Effect whenever i do a playthrough of that.

Morthasa:
The war table missions do weigh down the pace a bit, but most of the rime they are not essential (even instant in some cases). Later on in the game however there are some war table missions that can take upwards of 20 hours to complete (!)

Luckily if you are on PC and naughty, you can con the game by ALT+TAB'ing, changing the date and back again and returning to the game. Don't know if this may be done on console (might require exiting the game in their case).

It should be mentioned that all the war table timed missions continue progressing even when you turn the game off. Going to call it a night? Heading off to work/school? Send out your minions to do your bidding and the next time you turn the game on they'll be ready with their reports. As such, it's not actually 20 hours of "real gameplay time" that is required.

Other than that I'd say Yahtzee's assessment is a fair one, though I do think that the sidequests actually have a bit more in terms of side-stories than he was letting on. As for enemy variety, demons and bandits are indeed the most common but each area has it's own array of disgruntled wildlife to contend with (edit and the dragon fights in this game are much better than in the previous two...I'd even say they're arguably better than Skyrim's dragon battles end edit), and there's also the Red Templars.

As for the crafting: it's pretty easy to make yourself a kick-ass weapon that won't be replaced until you find an even better weapon schematic. This allows you to pretty much cast everything else into the Vendor Fodder bin and sell it off...to help buy better schematics in most cases. :P

As for resource gathering: it can be pretty tedious, but it's certainly not required...especially if you have no intention of ever crafting anything then there's literally no point at all in gathering resources. Maybe it's just hard-wired into our brains as RPG players that "THERE'S SOMETHING TO PICK UP! I MUST THEREFOR PICK IT UP!!!!" Once you unlock newer areas, the resources in the older areas more or less become obsolete so you don't have to spend time searching in them anymore.

While it certainly is't the 5/5 that Tito gave it, I'd still rate it highly and agree with Yahtzee that it's the best of the three.

Ulquiorra4sama:
I'm glad someone else finally pointed out how much DA: I feels like an MMO, because that has been my main gripe with the game and was also the reason i did a 100% collectibles run of The Last of Us over thanksgiving rather than play Inquisition.

The game just moves too fucking slow, there's a whole bunch of not really anything around the game world, and even on casual difficulty you can bumble into areas that require a higher level to properly manage. Also Leliana's face makes her look like a wax doll. Actually i think in terms of character appearences this game's the worst of them all. So much for me holding out hope the graphics wouldn't be a glossy mess.

And sidequest exhaustion? Christ, after about 6 hours of play all i had to show for it was a handful of complete quests and a log that i'm probably never ever going to bother plowing through, and that's me talking as someone who always completes every assignment in Mass Effect whenever i do a playthrough of that.

Why are you doing tons of side quests for? People have said this over and over again, they are completely optional and can be ignored so I don't understand the problem. All you need is 4 power to go to Val Royeaux which continues the main quest line, you can do that in literally 10 minutes with finding a camp site, closing a rift or completing a requisition order. then you need 10 power to move to the next step and so forth... how on earth does this game move slow? Its as slow as you make it.

Best gear in the game is crafted by a mile but you do need to commit dragon genocide to get the materials.

The quests necessary to "romance" the ambassador lady are fairly short IIRC. But you don't actually get to see her naked.

And I struggle to understand how people found themselves short of power. Because I had power coming out of my ears, and I really wasn't being completionist. Unless you insist on unlocking all the optional areas and thus don't have the points for the main plot, or something.

I really enjoyed DAI, despite all it's problems. Some of them I didn't experience as much, like the load times since I installed it to my SSD, instead I had the billion and one game freezes on connecting to EA servers or in the main menu. (but never during gameplay, thankfully) I totally agree that there is actually so much to do it begins to feel overwhelming, but some of the systems like crafting were intentionally designed that you can ditch them if you want. Crafting will pump out the best gear in the game in almost every case, but takes more time and effort to do that. But on the flip side, Bioware really dropped the fall on endgame level scaling. The final boss will never go above lv19, which if you completed most of the zones and killed all the dragons you're at least 23 or 24 by that point, and will drop him like a sack of potatos.

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