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Five Little Touches in Dragon Age: Inquisition

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Dragon Age: Inquisition is a really well done game.

Fangirling aside, BioWare’s release of its much-anticipated third installment in the Dragon Age series gave us an experience that was worth the wait. It goes without saying that the game’s a big step up from the rushed travesty that was Dragon Age 2, combining elements from the first two games to give players a far more immersive experience. Here’s five spoiler-free little touches I found during my playthrough.

Mobility.

In Dragon Age: Origins, your character could walk, run, and fight. That was the extent of their mobility, and you couldn’t even drop from short distances. Imagine all of the combat fiascos that could’ve been avoided if you’d just somehow managed to get Leliana on top of a boulder somewhere far off.

elevation

Inquisition more than gives you that yearned-for movement. Not only can you jump around like a demented chimp to your heart’s content, but you’re also able to slide down steep hills, climb up ladders, and jump up onto rocks and boxes for ranged elevation. Swimming’s still a no-go, but at least you’re allowed to splash around in ponds now.

You also can’t go running through Orlais leaping from roof to roof, but I think they figured that was taking things a little too far.

teabag

Finally, Chantry members can be teabagged as they deserve.

Companions are people, too.

There’s no handy bar this time telling you who likes you and who doesn’t. If you’re planning to make friends or enemies with your party members, you’re figuring out what makes them tick all by yourself.

Raising or lowering approval is based on interactions and decisions, and just like in real life, what you say and do will affect characters’ opinions towards you. You’re not going to be grabbing a cart full of party-oriented gifts and handing them out for approval points like sharing a pack of gum with your classmates. You can debate with them in a way that’s never been done before, and you can even show how your character’s opinion on something changes during the debate. Don’t skip talking to your companions – it’s worth it.

Your origin isn’t reduced to misconceptions and racial slurs.

Your character’s race and background isn’t erased for the sake of the story. On the contrary, it plays a significant role in how characters act toward you and what questions you’ll be asked. Dialogue options often utilize some aspect of your origin, especially when being asked your opinion on something. But when the prejudice is there, it’s there, and it often hits a little harder than a “knife-ears” thrown your way every once in awhile. Seriously, talking to people is one of the best things you can do in this game, if you’re taking a break from questing and fighting.

 

Clothing upgrades.

necks

*gasps* A neck! Without a scarf, gugel, or high collar!

It would seem as though BioWare’s crippling fear of necks that somehow developed during the second game has been dealt with. Several outfits allow you to see your character’s neckline to some extent, and they’ve also been utilizing the new game engine to make some pretty realistic effects.  Leather blows jerkily and stiffly in the wind, while cloth armor flows freely. Heavy armor is actually presented as armor, rather than a silvery metal box painted and sculpted onto stiff character meshes. Mage robes and dresses are fuller now, rather than rectangles with feet sticking out. You even get to choose different leathers for different armor colors when crafting. If you’re a gamer who also happens to be very fashion-conscious, this is the game for you.

 

Living world.

Take a scenic walk (or measured gait) around the next city you come to. There’s just a heavy, comforting sense of life that the game manages to deliver, and I’m not just talking about the size of the Hinterlands. There’s bards singing in the taverns, characters walking around, arguments going on around you, and you can even jump into a conversation between one of your companions.

You’re not just playing a game – you’re in Thedas, and Bioware wants you to remember that.

 

About Deborah Crocker

Deborah is a 22 year old semi-hermit currently plodding through her senior year of college and getting her feet wet in game journalism. She has a somewhat unhealthy obsession with high fantasy, video games, novels, and Elder Scrolls. When she's not in front of a screen, she enjoys singing and a bit of beading. She's also currently on the hunt for the restaurant with the best cheeseburger.

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