After receiving some great feedback on my first article concerning “Rocket League,” I am pleased to say there was enough votes to allow me to write my next game review.
I truly enjoy video games, this medium is unlike any other in terms of drawing a person into a story. The interactions, audios and visuals of today’s games are wonderful at creating a sense of submersion (a term to describe how involved with the game you become as you play). It may start at a character creation screen, where you develop a background for this new representation of yourself in any role-playing game, or it might come slowly, as you figure out how to best solve puzzles to progress while being hounded by a computer artificial intelligence, as is the case in Portal and its sequel.
For some games though it may never happen, and it is these games that truly disappointed me. After spending countless hours animating motions, creating assets (like swords, armor and other), developing worlds and composing music, one flaw might ruin the submersion of an entire game for me; it is just overall boring.
The game that won the vote was Dragon Age: Inquisition, developed by BioWare on the Frostbite 3 engine and published by EA. It was released on Microsoft Windows, Playstation 3 and 4, and Xbox One and 360. With thousands of animations and creatures in the game, it is by all means beautiful with great lighting, wonderful sounds and interesting characters that seem fairly real, despite the obvious fantasy setting.
In this game, without spoiling much, you play as one of a few different races, design your hair, decide if you want to be male or female, pick from a few selected backgrounds and character classes before being thrust into the game. From the beginning, the tutorial area has you traveling up a mountain with three computer (but can still be controlled by the player) companions to try and close a large rip in the sky known as the “Breach,” which is releasing demons into the world. As you climb the mountain you will begin to encounter some of the lesser demons which emerge from smaller versions of the breach. After a short fight, you, being the one marked, can close these smaller breaches. Once you have reached the top of the mountain and fight a much larger demon, you attempt to close the Breach.
The rest of the game follows you leading a new group called the Inquisition to victory against the demons. For me though, it doesn’t get that interesting. It has been given pretty high scores on some critic sites, but it does not deserve this. Each area, despite being “open world” is more or less a rehash of other locations with varying set pieces. Quests are similar, with each area requiring you to close a set number of little breaches, asking you to find a bunch of little shards, demanding you must find all of the camp spots, etc. The overarching plot, with all of its intricacies, is not bad, just stale with all of the breaks in the flow of the game as a whole.
I played a basic sword and shield class using a race unique to the Dragon Age series. My abilities were varied and it allowed me to command the battlefield with exceptional power. That was broken of course, just as I was getting into it, by the need to constantly return to BioWare’s new mechanic “The War Room” where you decide which agents complete certain tasks and you unlock new areas with power that you have amassed by playing. It rolls together well, but the game breaks its own beauty and grace with these abrupt intrusions to micro manage efforts for others in the Inquisition. If these agents are so amazing at their jobs, why do they need me to point them in the right direction? Each mission the agents have the ability to accomplish shows which agent is better for the job, why not just have them do that action and stop breaking the flow? Just give me a report of that agent’s help toward the Inquisition when I decide to return to the War Room.
I can give this game a two out of five based on the beauty of the game and the fact it does do some things correct, such as the fighting mechanics, but due to it seeming more of a copy and paste job with only a few unique quest lines for such an “expansive game” that was supposed to blow the top off of Dragon Age fans, it has left me disappointed. It has no doubt accrued a good bit of money just because of the title alone, but to me, the game was merely created as a money generating hog.
A video game, an interactive medium that truly opens up the doors for some amazing experiences, should not be boring. After spending nearly $70 when it came out, I would think that this game would be able to at least produce a game that makes you come back to it. Even if it has a few bugs, a bad gameplay idea, or rough story, the game should create a sensation in the player of wanting to return and make it to the “next level,” complete that next objective or at least finish it for its entirety.
After a bit of decision making, the next two games up for review are Destiny, created by Bungie, or Helldivers, created by Arrowhead Game Studios and which recently received another update. Place your vote by calling or emailing me.
Don’t think I gave the game the correct review? Think I am correct in my line of thinking? Maybe you have been thinking about buying this game and want to ask a few questions before you make the purchase? Email me at [email protected], call me at (740) 313-0351 or tweet me on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy and let me know.