With news from Bioware about the possible creation of Dragon Age 4, a continuation of the RPG trilogy series, what better time to compare the new and old. From the moment we were introduced to Thedas in Dragon Age: Origins, we all knew how great this game would be and how much greater it could be become. A feeling that has only grown stronger with the release of the expansion pack. However, that has all changed with the arrival of Dragon Age 2 and Dragon Age: Inquisition.
First lets take a look at the first game in the series, Dragon Age Origins. Which is by far and away the best game in the series. Not only for its tactics, strategy and combat, but also because it is a true RPG game. There are hundreds of games out there that claim the title of RPG, but Dragon Age: Origins is one of the few which actually can say it is a real RPG game. Proof of this is shown immediately at the very beginning of the game, where you can choose your gender, your race, your class and whether or not your nobility. But that’s not all. You get play through a unique storyline for each of those races. Plus, there will be many moments in the game, where the choices you make at the beginning of the game will affect your future interactions with NPCs.
But I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet, which is that a lot of the decisions you make in Dragon Age: Origins will appear in both Dragon Age: Origins Awakening the expansion pack and Dragon Age 2. Not to mention the skills you acquire as you level up can be geared towards, whichever battle style you prefer. Assassin, Battle Mage, Warrior, Duelist, Archer and dozens more. Added to all of that are the thousands of dialogue choices that are presented throughout the game, which is probably my favorite part of the game; choosing what my character says and how they react. I often compare this against other games, and there are none that I know of that can offer such a varied, and solid, amount of dialogue choices than in Dragon Age Origins. Each choice you make in dialogue is followed up by more dialogue options, making your choices extremely adaptable and unique.
All of these options give you the greatest amount of control in the game, thereby making it a true RPG game. Whereas, in games like Dark Souls, Diablo 2 and Baldur’s Gate, the RPG factor simply rests upon choosing the type of character and fighting style; and sometimes if you’re lucky a few dialogue options. Now while these games are great in their own right, they are not true RPG games.
Which brings me to Dragon Age: Inquisition, the game that has been the greatest disappointment of my life.
My biggest frustration with Dragon Age: Inquisition, is that it’s no longer an RPG game anymore. All the options and control you had in Dragon Age: Origins has been hacked and slashed away to leave behind an exceptionally boring game. Thousands of dialogue options, ripped out. Dozens of unique background stories, shredded to tiny gobbets of background information. Unique fighting styles, replaced with generic attacks. Great battle tactics, replaced with a useless strategy interface. And most importantly, the impact of your choices on the world, has been reduced to droppings on the battle map.
After playing Dragon Age Inquisition just once, I can definitely say I will not be picking it up anytime soon. Hell, it’s more than likely I won’t even bother buying the follow up game if there is one. The game deliberately burns your brain out with useless quests, so that after only playing the game for half an hour your brain goes into meltdown from sheer boredom.
All the control you had over the character’s build and gameplay has been taken away. The only positive that I can see in the game is graphics, dragons, and the crafting system. Everything else is a complete waste of time, dialogue with companions, don’t bother unless you want to fall asleep. Quests, you’re better off going outside and getting some fresh air — it will probably be more interesting. Choices, well lets just say you get to choose between dumb and dumber.
There is only one aspect of the game that has truly stunned and captivated the entire world and that is ‘hype’. After all their big talk and explanations, we got to see a world full of nothing, and we got to do nothing in that world.