Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Geekery of the Weekery: Dragon Age Inquisition

As I mentioned in my last post, my time and focus has been absorbed by a video game called Dragon Age Inquisition.  This is my 3rd time playing it! So what makes it so good and why do I keep going back for more?

It started out as being part of one of my university papers this semester.  I wanted to analyse a character a bit further.  But then I just didn't couldn't stop playing.  First of all, it seems that no matter how many times you play, there's always something new to discover or to try and new paths to take and choose.  My playthrough this time is very different from my last one and barely recognisable to my first.  There's so many choices to make along the way that the different combinations and routes are seemingly infinite.  I'll be frank though, I've been a die-hard fan of Dragon Age since I first played Dragon Age: Origins in 2011.  It was my first ever RPG playthrough and it was a complete and utter disaster and we will never speak of it again.  But from that moment on I was hooked on the series.  The world, the lore, the people, the stories, so my views aren't exactly unbiased...

From the get go, using the Dragon Age Keep feature and the varied tapestries you can create already gives a varied basis from which DAI starts from.  My first playthrough with Mae Cadash (a dual-wielding rogue dwarf who romanced Blackwall) used a world save with my pro-mage sarcastic character from Dragon Age 2 (also a dual-wielding rogue - yes I'm a one-trick pony - Kiara Hawke) who'd romanced Isabela, and my pro-mage Alistair romancing dual-wielding rogue dwarf noble, Niamh Aeducan from Dragon Age Origins.

Team Neutral Good.  From left: Niamh Aeducan, Kiara Hawke, Mae Cadash.
  My second playthrough, I haven't actually finished but I think I used the default world save.  While my latest playthrough I used my aggressive Hawke Portia, and a default human male mage Daylen, who I altered the choices for in the keep so that he romanced had a human baby with Morrigan for the dark ritual recruited Loghain, and died fighting the archdemon.  Both Portia and Daylen were pro-templar and which made things very interesting for this playthrough!
Portia '500% done' Hawke - yay for mods to fix awful default
Bioware hairstyles!

While I initially planned for this playthrough to be an exercise in seeing if my new character, another dual-wielding rogue dwarf, called Tovana Cadash, could fix up the messes made by Daylen and Portia, I decided to continue along my pro-templar streak and see how the game plays out and it's amazing the difference.  There are often times where I feel like it's a completely different game to when I first played, and maybe it's just that I know what I'm doing this time but I'm finding it easier?  Pride demons don't terrify me like they used to and fighting dragons though I've only killed one so far, aren't as daunting - to be fair though, I haven't attempted any with the ability to get millions of baby dragons to swarm you *glares pointedly at Hinterlands dragon*

I'll have to be completely honest though, one of the big drawcards of the Dragon Age games and likewise most of the Bioware games is the ability to romance some of the characters.  Alistair Therin was my first video game love (although I accidentally got him killed when I first played Origins... again, we don't talk about that).  In Dragon Age Inquisition, I've thus far romanced Blackwall, Dorian, and this time around, Iron Bull.  But I love all the characters and yes there are some unromanceable characters I wish were romanceable (*cough* Varric *cough*), I love the variations and variety in this game.

I also love how things can change and adapt depending on the choices you make in role-playing the character.  Rather than sticking with the same answers, I've been more intuitive about which ones I choose, producing pretty interesting results.  I'd be lying too if I didn't say that I love character creating - especially now that I've figured out how to mod and don't have to put up with Bioware's awful awful default hairstyles ugh.  Seriously look at my three inquisitors

Mae Cadash

Seamus Trevelyan

Tovana Cadash

I've spent at least 3 hours on character creation (combined) and at this point of my third playthrough I'm well over 98 hours of gameplay.  Needless to say this game has a way of hooking you in wholly and completely and for me, it's totally worth it.

So have you played DAI? What did you think of it and what choices did you make?  Comment below :)

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