Alongside Mass Effect, the Dragon Age IP has been BioWare’s signature franchise for over a decade now. The Dragon Age games have been a massive success for both EA and BioWare. Dragon Age Origins is considered a classic and a must play for every RPG lover, and while Dragon Age 2 was panned by critics for being too linear and repetitive, Dragon Age Inquisition was mostly successful in rekindling fans’ love for this lore-rich franchise.
While most of the critics were in unison that Dragon Age Inquisition was one of the best games of 2014, it did have faults that held it back. Inquisition had a charming main story/campaign and the companion quests were also decent. One main complaint I had pertaining to Dragon Age Inquisition were the side quests. A vast majority of them were shallow fetch quests, and there were a few good moments here and there, but they were overshadowed by the fluff that filled the beautiful lands of Ferelden. Much like Mass Effect Andromeda, this was at the core of the game’s faults.
Aside from the side quests, one complaint almost every hardcore BioWare fan had with Dragon Age Inquisition were the male romances. While Sofie was an interesting choice, Cassandra was an annoying b***ch who was biased against the mages and favored the templars and the chantry despite the mounting evidence against them. This has been discussed on the BioWare forums thoroughly, and is one of the main components of Inquisition that fail to keep up with Origins.
Lastly, my final complaint is with regard to the expansion packs. While the Trespasser DLC for Inquisition was phenomenal, the other two were rather mediocre with a boring story and didn’t have much of an impact on the main game as a whole.
*******Spoilers for Inquisition and the Dragon Age saga follow, so stop reading. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED********
Dragon Age Inquisition ended with the surprising revelation that Solas was in fact the Dread Lord of the elves. The same character who imprisoned their gods in the fade and brought them down from grace leading to their current impoverished state. Now in an attempt to make up for it and save his people, he is planning to tear down the fade. The fade will drive the other races to madness and send the demons swarming into our domain.
The Inquisition, depending upon your decision in the Trespasser DLC started work as a public or secret organization to stop Solas and save the the world. The next Dragon Age will almost certainly have a new character, and that’s for the best. One of the main charms of the Dragon Age and Mass Effect games have been a unique player character, with some cool ability or a hero persona of some sort. Since the mark of the Inquisitor is now gone, his/her ability to close rifts is too. Don’t get me wrong though, that doesn’t make them any less cooler. It’s just that that was what them the ideal PC for Inquisition.
As I’ve already pointed out in the beginning of this post, the romance options in the newer BioWare games have been a bit of a bore, and a lot of fans love this part of the games. So it should be a primary objective for them to focus on character designs and the romances. Mostly the main campaign has been solid even in the newer games like Andromeda, but they were notably shorter than their predecessors and multiplayer has received a renewed focus. I really think BioWare and EA ought to drop the multiplayer component. It plain sucks and BioWare is a studio specialized in single player story rich games with engaging characters. They should stick to that, period.
Another interesting tid-bid the Trespasser DLC dropped was regarding the elves of Orlais and Ferelden. They all disappeared following Solas’s plan and will most likely follow him as he attempts to tear down the veil. Furthermore, it’ll lead to an interesting scenario in the next game if the elves are the primary antagonists. If the Inquisitor was an elf, then I wonder whose side they’d take and if male Hawke romanced Merill how she decides to go about. Also, I’m curious if Solas used some form of magic to make the elves follow him or they went willingly. My my, so many possibilities, every new one more intriguing and thought provoking than the earlier one.
If the elves do in fact follow Solas, that’d further increase the oppression against them, helping his cause. I’m almost certain that BioWare will take this path. Also from rumors, seems like the next Dragon Age will take place in Tevinter, so it’s possible that the player character will be a Tevinter citizen leading to all kinds of conflicts with the existing characters. BioWare could put multiple paths here as to how the PC deals with the Orlesians and Fereldans.
I’d again like to emphasize on the importance of side quests, as many times they are what make or break a game. As in case of the Witcher 3 which had masterfully designed side quests and monster hunts. BioWare could take notes from CD Projekt Red regarding the crafting, potions and magic, given that if the PC is from Tevinter, they should be relatively common.
There is almost infinite potential in this sequel. If BioWare do what are really known for and don’t try to make a more open world game than they’re used to, or dabble in multiplayer/co-op, they could possibly make one of the best RPGs ever made. Or they could also screw it up real bad and make me completely give up on them. Hopefully it’ll be the former. What are your opinions on this?