A Diamond in the Rough: Dragon Age Inquisition

At first glance, Dragon Age Inquisition looks like an ugly thing. It’s rough around the edges, it lacks polish, they obviously tried to follow in on Skyrim’s success and there’s a bunch of ‘pointless’ MMORPG-y side content. And mounts – for absolutely no reason, there are dozens of different mounts in this game – I mean, seriously, why?

Skyrim screenshot of a horse. That's it.
“Skyrim had a horse, right? Let’s put 47 of them into this game!” – some pencil pusher at EA

However, at the same time, Dragon Age Inquisition is one of the best RPGs I have played yet, and I have played a lot – almost every other Bioware RPG to some degree, Shadowrun Returns, Planescape Torment, every Fallout game, every Elder Scrolls game beginning with Morrowind, Risen, some JRPGs and probably some other stuff, as well. None of these had the same emotional impact on me or had as lively characters, while also making me feel like it was my own personal story.

Dragon Age Inquisition cover art, high resolution
What a kick-ass cover.

I will attempt to answer some big questions with this review, including what even makes a game ‘good’ in the first place, but let’s start off with some smaller ones: Why are Bioware games good (except for the ones that aren’t)? What about them is so compelling? Why do people go crazy for characters like Garrus, Liara and Morrigan?

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A mad man’s wet dream: Cool World

Just because I could, I have watched Cool World. I guess you could say, I would if I could.

Cool World theatrical release poster
Please, someone kill me.

This might sound very much like hyperbole, but this movie was the most bizarre thing I have ever seen.  I have seen a lot, including many movies with lower production quality and worse editing and all that, but no other movie has ever managed to make me drop my jaw as much as this movie did. There are more confusing movies, but no other movie has filled me with this much disbelief. I had heard a lot about the movie, but I had assumed it was just a crappy movie – this is one of those movies where every creative decision that went into making the movie is just baffling to think about. It makes you want to ask how, and why this movie was made.

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Mercifully short: Dragon Age Witch Hunt DLC

Preface

I was very hesitant to publish this post. On one hand, it’s kinda fun to trash on Bioware nowadays, but on the other hand, this is Dragon Age Origins (by extension). I wouldn’t say Origins is a perfect game, but it’s a game that I’m fond of. However, you’ve got to look at things objectively: Witch Hunt just isn’t acceptable as a product.

The review

So, with Dragon Age Inquistion’s release right around the corner, I recently got myself to play through the Witch Hunt DLC for Dragon Age Origins.

Dragon Age Witch Hunt promotional picture
Inexplicably, Bioware used a pudgy-faced Morrigan cosplayer for Witch Hunt’s promotional art.

I don’t write about video games a lot, and this thing is just a small add-on for another game, but the thing is that Witch Hunt sucks so bad, it’s remarkable. Witch Hunt is one of the worst bits of video game that I have played in my life. Rarely have I felt so utterly disengaged from what my virtual avatar was doing on the monitor.

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