Bioware's Dragon Age: Inquisition took home the ultimate prize that any game in this industry can be graced with in 2014: Game of the Year. Personally, even though I spent up to 80 hours with Bioware's latest RPG, I felt there were better candidates for the award. Were it released a few months prior to the ceremony, I don't think it would have claimed the top prize at all.
I really enjoyed my time with Inquisition, don't get me wrong, but I stand by my claim that it's a very flawed game. A lot of the bugs that I experienced in my first playthrough have been ironed out now (like my conversation during the sex scene completely stopping and crashing the game until I skipped it), but the more glaring issues came in the form of its gameplay and story. Mass Effect 4 may be inspired by Dragon Age: Inquisition in some ways, but I hope it doesn't copy these mistakes.
Mass Effect 4: Learning from Dragon Age: Inquisition for Release Date
For starters, let me ensure you that a lot of spoilers for the plot of Dragon Age: Inquisition will follow - if you haven't played the game, I really think you should! I've loved the Dragon Age series all the way through, though particularly the first instalment. I plunged into Dragon Age and invested over 100 hours into its main campaign and expansions. It's one of Bioware's finest titles and it's a pity that the games which followed couldn't live up to its standards.
First off, I'll take a quick look at the issues I had with Bioware's gameplay in DA:I. While the combat was snappy, and a lot of fun to engage with, it was the missions that it was required for that I had a problem with. A lot of the side missions in Dragon Age: Inquisition were boring fetch quests which never helped me feel immersed in the world. I held particular disdain for the searching of shards in DA:I. It was an unnecessary content filler - finding these items could have been far more rewarding if used in a more interesting manner - for instance as randomly dropped items after battles.
The Mako is returning in Mass Effect 4, though allegedly it will have a much larger presence in the game's latest instalment. I can so see Bioware sticking in a version of shards for us to pick up on every planet and I sincerely hope they avoid it. It reminds me of how Ubisoft cram in collectibles in every single one of their games. Bioware used it a lot better in Dragon Age: Inquisition, but it was still irritating and out of place with their usual design.
But the main issue I had with Dragon Age: Inquisition was its lack-lustre story. The main villain was completely disinteresting. The fact that they brought back someone from Dragon Age 2 - a game that a lot of fans had real issues with - felt lazy and uninspired. This is a company that created the Reapers. How could they create such an uninteresting antagonist? It made my mission to destroy him lack purpose or urgency.
The ending was also anti-climactic - we all saw it coming since the opening, but I suppose they were intimidated to stray from a normal ending after the controversy with Mass Effect 3. Mass Effect 4 sounds like it has a very similar plot to that of the original, therefore this issue may not arise. But Bioware need to ensure that we aren't left to run around doing boring missions against an enemy that we feel no sense of threat from. We shall see.
What about you guys? Did you play Dragon Age: Inquisition? Is there anything you'd like to see Bioware change or include for Mass Effect 4's release date? Be sure to let us know in the comments!