Azurephile gives this an astounding "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
Azurephile gives this a "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.

  • Recommended +1

  • Import saved date from previous games

  • Visually superior to Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2

  • New battle system

  • Strongly open-world RPG including mounts
Dragon Age: Origins was difficult to get into. In fact, it wasn’t until my third attempt at playing it that I finally made some progress and finished it. The combat system was definitely something I had to get used to. The graphics weren’t quite up to par with today’s normal, but they weren’t horrible either. In the end, I enjoyed DAO. I’ve seen some replay value in it, so there’s a chance I may play it again.

One of the things I’ve loved about the DA series is the ability to import saved games. I was able to do this for DAO DLC and for the next games in the series. Apparently, I was able to import my DAO save into DA2, which would reflect my DAO game play, including decisions I had made. Decisions seemed be a large part of DA2, I was often given choices about what to do and I saw the consequences of those decisions that I made. I thought that was refreshing and entertaining.

Continuing with importing saved data, DAI includes are recurring characters. I assume that they are there whether or not you’ve imported your save from DA2, but I’m not sure. The story seems pretty good and seems to be related to the events of DA2. The story doesn’t feel completely original though, because it’s basically much like Oblivion. Portals to a bad dimension spawn in the world and it’s your job to close them (you’ll find out why when you play). This game actually reminds me of Oblivion even more by various other things, including herb collection.

Of course, DA2 is a pretty big visual upgrade over DAO, which was impressive, until I started playing Inquisition. The visual difference in all the games in this series is obvious. DAI is so much better looking than DAO or DA2. It was released only a few years ago and it certainly still looks like a “new” game. I noticed that at least one returning character from DA2 even looks different. Honestly, I think the beauty of DAI reflects the beauty of the game itself. I’m only just less than 30 hours in and I’m loving it.

As DA2 offered a variation of the battle system in DAO, DAI does that for DA2. I agree with something Scrypt said in that DAI is a bit of a mix of the combat systems in the two previous games. In fact, there is a learning curve, even if you’ve played the other two games. That’s because combat feels more active. You can still pause combat and issue commands, but instead of right-clicking on an enemy for your character to attack, you actually left-click. In DAO, you only had to click once and your character would attack the enemy, but in DAI, you have to click for each attack, or hold down the mouse button.

You could argue that the DA series is an open-world RPG, but to me, it seems DAI is more open. The world maps in these games doesn’t look very big, but you can choose where to go and what to do. Granted there are limitations, but the story doesn’t tell you to first go to one location, then the next, etc. You can do many things in whatever order you wish. In DAI you can even ride a mount around, which isn’t necessarily a horse. In fact, I recently killed a Higher Dragon and unlocked a mount that’s a dragon that acts like a horse. It’s shaped like one, but the head and coloration are different. There’s a lot to discover and do. You can also fast travel between campsites or the world map.

There’s a war going on in DAI between the mages and templars and the Inquisition is working towards peace. Apparently, at one point you have to choose a side, but I have not yet made that choice. There’s a war room in which you get to see the game map and both sides of the war. There are mission markers on the map for you to select a mission to work on. Then, you can assign one of your allies to a mission. Each ally (I think there are 3) has a specialization. One has connections, another is a spy master, and another is a military commander. Each will affect a mission differently and you can choose how to approach a mission. This is just a brief, basic description, there’s more involved.

DA is truly a fantasy RPG. It contains elements that are in so many fantasies and RPGs, some of which can be see in stories like Lord of the Rings. There are mages, dwarves, humans, elves, dragons, monsters, etc. There are different classes of characters like mages, warriors, and rogues. Mages deal with magic, warriors with swords and similar weapons, and rogues who specialize in stealth, bows and arrows, and other useful things such as lock picking. Like The Elder Scrolls, this series doesn’t force you to be a particular race or class. So, there’s definitely freedom and replay value.

While I experienced stability issues with DAO and DA2, DAI has never crashed. I haven’t run into many issues, the ones I can think of are a bit minor. One of the issues is so far my biggest complaint and that is the volume level. The game is too quiet. I’ve ensured that loudness equalization is enabled (in my Windows volume mixer settings), which definitely helps, but it’s still not enough. Perhaps that’s also because I’ve decided that this is a game that I should have my PC fans running at maximum while playing, since this it is so graphically intense.

If you like fantasy elements, open worlds, and RPGs, then DA may be for you. I would recommend playing DAO then DA2 and then DAI. I now see why one of my friends raves about this series all the time. It is good, even if it’s a rough start (with DAO), it’s definitely worth it (to me).

Feel free to add to the conversation here. Let me know if you’ve played DAI, what you think about it, or if this is something that might interest you. This, to me, definitely feels like a really good game and I can now see why it seems to be very popular. Unfortunately, it’s not yet on Steam.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 04/11/2017 at 04:13am

So after playing them all it seems like you like DAI a bit more than the others? Makes sense, again i've heard good things about it from friends though I don't think they completed it.

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 04/11/2017 at 06:02am

I haven't finished DAI yet, but I think I do like it best of the three. I liked DA2 more than Origins and I still liked Origins. So, I think it's all good. I think that at some point I got used to the game and cared about the characters and what I was doing. It's pretty cool.

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 04/18/2017 at 01:04am

Does Origin tell you how many hours you've spent playing a game? I wonder what my hours look like for DAI. Well, I know the game can tell me, it's in the title of my saved games. It does auto save, some what often, so it seems unnecessary to save so often. I ran into that with DAO, having to make sure I saved, so I don't lose progress after getting killed.

This game really looks comparable to a shiny new car. There are a lot of shiny things in the game.

Leveling up seems to take a while. I'm only level 20 or 21 right now. But, I feel more powerful than ever. I killed one or two Higher Dragons on my own, but another two or three were destroying me when I was about level 17. The dragons were higher leveled than me, around 20. Once I came back to those fights when I reached 20, they were so much easier. Honestly, I think my mage is more powerful than anyone else in my part. My character is a Warrior, but I keep another Warrior (Cassandra), a mage (Vivieene), and a rogue (Sera) with me.

I'm still enjoying it!

Travis   Admin wrote on 04/18/2017 at 02:08am

yep, when you click on a game it tells you in that panel, far right of the play button.

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 04/18/2017 at 04:17am

I see it! I've been playing by right-clicking the icon in my system tray and then clicking on the game. Thanks, Travis! Origin says I've played DAI for 50 hours.

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 05/01/2017 at 05:38am

I finally finished DAI and I really liked it. It was fun, interesting, and looked good. If there's another DA game, I will certainly be interested.

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