Feature

We Answer Your Questions About Dragon Age: Inquisition

by Joe Juba on Nov 11, 2014 at 01:49 PM

How does romance work? How long is the game? Is it newcomer-friendly? In a week, Dragon Age fans will know these answers for themselves when Inquisition releases. However, reviews for Inquisition were released today (including mine), which may make the wait even harder given the game's positive reception. To ease your curiosity, I reached out on Twitter and through the Overblood Super Replay fan page to get your burning questions, and then I answered them based on my personal experience with the game.  

I'm somebody who is actually interested in this, but never has played any of the games in the series. Do I need to know the story beforehand or can I just go in and be brought up to speed? — Aaron Johnson
This is, by far, the most common question I’ve gotten about Inquisition. As someone who gets pretty involved in the series I love – Dragon Age among them – this question is always strange to me. I don’t completely understand this approach, but here’s what I can say: It is possible to pick up and play Dragon Age: Inquisition without playing the previous titles. The game itself doesn’t give you an in-depth summary of the previous events (check out the Dragon Age Keep for that), but the basics tell you what you need to know: The world is in trouble, and you are uniquely qualified to fix it. But seriously, if you have the time, you should play the previous games, since part of the fun is seeing how your choices across the series affect the world.

Is using the Keep to import past decisions worth it? Do the decisions have any real weight in Inquisition, similar to Mass Effect? – Sean Cooper
Yes, importing from the keep is worth it. It affects things on several levels, from casual mentions in conversation to which characters are available for certain cameos. As for the impact of your decisions, they have a similar range. From my experience, the most major choice you make is who to side with early on: Templars or Mages. Other ones might influence whether certain characters live or die, but the Templar/Mage choice significantly steers the direction of the story and events that follow.

Do the save files transition on The Keep work as advertised? Also is transmedia lore included at all? — Dustin Dent
Yeah, I have had no trouble importing my world state from The Keep into my game. Events from the expanded lore are certainly referenced (especially in relation to Cole), but not critical to understanding the story.

How is the multiplayer handled in the game? — Justin Griffiths
There’s a four-player cooperative multiplayer mode. You can learn more about it here! As a big fan of Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer, I’m excited to jump into this and start playing once everyone has the game.

I love old school JRPGs but haven't played many western RPGs, would you recommend DA:I to a JRPG fan? — Adam K.
If you exclusively like JRPGs, probably not. But if you mainly enjoy a steady sense of progression and a great cast of characters, you should check it out.

Is Blood Magic in the game and will it still be usable? — Mike Jones
Blood magic is still an important element in the world, and is discussed on several occasions. However, you and your allies are not able to take up a Blood Mage specialty class this time.

What is your favorite new feature in the game? — Ken R.
There are lots of things that are technically new to Dragon Age, and it’s hard to pick a favorite. I was most impressed by how well all of the content links together; a seemingly peripheral conversation can lead to a whole chain of connected tasks. The War Table is also a cool way to keep players engaged with side missions and illustrate the growing influence of the Inquisition. On the other side of things, I wasn’t as impressed by the mounts as I was hoping to be, but at least they make the journey from point A to B easier.

How rewarding is it to walk around the open world? Are there things to do or is it more of a shuttle to new missions? — Ian Levesque
I know that it’s dangerous to compare any game to Skyrim, but I did get a similar vibe from Inquisition. The whole world isn’t connected, but the zones are pretty huge, and I couldn’t make it to a single objective marker without getting distracted by other tasks and sidequests that I wanted to complete along the way.

Is this a BioWare game that can be called great without reservation? — Logan Schmidt
I think so. I also thought the same can be said about Mass Effect 3. Some people might disagree with me, and that’s okay!

Without spoilers, do Morrigan and Flemeth play a big role in Inquisition? — Adam Ambro
Talking about any characters’ roles without ruining stuff is tough, but Morrigan and the relationship with her “mother” do come up, mainly in the second half of the game. I don’t know if I’d say the role is “big” in terms of screen time, but it is important.

Are the characters still constantly splattered in blood every time you see them? — Austin Bascle
Yes, but that’s an option you can turn off in the options menu.

Do you have any information on how the game performs on PS3/Xbox360? — Geoff
EA has not provided those versions for us to check out yet. I’ve only had a chance to see PS4, Xbox One, and PC in action.

Next: The second half of the questions, including sex, DLC, and more!

Who did you romance? — Dustin Floyd
I’ve done some experimenting on different playthroughs. I haven’t covered all of the bases, but I really loved the path to Cassandra’s romance arc (a fetch quest associated with it that had me laughing out loud). I also romanced Iron Bull, and it seems like that’s more of a casual sex thing than some sort of profound romantic connection.

How's the romance system compared to previous entries in the series and Mass Effect? — Nick Ransbottom
Pretty familiar. You talk to characters, and occasionally select romance-related dialogue options. However, I do like the fact that the whole "friendship meter" is gone; you don't see your relationship quantified, though you do get notifications when you do something that pleases or displeases a character. That doesn't appear to impact your ability to do their sidequests, and it seems like you can’t fully engage in the relationship until you do these personal errands for your object of affection. Those quests are focused on that character and do a lot to flesh out their personalities and histories, so I’d recommend doing them even if you don’t want to get romantic.

Is it possible to have any romance with Hawke? Is it possible to make him/her mad enough to either hate or fight you? — Rand Moser
Talking about Hawke’s role delves too much into spoiler territory, but I think it’s safe to confirm that he/she is not a romance option.

How was sex in the game? Fulfilling? Worthwhile? Comedic? Entertaining? — Chris Rose
Well, I saw two of them – one with Cassandra and one with Iron Bull. I was a little surprised that Cassandra was showing a bit more than a PG-13 level of skin, but the scenes in general are in line with what we’ve seen from BioWare games in the past.

How in-depth are the skill trees and character customization? — Stuart Simpson
They are deep enough so that each of your party members can travel down different paths and feel unique. You’re going to get some overlap (all of your mages should learn Barrier, for example), but you can tailor your favorite characters to suit your particular needs in the party. Even better, each party member earns a different specialization class (since there are three for each class), so those act as unique skills that only they (and perhaps your Inquisitor) can learn.

Is it more than 10 hours, unlike the last one? — Landon Kolsky
It seems like BioWare heard the complaints about Dragon Age II loud and clear. In addition to the vast and varied environments, you also have no shortage of fun stuff to do. My first (and nowhere near completionist) playthrough clocked in around 70 hours, and I’m already doing a more thorough second run.

How's the music in the game? Bioware is pretty good at music (Mass Effect comes to mind). Does Inqusition have a really memorable score, or is it just there to service the story? — Austin Bascle
The soundtrack is very good, and does its job well. With that being said, not much of it particularly stood out to me. The main theme is great and memorable, but beyond that, it just felt like solid adventuring music.

What sort of party recommendations do you have with rogue as your main character. — Chase Smith
There aren’t really any wrong choices. Since you eventually get three of each class as companions, you can roll with four rogues if you want to. For more balance, make sure you have a warrior, mage, and rogue in your party, then double up on either mage or warrior.

Will there be a season pass? — Gerald Bryan
BioWare hasn’t said anything about formal DLC plans. That’s heartening by itself, considering how both of the other games in the series had DLC characters available on day one. The main downloadable plan the company has talked about is the promise of frequent (and free) multiplayer updates, including new classes. We’ll have to wait and see how exactly that shapes up…but I would personally love to see more single-player DLC focused on the continuing exploits of the Inquisition.

You said the cast was your favorite of the two games, what makes this one better than the last two? Who's your favorite new character? — Austin Bascle
I think the mix of old characters and new ones is the key to this ensemble cast. Players know Cassandra, Varric, Cullen, and Lelianna giving them a few familiar touchstones. That makes it easier and less overwhelming to get to know the great new characters like Dorian and Sera. As for my favorite, I really liked Cassandra – I found myself agreeing with her outlook more often than not, and in a lot of ways, she is just as important as the player character in the events that unfold.

Is there fast travel? How easy/hard is it to get around the large open world? — Carry Osborne
You can fast travel to certain key locations, as well as camps that you unlock. It strikes a good balance; you are forced to be on-foot enough that you have sense of the world and its geography, but the fast travel means that you aren’t spending tedious spans just getting from one place to another.

How bad are the crashes? Isn't the fact that the game can't run consistently kind of a detriment? — Dominic Cichocki
The game only crashed on me twice in 70 hours. I was playing prior to the PlayStation 4 update that is causing all of the current problems, and it sounds like the issue should be resolved with a new update before Inquisition launches next week.

Should I bump it up to Nightmare right away, or does Normal/Hard provide a suitable challenge? — Ben Kleman
If you’re well-versed in the tactical combat of Dragon Age: Origins, and if you enjoy a challenge, you can start on Hard. I’d recommend saving Nightmare for a second playthrough, when you are more familiar with the various systems and how to optimize them.

Did Alistair make it back? — Justin Jewkes
I won’t spoil specific cameos, but I was very happy to see a few familiar faces return – if only briefly – during the course of the game.

PET DOGS????!!!! — Andrew Reiner
Sorry, man. Please don’t fire me.