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What Works (And What Doesn't) In Dragon Age: Inquisition's Final DLC

by Joe Juba on Sep 09, 2015 at 05:00 PM

Dragon Age: Inquisition has been out for almost a year, and its story is coming to a close. The final DLC, Trespasser, is an epilogue set years after the conclusion of the main campaign. Compared to previous single-player DLC for the game, this one is a more focused, narrative-driven experience. That's what fans have been wanting since the beginning, but is it enough to make Trespasser worthwhile?

I played through the new content with my Inquisitor, and though some aspects will be different depending on your choices, these are the primary things that this finale gets right and the areas where it stumbles.

Note: The entries below have some basic details, but I won't spoil any story revelations or cool character moments.

Works: Follower Interactions
The story opens two years after the defeat of Corypheus. With the dust settled and your organization's original purpose fulfilled, a meeting has been called to determine the fate of the Inquisition. This premise has the benefit of drawing back together all of your party members who have been off pursuing their own adventures since the end of Dragon Age: Inquisition's main story. I spent my first hour in Trespesser just walking around and catching up with these old friends. With one exception, all of my previous allies were gathered in one place, and I love how all of the scenes and conversations with the characters highlight their best qualities and give a sense of how they've changed over time. What (and who) you see will be different based on decisions you made, who you romanced, and how certain personal quests resolved, but it's all a fitting tribute for the fans who grew attached to this memorable crew.

Doesn't: The Mark
In addition to the impending decision about the Inquisition's fate, something is also wrong with the mark on the Inquisitor's hand. It's getting worse, though this isn't really explained or even presented as much of a concern until the end. It seems shoehorned into the plot, and its gameplay applications aren't much better. Your unstable mark provides a neat wrinkle in the final battles, but for the most part, it serves as a glorified torch that you need to spend your focus meter to (briefly) activate in order to navigate dark caves. Both in terms of mechanics and story, this aspect of Trespasser feels under-develeoped.

Works: The Environments
Unlike the Jaws of Hakkon DLC, Trespasser isn't a massive new zone to explore freely. It's more like a long story mission that has you traveling through several smaller and more linear areas. That's not a bad thing; the places you visit are interesting and varied, and the pacing means that you're never spending too long in one place. Plus, the smaller scope means that the spaces you move through feel more carefully and deliberately designed, so they're more fun to explore. They're also loaded with new codex entries to pore over.

Doesn't: Boss Fights
Trespasser has two bosses, and I did not have fun with either of them. The first one presented me with an optional "mercy" objective that I could not complete because my foe got caught on objects in the world, so I was forced to kill it instead. The second boss just went on for too long. As post-game content, I expected Trespasser to have some tough foes, but the last major enemy felt like a damage sponge that I was just hammering on endlessly, even with all of my high-powered spells and meticulously min-maxed gear. The fight doesn't really have a trick or challenge, it's just an endurance match.

Works: The Climax
Despite my disappointment with the boss fights, the climax pays off big. I don't want to say too much for fear of ruining it, but uncovering the reasons (both ancient and current) behind Trespasser's events was the highlight of this DLC for me. Figuring out the "who" won't be hard, but they "why" and "how" weren't what I was expecting, and I was hanging on every word of this cathartic conversation.

Doesn't: The Resolution
After the action comes to a head and you have the answers you were looking for, you decide the fate of the Inquisition. Even though you technically have several choices, it really just boils down to two actual outcomes. Unfortunately, neither of them seemed right to me, which was a bummer. I was still stinging from that when the ending montage started, showing "where are they now?" slides about all of the main characters' fates. However, the text during this sequence advances too quickly and the art presentation doesn't meet the bar set by the previous ending, leaving your final seconds with Trespasser feeling rushed rather than something you can savor.

Final Verdict
It may not be perfect, but Trespasser is still a must-play for fans of Dragon Age: Inquisition. It concludes the arc that began in the base game, and gives you plenty of time to spend with the characters and remind you why you like them. It also expands certain areas of the lore in compelling ways that has me excited for the future. Though it's an epilogue, don't think of this as a "true ending" that you need to buy. Inquisition told a complete story, and Trespasser feels more like an interstitial episode bridging the gap between the last game and the next. It gives players closure for most of the characters and lingering story threads, but presents new questions along the way. All in all, it's a satisfying way to say goodbye to one of the best RPGs I've ever played.

For BioWare's perspective on what this final piece of DLC offers, read our interview with creative director Mike Laidlaw.