Dragon Age: The Grind

User Rating: 7 | Dragon Age: Inquisition PC

I was worried before that Bioware would change it's style to become more like Bethesda's Elder Scroll games, which would be a bad thing. Instead they went a third way, namely the style of MMO's. I'm guessing the team that did Star Wars The Old Republic went on to develop this one. A bad idea.

The game throws so much busy work at you:

Discover all the sub-regions of the current region. Claim all the landmarks. Claim the quarries. Claim the logging sites. Find the pieces of the scattered mosaics. Find the hidden bottles of Thedas wine. None of this adds anything to the story, character development and so on. The many "operations" you can start from your base's war room seem interesting, and occasionally open up new areas of exploration, but in the end it's all preparation for nothing. Your allied forces are never truly called upon to do battle, as in, say, the final battle of Dragon Age: Origins.

Which leads to the worst part of the game: the combat. As in The Old Republic, the combat is a braindead exchange of DPS vs hitpoints. Difficulty is apparently measured in your enemies' hitpoints. Gone are the tactical fights of DA:O; a typical fight there was being ambushed by archers on a ledge, two slopes leading up the sides, blocked by barricades, plus traps. While a mage is throwing fireballs at you. In DA:I a typical fight is 3-4 generic respawned enemies out in the open that offer no serious opposition and require no tactics (on hard). Terrible.

All the rest of it is up to Bioware standards: top notch voice acting (familiar faces and voices return), graphics are just fine (good draw distance). To quote Morrigan: such a shame.