Dragon Age: Inquisition Review - Monumental

Nixou

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I'm gonna go put my fingers in my ears and ignore anything Dragon Age related for next month until the hype has calmed down and more nuanced opinions of the games virtues and flaws become known

Given Bioware's recent history, it may be more reasonable to wait longer till all the plot-hole-filling DLCs are released in one inexpensive package.
And No I'm not talking about ME3's ending: the original ending was fine, I'm talking about everything else: the characters locked out of the vanilla versions, the tales bridging episodes kept in expansive DLCs (hello Arrival)... I wouldn't surprise me at all that several key points of Inquisition plot are as of now shoddily explained because some suit decided again that making people pay 10 buck for a 3-5 hours long sidequest was smart business.
 

Amaror

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Nixou said:
This is the guy who called DA2 one of the best looking games of the last generation. Never letting you live that down.

The thing is, I'm replaying the game on PC with maxed settings right now, and it turns out that the game is gorgeous, albeit with an art-style that's depressing as hell
So did i and the game looks anything but beautifull. Even with the HD textures pack you could download extra, the game did not look good. It didn't look horrible but the graphics itself were barely above Origins graphics and the artstyle was A LOT worse. Just put one picture of The Witcher 2 next to it, it doesn't compare in the slightest.
 

Kahani

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Greg Tito said:
the cultures in Thedas have always treated gender this way. I found it refreshing and exciting.
While it's certainly nice to have games that just have gender equality rather than making a big song and dance about it (or not having it at all), I'm not convinced that "this series of games has always done this" and "refreshing and exciting" really fit together very well.

I like the sound of the healing system though. The big problem with games like this, going all the way back to tabletop D&D, is the freedom to choose your party. With D&D, it's always been essentially mandatory to have a cleric and thief, and while newer editions give more variety in classes that can fill similar roles, there's never really been a choice to simply not have them and do your own thing. Dragon Age did exactly the same. Pretty much every party had Wynne, because you need healing and the only other choices were to half-ass it with Morrigan or a sub-optimal player mage. Having a healing system that is class independent is a much better idea. It may still be best to have a sensibly balanced party, but it allows a lot more freedom to play around with whatever combinations you like.

As for Titogate (that's what we're calling it, right? Everything has gates in it these days), this is why you should always get your news from multiple sources and don't try to rely just on the silly number some reviews put at the end. It doesn't matter how flawed you may think Greg's review was, if you went out and bought a game based solely on his single review, it's your lack of due diligence that is the main problem.


Captcha - which one is a real word? None of them. It's spelt "aeroplane". Silly Americans and their more concise and efficient spelling.
 

w23eer

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I always had faith in Bioware. I consider DA2 a misstep (and I blame EA for it anyways) and I loved ME3, despite the ending. It's nice to see such good reviews for the game.

I probably won't be playing it until Christmas, if I ever get it at all. My biggest gripe about Inquisition is that they're not going to release a (public) demo - I don't own a console (anymore) and I'm really unsure if my laptop can run it. A demo would've been really handy.

...maybe a good Samaritan around here can help me out? Here's my specs:
Intel Core i7 - 4500U 1.8 GHz
AMD Radeon R7 M265 with 2GB dedicated VRAM
4GB DDR3 L Memory
1000GB HDD

I know my processor could do the job, but the graphics card is dodgy. Even if it does work, I'm gonna have to run it on minimum settings, but I don't mind so long as framerate is steady. The only notable benchmark I have is Injustice, which ran pretty smoothly on my laptop at minimum settings.
 

Amaror

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A Warning for everyone on Pc, this game is not built for you.
The controls are horrible on pc.
There is no autoattack, you can no longer click on an item to loot it and instead have to move to it manually every single time, no "loot all", no way to highlight items or enemies anymore, tactics camera is way too low to the ground to be usefull in any way, you can't walk with the mouse anymore, you can't issue walking orders to your companions outside of tactical mode, the tactical camera can only move for a very short distance not giving you a usable overview over the battlefield, the tactical camera gets obscured by trees or other large objects all the time, it's a mess.
The menus are about as awkward and horrible to use as skyrims native menus, yes it's that bad and this time there won't be any mods to fix it because the frostbite engine can't be modded and you can be sure that bioware will spent no ressources whatsoever to fix this.
Additionally there is a flux of bugs coming out in the forums, crashes, freezes and other gamebreaking bugs. This game is a mess right now and i advice you all to wat.
 

zinho73

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WarpedLord said:
zinho73 said:
Rabbitboy said:
I liked Dragon Age 2 a lot so I don't mind that Greg gives this game a 5/5.

I've told myself all year I was going to wait for the game of the year edition. But now I'am not so sure if I can wait that long.
The main problem with the Dragon Age 2 wasn't his opinion, it was his evaluation of the game. You can like something and still recognize it is flawed, rushed, with stupid combat mechanisms and prone to disapoint fans of the series. He was incapable to point those things out. \\his review looks like some fan gushing about the game.

Eeeeexcept that "flawed, rushed, with stupid combat mechanisms and prone to disappoint fans of the series" are all opinions (all of which I mostly share, but still) so why would Greg point those out, when they obviously weren't his opinion??? All you did was prove that your problem IS with his opinion, even though you JUST said that it wasn't his opinion that was the "main" problem.
Every review is a piece of opinion, but it is not JUST opinion. A good reviewer usually balances opinion with facts and context. I was just being brief but I can be more specific: Greg's opinion on the piece did not appeared to be an informed one, he just praised the game, without much consideration of the game possible drawbacks.

I don't care if he likes the game or not (that kind of opinion I don't care about), but I do care if he fails to point out basic stuff, that in some cases are not even opinion: the game was rushed and that's a fact: Bioware never reused so many assets in any of its games before or after. It is also quite obvious that the oversimplification of the systems would disappoint anyone looking for an experience similar to the first game.

I also do not "think" that the combat in DA2 is easier and shallow. It is. It can be fun see the stuff happening on the screen, but it requires zero thinking. On harder difficulties you did have to think about what you were doing, but some fights just took forever - they did not had the time to balance the system.

I could say that I liked DA 2 or I could say that Dragon Age 2 was an ok game, with some fun moments and gameplay that came short of being a great game because it was rushed and suffered from lack of ambition and the usual EA brand of consumer disrespect (If you want to use bows you had to be an archer yourself or buy the DLC).

Both statements above are true, but the second thought is more elaborated and informed (it is just a crude example, but I think you get the gist of it).

So, to be clear, I don't think that most people here care if Greg loves DA2 or not, but it is at least disappointing when a professional reviewer fails to apply common sense to his evaluation of a game and more importantly, fails to generate empathy with a huge part of the target audience of the game (one would assume that it would include fans of the original game).

If you see any Jim Sterling review of the Dynasty Warriors games it is more clear what I mean - he loves the games but can also be very critical about it, recognizing that the gameplay can be boring for some, among other drawbacks.
 

babinro

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misogynerd said:
Hey look, the forums are filled with people either making fun of the author's complete lack of credibility in reviews or defending his DA2 review as an opinion.

That's probably not a good thing for the escapist.

Greg probably should have handed this off to another reviewer.
Reviews are largely based on the personal opinion so it's fine.

Just like every game reviewer out there it's up to the reader to determine if your thoughts/opinions tend to align with theirs making the review accurate for you. There are people who like Greg Tito's reviews and there are those who don't. The same would have been true had Jim Sterling reviewed the game.

I could see how a second opinion on this particular game may be helpful for the readers but I don't think that Greg's opinion should have been kept silent. I'm glad to have his review as I consider him a good reviewer.

AS for this being a bad thing for the Escapist...have you seen review comments on other major sites like Gamespot and IGN? Anything we get here is tame by comparison. People here seem to be more light-hearted and joking about the matter rather than legitimately angry or negative. Perhaps I'm misinterpreting it based on my biases for the reviewer though.
 

zinho73

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Charcharo said:
zinho73 said:
Rabbitboy said:
I liked Dragon Age 2 a lot so I don't mind that Greg gives this game a 5/5.

I've told myself all year I was going to wait for the game of the year edition. But now I'am not so sure if I can wait that long.
The main problem with the Dragon Age 2 wasn't his opinion, it was his evaluation of the game. You can like something and still recognize it is flawed, rushed, with stupid combat mechanisms and prone to disapoint fans of the series. He was incapable to point those things out. \\his review looks like some fan gushing about the game.

The game was so obvioulsly flawed that Bioware revamped everything on the third iteration. The story on this one is terrible, but everything else is top notch, this one is obviouly a much better game - and now they share the same score, which is very dumb and inconsistent.

His review, his opinion - it is valid. But of course, it is a opinion with very little value in the mind of some, myself included.
No... You cant do that.

The quality of games is unfortunately completely subjective. Apart from optimization, graphics and a few other ONLY technical aspects within our hobby.

Otherwise your opinion completely mirrors mine on "overhyped" games like Bioshock, Infinite, The Last of Us..
I can't do what, exactly?

Quality is a measure of subjective and objective parameters and there are a lot of other technical considerations to observe in a game like this: writing, pacing, art direction (yes, there are several technical considerations when evaluating art: the most obvious one in DA 2 case is the reuse of assets), features and the comparative values with the first game.

Appreciation on the other hand, is completely subjective.

Greg's review shows his appreciation of the game but do not evaluate its quality.

In any case I do agree that there is a lot of subjectivity involved in the process. That's why I said that his review is valid, but pointless to a lot of people. I am not saying that he should say what I wrote, but he failed to understand that a lot of people would see the game that way. And that is very obvious, so he came across as someone not very perceptive.

I will repeat what I said in other post: Jim Sterling's reviews of the Dynasty Warrior games is a good example of what would be a more complete evaluation - he loves the games, but never fails to point out its perceived flaws and drawbacks: it could be tedious, the story is confusing, the scope intimidating, the balance uneven and so on.

When the reviewer balances technical aspects (rushed), personal preferences (it´s fun) and context (it is different from the first one), he is making a good job. When he disrupts this balance he will lose credibility, there is no two ways about it.

So, is it subjective? In part, yes.
Can he say anything he wants? Yes, definitely.
And everyone will respect his opinion? If it lacks common sense, no, they won't. Also, it is the Internet.
 

zinho73

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Mcoffey said:
You guys really need to get over Dragon Age 2. I did, and I'm much happier for it.

Women can talk about games, and people can have different opinions on them than you! It's a brave new world everyone!

Great review Mr. Tito! I am dying that I don't get paid for a while and thus cannot have this game in my eyeballs right now...
As much as I am bashing the Dragon Age 2 review, I must say that I think that Greg seems to be a great guy and a great professional. As we all love games, I guess he just got carried away a little and that's fine.

That said, I must confess that I have not considered his Inquisition review as a parameter for the game. Oh, boy. :D
 

wooty

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Aug 1, 2009
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zinho73 said:
wooty said:
Hmmm, I'm still on the fence here. I hated DA: Origins with a passion, which in turn led me to miss out on DA2. But this one is generating a lot of positivity and perking my interest as the weeks go on.

Maybe we'll see in the future.
I'm a fan of Origins and I can say the DA2 is different enough that you may like it.

The combat is quicker and more flashy (although repetitive and with fewer tactical considerations). It is only a challenge on the higher difficult levels, but the scaling is terrible and some enemies have lots of HP, making the battles super tedious if you crank the difficulty up.

Skill trees are very streamlined (eliminating role-playing skills and the need to think about what you are doing)
The story starts bad, has a very cool second act and ends in an unpolished mess, but the banter and some dialogue between the characters are very cool.

Inventory and equipment are also streamlined to the point of almost not being necessary, but it keeps you in the action.
Overall the game has very good ideas and is quite fun at moments, with some charismatic characters, but was clearly rushed, with some underdeveloped areas, content diverted to DLC and repeated assets.

It appears that Inquisition is a much well rounded product, But DA2 can certainly be an enjoyable, if somewhat disappointing, experience,
Well I must thank you for that little run down of Dragon Age. My one remaining question is, (this being Bioware), is there a continuous running story through the series like Mass Effect, or is each one unique but just set in the same world? (Elder Scrolls style.)
 

zinho73

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There is an overall story that evolves from title to title, but the protagonist changes, the focus changes and the tone changes from title to title.

You can certainly play any of those games individually and they not feel as cohesive as Mass Effect because the change of the protagonist. It is cool to see the little nods to the older games, though.
 

zinho73

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Charcharo said:
zinho73 said:
Charcharo said:
zinho73 said:
Rabbitboy said:
I liked Dragon Age 2 a lot so I don't mind that Greg gives this game a 5/5.

I've told myself all year I was going to wait for the game of the year edition. But now I'am not so sure if I can wait that long.
The main problem with the Dragon Age 2 wasn't his opinion, it was his evaluation of the game. You can like something and still recognize it is flawed, rushed, with stupid combat mechanisms and prone to disapoint fans of the series. He was incapable to point those things out. \\his review looks like some fan gushing about the game.

The game was so obvioulsly flawed that Bioware revamped everything on the third iteration. The story on this one is terrible, but everything else is top notch, this one is obviouly a much better game - and now they share the same score, which is very dumb and inconsistent.

His review, his opinion - it is valid. But of course, it is a opinion with very little value in the mind of some, myself included.
No... You cant do that.

The quality of games is unfortunately completely subjective. Apart from optimization, graphics and a few other ONLY technical aspects within our hobby.

Otherwise your opinion completely mirrors mine on "overhyped" games like Bioshock, Infinite, The Last of Us..
I can't do what, exactly?

Quality is a measure of subjective and objective parameters and there are a lot of other technical considerations to observe in a game like this: writing, pacing, art direction (yes, there are several technical considerations when evaluating art: the most obvious one in DA 2 case is the reuse of assets), features and the comparative values with the first game.

Appreciation on the other hand, is completely subjective.

Greg's review shows his appreciation of the game but do not evaluate its quality.

In any case I do agree that there is a lot of subjectivity involved in the process. That's why I said that his review is valid, but pointless to a lot of people. I am not saying that he should say what I wrote, but he failed to understand that a lot of people would see the game that way. And that is very obvious, so he came across as someone not very perceptive.

I will repeat what I said in other post: Jim Sterling's reviews of the Dynasty Warrior games is a good example of what would be a more complete evaluation - he loves the games, but never fails to point out its perceived flaws and drawbacks: it could be tedious, the story is confusing, the scope intimidating, the balance uneven and so on.

When the reviewer balances technical aspects (rushed), personal preferences (it´s fun) and context (it is different from the first one), he is making a good job. When he disrupts this balance he will lose credibility, there is no two ways about it.

So, is it subjective? In part, yes.
Can he say anything he wants? Yes, definitely.
And everyone will respect his opinion? If it lacks common sense, no, they won't. Also, it is the Internet.
Unfortunately, art and writing, pacing and even aesthetics art style fall in my book of "subjective" traits. No one has made a formula on how to calculate those, no one has ever made a guide on how to judge such things under ALL circumstances...
If it cant be put into numbers and be able to judge those numbers objectively, it is subjective.
Graphics are objective. Art style is not.

From my time in World of Tanks, I can also say that what your average gamer finds to be balanced or not... is usually complete and utter bull and should not be used as anything more then toilet paper.

For example, it is my subjective opinion (same as yours) but Bioshock Infinite's storyline was balls. Call of Duty Ghosts has better writing. It made more sense.
I have seen half made mods be better games then Infinite... but hey, subjectivity :p.

I also seem to find his review useful to people that might have liked DA2. Remember that he is NOT the only reviewer, if you care about someone elses opinion on a game, use Metacritic and check the reviews.
We need one person that loved DA2 for the few or many that liked DA2. The world is not built around you.


Anyways, a perfect review for me is one that focuses completely on the technology in a game and how well implemented it is. Tech overviews, optimization reviews, Nvidia/AMD articles, tech forums and such. Those I can stomach to read.
I understand your point of view, and it is an old discussion on the internet, but you are equating being objective with being quantifiable and you can be objectively critic on several things that are subjectively appreciated.

There is technique in art and in writing.

Internal logic, for example, is a principle in writing that DA 2 breaks when you are a blood mage walking around kirkwall doing all kinds of prohibited stuff without anyone raising an eyebrow. That's objectively awful and bad, the first game walked around more graciously around this issue. You can find it entertaining (I certainly do) but it is in the light of appreciation, not criticism.

There is bad music, bad movies, bad books and bad games. You cannot quantify bad editing, but when the scene stops in the middle of a character phrase or the microphone appears, the professional made a mistake - an objective mistake.

Reusable assets in DA2 are mistakes (Underground hideout being on the mountaintops, for example) caused by lack of skill (because they are obvious and sloppy) or money (because there aren't many of them);
Enormous life bars in combat are mistakes because the intent was to make the combat more difficult - not excruciatingly longer. You can argue that there are people that like it that way and i agree, but it does not make it an achievement, they still got it wrong and most people won't like it.

In Brasil we have an writer called Guimarães Rosa that is brilliant, but not much appreciated, because he is difficult as hell to read with his use of symbolism and metaphor. But weather you like it or not, he IS brilliant. His work is not quantifiable but, although many have tried, nobody to this day could write like him.

When all technique is on the same level all we have left is subjectivity, sure. But being objective is not the same as being quantifiable.

Appreciation is another matter altogether. My daughter do not draw better than Da Vinci, but I like her drawings much more.
 

Nixou

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You don't have to lie you know.

As a matter of fact, I did a bunch of screenshots of my ongoing game, so it's not that hard for me to disprove your rather insulting comment:





It's cold, greyish, often depressing as hell, but textures are sharp and detailed, as are characters' faces and clothing, and lightning effects are well done (although shadows are a bit hit and miss on my machine).

Now, the game does indeed look like an ugly blot of pixels on consoles: by fiddling with the settings, I managed to obtain this nice comparison between two close ups on Hawke wearing the same set of clothes on the close-to-its-console-counterpart lowest settings:

(What I call "N64 clothing" thanks to its rather blocky color pattern)

and much higher settings:


There are non-hardware-related differences between DA2 and Origins which rub people the wrong way: interiors are much darker, backgrounds and level design give a more confined feeling to the the whole game, colors tend to be paler, their contrast is much less pronounced than in Origins, etc...

Had the game not been rushed, the developers may have made different choices in the art direction, like different color schemes, better lit interiors, city bystanders who are a bit more varied than the motionless dummies placed around at the last minute to make the city look less empty etc... But many choices were quite deliberate: Kirkwall's claustrophobic prison-like appearance or the wounded coast being a rather desolate place (There is more vegetation inside of caves than outside, you pretty much never have more than one tree visible on your screen until you visit the woods surrounding Chateau Haine) are that way because the people who made the game wanted this aesthetic and this wouldn't have changed even if Bioware had taken the time to finish/polish the game. And I do happen to prefer DA2's greyishness over Origins' abuse of brown and dirty green [http://i.imgur.com/JvugL5S.png]
 

Hades

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This has got to be just me but....does anyone else think the hairstyles all look like they are made of plastic?
 

klaynexas3

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NRVNQSR86 said:
How much did they pay you Escapist? Especially the PC Metacritic reviews are tearing DA:I a new one. And that is telling. Normally past time MC reviews get evened out if praise is really to be had, but it goes only down and down and stabilizes at a low point if it deserves harsh reviews. Both Civ:BE and now DA:I are part of this, and considering I have played Civ:BE (but not yet DA:I) I'm fully inclined to believe the negative reviews and the negative parts of the positive reviews - since they also hit home in general at the same points.

NONE OF THEM WHICH I CAN FIND BACK HERE.
Mind to explain yourself?
An 87 is tearing a game a new one? God your standards are high, I'm guessing getting less than an 80 means it's the worst game ever, right?