2014 PUG Game of the Year Awards: Day Seven

It might be a popular and obvious pick, but my game of the year is undoubtedly deserving of such an accolade. It rolled forth on a storm cloud of improvement from its predecessor, which had left many fans of the series disappointed, and quickly established itself as one of the greatest action RPGs in recent memory. What I’m talking about, of course, is Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Game of the Year: Dragon Age: Inquisition

BioWare’s title starts off intense and mysterious, instantly drawing in players into its action and conflict. Once the initials settle down, the Inquisitor has the opportunity to explore and get to know his (or her) supporters at his leisure.

The game is absolutely massive in scope. Inquisition’s worlds are huge, offering players hours of engaging exploration without many dull lags of there being no enemies, no quests or nothing going on. Moreover, the worlds are gorgeous to look at. They feel as though their size, presence and weight is truly before the player. Their variety is also fairly impressive, with each style feeling not only well crafted but as if it belongs in the world of Thedas. Exploration is rewarding, not only in the sense of finding new quests or sight-seeing, but because there are resources such as metals and herbs to aid in crafting.

Crafting itself feels satisfying, even if there are limited armor models at the moment. The choice is left with the player on whether or not they’d like to do the fetch quests or just loot for fourteen hours straight, and that helps balance out what could become tedious very easily. Even in the quieter moments, the banter between party mates is enough to make anyone’s day.

The characters all stand strong as individuals and have spurred both admiration and complaints of their realistic natures. We, as players, feel for them, both positively and negatively, and none of them fail to leave some sort of impact. Their trials and tribulations continue alongside the Inquisitor’s throughout the entirety of the story, and BioWare have done an excellent job of having them go through everything with you, for better or worse. I personally found myself loving characters I thought I’d hate, confused by characters I thought I’d love and more emotionally attached to a team than I had been since Mass Effect 2.

Dragon Age: Inquisition did what any great game, and great sequel, should do: enhance the good, add new things to keep it fresh, and craft a story that answers questions yet unresolved and adds to an ever-growing world and lore.

While the game had a rocky start in some areas, especially with glitches on the PC, BioWare have ultimately delivered all that they promised and then some, and have set the stage for any further Dragon Age games to rise up as some truly epic RPGs. With a grand story, a great cast full of intricately written characters and gameplay that offers as much challenge as it does opportunity for immersion and exploration, Dragon Age: Inquisition is not only a step up from Dragon Age 2 but a reminder of what it feels like when developers strike the occasional alchemical gold.

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