*Updates At Bottom* (May Include Spoilers but I will try my best to avoid revealing major plot points)
I've been playing a wide assortment of games lately considering I have more time on my hands during the winter. I decided to give Dragon Age Inquisition a spin tonight and am enjoying it so far despite some glaring flaws.
+Initial Positive Observations:
*The story seems to be interesting and successfully grabs your attention quickly.
*While too early to tell, it seems we may may have more choices to determine how this story ends.
*Navigating the menus indicates to me that there will be more customization involved.
*One addition to the game which makes life easier is the ability to pick up loot items while still in combat.
-Initial Negative Observations:
*Graphics seem to have taken a large step backwards this time around. This may not be the case with the PS4 version but the textures on the PS3 version are noticeably annoying. At times, the game is visually appealing but seems to be less appealing more often. Certain areas also appear very "grainy".
*Combat still lacks the need for much strategy.
*Menus are clunkier and take up more of your time than the previous two games.
I do look forward to finishing this game in the near future. I hope the story is able to distract me from the glaring flaws.
My Background in Dragon Age:
I am a longtime BioWare fan and enjoyed the first two games (the original being a superior product to DA2). I beat the first two games and all the available DLC on the PS3 and Xbox 360. I still plan to go back and replay both.
Update #1 (3.5 Hours of Gameplay)
Three and a half hours in and am impressed with the game despite my previous complaints about the graphics. The first two Dragon Age games felt more linear and restrictive. While DAI is certainly linear for the most part, the game feels more epic and exploration is finally a more legitimate factor in the game. Just picked up a mount.....like nearly every game with horses, this aspect could have used more work.
Screenshot of mount taken with iPad camera. Playing the game in 720p on a Sony Bravia TV:
Update #2 (5 Hours In)
I should probably be further along with the game but exploring is pretty fun. It seems like every time I am headed out to complete a specific quest, I get sidetracked along the way. This definitely isn't "open world" like Skyrim or anything but it is infinitely more open than the first two DA games. The scope of the game certainly explains the graphics being a little subpar. Supposedly, we are looking at 150-200 hours for total completion which would certainly make the game a good $$$ investment.
Experienced my first system hard crash of the game shortly after the 5 hour point. Hopefully that doesn't become an issue.
Update #3 (10 Hours In)
I'm enjoying the game more and more as I go. I think I liked the characters from the first Dragon Age more but the story in this one is a little better. I am now on my 3rd hard system crash which is annoying and causes you to restore the PS3 file system. I have gotten more into crafting and utilizing the war council which is pretty interesting. Certain areas start feeling a little less open world when you end up having to run past the same area too many times.
Difficulty is combat can get annoying. You may face an enemy who can destroy your whole party in seconds but return to them once you've gained one level and dominate the battle easily. At this point, my complaints are that the gane is very often not visually appealing, 3 hard crashes in 10 hours of gameplay makes me wonder if Bethesda gave BioWare advice and the characters really don't interest me a whole lot. While you can use various tactics in battle, tactics really don't matter much.
The positives I'm holding on to primarily include a real interesting story, more exploration than the first two games and seemingly more choices to affect the outcome.
Update #4 (16 Hours In)
No hard crashes in the past 6 hours of gameplay but I've been exiting the game after every two hours of gameplay. I have recruited 4 of The Companions at this point and probably spend too much time exploring and looking around. Decisions I make are noticeably affecting the game more which include overhunting in areas. It is possible to knock a wild species out of an area and they may be replaced with something else. Still not attached to any of the characters I've recruited. The game is still flawed yet highly enjoyable. I'm pretty excited about the future of the Dragon Age franchise.
Update #5 (20 Hours In)
Still no more hard crashes but I'm keeping my fongers crossed. Sidequests are repetitive but at least the environments are varied. I'm guessing I'm gettong close to the halfway point with the main story line so plan to focus more on sidequests. I'd hate to finish the story too quickly.
Update #6 (25 Hours In)
I like the game so much I decided to get the PS4 version (I didn't own the PS4 at the time I started this) and will start over from the beginning. I don't consider it time wasted because I wanted to do things a little differently anyway. I found the game for $20 new on sale and couldn't pass up on that.