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Zlinqx
02-18-15 12:28 PM
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A single player MMORPG?

 
Game's Ratings
Overall
Graphics
Sound
Addictiveness
Depth
Story
Difficulty
Average User Score
9.3
8.7
9
8.3
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8.7
6.7
Zlinqx's Score
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02-18-15 12:28 PM
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Zlinqx
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So this is a game I was really excited for and was pretty much the first game I considered a must buy for my PS4, especially considering I really wanted a good console RPG to play and many seemed to have considered this the best RPG released last year so of course it was only a matter of time before I got it and played it myself.

So without further ado...

Let's get into it!

Graphics: 8

I'd probably consider this one of the better looking games on the PS4 so far. The graphics overall look great, the enviroments especially look fantastic from the luscious and bright looking emerald graves to the dark and rainy fallow mire they all look great and there's a lot of variety that keeps the game from looking dull. The one exception for me would probably be the facial animations which especially during cutscenes can look kind of stiff and dated. I also encountered a pretty large amount of bugs compared to most games like clipping during certain cutscenes (which I thankfully didn't experience too much but i've heard is more common with others), my character being stuck above the ground doing some kind of moonwalk animation when walking (which yes does look pretty hilarious) which was triggered when talking to an npc after jumping or what i'd consider the most annoying thing the conversation option circle (thingy?) "pausing" during conversations which while usually just for a few seconds (except once when the game actually seemed to permanently freeze and I had to restart) I encountered several times and was annoying when I just wanted to get on with the game. Now while this can probably partly be contributed to how open ended the game is I feel like it may have been rushed a bit before release and could still have used more polish and more play testing, and it along with the facial animations does make me lower the score.

Sound: 9

The voice acting for each character is great and varies a lot and I don't really have any complaints there (though the lisp like accent Cassandra has is a bit weird). The sound effects are pretty good too, especially the ones for the various skills used during combat.
As for the soundtrack, I did enjoy it quite a lot of the tracks especially during cutscenes. They usually have a pretty epic fantasy feel to them and they do help immerse you a bit more into the game. With that said these soundtracks aren't always playing and I actually found the game to be kind of quiet on a few occasions., which is really the one thing that is holding me back from giving it a 10.

Story: 9

The plot builds on that of previous games. There is war raging on between mages and templars and in hope of establishing peace, a peace conference is held. The conference ends with an explosion however and leads to a large breach opening up in the sky along with several smaller rifts out of which demons emerge. You are the only survivor of the explosion and you now possess a mark that allows you to close rifts but at the same time you have no recollection of what happened or how you got the mark.

Cassandra and Leliana are the former left and right hand of the Divine (the leader of the dominant religious group in the land) who died during the peace conference. They enlist your help in order to close several rifts and stop the breach in the sky from growing any larger. Following the last orders of the Divine they then together with the help of the former templar Cullen and the ambassador Josephine form the inquisition an organization who is dedicated to close the breach, and defeat whoever is behind it.

So the story... I felt like main plot in the game was sort of disappointing, it basically follows the standard story often found in MMORPGs and RPGs overall. You the so called chosen one (or in this case herald of andraste) try to stop evil that is the breach and defeat whoever is behind it.

I feel like this can in large part be contributed to the one who shall not be named... No not  Voldemort, i'm talking about the main villain in the game (who isn't revealed until later). I feel the one who shall not be named (yes I'm serious about it) could have been expanded upon more as a character, While his initial appearance does a good job of establishing him as a real threat, after that he barely gets any screen time, and then his motivations is basically revealed and not really much else... And you're kind of left wondering about him. This caused the final confrontation with him to feel kind of anti climactic as I just wasn't as invested into the main plot as  I should've been. There are however many smaller villains who you face throughout the story that I personally found to be much more interesting.

So with that out of the way you might wonder why I still rated the story so high, well here we get to the in my opinion the best part of the game the companions (aka your party members).

Like previous games saying and doing things will affect what your companions think about you netting you approval and disapproval from them. Getting enough approval will unlock quests that allow you to get to know more about them, become friends with them or even "romance" them depending on your race and gender (I think the name gives it away). They for the most part do a good job of developing the characters (except blackwall who's pretty boring) and they can even lead to you learning some pretty shockings things about them. On the flip side i've heard that getting enough disapproval may even get them to leave the inquisition but I can't confirm it for sure since I made sure that never happened... Yes even Vivienne, that self righteous bi-

MOVING ON... the same pretty much applies for the advisors (except it consists of less questing and more custcenes) and I even enjoyed talking to many of the less prominent characters like Scout Harding. There's also a new mechanic which I call the judgement mechanic, which basically means that after a certain point in the game you'll be able to bring in many of the smaller villains after defeating them and "judge them" which means basically deciding what will happen to them from there on out. Like being able to execute them, imprison them or in some cases you could decide to be kind and merciful. Or if you're a mage you can tranquilize some of them (which apparently most companions will hate you for doing except Vivienne).

Something that is worth noting for old fans of the series or perhaps even some of the new ones if you read upon the story of previous games (though i'd strongly advise just playing through them if you're able to) is that you're able to import decisions from previous games through the dragon age keep website. This essentially means that depending on the decisions you made it will affect the story in various ways. I didn't use this feature on my first playthrough but i'm doing so on my second (since I don't have my original save progress from the first game) after reading about the story and making choices based on that. 

The dragon age universe is also a pretty interesting one and you'll constantly find books throughout the land that teach you a lot about the world of Thedas. Additionally something I found interesting is that there's a pretty strong theme surronding faith and the maker as he is called who is worshipped by the chantry and it's followers (which is most people) which starts playing into main narrative as many believe you are sent by the maker. However since it is actually never revealed if the maker actually exists or not a lot is left up to speculation and it sometimes reminds me of our society which gets you thinking.

Addictiveness/Gameplay: 8

The combat seems to have taken elements from previous Dragon Age games having both some of the action centric combat from dragon age 2 and the more tactical based combat of the first in form of being able to use the tactical view, which gives you a birds eye view of the battle and lets you command your party like positioning them, telling them to protect other party members, attack specific targets etc and then you can watch it unfold very slowly in slow motion (it's way cooler than it sounds trust me). But I ended up not using it very much on normal difficulty since I simply never had the need to and from what i've heard other people seem to say the same seems to apply for them. I can however see it playing a much greater role on harder difficulties and i'm currently actually in the process of replaying the game on nightmare (though i'm still on the initial parts of the game) and I have used it a little bit and I like that the option is there overall.

The progression system has also become more streamlined compared to previous games, instead of assigning stat points to your characters when you level up you automatically gain them once you obtain new skills which is personally a change I didn't mind too much but it might disappoint some players who want to be able to customize their characters more.

Speaking of the skills there are the 3 standard base classes in the game Mage, Rogue and Warrior and you'll be able to pick from using daggers or bows as a rogue and a two handed sword or a sword and shield as a warrior... Or just pick a mage and use a staff... That works too. You can change which weapon you are using later however since you can't change which weapon you are using during combat (which would probably be kind of overpowered in the case of a rogue) you'll most likely be picking one weapon type and building your character around that, you are however able to reset your skills by buying a certain amulet from a blacksmith in the game, in case you want to try another strategy but you'll be stuck with your chosen class.

Each of the classes has 4 skill trees some of them like most of the mage skill trees don't differ too much in my opinion but others do, either way what skills you pick up will most likely depend on what type of role you want the character to play and what specialization you pick.

Later you'll be able to advance from your starting class to one of the three specializations each class has available by doing a quest for that specific specialization. It unlocks a new skill tree and each of the 9 companions (party members) will unlock one of the 9 specializations (so you can technically experience them all in one playthrough if you play as your companions a lot). I feel like this is probably one of the greatest strengths of the game gameplay wise since the specializations add a lot of variety to the gameplay, they can both alter the style of play of a character a lot (like say changing from a rogue to a tempest) or stay mostly the same with a few new tricks instead (like changing from a rogue to an artificier) though like picking your base class it's a permanent change so make sure your choice is the one you really want.

You are able to assign a total of 8 skills at a time to a character which you can use (as well as gaining the benefits of any passive skills you've obtained) and the system sometimes remind me of the hotkey based ones often found in mmorpgs.

A new mechanic to the game is the war table. Basically from your starting hub you'll be able to send your advisors (your  on missions, which can be everything from figuring out how to deal with the people who oppose the inquisition to gathering items for the inquisition to use or doing small favours for your companions. These missions are done in real time and you'll have to wait anything from 5 minutes to 15 hours to hear the results.  While I do think that waiting that long is a bit harsh the missions are pretty much all optional and mostly result in getting different dialogue depending on which approach you took (which can be pretty fun reading through) as well as slightly different rewards sometimes. As such little actual gameplay is involved in most of them. Most of the ones that have actual impact like unlocking side areas, advancing certain quests or advancing the main story either take fairly small amounts of time or are instant in the case of the later.

However they instead require power to do. Power is basically a resource which you get from completing several smaller quests in areas that you get from talking to several NPCs. There is a huge amount of them, and just doing them all in the starting area is quite an accomplishment. However they are mostly the same and are your typical kill x amount of, or collect x of or talk to x type of quests that are often found in MMORPGs (starting to notice a trend here). Luckily the enjoyable combat and some more interesting quests that you do encounter while exploring these areas keep things from getting repetetive when just doing it to get power to advance the story, but it is something that becomes more apparent as the game goes on.

Doing the quests also gets you influence and when you gain enough the inquisition levels up. This then allows you to get some perks such as being able to reduce time it takes for some wartable missions or unlocking a few extra lore specific dialogue options when talking to npcs and such which is pretty interesting as well and can give you some new options when you're "judging" people.

The game also features a pretty in depth crafting system which allows you to customize a lot of your equipment. I don't have too much to say about it though since I mostly used loot that I got from my enemies and only dabbled a bit in it, but it will probably please those who like to customize their characters gear and such and is probably pretty helpful on harder difficulties.

And before I forget (though I would rather forget) the game also has a multiplayer mode... It essentially allows you to select from a bunch of preset characters and take on groups of enemies along with your friends... It also includes microtransactions... I only really played a tiny bit of it for the sake of the review and I didn't really enjoy it all but thankfully you can avoid it entirely and just focus on the single player if you want (guess which option i'd recommend).


Depth: 8

This kind of ties into what I was talking about before the crafting system about war table missions and the questing being kind of mmolike. You see when I first saw the reviews for this game and even when I first started playing, it seemed absolutely huge and in my head I was comparing it to the likes of Skyrim and such in terms of content. There just seemed to be so much to do, so many quests, so many areas to explore and side objectives to complete.

However as I progressed through the game something started to become more and more apparent. Aside from the story and companion quests and some of the ocassional interesting side quests, most quests like i've said consists of your standard MMORPG type of quests (kill x amount of, collect x amount of, talk to x etc). And you do these quests to gain power.  Power is mainly used to advance the story, and as well to unlock some side areas. And if you're like me you've already unlocked most of them by the end of the game since you gain way more power then you can actually use from doing all of these quests. These areas can have some interesting quests but mostly consists of the same type of quests you did to first unlock them.

So basically you get to a point where you've done most of the more interesting quests and you've already unlocked everything that uses power. You could still do these "power quests" which is what a lot of the game is made up of but when there's not even much of a reason to do them anymore, why should you bother? Technically completing all the quests will take you quite some time but what's the point when there's not much to gain from it and it mostly feels repetetive?

The same applies to the war table missions while doing them take a long amount of time and they can be a fun distraction there's not really much actual gameplay involved and it mostly adds the illusion that the game lasts longer.

There's still a lot to do though like the main story quests, companion quests, some of the more interesting side quests (like finding and killing all 10 dragons in the different areas) as well as some of other stuff you can do, so the game will still keep you occupied and it's still quite a nice package just maybe not as big as you might've first expected.

Difficulty: 7

I played on normal difficulty and for the most part went through the game without experincing too much difficulty. I did however use the knight enchanter class (basically a battlemage class) which i've been told is overpowered due to it being able to use a barrier (which is a temporary shield that depletes slowly and is like a second health bar) and then regain it by damaging enemies. I did play a bit as a rogue though during another playthrough and there was a pretty noticeable difference. So it's probably large in part due to that which kind of brings up the question of how balanced the classes are and it's something I hope Bioware becomes aware of and can potentially fix.

Assuming you don't use it though (or at least don't take some of the more overpowered skills) you should find a fair bit of challenge from the game though i'd still recommend starting on hard difficulty unless you're completely new to RPGs. Alternatively you could go for nightmare which should make the game provide a fair amount of challenge (or do what I did and save it for a second runthrough ).

Overall: 8.1

This game does kind of remind me of some of the more negative aspects often found in MMORPGs such as many of the quests and chosen one story line often found within them (although this one does have a few twists). On the other hand I did still enjoy most of my time with this game, assuming you don't overdo it trying to complete every single quest you'll still have fun thanks to the enjoyable combat, great characters that are very well voice acted, and despite my whole rant about the depth I do still think there is enough here to keep the game entertaining for a long time.

A must buy for fans of the dragon age games and i'd definietly recommend this to anyone who's looking for a good RPG for their PS4 and think it seems interesting.


Summons:

Gamin'gal:
A user of this :
sonicthehedgehog57 :


So yeah i've been kind of absent in terms of review for quite some time now but I intend to get back to writing reviews actively again, and was thinking of something around 2 reviews a month. I have no intention to stop writing reviews any time soon and never did, I just had a hard time getting back into it, now I finally did though It's been a while but I hope you really enjoyed this review and that you'll read my next one. Please comment on ways I can improve, give me suggestions on games to review and don't forget to rate it (fairly).









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(edited by Zlinqx on 02-18-15 02:24 PM)     Post Rating: 2   Liked By: Snu, Uzar,

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02-18-15 12:32 PM
Zlinqx is Offline
Link | ID: 1138646 | 37 Words

Zlinqx
Zlinqx
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Forgot to summon a bunch of people... Oops

Gamin'Gal :
juuldude :
Sword legion :
Cradily is love :
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AceShock :
Laian :

And yeah as usual just tell me if you want to be added to my summon list XD
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02-18-15 12:36 PM
sonicthehedgehog57 is Offline
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Gamin'Gal : (hopefully this works)

Again man nother great job so long after a...long while xD and though it's big it still great to read ;P glad to see you still have it in ya! Did think the Story segment went on a little too far, and that some thing from addictiveness could be moved to the depth section to help sandwhich sections out better like: "Speaking of the skills there are the 3 standard base classes in the game Mage, Rogue and Warrior and...." could've been moved there but just a minor issue not a huge one which is nice for someone returning after a while

Overall Good job man  
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02-18-15 12:40 PM
Zlinqx is Offline
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Zlinqx
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sonicthehedgehog57 : Thanks! And I mostly reserve the depth section for things that have to do with the length of the game, I figured that had to mostly with the gameplay, I have actually been thinking of ways I could shorten down the story and gameplay categories in my reviews since they do tend to be quite large compared to the rest of the review. It's something i'll have to keep in mind.
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02-18-15 12:47 PM
sonicthehedgehog57 is Offline
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Zlinqx : I'm the same way about that, but I just figure hey if there's something you think you can't fit into the addictivness part, you could save it for that section since "depth" kind of makes sense to have a lot of work/wording put into it. You of course don't have to do it that way ;P since it's YOUR review and I wouldn't tell  you how to do it just giving some advice or tips that you can look at.

Still really good job after being gone for how long? looking forward to the next one
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02-18-15 12:55 PM
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Zlinqx
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sonicthehedgehog57 : Yeah I get it, I guess I could maybe fit the part about the quests and war table there but other then that it would seem kind of out of place to me.

I've been thinking about splitting addictiveness and gameplay into 2 different categories in some way and make the short introduction of the story I do at the start of the story category be it's own thing. But I'm not sure how well that would work.
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02-18-15 02:12 PM
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Zlinqx : Fantastic job, Zlinqx! This game seems pretty great! If I had a ps4, I'd so buy it. xD I don't have any suggestions for review style, I think you did a good job. :3
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02-22-15 09:46 AM
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Late reply, good job on this review, I don't really have anything to add from what's already been said, thanks for the summon =)
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