‘Dragon Age: Inquisition’ Is The Epic RPG You’ve Been Waiting For

The new consoles get their first incredible RPG courtesy of Bioware.

Now that the new consoles have been out for nearly a year, it’s about time we got an epic new role playing game. This is where “Dragon Age: Inquisition” enters. Developer Bioware takes the franchise into new territory from the previous two releases, crafting a rich, engaging, and really fun fantasy story.

The game doesn’t hit stores until November 18, but here’s how we leveled up, found loot, and learned to love in “Dragon Age: Inquisition” during our early hands on time with the game.

Being An Inquisitor
The plot of “Dragon Age: Inquisition” is one of political intrigue, religious zealotry, and mythic prophecies. After an earth-shattering explosion wipes out the upper echelon of prime religious figures, you are the only survivor. Yet, you have no idea how or why.

Of course, as the sole survivor, you are immediately blamed for the disaster. What’s more, you are left with an enigmatic mark that is slowly killing you. More still, the explosion ripped a hole to a world of demons. Let’s just say it’s all around a bad time.

Fortunately, that mark grants you a power that can close these portals to hell. Some are claiming that you alone have the power to cull together an army to stop the invasion.

As if a demon dimension that’s destroying the world isn’t bad enough, it seems that everyone has competing views about what’s really going on. Rogue mages are waging war upon those that enslaved them, zealot Templars are breaking into warring factions, and almost every duke, prince, religious leader and anyone in between won’t listen to reason. The solution is to revive a long forgotten pact to bring forth an Inquisition – and it’s up to you to sort out some kind of peace… By force if necessary.

“Dragon Age: Inquisition” stars your character as a fulcrum to leverage true power — be it through brutish might or clever smarts. Only you can end the madness, forge alliances, reveal the evil figures at work and become the hero you are destined to be.

Make It Your Story
Part of the charm that’s hidden within Bioware games is the relative open-ended story telling. They give you the board and the pieces, but it’s up to you to put them together. Decisions make up a huge part of “Dragon Age Inquisition.” Each player will have their own story as they sew up the major plot threads.

Throughout your adventure, you’ll have opportunities to make major choices that steer the plot in specific ways. Of course, each choice has a consequence and where one path might open, another shuts. To get the most of the game, you’ll want to play through a few times and experience all you can. Besides the way your character plays, how he or she acts is all up to you. New dialogue options open as you learn about what’s going on – and how you react will can have lasting effects.

You should really get into how you want your character to be earlier in the game. Whether you want a grizzled no-nonsense hardass, or a sarcastic, flirty rogue is up to you. The more you get into your role, the more fun you’ll have. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Even though this is the third “Dragon Age” game, if you’re coming in new don’t fret! There’s plenty of hooks tied to the last games, but this is an all new story. This isn’t like the “Mass Effect” trilogy in which each game builds upon the last. So now’s really the perfect time to jump into this fantasy world.

Lore And Loot
There’s so much written in “Dragon Age: Inquisition” that it’s mind-boggling. This game is bursting with extra world-building lore. No matter how dark the dungeon or deep the cave, there’s in-game text describing what and why it’s important. It’s also a perfect way to understand the larger implications of the story and your role in this world. We know that games are action oriented, but you might want to get comfy as you pore through ancient tomes and mysterious scribblings.

There’s also a good deal of variety with the arms and armament. You’ll stumble across exotic weaponry as you delve into the darkness. Crafting materials can be gathered and forged into epic equipment. As you’ll have several team members to outfit, you’ll need to update and re-equipment for the next big encounters.

Let’s Get Tactical
“Inquisition” is an action RPG primarily but you can activate a tactical mode and cue up attacks and abilities in a controlled encounter. Or you can forgo baby-stepping and come out swinging, letting your AI take on some of the responsibilities. Either way works great, but higher difficulties require smart use of powers.

How you craft your character also dictates some of the play style. Mages and archers will use traps and generally stay away from combat, while knights don’t mind a few bruises. Even though you have your own class, you can still directly control any character and get a feel for their strengths. Your squad is interchangeable for the most part, and you’ll need to try out different combinations for the best effects.

Battles feel big, even if there are only a few enemies… But the real treat are the immense fights with some of the biggest bosses the series has ever had. Especially the huge dragon slugouts. The enormous, fire spewing creatures will stretch your powers and steel to their limits. And when you finally topple one, you feel like a true champion.

Romance Isn’t Dead
Part of making it your story may involve getting a bit inquisitive under the sheets. OK, so yeah it’s a game and it’s a bit weird to have romance options as it can come off a bit cheesy. You can try to woo a number of your controllable allies but some only swing their sword certain ways. At least the devs are pushing options for games to craft deeper, more intimate character interactions.

An Epic Open World
Set in the continent of Thedas, which is divided into several hub realms, “Dragon Age Inquisition” brings the rich world of the series to life in a massive way. The world is open for exploration as you make your path into the heart of darkness to thwart the ultimate evil. You’ll uncover secret paths, mysterious and ancient forces, and tons of side quests that should keep you occupied for dozens of hours.

Also, “Inquisition” is a beautiful game. Many times we managed to scramble up to a cliff and just pause for a moment to take it all in. The great variety of environments keeps things fresh as you wonder from stony, ocean-sprayed beaches, rugged mountains with lush valleys, and eerie bogs swept beneath a blistering rain. All of it modeled wonderfully on the new consoles.

Band Together!
Most players will be well served by the single player game, but the brave will test their might in co-op multiplayer adventures. The premise is pretty simplistic — assemble together and delve into a dungeon — but you’ll have a grand time fighting through waves of enemies. You level up an independent character from the single player — complete with new loot and gear as you play more online. It’s a wonderful addition for players that are always looking for new challenges.

Final Thoughts
Bioware knocks this one out of the park. If you’re looking for an engaging and rich story set in brilliant, fleshed out fantasy world then look no further — this one has it all.

Packing in 80 plus hours into a massive story — along with side missions — you will have more than enough to keep you interested. Replayability is another high point as no two adventures will be the same, as new allies and decisions will have you wanting to play over and over. And the multiplayer aspect is surprisingly solid for a game with such as strong focus on single player.

All this packaged in one beautiful game makes for quite an experience for any and all RPG fans!

Dragon Age: Inquisition” is available November 18 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.