Dragon Age – First Impressions

So I found an online deal that shaved about $15 off of Dragon Age Inquisition.  Why not?  WoW servers are melting something fierce lately and SWTOR won’t open for a few more days.  26gig install was something else but interesting difference between Steam and Origin is that the download includes the install.  There have been more than enough times where I was sitting staring at a screen for an hour for a Steam game to install.  I mean, I know why it happens, just irksome.

So a few technical things to start.  You need a controller plugged in before launching the game.  Which is stupid but I guess since it changes the UI… I’ll live with it.  AMD video cards.  Now, I don’t have the best laptop.  It was top of the line 3 years ago and I paid mint for a custom one (actually, my guides paid for it) but it still handles every game I’ve thrown at it since, and at a decent clip.  Wildstar on max, ESO pretty darn high.  Even Tomb Raider was running everything but infi-hair.  But DA:I (if I can call you that) doesn’t like AMD chips.  I can get maybe 45 minutes out of the game before it locks up due to a memory leak or an invalid command.  I’m fully patched too, which makes it even more annoying.  But such is the master PC – video cards are always suspect.

Why is my hair shiny?  I look like a plastic doll.

Why is my hair shiny? I look like a plastic doll.

That aside, the game plays fairly well.  I made a mage, playing on normal.  I find the actual skills much less interesting this time though the world is more engaging.  Instead of bits and pieces, now you have a relatively open world to fight in.  Combat has been streamlined too, so it’s closer to Mass Effect 2 than any other DA game before it.  I think the pacing is well done but I don’t like not having healing abilities or the ability to regenerate out of combat.  All I get are healing potions, shared across the group.  Why give me 4 characters to play with if the tank ain’t can only keep 1 target active and the support provides a temporary shield?  Bah.  It’s no longer strategic, it’s all tactics.  Take the heaviest hitting skill you can find and then support it with knockdowns/stuns to avoid taking damage.  Chain stuns keep you alive.

The story is neat. The characters so far interesting.  The quests are far from the fetch quests as they often involve exploration or dialogue.  You response choices are varied enough and the voice acting is decent.  Inventory management sucks, as usual with any RPG.  Things get tagged as junk when they clearly are not.

I’m kind of thinking this is in final beta right now and there’s a big kitchen sink patch coming my way – or at least in time for the holidays.  Let’s see how far I can get without the next crash though.

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