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It took me just under 100 hours to complete Dragon Age: Inquisitions. Whilst they say that quantity is no substitute for quality, if this unbelievably expansive RPG release was being judged on its size alone, I am not sure there is anything which could beat it.

The first thing to establish is that Dragon Age: Inquisitions is every bit as massive as rumoured, and it will eat into your life and time in a way that you did not think possible. However, I am confident enough to promise that you will not regret it.

It is one of only a handful of open world games which has come anywhere near this size and scope, whilst still managing to fill its landscapes with interesting and responsive characters. There are downsides to the game, with a degree of messiness now typical to BioWare occasionally causing problems for players. Plus, the main plot is rather convoluted and difficult to follow at times.

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A Little Technical Persuasion

Yet, these minor drawbacks are nothing compared to the vast wealth of encounters and experiences which lie in wait. The bottom line is that Dragon Age Inquisitions is, in many ways, a beautiful homage to old school RPG releases like Knights of the Old Republic. You begin Dragon Age: Inquisitions not as the chief of a ragtag group of adventurers, as expected, but rather the leading figure of a widespread movement to bring law and order to a society torn about by civil conflicts.

There are political corruptions, armed battles, and something much more dangerous to deal with – the inter-dimensional tears throwing troublesome demons into your world. This game is no walk in the park, because as a rallying figure, you have an organisation to uphold. This requires a degree of micromanagement which can be surprisingly engrossing, once you get going.

The main narrative can be a little too intricate at times, but it always feels necessary, particularly when it comes to keeping players invested in such a vast world. In fact, without it, you would very quickly get lost I think, and find it hard to stay interested. It does not matter how many inter-dimensional tears you close, or how many new regions you discover, I challenge you to feel like you are ever making anything but the smallest of scratches on the largest of icebergs.

It is lucky then that Dragon Age: Inquisitions has such a strong sense of direction. You start off as a slightly messy group of politically motivated upstarts, and then expand into an extremely powerful political force, with the intention of bringing real change to the worlds of Ferelden and Orlais. A good tip is to really start making use of your quest map from the beginning, as the sheer amount of content in this game will astound you.

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Having the Heart to Get Lost

It is near impossible to set off on a mission, and not get side tracked by something interesting on the way. Yet, a clever system of clearly defined routes and clearly marked regions make it easy to distinguish between key quests and distractions. In an open world this huge, you would expect to hit some dead ends before long, to start feeling like content is repeating or the NPCs are getting thin, but this never happened for me.

As with a lot of BioWare releases, Dragon Age: Inquisitions does have some rather annoying glitches and technical issues. In some instances, written sequences hang, interface components unexpectedly stop functioning, and dialogue cuts out during combat sequences. The vast majority of these problems can be repaired with a hasty reload, but they do take you out of the action somewhat.

The real problem with Dragon Age: Inquisitions though is its plot. It kicks off in rather imprecise fashion, and never really manages to come together. Whilst the universe in which it is set is filled with incredibly rich folklore and political detail, this release just does not have the same heart that its predecessors possessed.

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