Ok. Time for one last fling with the Inquisitor and her merry men.
“Enjoy time with them while you can,” translation: “We only added upfront dialogue.”
Wow, Bran changed a bit. The years haven’t been too kind to him.
Now we control the giant harbor net of Kirkwall. Well I’m sure that won’t come in handy one of these days.
I knew the Executors would be back! Hard in Hightown!
Oh man, all these books and letters are so great. I could read these all day.
OMG, it’s the collar from that spirit that possessed the cat in Shale’s village!
Ok, when Zither showed up for Maryden, I full on did the Home Alone hands-on-the-face reaction.
I have no idea what we were throwing at people with Sera.
Sera does what we’ve all wanted to do to Maryden sooner or later.
Well, Bull is as terse as always. Was Freddie busy the week they recorded this?
Hm. There seem to be a lot more couples getting busy here, than you’d expect at a religious conclave.
Why am I picking up all these dog bones?
Wow. Josephine treated us to the Orlesian equivalent to Noh drama.
Well Leliana appears to be back to her old self.
Fenris is the bartender in Hard in Hightown, and I just died.
Ok, I’m not so sure what the ham was for in spa day.
I feel like maybe BioWare needs a field trip to a spa.
Oh not just ham, but the sad banana-on-a-stick weapon.
Well Leliana appears to be kind of done.
Cullen found a dog!
Oh THAT’S why we were picking up the dog bones.
The dog brought us a…mace made out of a bee hive? That’s very thoughtful.
Chateau Haine got a new Duke!
I guess you can’t talk with Dorian much?
At least we got a letter from Alistair.
I love the descriptions of the random crap we find.
At least he didn’t bring Isolde again.
I would say however, if they had Alistair come, it would have been vapors time.
Oops, I think I’ve been running right over all these people soaking in the bath.
Oh we found Cassandra again.
Oh wow, she’s going to kill Varric.
You know, I really dote on Dorian, which is why I always think it’s odd that while he says we are ultimate BFFs, he never spoke to me after the first third of the game or so.
Well I guess social time is over.
Wow, Teagan turned into kind of an ass.
“We exiled the Grey Wardens!” Yeah, how’d that work out for you?
Also, is Teagan forgetting that Ferelden’s King and Queen are both Grey Wardens? No wonder you couldn’t have Alistair here, saying this.
And why is he saying Gaspard is on the throne? We’ve already read letters on how Celene and Briala are still ruling together.
I’m not getting this.
Maybe Teagan ended up having to spend way too much time with Isolde and he got all Ethan Frome’d.
Ok, wait a minute. We’re following a trail to find out where he came from. Why then would the blood stains go up to a dead end? Shouldn’t they just show where he came? It’s like we’re going the wrong direction.
Well maybe this is why Bull didn’t talk much before. They were saving his voice for the quest.
Ok, I’m not sure “shooting green fire” at the ancient mosaic is the same as “examine.”
Wow, these purple flames are kinda insta-death.
Well ok, now aren’t we glad I drank the well?
Yay–an antidote for the insta-death.
Kind of an unfortunate posture for this poor dead Qunari girl.
You know, I think it’s gonna be hard to fulfill this directive to make contact with the Qunari if we keep killing them.
Oh good. Some sort of puzzle with veil fire and a button.
Ha Ha. Got it.
Well I still don’t get what’s going on, but I guess we’re going back now.
We went to confront Corypheus all by ourselves…and Harding?
Attack, attack, attack.
Oops, our dragon seems to have gotten smushed.
Attack, attack, attack.
Ok, I honestly never figured out what this power of the rift did. I periodically use it on dragons, but even though it looks like numbers of damage are pouring off of it, the health meter doesn’t ever seem to change.
No more dragon. Kind of a gyp that there’s no loot.
Back to Corypheus.
Attack, attack, attack.
Everyone with an orb step forward. Not so fast there, Corypheus.
Look Solas, we’ll find you another orb.
…Or not. See you around, I guess?
This party shows the weirdest camera movement when you start talking to people. Like it actually rotates around you and stares at the wall.
Cassandra becomes Divine. That is going to be one militant Chantry. With a fun library.
No end romance scene for the Solasmancing Inquisitor. Sniff.
Oh there you are Solas. Petrifying poor Flemeth.
I don’t see how they say you can keep going with side quests afterwards, when all the shopkeepers seem to have gone home.
Oh, Blackwall too.
Actually everyone’s gone, including most of the decor. I can’t think that’s intentional.
I also don’t really know what Power got us. I have no quests left, and 256 Power.
Ha Ha. Leilana and Josephine twitting Cullen about his hair is the best thing.
Oh everyone’s back now. I guess it was a glitch.
Well that seems to be the end.
So, having done it twice now, I would have to say that I think the more developed story comes from being an elf, siding with the Mages, and drinking the well water yourself.
I haven’t played a rogue…ever, actually, but between warrior and mage, the combat is roughly 1000x easier as a mage.
Played the Solasmance to see if you ever got any hints about Solas’ big secret, but not really. Partly because he doesn’t really talk to you much after macking on you twice.
I was also a little disappointed on how people talked it up like it was this big tragical thing, but I still don’t think anything has had the emotional sucker punch of the Alistair dumpage.
Possibly because after you play it once, you’re kind of spoiled as to how this relationship is going to end up, but he’s still pretty distant the whole way through.
Even trying to portion out the plot more evenly this time, it still doesn’t seem like there’s enough, in proportion to the “just wandering around biding time” bits.
It feels like there’s a good amount of story in the beginning, but then in the middle it just seems like it ends.
For example, the Hinterlands seems well-integrated into the story with a lot of quests that directly impact the Inquisition. So does Val Royeaux, the Storm Coast, and Crestwood.
But then once you have all your companions and you’ve taken a side with Templars/Mages and fixed the Wardens, you’re still left with most of Exalted Plains, Emerald Graves, Emprise du Lion, and the Hissing Wastes, none of which hardly feel like they have anything to do with anything.
By the time you finish them and get to the endgame, it feels so long since something significant happened, the tension is kind of diffused, whereas you’d think it would be ramping up.
Additionally, at that point I always seem to be leveled up where none of the loot is helpful anymore–and there’s still a good third of the game left.
And what’s the deal with the decisions you make on rebuilding Skyhold? They make a big deal about telling you your choice is IRREVERSIBLE, but then it doesn’t seem to matter one way or another.
My favorite is when you make the tower either a Mage or a Templar center, and you can’t ever even talk to anyone in it.
Also kind of bugged that you can keep talking to Fiona if you pick Mages, but Knight-Commander Barris disappears entirely once you promote him.
It doesn’t help that the fight to get to the Temple of Mythal feels a lot like the end of ME3, so you kind of subconsciously start thinking that’s going to lead to a big confrontation, but depending on how you approach it, there may be no major fighting at all.
Then when you do get to the real end, it seems odd that it’s basically two big fights, neither of which is as bad as half of the dragons you fought earlier.
No explanations or monologues either. Just walk in and start throwing rocks at stuff, and when they stop moving, the game’s over.
I also still think, even with the banter hack implemented–maybe?–there doesn’t feel as though you have as much character interaction as the past games, even though there must be, considering how much larger this game is.
But for example, Dorian–siding with the Templars, you don’t spend any time with him until after Skyhold.
Then he has his personal mission pretty soon afterwards, and then I don’t know if he had more than about half a dozen sentences after that.
I know for at least the last half of the game, all I could ever say to him was “hello” and “goodbye,” and it was the same with Bull.
There were also a bunch of moral choices that seem like they were supposed to be those “there are no right answers” things, but totally had right answers.
Like there is no way it’s good to make Cole a spirit, if he’s going to end up wiping himself out of existence all the time.
The parts that work, I think, really work–the attack on Haven, arriving at Skyhold, the ball at Halamshiral…
…But then it just makes the other 120 hours of quests to resurrect dead people so you can kill them again seem a little bit like filler.
In retrospect, the conflicts at the beginning are much bigger than the ones you’re left with later–the rift, for example, seems like a much more widespread threat than Corypheus, by the end of the game, just as the Templar/Mage fight feels more significant than the Freeman or Warden battles.
I think I kept expecting that things would get worse and worse and then suddenly at the end, there would be a reversal and we’d save the day.
Instead, it was more like things gradually got better and easier and then it was over.
At the end of the day, it’s a beautiful game and I love the characters they developed for it. I just wish we’d have had more to do with them during the course of the story.
I’m sure I’ll play it again, but I tend to think it may not ultimately have the replayability for me that, say, DAO or DA2 have.
Anyway, maybe Trespasser will make up for all of it. On to Trespasser!