I’ve been moving very slowly on my second play through of Inquisition. Part of that is life intruding — a script to be written, a return to N.M., back to L.A., a move, and back home to New Mexico. I also hit a bug that irritated me and since I’m a completest I had to go back to a save prior to the bug and get it fixed. I couldn’t get the damn dragonologist to realize I had taken care of the White Claws and move his ass off to Skyhold.
As I mentioned earlier I did discover there were more agents to be recruited if you had the right party member with you. You need Vivienne to get the mage at the Crossroads (or be a mage yourself apparently), you need Varric to recruit the missing scout who it turned out was having sexy time with an apostate mage. I also managed to get a band of mercs on the Storm Coast this time because I hadn’t sold this medallion.
What struck me as I was playing last night was that this game hasn’t aroused in me that desperate need to replay that the original game awakened. Don’t get me wrong. I still love Inquisition, but Origins is still my favorite despite the silent protagonist, the awkward combat system, the far less elegant visuals.
I thought quite a bit about this last night as to why I was having this reaction, and I think it’s a writer’s reaction, and my own personal taste in stories. I love stories about the isolated underdog who has to overcome the odds. That’s really the arc of Origins — after Ostagar your character and Alistair are the only Grey Wardens in Ferelden and you are baby Grey Wardens. You are being hunted by the crown as well as darkspawn. You’re the ultimate underdogs. By the end you have gathered an army, ended a civil war, etc., but for most of the game you are the outsider.
In Inquisition you are very briefly a suspected murderer, but that soon ends and then you are placed in de facto commend of the nascent Inquisition and then after Haven and the end of act one you are named Inquisitor. From the beginning you have troops and scouts at your disposal, and then you have a mucking big castle that you proceed to repair. A brief aside here, but I was stunned that the final confrontation with Corypheus takes place back at Haven and not at Skyhold that you have so carefully restored. That felt like a missed opportunity.
But back to the topic — despite the hole in the sky I find that I have far less sense of jeopardy in Inquisition than I felt in Origins. The vulnerability of my young Warden felt very real to me and evoked a real emotional reaction to the game. I think the bug in Inquisition that has also left your companions virtually mute while you go adventuring is adding to the lack of emersion I’m feeling. I really hope BioWare gets a patch for that, and very soon.
It was probably wise that the designers didn’t try to just remake Origins and instead had Inquisition go in a different direction. It’s pretty clear your Inquisitor is older than your Warden in Origins and you are a commander of not only an army, but a political entity that has the power to shake thrones. If I were the rulers of both Orlais and Ferelden I’d be worried and perhaps that is where BioWare will go with game 4. We’ll have to see.
Again, this is not a criticism so much as an observation. Inquisition is a great game. For me it was far superior to Skyrim, but it has a different emphasis then Origins and for me the stakes ended up feeling smaller. I have replayed Origins four times all the way through, and started a few other campaigns that I never finished primarily because I suck at playing mages. I just keep dying. 😀
Just wanted to give an update on the play through. As more things occur I’ll jot them down.