Dragon Age: Inquisition

A non-spoiler review of the latest installment of Dragon Age.

Hello, my lovelies.

It’s been a few weeks. I know.

I would love to apologize for my absence, but I am not going to this time. I knew there was a strong risk of my disappearance when I began to play Dragon Age: Inquisition, and well, that’s exactly what happened.  And I cannot apologize for that reason. Ever. Dragon Age: Inquisition was such a refreshing, revitalizing influence on me, that I think it would be a disservice to claim anything otherwise. I needed the past three weeks to play, absorb, ingratiate my brain, and everything will be all the better for this.

I am still hard at work on Yumi’s second novel, and that will not suffer because of my dalliance with my game. They are set in drastically different worlds, but it will help me bring a greater depth to characters, and that could never be a bad thing.

And now, for as spoiler-free of a review that I can muster for Dragon Age: Inquisition.

As I detailed before, I have a love/hate relationship with the series. Dragon Age: Origins opened my eyes when it first came out. It reminded me what it was to love a story so much, to want to invest myself in it. It reinvigorated my passion for writing. I plunged into other BioWare titles, fully submerging myself in Mass Effect a month later, and then Mass Effect 2. Nothing was perfect, but even flawed, they were just amazing stories that I had to know more of.

Then came Dragon Age 2. I was excited, giddy even. I remember devouring the gameplay, making the choices, having my heartbroken over quests, and then, Act 3 happened. It just was awful experience for me. Nothing about it excited me. The more I thought about it, and the more I played of second or third playthroughs, and the worst it got. I adored the main character, but the cast around him? They were awful. They were intriguing on a character study basis, but as a group of people to place your trust in and help? It was like a group of sycophantic sociopaths.

Because of these reasons, I was scared of Dragon Age: Inquisition. Dragon Age 2 hurt me. Badly. I didn’t want to trust BioWare with the love and passion that Dragon Age: Origins gave me. Up until two weeks before the game launched, I refused to even want to buy the game. Sure, all my friends were going to play it, but they could forgive them for the flaws of DA2. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. But as I played with the Keep, and I set my Warden’s story up for import, I found myself getting the itch to play Inquisition, and eventually I caved and pre-ordered the game, five days before it released on November 18th.

Feel free to stop by my blog at ambercarlyle.com to read this article in its entirety.

The Dark Grit

Happy Monday, my lovelies!

My weekend was somewhat all over the map. We had birthday well wishing to do, people to take to the airport, and sadly, a layup with a migraine for most of my Saturday. It put a dent into my writing time, but I shan’t let that deter me. Yumi and company will get to the end of this story as well, and in the meantime, I hope you all were enjoying the teaser I left last week for you!

There won’t be a teaser today, but I promise there will be more to come.

Instead, I will leave you with a tiny musing from a few years ago, in honor of Dragon Age: Inquisition launching tomorrow. Even though I have many misgivings with the events of Dragon Age 2, the first game, Dragon Age: Origins, remains one of the games that I love. It’s dark, it’s gritty, and it fuels so many ideas that I would love to capitalize on. Overall, I have this love/hate relationship with the game because of the direction they’ve been taking it. At the end of the day though, I absolutely love my origin Grey Warden, Samantha Cousland, and here’s just a touch of her story.  Warning, if for some reason, you’ve never played Dragon Age: Origins, it’s a bit spoilerish, but you don’t have to have played for it to make sense.

Her footsteps were heavy as she left her bedroom. I have to talk to Alistair. I’ll make him see. This is the only way. It would be simple. After the news that Riordan had shared, Sam had begun to doubt it. A Grey Warden had to die tomorrow. Except Morrigan was offering another way, and where six months ago, Sam would have been dubious of the witch’s intentions, she had no reason not to trust the woman now. She had been a fast friend, and she was offering Sam a chance to have everything that she had lost.

Alistair will understand. She told herself as she continued through Eamon’s estate towards her lover’s room.

“What are you doing, Samantha?”

The warm male voice made her feet stop dead in their tracks, her heart thudded painfully in her chest. It had been since the Frostback Mountains that she had heard his voice. Maker, it’s been too long. I’d almost forgotten…

“Samantha, look here.”

She nervously tucked flaxen hair behind her ears as she turned as commanded, finding herself staring into the gray eyes of her father. No, he’s not supposed to be here.

“Pup, what are you doing?”

“Father, I…” she barely stammered as she stepped closer to the man before her.

The disapproving look in those cool gray eyes made the words die on her lips. “I raised you better than this. You can’t forswear your duty. Not even now. We are still Cousland, and we do what must be done.”

Her eyes dropped to her leather clad feet, her cheeks reddening like they always had whenever she had been scolded. “I.. I just wanted…”

The meek voice barely sounded like hers. “You wanted, my girl. That is the problem. We cannot make our judgments based on what we want. You must use your head, even if it does not agree with what is in your heart.” Hot tears stung at her eyes, and she nodded, trying to stare a hole into her boots. She felt the soft, gentle touch of her father’s hand on her face, as he lifted her chin to force her eyes to meet his. “You have done your duty to our family, and I could not be prouder of my fierce girl for avenging us. But, you have more duties now. To the Wardens. To Ferelden. To Thedas. Make your father proud still. Do what must be done.”

Tears silently fell down her cheeks as she listened to the words. She nodded once more, looking back to the ground as she clumsily wiped away the tears. “Father,” she began looking back up, but the hall was empty, void. Her heart ached with renewed grief, and she silently commanded the tears to stop. With a twisting knife in her gut, she made her way to the room.