Lately, I’ve been engrossed in Dragon Age Inquisition which is the third installment of the Dragon Age series. Like Second Life you can find places to explore within this fantasy world of pixels. There’s beautiful landscapes as you go on quests to save the world from demons, bad guys, fantasy creatures and other various monsters emerging from a tear in the fabric of our realm (they call it a “rift”). Locations are more realistic looking than most of what you see in SL, but unlike SL, Dragon Age is an actual game.
One thing that sets the Dragon Age series apart is the character development as well as traditional fighting against bad guys. You meet interesting companions with actual personalities. And yes, the acting is good! They don’t hire bad actors for Dragon Age. To put it in perspective, Kate Mulgrew of Star Trek voiced one of the characters in the previous release. They have a very good budget! It’s kind of a long standing joke among gamers about the bad acting in these games, but Dragon Age is so well done and with such humour (at times) one could wish these characters were real. A variety of unique individuals travel on your quests with you and, depending on your choices and the way you treat them, you can gain them as friends or cause them to not like you. You can even have a romance with certain ones if you choose to win them over, but that’s optional.
The avatar creator is also good. Apart from a limited choice of hair for women (I wanted longer hair) it allows for detailed customization of features. I chose to look like myself, so spent quite a bit of time working on it. I did, however, decide to be an elf rather than a human, so it doesn’t look exactly like me. (I suppose if I were an elf this is what I’d look like!)
Note the text on the picture. This was part of a dialogue I was having with another character not in the screenshot. They said something to me and below I have a choice of replies to give them. As well as influencing how the person I’m talking to feels about me, my response could affect the direction of the game much like a choose your own adventure book.
As far as the kind of character you can be, you have the choice of four different races; human, elf, dwarf, or qunari. As far as class you can be a warrior, rogue or mage. I chose to be an elf mage.
Surprisingly, one of the more lovable characters is a rogue dwarf companion named Varric. When I first encountered Varric in Dragon Age 2, I thought oh great, a dwarf. What kind of help will he be? But he’s so witty and is good in battle, so you stop thinking of him as short and accept him for who he is. He’s known for cracking jokes and carrying around a really big crossbow named “Bianca.” This Dragon Age trailer features Varric in it, though I don’t think it does him justice. I believe they were trying to appeal to a male audience, so made Varric seem overly badass. He’s actually one of the funnier characters.
I have to say, I thoroughly enjoy every game in the Dragon Age series. I could play for hours, losing myself and not realize it. And I haven’t even tried multiplayer mode yet!