None of these sins are enough for me to denounce Dragon Age: Inquisition altogether, but they still should be pointed out and discussed.
Jump button and Interact button are the same.
This is never a good thing, Bioware. It’s not like modern keyboards or controllers are lacking buttons! There were at least two instances where I was trying to jump near an NPC but instead fell into an inescapable cycle of “Hey boss, how’s the weather?” “I dunno, gotta go!” “Erm, how about that weather?” “Dunno, still leaving!” For as competent as my companions say I am at being all leader-like, they sure do excuse a lot of jumping shenanigans …
We won’t argue how MMOs have negatively influenced Inquisition’s zone design by unnecessarily padding it with some of the shortest, dumbest, and blandest quests ever, but we will argue about this. Who in their right mind looks at MMORPGs and says, “Yeah, let me emulate the part where your character bends over every three seconds to pick up flowers!”
One, my character is the leader of a large organization and my party are some of its most important people. Furthermore, my human is Noble-born; I think he would try and find someone else to be preoccupied with where the hell to find Obsidian for stupid requisitions. I mean, just let me recruit commoners to do this nonsense or enslave elves like everyone else.
No “shared” looting, no walk-over looting.
I like how you pick and choose your influences from MMOs, Bioware. Take the absolute worst, but leave out the part where looting one corpse loots all in an area! No, you’re totally right – I love picking up one weapon at a time from that horde of bandits I just demolished. I would love a RPG that says, “You know what, your party will help you loot things too!”
I can’t be the only one who enjoys raiding some farmer’s pantry!
The search button …
Similar to the last problem, finding what you are looting can be a real pain in the ass. Thankfully, they included … NO I CAN’T LIE TO YOU – IT IS HORRIBLE. My hero runs around pinging off of interactive elements like a submarine. Half the time, it picks up a bunch of crafting nodes which my “must pick-up” lizard brain has a hard time ignoring, so I spend a lot of my adventuring time picking up stuff that I never used (I didn’t bother with crafting; I hate crafting).
I suppose they didn’t want the world to be littered with shiny things to pick up, but if they had cut the gathering bullshit and made looting easier to do, then the search button has no point outside of the stupid gimmick where it reveals an item you are looking for. Again, I am a submarine.
I assume shards lead to some fantastic or amazing rewards, but no, just no, never ever, ever. First, there are way too many in most levels. Second, having to spot them with a randomly placed crystal skull viewfinder is annoying and ridiculous.
I get it: you wanted some platforming and exploration elements. Instead, you just gave me even more crap to pick up off the ground for vaguely interesting reasons. Awesome, I am a submarine and a trash collector.
Real time questing!
I think two makes for a trend, so now that both World of Warcraft and Dragon Age: Inquisition – two major, non-Facebook games – are including the ‘real time’ elements, we can safely say that RPGs have jumped the shark.
No, I don’t want to turn on your game multiple times a day just to make sure my Advisors aren’t slacking off. Video games should offer an escape, not an added job. Doing anything in real time adds absolutely ZERO gameplay and ACTIVELY detracts from the experience. At least with Facebook games, I know they are trying to rob me of money. Bioware, you’re doing it because you think it is clever or hip or trendy. It is none of those things; it is evil.
Lengthy loading screen text.
Load Screen Design 101: don’t put a fucking book on a screen that loads in ~30 seconds. This isn’t the Playstation 1 era, guys! I don’t have 15 minutes to bio, actually speak to my family, remember to eat something, or read your way too fucking long loading screens. Shorten that shit to one sentence and it better be funny!
For example, “What do you call a Dwarf’s kidney stone? A kidney diamond!” You know, cause they are made of/created from/strongly related to stone already, so their kidney stones would have to be even harde … FUCK IT WE WILL DO IT LIVE.
I want to bang everyone.
Bioware, if most of your focus is on who I can bang and you feel the need to include the clearly marked “leads to banging” dialogue button then we need to go full on soap opera. I want my companions to bang, I want to bang more than one person, I want people cheating on other people, etc. Half the time, saving the world feels secondary to banging someone anyway, so let’s just make ‘Inquisition of Our Lives’ and be done with it.
In the sequel, if I can’t get a game over because I pissed off too many of my companions or knocked up too many of them at once, then you have failed the entire human race Bioware. You’re the closest thing our horrible Western sensibilities will allow to a main stream, well-received dating simulator. Remember that.