5 Best/Worst Things About Dragon Age Inquisition And Its Religious Nature

Dragon Age: Inquisition was the biggest RPG to come out in years. It let players create their own savior of a fantasy world.

For people of faith, Inquisition becomes much more interesting than most RPGs, simply because it wraps itself up in religious dressing. While Dragon Age’s world does not try to copy Christianity with its religious affiliations, the game presents transparent analogue to issues of our day and world. It even throws a messiah figure into the mix that became the foundation of the “chantry” (aka, the church). In Dragon Age Inquisition, faith and belief is front-and-center.

Here’s the five best / worst things about the game:

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1. Best: The game regularly asks players if they believe in God.

“The Maker”, as they call him/her/it, remains a constant curiosity in Inquisition. And the question of his involvement stays at the forefront of everybody’s mind. Many of your party members follow you out of religious devotion to Him because they believe you’re sent by him to shine His light to the world. So you’re literally often asked what you think of God. I can’t think of any other videogame that’s even tried that (Editor’s Note: And not failed miserably. Or made God into an evil demon or something.)

2. Worst: The God of Dragon Age isn’t involved like The God of the Bible.

When people asked me if I believed in The Maker, I leaned towards an agnostic response. I show no interest in a god that shows no love for me, doesn’t know what it’s like to be human, and isn’t like Christ. Jesus ruined me to expressions of God that aren’t like him. And “The Maker”‘s Deist disposition doesn’t capture my attention in any way. And I doubt you’ll find him interesting either —  essentially, The Maker demonstrates a bastardizing “god of all creation” who makes everything and disappears.

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3. Best/Worst: The core mechanics are boring / relaxing

Need a good Sabbath game? Inquisition is the perfect game to play after a fourteen hour day of forcefully laying carpet. All the objectives are perfectly laid out for you, so you basically just chase the yellow glowing icons on the map. And combat involves (at its simplest) just holding down the Kill button while you use all your cool-down abilities. If you like micro-managment, more depth certainly appears if you look for it. Still, when it does not feel  terribly rewarding, it’s nice to slam the game down to Casual difficulty and enjoy a tall glass of a cool beverage.

4. Best/worst: The game is too bloody long / full of things to do!

Forty seven hours was my clock-out time for this puppy. But completionists logged well over a hundred. I said no to the plethora of quests and higher-challenge tasks like dragon-hunting in order to get through the game. While I love shorter games that don’t overstay their welcome, I know there’s another school of thought that says, “If I’m gonna spend $60 on a game, I better get fifty hours out of it!” So if you include length in your gaming value proposition, you won’t complain much!

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5. Best: The interactive ending is the best example of how to conclude an RPG.

No spoilers here. You just need to know that the game honors every decision you made by letting you stick around after the final battle and see where the chips land for everybody. You can talk to each party member about why they choose to stay or leave. And you can even hear completely new responses from people once you save the day. This is simply the most-player-honoring ending I’ve seen since the original Paper Mario (which let you explore the world in a victory-run after you beat the game). Somehow, it’s even better than that, since there’s so much voice work. They aptly demonstrate the  consequences for all of your actions. Bioware clearly shifted their budget around to make sure we didn’t repeat the abysmal forced-ending of Mass Effect 3. Very well done!

About M. Joshua Cauller

M. Joshua is a missionary to his basement — where he leads a videogames-and-spiritaul-formation group called GameCell. He makes indie game trailers by day, which you can see at mjoshua.com. You can also follow him on Twitter.