Best Single-player 2014: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dragon Age Inquisition

Check out our game of the year awards 2014 page to find out how the awards were decided.

Phil Savage: It’s a story about Thedas, and about reshaping the structures and politics that define a world. It’s also a story about people, and how they respond to tragedy, hope and faith. Inquisition is a proper roleplaying game: one that asks you to not just create a character, but to let their motivations and investments grow over time.

And if that was a little abstract, here’s something more specific: dragons are cool. This is no big revelation, but they’re particularly cool in Inquisition. Their animations are impeccable. They’re not haughty mystical conduits, they’re big, deadly animals. Fighting them requires that you hack away at various limbs, and when you do, they flinch in response. They look annoyed and pained and a little bit arrogant. There are things about Inquisition’s combat system that I think are flawed, but all of it comes together when you’re fight these massive angry lizards.

Chris Thursten: I made a decision in Inquisition that was so painful I had to go back and undo it, breaking a rule that I’ve held myself to since the first Mass Effect. When its narrative engine kicks into gear, Dragon Age: Inquisition is among the best work BioWare has ever done.

Like every BioWare sequel, this is a game that will mean more to you the more you have invested in its predecessors—its callbacks and plot thread resolutions are labyrinthine, and if references to sidecharacters from tie-in novels are the kinds of thing that gives you goosebumps then you’ll spend your time with Inquisition tingling like a Christmas tree. Despite the extensive backmatter, however, this is a game with substantial value as an introduction to the series. Unlike Mass Effect, which followed the life of a single character, Dragon Age’s multiple protagonists are reintroduced to the same themes and conflicts with each new iteration. You don’t need to have been Hawke or the Warden to become the Inquisitor, and so you’ve really got no excuse not to go on an adventure in this incredible world.

For our full verdict, read our Dragon Age: Inquisition review.

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