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BioWare: Inquisition Is So Good Because It "Returns To Form"

It's the winner of countless awards over the past few months, and now developer BioWare has attempted to explain the success of the acclaimed Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Bottom line? As producer Mark Darrah said, it's a "return to form:"

"I think really it's both a return to form, a return to what BioWare did in its roots: exploration, story-telling, character development. Also, us starting to explore new areas [being] deeper, open-world gameplay. I think just that combination is what really resonated with people."

That's precisely why we gave Inquisition Game of the Year (along with numerous other outlets), and helps to explain why it landed top honors at the D.I.C.E. Awards this past week. Yes, we love returns to form, especially when fans of the genre have been requesting it for years. There are some developers who listen to such requests...and others who don't.

Related Game(s): Dragon Age: Inquisition

Tags: dragon age inquisition, bioware, dragon age inquisition reviews

2/6/2015 9:40:04 PM John Shepard

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Legacy Comment System (15 posts)

Friday, February 06, 2015 @ 10:05:44 PM

I havnt played the game a whole lot but I wouldn't say it returned to form necessarily. There seems to be far less dialogue with the Characters making them feel like they are not important. That's rare for any Bio ware game. Secondly I actually preferred the "map" traveling, for lack of a better word than this attempt at an open world. Give me a traditional open world any day, but this isn't it. At least it doesn't feel like it.

That doesn't make it a bad game. And I also think this is their attempt at recreating what people liked about DA:O, but with advancements in gaming.

But I'm struggling to want to keep playing it. I'm glad I got it on the cheap because it might sit while, considering the releases coming soon.

Shadow of Mordor was tops for me in 2014. That game is just plain fun.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 2/6/2015 10:06:51 PM

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Saturday, February 07, 2015 @ 12:53:55 AM

I think Shadow is the better over all game, even though at a glance it looks like DA:I has more content and more going on. Really Dragon Age has a lot of fetch quests and the combat while interesting isn't really that engaging. It is too in between Origins and DA2, and by the end when I unlocked Reaver the game became a Joke, and that isn't even the most OP class.

It does have a lot going for it, the world is big and beautiful, the characters are interesting, and the story is decent.

I just wish there was more fun stuff to do in the world other than the MMO type fetch quests.

It is a great start though for sure, and much better than DA2 and ME2 and 3 in my opinion. I honestly think Casey Hudson was ruining the company and now that he is gone we are going to see better stuff from them.

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Deleted User
Saturday, February 07, 2015 @ 3:42:58 AM

I'm sorry, but why do you honestly think Casey Hudson was ruining Bioware? He helmed Bioware's finest games. KOTOR truly put them on the map, Jade Empire built on that, and the Mass Effect trilogy is arguably tue finest trilogy to ever grace gaming, He directed all of those. Even with the ending to ME3 (which I was satisfied with) it's hard to argue the goodness he has brought into gaming. I'm not sure where you are coming from, unless it's rumors and stuff from twitter and forums.

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Saturday, February 07, 2015 @ 10:04:44 AM

He is a charlatan and a straight up liar who by the end of his time with Bioware was more interested in money than making a good game. I'm not denying he took part in making good games or even directed them, but his last years at EA and Bioware were terrible.

Kotor was great, ME1 was great, and Jade Empire are my favourite Bioware games.

He was not at the helm of Jade Empire from everything I have seen, it was more a collaborated effort and the Doctors were the directors of that game.

He did a fine job with Kotor and ME1, but he clearly had better people working with him there. If you look at the credits for ME2 and ME3 they are 90% different than in ME1, and ME1 is the best out of the trilogy in terms of story telling, pacing and for RPG fans who didn't just want a shooter the gameplay.

Me2 retconned a ton of stuff because he wanted it too, he started ruining the lore, and turned shepard from just a normal soldier into a Jesus like character. Working with Cerberus made ZERO sense if you played the first game and read all the codex in the game.

The collectors were unnecessary, and the twist that they were prothean was a joke, come on building a space terrible boss. The reason them being prothean was a joke is because in ME2 it say OMG their DNA was warped and they are unrecognizable from their original form! You find out they are prothean, but then later its even more hilarious when they introduced the prothean character in ME3 who looks exactly like a collector more of less.

Shepard would have incinerated upon entry into the atmosphere and there would have beeen nothing to recovery for the lazerus project, the whole collector story arch is unnecessary literally at the end of the game you are exactly where you ended the first game, IE the reapers are still coming and you have done nothing to stop them. Oh wait the arrival DLC makes everything in ME2 irrelevant and it is CANON DLC, which is something Bioware said they would never do with DLC but they did it twice here.

They took most of the RPG elements out of ME2 and 3, added ammo clips which lore wise make NO sense, and in general bastardized the series.

I know a lot of people who love ME2 and 3 but people who fell in love with ME1s RPG goodness were slapped in the face by ME2 and ME3. It was watered down, and more or less just a shooter.

ME3s matter what anyone says satisfied with it or not, it was a disaster, it defies all the lore built up in the first 2 games, the original writer had a MUCH better finale and you can find it online. The ending was objectively terrible, made no sense from a science perspective, or even a pseudo science perspective, and was just plain lazy and rushed.

All the PR events before the game launched Casey hudson said there are going to be dozens of endings, its not going to be an A B C choice we wouldn't have it end that way. Again you can find this stuff online.

Sooooo they lied straight to everyones face, and on their forums were called out on this and the threads were deleted. Some of these threads were offensive but a lot were really well written and not offensive at all, these were still deleted.

So Casey Hudsons games were good until EA bought out Bioware, then his games became watered down RPGs with design choices meant to appease the call of duty crowd. You can even tell this just by looking at the box art, ALL the marketing is meant to attract that gamer. Ammo clips, purely for people who played Gears and CoD, if guns didn't reload they would be less likely to play it.

So maybe I jumped the gun in saying that Casey Hudons is the worst maybe EA bullied him into making these choices but bottom line, his games went down in RPG quality once EA bought them out. Maybe the money got to his head.

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Deleted User
Saturday, February 07, 2015 @ 12:06:45 PM

Man, Mass Effect may have given more 'RPG' but the combat was mediocre and the inventory system was extremely cumbersome and stole time away from actually playing the game. The streamlining was an absolute blessing for me. I don't get the complaint about showing the guns on the box. I have all three original games and besides the second having more of a close up of Shepard and the crew, they all have guns on the entire packaging, with the original's back cover having more screenshots of guns than the others.

As for your issues with the overarching lore, i can't dispute them because to me they were an afterthought. For me, Mass Effect was about the journey of me (Femshep for life) and my crew and the effects of my actions on others. THAT aspect of the game was constant through the entire series. The endings felt perfect for my journey, even teared up a bit seeng the flashback of my crew as I died, a crew i had spent nearly 120 hours learning and growing very fond of. I had zero complaints. It's also why i have refused to play them again. Going back and making decisions now for the sake of seeing a different outcome seems unnatural. That being said, I completely understand how others were disappointed and expected an MGS style 45 minute ending for their years of dedication to the games.

Back on topic, so maybe there were certain issues of continuity, but how can you lay them on ALL on Hudson? That's my question. Your argument seems to be he gets sole credit for all the bad decisions, as if he was too busy counting the untold millions EA siphoned to him, but all the good decisions get attributed to his team and not him. And also, what does he have to do with Dragon Age? He only left in August and Inquisition shipped soon after. He was there for the majority of the game's development and all of its design decisions. How did it escape his tyrannical ruination of Bioware? You wrote a lot and you still didn't really answer whatyou know for a fact he had a hand in that was 'wrong' and to hurt the entirety of Bioware, besides cheap out on the ME trilogy conclusion.

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Saturday, February 07, 2015 @ 12:41:11 PM

This fake open world makes me kinda sick, I'd rather it be a linear game if it can't be a real open world.

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Saturday, February 07, 2015 @ 2:24:39 PM

The inventory was not cumbersome to people like me and basically all my friends. It was just part of what RPGs are about. It took seconds to turn stuff into gel, and random loot made the game have more of an exploration feel to it. Also the way you could mod your guns was more robust. I don't like how they stripped so much of the exploration away from the game. ME1 felt huge, the citidel was massive and pretty much bigger than all of the cities in ME2 combined. Also I liked the MAKO :)

Its not about showing the guns on the box although ME1 had less guns, its about how with ME3 they used the exact same template that Battlefield 3 used. ME2 shepard went from looking like an avatar of the player to a pissed off bad ass on the cover.

The crew is a good part about the games sure, but for me it makes it almost impossible to enjoy when the overarching story is bouncing all over the place with its lore, and science and what is and is not. Too much flip flopping, and I was pissed they retconned the prothean design for no reason other than to make it more "bad as$$"

Especially when those choices are made to appease the lowest common denominator like Ammo clips, changing how the protheans look, changing the reason for reapers looking the way that they do etc. Thats just off the top of my head after playing all 3 back to back to back there were way more glaring flaws.

I didn't expect an long ending, just not the bull crap deus ex rip off pick your colour ending that they gave us after they say months leading up to release that they wouldn't do that.
Hudson was one of the only remaining people on staff from ME1 to ME2 and ME3 I said that. If you compare the credits they are almost an entirely different staff. There was a post on reddit a while back I had the screen shot but can't find it.

So if Casey Hudson is the only thing carrying over and all these changes are made then I can assume it was him, or EA bullying him to make it more appealing to the masses.

That is why I am laying them on Hudson, but I guess it is more fair to put the blame on Hudson under EAs roof.

There are a lot of Bioware fans not just me who noticed a decline in the quality of their games, I blame EA for a lot of this but also Hudson. There was more information about all of this around the time of ME3s release and I don't have access to the info I did then.

Suffice to say, Bioware now is not like Bioware was. Yes Casey helped make ME1 and KoToR 2 of my favourite RPGs of all time, but then he took part in bastardizing ME2 and 3.

I guess it isn't fair for me to put it entirely on him but he is the link between titles.

I don't think ME2 and ME3 were terrible games, but they didn't give me the same sense of awe and wonder that ME1 Kotor or Jade Empire gave me.

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Deleted User
Saturday, February 07, 2015 @ 3:14:51 PM

I agree on the Mako, man!!!!!!! And, yes, the sense of exploration was lost immensely. I really missed that. i remember how awesome it was reaching the moon and looking at Earth off in the distance.

Yes, omni gel took seconds but when you have to do it after EVERY encounter just to break down the same redundant items for the 300th time, I'm sorry, but that's tedium and no love for RPGs will make tedium enjoyable.

If you didn't get the comraderie of the game then you missed the biggest and best part. The overarching lore didn't really affect on the ground level. What did any of the stuff you were upset about really have to do with choosing to betray Samara and have Morinth take her place.People are the greatest asset in ME. In that way, it really was like Star Wars, where the big picture was just a backdrop for these characters to grow. Probably why the prequels failed to resonate. It focused on big picture, evil machinations, and politics, not the characters.

Some of the stuff you say are valid but still not enough to warrant your 'ruining Bioware' claim. You're even hung up on a redesign. Seems nitpicky.

Again I ask, what does Casey Hudson have to do with Dragon Age? There's always gonna be a sect of people that believe 'things were better back then'. But in this case, they are wrong. Mass Effect 2, without a doubt, is one of the finest games ever made. That isn't debatable.

Last edited by n/a on 2/7/2015 3:26:07 PM

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Saturday, February 07, 2015 @ 4:09:10 PM

Casey Hudson wasn't involved long enough to ruin it :P

I did get a sense of camaraderie, but the first game had that PLUS a really awesome plot, an excellent villain and so much mystery that didn't feel forced.

I'm not hung up on 1 redesign, it is one of the many retcons they did that added to the whole that upset me and many other fans as well.

I disagree, it absolutely is debatable ME2 is in my opinion a shell of what ME1 was. It streamlined too much from the original. Was the combat better, potentially, but when you play it in insane difficulty and figure out that beating it at level 1 is easier than at level 20 you realize how little the RPG mechanics matter in the game.

I did like the character stories in ME2 except Jacobs, but the gameplay was watered down, it was all flash little substance.

If they remade ME1 with ME2s combat or ME3s combat that might be the perfect game. However I did like the RPG elements in ME1, I didn't mind missing even if my reticule was right on them. This was something that improved as you leveled and made the rpg progressions more noticable. The way the guns worked was also excellent and you could mod your guns to not over heat ever which was a blast.

ME1 was an RPG first with a shooter exterior, but had lots of under the hood dice rolls going on. ME2 and 3 lacked this and it is why I liked them less.

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Deleted User
Saturday, February 07, 2015 @ 6:18:31 PM

Nah, bud. You can definitely argue if Mass Effect 2 was a great sequel to Mass Effect, but you can't argue if it was a great game. No serious criticism can legitimately be aimed at the game without citing the first.

Last edited by n/a on 2/7/2015 6:19:19 PM

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Saturday, February 07, 2015 @ 7:33:07 PM

You said it was one of the finest games ever made....I know that is a subjective opinion but I don't think that is even close to true looking at all the games that have come out in the past decade even.

What do you mean without citing the first?

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Saturday, February 07, 2015 @ 1:00:54 AM

yeah i say what they are saying about the game is why it has done so well cos it was what everyone wanted

happy gaming

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Saturday, February 07, 2015 @ 12:39:57 PM

It is anything but a return to form. There's no journey to experience with your fellows, instead there is a place where they simmer on a shelf when you want to talk to them and a buttload of missions that don't advance the plot in any way. Then a couple missions that move the story along toward the end. It's hard to care about the drab set of characters when we haven't been through anything together as in DA:O when we quested with Leliana, Morrigan, Alistair and the gang. There's this group of people that just sorta pop up.

I still wanna beat it and see my ending, but no, this is DAII pluss skyrim.

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Saturday, February 07, 2015 @ 7:40:53 PM

Hm... I know I'll be lot happier with the game if they continue to address some of the glaring flaws. I refuse to believe that the game is so big that they can't address the myriad technical errors. However, even if they pull a Bethesda and leave it as it is, it is still vastly enjoyable. I'll just go on record to say that it is not a very "pretty" game (don't even get me started on the facial hair).

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Monday, February 09, 2015 @ 6:49:35 AM

I think it's the weakest game in the series. I'm not trying to be all hipster about it either by dismissing the game but I personally found it to be the most buggy of the series and lost the series' most strong point which is story telling by turning it into a complete open world game. I got to the games end credits and couldn't tell you feck all about the what or why I was doing anything in the game. The top down view was rubbish for combat as it was too easy to lose track of characters through the particle effects from spells or explosions etc...
Do I think it's a bad game? No, it's not a bad game but it's not the second coming either. But then again, are all the game journalists and gamers who rate it as GOTY wrong, or is it just me?

Last edited by frostface on 2/9/2015 6:50:30 AM

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