For most fans of the Dragon Age video game series, only two of them exist— and that’s Inquisition and Origins. Dragon Age 2 is often dismissed, and for good reason. The game has more flaws than it does positives, stuck in a spot where it doesn’t know what it wants to be. The two current bookends don’t have that problem, catering to two different types of players.
While the story strengths of the two could be debated, a video game always comes down to the features and mechanics of a game. Which of the two games takes the cake in those categories?
10 Origins: Origin Stories Give Characters More Depth
The addition of origin stories into the game added so much depth to Dragon Age Origins. It made the choices made at the beginning feel important rather than unimportant fluff.
For example, if you chose a dwarf noble, that’s precisely where you started the game, interacting with characters unique to you that would show up later in the game. It was a great way to instantly make the player feel attached to the hero they’d created, making their choices feel like they mattered.
9 Inquisition: Dragon Age Keep Allows For New Players To Affect The Past Narrative
Dragon Age Keep was a great addition to the game, giving new players the ability to help customize the past how they wanted. Most games fling you into the main story with a default past unless you are importing a former save file.
It’s a nice touch for people who are just getting into the games or can’t transfer over data for whatever reason. As with the Origin stories in Origins, it’s a nice addition to the game that often gets overlooked.
8 Origins: No Alignment Tracking Gives More Weight To Decisions
For as great as the dialogue system is, it gives away morality choices so that the player can go full good guy or bad guy. Without a proper alignment tracker, Dragon Age Origins forced the player into making the choices they felt right for their character, giving them far more weight than they do in successive games.
It helps that the choices themselves also had far more impact on the game than in Inquisition, where it’s more just the illusion of choice.
7 Inquisition: The More Open World Approach Makes The Game Feel Alive
While the open-world aspect of the game had its faults to it, namely in the Hinterlands lasting forever, it was a nice addition to the game. The prior games, namely Dragon Age 2, felt far too confined.
There’s nothing wrong with a linear journey or even a more insular one, but containing everything to a city is taking it too far. Inquisition lets the game feel like a proper RPG again, filling the world with plenty of side quests and stories.
6 Origins: Spells Have More Flavor To Them & Have Uses Beyond Doing Damage
One thing Origins did exceptionally well with its combat is giving spells a greater degree of flavor or use. In most games, spells are there for one of two purposes: They either let you damage the enemy, or heal a friendly target. If it didn’t do those two things, it was often seen as worthless.
Ice spells could deal with fires, and other spells could work in conjunction with each other, like fire igniting grease into a large flame.
5 Inquisition: Mounts Help Provide Faster Travel Throughout The Larger World
Thank goodness Inquisition decided to add mounts to the game after expanding the world. It would have been a terror to get around Hinterlands, let alone the rest of the map without a mount system.
There wasn’t anything fancy to the system, and there didn’t need to be either as a mounts purpose is always to help get a person from point a to b while keeping a level of immersion. That’s what they did in Inquisition.
4 Origins: The Pause & Play Aspect Of The Game Makes It Feel More Tactical
The combat of Dragon Age Origins isn’t often lauded by anyone because it’s the weakest part of an otherwise great game. The fact there’s a learning curve to it doesn’t help matters either, but once you do learn what you are doing, it’s a rewarding experience.
The pause & play style of gameplay makes battles feel more tactical as if the two opponents are playing a game of chess against one another, waiting for the other side to make a mistake.
3 Inquisition: Qunari As A Playable Race Opens Up More Character Possibilities
Features don’t always have to be groundbreaking to be a positive for the game, and that’s the case with the addition of Qunari as playable races. It doesn’t push the game to another level, but it’s a nice addition that opens up more character possibilities.
Options are always a positive thing in games. You can’t have too many of them in the same way you can’t ever have too many characters in a fighting game. There’s never a negative to it.
2 Origins: The Smaller Number of Companions & Romance Options Makes Them Feel More Intimate
The smaller roster of romance choices and lack of a dialogue wheel helped make them feel more intimate. One thing that Origins did better than any other game in the series was let moments breathe and simmer.
Big battles or surprises felt like they were all built up properly, including romancing one of the companions. There was always a genuine development between the characters rather than rushing headlong into to see the two characters kiss.
1 Inquisition: Multiplayer Brings Something New To The Franchise
The addition of multiplayer was brand new in Inquisition and something that never seemed like it was going to come to the franchise given it being a single-player story game. It allowed players to play as a group of four to run a few co-op battles with friends, everyone getting to be one of the characters from the game.
While it wasn’t the most polished part of the game and didn’t add anything to the story, it was a nice addition, just as it was in Assassin Creed Brotherhood.
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