The reviews are in and Dragon Age: Inquisition is a hit with the critics. What’s more, it sounds like it does everything people wanted the game to do with its off-track sequel Dragon Age II. That fact along with these good reviews should rocket the sequel to well deserved stardom and possibly even Game of the Year fame.

Yet I wonder when it comes to the greater gaming populace these days whether Inquisition is what fantasy RPG fans are truly after. It sounds like it has everything from great characters to epic battles to gorgeous vistas. That’s pretty much what we want right? Well things have changed over the last generation and if there’s one thing we know is on the upswing it is complete and total freedom over a huge world.


When Bioware started mentioning Skyrim a lot during development of Inquisition I started to get a little nervous. As much as I love me some Elder Scrolls action I didn’t want them to lose sight of what makes Bioware games so great: the narrative freedom. When you play a Bioware game you know you’re in for some great personalized interpersonal relationships that craft the story. When you play an Elder Scrolls game the story disappears into the background and you are just free to roam, doing good or causing trouble for your own reasons in a sprawling world of seemingly endless possibilities. The only way to make that total freedom possible is to make the story and main character practically non-existent.

Thankfully it seems Bioware has found their balance, simply broadening the world and its freedoms. Unless you, like me, are a big fan Bio’s storytelling style the odds could be that total, utter freedom to do anything is more important. If I’m right and that’s the case then Inquisition could just be tiding folks over until the next open world, free to do whatever game comes out. Near as I can tell that game is The Witcher 3.

CD Project Red has assured us, and we should believe them, that their game will also have a fantastic story behind it. However it’s probably the big world and ability to do so much in it that folks are excited about, not the story. God knows how long it will be until another single player Elder Scrolls rolls out, or even something like Fallout 4, so I’d bet my money that the growing freedom-before-story crowd is more interested in The Witcher 3 right now.


It’s the beginning of a new generation and that can sometimes mean a serious wait time for good RPGs. If the tide has truly turned toward the live free or die mentality then will a significant percentage of the Dragon Age: Inquisition sales be made by RPG gamers simply satiating a few base needs while they wait for The Witcher 3? I know I’ve made a couple of appetite suppressing RPG purchases just while waiting for Inquisition.

If Dragon Age: Inquisition has the same setup as Mass Effect 3 where you can essentially tell the game to ignore all dialogue and story choices I’d be curious to know the percentage of gamers who initiate that odious mode. Then we would probably have a hint about whether this is an interesting question or just another of my flights of fancy.

David D. Nelson
David D. Nelson is a polymath with a BA in English working as an independent writing and editing professional. He enjoys gaming, literature, and a good hat.


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  1. Both this article’s tittle and the article itself is just a flame war bait, and a very cheap one i might add.

    1. Mind explaining why it’s flame bait? Certainly not intended to be, it’s just a discussion.

      1. The person who wrote this may know very well that there’s a “ongoing fanboy war” between DA and Witcher fans, by putting a tittle like this: “Is Dragon Age: Inquisition Just A Witcher 3 Appetite Suppressant?”, you are creating a negative reaction for DA fans and a superiority reaction for Witcher fans.

        About the article he wrote: “Unless you, like me, are a big fan Bio’s storytelling style the odds could be that total, utter freedom to do anything is more important. If I’m right and that’s the case then Inquisition could just be tiding folks over until the next open world, free to do whatever game comes out. Near as I can tell that game is The Witcher 3.”
        He’s saying that a game that gives you the freedom to do anything is more important, first off all, that’s just wishfull thinking, Witcher 3 is nowhere near launching so it’s not 100% sure the game will be fully open world, CD project could very well change the game to be semi-open world, we have seen this before, and second, he’s saying DAI does not give you “utter freedom to do anything”, for which i should ask: why? have you played it? or is just because the game forces you to go through a loading screen if you gonna change from map to map? heve you seen the size of the maps they are HUGE? and third, he ends by telling us the real “utter freedom to do anything” game: Witcher 3 of course.

        *”CD Project Red has assured us, and we should believe them, that their game will also have a fantastic story behind it. However it’s probably the big world and ability to do so much in it that folks are excited about, not the story. God knows how long it will be until another single player Elder Scrolls rolls out, or even something like Fallout 4, so I’d bet my money that the growing freedom-before-story crowd is more interested in The Witcher 3 right now.”*

        Why? why we should believe CD project? because they gained a lot of fans by stating they oppose day-one DLCs? or is it just because you are a fan of the company? do you believe everything EA says? do you think is unfair making a comparison of EA and CD project, so have you played Witcher 1? it’s a very mediocre game, CD only was sucesfull with Witcher 2, CD is only a one-hit company atm.

        And again he tries to belittle DAI by stating Witcher 3 will give more “utter freedom to do anything” for wich i have already pointed out some objections above.

        1. I agree…I personally am excited for both games, but this article does seem to lay heavily towards “If DA does well, it’s only because we’re all waiting for Witcher 3” which I don’t think is true at all…I played the 6 hour demo, and it’s killing me that I have to wait 3 more days for the full game-DA is amazing, and it will do well because it’s Bioware doing what they do best…

        2. Agreed on all counts. While I love the Witcher and detest Dragon Age, this article is a flame bait, and very cheap one at that.
          It’s like saying that the X-Box One is an appetizer before you go PS4. It’s provocative.

        3. Nowhere does he state this opinion is a fact though. You’re misinterpreting disagreeing with someone’s opinion, which is what this article is, as a fact.

          The Witcher games, up until now have been mostly focused on story while introducing highly interesting worlds with limited play space. Now, The Witcher 3 is going full open world and will also include a strong narrative and CD Projekt has shown they can deliver that through two titles now so I think it’s fair to assume they’ll continue that trend.

          Dragon Age is open world, but not nearly close to the size of what The Witcher 3 will be offering. All he’s saying is that people are looking for an open world RPG (in his opinion) and for right now, Dragon Age will fill that appetite, but it’s not a truly open world game in the sense that The Witcher is.

          Just because you disagree with something, or the title is a bit proactive doesn’t mean it’s flamebait. Flamebait is an article that provides nothing to discuss and is just written for the sake of being written for the point of pissing people off. You’re here discussing the article so that’s obviously not the intention here.

          1. Nick, the point is that his opinion is meant to provoke. It doesn’t *need* to be expressed as fact. If you had named an article about Assassin’s Creed’s Unity PS4 bugs like “Another PS4 bug shows just how crappy Sony’s latest console’s hardware is”, don’t you think you would have won quite a few angry comments?

          2. Well of course, but that example you provided is far more extreme than the example used here. You have to make OP-EDs somewhat provocative in the title to get people to discuss things. That’s just the nature of running a website. The content in the article isn’t written as “flame-bait” though.

          3. While I won’t flat out deny your logic, I *think* that the way you put it, no article can be considered flame-bait because it’s ‘just an opinion’. However, when someone is an editor, writer or blogger, and is addressing a large number of people – he *should* be as bias-free as he/she can. My two cents.

          4. I get what you’re saying, but OP-EDs are biased articles in their nature. It’s someone’s opinion. But, there’s a few different levels of flame-bait. Your example is a very high level of baiting, or for the hell of it, 99% of Dualshocker’s titles are bait ha. There’s some bait in the title here for sure, but nothing so provocative about it that, the title far outweighs the content of the article.

        4. also note that the semi open world makes it possible for diverse and interesting landscape is produced. While a large open world that is mostly a winter atmosphere can’t just suddenly end in desert land. Critics praise the semi open world and comment that they are large.

          1. Well, to be fair, Witcher is going to have more than a
            “winter atmosphere” but I get your point. Both styles, Traditional open world and semi-open world – Hubs, as I’d call them, as they are in DA:I, offer pros and cons.

            I do not fully agree with the article either and yeah, I’m a bigger Witcher fan BUT, I’m also willing to give DA:I a fair chance too. Personally, I do not need to pick only one, although I may prefer one over the other and I have a good idea which of the two I’ll favor.

            Moral of the story for those who don’t know any better – If you can afford both games, buy both! I think you are going to be pleasantly entertained with two of the best damn RPG’s in a very long time.

  2. I played dragon age through EA access. After my 6 hours was up, I immediately bought the game from the xbox store. Both single-player, and multiplayer was fun.

  3. TW3 is a fixed narrative continuing from the setting introduced in the first two entries of the series. The protagonist will always be Geralt of Rivia and you will not be able to change his gender, race, or appearance (aside from haircuts and wardrobe changes.) With that said, Inquisition already has a huge upper-hand when it comes to the free open-world thang. There is just no way in the world the ‘freedom-before-story crowd’ will find a place in The Witcher 3 world because it is *heavily* focused on narrative aspects. If you only have a brief overview of the previous two games, you’ll be entirely lost on what is going on and will just be stumbling around without a clue. Inquisition on the other hand allows you to create your own character from scratch and play from there. While DA:I will borrow elements from the previous games, a player won’t necessarily have to have played them to get the gist of what is going on. The Witcher 3 on the other-hand is a very personal story of Geralt that has spanned across 3 games.

    I’m not even sure how DA:I or TW3 even got brought into this ‘freedom-before-story’ charade, considering they are (regardless of large open-worlds/regions) very story-driven and have hours of dialogue alone. While these games do boast a lot of freedom, they aren’t Dark Souls or Skyrim. IMO that’s a good thing.

  4. Please note that the following is my opinion, and is by no means a fact or the truth. It’s just how I feel about this RPG thing.
    My problem with Dragon Age (and almost all Bioware games, to be honest) is that the devs give me the impression they’re always giving me a blowjob or something. The main character is always the center of the universe, the key to fixing/ruining everything. While almost every game has a protagonist, in BioWare games I always have the impression I’m been handed everything. Your character is always considered extremely important and almost immediately is been granted positions of power and authority no sane person would ever put him in without thorough testing or proof of worth.
    All NPCs want to be fucked by the main character and find him/her extremely attractive. Those that don’t are either a) portrayed as unlikable assholes, or b) will eventually do so after talking to them a couple of times.
    Dragon Age 3 puts this ‘You’re the key’ bullshit into overdrive as you’re literally thrown out of a DIMENSIONAL WARPHOLE in the first minutes of the game, no less and that’s as cheap as you can get. And guess what? You’re the only guy who can fix this. Not because you earned that ability or right, but because it’s been handed to you the minute you begin. The minute you begin you are the Messiah or the Annihilator. Just like that.
    In Mass Effect, everyone wants to get some Shepard. The Citadel, the Reapers, Cerberus … everyone NEEDS Shepard in order to make their plans work. Without you, nothing works. You’re the cog that makes everything spin. Just because.
    In the witcher games, Geralt is an important character, has some cliché things going on (selective amnesia to name one) but you don’t get the impression he’s God or the center of the universe or anything. He’s a capable man in a capable world filled with capable people, people who do their own things, have their own plans and *GASP* don’t need you to complete them. You’re PART of the world, you’re not THE world. And that’s what a true RPG should be all about.

    1. That is an amazing and true thing you have written. I hope someone higher up in bioware reads this with any kind of open mind.

      1. Thanks. I just wrote what I feel. I doubt that Bioware frequents this website though :)
        And besides, there are people (like Angry Joe) who actually like this sense of importance that is been handed to your character. So if things would go our way, other people would be less than satisfied …

  5. I wont buy anything from EA…not more…Witcher 3 tough pre-done! STEAM FTW!

  6. WOW, no offense bud but I think you might of pegged this one a bit too far off course. In Witcher 3 will you have an expansive, diverse and beautiful open world to explore, hunt & slay monster, human kind alike and seek adventure? By horse, boat, foot, dive and swim? You betcha. Now, here is where I know with absolute conviction you may have stumbled upon this narrow crevice I shall call fallacy. Witcher 3 is ALL about the story.

    CD Projekt RED have some of the best writers in the business as far as I’m concerned and are known to weave a yarn that would make senior citizen knitting champ grandma’s blush in admiration spinning in their rockers! Those gamers and fans who have already played either both witcher titles or at the very least Witcher 2, clearly have an idea why they are anticipating Wild Hunt with bated breath. We haven’t even touched upon the die-hard fans who have read the Witcher saga, the novels that inspired the series of games AND played both TW 1 & 2, eagerly and greedily ( sweats and the occasional shakes that stir them out of sleep at night in maddening anticipation) awaiting the return of the White Wolf, Gwynbleidd , Geralt of Rivia.

    TL;DR – Geralt of Rivia is a badass – Witcher 3: Wild Hunt GOTY

  7. I think Dai will be better than the witcher. Cd red just copy and paste bioware games Imo

    1. LMFAO! You must not have played any of the Witcher games ( to completion) then. Witcher 1 released almost 2 years before Dragon age: origins. Witcher 2 launched 2 months after DA2, that sure gave CDPR a whole lot of time to copy! LOL. Come on, try again. They are both RPG and Fantasy and that’s pretty much where the similarities end.

      DA:I has released and the majority of “professional” reviews have been positive but if we were to take user reviews and other user opinions we would see a much different picture being painted, one that is not so grand and beautiful. I have nothing against DA, matter of fact I like the series and I love the Witcher games and books. I just think it’s ridiculous for someone to seriously imply that CD Project RED were copy cats of bioware games when IMHO, nothing could be further from the truth.

      They are completely different games and if you honestly played both, you would already know this.

      P.S. – It’s purely subjective of course BUT we will see what game ends up being the better of the two come Feb. 24th 2015 when Witcher 3 launches.

  8. I like DAI a lot.
    I felt it was sort of a REALLY vast Witcher 2 + heavy political stories (Witcher always had them, but you still was more of a people’s person, the unsung hero, rather than trying to manipulate nobles and crowds for good or evil).
    I would probably not be that far off, to state that Witcher himself is a much deeper character than DAI main hero is (especially since Witcher is a character that you lead, while DAI hero is a character that you create).
    DAI is really good, but a bit chaotic sometimes. I hope Witcher 3 will be even better. I like more realistic, gritty games.

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