It’s all over. At just over 50 hours, and with still tons more side-stuff to do, I have finished the Dragon Age Inquisition campaign.
If you want the short version: it’s very good. It’s the best BioWare console experience I’ve had since Mass Effect 2, that’s for sure. Is it my Game of the Year? That’s a tougher question. I stand by its inclusion in my top 5, but I don’t know that it was the “best thing I played all year.”
For one thing, even though it ran pretty smoothly for me, there were a handful of times when the game locked up and crashed on me – including the literal moment before the final battle started, which meant I had to re-load the game and go through the opening cutscenes again, wondering if I’d lost any progress (since I hadn’t done a hard save before I started the mission).
And honestly? I’m kinda glad it’s over, because holy shit it’s been a while since I sunk that much time into a game; even if, at the same time, it’s been a long time since I played a game that I enjoyed for that long without getting bored. Sure, some things are tedious; I read the subtitles quicker than the voice actors say their lines; towards the end I opted to fast-travel instead of walk, because I don’t particularly care to inspect every single goddamned inch and harvest every single goddamned herb and mineral; but what would an RPG be if not slightly tedious at times? The overall experience was far more enjoyable than any moment-to-moment tedium.
What to do now? There’s something freeing about finishing a massive game like DAI; it’s like finally finishing a huge book, where you’re kinda sad to see it go, but also glad that you can move on to something new – or just take a little break altogether, now that you’re not shackled to anything in particular.
I may go back and finish some of DAI’s side-stuff – there are still a large number of small quests I never finished, and plenty of places I never fully explored, and that stuff can be dealt with in short bursts.
I may go back to Forza Horizon 2 (henceforth, “Forizon 2”) and might even get that new DLC island.
I may dip my toes back into Far Cry 4, or also Shadow of Mordor, and if Sony puts Alien Isolation on sale, I might buy it and try to finish it.
One thing I’m not going to do, though, is finish Assassin’s Creed Unity. I gave it a quick go yesterday afternoon, once the latest patch was installed, and the simple fact that it took me almost 3 minutes of staring at the map to figure out where the hell the next story mission was located was all I needed to say, “I don’t have time for this shit.”
Speaking of which, one of the categories in my GOTY post that I didn’t get to this year was “A Once-Favorite Franchise That I’m More Or Less Ready To Give Up On”, and it should go without saying that the winner of that particular category would be Assassin’s Creed. I’m done. I don’t care about next year’s installment; I don’t believe it will fix the things that need fixing, nor do I have faith that it will be shipped in a working state. And considering the current state of Ubisoft game design, why should I bother playing an Assassins Creed game when I could play Far Cry 5, or Watch Dogs 2, or whatever else they decide to rush out the door?
And speaking of the GOTY post, three other notable omissions:
1. In the “Did Not Get To” pile, the biggest name on that list is Kentucky Route Zero. I’ve been meaning to sit down and give KRZ a serious go for basically the whole year, and for whatever reason I never found myself in the right frame of mind and with enough time to give each episode a proper go. (“Right frame of mind” doesn’t necessarily imply a state of sobriety, mind you; it simply means being open and un-distracted for a different sort of pace.) I’ve heard nothing about raves about both Episode 3 and a Side Story thing, and I need to get on this soon.
2. Also in the “Did Not Get To” pile, but with the caveat that I simply hadn’t bought it yet, is Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris. I was a big fan of the first game, and this appears to be more of the same; I just haven’t gotten around to pulling the trigger yet.
3. I did end up playing the first 10 minutes of Danganronpa over the weekend, which is (obviously) not nearly enough time to figure out just what the hell is going on. I would like to give it at least an hour or so to figure it out, and then decide whether I should push on with it or send it back. I don’t necessarily regret buying the Vita, but I never have a proper opportunity to play it, and, so, there it is.