I met a dragon.
Sunday I lost four hours playing Dragon Age: Inquisition. I haven’t even made it out of the first questing zone, the Hinterlands, because I cannot resist finishing every damn quest, finding every damn landmark, closing every rift.
More, I actually CARE about the story. It’s not mindless completion. I want to increase the inquisition’s reach. I want to prove to these skeptical, traumatized people that I’m there to help, to kill the thoughtless templars and mages who are destroying the world. I’m hooked.
It was good timing. I needed a game that distracted me from WoW, that tried out my new graphics card, that looked pretty. It worked.
So let’s talk.
Within the first few moments of the game, this happens.
And then, like, this happens.
Look. I’m not afraid of spiders. But I DEFY you to look on that detailed, leathery back and those lotus eyes and not SHUDDER. I might have a touch of Trypophobia. Don’t click on that if lotus flowers freak you out, fyi.
Anyway. Emer, my girl, is being chased by those while desperately trying to reach a glowing golden figure with no discernible features. I’m beginning to think this might be a horror game.
Emer awakes in a cell, hands bound and a pair of very very angry women glaring at her. Nothing like being greeted by a furious woman demanding a reason to not kill you. Elmer’s designed for maximum sad face. It’s an effective tool, as angry Cassandra found out within a minute of meeting her.
E:”What, EVERYONE DIED? /sadface.”
C: “Shit. Shit. Ok, fine, I’ll use you, just stop it.”
Emer’s got a problem. Her hand is on fire and everyone thinks she is a mass murdering fuckhead and Cassandra would like to rip her throat out except she’s needed. Outside, she gets her first glimpse at the scale of the emergency.
After all, everyone is dead. Remember. EVERYBODY IS DEAD, DAVE. DAVE. EVERYBODY IS DEAD.
Cassandra unbends enough to cut Emer’s hands free and they toddle off, happily enough, to go face the rifts. Every once in a while the rift pulses and Emer collapses in writhing agony (Cassandra helpfully explains that it IS KILLING HER in shouty terms, because that’s reassuring, CASSANDRA).
About halfway through the trek, tripping over dead bodies (and looting them, because Emer’s cold), Emer gets her first Rift experience:
Her reaction is 100% appropriate.
The THING and its minions are promptly dispatched, Cassandra unbends enough to let Emer keep a weapon, and we get to meet the love of my life.
Oh Varric. I don’t know why I love you so, but I do. I would hope you’re romanceable but I’m afraid your heart already has two claims laid on it: Bianca the crossbow and Solas the elf.
The FLIRTING between these two if they’re in your party is UNBELIEVABLE. Varric, for some reason, has nicknamed Solas Chuckles, and Chuckles here can’t help asking Varric personal questions about his history — “merely curious!” Pfft. Two more obvious and oblivious flirts I have never seen.
Party complete, we meet a chantry hardass (and jackass) that I forgot to take pictures of, decide to take a trip through a snowy mountain pass, go through a creepy mine, rescue some scouts and arrive at last at the most horrific, burnt body strewn place I have ever seen.
Emer doesn’t have time to be traumatized by this, though, because a bigger challenge awaits our poor foursome, in the form of a massive rift and its equally massive guardian. Hey, Emer girl, remember that eeeuggghhh face from before? Bet you regret wasting it so early.
Jackass McGee is no match for Emer and her compatriots, so he’s killed and she closes the rift and promptly passes the fuck out — but not before a cut scene informs Cassandra et al that Emer was actually innocent all along. Probably. Go figure.
Emer awakes back in Haven where people are warmed, slightly, to her. A quick wander around:
Neither Emer or I are reassured by this note on our treatment at the hands of Solas. Yikes. She feels lucky to be breathing.
Anyway I was caught up in the story for the next few minutes, but the gist is the Chantry and the Templars can’t be trusted (and are fighting amongst themselves, because that never changes) and with no Divine in place to lead Cassandra, Leiliana, Cullen and others have decided it’s time for the Inquisition to be reborn. Emer agrees, and it’s off to the hinterlands to begin our true story.