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2014 Game of the Year: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Gamers absolutely loved Dragon Age: Origins, but then largely felt disappointed by its sequel, Dragon Age 2. The result was cautious expectations for Dragon Age: Inquisition, which was said to borrow from both former games. Not only did Dragon Age: Inquisition live up to the bar set by Origins, but it surpassed our expectations by far. It is the 2014 Shacknews Game of the Year.

BioWare responded to criticism made by fans in regards to Dragon Age 2 by giving them a massive world to explore split into two large countries, both of which are able to offer a range of environments. You can explore snow-capped mountains, lavish jungles, and dry, desolate deserts. No massive world would be worth exploring if there weren’t a variety of side missions to complete, enemies to battle, and wildlife to hunt. Dragon Age: Inquisition features all of this and more as players can easily get engrossed in the game world and side tracked from their main objectives.

The story of Dragon Age: Inquisition is of the typical BioWare quality, which is a very good thing as you can expect to experience a large and diverse world, make tough moral decisions, and to feel the full weight of your decisions, whether they be good or bad. New to the Dragon Age series is the use of advisors in order to take on different missions by the use of either diplomacy, stealth, or brute force. The result of these missions rewards players with new locations to explore as well as special rewards.

The combat is a delightful mix of fast action attacks from Dragon Age 2’s battle mechanics, as well as offering the ability to proceed strategically, similar to Origins’ battle system. Combining the gameplay mechanics from both games means players can take out less threatening enemies with ease, but taking things a bit slower when battling larger enemies, like the titular dragons.

Dragon Age: Inquisition was a delightful surprise, particularly in how well BioWare combined the best aspects from its previous Dragon Age games into one. This is a franchise's redemption story, and what a redemption it was. With breathtaking visuals, a rich and complex world, a diverse cast of characters, and combat that can please fans of both the hack-and-slash and more meticulous RPG planning, Dragon Age: Inquisition has earned our highest honor.

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