2014 Game of the Year: Dragon Age: Inquisition

With improvements that arguably make it the best Dragon Age title in the series, Dragon Age: Inquisition takes our Game of the Year award for 2014.

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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.

More Game of the Year Coverage: 

Senior Editor

From The Chatty

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    January 2, 2015 10:30 AM

    Daniel Perez posted a new article, 2014 Game of the Year: Dragon Age: Inquisition

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      January 2, 2015 11:23 AM

      All hail the staff's #1!

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      January 2, 2015 11:38 AM

      I bought this 11/18 and still haven't opened it.

      I guess I really need to play this!

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      January 2, 2015 11:38 AM

      Lots of really great games last year! I don't think 2015 will have as many awesome times, but I still have the top 3 of this list on my to-play list.

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      January 2, 2015 11:41 AM

      I would still like to have a thread about others impressions about the ending of the game. I felt like it was the usual, "Well were running out of time let's wrap this up and be vague to force them to buy DA4" It really left a stink on a somewhat fun game for me.

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        January 2, 2015 11:04 PM

        I'm hoping more for a Throne of Bhall type expansion.

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          January 2, 2015 11:34 PM

          I think this is the correct read on it.

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      January 5, 2015 6:05 AM

      I'm playing it, but I've been able to pull away from it easily and in fact start playing other games, older games as well. Dont know what it is. Dont know if its me, or the story is just not as engaging, or im older and I have more pressing matters on my mind, I don't know. But whatever it is, im not in a strangle hold like I was during DA: Origins or even DA II. Still seems like a nice game. I think I'm waiting for The Witcher 3 to find out if Its me that has the problem.