Review: “Dragon Age: Inquisition – Trespasser” (SPOILERS)

Bioware’s latest DLC for their award winning game is – quite frankly – the only DLC you need for this game, as it serves as a kind of epilogue to the main campaign. Having said that, it isn’t perfect, and has its flaws.

After the post-credit scene of “Dragon Age: Inquisition”, there has been much speculation as to further DLC – with many ironically dubbing it “Wolf Hunt”. Much of this revolves around Solas, one of the companions from the base game and potential love interest to the game’s protagonist, and what he plans to do after the events of “Dragon Age: Inquisition”.

“Trespasser” answers such questions, amongst many others – mostly to do with the lore of the Dragon Age universe. In terms of narrative, it was brilliant to gain more of an understanding of how the elves fell, quite spectacularly, from grace. The notion that much of their culture was built on the skewed physics of both the Fade – the dreaming world – and the waking world being one and the same is unexpected, but incredibly interesting. The idea that their apocalypse came about with Solas’s necessary introduction of the Veil – which separated the two dimensions, and thus sundered the physics of most of the environments they had created and dwelled within – is highly original. Talking to the archived memories of some of these elves, you really get a sense of the unadulterated panic they must have felt as parts of their world collapsed around them – leaving them stranded on islands that only the waking world could support without the alternate physics of the Fade.

Patrick Weekes also deserves a special mention, as some of the dialogue for Solas towards the end of this DLC is so poetical, it’s acoustically beautiful. This coupled with the heartfelt voice acting by both Alix Wilton Regan and Gareth David-Lloyd in the penultimate scene (should you have a female, British voiced Inquisitor), makes for an emotionally loaded climax – even if the relationship between Solas and the Inquisitor is nothing more than platonic.

Predictably, with the potential to romance Solas, there are equally heart wrenchingly tragic outcomes for some of the romances, and more bittersweet happily-ever-afters for others. The latter did feel a little too fan-serving in some regards (Cullen, I’m looking at you), but was actually quite satisfying, especially if you were still smarting from romancing the above-mentioned elf on your first play through. In fact, the relationships between the Inquisitor and their followers is one of the stronger parts of this DLC – it felt rewarding to see most of their stories resolved in some way, and for the Inquisition to bow out with fitting goodbyes for most of the characters.

As to this DLC’s flaws: the general combat, whilst following the same schematics as the rest of the game, does feel a little too difficult when compared to the base game. The Quanri warriors are often quite overpowered in this DLC, too much so when you consider that when you tackle this epilogue even a couple of levels over the recommended amount, you may still struggle. Having taken the difficulty setting down (the first time I’d felt it needed to be) it still felt frustrating, and more time consuming than strictly necessary. I found myself towards the end of my play through (as a rouge assassin) turning invisible so I could skip the mass onslaught of Qunari mages and assassins heading my way. This increased my use of the tactical camera, forcing me to think more strategically than I would otherwise do, but given the faults with the tactical camera – such as places the camera struggles to reach – this can get a somewhat irritating.

In addition, whilst most of the characters are afforded their own resolutions, making it seem largely like a final farewell, depending on your earlier decisions in the game, some aren’t given such a luxury. Iron Bull’s story, should the Chargers die, seems particularly shocking and somewhat forced. At the very least, it feels as if more time should have been given to the character at this point in the story. His betrayal, and consequential death at your hands, feels like a significant plot point that should have been developed further than it actually was, especially if the Inquisitor and Bull were romantically involved, or friends.

There are other points in this DLC were things feel rushed, such as Cullen’s sponatenous proposal (seriously, you’ve been dating two years during a time of peace, and you decided that the best time to get married is when there’s another impending war… er, okay), or not enough time was given to it, such as the Exalted council. The politics of Dragon Age is what makes the games different, and it felt as if there could have been more scenes about the Inquisition’s impending deconstruction.

Overall, “Trespasser” is a good addition to the base game, adding to the lore and depth of the events that preceded it. Despite this, it does regularly feel as if it should have been longer, and would have worked better as an expansion instead.

★★★

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