A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dragon Age: Inquisition is a fantasy role-playing game with intense, bloody combat involving swords, axes, arrows, and magic. It includes sexual scenarios with upper-body nudity, but acts are implied rather than shown. Strong language ("f--k," "s--t," and more) occasionally pops up in spoken dialogue. The mature but traditional fantasy narrative includes long discussions about the nature of religious faith and touches on issues of racial and sexual tolerance. Main characters are courageous, friendly, and supportive but can grow agitated when the hero disagrees with them. Women and men are seen as equals throughout the story. The primary hero can be male or female, according to player preference. Voice chat is unmoderated for multiplayer sessions.
- Parents say
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What's it about?
DRAGON AGE: INQUISITION is an open-world fantasy role-playing game that builds on events from previous entries in the Dragon Age series. Religious and military factions established in the first two games are in disarray, leaving them ill prepared to combat demons pouring through interdimensional rifts opening across the continent of Thedas. Your customizable hero is the only one who can defeat them, thanks to a strange glowing mark on his/her hand that has the power to close and seal the rifts. The hero rallies opposing factions under the banner of the Inquisition, uniting the world's forces so they can combat the villain responsible for creating the rifts. Players spend most of the game engaged in branching conversations, exploring a massive world filled with quests, and carrying out missions that drive the story forward. The tale continues beyond the single-player campaign in a cooperative multiplayer mode, where players work as a team undertaking missions for the Inquisition.
Is it any good?
Dragon Age: Inquisition is a stunning achievement in narrative-driven open-world gaming that succeeds marvelously on three fronts. The first is its world. It's divided into 10 massive, free-to-roam environments defined by climate, inhabitants, and circumstance, and exploration is never dull. Each area is filled with quests, puzzles, and people, with engaging problems to be solved. You could spend 100 hours traveling through Thedas and still not see everything the game has to offer. Second is thye game's storytelling. You'll encounter a wealth of interesting, multidimensional personalities with whom to forge friendships and seek advice. Thanks to terrific writing and performances, an hour spent in conversation is just as engaging as an hour spent adventuring in a haunted marsh. The third is combat. Players can seamlessly jump from one party member to any of the other three at the tap of a button, exploiting the abilities of warriors, archers, and mages as needed. The result is that battles are rich in tactics and deeply satisfying.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of bugs that range from characters frozen in mid-air to long pauses in dialogue. Issues like these have become the norm for giant, open-world games, and such glitches are disconcerting, but they can't put a damper on the larger experience. Dragon Age: Inquisition is among the finest RPGs around and will keep most adult fants of fantasy games glued to their controllers for months.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in games. Dragon Age: Inquisition lets players resolve some problems through tactful discussions. Presented with the opportunity to talk things out rather than clashing swords, which do you usually choose in the game? Why?
Inquisition includes plenty of strong female characters in positions of power who are defined by their brains instead of their bodies. Can you think of other games that present men and women as equals?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Electronic Arts
- Release date: November 18, 2014
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Blood, Intense Violence, Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.