Friday, 3 October 2014
There’s a lot that’s wrong with Dragon Age: Inquisition. But if I had to single out just one thing, I’d point my finger squarely at the user interface. Lord almighty, the user interface in Dragon Age: Inquisition could suck a monkey through ten feet of garden hose. Unintuitive, laggy; you press ‘down’ thinking you’ll scroll down a menu but instead it turns a page, but you’re never sure if that’s what actually happened because of the prolonged delay that occurs between button presses and the on-screen response, so you press a bunch of buttons just in case and the whole screen goes haywire and you start hyperventilating because you just lost all your armour.
The cameras are way too close, too. It’s hard to get a good view of anything, which is rather silly for a game that fancies itself a strategy-RPG.
Also, it doesn’t help that the game is loaded with bugs. Map waypoints that disappear at random, missions that cancel without explanation… Sometimes I can’t even switch characters (terribly inconvenient in the middle of a fight), and the only way around it is to reset the game.
Yes, reset the game.
Did IQs drop sharply since I left the industry? How was this even allowed to go to market?
I’m not sure I should go into too much detail on how I feel about the rest of the game. It has the look of Skyrim, the hilarious space sex of Mass Effect (except with dwarves and elves who swing both ways) and the devastating pointlessness of Assassin’s Creed.
Yes, Assassin’s Creed is a pointless tech-demo in search of a game.
But back to Dragon Age and its user interface. It’s not like it doesn’t make sense. It does, kind of. You can tell from the multiple nav bars arranged in the same direction that a UX specialist put their two cents into the design. It’s just a shame the said specialist hasn’t the slightest understanding of how people use control pads. Figuring out the right thing to do with the controls is like using a giant Excel spreadsheet where you can never quite remember what the ‘x’ and ‘y’ axes are meant to stand for because it’s all just a bunch of made-up fantasy nonsense anyway.
If I wasn’t spending so much time wrestling with the controls, I might actually enjoy myself. But as it stands, Dragon Age: Inquisition is like that one dish at the buffet you probably should’ve said no to, but couldn’t help yourself and now you’re committed to spending the next few hours clinging for dear life to the nearest toilet bowl as you wait for it to be finally expelled from your body.
Now, I know there are people out there who are willing to tolerate a little discomfort for a nice meal, and that’s a legitimate choice that I’m not about to make a value judgement on. But for others, I imagine their time and dignity are too precious to squander… not on this shit, anyway.