Monthly Archives: January 2015

Assassin’s Creed Unity: Dead Kings – Let’s go tomb raiding!

Yesterday marked the release of Dead Kings, an add-on to the much hated-on and near-leper status Assassin’s Creed Unity. Take a look at the “Before” picture above, and compare it with the new, dreary France seen in the trailer:

A little backstory time: While I did not agree with the masses on hater-status (shocking, huh?), I could definitely see where it came from. Initially, NOTHING FREAKING WORKED IN THE GAME. I couldn’t play with friends, I couldn’t get Arno to jump or climb or USE THE BATHROOM properly without game-glitching assistance.

Sorry for bringing up the pee problem, Arno.

There were so many issues that Ubisoft retracted the Season Pass for the game, gave Season Pass purchasers a free game, and gave Dead Kings away for free. It was kind of a big deal.

Luckily, Dead Kings does *not* reek of that “Free DLC” funk. It is incredibly well-polished, with gorgeous cutscenes that match the quality of the original games’ main story. The story itself takes place after the main campaign, its first sequence starting at Sequence 13, Memory 1, rather than a stand-alone title. Unlike The Tyranny of King Washington in ACIII, which was amaze-balls if you haven’t played it.

You have, haven’t you?

….

We will fight about how awesome Ratohnhake’:ton is later. This is all about Arno.

Arno Dorian is a dire man in this DLC. His mood and condition match the dreary, wiped out scenery that is Franciade; everything is in shambles. He is hired by a familiar face to find a Royal Manuscript– one that, if he finds it, will book him passage the hell out of France. Of course, the catacombs are under heavy surveillance– everybody wants those rare baubles found deep below, especially the other team…

The underground areas of Franciade are excellent. The lantern, one of two new tools found in the game (the other, the Guillotine Gun. Yep. You heard me.), adds a puzzle-like pattern to navigating the catacombs, as certain things will block your way without light. Think bats, roaches, other things that make Arno shudder. You must be a bit more stealthy this time around too- a new faction will beat the hell out of a macho Assassin in the deep dark of France. While I have always been a bit of a renegade with “stay in the shadows,” Dead Kings really means it. Undue shenanigans will get you killed.

The entire explorer feel is incredibly Indiana Jones-meets-Tomb Raider, which is ALL UP IN MY ALLEY. You can expect a good six hours to total completion for this DLC, which is another big bonus for FREE. I still question though- Arno had “Master Assassin'” gear in Unity. He clearly is still not a master Assassin in Dead Kings. Maybe by the end of it all, that’ll get cleared up for me… Anyway! I do hope you’ll pick up Dead Kings and give it the ol’ College Try, because honestly, Unity is NOT AS BAD AS YOUR HIPSTER GAMER FRIENDS MADE IT SOUND.

Until next time, you stay classy, Assassin.

Dragon Age: Inquisition – the Bioware Bender Continues

After putting a paltry 150+ hours into two playthroughs of Inquisition, I think I just might be qualified to speak on the subject.


My two Inquisitors: Thrycera Cadash, and Zyrggrah Avaar, both Ladies of Kickassdom.

It. is. amazing.

There just might be a reason that the game has garnered numerous Game of the Year awards!

While someone is always going to disagree, here’s the time it won’t be me. Dragon Age: Inquisition is a sprawling RPG, harkening back to the days of big adventure and knee-deep questing. If you haven’t heard the latest news in Thedas…

A massive hole rains demons down from the sky. A Blight isn’t happening, but darkspawn ravage parts of the western world unchecked. The Grey Wardens have all disappeared. Who else is there, in all of Thedas, to save the day?

A lowly spy, sent to the Conclave meeting of leaders, which was headed by Divine Justinia.

The only survivor of a massive attack on the Conclave, you (in all your create-a-character glory) fall from said rift in the sky, a green, pulsing mark across one palm. Of course, Cassandra Pendaghast is there to verbally assault you as soon as you awaken. She’s really good at being up in everyone’s business, that crazy Seeker lady.

Of course, she berates and imprisons you, as is her way, and drags you to see the rest of her troupe. Here’s where everyone’s (least?) favorite Dwarf shows up– Varric– along with Solas, the shifty, esoteric Elf who happens to know a hell of a lot about your mark. And rifts. And other things that some random Elf might not actually know… *cough* *gag* *sputter~WATCHAFTERTHECREDITS*

Soon after, you’ll meet up with the ever-eye-color-changing Nightingale, Leliana, and a whole slew of people that will probably hate you and think you’re a heretic; because of the state you were found in, you are considered the “Herald of Andraste” by many, and a horrible monster by many more. Your affinity with said people is also affected by what race you’ve chosen– YAY FOR GETTING TO CHOOSE YOUR RACE AGAIN! I’m lookin’ at you, Hawke…

Anyway! With the Chantry, Seekers, and every other organization in Thedas in ruin, Cassandra declares that an Inquisition shall be started, to bring the world back to order and slave off the chaos that wracks the land. And since you have the only mark that can close a rift in the sky… SHE GUESSES YOU CAN JOIN THE CLUB.

*trumpet blare*

Cullen also joins you (I swear, I should have just killed him when I saw him the first time. I never liked Cullen.), along with spry-Lady Josephine, and this group becomes the council behind the Inquisition.

You will spend the bulk of your journey bolstering you troops, power and influence across Ferelden and Orlais, ultimately picking a side in the war that Anders started in Dragon Age II: Mages versus Templars.

(Side note: Everything versus Templars… “everything” else always wins in my book. Jack some Templars.)

After you’ve chosen your side, and done with them what you will (you can pick a side, and then bone them over in such awful ways), you find what your true enemy is:

OH HEY GUYS, SPOILERS, IF YOU DIDN’T THINK THEY WOULD BE HERE.

Corypheus, the bastard from II, and a Dragon posing as an Archdemon.

He will seriously jack up your day. And a few weeks. Maybe months of your life, but ultimately, you shall NOT PASS!

er, wait. Sorry. Got a little Gandalf-y.

A few faces from the past greet you later on in the story– one particular Witch is my favorite– and you will eventually come out triumphant, smashing Corypheshit (as my beloved Sera calls him) in his ugly face. There are some real heart-swelling moments (think Grinch and three sizes type swelling), and it’s just tops, yeah?

Now that the story is all squared away, here’s the rest of my pocket full o’change:

*** I questioned in my previous DA post whether or not Inquisition would tie all of our adventures together, and the answer is YES! YES! YES!

YOU get a story tie-in! And YOU get a story tie-in! EVERYBODY GETS STORY TIE-INS!

There are so many options from your Dragon Age journeys that determine who even shows up in the first place; one of them, ALISTAIR *swoon*, had an extensive showing in my Dragon Age, all because I kept him as a Grey Warden instead of making him King. (I will note here that several people complained about their lack/bits of Alistair, but they made him King or got him killed off, sooooooo~ yeah.) Morrigan appears. And if you made a certain choice between those two, a very special young boy shows up. Wowza.

If you romanced Alistair like I did, your Hero of Ferelden is referenced a lot, including their own War Table missions.

Oh, and I guess Hawke shows up. *cough* It’s awesome because you can re-create YOUR Hawke, but… it’s Hawke… and we all know how I feel about that.

You know where that screenshot is from? THE OFFICIAL TRAILER. I never even SAW them until after I beat the game and re-watched the trailers for…. no reason…. move along people I JUST LOVE IT OKAY?

*** THE WORLD IS HUGE. I’ll tell you- in 150+ hours and two (one Mage-sided, one Templar-sided) playthroughs, I have yet to complete every quest, or find every location in the game. I’d say sorry for it, but there’s no damned achievement for DOING IT ALL THIS TIME, and damn, the Hinterlands will kill you.

*** Companions are freaking AWESOME again. Sera, Iron Bull and Dorian make the BEST party, especially when playing Qunari. On my second (Dwarf) playthrough, I used Vivienne (who seemed to hate my Dwarf less than my Qunari… jerk.), Solas and Blackwall, and they are a freaking bummer together… that second playthrough was on Nightmare and I didn’t care about anyone giving me lip… but I digress. The point is that each character is radically different, and your opinions can really sway your entire interaction with them. Their quests can be boring, but the cutscenes are much more enriched than in Dragon Age II. Also, FRISKY BITS. My love is like WHOA. I romanced Sera as Qunari, and Blackwall as Dwarf, and all I can say is whoa. Mmmmmhmmm. Blackwall’s romance story is probably the best in the game as far as advancing the story, though I haven’t gotten down’ta business with the rest of them. Frisky bits.

*** Twists and turns that the story takes. My outcomes were entirely different between two playthroughs– from who becomes Divine, to what happens with different companions. I know that there is a canon story out there, illustrated by the novels, but I love to weave my own. (ALISTAIR STAY WITH ME BABEH.)

*** Glitchy: I didn’t have a massive amount of glitches or game-breaking shite happen, though two of my achievements glitched. One of them unlocked with my second playthrough (getting 10 agents), but the second still hasn’t unlocked, even though I HAVE KILLED TWENTY HIGH DRAGONS NOW, YOU JERKS. Otherwise, random jerky things happened, and that’s it.

*** Multiplayer is pretty cool. It’s one hell of a grind, but once you start unlocking new classes, it gets super fun.

SO.

Do I like it?

DO I LIKE IT?

SAY LIKE AGAIN, I DARE YOU.

I freaking love it. In fact, so much of my time has been spent on Dragon Age since it released that, uh, folks question me when I’m not on there. Like if I’m sick, or maybe dying, or I’ve become a Looper and thus have no time for games because I’m chasing myself through time.

Dragon Age: Inquisition gets all the stars. 7/7 Skull n bones. I CANNOT EVEN TAKE IT.

Oh, how I love it. Did ya hear that part already? Oh well.

Before I gurgle on, I’ll leave you with words from everyone’s favorite Witch of the Wilds:

“Now we are left with a scar in the sky to remind us of what almost was.”

“It tells us that a great victory against chaos was won, but left the world forever changed.”

Until next time~ you keep it classy, Thedas.