A poll was recently made about two months ago by an online community, to see whether Gamers prefer “The Witcher 3” or “Dragon Age: Inquisition”. As every decent Gamer knows, these two are just about the hottest in the market out there right now, boasting several hundred hours of gameplay from hardcore fans and casual Gamers alike.
In essence, they’re both pretty similar in purpose: there is a main quest which involves you running your fool’s head left, right, top and bottom of maps, trying to find out what the heck is going on while you search for the Ultimate Baddie. Along the way, you kill lots of other people, run errands for friends, pick flowers and weeds for potions and then get rewarded with the occasional love scene.
The general consensus seems to be in favour of Witcher 3. Yet if I were to be given a choice between spending money on DA:I or W3 for any expansions or DLCs, I’d still pretty much pick the former at any time. And here’s why.
Let me first begin by saying that I am one of those casual Gamers who goes into it blind, and then try to learn as much as I can along the way. I rarely have the time to read all the backstories. As such, I cannot be a judge on which world is more immersive or extensive. Hence, my assessment on whether a game works for me or not is highly dependent on how long I can play it for without being bored and moving on to the next shiny thing for sale on Steam or Origins.
On that note, what is it with Witcher 3 that just grinds (and salts) my goat? Well for one:
Bugs and Glitches
Oh lawd, the glitches. And I’m not talking about the funny ones on YouTube either, folks. I’m talking about game breakers like these:
- I couldn’t complete a quest because of a bug during a horse race when Roach, my mount, refuses to gallop. Seriously, double ewe tea eff? He was running fine in all areas of the map, but suddenly he couldn’t get it going during a race? What is this? Performance anxiety? Irritable bowel syndrome? What?
- The game repeatedly bugged out during a scene in “The Witch Hunt” quest whereby the cinematic would freeze for no reason whatsoever and I couldn’t go on. The solution to this? I had to strip Geralt naked and play the game in the lowest resolution ever. In windowed mode. Alright, so perhaps getting Geralt naked was unnecessary, but it worked after 15 reloads and replays. Hey, don’t judge. I was desperate.
- Game would randomly crash upon start-up and I’d have to re-install the game all over again. All 20-odd GB of it.
And all that within the first 40 hours of gaming.
Good news though! Apparently they’re finally coming out with Patch v1.08 that will “fix game issues”. Sweet. A patch to fix the previous patch. *throws silent tantrum*
Unlike Dragon Age, there’s just something about these two women (and several others) Geralt hangs around with that sets my teeth on edge. Take a look at these two.
Yes, yes. I know. They’re gorgeous. Despite their physical appearances, they bore me to tears and I find myself disinterested in who I decided to “end up with”. Choice isn’t really a choice if you don’t care. At least in Dragon Age, I actually feel bad when I dump someone for another Love Interest.
I suppose an argument can be made by saying that having a lackluster in-game romance is necessary, because it is the quest motive that should be the prevalent focus of the game. Still, if you’re going to do something, do it well and this certainly wasn’t well done. So, this gets two thumbs down from me, and another round of silent temper tantrums.
So what is it about Dragon Age that is far superior to me compared to Witcher 3?
Seriously. I’m not saying that Witcher 3 is a bad game with no redeeming factors here. I’m saying if it is the one thing that endears Dragon Age to me compared to Witcher, it’s their well-rounded and well-written characters – both male and female alike. Let’s first start with my pet subject of gender representations of women, specifically in a world where marketing and game design is usually and primarily targeted at a largely male audience.
A) Women in Dragon Age
Women kick ass in Dragon Age. Period. They are not some silicon or Botox infused caricatures. No exaggerated cleavage, ridiculously full, raspberry-red, pouty lips or eye-shadow so dark it looks like they’ve been punched in the face. Several times. With a bat.
You get to speak with colourful personalities such as Sera (who seems to be constantly high on too much sugar), seasoned warriors like Cassandra, loyal followers like Scout Harding, sinister spies like Leliana, and the giggly Dagna who is so excited just to talk to you.
Compared to Triss or Yennefer, whose story line is so closely interwoven with the protagonist, the women in the world of DA seem stand on their own, whether or not you choose to do their personal quests. They are independent, and will react adversely to what they perceive to be a bad choice or positively if think you have chosen well. Plus they look awesome.
B) Men in Dragon Age
Like the women, men in DA are also incredibly well-written. Everyone of them carry their own demons, whether they are drug addicts (Cullen), members of a cult (Iron Bull), a gay man disowned by his parent (Dorian) or a transgender struggling with his identity (Krem).
Their issues were tastefully brought up and discussed, and I took great pleasure in taking time to get to know them better. Simply put, I actually care about my characters in DA, and as funny as this may sound, their opinions actually are important to me compared to Witcher where I really didn’t care for many (if any) of the folks I spent time with along the way.
I’d rather have these men over Geralt anytime. Meowr.
At the end of the day though, a game that has as much glitches, and crashes as many times as Witcher 3 just puts its consumers off from its product. It doesn’t matter how good it is – if it fails to perform, no one really cares. The converse is true for Dragon Age.
I’ve put in some 700 hours of game time, and Dragon Age has never given any issues in terms of performance. While the quests available in DA may be pointless at a certain point, at least you have awesome characters trudging around the map with you, passing hilarious comments about everything and, at times, blatantly discussing your relationship in front of everyone.
So yes – if I had to choose between putting my money on a glitchy, bug-infested Witcher 3 or Dragon Age, you now know what my choice would be and why.