There’s big, and then there’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. This is a game whose first act contains enough playable material to qualify as a game on its own. It’s BioWare at its very best, balancing a story filled with action and intrigue alongside a vast array of gameplay systems that provide miles of depth for the dedicated player.
It is, in a word, daunting. This isn’t a game you just dive into. You soak it in, really take the time to learn how everything works and, more importantly, how to make it work for you.
The good news is, we’ve done the tough stuff already. We’ve made mistakes and learned from them. And after more than 100 hours spent wandering around Thedas, we’ve got some handy tips to help you get your fledgling Inquisition off the ground.
ABC (Always Be Clickin’)
Here’s a handy tip that you’ll be making use of all throughout Dragon Age: Inquisition. As you weave your way through the game’s assorted exploration spaces, make sure to click the left stick on your controller after every few paces. It’s bothersome at first, but it quickly becomes second nature.
Why? Clicking the left stick releases a sonar-style ping — visualized as an expanding circle that issues forth from your character — highlighting any objects in the surrounding environment that you can interact with, including dropped loot and treasure chests. If you click the stick and hear a high-pitched tone in response, there’s something nearby. If you don’t hear the tone, it’s all clear.
The ping also highlights the silhouette of any nearby interaction-friendly objects in bright yellow, and identifies them with text on the screen if you’re close enough. It also never lies. If you hear the ping but don’t see the yellow silhouette, try panning the camera slowly around in a circle. Look high and low. Change position even. Sometimes, little scraps of paper highlighted in yellow are hard to spot.
The ping is gospel though. If you hear it, there’s something of interest that you should check out. Just make sure it’s not a ladder or some other fixed object; those get highlighted, too.