Review: Dragon Age Inquisition “Trespasser” DLC

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Last week, Bioware officially brought the Inquisition’s story to a close with Dragon Age: Inquisition’s final story DLC, titled “Trespasser”. Set two years after the conclusion of the main story, “Trespasser” sees the Inquisitor and their independent army finally overstaying their welcome in the eyes of the world of Thedas’ greatest governing bodies. Called to the Winter Palace in Orlais, the Inquisitor and his or her friends join the Exalted Council to decide the final fate of the Inquisition before the eyes of the world. Sounds like a pretty conversation-heavy DLC, right? Well, it’s a good thing that a dead body turns up almost immediately to throw a spanner in the political works.

Due to the nature of the DLC’s story, those who haven’t finished Inquisition won’t be able to play this content before finishing the main storyline. Quite obviously, readers shouldn’t continue on with this review until finished with the main game either.

Still with us? Good. Out of nowhere a Qunari agent in full battle dress is found dead in the palace, despite the Qun having no part in the talks. After some investigation, you retrace the Qunari agent’s tracks to find one of the teleporter-esque Eluvian mirrors in the palace – an active Eluvian. Leaving the Council in the hands of Josephine on the first day, it’s up to your Inquisitor to figure out what’s going on – both to protect the world, and perhaps prove that the Inquisition isn’t done for just yet.

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“Trespasser” is an interesting DLC for two key reasons. Firstly, it functions similar to Mass Effect 3’s “Citadel” DLC, giving you a chance to engage with your party members one last time. Being able to wander the Winter Palace and catch up with all your party members – or at least the ones who make it, depending on your story decisions – is fantastic, as each interaction is specifically flavoured by your own Dragon Age journey and the quintessential personalities of these characters. Sera gives you the chance for another round of pranks, Varric has stories to tell about his time away from the Inquisition, Cullen has managed to find a dog to be friends with, and one of the ladies of your inner circle might just be wandering the palace as the new Divine.

While there’s no drunken party at your new apartment like in the “Citadel” DLC it’s still so much fun to just be around these distinct characters one more time, especially after the relative absence of character moments in the previous DLCs, “Jaws of Hakkon” and “The Descent”. It’s a bittersweet thing, though – each party member seems to acknowledge that one way or another the Exalted Council means the end of the Inquisition, and your time together as a group.

The second interesting thing about “Trespasser” is its expansion of both the game’s story and the ongoing mythos of the Dragon Age universe. As anyone able to play this DLC is aware, Inquisition ends with the surprising reveal that Solas may just be more than he seems as he leaves the Inquisition for good. While the player is aware of his connection to the Dread Wolf Fen’Harel in elvish legend, your party is still in the dark. As references to Fen’Harel pile up, it’s clear that Solas has some part in what’s going on with the invasion of the Qun and the sudden activation of the Eluvian mirrors. While the build-up to his reveal is well-constructed from a narrative point of view, it’s somewhat ruined by the fact that the player themselves knows what’s coming. I would love to see a version of the game where Solas’ role is not disclosed in the ending of the main game, so that the reveal in “Trespasser” is a total shock.

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The greater part of this DLC is its expansion of the Dragon Age mythos. I’ll try not to take away from the revelations the DLC presents, but I will say that thanks to the Eluvians being involved you will be visiting locations both familiar and totally alien. Even the familiar locales are presented with a new twist, so every step through the mirror brings you something new to look at. As with the previous DLCs, you’ll unlock new powers from the Anchor mark on your left hand, though this time around it’s not always for the better. After two years the Anchor has begun to lash out at its carrier, building up damaging amounts of power – which can be as dangerous for you as it is for your enemies. The issue becomes greater the closer you get to understanding what’s going on with the Qunari, reaching a fever pitch in the last leg of this DLC that leaves you feeling both overwhelmingly powerful and scarily vulnerable.

In the end, “Trespasser” is exactly the kind of DLC I like to see capping of a big RPG like Inquisition. A balanced combination of personal and overarching resolutions help to truly wrap up the game’s journey, while also laying some clear building blocks for the inevitable Dragon Age 4. I’ve heard that meeting Solas again is particularly poignant for those who romanced him as an elven Inquisitor. As my hulking Qunari rogue was far too busy having a romantic sass-off with Dorian, my experience was a little different. But it’s stuff like this that just goes to show how personal a journey this final DLC is – every player will have a unique experience, specifically wrapping up your version of the Inquisition. Overall, the previous DLCs were a bit take-it-or-leave-it for me, but this one’s a keeper. Send off your Inquisitor the right way and give them the finale they deserve.

Dragon Age: Inquisition‘s “Trespasser” DLC was reviewed using a retail code on PS4, as purchased by the reviewer.

 

Review: Dragon Age: Inquisition’s “Trespasser” DLC
8 out of 10

The good

  • Story resolution, both personal and overarching.
  • New developments of the Dragon Age mythos.
  • Weird new locatoins to explore.

The bad

  • How do cutscenes STILL not frame Qunari players properly?

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