The Long Dark

Baby’s almost here. We are as prepared as we’re going to be.

I’ve been playing the survival game The Long Dark of late. I recently passed the 50-day mark in the Steam achievements, in terms of days survived in the game’s simulation of the Canadian wilderness.

Overly aggressive wolves were a big problem at first until I figured out how to deal with them – scare them off with flares and torches until I got my hands on a rifle about 20 days in. Then they became a special treat.

Rabbits became my dietary staple in the last two weeks, as the wild’s ammo is quite limited.

I saw a bear, but you make different decisions when you have only one life. In some other game I would have attacked; here, I backed away slowly and then ran.

Inquisition

So I finally finished Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Short summary: So-so intro, great middle, so-so ending.

I certainly got my money’s worth. It has to be one of the longest RPGs I’ve ever played. The sheer number of quests and sidequests and fleshed-out areas to explore is mind-numbing.

I have to say, though, that I found the main quest lacking. The villain was one-dimensional – a standard I-like-chaos-wannabe-god type. He should have been dispatched in Act I and replaced immediately with someone more nuanced, like Flemeth or Morrigan, for example. Or the Plot Surprise (no spoilers) that comes in the end, instead of midgame where it would have made far more impact and led to a very different, and better, story.

I also don’t think that my BIG DECISIONS during the game made much difference on the ending. Templars vs. mages, Cassandra vs. Liliana, keeping Cole or Blackwall vs. dumping them, etc. The plot just sort went ‘eh’ when I made those decisions.

I also (this is turning into a list of the game’s flaws, isn’t it) was disappointed in the role of Power. I had over 250 Power at the end, and nothing to spend it on. I was assuming I was stockpiling it for a big battle or political maneuvering, but in the end I got a standard boss fight. Shades of ME3. Bioware, why do you always flub the ending?

I think my favorite part of the game is when the Inquistor gets to judge prisoners. Execute, imprison, let go, fine, recruit – what to do, now that you have power? Those were interesting decisions, with no clear-cut right answers. I would like to have seen more of that.