Dragon Age: Inquisition had some great companion characters, beautiful scenery, and a powerful depiction of the Mage-Templar War, which had been building since Dragon Age: Origins. However, its approach to storytelling always meant that Inquisition was a bridge of sorts from the past to the future. This is something that Dragon Age 4 will need to avoid.
If Dragon Age 4's trailer from The Game Awards 2020 is anything to go by, the upcoming game could be walking down the same road. That said, there's not enough to conclude this for sure, but Dragon Age 4 needs to be able to stand on its own two feet.
Dragon Age: Inquisition may have a compelling story at times, but it's hard to argue that the game's story is self-contained. The Inquisition is already seen to be in the early stages of reforming during the interrogation bookends to Dragon Age 2, making it clear that the player character's involvement was not necessary to the resurgence of the organization. Inquisition's main villain is Corypheus, but it's revealed towards the end of the game that the bigger threat comes from companion Solas, who is in fact the ancient elven deity known as the Dread Wolf.
As a result, Dragon Age: Inquisition just doesn't feel like a self-sustaining story. Its final and most powerful moments, including many found in the game's last DLC, Trespasser, all rely on building up the threat of the Dread Wolf in Dragon Age 4 without giving any satisfying resolution to the Inquisitor's story.
In part, this is because the story of Dragon Age: Inquisition isn't really about the Inquisitor at all. The player character is thrown into the role after a fluke causes them to get the "Anchor" on their left hand, a power which allows them to close rifts in the Veil that separates the material realm from the world of magic, known as the Fade. This instantly launches them to the top of the Inquisition as the new Inquisitor, and though there are a few important choices which can be made in Dragon Age: Inquisition's story like choosing between siding with the mages or the Templars, both the start of the story and its ending decenter the agency of the Inquisitor entirely. The start of the game launches the character to the top of the Inquisition, and the ending reveals that, in part, they were being manipulated the entire time.
With Dragon Age: Inquisition, it's hard to avoid the feeling that the main conflict is only a stepping stone towards something greater. As a villain, Corypheus calls back to Dragon Age: Origins' Darkspawn threat, while ultimately feeling like a tamer copy. As a future villain, Solas has yet to show his full hand.
Compared to Inquisition, the story of Dragon Age: Origins is almost entirely self-contained. There are a few residual questions, like what will become of Morrigan and her Old God Baby if the player went through with her ritual instead of choosing a sacrifice to end the Blight. However, the potential for Morrigan's child to do evil in the future feels more like the morally ambiguous cost of the game's final decision, rather than a plot-point which necessarily needs resolving in a future game.
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