Windows Central has recently rolled out an aggressive Twitch livestreaming schedule. Tuesdays we play The Witcher 2, Wednesdays we play various Xbox One games, Thursdays we play Dragon Age: Inquisition, and Saturdays we play Xbox One games and give out big prizes. Plenty of chances to tune in for live commentary and gameplay while chatting with your fellow readers and viewers. It's like a live interactive podcast!
It has been a couple of weeks since we started the Dragon Age: Inquisition campaign; last week we streamed the game's addictive cooperative multiplayer mode instead. Tonight we return to the campaign, shortly after the first boss battle. To help get everyone caught up to speed, I've written a detailed summary of our initial playthrough. Read it to learn how the latest exciting installment of Dragon Age begins!
Update: The stream has ended. Keep reading to watch the full replay and catch up on last week's written recap!
Creating our character
At the start of Inquisition, players must select a race: Human, Elf, Dwarf, or Qunari. The Qunari are horned giants whose culture revolves around a strict religious text and differs greatly from humans. Although the Qunari have appeared in previous Dragon Age games, Inquisition is the first game to offer them as a playable race. So of course we choose one, and made her female.
Next we pick a character class from the following options:
- Rogue: Dual Wield
- Rogue: Archer
- Warrior: Two-handed
- Warrior: Weapon and Shield
We choose mage in the hopes of seeing flashy spell effects as our character's power increases. The game tells us that this mage has left her people to work for a mercenary company. Our company has been sent to protect the conclave of the Chantry, the dominant religion in the land of Thedas. But something has gone wrong…
Next, the mage awakens amidst a murky void, her left hand glowing mysteriously. The game now allows us to customize her appearance, which takes about six minutes. She goes from pasty gray skin and a scowl to green skin, smaller horns, and a softer expression. Her name changes from Herah to Eastlia (in honor of my nickname EastX).
Eastlia begins to run through the dense fog as giant spiders chase her. She climbs a staircase and reaches out towards a mysterious being enveloped in light. Suddenly, Eastlia is no longer in the same void as before. She collapses in front of burning ruins, surrounded by soldiers.
Now Eastlia awakens on the floor of a prison cell, her arms bound before her. Again, the left hand glows with green light.
Cassandra, a returning character from Dragon Age II, enters and aggressively confronts our heroine. "The conclave is destroyed," she tells us. "Everyone who attended is dead." She demands an explanation for Eastlia's glowing hand and implies that it proves her guilt in the destruction. Our heroine can't explain what has happened. She vaguely remembers running from the spiders and reaching out towards the glowing woman, but nothing else.
We step outside into a snowy, mountainous area. Off in the distance, a green light glows ominously in the sky. "We call it the breach," Cassandra reveals. She hopes that Eastlia's mark will help seal this breach and others like it. Additionally, by helping to solve the crisis she can prove her innocence.
As we walk, we learn that the conclave represented a chance to make peace between the warring mages and Templars. But the leaders of both sides, as well as the Divine Justinia, head of the Chantry (who previously appeared in Origins), all died in the explosion that caused the breach. And to make matters worse, demons continue to erupt from the breach.
Before we can cross a stone bridge, a bolt of green energy destroys it, sending Eastlinia and Cassandra tumbling onto the ice below. Demons emerge from the green light, attacking our heroines. Cassandra rushes into battle and Eastlinia quickly grabs a nearby staff so that she can participate as well. We engage in Inquisition's first playable battle.
After a short journey and several more battles, we encounter a group of warriors struggling to keep a smaller breach at bay. Among them are Varric, a crossbow-wielding dwarf from Dragon Age II, and Solas, an elven mage. Solas grabs Eastlia's hand and thrusts it into the breach, sealing it. Everyone's confidence in her ability to aid with the crisis has proven correct. Varric and Solas join our party.
As we journey towards the forward camp and the larger breach, Varric engages Eastlia in the first of many party member-specific conversations. He observes that despite being a Qunari, Eastlia does not follow that race's religious text. She behaves much more like other races rather than the typically fundamentalist Qunari.
Eastlia and her party finally reach their destination, a fortified wall near the large breach. There they encounter Leliana (a returning character from both previous Dragon Age games, who was also present when we first met Cassandra in Inquisition) and Chancellor Roderick of the Chantry. He distrusts Eastlia but is overruled by the others.
The group debates the best course of action. Leliana suggests that the main force charges the breach as a distraction while the other heroes approach from a mountain pass. Unfortunately, an entire squad has already been lost on that path. Cassandra allows Eastlia to choose between taking the mountain path or charging with the other soldiers.
We pick the mountain path, to Varric's approval and Cassandra's disapproval. We do have to fight through several hordes of monsters, eventually encountering the surviving members of the missing squad. One battle and a small rift sealing later, and the squad had been freed to return to their base.
Shortly thereafter, we meet up with Leliana and her team at the large breach. We approach it via a rocky path, the entire area having been laid to waste. The voice of Lady Justinia, until now believed deceased, calls for help from the breach. As Eastlinia prepares to touch the breach, the entire group witnesses a vision of Justinia under attack – a scene from before the explosion that created the breach itself.
Solas suggests that the rift must be opened more fully before Eastlinia can close it. The opening carries a risk of allowing more demons into Thedas. And indeed it does allow a huge monster through!
Our heroes can't damage the creature by conventional methods, but when Eastlinia uses her hand's powers on the right, the boss becomes vulnerable for a few seconds. We fight valiantly, disrupting the rift several times, and vanquish the beast.
The breach appears to be sealed (though remnants of it remain in the sky), and Eastlia awakens three days later in the mountain town of Haven. Just as the breach has stopped growing, so has the mark on her hand that initially threatened to take her life. Leaving the house that sheltered her, Eastlinia emerges to the salutes and gratitude of the townspeople.
Now you're caught up on our first Dragon Age: Inquisition campaign stream. We hope you'll join us tonight for the second installment, lots more adventure, and plenty of banter!
- Dragon Age: Inquisition – Xbox One – 42 GB – $59.99 – Amazon – Xbox Store
- Dragon Age: Inquisition – Xbox 360 – 42 GB – $59.99 – Amazon
- Dragon Age: Inquisition – Windows – 42 GB – $59.99 – Amazon – Origin
How to watch Twitch livestreams
We'll be streaming Dragon Age: Inquisition for about 90 minutes tonight, starting at 8pm Central (9pm Eastern, 6pm Pacific).
What's the best way to experience Twitch? The Twitch website on your PC or Mac web browser. If you don't have or prefer not to use a computer, you can get the Xbox One, Playstation 4, or Xbox 360 Twitch apps and watch from the comfort of your couch. Android and iOS both have official and unofficial Twitch apps to choose from as well.
On Windows Phone, you'll have to grab an unofficial app. My recommendation is Unstream. It has far more features than competing apps, such as the ability to see a list of users participating in the stream chat. Unfortunately you'll have to add our channel to your favorites from the Twitch website, outside of the app (for now).
Each Wednesday, we'll livestream a new, classic, or upcoming game just for fun with no prizes. Every Saturday, we'll stream a different game and give out free copies of that game as prizes. The stream always starts at the same time: 8pm Central (9pm Eastern, 6pm Pacific).
Want to know what's next for Windows Central's weekly Twitch streaming contests? Here's our upcoming contest schedule:
- Saturday, February 21 : Chariot from Frima Studio
- Saturday, February 28 : Asphalt 8 (Windows 8) from Gameloft. Guest cohost: "Gameloft" Ryan!
- Saturday, March 7 : Order & Chaos Online (Windows 8) from Gameloft. Guest cohost: "Gameloft" Ryan!
In addition to our Saturday contest streams, we also livestream a variety of different games throughout the week. These streams don't have contests, but they still offer a great chance to see more exciting games while enjoying our live commentary and stream chat.
- Mondays: PlayStation Vita games! See what the other side gets to play.
- Tuesdays: The Witcher 2 for Xbox 360. Catch up on The Witcher saga before The Witcher 3 launches in May!
- Wednesdays: Xbox One games. Next week we're streaming Strider (2014) and select previous games from the Strider series.
- Thursdays: Dragon Age: Inquisition! Game selected and funded by our excellent stream viewers.
We hope you'll tune in as often as you can! Set a recurring alarm on your phone so you'll always know when it's time for the stream to start.
Thanks to our Twitch stream moderators for keeping our streams clean and stress-free!