Trespasser tells an entirely new story, set two years after the main Dragon Age Inquisition game. The story explores what it’s like to be a world-saving organization when the world no longer needs saving. It’s a chance to meet and talk with old friends, to uncover a new threat, and ultimately decide the fate of the Inquisition you worked so hard to build.
Release Date: September 8, 2015
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Trespasser, Dragon Age: Inquisition’s latest and last story DLC, is everything I wanted from the series and more. If I was excited for the DLC when it was announced at PAX, it was nothing in comparison to the surge of enthusiasm for the Dragon Age series I’m feeling now that I’ve played it.
[Spoilers for Dragon Age: Inquisition ahead]
I have complicated feelings about Dragon Age: Inquisition. On one hand it’s one of the best games I’ve ever played. I’ve played it a lot. I’ve enjoyed myself thoroughly every time. One of the Dragon Age series’ strengths is its world-building; Inquisition is blanketed in history and myth and religion and how those forces bleed into one another. I’ve read codex entries that have brought me to tears, and others that have made me laugh, or made me angry on behalf of my beloved characters. There’s a lot to work through, and while the series is fantasy action-adventure at its core, it’s also thoroughly riddled with mysteries to solve.
Inquisition’s characters are its heart, or at least, they could have been. When I first played the game, I was left feeling like there was something missing. I poured hours into detailing my Inquisitor, making up stories about his faith, and his relationship with his horse, and how he feels about being an elf leading a largely human Inquisition. But at the end of the game, Lavellan simply defeated his arch-enemy, Corypheus, with little to-do, and without a proper sending off from his friends and comrades. There were no emotional cut scenes, no sense that any of it was truly difficult. The Inquisitor seemed to have breezed his way to victory. This is, to say the least, a departure from previous Dragon Age games, and from BioWare storylines in general.
The whole thing left me feeling vaguely uncomfortable, at best. And I suspected that this was intentional. I mean, why else would you call your game “The Inquisition,” if not to evoke conflicted feelings? Inquisitor isn’t a title the good guys usually adopt. Throughout Dragon Age: Inquisition, your conversations are peppered with warnings and implications that your Inquisitor should be very, very careful with their power. What will you do once Corypheus is defeated? What legacy will your Inquisition leave the world with?
None of that is brought to bear in the main game, disappointingly. There are mysteries, but few answers. There are many beloved characters, but no resolutions for them. There are dangerous undertones throughout, but nothing comes back to bite you. And the final blow is a post-credits cut scene revealing that one of the founding members of the Inquisition, the elf Solas, has betrayed you; he is the Dread Wolf. The brief scene shows little in the way of what this means. It’s a cliffhanger that ends up being the most exciting part about the end of the game. Not to sound too harsh-like I said, I adore Dragon Age: Inquisition-but I came away from the experience feeling like I’d played 100+ hours of setup, with no conclusion. Trespasser is that conclusion.
The Trespasser DLC is set two years post-game, at a convening of political forces at Halamshiral, the Winter Palace in Orlais. The Inquisition has done well for itself, as have your companions, but not everybody is happy about it. Some in this Exalted Council would see you disband, while others would have you under their finger. There’s a great sense of unease about the gathering, despite the pleasant atmosphere and reunions with old friends.
Speaking of old friends, the cut scenes and resolutions for those characters we were looking for? All here. Well, as much as they can be for a series that isn’t yet complete. We see character growth in only a few exchanges, paths unfolding for them that we may or may not be privy to as players, but that doesn’t make the future for them less meaningful. And some will surely be returning in Dragon Age 4, perhaps not as friends at all.
The main elements at work in Trespasser are the Qunari’s mysterious movements, Solas’ deceit, and the Exalted Council. And then, because of course, the anchor on the Inquisitor’s hand-the mark that has given them power over fade rifts-is inflicting pain. Perhaps death. It’s a lot to contend with; in some ways more than Corypheus himself. Where Corypheus was easy, both in terms of gameplay and in terms of story, Trespasser is not. We knew Corypheus was evil, we knew he had to die. With Trespasser, the Inquisitor is facing deception, betrayal, the morality of having too much power, and their own mortality. This is the kind of conflict that BioWare is known for, and that we were all grasping for during Inquisition. It happens quickly-it’s a DLC, after all-but it hits you hard.
In the trailer, the Inquisitor approaches Solas, now robed in fine armor we’re unused to seeing him in, and Solas says, turning, “I suspect you have questions.” That’s the understatement of the year. The exchange can go many different ways depending on how you’ve played the game, and how your Inquisitor’s relationship with Solas developed, but the meaning is clear. The Dread Wolf has plans, and whether he cares for the Inquisitor or not (and he may care very much for the Inquisitor) you won’t get in his way. Hello, Dragon Age 4.
While the main game of Dragon Age: Inquisition ended on a triumphant note, it was an empty victory. It was-dare I say-a boring victory. Trespasser ends on one of both hope and despair. It’s truly an ending. And it feels so much more alive.
Reviews Around the Web
IGN, Meghan Sullivan - 7/10
The idea behind Trespasser is to provide closure for the Dragon Age: Inquisition saga after the big event that takes place at the end of the main game, and for the most part it does so successfully. In some ways, it’s modest. This final seven hours of story DLC doesn’t offer exciting loot to collect or huge environments to explore, but the story and combat left me feeling satisfied with the way things turned out for my Inquisitor and her merry band of adventures.
iDigitalTimes, Zulai Serrano - 4/5
Trespasser is a bittersweet way to end the series. BioWare has announced it is the final DLC and with it comes the answers your Inquisitor’s been searching for like why the mark was created, where is Solas and what’s next for the Inquisition…If you only buy one Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC, let it be Trespasser.
Hardcore Gamer, Stacey Johnson - 4/5
A common complaint about previous Inquisition DLC was that it didn’t add anything to the main story, that it had no consequence. Not so here, where consequences abound. Whether it’s the consequences of a companion’s personal quest, or the fate of the Inquisition itself, it all matters. Trespasser goes a long way to prove that Bioware really does listen to what fans have to say without feeling like it’s pandering.