Dragon Age: Absolution Review: The first scene in Dragon Age: Absolution is a tavern brawl, as in all good fantasy stories. A mission is assigned to our colorful cast of D&D archetypes, who promptly screw it up horribly when given the chance. They’re about to go steal some fancy artefact from the bad guys in Tevinter, so the lone serious member of the group tells them to pack it in.
Early on in the game, Dragon Age: Absolution maintains this tempo, giving you a quick overview of both fantasy traditions and all the Dragon Age material you’ll need to know for Dreadwolf, whenever it hits. Although it’s a wonderful ride, it often feels too formulaic and is constrained by how close it is to the games (both Inquisition and Dreadwolf).
Dragon Age: Absolution Review
The largest fantasy trope was right there in front of you the entire time, but that is, until they find the artifact and you realize that you, the viewer, have been duped. The heist is merely a means of passage to our main subject, Miriam, and her experiences in Tevinter, which make up the bulk of the narrative. It’s a vehicle that, regrettably, takes a while to reach its target.
Miriam is a freed elven slave who now works as a bounty hunter. She doesn’t feel like the lead in the earlier episodes, despite being it. She seems to fit into the plot the least out of the five crew members fighting for your attention.
Her relationship with her girlfriend Hira isn’t as interesting as the program believes it is; rather than feeling like a natural partnership, it is hastily established and used as a justification for caring about their objective. Even if they are together, we still know nothing about them personally.
Other minor characters, like Hira, only become as compelling as the tale requires toward the conclusion, keeping with the typical Netflix pacing.
When Absolution is at its greatest, it’s not about the various secondary characters; rather, it’s about Miriam and Tevintan society, which is hidden by their prominence in the early episodes. These problems disappear as soon as we get started and start to develop our enemy, the real Absolution tale, and Miriam.
Our Tevintan adversary Rezaren allows us to see genuine, flaws and all, the portrayal of Tevinter that Dorian withheld from us in the Inquisition.
His plot admits that Tevintan magisters aren’t just nice or terrible people; they’re an order founded on the belief that elves are inferior beings and that enslavement is acceptable. Absolution examines how that would appear with Rezaren and Miriam and how people who claim to love their slaves are nevertheless blinded by the power they possess.
It enables a nuanced examination of what it means to be a Tevintan by delving into Tevinter’s shadowier corners and being open about how even its well-intentioned higher-ups will be perverted by its viewpoints. It presents individuals like Rezaren as they truly are.
He claims to love his family’s slaves, and by his society’s norms, perhaps he does. He is hesitant to acknowledge that by adhering to Tevintan norms his entire life, he is condoning the pain they endured. What makes him the worst slave master of all is that he never wants them to leave. He declines to look in the mirror that Miriam is holding out to him.
Absolution focuses on this particular instance of oppression in Tevinter in some of its best times. While a survivor, Miriam’s experiences will stick with you as you explore Tevinter in Dreadwolf. It’s inescapably dreadful in a way that we could only conceive before Absolution, from the magic to the abuse. This is presented to us in all of its ugliness through the story of Miriam and Rezaren.
The fact that we still have so many other characters to meet and two other games’ worth of backstories to explore is disheartening. Because one of the warriors in the group is humorous, we can’t really help but take a detour with them, and this wandering detracts from the better aspects of the program.
The cast feels like genuine people by the time all of the little stories have converged into one and not just the stereotypes we witnessed in that bar fight. I hope this isn’t the last time we see the gang because, by the time the closing titles appear, you’ve invested as much as the show wanted you to from the beginning.
If its sequel-baiting finale is any indication, it won’t be, but I worry that it might get caught up in Netflix’s habit of axing shows before they’ve had a chance to succeed. Absolution’s climax has a lot of potentials, at the very least. Miriam and the crew accomplished what they set out to do by introducing Tevinter. Give them a legitimate experience now.
But for what it is, Dragon Age: Absolution’s first season grows better the further we get from that clichéd bar fight. We get a terrific program in its own right rather than merely a passable link between Inquisition and Dreadwolf when it offers its characters something to work with and explores ideas that the games haven’t yet.
It’s a bumpy voyage that jumps the gun and doesn’t give its awkwardly handled array of people enough time to get to know them. However, towards the conclusion, we are left with a group of heroes who are prepared to lead another Dragon Age adventure, one that is not required to establish a more interesting or superior voyage.