Keeper Of The Tapestry: The Shortcomings Of Dragon Age Keep

It’s November 18 and it’s a special day for all Dragon Age fans. And if you’re not a Dragon Age fan and have no idea what I’m talking about, then I’m surprised you’ve been able to steer clear of all the video game news bits leading up to this day. Dragon Age: Inquisition has finally been released in stores in North America and it’s literally like Christmas for the whole lot of us.

dakeepIn the days before Inquisition’s release, Bioware presented what’s known as Dragon Age Keep. When it was announced that there will be no importing of previous saves from Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2 onto Inquisition, The Keep was created for players to create a tapestry of their playthroughs or World State from the previous two games to be imported onto Inquisition. It may solve the disappointment of no imports of previous games’ decisions, but it’s not exactly without its own set of flaws.

I’ve played around with The Keep to make sure the decisions I’ve made in the previous games are exactly how I want them to be. Arranging the decisions made in Dragon Age: Origins required constructing that half of the tapestry by scratch. Dragon Age 2’s decisions were already sort of recorded and stored through a user’s  EA Origin account (which is required to use The Keep) and auto-created that game’s tapestry for you. Once everything is to your liking, there’s a neat feature where you can hit play and watch your tapestry come to life and the story of your Warden’s journey from Origins and your Hawke’s journey from DA 2 is narrated by none other than DA 2’s Varric (voiced by Brian Bloom).

While carefully rebuilding the stories of your Warden and Hawke will undoubtedly bring about a wave of nostalgia and a renewed fondness for the previous games, it will also inevitably remind you of how long it may have been since you’ve last played both games. When details about certain key decisions, big and small, become too fuzzy to remember, you’re in a lot of trouble.

Trying to remember if I had done the smaller side quests in both games has been damn near impossible to pull out of the dusty corners of my mind. I haven’t touched these games in like, what, three years? That’s a long time to remember smaller details from those games. Most bigger decisions such as, did my Warden live or die, who ultimately stayed with Hawke into the final battle, and a few other plotlines were much easier to recall. Things like, did I encounter this minor character or did my Warden or Alistair kill Loghain have been tough calls to make.

The tapestry found in Dragon Age Keep.
The tapestry found in Dragon Age Keep.

If you had time to replay both games before Inquisition came out, then reconstructing your tapestry for Origins and DA 2 is literally a piece of cake. If you’re like me and wish you had the time to replay both games before the third game came out, then you’re out of luck. You choose what you think was the best decision your Warden or Hawke could have made and then roll with it.

Even with the DA 2 import into the tapestry isn’t completely perfect. I remember looking over the details of the decisions I made for my Hawke, and for some reason there were some minor errors made in them that shouldn’t be there. For instance, my tapestry insisted I never recruited Isabella into my party when I actually did. Her staying with my Hawke until the end of the game is a whole other matter. It’s tiny discrepancies like this one that annoyed the hell out of me. It makes me wish there was a way to just import save files into Inquisition.

I’m a little reluctant to import this tapestry into my Inquisition game, being as imperfect as it is, but it’ll have to do. Hell, as long as they’ve got it straight that my rogue class noblewoman Warden lived happily ever after with Alistair and are ruling his kingdom side by side, then I’m a happy girl.

A fan of Dragon Age? What are your thoughts about The Keep? Love it, hate it, or don’t care?

5 thoughts on “Keeper Of The Tapestry: The Shortcomings Of Dragon Age Keep”

  1. I have mixed feeling about the Keep. It was great going back being reminded of all that happened in the previous games — quite something to see just how much I had forgotten! But it felt a little hollow as I just haven’t maintained much of a connection to either my Hawke from DA II or my rogue city elf from DA:O. (This as opposed to how much I loved my favorite Shepard from Mass Effect.) So I ended up guessing at some of the choices, especially with DA:O, because I simply couldn’t remember what I had done.

    While I might start Inquisition fresh, I think it’s awesome that Bioware put the Keep together for the fans. The lore of DA is such a huge draw, so having all its key elements in one place is immensely helpful, and it’s fun to watch as well!

    1. I do like the nostalgia factor The Keep provides and I have a stronger connection to my Warden than Hawke. However, because I’m a slight stickler for perfection, I kind of wanted any and all decisions I’ve made in the previous two games to be as accurate as possible. Not remembering everything and having to take an educated guess with the tapestry is a little frustrating.

      I wonder if there will be any reference to the previous games in Inquisition, like a mention about a certain decision or cameos from familiar faces, but time will tell as we keep playing Inquisition!

  2. I’m a fan of the Keep. I wasn’t able to perfectly reconstruct my previous games either, but I’m not seeing it as that big of a problem. On the contrary this kind of tie-in feature is the sort of thing I hope to see more of with future games. It’s excellent that not only can we recreate our own world state, but once we’ve played through Inquisition and get a feel for which decisions actually had noticeable impact, I’m looking forward to seeing how different alterations change the world since it’s so easy to set up now.

    That sharing feature is cool too, but the degree of coolness will depend on how dramatically the previous game decisions affect Inquisition.

    1. That’s one advantage I see with The Keep, especially if you have no time to go back and replay the previous two games, but want to see what the world of Inquisition would look like if a certain decision from say, Origins, was changed to something else.

      The Keep is serving its purpose and I’m honestly more engrossed with the story of my Inquisitor to notice too much about how my journeys with the Warden and Hawke are impacting this present period in the Dragon Age timeline!

      1. Same here. I haven’t gone through many plot points yet, so I haven’t seen what the potential effects are yet. There’s just so much ‘splorin to do and side missions to complete!

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