Dragon Age The Last Court Review (PC)


Independent video-game developers Failbetter Games has brought fans of the Dragon Age franchise, Dragon Age :The Last Court, the interquel to Dragon Age II and Dragon Age inquisition released on the 7th of November 2014 through the Dragon Age Keep Tool in the menu tab to the top-left of the screen or via the link and is available only in English.

The Backdrop

Dragon Age The Last Court is a text-based browser game free-to-play on smartphone, tablet or PC in which you play the  Marquis of Serault, a marquisette located in the outskirts Orlais. As the leader of Serault, your aim is to restore the eccentric state to it’s original glory, one that was tarnished by your ancestor known only as The Shame of Serault. As you guide the troubled region you manage affairs of the court, making decisions that will affect the player, the region and it’s relations with the wider world.


The Last Court is a text-based online resource management card game in which the player will play as either The Scholar or The Huntress, the choice affecting the attributes the player’s character will have. You will be asked to make decisions and accept challenges in the form of events that will shape the story and your progress. The harder the challenge, the better the player’s attributes will increase in special challenges within each challenge. The odds of success depend on the characters attributes, like the Leadership, Derring-Do and Prosperity, and the state of the realm, like the Peril and Twilight attributes. Success also depends on resources you will gather in completing challenges, which you accept through a card-game section of the gameplay, using Actions which are like turns of which you have 20 and refresh in real-time as well as other resources such as Secrets, Clues, Authority and Favors from other characters. The aim of the game is to gather Secrets, Viands and Trophies.  You will also recruit companions along the way that fall into the categories of Lover, Counsellor, Accomplice and Bodyguard each with their own cost and advantages. The RPG elements do lend the game a factor of progress that makes the player wand to build their character and see the game through to it’s outcome. The narrative aspect is also enforced by the choices you can make, similar to the Dragon Age franchise.



The interface has a header, sidebar and main board that have their own functions. The header contains the name and an image pertaining to the character’s current location. The sidebar is located to the left of the screen and has information pertaining to the character such as the avatar, attributes, resources, circumstance, story and action. The games actions occur mostly on the main board and is located in the larger section of the screen to the left. Here the player can make their choices, accept challenges and play the card game that The Last Court is built around. The cards are illustrated with portraits of the characters that play a role in them like the Smiling Guildmistress and the Silent Hunter in a style similar to the character portraits of Dragon Age characters. You will mostly be scrolling up and down to view available options in challenges and using your mouse cursor to select options. The interface is intuitive and seamless, but the feeling and atmosphere is bland. I had expected rich architecture and decorations that one would expect to find in the State of Orlais. In this respect, Failbetter’s artistic department disappointed.


The Characters

The characters that the player will be able to interact with in Serault include and array of personalities including Serault subjects and dignitaries from other marquisates. In the game you encounter you also encounter a character that players familiar with the Dragon Age franchise may be familiar with. Sorry but I won’t be giving out any hint’s. These characters include an ever smiling gulidmistress in charge of the glassworks and a silent hunter who demands an audience without saying a word, as eccentric as we’ve come to expect from Orlaisians.Each character plays their own roles in the players party and contribute in their own ways to the  player’s attributes. The characters aren’t well written, but I wouldn’t  expect better from an independent developer the size of Failbetter Games. That said though I did expect better, the characters seemingly just tagging along for the sake of just being there.


The Verdict of the Court


In the end, after hour’s of playing through what felt like years of dragged out storytelling I have to say I was unimpressed by Dragon Age: The Last Court. A true Dragon Age fan might enjoy delving into Orlaisian politics but from a true Dragon Age fan in myself, who admittedly doesn’t like card games but has a soft spot for text-based games, The Last Court is hopefully the last of it’s kind in the Dragon Age series. Hopefully I don’t have to expect anything similar for the Mass Effect series. And as much as I somewhat enjoyed Failbetter Games other products they stay true to their name on this outing. Bad Failbetter, bad. If you’d like to give it a look for yourself you can  through the Dragon Age Keep Tool or via the link but remember, I did try to warn you.



The Breakdown

Gameplay Experience
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