Reviewing games can be a blast when we're lucky enough to play something we're really excited about, but it also exposes us to all sorts of bugs that never should have seen the light of day. Thus was the case when during our review process for Dragon Age: Inquisition.
As mentioned in our full review, we ran into some major problems with the PlayStation 4 version of Inquisition. Namely, the game would frequently freeze — at least once every few hours — and would generally lock up the entire PS4 as a result. The only way we could get it rebooted was to unplug the system or to hold down the power button for around 12 seconds.
While most of the crashes only briefly impeded progress, a few led to corrupted save files. We were able to salvage the game by deleting the one specific corrupted file, but it was always nerve-wracking to run into trouble loading a 40-hour-plus saved game.
After initially reporting these issues to Electronic Arts, a representative for the company reported back that the crashes were not actually caused by Dragon Age: Inquisition. Rather, they're apparently a side effect of Sony's PlayStation Network 2.0 firmware, which also recently affected the Evolve beta as well as the PS4's Rest Mode. That latter problem was apparently fixed by the 2.01 update last week, but the issue with Dragon Age: Inquisition remains.
After speaking with Sony, a representative for EA informed Polygon that the problem had been located, and an official PSN patch is being prepared for release prior to Dragon Age: Inquisition's Nov. 18 release date.
Sony (through the same EA representative) offered to send Polygon a pre-2.0 PlayStation 4, but we turned down the offer since it's unlikely that any consumers would be playing the game on similarly unpatched hardware. However, later in the review process, Sony offered to send a PlayStation 4 containing an early version of the post-2.01 patch. We agreed to this to see if it made a difference.
The good news is: It did! We spent our last 15 or so hours with Dragon Age: Inquisition on a PS4 with the unreleased new firmware, and in that time we experienced no crashes.
Sony updated PlayStation Network to version 2.02 shortly before our review (and this story) went live. It's unclear if this is the patch that will fix the crashing problem on Dragon Age: Inquisition, but we will be testing it in the coming days.
BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn provided the following comment to Polygon: "While unfortunate timing, we worked with Sony since the issue was discovered and are committed to ensuring it does not impact players by launch."
If all goes as planned, most of you reading this will never run into this bug, even if you play Inquisition on the PS4. For the time being, though, Polygon has chosen to withhold its score for the PlayStation 4 version to see if and when the patch shows up and make sure no new problems pop up. Stay tuned.