Kirkwall was the setting of Dragon Age II. It was a densely packed urban setting, with a lot of verticality. If I'm remembering it correctly, it was a built on top of mines, during the Tevinter Imperium this made it a major entrepot for slaves, with a lot of those trappings still present in it's design and aesthetic, giving it a very realized history of oppression and class conflict that played well into the overarching narrative of DA:II.
Considering how miserable mining was during the Roman Empire, the idea of what slave mines in a fantasy, blood-magocracy, Roman Empire is interesting.
And I also liked about DA:II that apart from a few short jaunts, inbetween acts, the game takes place in one setting, and over a long period of time, allowing for decisions and characters to develop over time.
The question is, how much was this intended and how much caused by short production times and cuts.