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Will Dragon Age: Inquisition Revive The Series?
It’s no secret that I love the Dragon Age series by Bioware. Dragon Age: Origins, for me, was one of the best console RPG’s ever. BioWare and EA finally confirmed (amid many rumours and whispers and artwork leaks beforehand) at E3 that Dragon Age: Inquisition was finally on its way. Cue many cheers from fans of the series. Even bigger cheers, of course, when the trailer happened to show some returning characters, most notably the icy Morrigan, the sultry witch of the wilds from Dragon Age: Origins.
But don’t expect to be getting your hands on the game any time soon. In fact, fans have to wait until fall of 2014 to play the next installment. But this can only be a good thing … right?
The turnover between Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II was a mere 17 months. That isn’t a long time by anyone’s standards to develop a sequel to such a critically acclaimed RPG.
I’m going to play devils advocate here and say that Dragon Age II was not that bad of a game. Many people will disagree with me, of course. The story, I feel, was quite a strong point for the game. It had a slowly boiling tension that blew up in Act III.
It had some quite well developed characters, and yet it never reached the heights of Dragon Age: Origins.
However, it felt very much like an “Inbetween” game. It was kind of like someone telling you “This is the middle part of the story. Enjoy this for now, we have a much bigger story coming, but for now you can have this”.
Two of the biggest critisisms of course were about the environments and the combat. In terms of environments, it was basically all recycled dungeons and playing through exactly the same areas over and over. The game city of Kirkwall and its surrounding environments felt painfully restrictive. I can see what they were going for though – they meant it to feel a little claustrophobic. Having one city to play in would give the player a sense of familiarity. However, as this game showed; familiarity breeds contempt. There were some plot points that were obviously meant to be poignant, but to me at least, most of them fell flat on their face because it all felt like a little bit of a rush job.
The combat in Dragon Age II had taken out most of the tactical elements from Dragon Age: Origins, and basically made the game into a button mashing action game, fighting wise. You didn’t really need to strategise, it was basically a matter of hacking or blasting through waves of enemies and after killing wave after wave of bandits or templars or mages, this could get a little bit tiresome.
A lot of the fans did not like Dragon Age II. The reviews weren’t as kind as they were for Dragon Age: Origins, and I think that Bioware have learned from their mistakes. They seem to have listened to fan feedback in regards to Inquisition, and the longer development time is clearly shaping the game up well.
I have seen many interviews and articles regarding Dragon Age: Inquisition, and of everything that I am seeing, it seems to be shaping up to be everything Dragon Age II wasn’t. Larger and more open environments, they are apparently making the combat a blend of the combat from the first two games, mounts, the opportunity to build up your own team complete with a castle, and, of course, of everything that I am hearing of the story, it is shaping up to be a deep and involving storyline.
I think fans of the Dragon Age series have a lot to look forward to with regards to the next installment, and hopefully it will take away the slightly bad taste that Dragon Age II left in our mouths.
Waiting another year to find out what happens next in Thedas between the mages and the templars may not be the easiest of waits for the fans, but rest assured that of everything that it surfacing about the game, it looks like we will be rewarded for