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Dragon Age Keep: Shape Your Perfect Lore
In the gaming field, cloud computing has met with mixed results. While the joy of having cross-system autosaves and an account tied to your log of games once bailed me out of a tragic computer crash, the Xbox One’s overeager attempts at entirely embracing the field drove a violent rift between gamers.
Bioware, however, may have just done it very, very right.
Their latest chapter in the Dragon Age saga, Inquisition, is a next-gen project. While PC gamers with the previous games can float smoothly into the newest upon release, console players will find themselves making the awkward switch across systems, leaving their savegames from Origins/Awakening and Dragon Age II: Kirkwall is Repetitive high and dry.
In an effort to combat this, the devs have announced Dragon Age Keep. The application lives in the stratosphere of the cloud and will allow anyone, Grey Warden veterans or franchise newcomers, to manually shape the decisions that are made over the previous games leading into Inquisition.
“Within the Keep, you’ll be able to customize as much or as little about the world of Thedas as you wish,” states the official release from Executive Producer Mark Darrah. “Then you’ll be able to import your saved world state into DAI at the start of a new game. Have you lost or corrupted your save files? No problem — remake your world state on the Keep, and preserve it for the future. For those folks new to the Dragon Age franchise, the Keep will serve as a great way to understand the people, places, and events that shaped the world leading up to DAI.”
As I mentioned, I ran into a horrible, horrible period of time where I lost all data on my computer, and had to reinstall all of my games (goodbye, 220+ hours of Skyrim). In some scattered examples, the cloud saved my miserable hide, pulling up savegames from a handful of Steam games. But my experiences across all of Bioware’s excellent titles were lost. Commander Shepard had yet to pick a color to save the world, and The Warden was still taint-free.
Dragon Age: Origins is possibly my favorite game of all time. But to be entirely honest, the prospect of logging another 60-80 hours into what I had crafted previously into a perfect playthrough of Origins (and the follow-up expansion of Awakening) was daunting. I’m both a completionist and a canon wonk, wanting to keep my character’s legacy as perfect as possible going into the next game in the series. Thankfully, it seems like Keep will allow me to do exactly this.
Plus, as an intriguing flipside, this potentially allows the creation of entirely new situations in the world lore. What if you had taken another team of characters into this fight? What if you had played the entire time as a different race? What if you approached Dragon Age II as a total jerkwad templar-loving anti-mage zealot? These scenarios can now be written into the universe, and we can see how they would shape the upcoming adventures that await us in the upcoming adventure.
Dragon Age Keep is available for open beta, and is slated for a 2014 release a few months ahead of Inquisition.