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E3 2014: Dragon Age: Inquisition – Return of the RPG King
It’s hardly a surprise to some but after the its latest showing at E3, Dragon Age: Inquisition is shaping up to be one of the most exciting games of this year. The third entry in the fantasy RPG series is looking to be a genuinely massive affair that’ll learn from the mistakes of the second game and bring back the epic tone and scope of the first.
New Faces, New Places
Just like their Polish competitors, CD Projekt Red, Inquisition will be the first entry in the series to take things open world. Dragon Age 2 was condensed in scale compared to the first game in the series but Dragon Age: Inquisition is going far beyond anything Bioware has ever released. The game will break from the series usual tradition of restricting things to a single region of Dragon Age’s expansive universe by offering players an enormous and seamless open world that claims to be between four and five times the size of the first game.
Although Inquisition is set to break from tradition by bringing an open world into the mix, it’s planning to draw back old fans by bringing fan favorites like Varric, Morrigan and Leliana back into the mix. Inquisition is also going to offer up a handful of fascinating new characters to the cast including a Tal-Vashoth mercenary and an Orlesian mage.
That might sound like gibberish to those unfamiliar with the series lore but given Bioware’s track record when it comes to side characters, I’m excited to see what they bring to the table with Inquisition.
Bound by Blood
Dragon Age 2 had more than its fair share of problems but one of the few additions it made that fans heartily approved of was its streamlined combat. With Inquisition, Bioware are planning to build off these improvements while layering back in the complexity and customization that they left behind in Origins. Players will be able to customize their weapons, armor and skills. Bioware will even be bringing back the ability to let players customize the armor of their companions – a feature that they’ve been demanding for years now.
While Bioware has no plans to ship with mod support, they do intend to build a compelling end-game that’ll engage hardcore players long past the end of Inquisition’s 50 hour campaign. Previous entries have often relegated dragons to boss battles but in Inquisition, these apex predators will roam the land, Skyrim-style. Players will need to target and damage individual limbs to bring down these titular monsters and once they do, they’ll be rewarded with some high-end crafting materials and loot.
Not What You Expect
Inquisition will be the first in the series that’ll run on DICE’s Frostbite engine and if early trailers are any indication, it’s going to bring the fantasy world to life in a whole new way – particularly where lighting and fire effects are concerned. In addition, the game’s also going to boast a new look that falls somewhere between the stylized visuals of the second game and pseudo-realistic aesthetic of the first.
On top of this feast of visual improvements, Inquisition will be expanding on the leadership mechanics that previously installments have only scratched the surface of. As the leader of the inquisition, players will be able to impact the game world by conquering settlements and negotiating alliances with the various factions of the world. Decisions made in this new layer of the world will give players access to new areas and quests and if it all comes together it could mean big things for not just Inquisition but the future of Bioware titles.
While The Witcher 3 is just around the corner, Bioware’s Polish counterpart certainly has their work cut out for them if they want to top Inquisition. Skyrim laid down the gauntlet for lengthy open-world singleplayer RPGs in 2011 and three years later, Inquisition is Bioware’s answer.