Dragon Age: Inquisition

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Dragon Age: Inquisition
Dragon Age Inquisition BoxArt.jpg
Developer(s) BioWare
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Composer(s) Trevor Morris[1]
Series Dragon Age
Engine Frostbite 3[2] with SpeedTree[3]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4
Xbox 360
Xbox One
Release date(s) NA November 18, 2014[4][5]
EU 20141121November 21, 2014
Genre(s) Action role-playing[6]
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Optical disc, download

Dragon Age: Inquisition is an upcoming action role-playing video game[6] developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts.[7][8] It is a sequel to Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II, making it the third major game in the Dragon Age franchise.[7][9]

Gameplay[edit]

Bioware is planning on fusing elements of both earlier games in the series, Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II, into the creation of Dragon Age: Inquisition.[7] The game will feature larger environments with much more opportunity for exploration.[citation needed]

Bioware has confirmed that multiple playable races are returning, both male and female. Players can play as a human, dwarf, or elf just like in Dragon Age: Origins. Additionally, Qunari are also playable.[10]

However, combat is expected to differ somewhat from its predecessors and focus more on a player's ability to prepare, position, and form a cohesive team with his or her party members,[11] requiring fewer repetitive finger strikes but better thinking.[11] Tactical view also returns for all five platforms in Dragon Age: Inquisition[citation needed], whereas before it was exclusive to PC in Dragon Age: Origins, and which was removed in Dragon Age II.

The romance aspect of the game has been overhauled. As opposed to BioWare's previous gift and dialogue based system, romance will occur in reaction to events and variables specific to each character, which will end with "mature and tasteful" sex scenes.[12][13]

Developers vowed to their fans that, compared to its predecessors, the decisions they made throughout the series will have a greater impact on the story and that the player will be given more control over their gaming experience.[14]

Customization is said to be expanded in the next game.[15] The developers addressed mainly how equipment would be handled with party members. They described a situation in which the player found a breastplate and decided to give it to a party member; depending upon which party member received it, the breastplate would automatically adjust its shape and aesthetics in order to fit that particular character while still maintaining his or her identity. It was also hinted that armor customization will go as far as altering its color and pattern.[16] Players will also be able to customize their keeps which will be able to be customized for espionage, commerce or military might depending on the type of keep the player has chosen. The player will also be given a series of options to affect the area around the keep, such as building statues or capping vents. The player, though, will apparently not have enough resources for all the options available, as the Inquisition's resources are limited.[17]

Laidlaw confirmed that some ability will likely exist for players to import their save files from the first two games into Dragon Age: Inquisition "to shore up world consistency".[18]

Ray Muzyka, BioWare's former CEO, said in an interview with Wired.com that Dragon Age: Inquisition would be influenced by more open world games, such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which BioWare is "checking out aggressively."[19] Also, the developers promised their fans that they will no longer reuse environments, which was considered a main issue in Dragon Age II.[16] Regarding the more open-world nature of the game, BioWare has stated that while they looked to Skyrim for inspiration, it will not be quite that open.

Players will be able to gain influence in areas of the world by capturing keeps or forts. This is achieved by defeating the occupants of the keep or fort. Once the Inquisition has a base in the area, new areas, if applicable, will open up and become available to the player. These areas may have been blocked before, such as by a hazardous gas. By opening up such areas players will not only be able to explore the whole of an area but will also be able to visit previously unreachable locations and side quests.[17]

Inquisition will also feature two forms of combat system. The first is reminiscent of that which is found in most action-RPG's, including Dragon Age II. This system is action oriented and follows the player in a typical over-the-shoulder third person style. The second is closer to that of an old RPG, including Dragon Age: Origins. This combat system allows players to pause the game, assign locations and orders to the characters in their group and then resume the game to see it played out. During the use of this second more strategic combat system, the camera will be closer to that of a top down view, instead of the usual over-the-shoulder third person style of the action based combat system. This combat system is named Tactical View and also allows for the placing of traps while the game is paused.[17]

Player choice is said to play a large role in Inquisition because players control the leader of the Inquisition, the Inquisitor. This means that choices made by the player may close quests and whole areas off. One such example would be the destruction of a village, which means that while this area can still be reached, no associated content for that area can be accessed. This works both ways, though, as areas previously unreachable can be reached, via capturing forts or keeps.[17]

Inquisition possesses a Skyrim-esque style compass bar across the top of the HUD. This navigation bar marks both discovered, visited locations and those that are yet to be found. Undiscovered locations appear with a "?" on the navigation bar.[17]

Players are able to take control of any member of their party during battle and use each characters special abilities to aid them against particular types of enemies in battle.[17]

As the Inquisitor, players also decide how to deploy agents and troops of the Inquisition. This includes withdrawing from attacks by enemies.[17]

The game features some destructibility, as players being able to destroy wooden bridges to help dispatch enemies quicker, gates, crates, etc.[17] The various regions that make up the game world do not scale in level. They have a fixed level, which means players can be either too weak or strong for the enemies found in that region.[17]

Synopsis[edit]

Setting[edit]

Dragon Age: Inquisition will be set in the continent of Thedas, the fantasy world in which the two previous games are set. The game will cover more geographic territory than its predecessors, with one map being described as four to five times the size of Ferelden, the setting of the first game in the series.[11] The developers said that the next game would likely be somewhere more "French", which fans recognize as the land of Orlais.[16] Following the events described in the supplementary novels Dragon Age: Asunder and The Masked Empire, a civil war between the loyalists of the ruling Empress and a powerful noble faction led by her cousin, Grand Duke Gaspard, broke out in Orlais. Simultaneously, the Circle of Magi has gone rogue, in part due to the events of Dragon Age II, and the Templar Order seceded from the Chantry to wage their own civil war on the mages.

The area traversable in Inquisition is much larger than both Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II, and is said to cover two countries and the land between. The countries are: Ferelden (setting of Dragon Age: Origins) and Orlais, with a land known as the Dales located within.[17]

Plot[edit]

Creative Director Mike Laidlaw confirmed that the overall plot of Dragon Age: Inquisition will be "saving the world from itself." The story in Dragon Age: Inquisition will be much more open-ended[citation needed] in contrast to its previous games, where the stories were more linear.[citation needed] It will primarily involve an all-out civil war between mages and templars, the foundations of which comprise the main plot of Dragon Age II.

According to Dragon Age writer David Gaider, the story of the first game's Warden "is over" and the story of Hawke, the second game's protagonist, would be finished through future Dragon Age II downloadable content, though BioWare has since announced an end to future Dragon Age II content. Therefore, like the previous games, Dragon Age: Inquisition will showcase a new protagonist.[11] It has been confirmed that the character will be fully voiced and that the dialogue wheel from Dragon Age II will return.[20] However, in a Twitter post, BioWare employee Mike Laidlaw mentioned that playing as a different character "does not mean your old character may never appear in future games," which could indicate that the player may be able to meet their original protagonists.[18]

In his open letter to the BioWare community, executive producer Mike Darrah said, "We won't be talking about the story of the game today. Though you can make some guesses from the title."[21]

On July 20, Gaider suggested that Morrigan's child (whose existence depends on the player's choices in Dragon Age: Origins) would "have more than a passing reference" in the plot of the upcoming game.[22]

On July 1st, it was announced that it would feature one of the first fully playable gay males in BioWare's history: a mage named Dorian. It was described by David Gaider (writer of the game) that creating Dorian was a "very personal experience". Here's a quote from the article: [23]

"Dorian is an outcast—by choice, but only insofar as he chose not to live according to the expectations of his society. There are a lot of aspects to that which I enjoyed exploring, and which I haven't had to chance to do with other characters."

Players take on the role of the Inquisitor and lead the forces of the Inquisition. As the leader of the Inquisition, players can make choices and decisions, such as choosing to post forces in an area by capturing forts or keeps. Once captured, new sections of an area can become available allowing greater exploration, new quests and rewards.[17] One group which the Inquisitor and the Inquisition face is the Red Templars, another is Venatori.[17]

Development[edit]

Dragon Age: Inquisition was first informally announced on Twitter,[9] on May 19, 2011, by BioWare's Creative Lead Alistair McNally.[9]

On March 19, 2012, nearly two weeks after BioWare released Mass Effect 3, Creative Director Mike Laidlaw tweeted that they were finished working on content for Dragon Age II. Executive Producer Mark Darrah mentioned that BioWare originally had plans for an expansion pack, entitled "Exalted March", to mark the first anniversary of Dragon Age II but canceled it in favor of developing other opportunities for the series. Although Dragon Age: Inquisition had not been officially announced, Darrah asked fans to give feedback on what they would like to see in future Dragon Age installments.[24]

Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter speculated that Dragon Age: Inquisition would be released some time in 2014. The title was believed to be scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of 2013, but Pachter suggested it had been delayed so BioWare and video game publisher Electronic Arts could fix problems and create new content for Star Wars: The Old Republic and Mass Effect 3.[25][26] However, many BioWare developers, such as Mary Kirby, claimed this was inaccurate, stating that "Dragon Age III's development will not be delayed by BioWare's other games."[27]

In September 2012, Mark Darrah, Dragon Age's executive producer, revealed in an open letter that Dragon Age III, titled Dragon Age III: Inquisition, was officially under development and had been since about eighteen months previous to the announcement.[21]

At E3 2013, it was announced along with the trailer that the game would debut "Fall 2014" and that the title would now be simply Dragon Age: Inquisition, dropping the "III".

On March 6, 2014, BioWare released a trailer for Dragon Age: Inquisition entitled Discover the Dragon Age, showcasing some of the landscapes that can be explored while playing the game.

On April 22, 2014, BioWare released a trailer for Dragon Age: Inquisition featuring gameplay from the game and confirming an October 7, 2014 release date.

On June 9, 2014 at E3 2014, BioWare released a third trailer for Dragon Age: Inquisition, entitled Lead Them or Fall, revealing more elements of the game's storyline.

On July 22, 2014, BioWare pushed back the game's release date to November 18, 2014.

Pre-release reception[edit]

Pre-release comments of Dragon Age: Inquisition have generally been positive. Kotaku writer Jason Schrier had very good first impressions, noting the game's apparent ambition and BioWare's ability to listen to fans.[28] GamesRadar listed the game as their second best shown at PAX 2013, commenting on its openness and combat.[29] John Walker of Rock, Paper, Shotgun was pleased to hear of the top-view camera coming back, though remained cautious; after playing the demo, he said he was "left optimistic, but uninformed."[30] Game Informer's Kimberley Wallace listed it as one of the most anticipated RPGs to be released in 2014, saying "Dragon Age: Inquisition has a lot to prove after BioWare received plenty of feedback from disappointed fans about Dragon Age II. However, if our cover trip was any indication, BioWare is up for the challenge."[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Greening, Chris (2014-04-23). "Game Release Calendar: Composer Assignments 2014". Game Music Online. Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  2. ^ Gaston, Martin (2013-03-28). "Next Mass Effect and Dragon Age games using Frostbite 3". GameSpot. Retrieved 2013-03-28. 
  3. ^ Meredith, Kevin (2013-11-22). "SpeedTree on the Frontlines of Next-Gen Gaming". SpeedTree. Retrieved 2014-01-23. 
  4. ^ Makuch, Eddie (2013-06-10). "Dragon Age: Inquisition delayed a year". GameSpot. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  5. ^ Futter, Mike (2014-04-22). "Dragon Age: Inquisition Release Date, Trailer, And Screenshots". GameInformer. Retrieved 2014-04-22. 
  6. ^ a b "Dragon Age Inquisition - Official Site". Retrieved 2013-08-21. "Explore a vast, fantasy world at the brink of catastrophe in Dragon Age™: Inquisition, a next-generation action RPG, where your choices shape and drive the experience." 
  7. ^ a b c "Muzyka: BioWare to throw previous Dragon Age games into a blender for next title". Joystiq. 2011-08-21. Retrieved 2011-09-04. 
  8. ^ "BioWare Announces Dragon Age 3: Inquisition". Electronic Arts. 2012-09-17. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  9. ^ a b c "Dragon Age 3 artists wanted, Bioware sr. director tweets". Joystiq. 2011-05-20. Retrieved 2011-09-04. 
  10. ^ Dawe, Matthew (2013-09-03). "Dragon Age: Inquisition features Qunari as a playable race". PSU.com. Retrieved 2013-09-10. 
  11. ^ a b c d "Bioware hints at the future of Dragon Age DLC and 3". Joystiq. 2011-08-31. Retrieved 2011-09-04. 
  12. ^ Dyce, Andrew (2013-08-29). "‘Dragon Age: Inquisition’ To Feature a New Take on Romance". Game Rant. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  13. ^ Makuch, Eddie (2013-10-14). "BioWare: Dragon Age Inquisition sex scenes will be "mature and tasteful"". Gamespot.com. Retrieved 2013-10-16. 
  14. ^ "BioWare: The Next Dragon Age Won't Reuse Levels, Will Have Decisions That Matter". GameTrailers. 2012-04-06. Retrieved 2012-04-07. 
  15. ^ "Chris Priestly's Twitter". Twitter. 2013-02-01. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  16. ^ a b c "BioWare and Dragon Age Panel: The Future of Dragon Age". Gameranx. 2012-04-07. Retrieved 2012-04-07. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "DigiExpo 2013 - Dragon Age: Inquisition Gameplay". YouTube. 2013-11-03. Retrieved 2014-01-23. 
  18. ^ a b "Dragon Age 3 will feature a new protagonist". BiowareFans.com. 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  19. ^ Schreier, Jason (2011-12-20). "BioWare: Next Dragon Age Will Draw From Skyrim". Wired.com. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  20. ^ "Skyrim is the Wrong Place to Look for Dragon Age III Inspiration". Kotaku. 2012-03-26. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  21. ^ a b "Dragon Age III: Inquisition announcement". Electronic Arts. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  22. ^ "Will the Morrigan child story be resolved in DA:I". BioWare Social Network. Retrieved 2013-08-14. 
  23. ^ http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/07/01/dragon-age-inquisition-to-feature-biowares-first-fully-gay-male
  24. ^ "BioWare Seeking Fan Feedback for Dragon Age 3". GameSpy. 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  25. ^ Brightman, James (2012-05-08). "Star Wars MMO pulling talent away from Dragon Age team?". GamesIndustry. Retrieved 2012-09-29. 
  26. ^ Smillie, C.J. (2012-05-09). "Analyst Says Dragon Age 3 Delayed to Focus on The Old Republic". Game Rant. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  27. ^ "Dragon Age III Delay?". BioWare Social. Retrieved 2012-08-14. 
  28. ^ Schreier, Jason (2013-08-31). "The Next Dragon Age Is Crazy Ambitious". Kotaku. Retrieved 2013-09-05. 
  29. ^ "The 10 best games of PAX 2013". GamesRadar. 2013-09-05. Retrieved 2013-09-05. 
  30. ^ Walker, John (2013-08-31). "Eyes On: Dragon Age – Inquisition". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 2013-09-05. 
  31. ^ Wallace, Kimberly (2014-01-03). "Kim's Anticipated RPGs For 2014". Game Informer. Retrieved 2014-06-23. 

External links[edit]