Hey folks, Fenrir here with some exciting news! So hold on to your ugly mage hats because there’s been a lot of buzz about Dragon Age: Inquisition, the third installment in Bioware’s ever-popular Dragon Age series! Originally scheduled to release this fall, the team at Bioware is instead pushing the release for next year–and with the latest info released at PAX this weekend, there’s plenty of good reason to wait another year.
From playable Qunari characters (SAY WHAT), dodge-rolling action, impressive graphics, an expansive overworld–oh and plenty of ugly hats for everyone–Inquisition is growing into a pretty ambitious project. So let’s get down to business and try to summarize all the cool, new buzz in store for fans of all things Thedas.
The creative team at Bioware is certainly going all out on this latest project, which has so far garnered positive response from fans–even those disgruntled ones who might have been disappointed in Dragon Age II (although, as a fan of DAII this is a debate for another day). Instead, Inquisition seems to be taking many of the beloved cues from Dragon Age: Origins, including bringing back the game’s unique character customization and a more “open” world to work with. You won’t have to slum through set maps in DAII and have to revisit the same old Kirkwall areas for new quests. Instead, there’s an expansive overworld to explore that is intended to give players more freedom.
Speaking of freedom, as I mentioned before, Inquisition is bringing back character customization and fans of Origins will be pleased to know race options are available once again. And this time, they’re including the Qunari, with new concept images featuring a female Qunari Inquisitor. It’s a pretty good move in my opinion, and definitely is bringing back the charm that made me pick up the series in the first place.
Arguably, Bioware is very much concerned with listening to fans’ complaints and not only cater to them in Inquisition, but are also working on expanding on them. For instance, fans may have been disappointed in DAII’s wonky combat system but will perhaps be pleased to know that Inquisition will allow players to command their party through a top-down tactical view, which was originally only featured in the PC version of Origins. You can of course switch between this perspective and the expected third-person-over-the-shoulder view, but this option is a much needed boon for players who want to strategize.
After all, as the Inquisitor, players will actually be in charge of armies and keeps. The prospect of controlling armies at a time and dealing with enemy armies is exciting and could definitely benefit from another perspective. Unlike the previous roles of Gray Warden or Champion, the Inquisitor seems to have a wider range of power and influence and is tasked to organize a fighting force to combat the hoards of darkspawn/demons that ravage Thedas thanks to a convenient rift in the Veil. And the Inquisitor might perhaps pass judgment over the ever-going game of Mages vs. Templars that came to a head in DAII, but well, we’ll leave plot speculation behind for today.
Overall, the recently released demo at PAX seems to have garnered positive reviews, and as a fan of the series I am quietly hoping for the best. Matt Rhodes’s impressive concept art certainly makes the game look quite promising, and the return of some of Origins’ more beloved features and a few old friends ranging from everyone’s favorite
unreliable narrator, Varric, to the mysterious (but much appreciated) return of Morrigan. And, as a sucker for RPGs and the story behind them, I am quite interested to see where Inquisition takes Thedas.
Whether you liked it or loathed it, DAII set a precedent for Mage and Templar relations that–based on your ending–seems to have the whole world in an uproar. Throw in a torn Veil–a barrier between the corporeal world and the demon-infested Fade–and some beautiful CG dragons and it can only mean that you, as the Inquisitor, will have a lot of cleaning up to do.
And if story is your Thing when it comes to these games, another rather ambitious addition in preparation for Inquisition is the release of Dragon Age: Keep, which is now accepting beta testers! Keep is Bioware’s answer for the issue of porting saved information for Inquisition; through Keep players can recreate the choices made in Origins and DAII to help shape the background world for their run of Inquisition. Of course the consequences of your previous games will affect the state of the world in Inquisition–everything from who’s in charge of Fereldan, whether you let a certain apostate live to see another day, or who you romanced (you know, the important things). This gives each player an exciting, personal experience if they so wish and is–in my humble opinion–an ambitious approach to the game’s narrative that harkens back, in a way, to Origins and its commitment to letting you, the player, decide on just about everything and make the story essentially yours.
So Inquisition seems to be a very, very ambitious project–one that could very much be Bioware’s biggest game yet! So keep holding onto those ugly hats–there’s plenty more in-store for players to don their heroes with–and be on the look-out for more info on the upcoming inquisition (that no one is expecting, really, hem hem).
PS, here’s some in-game footage of some wildlife that may be exciting for those of you a little tired of DAII’s blocky graphics: