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Dragon Age: Inquisition Offers a Grander World, Better Combat

by Eric Frederiksen | June 12, 2014June 12, 2014 3:30 pm PST

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If you watched EA’s press conference on Monday, you might be worried they didn’t have much to show us when we went to check out Dragon Age: Inquisition today. That’s far from the truth, however.

BioWare had plenty to show, with roughly half an hour of gameplay depicting a few different spots throughout the game.

First and most importantly, the game looks just as good in motion as it does in screenshots. The part of the gameworld we saw was vibrant and full of life with green and red foliage. This one part of the world was, according to Executive Producer Mark Darrah, bigger than the entirety of Dragon Age: Origins – “If you can see it, you can travel there,” he said, pulling out a phrase many developers have been using lately.

You can walk your way through the quest, classic Dragon Age style, but the player running the demo decided instead to hop on a horse, something new to the Dragon Age series. And while Darrah didn’t give any specifics, he said there will be more “exotic” mounts as well. I’m hoping for a Battle Cat.

Combat is a much grander affair as well. It combines and iterates on the best parts of Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2. You can pull out for an overhead strategic view, or you can take direct control of one character, closer to Dragon Age 2‘s more action-heavy take. Pausing to plan is an appealing strategy, and you can give your party more detailed commands to execute a detailed attack.

Dragons will finally figure prominently into Dragon Age, and they show off the more impressive size differences between player and enemy we’ll see this time around. Dragons felt kind of small in previous entries but the one we got a look at had legs as big as your party members. Each of those legs is independently attackable as well, and taking out a couple legs will give you a strategic advantage over the dragon, allowing you to do some massive damage.

Decisions, as always, will play a big role in Dragon Age. Depending on how you handle situations, areas may no longer be accessible or may be drastically changed. Party members may not be as willing to listen to you as they might be otherwise and could complicate an already complex situation.

I’ll admit I’ve been nervous about a new Dragon Age game for a while after how burned I felt by Dragon Age 2. Dragon Age: Inquisition, though, already feels like it’s shown me more in the world and combat departments than the previous game had all together. If they can nail the story, too, this is going to be one of the better games this fall.

Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...

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