Dragon Age: Inquisition Preview

Posted on October 5, 2014 by
Dragon Age: Inquisition Preview

Inquisition is 2014’s most highly anticipated RPG of all time; setting the highest standard for RPG’s anywhere and is set to release November 18th. Inquisition is the third game in the Dragon Age video game franchise, as well as the largest, following after Dragon Age 2 and the highly praised Dragon Age Origins (does not include the Dragon Age iOS game).

The main story plot for Inquisition has been kept very hush, hush. What we know so far without spoiling a majority of the Dragon Age story, the Veil, the barrier that keeps the realm of the Fade and the World of Thedas separate, has torn asunder. The result casts a downpour of demons upon Thedas and the tear in the Veil continues to grow. From the trailer gameplay-The Inquisitor released on April 22, the Inquisitor is said to have appeared out of the Fade among a great tragedy and for an unrevealed reason, has been granted a unique power to close the tears in the Veil.

In the game, you the player are the Inquisitor, and it is up to you to lead the Inquisition and close the rifts raining demons, or to let them fall.

As far as customization and choices go, there is almost too much to cover. Bioware, the game developer, has brought the races of Thedas back to the table for players to choose from. Not only are there humans, dwarves, and elves to choose from as your Inquisitor, but a new race, the Qunari will be making its debut in the Inquisitor character customization. Each race is stylized, meaning tattoos, skin color, and body shape are all relative to the race the player decides to choose. For example, elf, dwarves, and human tattoos will not look the same, elves having a more proud “Dalish” look to them, while dwarf tattoos are looked down upon as casteless. Full body tattoos are not appearing in Inquisition due to the argument that your Inquisitor will (most likely) be in armor of some kind during the entire game. Qunari skin tones vary from neutral greys to earthen colors while humans are greatly varied in skin tone. Qunari customizable horns are available, but the hairstyles change with the horn style, and changing the horn size is not available. Scars will be appearing for the first time in the customizable screens as well as the specifics on where the scars are placed and their size. Beauty marks are not yet present, but on the Inquisition character creation Twitch live stream, Mike Laidlaw pointed out that it was a good idea. Instead of the standard sliders, a 2D square slider capable of changing your Inquisitor’s appearance from 360 degrees has been introduced and full scale color wheels have been implemented into the creation. Additionally, there are two voices actors to choose from for each gender, one an English accent and an American accent for players to choose from.

Each race, also based upon the fighting class a player selects, will have their own back story and designated race name. Only first names are customizable. For non-mages, a human Inquisitior is a Free Marcher noble, the elf is Dalish, the dwarf is a carta surfacer. Human and Elf mages will be from the circle, while all of the Qunari classes have a Tal’Vashoth (one who has turned from the way of the Qun) background. The human surname is Trevelyan, the elf surname is Lavellan, the dwarf surname is Cadash, and the Qunari surname is Adaar (surnames are regardless of gender and class).

Like the two previous Dragon Age games, you’ll receive plenty of companions to accompany you around the World of Thedas. Inquisition features the largest range of companions to date; 3 warrior based characters which feature the Qunari mercanary Iron Bull, the Grey Warden Blackwall, and the Seeker Cassandra (appearing in Dragon Age 2, and the movie “Dawn of the Seeker”). 3 rogues; The elf Sera, the surface dwarf and story teller Varric (a returning party member from Dragon Age 2), and the mysterious Spirit Cole (who debuted in the book “Dragon Age Asunder”). 3 mages; Dorian the Tevinter mage, Vivienne the Orlesian Circle mage, and Solas the Dalish elf. Each companion has a special quality or skill that they will bring to the Inquisition.

Each character has their own special back story which features how they involve themselves in the Inquisition. It is important to know that several of these characters it is possible not to recruit given the information so far, and depending on the actions of the Inquisition, the companions may leave the Inquisition.
As far as the traditional approval/disapproval rating present in the past two games, Bioware has taken out the meter indicating a companion’s approval rating of the Inquisitor. However, there will be an indicator letting the players know if a companion approves or disapproves of the Inquisitor’s actions.

As far as romancing companion’s, just like in real life, each companion has their own preferences in romance concerning both gender and race. Two romance options will not be companions, but will be the Inquisitor’s war advisors; Cullen, who appeared in both of the previous Dragon Age games as a side character, and more commonly as a Templar Knight only romancable for female human and elf Inquisitors. The other, Josephine, a new female character is interested in both genders. Other romancable characters include Iron bull which accepts boths genders and any races, Cassandra which accepts male Inquisitors only, Dorian accepts males only, Sera who accepts female romances only, Solas who accepts female elf only, and Blackwall who accepts females only.

As far as gameplay is concerned, Dragon Age continues with the branching upgrade system, and each companion is completely customizable as well. However, unlike Origins, Inquisition ability specializations are restricted, so for those who played as a Ranger, Assassin Duelist in Origins may only select one instead of specializing in all.
In addition to the normal third-person gameplay, a tactical camera has been introduced which will allow characters to strategically play instead of letting the chips fall where they may in combat. There is also a selection of speeding up combat time to see results instead of waiting for your characters to sluggishly move into place before unleashing an attack. The camera allows players to see enemy weaknesses and to scout out terrain to give players an advantage. Enemies do not level match to the Inquisitor and will have a set level the entire game that does not change.

Some of the achievements and trophies are game difficulty based and range from casual to nightmare mode. Friendly fire is a separate option from the gameplay difficulty. Also, while mana does regenerate after a while, health does not. Reviving fallen comrades will grant a small amount of health back, depending on the level of difficulty. Casual play trough’s more health is regained from revivals, while on harder difficulties, very little is gained. Inquisition no longer allows players to carry infinite amounts of health potions and injury kits, but restricts to a set amount which can be increased later as players progress through the game.

Power and experience are explicitly set apart from each other in Inquisition. Experience is what the Inquisitor and his or her companions gain from combat, while Power is the Inquisition’s overall level of influence in Thedas, but more on that later.
As far as crafting goes for potions and grenades, players must seek out resources in Thedas themselves. However, if a player chooses to exploit all the elfroot in a particular area for example, then that resource becomes scarce and some time must pass before elfroot reappears in that area. The same goes for animals and other resources. The only resource known so far that does not respawn after you kill it are Dragons. However, throwing a jar of bee’s as become a popular hype to the upcoming game.

Likewise, armor upgrades also require resources. However, if the player takes a liking to a particular style of clothing or armor worn in the game, the player may choose to make that armor with better resources. For example, if you like the particular look of some armor made out of bear skin, it is possible to remake that armor that looks exactly the same, but it can be made out of drakeskin or out of nug hide and the same goes for weapons. Given the multiplayer trailer, customizing weapons such as a certain blade with a certain hilt might be a thing.

Companions come with their own armor, but it is entirely possible for you to outfit your team yourself. The armor or clothing will change in appearance slightly to fit a companions “style” and not have a generic look like Origins, where everyone looked like they were wearing the same thing. Some companions will not change apparel or weapons no matter what you equip. Varric will always use his crossbow, Bianca, and Cole will wear the same hat no matter the head gear you give him. Qunari have their own special head gear due to their horns. Additionally, instead of tattoos, the Qunari have been given special face paints, lethal to any race which isn’t Qunari, which give bonuses to abilities or attributes. The Inquisitor may equip any weapon or armor they please, regardless of class, the drawback being it may have a penalty to the Inquisitors abilities.

Lastly in gameplay, swimming and manually jumping have been added into the game. Swimming, just like most games, will have a penalty if you swim too deep. For jumping, it’s safe to assume there’s fall damage if you jump from too high.

Skyhold is the Inquistion’s base of operations or headquarters. Skyhold, as well as a couple of fortresses that are possible to take over, is customizable. However, not quite “Sims” level customizable where you’re deciding on the placement of every single piece of furniture, but more customizable in the sense that players can choose from a variety of preset looks. Do you want the halls to look more Ferelden, Orlesian or Dalish? Do you want to put Templar or Mages in towers that you add on in Skyhold? It is important for players to know that Skyhold is not the best fortress complete with holey ceilings and crumbled rubble; however, players can invest to improve its appearance and expand. Each companion will have their own room or place in Skyhold where players can visit them and interact with them as the Inquisitor. Cullen and Josephine are the two responsible for overseeing Skyhold and its affairs while you are away on missions.

Similar to Dragon Age Origins DLC, Awakening, players may sit at Skyhold’s throne and oversee problems brought to the Inquisition and make choices about them. For example, does a player want to turn a mage brought to the Inquisition Tranquil? The choice is yours.

The war table and the throne are more or less the only pieces of furniture that players can customize. However, more specifically about the war table is where players may select missions to go on given to the Inquisition. It is possible for players to send soldiers of the Inquisition out to complete a mission for you. Also very important, some missions, if not many, are timed, and players must complete them within a certain time frame if they wish to avoid a penalty for not doing the mission in time. For example, if a fortress is under siege and the player fails to get there in time, the fortress may fall and many Inquisition soldiers may die and some may become captive, prompting for a new mission to rescue them. The Inquisitor may take over new fortresses to expand the Inquisition and may expand into temporary encampments that serve as safe havens. The amount of resources directed to these places determines how well and how long an Inquisition encampment may survive there. If an encampment is too close to a Red Templar fortress, the encampment may be quickly over run and the Inquisition’s forces scattered if nothing is done about the Templars. Additionally, Bioware has expressed a great interest in making the travel time from anywhere in the world only seconds instead of introducing more loading screens.

Finally, the Keep. Dragon Age Inquisition as implemented a new way of importing data to Inquisition so that players who experienced Dragon Age Origins and Dragon Age 2 may import their choices and character appearances over into Dragon Age Inquisition. The Keep is linked to a players Origin account and players can sign in using their Bioware logins or their Origin logins. Some players don’t realize they have more than one Origin account, so it’s important you know which account you’re logging into the Keep with so that save files from your PC, Xbox, or PSN can sync with the keep which can then import to Inquisition. The Keep has been announced to be free for all players, and is there so that playing the previous Dragon Age games is not required for players who are new to the Dragon Age franchise.

The keep is still in closed beta with a NDA form, so information released about it is very restricted; however Bioware has announced that the Keep will be released about a month before Inquisition, so hopefully near the end of October this year.

For more information about Dragon Age Keep, please visit: @DragonAgeKeep on Twitter

For more information about Dragon Age Inquisition: The Official Dragon Age Inquisition site: http://www.dragonage.com/#!/en_US/home

At this time, I’d like to give special thanks for all the information collected to: