Dragon Age: Inquisition, The new old-school

The age of the isometric RPG is well past us. Not just in terms of visuals, but also in the approach to the genre as a whole. Gone are the days when a 50 to 100 hour single player campaign was considered par for the course, and where combat did not overshadow plot and character development. Even Bioware, the once masters of the classic RPG, seem to have wholeheartedly embraced the transition of the genre, with the Dragon Age series seeing the most drastic transformation of all their franchises. However the studio seems to be listening to their long-time fans, and for those that still yearn to embark on quests that span whole nations, fear not, as Dragon Age: Inquisition seems to be offering more than a little taste of old-school adventuring.

Unsurprisingly, Inquisition will once again see players return to the troubled world of Thedas, though this time the game looks set to take place in Orlais. While Bioware have been somewhat cagey regarding plot details, it has been confirmed that Inquisition will follow on from the plot of Dragon Age 2, and will revolve primarily around a civil-war between the mages and the templars. Gamers will take the role of  the leader of the Inquisition, who will be a completely new protagonist to the franchise, and players can expect to see a host of familiar faces from both previous titles, along with more than a few tie-ins to past stories.

Dragon Age 2 received a decidedly mixed response to its more action-RPG elements, and Bioware appears to have taken the feedback to heart. As such, Inquisition should be far more similar to Origins than the second game, with a much stronger focus on tactical combat. The ability to zoom to the overhead view will be making a return (on all platforms this time), and according to the studio “preparation, teamwork, and positioning” will be of vital importance.

Inquisition will be more than a return to original form however. Once again allowing players to select from multiple races, with the being Qunari an option for the first time, and the game will feature an expanded crafting system that will allow players to mix and match materials and enchantments to create entirely unique items. By the far biggest addition though will lie in the game’s strategic elements. As the leader of the Inquisition players will have the option to take keeps and forts, which will open up new areas in a map set to be many times larger than the first game.

Troops and agents can then be deployed as you see fit, allowing you to expand your influence in the world. It seems to point towards a far more open game than anything before, and Dragon Age: Inquisition could be Bioware’s most ambitious and expansive game to date, no mean feat from the developer of Baldur’s Gate 2.

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