Dragon Age: Inquisition Brings Back Tactical View - PAX 2013

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT
 

Dragon Age: Inquisition Brings Back Tactical View - PAX 2013

DAI Combat

The style of combat in Dragon Age: Origins has returned.

I'm one of the vocal minority of gamers that actually thoroughly enjoyed Dragon Age 2 for its amazing role-playing and the fun of pulling off interesting combos in the action-based combat. But when I heard Mike Laidlaw, the creative director of the franchise, say that the tactical, top-down view PC players might remember from Origins was returning, I gasped. Not only will PC stalwarts like myself be able to pause and issue commands to your party in a view that makes sense, but console players will have the tactical view available too. The BioWare team realized that giving more options to players was much better than restricting them.

"You can play the game the way you want to play it," said Laidlaw, pointing out the player can switch easily between following a party member in a third person over the shoulder view to the tactical camera. "There's situations in which there's advantages for both styles of play. I don't want every fight to be fought using [the tactical view]. Sometimes you just want to quickly beat up some guys."

Mopping up weaker enemies is also now a very real possibility in Dragon Age: Inquisition because the combat difficulty doesn't scale with the might of the player. Foes that were tough when you started out will be a cakewalk later in the game, but of course that means there will be areas that are just too difficult to wander into until you've leveled up.

For example, the world area of Inquisition - we'll get back to how freaking huge it is in a second - is dotted with dragons. They have returned, and you can spend your time and resources in tracking them down to be known as dragonslayer by the people. But be warned, the bits we were shown in the demonstration were terrifying; dragons move and attack with their breath in very deadly ways, and your party will be hard-pressed to take them out.

"Each dragon encounter is hand-crafted, and they are designed to kick your ass," Laidlaw said. You don't have to kill dragons, it's optional gameplay, but every time you do you'll get resources and prestige you can use to build up the Inquisition.

The Inquisition is what this game is all about, hence the title. The player character - which can be mage, warrior or rogue just like before - starts off the game re-establishing the ancient order of the Inquisition, founded long ago to stamp out corruption across all nations and borders. You begin the game poor and controlling no land, but as you go out into the world to take over keeps, establish bases, help people, or force them to heed you, your power grows.

But this is no empty game concept. Laidlaw showed how you can make decisions in how you govern your keeps, say to unlock new dungeons or areas, as well as engage in crafting systems to better equip your soldiers or make enough potions to turn the tide of war. It really did seem like an open world RPG in which you control a burgeoning organization.

The BioWare guys are a bit cagey as to the exact story of Inquisition, but the details they could speak of were about the continuing struggle between the mages and the Templars. On top of that, some disaster has injured the Veil, and the barrier between the Fade, where demons and magic come from, and the real world now has a few holes. Unfortunately for you, the holes spawn all kinds of nasties like undead and the mages and Templars are too busy fighting each other to deal with the problem.

"It's a world out of balance," Laidlaw said, hinting that all these events are too convenient to be a coincidence. Something, or someone, is behind it all.

Inquisition takes place in Ferelden, Orlais and the northern reaches surrounding Kirkwall from DA2. "It is the biggest game we have ever made," Laidlaw said, and he's not kidding. The areas we were shown ranged from temperate zones to deserts and swamps, and you can walk across them in a seamless manner. One area was called Crestwood, and Laidlaw said, "It is bigger than all of Dragon Age 2 put together. It will take you fifteen minutes to walk from one end of it to the other."

I learned so much about this game that it's impossible to mention it all, but it's clear BioWare has doubled down on re-inventing the epic fantasy RPG genre. I saw echoes of Skyrim and Baldur's Gate and even Civilization, but Inquisition isn't a clear progression from any genre. Dragon Age: Inquisition will be in a category all by itself when it comes out in the Fall of 2014.

Permalink

Sounds great!

I.. I'd say more, but that really sums it up. Everything he said, sounds great!

Of course, it has only been said so far. That being said, I am looking forward to seeing this.
..Is "said" starting to sound weird or is that only me?

Looks like they might've learned from their mistakes. I'm looking forward to hearing more about DA3.

The BioWare team realized that giving more options to players was much better than restricting them.

Then why not have both the ability to import and the ability to use Dragon Keeper?

I am surprised at how I just can't seem to care about this game at all. When someone is talking about DA: Inquisition I feel the same way that I feel when someone is talking about a sports game. I simply don't give a shit. And that really surprises me.

I'm still holding out to see if they actually deliver on this hype. Unless there's been a serious internal shakeup (And since Laidlaw is still the lead designer, I doubt it) I have a hard time believing that the people who created DAII are now completely 180ing on their design philosophies. Begrudgingly hitting some "We're like DA:O again!" bullet points isn't going to make up for designers who think things like "It's more important for players to see who pretty our NPC party members are than it is for them to be able to customize their gear".

Doom972:
Then why not have both the ability to import and the ability to use Dragon Keeper?

Well I mean what difference does it make, as long as they account for every choice in the Dragon Keeper thing?

OT: Sounds good, but I'm still having trouble trusting Bioware. If I do buy it, it'll be used.

They also confirmed Qunari as a playable race, which is like the only thing holding me back from being absurdly excited about this game. They didn't say much how the Qun or anything would play into it, but still!

Remember how during DA2's promotional campaign they kept insisting that Origins was a piece of shit in comparison? Yeah, now look at them.

Adam Jensen:
I am surprised at how I just can't seem to care about this game at all. When someone is talking about DA: Inquisition I feel the same way that I feel when someone is talking about a sports game. I simply don't give a shit. And that really surprises me.

You know I'm in the same boat. Why it scares me is I'm the one who got the comics and the books. Pretty much anything to do with Mass Effect or Dragon Age I paid for. There was a time where I looked forward to bioware putting anything out. Yet not I just found out there is new books out for dragon age. Not getting them it just such a fall from fan boy to Meh.

I saw a qunari female in Adam Sessler's interview on DAI and it gave me draenei vibes from WoW (which is a good thing), since they both have horns and tails mind the goat feet I guess.

I am more interested to see how they will implement the previous decisions from DAO and DA2 in the third game and how much effect will those have. They are pushing the Dragon Age Keep app quite a lot.

Overall I like the changes and I really hope they don't "consolize" the game too much (you better give me a PC interface or I swear I will...REDACTED) and I'll be a happy camper. They have even delayed the game so they can work on it more so let's see if they can put the extra time to make it better. If it's at least the same as DAO standards then it's all good.

Time will tell, but it's the last chance I'm giving them to see if they can pull themselves out of the gutter after the whole DA2 and ME3 ending controversy.

Fool me once, Bioware. When it is cheap and on sale, this game will be a maybe. And thats if it doesnt suck.

Sorry but should we really be impressed by this? Dragons were a big deal in Skyrim but that didn't stop me from being able to 2-3 shot them pretty damn easily. The "Inquisition" sounds like a whole retread of the Grey Warden style, right down to the whole "ancient and Independent organization stopping corruption and evil".

And Crestwood taking 15 minutes to cross and larger than "all of DA 2" isn't something to brag about. In fact, it's downright pathetic. It shows just how little work was put into DA 2 and just how rushed it was. And I should care that the very same group behind that is on this game? Dragon Age 2 was, without a doubt, one of Biowares weakest games, with only The Old Republic serving as competition for that title. Gaider is a crap writer, and Laidlaw was responsible for the floaty, boring mess of combat that invested far too much into spectacle to be interesting or in depth in any significant way. Oh wowee gee combos. Skills based off debuffs interacting with each other! Color me impressed when they manage to do something that older games didn't do a hell of a lot better. +Damage to frozen or staggered isn't impressive, it's dull and lifeless just as DA 2 was.

It also doesn't prove the tag either. At most it's saying you'll have a mass effect wheel for abilities. It doesn't say it's cutting down on the anime-styled leaping and floaty attacks, removing the brain-dead character-forced class roles, or the cannon-fodder wave based combat DA2 loved so much. We're getting a wheel. I'll let the cavemen know so maybe they'll build a cart for it.

seems to be ticking the right boxes for me but i outright vowed never to touch another bioware game as they no longer made the games i wanted anymore.

so ill stick this in the unlikely to pick up but ill wait till reviews, etc come in before making a final choice

norashepard:
They also confirmed Qunari as a playable race

Source, now!

Must...not...get...excited.

Can't...be...let...down...again...

(If you fuck this up Bioware I swear I'll eat all you're hearts)

I officially do not want to wait until next fall. I mean.. I do want them to have the time to make the game they want to make particularly after publically admitting that they were rushed with DA2, but I want to play the game now.

They're going to make a Dragon Age FPS sooner or later by the looks of things.

Dragon Age died for me with DA2.

Soviet Heavy:
Remember how during DA2's promotional campaign they kept insisting that Origins was a piece of shit in comparison? Yeah, now look at them.

Well, I mean, to be fair, Origins was a piece of shit in comparison. Fantastic game, absolutely, just not really in the same league as DA2.

Drago-Morph:

Soviet Heavy:
Remember how during DA2's promotional campaign they kept insisting that Origins was a piece of shit in comparison? Yeah, now look at them.

Well, I mean, to be fair, Origins was a piece of shit in comparison. Fantastic game, absolutely, just not really in the same league as DA2.

You're right, I was wrong to even consider putting Origins in the same league as DA2. Dragon Age 2 is far, far worse than origins, which had the benefit of actually being good.

Cybylt:

norashepard:
They also confirmed Qunari as a playable race

Source, now!

http://www.gamespot.com/pax/qunari-will-be-playable-race-in-dragon-age-inquisition-6413926/

After some quick googling I found this...

I didn't know about it either o_O. Holy fuckin' YES.

Are... are you sure they brought back the tactical view? None of those screen shots support this claim.

Cybylt:

norashepard:
They also confirmed Qunari as a playable race

Source, now!

The PAX presentation! They said it! With words! Or maybe it was a tweet? In all the excitement I have lost track of all the neat things. It was pretty early on in the thing, so just watch it when/if they put it up online.

Genocidicles:

Doom972:
Then why not have both the ability to import and the ability to use Dragon Keeper?

Well I mean what difference does it make, as long as they account for every choice in the Dragon Keeper thing?

OT: Sounds good, but I'm still having trouble trusting Bioware. If I do buy it, it'll be used.

I made several characters and it's very difficult to remember every decision I made. If I did something stupid and forgot about it, I want it to come back and bite me in the ass!

Soviet Heavy:

Drago-Morph:

Soviet Heavy:
Remember how during DA2's promotional campaign they kept insisting that Origins was a piece of shit in comparison? Yeah, now look at them.

Well, I mean, to be fair, Origins was a piece of shit in comparison. Fantastic game, absolutely, just not really in the same league as DA2.

You're right, I was wrong to even consider putting Origins in the same league as DA2. Dragon Age 2 is far, far worse than origins, which had the benefit of actually being good.

Origins isn't good, it's great. But DA2 is way, way beyond that in its quality. DA2 is easily one of the best games ever made. Maybe not to the blinded crowd who can't see past the loss of their precious "old-school 90's RPG nostalgia", but then again, very few things please them, so their taste isn't generally indicative of quality.

So, everything that was said in this article sounds good to me, although I'm still a bit "fool-me-once" after DA2. However, I still much preferred the art direction of Dragon Age when it was more low-fantasy like in Origins.

All of the outfits in that picture look bad to me, being over the top in a clichéd sort of frill-and-sigils way. Varric doesn't look too bad, but how badly could you mess his design up anyway? That mage on the right is the worst though.

"It is bigger than all of Dragon Age 2 put together. It will take you fifteen minutes to walk from one end of it to the other."

And Bioware finally admits DA2 had only 15 minutes worth of content.

Joking aside, these details offer a glimmer of hope in what was previously a void of despair. But still I remain doubtful. The news that we're going open world, along with some of those pictures which look a bit Elder-Scrollsy, just makes me think Bioware said "Skyrim made a lot of money and people liked it, let's copy that!"

You know there was nothing fundamentally broken with Origins. Sure combat could be slow, sure you could mock it for being by the numbers fantasy, but it worked. The art style changes in DA2 were terrible and it looks like we're not changing course there. We're keeping the mass effect dialogue wheel because writing responses besides good/neutral/asshole is hard.

And that reminds me. Know what I never remember asking for? A fully voice-acted protagonist in every RPG. More voice-acting means fewer lines of dialogue, which means fewer options. In fact I say nuts to voice-acting entirely in RPG's, which are supposed to offer choice.

Doesn't it kind of make more sense stylistically? The manner in which you talk to people in Bioware games is inherently alienating and unnatural. You stand there stiff, saying nothing until you've made a decision. That doesn't blend with the flow of natural conversation. Reading text would be far better suited for this since reading is done at one's own pace, plus if you have subtitle's enabled you're going to just read faster anyway. Hell, there's a lot of dialogue that will be skipped over because people will read it faster, or because it's repeat dialogue cus we're talking to a merchant to unload gear for the umpteenth time.

Ok so I kinda got sidetracked there but I had to say it. In conclusion, I'm still skeptical.

Drago-Morph:
Origins isn't good, it's great. But DA2 is way, way beyond that in its quality. DA2 is easily one of the best games ever made. Maybe not to the blinded crowd who can't see past the loss of their precious "old-school 90's RPG nostalgia", but then again, very few things please them, so their taste isn't generally indicative of quality.

Nostalgia had nothing to do with it, Origins is actually tons better than DA2. DA2 had flaws out of the bum and didn't really improve or bring anything new to the table.

Reused assets (Hello dungeon #20 with the exact same interior), simplified combat, Console focused UI, meh story, dumbed down dialogue choices, etc.

Drago-Morph:

Soviet Heavy:

Drago-Morph:

Well, I mean, to be fair, Origins was a piece of shit in comparison. Fantastic game, absolutely, just not really in the same league as DA2.

You're right, I was wrong to even consider putting Origins in the same league as DA2. Dragon Age 2 is far, far worse than origins, which had the benefit of actually being good.

Origins isn't good, it's great. But DA2 is way, way beyond that in its quality. DA2 is easily one of the best games ever made. Maybe not to the blinded crowd who can't see past the loss of their precious "old-school 90's RPG nostalgia", but then again, very few things please them, so their taste isn't generally indicative of quality.

Now I actually did enjoy DA2 quite a bit, but lets not get crazy here. The copy-paste dungeons alone disqualify it from being "one of the best games ever made". Where DA2 shines through is in it's story and story-telling, and that's the part of the game that many players really hated on. It's weakest moments was the gameplay and mechanics where were, sadly EXTREMELY weak.

In the end I'd say that quality-wise it was on par with DA:O, just in different categories.

Drago-Morph:

Soviet Heavy:

Drago-Morph:

Well, I mean, to be fair, Origins was a piece of shit in comparison. Fantastic game, absolutely, just not really in the same league as DA2.

You're right, I was wrong to even consider putting Origins in the same league as DA2. Dragon Age 2 is far, far worse than origins, which had the benefit of actually being good.

Origins isn't good, it's great. But DA2 is way, way beyond that in its quality. DA2 is easily one of the best games ever made. Maybe not to the blinded crowd who can't see past the loss of their precious "old-school 90's RPG nostalgia", but then again, very few things please them, so their taste isn't generally indicative of quality.

There's nothing like corridors pretending to be open areas, parachuting enemies, collect "X" quests with no real background story.

Nostalgia has nothing to do with the fact that DA2 was much, much worse than DA, but I guess the younger crowd, dosn't really care as long as they can button mash.

Sooooo did they confirm if this one will have more than one dungeon or are they going to simply use the same one over and over again? In my opinion there was A LOT to dislike about DA2 but none of that stuff was a big a sign of complete and total laziness by the developers than using that same one dungeon repeatedly.

Soviet Heavy:

Drago-Morph:

Soviet Heavy:
Remember how during DA2's promotional campaign they kept insisting that Origins was a piece of shit in comparison? Yeah, now look at them.

Well, I mean, to be fair, Origins was a piece of shit in comparison. Fantastic game, absolutely, just not really in the same league as DA2.

You're right, I was wrong to even consider putting Origins in the same league as DA2. Dragon Age 2 is far, far worse than origins, which had the benefit of actually being good.

Ah yes, the stiff animations, creepy eyes, no style, a checkbook of fantasy cliches and a color palette taken straight from an actual cement and dirt factory Origins. How could it possibly have anything to learn from its sequel, or how can its sequel learn anything from the original? No, let's just be angry. It really solves everything.

Pfft.

(If it isn't clear, I don't dislike Origins. Just so we're not going to use that in whatever follows.)

I really want to be excited but I have been burned one to many times by Bioware over the last 3 or 4 years. So I will remian indifferent until I see some reviews of the finished product.

Unless they suddenly let me bring back my Warden. Then I will get really hyped up. My Warden was a total bad ass! If he was around in DA2 he would have got shit done not done what Hawke did. See begining of bad thing starting to happen, sit on arse for a few years until bad thing starts happening in full swing then stop it.

Oh man I almost forgot! Will something awesome still happen EVERY TIME I press a button? Because in Dragon Age 2 when you pressed a button something awesome had to happen. For more explanation I will leave you with this brief video featuring one of Bioware's own. Take it away!

Drago-Morph:
Origins isn't good, it's great. But DA2 is way, way beyond that in its quality. DA2 is easily one of the best games ever made. Maybe not to the blinded crowd who can't see past the loss of their precious "old-school 90's RPG nostalgia", but then again, very few things please them, so their taste isn't generally indicative of quality.

image

Dragon Age 2 was a long slog of boring, uninspired and stale combat against unvaried mobs of cannon trash, with a story that borders on archaic with its lack of originality. The only saving graces were the hints of greater story, such as going to the Dwarven Thaigs, and the characters and their interactions with both you and one another. But BioWare doesn't really get points for that anymore, because it's what is expected of them and is likely to get them points lost if they manage to fuck it up. Any attempt at being its own unique world like in Origins (and it being unique THERE is debatable too) is tossed away in favor of a two-pence fantasy schlockfest with all the ripped off DnD and Thieves' World trappings thrown into the melting pot.

As a sequel to Origins, 2 was horrid.

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here