Bioware: Dragon Age: Inquisition Isn't Open World

Bioware: Dragon Age: Inquisition Isn't Open World

Lead designer Mike Laidlaw says that Dragon Age: Inquisition is "multi-region," not open world.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is looking big. So big in fact that some have been branding it as an open world game much in line with other in-development RPGs. That being the case, it's a classification that lead designer Mike Laidlaw wouldn't choose himself. "'Open world' I think is a really loaded term, because everyone immediately thinks of Skyrim and assumes everything will be exactly like Skyrim," he said. "In our case, there are extremely large regions you can explore. It's a multi-region game, which means that you'll be traveling with a world map."

Laidlaw still aims to include elements of exploration and discovery generally held as tenets of open world gaming. That said, he hopes to employ them in a more structured fashion in Inquisition. "When you're discovering things, you should feel like they're part of the overall game and not random. I would say that it has elements of open world for sure, but it's something closer to the feel we had in the Baldur's Gate games or in [Dragon Age] Origins."

Players, in turn, can expect the game's various regions to be "quite dense." According to Laidlaw, players will be able to "spin the camera" and see things that interest them from get-go. These will range from smaller self-contained moments to things that can help shape and influence the wider experience of the game depending on how they're played. There will also be content that players can miss based on how deeply they explore the game's world and the choices they make in the process. While Laidlaw was unable to pin down at this point just how much of the game will depend on player's actions, he estimated it to be within "a fifth or a quarter."

Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun

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Sounds good to me, I don't think going full-on "Open World" would really suit a game like Dragon Age anyways.

cynicalsaint1:
Sounds good to me, I don't think going full-on "Open World" would really suit a game like Dragon Age anyways.

I'm also liking the way Inquisition seems to be going. Dragon Age 2 left me a bit jaded on the brand, so I'm hoping this will restore my faith in it.

That's pretty much what I was expecting from a Dragon Age game. I do remember that message appearing on the official DA site that said something about the game being more open-world, but I never expected an Elder Scrolls type game. Sounds more like the vast explorable regions in The Witcher series, only with a world map connecting between them, which sounds awesome

Looking forward to it.

Just say 'Like Baldur's Gate 2'.

Another good move on the part of the devs here. Especially notable since open world is kind of a popular producer tactic right now.

Good.. putting a stop to the hype machine before it gets out of hand... lots of game sites where allready plastering their headlines with "DA inquisition going open world"

Still i have my doubts that the areas will be as huge as they claim to be.

After all the areas might be huge but that doesnt do anything if you can only traverse narrow corridor lanes between hotspots.

Wich is kinda my greatest fear... you can look to the horizon but you can only follow these narrow corridors interrupted by some bigger round areas wich will be the combat areas.

ok got to see them play this at pax(it was alpha so yeah things might change) each area is about the size of every area in DA2 combined, the combat has the choice of the DA:O or DA2 style and you can switch between the two on the fly, and playable races are back with the addition of qunari.

I dont like Marc Laidlaw (Or at least his public persona, I dont know the guy I suppose). He was very quick to throw his previous work, Origins, under the bus when marketing Dragon Age 2, and then started backpedling like a mofo when it was time to start talking about Dragon Age 3. I'm taking everything he says as PR speak and, therefore, not to be trusted.

The game is pretty but I'm not drinking the kool-aid until I'm sure it's not filled with shit like Dragon Age 2 was.

I don't think an open-world setting would suit Dragon-Age. Sometimes with that you end up with bizarre, thinly populated deserts of faceless people. Anyway, the only people you need to normally care about in Dragon Age are the people immediately around you...

cynicalsaint1:
Sounds good to me, I don't think going full-on "Open World" would really suit a game like Dragon Age anyways.

I had the same thought. BioWare games are very tightly knitted packs of stories and characters. That is not something that's condusive to super open world exploration.

Don't get me wrong, I love games like the Elder Scroll series and the Fallout Series but you have to admit that a strong central story suffers under the weight of all the side quests and sight-seeing done beforehand.

That doesn't really change anything, does it? At it's current state the game doesn't feel very organic everything has a plastic feeling to it, things are too clean, character and level designs look very bland. I know it was supposed to be "pre-alpha" build but things like interior/exterior/character design won't change drastically in the retail version and we all know it. I just hope the game will make up for those things in story department.

cynicalsaint1:
Don't get me wrong, I love games like the Elder Scroll series and the Fallout Series but you have to admit that a strong central story suffers under the weight of all the side quests and sight-seeing done beforehand.

Not really Fallout series just took different approach, everything was told in the background. The world was filled with information and characters that provided you with the necessary data to understand it. It's a different narrative strategy where writers don't give you anything on the plate but instead encourage you to explore and learn through hints they left around. Of course people have their preferences but in my opinion Fallout approach is much better since it's engrossing you in the game world and makes it feel much more believable.

Well Origins wasn't really an open world. You chose from a map of areas. However the areas themselves felt fairly big, and exploring paid off, so if they stick with that model, I'm good with it.

slightly disappointed at the news, but having a open world game isn't always the best decision. Open worlds can feel lifeless and pointless if not handled carefully.
I swear to god if they stick you into a City for the whole game again I will be like this furby:

But who thought this was going to be open-world? None of the previous DA was, why would people expect it to be? I mean, I don't see how "big map" would mean that.

So its' "open world" in the same way one could say that Baldurs Gate was open world?

I like the sound of that.

Grabehn:
But who thought this was going to be open-world? None of the previous DA was, why would people expect it to be? I mean, I don't see how "big map" would mean that.

http://www.vg247.com/2013/06/10/dragon-age-inquisition-will-have-an-open-world/

http://www.vg247.com/2013/06/18/dragon-age-inquisitions-open-world-is-pretty-ambitious-says-bioware-gm/

Both of those articles state that this game would be open world. This statement is just Bioware clarifying what that means in the context of the game.

For my two cents, this is good news. It's nice to see a company being realistic about a game and not talking it up, or allowing others to talk it up. This is what I refer to as a reverse Molyneaux maneuver.

thebobmaster:

Grabehn:
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That made a lot more sense now, thanks for that, I hadn't read a single piece of news about this game to be honest.

james.sponge:
That doesn't really change anything, does it? At it's current state the game doesn't feel very organic everything has a plastic feeling to it, things are too clean, character and level designs look very bland. I know it was supposed to be "pre-alpha" build but things like interior/exterior/character design won't change drastically in the retail version and we all know it.

If it is indeed pre-alpha then a lot will change. And while the design might not change much, you'd be amazed what a good texture job can do.

OT: Glad they decided to not go open world, that way the story will be more in focus. Now, let's just hope it'll be better than DA2's...

StewShearer:

cynicalsaint1:
Sounds good to me, I don't think going full-on "Open World" would really suit a game like Dragon Age anyways.

I'm also liking the way Inquisition seems to be going. Dragon Age 2 left me a bit jaded on the brand, so I'm hoping this will restore my faith in it.

Agreed with both the above. Open-World, With Structure. Explorable zones that are themselves relevant, rather than just swathes of land in which random things happen. Both have pros and cons but I agree this is better suited to Dragon Age.

oldtaku:
Just say 'Like Baldur's Gate 2'.

Please don't encourage them :-( I for one would probably buy any game which can legitimately describe itself as "like Baldur's Gate 2". Good times...when RPGs were RPGs and not third-person, cinematic shooters with experience points :-)

KarmaTheAlligator:

james.sponge:
That doesn't really change anything, does it? At it's current state the game doesn't feel very organic everything has a plastic feeling to it, things are too clean, character and level designs look very bland. I know it was supposed to be "pre-alpha" build but things like interior/exterior/character design won't change drastically in the retail version and we all know it.

If it is indeed pre-alpha then a lot will change. And while the design might not change much, you'd be amazed what a good texture job can do.

OT: Glad they decided to not go open world, that way the story will be more in focus. Now, let's just hope it'll be better than DA2's...

I know what a good texture can do ;) but I'm still skeptical knowing that pre-alpha build of DA2 they showed several month before the release of the game was exactly IDENTICAL to the retail version (textures, sounds, character models, voices, basically everything) they didn't even change minimalistic UI...

james.sponge:
I'm still skeptical knowing that pre-alpha build of DA2 they showed several month before the release of the game was exactly IDENTICAL to the retail version (textures, sounds, character models, voices, basically everything) they didn't even change minimalistic UI...

OK, that's a fair point, but then again, DA2 was, what, only a year in the making? Unless they go the same route with this one (and considering how badly DA2 was received, why would they?), I doubt they'll keep things the same.

KarmaTheAlligator:

james.sponge:
I'm still skeptical knowing that pre-alpha build of DA2 they showed several month before the release of the game was exactly IDENTICAL to the retail version (textures, sounds, character models, voices, basically everything) they didn't even change minimalistic UI...

OK, that's a fair point, but then again, DA2 was, what, only a year in the making? Unless they go the same route with this one (and considering how badly DA2 was received, why would they?), I doubt they'll keep things the same.

I agree and that's why we should remain vigilant even though DA3 shows some promise ;)

As long as they don't pull a DA2, and have a variety of 5 slightly different looking, small maps, I'm fine.

While Laidlaw was unable to pin down at this point just how much of the game will depend on player's actions, he estimated it to be within "a fifth or a quarter."

Um... what? Is this different to the last games because I'm sure choice was a big thing. Hell the PAX demo seemed to say that choice was everywhere and player action would affect everything. I know that not everything will be affected but most things I know.

 

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