Few video game developers are as open about their process for as long as BioWare has been with Dragon Age Inquisition. And with good reason: taking the RPG company to next-gen with some hurt feelings to address since their last release, the team was taking the skepticism as a motivation to make their vision even bolder.
The wealth of videos showcasing the tactical combat, the individual followers, and the mysterious new forces players will be battling are aimed squarely at the existing fans. But what about the casual audiences who need a soaring cinematic trailer, with a soundtrack to match? Thankfully, BioWare has saved that mood piece for last, when fans have less than a week to go before playing Inquisition for themselves.
Like the best of BioWare, there's a kernel of truth buried beneath the cinematic action. Seeing a band of heroes bravely making a stand against overwhelming darkness is the premise upon which the entire Dragon Age series (and Mass Effect, come to think of it) is based. Seeing how multiple party members can combine attacks for maximum damage is something players will get to try for themselves - even if it isn't in supremely epic slow motion.
But what will likely leave the most lasting impression (and what the trailer is designed to highlight, behind the combat and enemies spewed forth from the Breach) is the range of environments packed into the single experience. When the embargo for reviews lifted a full week ahead of release, it was the sheer size and variation of Inquisition's world that earned the game unique praise.
While some RPG fans may not be thrilled at the idea of losing oneself in a sprawling open world for upwards of fifty hours, with entirely regions still unexplored by that point. The size and scope is just one way that the developers claim Skyrim changed everything for the genre, now required to draw in both the hardcore and broader audience.
That means a dense bit of story (even if it sticks fairly close to the 'chosen one' trope) to hopefully pull players through. But make no mistake: the action shown in the trailer, like the Inquisitor starring in it, is just one variation of nearly an infinite number. Perhaps Iron Bull's crushing attacks will lead some players to think that he may be the best outlet for their aggression?
Dragon Age Inquisition officially releases on November 18, 2014 for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
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