While most games these days tend to make it their priority to take complicated, expansive gameplay systems and make them as streamlined and action-focused as possible, the team behind Dragon Age: Inquisition is heading the opposite direction. After highlighting action over detail-oriented strategy with Dragon Age 2, BioWare is not only bringing back the original game’s tactical combat, but throwing more tricks than ever before into the mix – and letting their players figure out how they would like to play.
When we got our close-up look at Inquisition at E3 2014, it was immediately clear that not only had the developer addressed the criticism from their fans (who felt that DA2 sacrificed complexity and engagement for approachability), but was going to be going out of their way to leave no doubt that fan complaints had been heard loud and clear. And that begins with the tactical view of combat.
To date, fans have already been able to see the demo footage shown at E3, beginning with a prolonged fight with a colossal dragon, and continuing on to show that players will be able to do more than just issue attack orders once a fight begins. The newest video shows those same mechanics at play, but also implies that the wealth of orders and strategies can be effectively put into action at the height of a combat encounter.
It goes without saying for existing Dragon Age players, but when taking a party up against multiple enemies, a single second can make the difference between a loss or victory. It’s because of that that fans will be happy to see the ability to freeze the action whenever needed – and for those who play on higher difficulties, that will be a necessity.
Luckily, the developers have seen fit to offer a few strategies before the game is released (now delayed into November 2014). Whether it’s freezing the battle to analyze enemy weakness and act accordingly, or launch area-of-effect attacks to divide and conquer with what looks to be greater precision than before, the footage is so in-depth and detailed, at times it’s hard to remember it’s a Dragon Age game, and not an RTS.
The pressure is on for BioWare to deliver, not only due to the previous game’s mixed reception for their core fan base, but being hailed as the company’s first next-gen release. Could this level of detail be adopted for the next Mass Effect? Only time will tell, so share your reactions in the comments below.
Dragon Age: Inquisition releases November 18, 2014 for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
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