While BioWare‘s knack for storytelling earned them attention while refining their PC RPG mechanics, the Dragon Age series saw an interesting – and divisive – shift. With Dragon Age: Inquisition, the developers are keen to show that they can do both justice as the series arrives on next-gen consoles. The new and improved combat systems were put on full display at E3 2014, and now the second portion of that demo highlights a more customizable approach to combat, and a tease of the larger story.
The developers made it clear that while Inquisition‘s first full-length trailer offered a heavy dose of story, it would be the mechanical side of things showcased for press – and now, the public. The previous section of demo gameplay centered largely on fighting one massive dragon, but this second video shows the kind of frenzied teamwork needed to tackle the many Fade Rifts terrorizing Thedas.
But to do that, a better understanding of Inquisition‘s ‘tactical view’ has to be given. For those who may be unaware, it was the removal of a traditional tactical view from Dragon Age 2 that offended many BioWare fans; not only was it their chosen method of play, but it showed, some claimed, the studio’s decision to embrace action-focused gameplay instead.
And with this gameplay demo, there’s no overlooking just how much BioWare wants to set their record straight on those criticisms.
Not only can players freeze the battle and view the field from a detached point, but assign commands, movements, and attacks to all members of the party. The need to drop back into combat has also been adjusted, so players can watch an entire fight play out from the tactical view. The shift in design was one of the most memorable aspects of the game’s E3 showing, and will help differentiate it from the other selection of fantasy RPGs slowing marching towards the Xbox One and PS4.
Removing restrictions seems to be a widespread philosophy for Inquisition, since the footage also reveals that players can now take control of other characters out of combat, with BioWare using that fact to help bring new dimensions to the story. In this case, Dorian is directly tied to the events taking place, but it seems possible now to play through the course of the game as a favorite party member, crafting a unique perspective on the story like never before.
Of course, there is also the option to simply leap into a fight with swords clashing, so BioWare is still hoping to attract a mainstream audience as well. Which camp do you fall into? Are you happy to see the tactical view return with even more abilities than before? Or does your excitement and/or concern deal with another aspect of the game?
Dragon Age: Inquisition releases October 7, 2014 for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
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