By Michael WORKMAN
Sometimes a game comes along that is so big and hyped up it deserves a preview to fully cover all the important aspects that a single review simply can’t. “Dragon Age: Inquisition” is one of those games.
From the creators of the equally popular “Mass Effect” series, BioWare’s fantasy RPG Dragon Age will release its highly anticipated third installment on Nov. 19, which promises to be the biggest title yet in the series.
It’s a little intimidating for gamers new to the Dragon Age series to jump right into the latest title since it has extensive lore and two previous games worth of history. Lucky for you, I will explain the important bits in an abridged way.
The Dragon Age world is split between two worlds, the fade (spirit world) and Thedas (mortal world). All magic comes from the fade, and is very mysterious and hard to control making mages and magic users looked upon with suspicion. The events of the first game, “Dragon Age: Origin” had players take on the role of the Grey Warden, an old and respected order sworn to fight monsters called Darkspawn. Thrust into a civil war that threatens to doom the world, the Grey Warden rallies all the races – elves, dwarves and humans – to unite and stop the Darkspawn blight and bring peace and harmony to Ferelden. But it doesn’t last.
When “Dragon Age 2” came along, mages and templars are at each others’ throats and it’s up to the Champion of Kirkwall (the player) to decide who to support. In the end, the mages rebelled against the templar order starting an all-out war. What can be worse than a massive war that spans the entire continent? Well, how about a tear in reality itself with murderous demons spilling out. That’s what players are going to be dealing with this holiday season.
What we know of the plot goes something like this: A massive green explosion destroys a castle killing everyone inside except the player and demons are now pouring out of tears in the veil. Whatever saved your character has also given them a unique power to close the tears in the veil, potentially stopping this crisis. You and your companions are chosen to form The Inquisition, an order that started out as a mage and heretic hunting organization, but now is tasked with saving the world and ending the war between mages and templars in the process.
“Dragon Age: Inquisition” has the largest maps yet in the series. One region was touted to being five times as large as some of the locations in the first game “Dragon Age: Origins.” This was done to encourage players to explore the surroundings that could hold hidden items, valuable crafting material, and possibly dragons. Of course, a game called “Dragon Age” would have dragons! But these are now much bigger and nastier than the ones players faced in the previous two games.
BioWare designed these enemies to be taken down in almost an old-school arcade way. Players and their companions will have to damage the dragons’ limbs and wings before they can start actually hurting the beasts themselves. Which will be no easy task, as dragons are immune to the majority of special attacks the player’s party can dish out. Careful planning and attention to what works and what doesn’t will be needed to bring down these creatures. As exciting as fighting dragons and demons may sound, I now must cover probably the biggest draw for fans of the series. The romance.
Since the 1998 game “Baldur’s Gate” BioWare has featured romance options in their games in one form or another. Many fans cite the ability to romance your party members as one of the biggest reasons they love the series. In “Dragon Age: Origins” four of your party members could be romanced, and then in “Dragon Age 2” five party members could be romanced, but in Inquisition eight members are possible to romance. Some characters can only be romanced depending on the player’s gender or race, while others are not restricted by either. Players are treated to a wide array of relationships that features heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual possible romances. Each character will have their own special quest that can be accessed after the player gains their trust and potentially reveal more about their past. Many fans are already trying to decide which companion to woo next week when the game drops.
It will certainly be an epic week for gamers everywhere when they raise the banner of the inquisition and fight their way across a vast continent full of monsters and baddies. “Dragon Age: Inquisition” will be coming to PS4, Xbox One, and PC on Nov. 19.