Dragon Age: Inquisition’s live stage demo shows the joys of tactical combat

13 Aug 2014  by   Tim McDonald
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This guy’s clearly rubbish and you don’t want him in your party. I mean, he’s missed whoever he’s attacking by miles. You can’t even SEE the person he’s trying to hit, and he’s framed to the left. Don’t use this guy in your party.

Dragon Age: Inquisition got a lengthy showing on the Gamescom stage, displaying one complete side mission.

The Dragon Age: Inquisition stage demo starts in Skyhold, the headquarters of the Inquisition, with the player character deciding where to go and what to do next. Apparently, some of the Inquisition’s soldiers have been captured by Avvar barbarians, so rescuing them is made the new priority.

This leads to a rural, rain-slicked battlefield, with the party battling their way through undead to reach the Avvar fortifications. They take on the barbarians, fight their way to the Avvar leader, kick his bottom, and free the soldiers. Hooray for justice!

It’s not a bad little demo, honestly. I remain entirely unconvinced by the third-person hack-and-slash combat, but then I still miss the Dragon Age: Origins mechanics. If nothing else, I do like the looks of the tactical camera which lets you pause the action, give orders to your party to hold a location or attack this enemy or whatever, and then head back into the fray yourself to do a bit more hacking and a little more slashing. I also like the Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening-like basis that you’re leading an organisation and will have to go on missions to strengthen your forces and so on and so forth, because that opens up quite a lot of options as to how you want to run the Inquisition and what’s important to you. If done right, that is.

A few promising-sounding statistics were given, too, in terms of Dragon Age: Inquisition being the biggest story BioWare has ever told, with the most dialogue. Apparently, a recent completionist playthrough within the studio clocked over 150 hours. I’m not quite sure I believe that number, but even if that’s overstating things by a huge extent, you’re going to be seeing a massive game.

I’m also happy to see combat having numbers floating above heads, a huge number of spells and abilities to choose from (over 200, apparently), and the ability to name your weapons. The Spangtwatter shall return, clearly.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is due out on 18 November or 21 November, depending on where you live.

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