With Dragon Age: Inquisition, BioWare is pulling out all the stops.
The team is crafting what looks to be the most epic adventure into the heart of the fantasy franchise, complete with a massive array of content across the sprawling mythical land of Thedas. Inquisition heralds the triumphant return of the hundred-hour plus RPG completion time–something that’s been noticeably scarce in next-gen gaming.
In a recent interview with Polygon, BioWare’s producer Cameron Lee says that Inquisition‘s main story will run about 20 to 40 hours. This window is traditionally the timeframe needed for the team to deliver a “really vast, epic story”.
“We want to give our players a real world to explore — we want to give them a BioWare story,” Lee told Polygon. “A really vast, epic BioWare story. That’s what we do, and it normally takes 20 to 40 hours anyway to tell the story we want to tell.”
But there’s more to Inquisition than the story. Much more. So much that it might take you up to 200 hours to fully master.
Inquisition has a healthy smorgasbord of extras that all vary in size, shape and scope. Sometimes players will come across side missions that reveal new depths of the game’s many societies. Other times they’ll spend a whopping amount of time simply exploring the many environs of Thedas for loot.
The dazzling array of dialog choices has always been a mainstay for BioWare games as well. This content adds in key inferences in character personalities and ultimately adds more depth to the characters themselves. The intimate romance options add more significance to the personalities of party members, and adds a spark of the human element to gameplay.
One of the most exciting new features in Inquisition is that it’ll feature multiplayer for the first time in any Dragon Age game.
The new co-operative mode allows friends to team up in four-player groups for some dynamic dungeon-crawling action. In the co-op mode you can rank up their characters, unlock new skills, and revel in some pretty fantastic loot. But there’s a catch–multiplayer progress won’t carry over to your singleplayer campaign. As Lee says, there’s “no gameplay connection between them”.
BioWare wants to make a world that deeply involves players in terms of immersion and size, and based on what we’ve seen so far in game trailers and interviews, it looks like they’ve hit their mark. Inquisition looks like a grand adventure that taps into the heart of Dragon Age‘s magic, and ultimately delivers the experience fans have been waiting for.
With the controversies surrounding Dragon Age II and the not-so-popular ending of Mass Effect 3, BioWare seems to have gone to the drawing board to redefine their approach. Inquisition may be the fruits of that labor, especially in an age where meaningful gameplay times are shrinking and being compromised for replayable multiplayer action.
Dragon Age: Inquisition looks to be a breath of fresh air not only for the series, but for the current trends of gaming altogether. Although bigger games are more costly, there is a very real demand and market for them, and hopefully we’ll start to see more RPG’s of this nature hit next-gen consoles in the future.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is slated to release on November 18, 2014 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. For more information be sure to visit the game’s official website.