Dragon Age Keep + Multiplayer Reveals
One of the key reasons many gamers can fall in love with a franchise is the story. A powerful enough story can often times trump any gameplay hiccups or graphical deficiencies that a casual fan will often cite as a deterrent. Thankfully so, Bioware is one of those developers that has managed to expertly balance great storylines with intriguing gameplay to a wide range of success. While franchises like their host of Star Wars action RPGs (and even the current MMORPG), Mass Effect, Baldur’s Gate, and Neverwinter Nights are certainly technically sound games, each of them have rich storylines and characters that are more than memorable for those who wove through many of those games’ multiple endings.
In stepped Dragon Age: Origins back in 2009 and at first glance I remembered being unimpressed due to the ‘graphics’. As I curbed my appetite for high resolution, I allowed my mind to remember the immersion had when playing Jade Empire, Mass Effect, and (of course) the legendary Baldur’s Gate series. As more and more RPG fans were craving a deep and rich RPG experience on their relatively young 360 or PS3, I noticed that many were turning to Dragon Age to scratch that Baldur’s Gate itch. So, I took the plunge and have yet to come back up for air!
It has been years since I allowed myself to defend the realm against the Darkspawn so my DA lore is quite rusty. In fact, my aversion to the gameplay and lack of engrossing exploration in DA2 prevented me from finishing the game. In a way, the two games were loosely tied in story so I didn’t care at the time.
In steps the monumental return of Dragon Age with Inquisition and early appearances are EXTREMELY promising. The previews of the storyline that fans will be gobbling up come November 18th have action RPG fans psyched once again for returning characters from both the first and second games. Exploration and the promise of heavier RPG elements and an evolving open world has my head spinning with possibilities. Only one problem though. I barely remember what I did in the second game much less the first, and with the host of games I’m churning through at the moment, replaying either game is not an open this close to Inquisition’s release.
In steps the genius of Bioware, once again, with Dragon Age Keep (currently in open beta). With an active Origin account tied to the characters and gameplay of the first two games, you have the option of reliving and remolding the events of the past that will stand as the prequel for your upcoming Inquisition adventure. Choose who defeats the Archdemon at the end of Origins and watch the story of both games unfold in a tapestry styled narrated presentation that will get you up to speed quickly. Then, sit back, share your past journey, and await the moment when you can forge the next chapter of Thedas’ fate!
While this ‘app’ doesn’t pull your choices from your game saves, it does allow you to explore possible choices that you may have missed or even wanted in the other games. Quickly weave it how you’d like it to unfold and then rewatch! Since the app is in beta, this leads me to believe that it could have a much deeper purpose to your upcoming adventures. Hopefully it turns out to be less of a stat tracking feature and maybe even something that helps you explore more, unlock more, and even do more within AND outside of the actual game. Only time will tell and core RPG fans definitely can’t wait.
For the last couple of weeks, Bioware has managed to belay my fears about the upcoming Inquisition game with a healthy dose of gameplay sessions on their Twitch channel. As of late, they’ve provided sessions showing the multiplayer mode.
I know what you’re thinking but this mode actually looks as if it is just as enjoyable as the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer mode. Complete with custom characters, multiple upgrade branches for special attacks, and loot, this mode looks to provide another reason for you to immerse yourself in Thedas.
Set in the same third person perspective as the single player mode, the multiplayer mode basically plays the same as the campaign mode control wise only without the tactical mode which would pause and allow for strategy. Instead, the pacing is frantic and fast as you and 3 other players get a chance to battle through 5 zones while taking on a few different ‘objective based’ challenges. You fight against the Demons, the Red Templars, and the Venatori and each of these factions have different enemy types as well as bosses. These bosses only show up at the 5th zone where the action turns into a more zone defense or ‘here comes the horde’ mode.
As for the classes you can be, there are three, but each class has a variety of subclasses. For example, the warrior has the Legionnaire, the Katari, the Templar, and the Reaver. The Rogue has the Assassin, the Hunter, the Archer, and the Alchemist. The Mage has the Arcane Warrior, the Necromancer, the Elementalist, and the Keeper. I’m sure many of you RPG vets are wondering, “But what about the Priest or some Healer class?” Whelp, in both this mode as well as in the campaign mode, it seems as if Bioware is up’ing the difficulty by making you depend on potions and the like for healing. Many of the different classes have skills to kind of make up for the lack of healing like block, energy barriers, and quick escapes or teleports. This, of course, causes you and your team to strategize more.
Set for release on November 18th, Dragon Age Inquisition is steadily building their much deserved buzz. Follow Bioware’s Twitch channel for more gameplay reveals.
Thank you Bioware…