Today, I got the chance to see a 35-minute gameplay demo of Dragon Age: Inquisition. To be honest, I’m not sure why you’re reading this part. If you watch my videos, you know I hate doing introductions. They’re awkward and you know why you’re here. You’re sitting there wanting to see the info about the game, no? Damn right.
Well, friend, let’s just go over the basics.
Dorian is a Tevinter magister who wants to help rid the stigma surrounding Tevinter. To restore its honor, he joins the Inquisition. He was trained by another magister named Alexius.
Although Sera has already been a confirmed companion pre-E3, she is now confirmed as a female-only romance.
Second Part of the Demo
After a lot of dragon gameplay, the demo moved into what happens after a series of branching events based near the end of the Mage/Templar conflict. Your experience in the game will vary, depending on your Inquisitor’s actions. This playthrough used a female Qunari mage.
In this part of the demo, the Inquisitor is accompanied by Dorian, the Iron Bull, and Sera. In Redcliffe Castle, the mages have created a base of operations. However, the heads stationed have grown silent and the Inquisitor must investigate the cause.
Making her way through the castle, the Inquisitor saves Leliana, who was being questioned and tortured by one of the Venatori. The castle itself was rumbling, as it was slowly being split apart (as seen in the trailer). The group engages demons protecting a Veil rift inside the castle. Later, after attacking one of the Venatori spellbinders, the Inquisitor loots a red lyrium shard. “What in Andraste’s name is that!” Dorian exclaims, and tells you to keep it for later use.
Then, the Inquisitor meets Alexius: a Tevinter magister and Dorian’s former mentor. Alexius has done horrible things, including something twisted to keep his son Felix alive. The Inquisitor only wants the amulet that he possesses, but Leliana is greatly disturbed by all of this and takes Felix by the throat. He earnestly begs Leliana to let him go. Leliana angrily says, “I want the world back” and slashes Felix’s throat open. Seeing his son’s death, Alexius attacks the party by ripping open Veil rifts and casting out demons. But in the end, just like Dorian perceives it, Alexius has wanted to die.
After Alexius’s death, Dorian exclaims that he has seen the amulet before being used in Minrathous and wants an hour to figure out the spell to use the amulet. However, the Venatori are approaching their way. Sera and Iron Bull sternly leave to protect the doors, while Leliana covers the Inquisitor and Dorian as they use the amulet to create a portal. As the doors are breached and an unconscious Sera is thrown across the floor, and Leliana is wounded by other attackers, the Inquisitor tries to help. However, she stops as Dorian yells that if the Inquisitor moves, they all die. The last shot seen Leliana staring at the Inquisitor as the Venatori takes her by the throat.
Exploration and Environment
Certain areas will have “look points”. By viewing through these look points, the Inquisitor can mark and track different “shards” in an area. In the Hinterlands, there are 23 shards present for retrieval.
Specific markers also indicate places to set up camp. These are designated areas; it seems players can’t just set up shop wherever they wish.
Remember how the devs said there will be destructible environments? How about constructible? In the demo, the player can construct a previously broken bridge that was signaled by the command “Energize”.
Horses can be called and will appear after you "whistle" for them. Other horses and mounts beyond what was shown in the demo will be available.
One of the spells is a yellow-colored slow, which slows down time for everything except the party. Cold Snap is another.
Firewall is really effective - when casted, it hits everything in the line that the mage strikes. The fire is essentially a blockade at that point, causing a damage-over-time on anything afflicted by the fire. Judging by the gameplay, AI automatically avoids it at all costs (which is good for choke points).
State of Templars
Agrarian Apostate - Item retrieval mission. A woman’s husband was killed by templars, after they believed him to be an apostate (which he apparently was not). Certain templars are indiscriminately killing anyone they presuppose to be a mage.
Hover Over Stats
AP: 19, AP: 0.0
<Insert Buffs/Debuffs Here>
Codex Entry List
- Foot Soldier
- Nightmare (Demon)
- Lake Luthias
- The West Road
- Redcliffe Road
- Redcliffe Castle
- Duskwood Village
- Rebel Queen’s Ravine
- Lady Shayna’s Valley
- Blood Cliffs
The Fereldan Frostback is a type of Dragon we will encounter at the Blood Cliffs.
- Weapon and Shield
- (There is something right here, but sadly, I blinked)
While there are some diplomatic, funny/sarcastic, and aggressive choices, there are also some other neutral styles as well. The choices featured in the demo were all role-play specific.
My Personal Thoughts
I am completely fascinated by the trailer. I'm not good with form, so let's just jump around a bit.
Gameplay was smooth and (because I know they nerfed the health of some of these characters for demo reveal) very fast-paced. There are enough spells to wet my whistle, and the color variety and vividness in said spells pretty awesome. I'm glad I have yet to see rock armor or some flashy, ridiculously intrusive and persistent spell like Song of Valor or anything that just stays when you go into conversation (Origins, ha).
I'm actually really happy that the symbols are back to determine what "mood" or "state" can I choose to describe my choice. The example banter between Sera and The Iron Bull (Mayhemmmm) was pretty awesome to hear. I will say, however, that I noticed the body animation reset after Dorian finished a sentence and moved to the next. Of course I expect this from an alpha, but I remember seeing this in DA2 as well. But it's not a huge WTF**kery.
As far as the characters, please let me romance Dorian. Please. I will almost give up Cullen. (Almost.)
Jokes aside, really liking the characters. I think Sera is going to be such a comedian that when she gets serious, you don't know what to do with yourself. Bull is like the splitting image of Javik from Citadel DLC (where he was a lot more fun to hang out with and less of a stick in the mud). It's just the way he likes war and gets giddy talking about it. I'm scared to know that Varric and him may not get along.
Leliana had a HUGE WTF moment during the demo that just totally blew my mind. She looks tired. She looks torn. She might not be the Leliana we once knew and loved...and I'm totally okay with that.
All in all, I think my biggest concern is that I don't know what PC looks like. The demos were console-based (edit: the demo was played on PC but used a controller, so didn't show the PC UI variant), and I am extremely nitpicky about UI elements interfering with enjoying the world (especially in a near open world setting just like this).
Nevertheless, the game is beautiful and plays quite smoothly. I'm going to give it another go at E3 tomorrow (and hopefully not wait two hours to see it again, heh). Hoping to give you all more info in the coming days ahead.