Dragon Age: Inquisition’s Keep – how it keeps your characters alive, even if you’re switching format

By Patrick Garratt, Thursday, 28 August 2014 14:01 GMT

Inquisition producer Cameron Lee explains how you’ll be able to swap console and keep your Dragon Age dream alive.

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“You can drill down to hundreds of decisions if you want to, or just the major ones. It’s up to you.”

Dragon Age Keep got semi-leaked last week after a tester published some screens, but what can you really expect from the new BioWare tool?

The Keep allows you to maintain the decisions you made in previous Dragon Age games, even if you’re crossing formats and generations. Switching from PS3 to Xbox One? You can continue your world state, programming previous decisions into Dragon Age: Inquisition, regardless of the status of your game saves.

Currently in beta, the Keep is a solution by which you’ll be able to remake every single decision from previous games: even if you’ve forgotten what they are.

“We have a website we’re launching before the game comes out that’s called the Dragon Age Keep,” producer Cameron Lee told VG247. “You go in there and you create your past characters from previous games, and you can define the decisions and actions that you’ve taken in those games.

“You can drill down to hundreds of decisions if you want to, or just the major ones. It’s up to you. And then you can bring those decisions into your game of Inquisition. It’ll automatically change the world based on that. The beauty is that if you’ve lost your saved games, or if you want to go from 360 to PS4 then you can do that now, whereas if you just used the saved games you wouldn’t be able to. It’s pretty cool.”

If the prospect of going over hundreds of decisions from previous games sounds a little daunting, BioWare’s come up with hinting systems to jog your memory.

“There’s lots of pictures and text, and in some cases there’s narration to help you remember,” said Lee.

“I’ve no doubt people will remember the major decisions, but things get a little bit harder when drilling down through everything.

“We made an algorithm that will go back over all of these hundreds of choices and it’ll find anything in conflict. So it’ll say, ‘You couldn’t have made these two decisions: which one did you really make?'”

“So we made an algorithm that will go back over all of these hundreds of choices and it’ll find anything in conflict. So it’ll say, ‘You couldn’t have made these two decisions: which one did you really make?’ It reminds people.

The Keep is a significant departure from previous systems employed to keep BioWare’s RPG series in line for players as they move between technically disparate games. When Mass Effect came to PS3, for example, an in-game intro allowed you to make key choices from the Xbox-exclusive first installment before charging off into the sequel. Dragon Age needed something heavier.

“Realistically, it’s too complicated,” said Lee. “If you haven’t played the previous games, you don’t need to go to the Keep. You can just get the world state as it is. Or, if you want to, you could go to the Keep even as a new player, and say, ‘Well, what are the big events that have been happening in the Dragon Age world?’ It’s just like a bit of an introduction. I think it’s a good tool for new fans and existing fans if they want to use it.”

Sign up for the Dragon Age Keep beta to get a pre-launch look.

Dragon Age: Inquisition releases on November 18 in the US and November 21 in Europe for PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 and PS4.

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