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Dragon Age: Inquisition's first gameplay details revealed

Dragon Age: Inquisition is the next Game Informer reveal, and BioWare has given up a lot of new information about its next-gen RPG.

The developer didn't give further information, simply noting that Inquisition's mounts are "more involved than simply riding a horse around".

The news is just one of a number of interesting bits of information harvested from the pages of Game Informer's cover story by Gematsu, which also confirmed multiple playable races.

During the time in which Dragon Age: Inquisition is set, the land of Thesdas is in chaos. The Chandry is in open war with mages, but the Seekers of Truth and the Templers have split from the Chantry. During this already messy political situation, a tear appears in the sky, opening a door to the Fade and allowing demons to enter the world.

The game map stretches from eastern Ferelden to western Orlais, but while it's more open world than previous games, BioWare has not built "a million square miles of space" between the "significant" regions players will actually be exploring.

There will be no repeating level designs, and each area is larger than any seen in previous Dragon Age games. Each environment is full of little touches which lead to extra gameplay; this is designed to encourage exploration. That said, enemy encounters are rarely scaled to the player's level so wandering the wilds is not recommended.

The player character is called the Inquisitor. Although the character is fully voiced, like in Dragon Age 2, players can choose their name, race, class and gender, as in Dragon Age: Origins. Choosing race has implications as different regions have different levels of acceptance and discrimination.

Players grow the Inquisition much as they develop characters, collecting items and completing quests to add to the organisation's power. Some areas of the map won't be available until the Inquisition is powerful enough.

In combat, enemy behaviour isn't fixed, but instead influenced by their health, their cooldown times, and the player location. Enemies are to said to make tactical considerations based on the player’s location, cool down times and their own amount of health. Different kinds of enemies have specific roles, such as melee, ranged, support and stealth.

BioWare is hoping to allow players to approach the game from a tactical, action-oriented or hybrid philosophy, and to this end, has once more implemented complementary class-based skill trees and specializations.
Behaviour sets and character switching also return. Although many skills are immediate effect, giving the feel of action, the game's pacing is supposed to push you towards a thoughtful approach.

Blending Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2's systems, players will be able to customise the armour of every party member - but armour will be tailored to each individual, so that they retain an "iconic" look; although the details change, the basic silhouette will remain. The example of Cassandra's trenchcoat style armour was cited.

Players can craft items into new armour or upgrades to existing sets. Interestingly, you can get the best stats on any armour set, so if you really like the look of an early piece you can stick by it into end game.

BioWare said players shouldn't worry about which platform they choose for Dragon Age: Inquisition, as it's investigating ways of allowing players to carry their choices over from previous games regardless.

Speaking of choices, major decisions will affect the whole game, not just a couple of levels, even determining what encounters you have later in the story.

Hit the link above for many more details from the issue. GameInformer will probably have an exclusive on new screenshots, but they may get a general release at gamescom.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is coming to PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in northern autumn 2014.

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