I don’t remember much about the combat in previous Dragon Age games except that I would run into battle, spam attacks and hope for the best. It generally worked but wasn’t very memorable. This time combat felt a lot better when I played it at Gamescom, and here’s why.
Bioware’s Daniel Kading and Mark Darrah took a whole bunch of combat-related questions via the Dragon Age social media accounts. Their answers show some new designs and ideas that increase the focus on tactics while still making the game accessible for those who aren’t as tactically inclined.
Weapon decay is gone – apparently Thedosian merchants give their products lifetime guarantees considering the whole apocalyptic sky-hole. Good move. However, those weapons aren’t interchangeable; they’re class restricted:
Class-restricted, though our animators provided some beautiful variant attack styles within each melee weapon set. For instance, rogues perform different attacks depending on whether they’re armed with single- or double-bladed daggers.
There is also a cool new combat skill/ability that sounds like it can be used to absolutely own your enemies:
There’s a fun one put together by our ability designers, Jon Fuller and Luke Barrett, called Fallback Plan. Only Varric, and possibly your Inquisitor, gain access to this ability, which lets you place a gadget on the ground; if you get into trouble later, you can instantly relocate to that position. If you upgrade it, you’ll also be set back to the level of health you had upon placing the gadget, and—if you are standing close to an enemy—you’ll kidnap the enemy back with you. By combining this with stealth, and placing traps or mage glyphs under the marker, many hijinks can ensue.
Sneak in, grab enemy and teleport him away from his friends so that you can kill him in all manner of awesomeness? Sounds like a plan to me! Another cool ability comes from the actual Fade Rifts themselves:
Most of the rifts in the Fade are defended by powerful, newly emerged demons that still bear a connection to the Fade. These battles are difficult, but the Inquisitor can use their power to even the odds by getting close enough to “disrupt” the Fade rift during these fights, which will send a powerful shockwave out that heavily damages and stuns its defenders.
I really like that my combat spamming won’t be necessary. Dragon Age: Inquisition promises a much more tactical approach. But don’t worry – if you need a slower introduction to tactical battle systems, Bioware has thought of you, too.
Many battles are in locations that allow you to “scout” your opponents before they notice you, giving you the time to analyze tactical opportunities the environment offers: chokepoints for warriors, blind approaches for rogues, enemies in vulnerable locations, etc. Sometimes your allies will spot opportunities in these fights and make suggestions on strategies of approach.
I am getting more and more excited for this game. I really don’t think that I can wait for much longer. What aspects are getting you hyped? Is it enough that it’s a Bioware game, or has the newly designed story, characters or combat won you over? Oh, who are we kidding, you’re just glad that the world is larger and more open to real exploration.
Last Updated: August 22, 2014