What Hardcore Fans Can Expect From Dragon Age: Inquisition

In a new article-style interview, GameSpot grills BioWare creative director Mike Laidlaw about "what hardcore fans can expect from Dragon Age: Inquisition", specifically the decision-making we'll have to do, how we'll be able to indulge ourselves with side quests while the main story waits for our return, the amount of inter-party character banter we can expect, and more. A handful of paragraphs:

"It's closer to Origins in overall feel. It's bigger, it's bolder. It plays slower than [Dragon Age 2]. That said, there were some things for DA2 that I felt were very powerful. The characters I felt did a better job of having their own stories or agendas. So we held on to a lot of that. We wanted to make sure they had their own arcs, whether you were romancing them or just friends. The other big thing that we kept from DA2 is that combat in general feels responsive. I think DA2 was very successful in making you feel like oh, I tagged that guy and moved in, I punched him in the face. Some people would get annoyed because they thought I was dismissing Origins, but when your character took a long time to shuffle into position it was like, 'you're a trained warrior, you can do better.'"

Combat in Dragon Age: Inquisition has been touted by BioWare as "more challenging" than that of the previous games. When pressed for specific examples, Laidlaw explained, "there are two big changes in terms of enemy opposition; there was much stuff with balance and they're tougher, and we don't have waves of dudes that explode in one hit. Enemy factions like the Red Templars, the Venatori, these enemies typically will work together quite effectively. The guardsmen with their large shields, generally if they're not in immediate combat they will try to place themselves so that your shots at the mages behind them will be deflected. Enemy assassins or other stealthy characters will actively hunt out your mages and rogues, your back rank characters."

Fighting the dragons will also be different to that of previous Dragon Age games, with players able to target the the legs and head of dragons individually. The properties of each dragon's breath will also come into play, interacting with environments.

"The way we developed them, we built the bases, and we had a team of level designers, and the creature guys, and the animators, and the visual effects guys, all of them would come in and play each dragon. They'd pick one dragon per day and it was about a two to three week cycle for them to go through them all. Then they'd go and make improvements, like making it so that his lightning breath electrifies the water."