Say what you will; BioWare makes one hell of a American RPG!! As far back as Knights of the Old Republic, in our sweet land of liberty, RPG’s had already begun leaving behind the classic Japanese styled turned based game for something entirely new. There was a time and place when Japanese RPG’s ruled the roost, we all loved and still cherish Final Fantasy 7, but those days are long gone. What makes American styled RPG’s so special is that the game becomes something completely our own, we craft our own heroes, make our own moral choices, and shape the world as we see fit; some more than others. This was the biggest upset for Mass Effect 3; BioWare took away our control we had in the previous two games and forced a controlled story down our throats. Countless nerds who had been creating something unique since Mass Effect first hit shelves back in 2008, reacted to the so-called three “choice” ending of M3 with obviously outrage.
Understandingly, we’re all feeling jaded and apprehensive with BioWare. Will they make the same mistakes with Inquisition? Considering the pitfalls with Dragon Age 2, its fare to say we are indeed nervous. Now, Dragon Age 2 wasn’t entirely awful, the combat system for one and story, for me at least, were both spot on (though the story wasn’t as deep as Origins, it was still excellent). But because Dragon Age: Origins was so amazing, so awesome, and so deeply detailed, BioWare had some big expectations to satisfy. What I didn’t like about Dragon Age 2 was the limitations in character stories. The choices you made did effect the overall outcome, but even those were limited, especially considering the total of six (seven if you count in the Awakening DLC) origin stories in the first game. In Dragon Age 2, you were either a mage or not a mage, and this simple choice set the foundation for the story you were about to play.
Notwithstanding all the past issues with BioWare, i’m actually excited and looking forward to the release of Dragon Age: Inquisition. Ever since Origins, there has been this underlying issue between the mages and the Chantry regarding freedom, control, and the use of magic and forbidden magic (aka blood magic). By the end of Dragon Age 2, the issue between the two groups had caught fire and spread into an all out war. According to the official Dragon Age website the new story will be driven by a cataclysmic event that happens during the turmoil. The void, separating the fade from reality, has been ripped open by a group calling themselves the Agents of Chaos, and it will be the heroes mission to hunt them down and restore order…or not restore order. If you are new to the Dragon Age universe, the following videos will show you some of the background that has developed throughout the story thus far. Now, because Dragon Age has a huge universe, i’ll only be showing you the mage version of the story with the most obvious choices nerds have made while playing.
The above clip gives you a little preview of the opening mage story and a peek into the main problem regarding mages and the Chantry: control. Through conversations with other characters throughout the story, you’ll discovery some of the history of the game and why the Chantry imposes on the magi. Because of a few bad apples in the past, they fear anyone with the ability to control magic. And as Master Yoda had taught so many years ago, fear can lead to a lot of nasty things. Understandably, the magi ar’nt so keen on being controlled, and a lot have already begun to break ties with the Chantry, becoming, as the games calls them, apostates (illegal users of magic).
This clip shows you the ending for Dragon Age 2, if you decided to side with the mages. The problems between the Chantry and the mages developed deeper in Dragon Age 2 than it did in Origins. There were a lot more choices to be made, both positive and negative. Brother turning against brother, sister against sister, lines drawn in the sand, and finally when the unthinkable happens, when Anders sets the blaze and the Knight Commander looses control, with not just her city but herself as well. The final cut gives us a little preview of the beginning revolution, the mages have risen up! Personally, since day one, I’ve sided with the mages and made their story, my story. Probably because the mages have the most tragic and most human backgrounds. Past histories shaping future events is a very real and common way to give a tale depth and substance.
Dragon Age: Inquisition has plenty of background to make a fine story indeed. Hopefully, the developers have heard the cries of wounded nerds and have taken them into account. Looking at their website, BioWare is making a lot of promises with this new addition, such as: an open multi-regional world, coordinated group dynamics during combat, being able to physically transform certain aspects of our in-game environments (bases and what not), deep and complicated characters, an extensive customizable hero (from boot color to race and everything in-between), and having overall control of our destiny through choice throughout the story. Here is a video showing us what we all have to look forward to:
Release date for Dragon Age: Inquisition has been set for sometime during the fall of 2014 on the PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One and PC. Many of us have already begun throwing our money at the screen. Despite past mistakes, it looks like we’re ready to forgive BioWare in anticipation of Inquisition. And our curiosity with the outcome with Morrigan grows stronger each day. What happened with her love child? How will she effect the games story? Are you friend or foe? Personally, i’m more than a little optimistic for how well Inquisition will turn out, especially considering that it looks like BioWare are taking more cues from Origins than the second game. Only time will tell and so now all we have to do is play the waiting game…….