Is your fantasy a dwarf with a broken nose? An elf with facial scars and a Freddy Mercury moustache? A qunari with asymmetrical horn breakage and bobbing adam’s apple?
“It’s whatever your fantasy is,” says Dragon Age: Inquisition producer Cameron Lee of the game’s character creation tools. “We want your character to be your character, rather than a fixed one we force upon you.”
The character creation menus demoed on the BioWare Twitch channel yesterday begin with broad, sweeping changes, before zooming ever-inwards for fine-tuning.
Inquisition players have the option of four races - human, elf, dwarf, qunari - and a number of classes and specialisation types. You might pick ‘rogue, dual wield’, for instance. But creative director Mike Laidlaw promises that players won’t be locked into a play style - merely their starting talents and weapons. Any character can go hybrid or respec mid-game.
Once players move onto aesthetics, they’ll pick a default head from a range, and then use sliders to adjust face shape, skin tone, complexion, eye colour, beard and the like.
Voices, curiously enough, default to particular extremes according to race - human and elves boast British accents, while qunari and dwarves speak American.
In the stream, Lee and Laidlaw equip their character with a “stache o’ doom” before proceeding to the granular detail: outer and inner iris colour; nose bridge and tip; double chin and adam’s apple; and for qunari, asymmetrical horn breakage.
Players can push and pull each element of their character’s face, like they did the famous plumber’s in the menu of Mario 64.
Lee said the intense detail of character creation was inspired by the game’s broader premise - “being able to make your own inquisitor, and then play through the game and make your own decisions”.
“This flows through everything in the game - customisation, crafting, the decisions you make and the impacts of that, your race, gender, voice,” he said. “We want your character to be your character, rather than a fixed one we force upon you.”
BioWare are looking to let players share characters post-release via replication codes - but are still “finding the venue” for that.
For everything we know about the launch check our Dragon Age: Inquisition guide.