Dragon Age: Inquisition’s combat trailer sees BioWare combating “lack of more tactical gameplay” in Dragon Age 2


Welcome back to Inquisitor’s Question Time, where we’re still putting your problems to our panel of hurlocultural experts.

Hilda writes: things have taken a cataclysmic turn for the worse, and demons are tumbling forth from the Veil. How do I best combat persistent darkspawn invasions without resorting to an indiscriminate spray like Grey Warden?

“Lots of focus on timing,” recommends BioWare senior gameplay designer Josh Stiksma. “Lots of focus on when the player should be reacting to this, and when there’s an opening for the player to come in and basically slaughter this guy from behind or something.

“Sometimes the tactic is I want is to wait for him to do an attack and then maybe get behind him or see if I can outpace his turn rate.”

Creative director Mike Laidlaw offers an alternative approach to tackling troublesome mobs: “Take advantage of some of the key advantages of Frostbite 3,” he says. “Which is to say that we can modify the world a lot more effectively. Whether that’s smashing through a barricade, knocking down pillars, that kind of stuff. So the environment is playing a major part in the combat.”

A word of warning from Stiksma, however: “Maybe this guy is charged with electricity – maybe I shouldn’t throw something metal that’s connected to a chain to him because that’s actually bad for me.

“Also maybe this creature has armour on and so poison isn’t actually going to get through. It’s just going to glance off him – it’s not going to be effective,” he adds.

I hope we’ve answered your question to your satisfaction, Hilda. Thanks for writing.

Dragon Age: Inquisition executive producer Mark Darrah begins his combat trailer with an assertion that BioWare have received positive and negative feedback for “both” Dragon Age 2 and Origins, but then, er, only seems to find negative feedback for the sequel to draw upon.

Intensely scripted and clever encounter design has always been the quiet ace up BioWare’s sleeve, and that was never more evident that in Dragon Age: Origins. So the fact that Mike Laidlaw recognises party-based tactical goings-on as a USP for the series, and references interest in Wasteland 2 and XCOM to support that? I don’t think Dragon Age’s reinvention could be headed in a more promising direction, to be honest.

What do you think?

Thanks, Shacknews.