Character Rules in Dragon Age: Inquisition

There’s a war going on between Mages and Templars in “Dragon Age: Inquisition,” and you, an Inquisitor, are caught in the middle of it. It’s up to you to bring it to an end, to bring order out of chaos, but just how you do that can take a lot of forms. Indeed, you yourself can take a lot of forms: Your class, race, and gender are up to you, and “Dragon Age: Inquisition” is all about the decisions you make right from the start.

Who you surround yourself with also matters. Your party not only talks to you and to each other, but also fights with you, providing support, casting spells, shooting arrows, dealing damage, and otherwise being an integral portion of this role-playing game’s traditional combat system. You can play “Inquisition” as an action-RPG, fighting from a third-person perspective, using the sticks and buttons to beat your foes up via hundreds of special abilities and spells. Or you can treat it like a traditional RPG, using the tactical view to issue orders, scan the battlefield, and meticulously plan out your strategy – and then watch it play out in real time. The choice is yours.

But that’s far from the only choice you’ll be presented with in “Dragon Age: Inquisition.” Developer BioWare has long prided itself on presenting players with myriad character development arcs and moral quandaries, and this game promises to be no different. The war has many sides, and affects many characters in different ways. What you choose may have far-reaching consequences that you might not see right away, but may affect how other characters see you later in the game. These choices will need to be dealt with as you play, but then, that’s all part of the fun – and replay value – of “Inquisition,” after all.

While the design sticks to the BioWare roots, the graphics make full use of the next-gen power of the Xbox One. In the E3 2014 demo we saw, the player’s party of four fought a gigantic dragon. Beautifully rendered, it buffeted them with its wings, breathed gouts of fire, swatted at them with its legs, and generally presented a highly believable representation of what combat with a life-size, kick-ass dragon might actually look like.

Though the demo whet our appetites, BioWare has promised that “Inquisition” is the biggest “Dragon Age” title ever, and we can’t wait to get our hands on much, much more of it this October.