BioWare surprised everyone with the revelation that the highly-anticipated Dragon Age: Inquisition (DA:I) will flaunt a multiplayer mode. The four-player co-op seems to take some of the best aspects of Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer in that players will choose not only the classes they will play, but the various characters within that class. This, however, is not the only way it resembles its sci-fi brother.
General Manager of BioWare, Aaryn Flynn, “For Dragon Age: Inquisition, a special team of veteran developers from the Dragon Age and Mass Effect franchises created fun, fast-paced multiplayer gameplay that requires strategic teamwork on top of Inquisition’s party-based combat and extensive loot and crafting system.”
To some, this might sound like a reinvention of Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer recycled for the more sword/spell-wielding audience. But according to IGN’s Mitch Dyer, “[DA:I]’s levels, characters, and economy are significantly deeper.”
One way in which DA:I’s multiplayer strays from it’s roots is introducing areas that are accessible only to certain classes. Usually, such a concept is reserved for single-player campaigns of any given video game that allows for class customization. Taking this to the world of multiplayer can only serve to breath life into a universe that feels organic and able to be manipulated by the player.
Finding loot is one aspect of DA:I’s multiplayer that seems completely copy-pasted from Mass Effect 3: from IGN, “After completing a multiplayer quest, you’ll take home your found gold to spend on treasure chests, which include items such as item recipes, new equipment, potions, grenades, and salves of varying rarity. Some may even unlock a new hero or character skin.” Rather than add an element of discovery behind those class-exclusive walls by throwing loot into the actual levels themselves, BioWare has decided to keep the familiar system of purchasing chests from the lobby.
You can also purchase an “optional time saver” called Platinum. BioWare’s Scylla Costa states “Nothing is behind a paywall. We will never sell you an item.”
Crafting is a feature in multiplayer that will allow you to break down items you have into materials to create upgrades for other weapons or armor you own, or to create brand new ones. This is another way in which DA:I proclaims its independence and world-building in multiplayer that not a lot of other titles achieve.
As far as story goes, multiplayer is very loose. “You’re working for the Inquisitor, running behind-the-scenes Operations with a squad” as Dyer puts it. BioWare has also stated that the multiplayer experience is separate from the single-player campaign; nothing you do in multiplayer will effect your single-player story.
The co-op also mirrors Mass Effect 3’s weekend events. Operations and Prestige will challenge players to complete certain objectives every week. There are also different levels of difficulty players can face. And if that’s anything like ME3, we’re likely to face quite the challenge when it releases on November 18th on both Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen and last-gen consoles, as well as PC. Europe will have to wait until the 21st of November.
The dungeon crawler genre is seeing a high amount of titles rediscover and reinvent the gameplay utilizing the technology many titles have been using for years now. Lionhead Studio’s Fable Legends is touting quite the crawler itself and bringing innovation to the traditional table-top aspect of dungeon crawling: playing as the villain. Is DA:I‘s multiplayer nothing but a medieval filter over Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer? Or will it truly stand alone as a state-of-the-art dungeon crawler experience? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
For hands-on footage of DA:I’s multiplayer, check this out.