While training dragons is what all of the kids are into these days, developer BioWare is still asking its fans to slay the beasts. To do that in the studio’s next big game, you’re going to use all of the tools available to you.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is publisher Electronic Arts and developer BioWare’s massive role-playing game. It will have players gathering up a team — called the Inquisition — to investigate who is responsible for opening a number of interdimensional rifts that demons are using to enter the world. On your path, you’ll naturally come across the world’s apex predator, dragons — it is their age, after all. During a live demo at the giant Electronic Entertainment Expo tradeshow today, GamesBeat got a chance to see a fight between Dragon Age’s heroes and a mammoth dragon, and we came away with some key strategies for felling the mythical beasts.
First, you’re going to need team work. Your inquisition includes a number of playable characters, and you control four at any one time. You’ll need to combine the distinct abilities of each character in battle if you want a chance of surviving an encounter.
While battles unfold in real time in Inquisition, you can pause the action using the tactical view. This gives you the opportunity to survey the landscape, position your units, and give orders. You can then unpause at any time to watch your micromanaging have an immediate effect.
You’ll naturally want to have your ranged characters firing arrows and spells from beyond the dragons’ immediate reach. You can send your warrior character right up to the beast to land some heavy damage.
By working together, players will slowly build up a focus meter, which is a third resource different from stamina or mana. You entire team shares this pool, and it enables powerful spells like focus, which slows down everything in the world except for your heroes.
Focus is an important tool in a dragon fight, as it gives you the opportunity to direct all of your characters toward a single target … one of the dragon’s legs.
These giant-winged reptiles aren’t easy to kill. The biggest ax and the most powerful fire spell will struggle for a long time to do enough damage. But if you can take out one of the creatures’ legs, she will crumple to the ground, which should give your team enough time free from counterattacks to put an end to the fire-breathing enemy.
For her part — at least until you cripple her — the dragon won’t just sit around letting you hit throw attacks at her. She’ll fly into the air, swipe at you, and even bat her wings to create a gust that makes it impossible to stand next to her.
If that all sounds intimidating, well, don’t worry — the game won’t spring dragons on you without warning.
“They don’t roam the land,” BioWare creative director Mike Laidlaw told GamesBeat. “Dragons tend to have locations. You’re going to know that you’re about to get in a fight with one.”
Of course, sometimes the fear of anticipation is worse than the battle itself.
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