Peter Moore stepped up on stage to announce that EA Access would be giving fans early access to Madden 16 this August. Not only that, as reported by TiX earlier, Titanfall will be joining the vault too. He then went on to confirm that later this year Dragon Age: Inquisition would also be available on EA Access.
To celebrate this excellent news, Moore revealed that EA Access would be free for all Xbox Live users this weekend.
Your hosts Greg Giddens and Neale Jarrett are here to take you on an audio journey of Xbox game impressions and opinions, bad jokes, Xbox news, worse jokes, guest interviews, really terrible jokes, and a fortnightly competitive challenge.
Beware of strong language, and awful, awful jokes.
In this episode Greg Giddens and Neale Jarrett discuss Castlestorm: The Definitive Edition, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Farcry 4 and The Golf Club. The pair also discuss the email topic question sent in by IndigoTechKnow about the quality of games in Games With Gold this month, as well as the usual teaser of the pair’s latest Challenge Video and a short discussion on recent Xbox news.
If I was a Bioware writer during the release of Dragon Age: Inquisition I’d have been scared as hell. Mass Effect 3 was the end of one of the biggest RPG franchises in the last 10 years but was met with major criticism because of its ending. Then there was Dragon Age II, which although I thoroughly enjoyed, it was also met with quite the backlash from fans for being too different to the original game. Dragon Age: Inquisition however is a spectacular RPG that will keep players coming back for more, months after they first load it up.
Without giving away any spoilers, the game starts off with the Mages and Templars attempting to find peace with one another, the Chantry are caught in the middle brokering the deal. Something goes horribly wrong and during an explosion delegates from all three parties are killed. The Templars blame the Mages and the Mages want revenge against the Templars, it looks like Thedas is about to fall once again into a bloody war zone. Oh and did I mention the big gaping green hole in sky? That’s a tear in the Fade and through it demons are spilling out across Thedas killing indiscriminately. Members of the Chantry’s delegation pull you (the player) from out of the rubble and through a series of twists and turns you are chosen to help resolve the mess all while being labelled ‘The Herald’. The Inquisition is born from chaos and it is down to you and a chosen few to restore order across the land. As with all RPG’s nowadays, who you recruit and how you choose to play is completely up to you. Keep in mind however that your decisions directly affect the world around you. Not always for the better.
There is an incredible amount of history and lore in the Dragon Age universe and it can be a daunting task trying to absorb it all, let alone remember what had happened during Dragon Age I and II. Bioware have you covered here and released the Dragon Age Keep prior to the launch of Dragon Age: Inquisition. With no save game import feature present for the latest title, Dragon Age Keep allows you to go back and enter all the choices and decisions you made during the first two games (including all DLC) and then save this against your profile on the Dragon Age servers. Start a new game on your console and import this file and the world around you is shaped to your choices. Of course this also gives you the chance to alter decisions you made in the previous titles to see a different set of results and lore unravel in Dragon Age: Inquisition.
Inquisition’s world is, for the lack of a better choice of words, bloody huge! You start in an area known as the Hinterlands. Those that played the first Dragon Age will be familiar with this part of Thedas as Redcliff is based here. I spent around 12 hours in the Hinterlands exploring, completing side quests and missions before I released this was just the beginning. As The Herald you lead the Inquisition’s War Council deciding what missions take place across both Thedas and Orlais, directing troop movements, espionage missions and diplomatic envoys. The more areas you send your scouts to explore, the more of the map you open up for yourself. From seizing control and rebuilding large fortresses to exploring arid deserts and snowy peaks, Dragon Age: Inquisition has enough content in the world to keep you occupied for 60 hours and beyond. Perfectionists can expect to reach triple figures.
Taking a break from the main part of the game, let’s discuss the multiplayer, which is very different from the main game. You and three other friends team up to explore dungeons and areas of the main game in smaller bite sized chunks. Your progress doesn’t have any effect on the single player campaign but can be fun due to the limitations in place. These limitations are there to ensure you work together as a team. For example, you will have limited access to weapons and potions and you can only succumb to the enemy three times before it’s game over. I spent a limited amount of time with multiplayer. It’s OK, but you’ll soon find yourself bored and craving the single player.
Gameplay is split into three main areas; exploration and combat, narrative and decision-making and management of your Inquisition and troops across the game world. Bioware have mixed these three elements perfectly, ensuring that no single type gets boring too quickly. There is a fantastic story line branch in Orlais which will see you in the Royal Court having to dance, spy, gather clues and impress the aristocracy to complete the mission. The pace is slower than the rest of the game but the gameplay is well thought out and keeps you engaged throughout. Completing missions like this and others will increase the Inquisition’s power and influence, which opens more areas for you to explore and more missions to undertake. Some missions/areas require you to spend your accumulated power points whilst others only open after certain prerequisites have been met.
I particularly enjoyed the combat mechanics in Dragon Age II and Bioware have improved these further for Dragon Age: Inquisition. You get to pick from two combat modes; either real-time or tactical mode. You can of course pick how you play through combat but I strongly suggest experimenting with the tactical view, there are particular missions that become a lot more manageable while using this view, which allows you to pause, scan the battlefield and assign specific orders out one stage at a time. Co-ordinating attacks like this when storming fortresses later in the game makes things a lot easier to control.
We all know the power of the Xbox One by now and visually Dragon Age: Inquisition is gorgeously detailed and stunning to look at. Character customisation is deep and detailed, the frame rate is steady throughout and there appears to be no obvious evidence of tearing on-screen.
One of my favourite bits of Dragon Age: Inquisition is the music. Trevor Morris was brought in to replace Inon Zur, the composer of Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II to compose the soundtracks for Inquisition. The tone the soundtrack sets is just right; from the opening cut screen through to dancing in Orlais, battles along the shore to just wandering around the Inquisition’s stronghold – the music helps place you in this world and fits right at home.
Dragon Age: Inquisition may have had a lot to put right for Bioware fans, but Bioware didn’t shy away from the challenge. The final result is a fantastic title. If you’re an RPG fan then this isn’t to be missed, especially while you sit around waiting for The Witcher 3 and/or The Elder Scrolls Online.
Thanks to Xbox for providing TiX with a download code
This weeks Deals with Gold has been announced and there are some great bargains to be had. If you missed out on the brilliant Titanfall deal over Christmas then you can pick up the deluxe edition for only £10.
There are also some great Xbox 360 deals on games like Skate, Crysis and Mass Effect.
If you’re a fan of the lovely songs that are played whenever you visit a tavern in Dragon Age: Inquisition, you’ll be glad to hear that you can now grab all ten of them for free right now, legally.
The official Dragon Age blog has them available for download now however you only have until 9th February 2015 to grab them, as after that they’re heading to a variety of different digital distribution platforms and you’ll need to pay to get them.
Subscribers to EA Access will be pleased to hear that they will be able to grab hold of Dragon Age: Inquisition five days before anyone else.
EA revealed the details in a blog post that anyone with an EA Access subscription will be able to play the game November 13, five days before the November 18 launch. It hasn’t been confirmed whether this is worldwide.
You’ll get a six hour trial that will give you access to both the single player and the co-op multiplayer portions. All progress will carry over to the full game if you buy it. You’ll also bag 10% off if you buy the games digital version.
Players Can Now Prepare for the launch of Dragon Age: Inquisition (November 21st) with Dragon Age Keep BETA. The Dragon Age Keep is a story creation web app that will give gamers and BioWare fans an opportunity to discover and shape the legacy, heroes and world around their personal story in Dragon Age: Inquisition. To access Dragon Age Keep from a modern web browser, players can visit www.dragonagekeep.com and log-in with their Origin account.
The story of Dragon Age is truly immense and filled with rich characters, beautiful and deadly locales and incredible events which have shaped the world players will experience in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Dragon Age Keep is an opportunity for players who are both new to the franchise and those who have played past games to forge the key moments in the lore, creating a personalised and customised experience when Inquisition launches on November 21.
said Aaryn Flynn, General Manager of BioWare Edmonton and Montreal.
Dragon Age Keep will allow gamers to make key decisions and mold their own Dragon Age history while watching their choices unfold before their eyes through the visual tapestry layout. From defining the heroes, to exploring the World of Thedas and its many influential and memorable personalities, players will be able to shape the story set in the months preceding the cataclysm that begins the events in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Players will also be able to share their stories with their friends and compare their progress across games within the franchise.
One of the titles I was most looking forward to getting hands on with was the latest in the series from BioWare Edmonton; Dragon Age Inquisition. Unfortunately attendees were not able to play for themselves, but BioWare GM Aaryn Flynn walked gamers, trade and press alike through an extended demo on stage.
Flynn immediately went into detail on the nine companions available and explained that the character creation system allows for millions of combinations. With nine class specializations, 21 combat trees and 200 spells and abilities, it was demonstrated that your character will play the way you want to play. There are 200 different weapon and upgrade schematics, 150 different types of armour, and 80 materials, each with their own properties. Holy crap that makes for some serious customization!
As Flynn begins the walkthrough we spot he is playing as a female Warrior. Flynn begins in Fallow Mire, a dark swamp which is full of decaying structures and wildlife. A perfect setting for the hordes of the undead wandering around. Rain and fog make for a nice atmosphere, but don’t hamper the view as you can still see your main objective. Flynn explained that the goal of this quest is to rescue some Inquisition soldiers who have gone missing. It doesn’t take him long to learn that a ruined castle called Hargrave Keep is spot where the soldiers are being kept by hostile Avvar barbarians.
Immediately we noticed that the combat system has been vastly improved and looks to flow a lot better especially when switching between companions on the fly to use whatever abilities are needed to help turn the tide of battle. Probably the biggest difference everyone will be keen to try is the addition of a tactical camera view. Switching to this view not only pauses the game but zooms out to a bird’s eye view so players can see the entire field of battle and set tactics based on the situation. In the demo Flynn took us through how we can use Iron Bull (a companion) to hold a particular position, effectively protecting our rear, whilst we set precise orders to other companions. Flynn used the opportunity to demonstrate how to set your Rogue going indivisible to creep up on enemy ranged units, and our Mage raining DPS down from a safer distance.
Flynn completed the quest which resulted in the rescued soldiers heading back to Skyhold, the customizable fortress of the Inquisition. Flynn explained that you’ll be able to upgrade and build a variety of buildings within the fortress including Stables, Armoury, Tavern for relaxing with a drink, War Room and many many more. From what we saw of Skyhold, the further you progress through the game the more the fortress comes alive with soldiers, merchants, visitors, diplomats and of course your nine companions.
That’s just one of the hundreds of stories you’re going to experience in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Great story lies at the heart of every BioWare game. The game boasts nearly a million words of dialogue, making it easily the biggest story that BioWare has ever told. It took a completionist player more than 150 hours to do everything the game has to offer.
Gamescom 2014 guests were treated to the latest trailer for Dragon Age: Inquisition. The trailer showcases what you can expect from the enemy in the game, where the dangerous villains from beyond the Veil were introduced as the new enemies of Thedas.
During the trailer, you’d have noticed that the war between the Templar Order and the Mages has been interrupted by the appearance of creatures coming from the fade and heading to Thedas. Demons, Spirits, Beasts and Dragons all feature in the trailer and they are literally destroying everything within their path.
If you haven’t played the previous Dragon Age titles you may not have noticed a couple of cameo appearances. BioWare’s Creative Director; Mike Laidlaw announced during the EA Press Conference additional details regarding those cameos.
The character of Hawke from Dragon Age 2 is seen in the trailer and a Warden also made an appearance, yet it is not the same warden featured from Dragon Age Origins. In addition, Laidlaw mentioned that the characters that were present in the previous games, those that can be modified before, can still be modified to appear just like how they look when they last appeared.
Dragon Age Inquisition looked fantastic. Beautifully detailed, stunningly scripted and voice acted. From what we saw, it looked like the franchise has not only matured but successfully shaken off the failings and problems that came with Dragon Age 2. We are extremely excited
The release date for Dragon Age: Inquisition is November 18th. It will be available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Windows PC. We’ll keep you up to date on news as the date approaches.