Dragon Age: Inquisition has a lot to prove to gamers when it's released in November, and the developers just added some additional pressure to their admittedly already full plate. DA: Inquisition will now be shipping with a co-op multiplayer mode, where up to 4 players can battle it out against the enemies of Thedas. While it will be similar to Mass Effect's take on multiplayer in a lot of ways, there are some key differences.
For those unfamiliar with Mass Effect's multiplayer offering, the game allowed up to 4 people to take on either the Reapers, Cerberus, or the Geth in defending a given level against numerous waves of said enemy. These were broken up by small mission based mini games, such as protecting a drone or hacking into systems throughout the map, but the maps stayed the same from mission to mission. You could also level up your various classes by grinding away or by buying packs that would give you a random assortment of items, gear, or characters. This proved to be the most addictive part of the game.
Dragon Age takes that concept and tweaks it a bit. You still have the random packs method of collecting loot and gear, but the maps themselves are different every time. It should spruce up the experience just based on the fact that it’s not the same exact map every time through and through, but we'll have to wait and see just how different each playthrough is. You won’t just be defending an area either, as these are almost bite-sized campaigns, so you will be accomplishing goals throughout the mission, rather than just surviving for a set amount of time. Take a look at the newest trailer for a glimpse at how the muliplayer will play.
The classes themselves are split between Warriors, Mages, and Rogues, and will contain four of each, with more to come after launch. Once you find the one you like best, you can level them up even if you fail a mission, as you will still gain experience. You will get access to four abilities and two branching skill trees. The other thing that perked my ears up was how you unlock characters. Through the missions and unlocking packs you will unlock crafting items that you can use to craft armor and the like. If you are able to craft the armor of the character you want, you then unlock that character. The game will also ship with what is called Inquisition HQ, which is an app that will be available on PC's, tablets, and smartphones. You can access all your characters here outside of the game to make any necessary tweaks before your next play session. It's a small thing, but when I game I don't have all the time in the world, so the less time I have to waste in the menus during my actual game time the better.
All of this sounds great in theory, but it just depends on how fun and addictive DA’s combat turns out to be. Dragon Age II’s combat was fun, but glitchy and suffered from numerous frame rate issues, and the original DA was fun as well but slow and at times clunky. Hopefully they have found a way to smooth things out. If so, I will be spending a great deal of time here. You can read the full FAQ here.