"Darkness closes in. Will you stand against it - or lead this world to its bitter end?"
The third installment of the Dragon Age series, set to be released in Fall 2014 for PC, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4 and Xbox One. The game takes place across the lands of the Orlesian Empire, the Free Marches, and Ferelden, among others, after the conclusion of Asunder and the Dragon Age II epilogue in 9:40 Dragon, and concerns the on-going war between the Mages and the Templars that started in the second installment.Instead of the Warden or Hawke, the player takes control of a new protagonist, the Inquisitor. Similar to Dragon Age: Origins, players can customize this hero's class, gender, and race (human, elf, dwarf or Qunari). After a cataclysmic event plunges Thedas into turmoil, the Sole Survivor of said event is tasked with rebuilding the ancient Inquisitionnote originally an Anti-Magical Faction from the Divine Age, which merged with the Chantry nine centuries ago and eventually split into the now rogue Templar Order and Seekers of Truth and leading it to restore order and hunt down the agents of chaos.Previews: Official site, "The Fires Above" trailer.
Anti-Magical Faction: The purpose of the original Inquisition, before it joined forces with the Chantry and was splintered into various branches. What path the new Inquisition follows depends on your choices (and the first brand-new companion announced is a mage advocate, although one that previously supported the Chantry and the Circle system before the Templar-Mage war broke out).
DAI is being built on DICE's Frostbite, as opposed to the aging Eclipse Engine.
Elves were redesigned again, to look less human-with-pointy-ears than in Origins, but also less stylized than in Dragon Age II.
Beef Gate: Though areas are open, most enemies won't scale to your level, making it hard to acess a sub-region if you can't beat the monsters inhabiting it.
Benevolent Architecture: Thanks to the shift to the Frostbite engine, Inquisition features destructible environments. This includes things like knocking out the supports of a bridge, causing it to collapse from under the archers standing on it, toppling pillars to create cover from ranged enemy attacks, or destroying cover the enemies themselves are using. Presumably, though, it can go the other way.
Broken Bridge: You won't be able to access an enemy castle for instance unless you've first recruited enough forces in story quests to lay siege to it.
Big Bad: Whoever is responsible for the tear in the Veil.
Body Horror: One of the first boss monsters shown seems to be a human who has been mutated by red lyrium.
Chain Pain: Warriors now have the option to yank opponents towards them using chains.
Civil War: The ongoing Mage and Templar War, and an upheaval in Orlais foreshadowed in II and Asunder.
A wide variety of ornate or otherwise nifty looking one and two handed swords are available for your party to find.
The Red Templars use glowing creepy but cool-looking red swords that bear a disturbing resemblance to Meredith's red lyrium sword from the previous game. The Red Templar Archers also get similar looking bows, which bear a slight resemblance to Irvine's demonic one from Berserk.
You can coat your swords with oils or magics to give them flaming blades.
The Conspiracy: The Inquisition is resurrected to get to the bottom of claims a shadowy conspiracy is behind the political strife preceding Inquisition's demonic invasion.
Crapsack World: A cataclysmic event has plunged the entire continent into turmoil, dragons are darkening the skies and the mage-templar war is now just one of many wars that have claimed countless lives.
Deployable Cover: One of the new spells creates a wall of ice that your party can hide behind.
Guilt-Based Gaming: A Bioware tradition. The first gameplay demo shows the Inquisitor choosing whether his soldiers should stay with their wounded, protect the nearby village of Crestwood, or join his assault on the Red Templars. He picks the last one - and Crestwood is burned to the ground by the time he gets back.
Old Save Bonus: Like in the previous installments, you can import old DA saves at the start of a new game. Bioware has said solutions are in the works for save transfers to next gen console as well. To that end there is the "Dragon Age Keep", which lets you design import data from the previous games to your specifications.
The Order: The Inquisition, an organization formed to restore order and root out conspiracy.
Order Reborn: The original Inquisition was disbanded nearly a thousand years ago.
Party of Representatives: Discussed here. The party members will embody different viewpoints and have differing levels of investment in certain issues.
Player Headquarters: The player has access to a central fortress where they can speak to their companions, similar to the party camp in Origins.
Player Party: As in the previous titles, you can to switch control to any member of your current party at will.
Powerup Mount: You can now ride horses to get around areas faster.
Romance Sidequest: Various romance options for your main character are available, as in the previous games.
Shield-Bearing Mook: In the same vein as the Cerberus Guardians in ME3. This emphasizes party teamwork - you can't punch through the shields even with magic, so you need to flank or disarm them.
Shoddy Knockoff Product: In-Universe; Word of Godsays that "Hard in Hightown 2", the book next to Cassandra's maps, is an unauthorized sequel to Varric's original. The book had previously appeared in Varric's companion specific sidequest in Mark of the Assassin, where he was furious to discover someone ripping off his work, leading him to collect all the copies he could find at Chateau Haine so he could burn them.
Stopped Numbering Sequels: Originally announced as Dragon Age III: Inquisition, the III was eventually dropped from the title. "DAIIII" as abbreviation was probably a bit awkward.
War Is Hell: Many characters are shown being scarred by the events of the Thedas civil war. The first trailer shows the world on the verge of collapse, with a shell-shocked Varric standing amidst a field of dead.
The War Room: The trailer shows Cassandra and her allies poring over a map, which she dramatically stabs. Concept art shows a male Inquisitor stealing her act while his companions (including Cassandra and Varric) look on.