Details emerge for Dragon Age III

Dragon Age: Origins, was very well-received, and marked the beginning of what many thought would be a grand franchise. Unfortunately, the developers changed direction for the second game, Dragon Age II, and many of the franchises’ fans turned away, unhappy with the over-simplification of mechanics that they had enjoyed in the first game, which many theorize was a move designed to appeal to the more casual audience of the gaming console market, where the first game did not sell as well.

Now that the third game, Dragon Age III: Inquisition, has been announced, fans are wondering if the new title will be a return to the sophistication of the first game or a continuation of the new gameplay style found in the second.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a full answer to that yet, only the assurances from the development team that they are “listening to the fans,” but some details about the game are starting to trickle out, mostly from last week’s panel at the Edmonton Comic & Entertainment Expo.

First, we’ve been told that the game will revolve heavily around character customization. The players will only have one race available, human, but that human will have a customized look for each player. Players will also be given greater control over the look of their followers – characters in the story who follow and assist the protagonist. Each follower’s skills appearance will be alterable to suit the player.

These are just surface changes, though. What will be most interesting is how the gameplay is formulated. On that front, all we know so far is that the game is getting a new engine, and that the gameworld will be bigger than Dragon Age II. “Just one level in Dragon Age III is as big as all of Dragon Age II’s levels,” said Producer Cameron Lee.

The team also hinted at the possibility of a cooperative multi-player mode and some castle management elements.

During the event, these pieces of concept art appeared over on the Bioware development blog:

I don’t think I’d be alone in thinking that all three of these look heavily inspired by Elderscrolls V: Skyrim.

Dragon Age III: Inquisition is slated to go live by the end of 2013.