The Dragon Age games have never been known for their brevity. If you're looking to play Dragon Age: Inquisition, you need to be ready to sink a good 60 hours into it, and that's just for the main story. If you wish to explore everything the game has to offer, you’ll need to pour in upwards of 150 hours. This is a game created for the older generation, the gamers who were challenged every step of the way and who didn't have infinite lives to continually die over and over again. That's not to say Dragon Age: Inquisition only gives players three lives, or punishes even the slightest mistake like Dark Souls, but this isn't a walk in the park, either.

While many assume Dragon Age: Inquisition is an open-world game like Grand Theft Auto 5 or Skyrim, that's not entirely the case. There are 10 main locations in the game, all of which offer considerably more area to cover when compared to previous games in the series. In fact, the areas are so large that mounts have been introduced to assist with travel.

When you first begin the game, you must determine your race and class. There are four races and three classes available to choose form. You can select Dwarves, Elves, Humans or Qunari as your race of choice, then pick between Mage, Rogue and Warrior as your selected class. Each race has specific bonuses that you need to take into account when selecting which race to play as, and not every race can play as every class.

Dwarves cannot play as the Mage class, but they do receive a 25 percent bonus to magic defense. Elves, meanwhile, can play as any class and receive a 25 percent bonus to ranged defense. Humans receive a bonus ability point at the onset of the game, which can help you get a jump on leveling. Finally, Qunari characters receive a 10 percent bonus to melee defense. As you play through the game, you will encounter enemies using a wide variety of attacks. If you plan to attack from a distance, you're going to want the bonuses of the Elves or possibly Dwarves. If you plan to attack using close-range melee weapons, Qunari may be more to your liking.

Of the three classes, there are several specializations for each. Mages can be Knight Enchanters, Necromancers or Rift Mages. Knight Enchanters summon weapons and have more abilities geared toward protection and defense. Necromancers use summoned spirits to help them fight and have abilities focused on area damage, such as enemies exploding upon death. Rift Mages are closer to a typical mage class, specializing in powerful offensive spells.

The Rogue specializations include Artificer, Assassin and Tempest. The Artificer lays traps around the battlefield to take down enemies. While the traps will vary, expect to use explosive mines and similar hidden devices. Assassins are not as bold about their kills as Artificers are. They attack from the shadows, then quickly return to their hidden state. Some attacks will cause a delayed death or damage over time, allowing the Assassin to reach a safe distance when the enemy dies. Tempests are somewhat of a cross between a Mage and a Rogue. They use alchemy to attack foes with magic-like attacks that dish out large amounts of damage.

Warrior specializations include Champion, Reaver and Templar. This is your basic tanking class with high defense and solid offense. You can take lots of hits and dish out an equal amount of damage, but you’ll fight at close range more often than not. Reavers increase their attack power as they take damage. Some Revear abilities will inflict damage to themselves to gain an attack boost, so health management is important if you wish to play this specialization. Templars also resemble a tanking class, but specialize in magic defense. Think of Templars like combat mages who handle magic attacks and defense very well.

While selecting your race and class are important, you'll have many other things to concern yourself with once you step into the game. Crafting is a big piece of the Dragon Age: Inquisition puzzle. Players will be able to craft multiple parts of various items, then combine them to create the final product. The parts used during the creation of the item determine its appearance and abilities.

We'll have more on Dragon Age: Inquisition as the November 18 release date approaches. If there's one thing that can be said now, it's that this is not a game you'll be able to breeze through. That said, make sure to keep Prima Games in mind for all of your strategic Dragon Age needs.


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