Dragon Age Keep’s potential and some of the concerns I have.
My first experience with the Dragon Age series started with Origins on the Xbox 360. As a console player since childhood, the controls and gameplay did not appeal to me because I felt like it was optimized it for the PC. I played Dragon Age II without finishing its predecessor and loved the improvement to the combat and gameplay. It was not a perfect game, but it was definitely more friendly to console players.
Years later, I bought the entire Dragon Age series on the PC for a discount. I loved it but I want to go back to playing on the console and purchase it for the PlayStation 4.Think of it as a mod that let’s you make a custom save file except it’s officially made by BioWare and it can work on different platforms. It was mentioned that the game will be optimized for ‘mouse and keyboard,’ but I still want to play it on console. Three problems arose: First, I would have to wait for the past two games to be available on PSN. Secondly, I’ll be buying another set for the trilogy. Thirdly, playing everything all over again (meaning Origins on console). I have my limits too, you know!
It turns out that BioWare has thought this through with Dragon Age Keep and it’s a promising concept so far.
To keep it simple, it is a cloud based alternative to a direct save file transfer. You will be able to craft your past through an application or the web before you start an Inquisition. Think of it as a mod that let’s you make a custom save file except it’s officially made by BioWare and it can work on different platforms.
This means that player’s won’t be constrained to one platform. Now, it seems like it’ll be easy for me to switch from PC to PS4 in the future. This is also particularly helpful with gamers who have completely switched platforms or when they switch to next-gen. You won’t need to buy the past two games again just to have your ideal playthrough. Associate producer Scylla Costa was kind enough to clarify this via Twitter:
@cdrbedlam you can start at any platform if you use the Keep before you start your Inquisition. http://t.co/sACguOibZs @DaintyNinja
— Scylla Costa (@scyllacosta) August 28, 2013
This is mostly a solution tailored to console gamers since straight PC players simply play on one machine as they upgrade it. There’s also an unofficial mod for this as I mentioned before but it can only work on the latter platform.
Another thing that is cool about this is how it opens Dragon Age: Inquisition to new players. Sure, it’s an all new adventure and the game can fill you in on what happened in the past two games. However, it’s kind of lame jumping into a franchise knowing your decisions from the past two games count. I did this before and I hated the default ‘save,’ so I ended up buying the other games. Others might not have the money or patience to do this. With Keep, new players can jump right in with ease.
My only concern about Keep is how detailed it is when it comes to your decisions.My only concern about Keep is how detailed it is when it comes to your decisions. Mass Effect had those prequel comics and it only featured the major decisions. How about the side quests I meticulously finished? Nothing. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the game enjoyable too. The comic didn’t let me meet Conrad Verner, so I didn’t get to see him in future games. Hopefully, Keep will take into account almost every decision in the past games. If not, console players moving to next-gen aren’t going to be happy.
How about DLCs? Does this mean that Keep will assume that I played ALL of the DLCs? If that’s the case, then people won’t need to buy it. Good for consumers but might hurt sales for BioWare and Electronic Arts.
It’s too early to tell now, but we will know for soon in 2014.
- Rebuild your world for Dragon Age: Inquisition with cloud-based tool (gamesradar.com)
- Dragon Age Keep allows players to customize their history (polygon.com)
- Dragon Age: Inquisition Might Just Make Up For Dragon Age II (webpronews.com)