After being a big grumpbag about Mass Effect 3's multiplayer when BioWare announced it, thinking it a cynical cash-grab, I was pleased to discover it was actually pretty fun for a box-ticking feature. So, if you don't mind, I'd like to skip that rigmarole for Dragon Age: Inquisition. The fantasy RPG will also have a four-player co-op multiplayer mode, BioWare announced yesterday. It sounds like it'll try the same sort of stuff ME3 was up to, only better.
You can pore over IGN's exclusive preview for the minutiae, but in short: it's a separate four-player co-op PvE mode, only with real-time combat and none of that pausing, about mashing monsters, levelling up, collecting loot, and unlocking more items and characters. BioWare plan to release free DLC with new characters and levels, but will try to lure money out of your purse with a virtual currency to buy grab-bags of instant unlocks. So far, so familiar.
Differences are small but pleasant. Characters are distinct personalities this time, not blank slates, though they're not any of the main characters. Rather than fixed arenas, Inquisition's co-op levels are procedurally generated linear doodads which string together a selection of 5 pre-made areas from a possible pool of 10. These are nice-sounding tweaks to the formula, but won't mean much if Inquisition's core combat isn't much fun--and in real-time too. Mass Effect 3's multiplayer worked because the game was, at heart, a pretty fun shooter.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is due on November 21st, following a slight delay. Here, watch some IGN folks talk about the multiplayer while showing a few snippets: