The thought that kept coming to mind while watching the closed-door, hands-off, developer-played demo of Dragon Age: Inquisition at PAX Prime 2013, is that BioWare seems to have taken the lessons of 2011 and 2012 to heart.
For all the tweaks and changes to the formula shown during the demo, the overall feeling I got was of a company trying to recapture to the melding of an epic, branching story with the tight, tactical combat that made the first Dragon Age game so refreshing.
BioWare are obviously trying to give existing fans exactly what they want (you can also play as the Qunari race now, although there’s no evidence of that in the demo) but so far Dragon Age: Inquisition is looking interesting enough to satisfying both old players and new.
BioWare obviously broke the mould for multiplayer in RPGs with Mass Effect 3, whose Galaxy at War component integrates with single player, and has attracted a sizeable following. "The Mass Effect multiplayer stuff was really good, so we've certainly looked at options like that," Lee told me. "But we haven't decided on anything in terms of multiplayer at this point.
Dragon Age: Inquisition doesn't have the base camp feature from previous games in the series - but BioWare has high hopes for its secret replacement.
In Dragon Age: Origins base camp acted as a hub from which you could chat with your party members, give them gifts and enchant your gear, among other things.
Inquisition doesn't have this because the game is structured differently, but watch this space, BioWare Edmonton producer Cameron Lee told Eurogamer.