Heroes of Dragon Age is a party-based strategy-combat game that enables virtual combatants to jump back into classic Dragon Age lore, fighting battles and combining characters in a way unique to BioWare’s original universe.
“This is the first opportunity where you can take characters from anywhere — good guys, bad guys, dragons — and you can have them all as part of your party,” says Tim Lander, the game’s producer.
The original Dragon Age (Dragon Age: Origins), launched on consoles back in 2009, with a console sequel, books, a Facebook RPG, and even table top games to follow, but this is the first time characters from the franchise will be featured in a mobile title, hitting free-to-play on both iOS and Android this fall.
“Instead of giving you a new storyline or characters, we’re giving you more of a what-if scenario, where you go on various quests, and it’s up to you to put a party of characters together to see how they would do in battle,” says Lander. “Dragon Age has this huge lore behind it, so what we’re doing is retelling some of these classic stories.”
From the moment you first turn on the game, you’ll realize that it’s all about strategy and how you setup your party, as once you go into battle, you’re simply watching how the fight plays out, rather than tapping or swiping at various characters on screen in order to aid their combat.
“It’s all about the stats and the speed of the units,” says Lander. “We made some very deliberate choices to not go the route of interactivity. Something the Dragon Age fans really love is the aspect of setting up their units. By choosing not to have interactivity, we allow that strategy to be a lot stronger. The strategy is about how you setup your party, not how quickly you can tap your screen.”
Beyond heading out on quests within the story, there will also be a PvP aspect to the game. Gamers will be able to play asynchronously, loading up their party to fight whether they’re online or not.
And the more you play, the more gold you’ll collect, and the more XP your characters will earn. With your gold, you can then purchase new characters — each character rated in speed, power, and health — in addition to the fact that every character has a unique ability like the skill to slow down one enemy after each attack.
Says Lander: “Everything can be purchased with the currency you earn in the game. There’s nothing behind a pay wall here. There are opportunities for people to make purchases, and they will get better chances at getting some of the rare characters, but everything is available to all players.”
Don’t like a character in your party? No problem as you’ll be able to combine characters … yes, combine characters in order to take two weaker mages for example, and join them together into one playable character that combines the XP into one wicked magician. Stronger characters can even consumer weaker ones you don’t want, adding the weaker character’s XP into the character you actually wish to remain in your party. And with the ability to simply drag and drop characters via touchscreen, all of the character combining and battle positioning is incredibly accessible.
From the Lady of the Forest to Anders, you’re able to mix and match the Dragon Age party of your dreams, as you take on other players who might try to stack the deck with some sick looking dragons.
“What I’m really excited about is that you get to go back and play through storylines that you always heard referenced in the console games, but here you actually get to go back and see some of this content,” says Lander. “Some of this content gamers have never seen before, because it might be from the books, for instance.”
And with 10 maps packed with 6 quests each, not to mention, all of the PvP madness that is set to go down, this should be the type of battle game Dragon Age fans have been craving to take on the road.