Open world not the 'right challenge' for Dragon Age, says creative director

By Steve Watts, Aug 22, 2013 9:30am PDT

Dragon Age: Inquisition is opening up the world a little more than previous games in the franchise, making for more areas to explore and surprises to find. And though creative director Mike Laidlaw sees the value in bringing some openness, he doesn't feel a true open world game is the right fit for the series.

Laidlaw told Game Informer that there's a "primal joy" in finding areas tucked away with their own hidden nuggets of story and quests, and they've put some of that into Inquisition. As for whether it will ever take the trip to a fully open world, though, Laidlaw seems more skeptical.

"I don't necessarily know that it would be the right challenge to tackle with Dragon Age," he said. "I think that when you make a series of games you need to find what works with that series of games, you need to cultivate fans that have stuck with you and are really passionate. You need to be consistent within. Is it something BioWare might look into? Maybe. That's a pretty long-term question."

Though Laidlaw tipped his hat towards games like Elder Scrolls, he said that Dragon Age tends to keep a tighter grip on the story beats. "Those games can be absolutely enthralling. You can lose yourself in them for 70, 80, 170 hours in an Elder Scrolls game. That's fabulous," he said. "But we have an expectation for Dragon Age which is that strong story, and a focus on those tough, gut-wrenching choices. Having a tighter emphasis on story helps us to maintain that. It's never off the books but for Dragon Age I'd like to stay true to what makes Dragon Age Dragon Age--having that party, working together, and having the story progress."

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