It's common knowledge that the Dragon: Age games are like the 7 Up series, but for dragons. The specific dragon around which the saga revolves has been checked in on twice before, with the next game due out this year. Dragon: Age Origins explored birth and that uncomfortable period in a dragon's life where they have no integer to feed into a census form, while Dragon: Age 2 simulated the life of a two-year-old, trapped in a confined space lest it escape its parents' watchful gaze. This is a series that will eventually cover the entire 300-year dragon life cycle, documenting every important moment along the way.
Dragon: Age Inquisition jumps forward to the dragon's Inquisitionth birthday (a transcendental number with a value somewhere between 2 and pi). It's often hard to find birthday cards for this important milestone, but take heart: they're included with preorders of the game. Card or no, the party will be way better than the last one, as BioWare seems intent on assuring us. (I liked the second birthday party, but I don't mind playing indoors.) In the above trailer, for example, you get a glimpse of the time-honoured Rite of Inquisition, in which all party attendees assemble into a Last Supper tableau and brood. This will be the highlight of the event, until the cake arrives and everyone sings a copyright-neutral soundalike of Happy Birthday.
Playground friends Varric and Varric's Chest will be there, looking better than ever under the fancy Frostbite 3 engine, which also powers the game's large, Skyrim-inspired environments. Chest-rendering technology has improved dramatically since the release of Dragon: Age 2, and it's pleasing to see BioWare have not allowed themselves to fall behind in this regard. To be honest, though, Varric's smirking, wise-cracking appearance in the trailer sticks out tonally from the super-serious, borderline grown-up remainder. Here's hoping he can keep from shitting up the scene like Stan Lee.
For a toddler, Inquisition has remarkable command of language and voiceover delivery, above-average artistic ability and an extraordinarily morbid imagination. It also demonstrates remarkable progress with motor skills, including running, dive-rolling and fine control of edged weapons. However, its parents should be concerned about the continued bloodshed, and the pride with which it bears a title derived from the inventors of waterboarding.
Dragon: Age Inquisition will be out October 7th. You'll be able to play it then, but like Linda Blair in 1973, the title character won't, because it'll be too young.