We learn how four-player co-op works in Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dragon Age: Inquisition features a cooperative mode, and much like the Galaxy at War challenge BioWare built for Mass Effect 3, it’s all about pitting parties of four against an army of enemies. The first look at the mode from IGN reveals that it works a bit differently from ME3‘s multiplayer, however. Jumping into one of the three multiplayer “campaigns — each amounts to 20-30 minutes of play — available at launch erects a randomly generated level broken into smaller sections.

There are 10 of these areas in all, though a given campaign runthrough only sends a party up against five of them. Each one has special play conditions that promise to change up strategy and maintain replay value for the mode. In one example given, a first visit to a particular area landed the party in a graveyard full of treasures locked behind doors that could only be opened by a mage. A later return to the same area swapped out the graveyard for ruins with destructible walls that required a warrior to kick through them.

Related: Exploring the wide-open world of Dragon Age: Inquisition

The multiplayer mode isn’t story-driven in the same way that the single player campaign is, but it does follow a narrative of sorts. The multiplayer parties are agents of the campaign’s Inquisitor protagonist, embarking on operations to aid the cause. Gold earned during a multiplayer match can be spent on treasure chests (think Galaxy at War’s card packs) filled with loot and support items like potions and grenades.

There will be nine multiplayer characters in all at launch, three for each of the game’s three classes. You can earn experience and level up each one, unlocking skills on an upgrade tree as you go. Inquisition‘s gear crafting mode factors in here as well, so you’ll be able to break down equipment and use materials to customize your loadouts.

It all sounds like a hefty expansion of the ideas established in Galaxy at War, and just like in the earlier game, BioWare intends to grow this mode over time with the release of free DLC. The developer likely expects to see income from this mode via microtransactions, as you’ll be able to buy (with real money) a Platinum currency that, like gold, can be spent on treasure chests.

For more details on Dragon Age: Inquisition‘s cooperative mode and a first look at it in action, check out IGN’s preview.

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