Reviews

Published on November 1st, 2014 | by Rachel Wolfenberg

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The Dragon Age Keep

With only a few weeks left until Dragon Age: Inquisition launches, Bioware has opened the Dragon Age Keep into an open beta!

I’ve used The Keep  and it’s really well done. It loads with little effort and is easy to use. Here’s some general information about The Keep and why it’s needed.

What is The Keep?
The Keep is a web app designed to allow you to create the world state of Thedas. You can pick the outcome to over 300 plot points like ‘Who slayed the Archdemon,’ ‘Did you side with the mages or templars?,’ ‘Was there a romantic interest?’ Each game is divided into categories for each section of the game, and all points are illustrated with beautiful art tiles.

The Keep includes options for Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age: Awakening, Dragon Age 2 and all the DLCs for both games.

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Why was The Keep made?
There are 3 main reasons why it was created.

1.DA:I will not import old save files. This decision was made because old Dragon Age games have corrupted plot flags which would not transfer the correct information to the next game. Such as Zevran being dead in DA2 because the save incorrectly flagged him as dead, or Nathaniel being dead in DA2 if he wasn’t in your final party when you finished Awakening. It would be really depressing to get part way through DA:I (which is suppose to be a massive 60 hour game at least) to find out that a character or plot had a different outcome because the game didn’t flag it correctly then make the choice to just move on with this false information.

2. Not everyone has access to their old saves anymore. With 5 years from the release to DA:O to the release of DA:I, not everyone will still have their old saves or will be choosing to play on a different platform entirely. The Keep allows for everyone to set up the world state to be as they molded it to be.

3. The final reason for The Keep are future Dragon Age titles. After the release of Inquisition The Keep will be updated to include all the important choices for it. This allows you to have your saved states kept safe in the cloud and added into new games with little issue.

How do you use The Keep?
Simple! Go to dragonagekeep.com and log in with your Origin account, the same account you wish to use for DA:I. If your account has any previous DA titles attached to it, it will sync what games you own, the DLCs you own and your achievements.

Once it’s done you can pick a Warden and a Champion that you wish to have in your world. Then an interactive video plays which tells the tale of your Thedas. The video is narrated by a familiar voice (I won’t spoil who) and through it will give you the chance to change a few key plot choices. Once the video is over it will bring you to the tapestry which is where you will make all your choices. When you’re finished that you can save the state with it’s own title and description. World states are easily editable as well, nothing is set for certain until you start a new game with it. So you could make a state and keep revising it until you want to start the game.

When DA:I is released you can go to The Keep and export your save to the game. Currently you can have up to 5 different world states in The Keep and you can even send and receive world states with your Origin friends allowing them to have a game set up the way you created it!

I haven’t experienced too many bugs myself but there are a few floating around. The Keep is updated quite regularly to fix bugs so it’s not that big of a concern.

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Cool features about The Keep
Art Style: The tiles for the plot points have really great looking art work on them done by the artists at Bioware. It’s satisfying to see all the tiles that represent your world together on the screen, it just looks so cool!

The Keep is Smart: You may think that with so many options that a few conflict issues might slip through but The Keep team have made a great solution to this. The Keep will alert you to any conflicts that might arise if you change options. It will only allow you to make choices that were intended in the original games.

Web App: The Keep is available to everyone with internet access. Currently, it works best in Google Chrome but the team is working to clear out the bugs for the other browsers. Because it’s browser based, you can even access it on your phone, tablet or console.

The best part of it being a web app is that it can be updated to fix bugs or add new options with a lot less time and effort than it would be to patch the game over and over again.

Share with friends: You can share your world states with your friends and they can share theirs with you. You can look at them and if you want you can export it into the game to use.

Multiple World States: As said earlier you can have up to 5 world states (the team is looking into allowing more) You export one at a time but once you start a new game with a state you can save your new game right away and go an upload another state for another game.

I love The Keep. Not only is it a smart idea to keep Dragon Age saved games uncorrupted and easily accessible but it’s a fun way to remember the lore and choices you made in the previous games or make new choices if you’ve never played the games before.

Check it out at dragonagekeep.com!

 

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About the Author

Freelance graphic designer, illustrator and liker of awesome things. Video games and drawing are her favourite things in the category of awesome.



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