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Heroes of Dragon Age explores the 'what ifs' of historical battles

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In Heroes of Dragon Age, players will be able to relive famous battles in the series' history, lead designer Justin Jones and producer Tim Lander told Polygon during an interview today.

Heroes of Dragon Age is a free-to-play, collectible strategy spinoff from the fantasy franchise expected to launch this fall for iOS and Android devices. The game revolves around building squads of unlikely teammates from about 450 units. You can align beloved characters like Morrigan and Alistair with Darkspawn, fearsome dragons and more. Quoting Heroes of Dragon Age's creative director, Jones described it as a "what if" scenario for players to experiment with past events.

The game is split between a PvP option and a quest mode that lets players trace through events in history. Lander explained that each quest revolves around a different theme or historical element.

"You can actually go back and see ... the lore that already exists."

"Since we have such a rich amount of content from the Dragon Age universe, you've got all these different stories that are told," Lander said. "You've got the Fifth Blight, where the Grey Wardens are killing off the Darkspawn, you've got the stories of the elves in the forest ... each of these themes make up a map. You're actually playing through these historical battles and trying to conquer these great bosses."

Heroes of Dragon Age's battles, once engaged, play out with no interventions. This is because the team wanted players to spend their energy on deck building and be able to watch their strategy unfold, Jones said. Where units stand matters as well; the front row blocks direct attacks to the back, for example, and receives a health bonus.

"Typically, you're playing through a story that happened in the history of Dragon Age," Jones said. "Since there are so many stories in the Dragon Age universe that you hear referenced in the game, like the First Blight, so you can actually go back and see some of those environments and the lore that already exists."