EA BioWare's next chapter in the Dragon Age saga is slowing but surely catching the hype wagon, and all tidbits so far have been quite in favor of a much better game in Dragon Age 3: Inquisition.
Though nothing much concrete is known about the game itself, the development team is giving out insights on various aspects of the game such as it's new game engine, romance elements, the next-gen consoles and like...
Speaking of a new game engine for Dragon Age 3 - enter DICE's Frostbite 2. Regarded as one of the best, if no the best, game engines of this generation, and possibly the next, the Frostbite 2 has given us some truly awe-inspiring visuals in a game we've ever seen. The engine was created in-house at DICE but it's parent company, Electronic Arts, saw it too good to not be used for other games, for it's other games.
Just like that, EA started outsourcing the engine to it's other subsidiaries like Black Box and Danger Close to name a few. What did we get, you ask? Need for Speed: The Run and Medal of Honor: Warfighter. Despite their critical loss, no reviewer could deny it's graphical prowess; all of it powered by the Frostbite 2. Future games in it's arsenal are all AAA titles, some ready to hit shelves this year, and some as far as 2015, but all anticipated. One of them is Dragon Age 3.
BioWare's Neil Thompson while speaking OXM made was all praise for the new game engine they were offered to work with. He said:
"Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2 were both done using BioWare's own Eclipse engine, and it was starting to creak a little bit when Dragon Age 2 came out. Inquisition is being done o the Frostbite 2 engine and it is an astonishingly powerful engine.
The Dragon Age artists were always slightly disappointed at how their work was visualized in the final product with Eclipse, but with Frostbite, they've just done some amazing stuff.
There was a pre-production period where almost on a weekly basis I'd be sitting in the environment reviews and being blown away by what was coming out - it looks stunningly beautiful. So I think when we do start releasing screenshots, people wont be disappointed.
Can you make a fantasy beautiful in a different way? We think we have something special for Dragon Age 3: Inquisition...", he ended. That's some really motivating words from Neil. But it's just that - words. We're eagerly looking forward to some screenshots, and better yet, a trailer! E3 anyone?
Moving on to other aspects of the upcoming game, David Gaider, Senior Writer at BioWare, discusses the romantic elements that always ties one RPG to another. Some are liked while others, not so much. While answering to fan questions on his Tumblr blog, he opened up when asked if sex/romance is justified in their games, or games in general. He said:
"Yes, some people like them a lot, and I have absolutely no beef with them doing so. In fact, it's very gratifying.
These plots are are tertiary, optional content...something to add to your enjoyment, and add to your level of emotional investment in the characters...and that seems to get forgotten when people discuss it at length."
Do you like the idea of every in-game character being sexually available to the player? Not David. He went on saying:
"Not that it cheapens them, necessarily, but it would lend itself towards their objectification. Take the first Witcher game, for instance - I enjoyed many things about the game, but the collectible sex card mechanic? ultimately it rendered every female character in the game into a puzzle to be solved.
...... even ignoring the awkwardness of doing that solely to female characters, doing it to all characters equally would still make them viewed as potential romances and thus change how the player related to them."
He was more in favor of certain characters, and not all, be available to interact [romantically] with.
"I'm quite fine with selecting a few characters and having them be romantic options and letting the rest be simply what they are.
If someone doesn't find something to their liking in that particular game, chances are we'll have a whole different batch in the next game.
There are hopefully friendships [in Dragon Age 3] and rivalries among the followers that you can develop, and reasons to appreciate each of them beyond whether they can be sexed to your liking..." That was assuring! You can read his thoughts at length here.
What platforms will Dragon Age 3 grace? PC, Xbox 360 and PS3, along with a heavily rumored context of it also releasing on the Next-Gen consoles aka. PlayStation 4 and Xbox Prestige(!). While we aren't really surprised with the fact that Frostbite 2 was meant for the next generation of games, we're really intrigued with how much better can BioWare make these new versions look from those of this generation consoles. Not PC, though, as it is way ahead, in a generation of it's own.
Neil gives us a hint of what we can expect:
"For the next generation there will be quite a big leap, but it won't be as obvious. People will do things in a clever fashion - and I have to be careful here as there are non-disclosure agreements involved! I think they'll be better prepared, shall we say - but we can'r see a ten-fold team increase again as the budgets would just be ridiculous. You'd have to sell 20-30 million copies before you broke even."
There you have it, GD'ers! A look at what BioWare was up to with Dragon Age 3: Inquisition. A release date/window? While the industry is looking at a Fall 2013 release window, we at GD think it might debut in early 2014. Again, we certainly aren't complaining if it sweeps us of our feet in late 2013 whatsoever! Are you?
What are your thoughts on BioWare's devs on the game's different areas? Fancy the Frostbite 2 in a Dragon Age game? Do you find sex/romance as important as to tie it in the main plot? Want this to debut on the Next-Gen consoles (that you'll eventually buy) as well? Share with us in the comment box below!