Dragon Age 3: Inquisition Announced
A few weeks back, a leaked BioWare survey appeared to reveal the plot of Dragon Age 3. “Take the Inquisitor’s cloak and lead the only force able of bringing light into the darkness,” the reveal teased. “Choose the direct method and gather your armies, send spies into the shadows or engage in a political war, make friends and use your connections indirectly: it is up to you how you lead the inquisition. But you’ll have to take lead of it from the beginning. Make your player a rogue, warrior or mage and set up your crew from up to ten (!) complex companions to lead them against those who attack you by systematically spying on, revealing and destroying them.”
Interesting stuff to be sure, stuff that has been confirmed this morning in a press release that officially announced the development of Dragon Age 3: Inquisition. Due in ‘Late 2013′ (read: holiday season), the press release promises that Dragon Age 3 will be built based on the copious feedback BioWare has solicited from fans in the almost-two years since Dragon Age 2. “With Dragon Age 3: Inquisition, we want to give fans what they’re asking for,” BioWare’s Aaryn Flynn said in the statement. “[A] great story with choices that matter, a massive world to explore, deep customization and combat that is both tactical and visceral.”
Forgive me if I am a bit skeptical about whether or not the choices in the game will actually matter. I’m also a bit concerned about the game. Yes, I’m fully aware that Dragon Age 2 is not the most beloved game BioWare has ever made. But it took a lot of narrative chances, chances that I strongly feel paid off well by game’s end. I really hope, I mean to say, that BioWare doesn’t simply throw out everything that worked in DA2 along with everything that didn’t. Is that going to happen? Well, consider that Dragon Age 3 is being developed with the Frostbite 2 engine.
Frostbite is the engine DICE created for the Battlefield series; Frostbite 2 made its debut with Battlefield 3. Need For Speed: The Run also uses Frostbite 2, and future releases running the engine include Medal of Honor: Warfighter, Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel, and Command & Conquer. Notice anything? Like the fact that these games are mostly linear experiences with extremely heavy PvP aspects*? Yeah. That leaked description above could be taken either way, but combined with rumors from last November, and the fact that they’re using Frostbite 2, I think we can go ahead and consider DA3 multiplayer all but officially confirmed.
Now it’s entirely possible that EA just wants to get the most out of their shiny new engine. And it is true that Frostbite is capable of some amazing stuff, particularly the very realistic physics and excellent destruction capabilities. If using Frostbite means DA3 will have a much more immediate, visceral combat system with lots of gore (and not just more blood), I’m all for it. But here’s something to keep in mind: Dragon Age:Origins was developed using BioWare’s proprietary Eclipse engine, and Dragon Age 2 used an updated version of Eclipse called Lycium. Ditching their own engine in favor of EA’s new darling certainly doesn’t give credence to Frank Gibeau’s recent insistence that EA doesn’t meddle with their developers.
Consider also that when fans requested multiplayer for the Mass Effect series, what they wanted was co-op, specifically, story-based co-op. What they got was, basically, an endlessly repetitive horde mode, one that appears to have been developed with resources diverted from the single player experience. After that debacle, I am not inclined to give BioWare and EA the benefit of the doubt for Dragon Age 3. I fully anticipate either a silly horde mode, or pvp death match, or worse, something as pointless as Mass Effect 3′s war readiness system.
But don’t take my word, why not judge for yourself? Here’s the press release:
BIOWARE ANNOUNCES DRAGON AGE 3: INQUISITION
The Return of Dragon Age will be Bigger, Deeper and Powered by Frostbite 2
EDMONTON, Alberta – September 17, 2012 – BioWare, a Label of Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA), today announced Dragon Age™ 3: Inquisition, the next chapter in the award-winning role-playing game (RPG) franchise, is in development at BioWare Edmonton and BioWare Montreal. Coming in late 2013, Dragon Age 3: Inquisition combines the storytelling legacy BioWare is known for, with deep RPG gameplay, all on a brand new RPG game engine underpinned by EA’s critically-acclaimed Frostbite™ 2 technology.
“The Dragon Age team has been working on Dragon Age 3: Inquisition for almost two years now,” said Aaryn Flynn, General Manager of BioWare Edmonton and BioWare Montreal. “We’ve been poring over player feedback from past games and connecting directly with our fans. They haven’t held back, so we’re not either. With Dragon Age 3: Inquisition, we want to give fans what they’re asking for – a great story with choices that matter, a massive world to explore, deep customization and combat that is both tactical and visceral.”
Added Flynn, “At the same time, we know we need new technology to truly make this vision become fully realized. And we’ve been working with DICE to make Frostbite 2 the foundation for the engine that is going to power Dragon Age 3.”
The Dragon Age franchise has received over 80 awards from critics around the world, and has sold over 8 million copies to date*. Created by BioWare, the property has spawned many novels, an animated film, comic books, collectibles and more since Dragon Age: Origins launched in 2009.
For more information about Dragon Age 3: Inquisition, including updates from the development team and a letter to the fans from Executive Producer Mark Darrah, please visit the game’s official web site at http://dragonage.com. Dragon Age fans can also receive updates on Twitter® at http://twitter.com/dragonage, or on Facebook at http://facebook.com/dragonage.
*According to internal EA data.
So what do you think, Game Fronters? Does this sound like the course is being corrected after Dragon age 2 and Mass Effect 3? Or can we keep the BioWare death clock running?
*Command & Conquer is the exception, but it’s an RTS, not an RPG.