Dragon Age 2 wasn’t a terrible experience, but it wasn’t a particularly good one either – its plot, and indeed setting were essentially confined to just one area, making it feel as if it didn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. And it was built on Bioware’s worn eclipse engine – so it wasn’t the prettiest game either. Bioware says that Dragon Age 3: Inquisition is “stunningly beautiful.”
Speaking to the Official Xbox Magazine, Bioware’ artist Neil Thompson said that “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 on the Frostbite 2 engine and it is an astonishingly powerful engine.
“The Dragon Age artists were always slightly disappointed at how their work was visualised 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 won’t be disappointed.”
So at least that one cave you’ll keep seeing in Dragon Age 3 will be a beautiful one. I sincerely hope they manage to make a game that’s closer in spirit, focus and grandeur to Origins than its sequel – and I likewise hope that Bioware realises that a good story and excellent character development are far, far more important than shiny graphics.
“Can you make fantasy beautiful in a different way?” Thompson asked rhetorically, before answering himself. “We think we have something special for Dragon Age 3: Inquisition.”