I played Dragon Age: Inquisition through most of the December holidays. I will eventually have the time and inclination to finish my second play through, too. It had a wildly successful launch – the best in Bioware’s history. While people might speculate that this will make Mass Effect follow Dragon Age’s lead, that’s not what Bioware is doing.
Over on NeoGAF, Bioware’s GM weighed in as much as he could on the debate. As we knew, the new Mass Effect (that won’t be called Mass Effect 4 but we will continue to call that until we have the official new name for it), will also be using Frostbite and is borrowing some of the same technology from Dragon Age: Inquisition. There will be larger areas, like DA:I, but that’s where the similarities end.
But after that, the next Mass Effect will be (and should be) drawing on its own rich and successful past more than what DAI would say it should do. Take the Mako, something we’ve already shown in prototype form. We had that in ME1, and bringing it back is more related to a feeling that we can do it much better than we did before and fulfill the original promise of that gameplay. That has nothing to do with DAI. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that dropping the older consoles has had more impact on the overall gameplay goals of the next Mass Effect game than what DAI successfully accomplished.
We’re very proud of what DAI has achieved, but that does not set a “template” for what every other game we make needs to be. Each game franchise needs to innovate and improve their experience based on what’s best for it, not just what another game had success with because “well that was successful”.
This makes me ridiculously happy. We all fear that development studios will rest on their laurels and stop innovating. At least now we know that Mass Effect 4 won’t just be Dragon Age: Inquisition in space. Sure, it will be totally separate from the original trilogy, but we’ll have the Mako back, and probably some strange new worlds. Who knows how they’re making it all fit together, but it’s a huge relief to know that they won’t just follow Dragon Age: Inquisition’s lead. At least, so they say…
I just hope Bioware releases a remastered version of the trilogy, too. I’d happily replay it on my shiny new console.
Last Updated: February 3, 2015