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Dragon Age 3: Inquisition confirmed, first details emerge

Monday, 17th September 2012 16:04 GMT By Dave Cook

Dragon Age 3: Inquisition has been confirmed by EA for release late 2013. It will run on a new engine, as well as Frostbite 2 and is being developed by the Dragon Age: Origins team. Read all the details here.

The publisher confirmed the game officially over at its official blog, along with an open letter from BioWare’s Mark Darrah.

Darrah’s open letter explains that the studio didn’t want to keep on hiding the fact that he game exists, especially following rumours that EA was focus testing for the Dragon Age 3.

Darrah writes, “Recently, I said that we didn´t want to talk about Dragon Age III unless we had something to show. I´m trying to stick to that plan and won´t be revealing much today. That said, a lot of information and rumors have surfaced recently and we don´t want to hide from them. There are a BUNCH of things that I really want to share with you but I want to do this right, and doing it right requires some more time.”

He then went on to confirm that the official title is – of course – Dragon Age 3: Inquisition, but stressed that he wouldn’t be sharing anything regarding the game’s story. He did confirm however that it’s being developed by the same team that worked on Dragon Age: Origins.

Darrah added, “We are working on a new engine which we believe will allow us to deliver a more expansive world, better visuals, more reactivity to player choices, and more customization. At PAX East, we talked about armour and followers…. Yeah, that kind of customisation. We’ve started with Frostbite 2 from DICE as a foundation to accomplish this.”

The news follows an alleged Dragon Age 3 plot synopsis leaking on the BioWare social forums last month. Here’s what it said:

“A portal between the worlds unleashes hords of demons in the land, civil wars rip apart nations and the corruption is limitless. Someone is behind the shadows, drawing the threads which destroy the world. Time has come for the Inquisition.”

“Take the Inquisitor’s cloak and lead the only force able of bringing light into the darkness. 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.”


OPINION: EA + Frostbite = Success?

Dragon Age 3: Inquisition joins a long and growing list of EA-published IP utilising DICE’s Frostbite 2 engine. It’s clear that the publisher values the tech and wants to see other studios adopting it. Battlefield 3 proved just how powerful the engine can be, so it’s natural that EA wants to explore those possibilities further.

It’s an approach that both echoes and lends creedence to Sony and Microsoft’s handling of third-party acquisitions. Sony in particular frequently and unashamedly highlights its family of studios – from Naughty Dog to Media Molecule – and the way they share tech, ideas and development duties.

Microsoft operates the same way, but isn’t as vocal about it. Perhaps it should be? After all, EA’s use of Frostbite and its ever-growing marquee of big name studios and tech are definitely worth shouting about, and these talent clusters are starting to form under other publishers as well – just look at Square-Enix, IO Interactive, Eidos Montreal and Crystal Dynamics for one example.

But back to EA and Frostbite 2. Say what you will about the cookie-cutter nature of the recently unveiled Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel. It’s by the numbers shooting at its most mundane, but Frostbite 2 makes the action sing, and the same rings true for Dead Space 3 and Need For Speed: Most Wanted.

At a time where action, spectacle, movie-like adrenaline and the notion of ‘the big show’ make money, then spreading Frostbite 2 around to enhance that experience significantly makes perfect sense. We all want to have fun while we play, and Frostbite 2 certainly results in a lot of fun.

Going back to a pure development level, sharing tech in this manner enables studios to cut often-crippling costs, manage time and resources, as well as simply upping the quality of IP.

If this practice continues tin greater depth and with other tech and engines, then it could just secure EA’s financial standing and quality barometer going into the next generation. Let’s not forget that it’s also working with CryEngine developer Crytek.

Can you imagine a world where every EA game was powered by CryEngine? It’s wishful thinking of course, but doesn’t it just make for a sweet vision?

Let us know your thoughts below.

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29 Comments

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  1. YoungZer0

    “We are working on a new engine which we believe will allow us to deliver a more expansive world, better visuals, more reactivity to player choices, and more customization. At PAX East, we talked about armour and followers… Yeah, that kind of customisation. We´ve started with Frostbite 2 from DICE as a foundation to accomplish this.”

    EA sure loves Frostbite 2.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Hcw87

    And why shouldn’t they? It’s a great engine.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. HauntaVirus

    If it’s nothing like the first two, I might actually play it.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Giskard

    @3 The first one was amazing. I’d pay full price for another story with that engine / those characters.

    I’m exited. Say what you will, BioWare make good games. Even though the last 2 didn’t quite live up to their legacy.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Phoenixblight

    @1

    Its an in house engine that does what other engines can do if not better and the great thing is no cost for licensing so why shouldn’t they use it? This is why EA invested in DICE and the Frostbite 2 Engine so that it can be used on EA’s games instead of being fragmented with increasingly cost of middleware and licenses along with no standardization between developers under EA.

    This is great news and I can’t wait to see what they will do with the engine and the next game. I enjoyed both Dragon Age and this could be only good news especially with the comment on customization.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Froseidon

    I am really looking forward to this :D Dragon Age: Origins was awesome, I’m with @4 of the fact about full price game. The fact the Origins team is working on it makes me happier and more comfortable that it might be a better game than the second.

    That being said, I didn’t hate Dragon Age 2, but Origins just outdid it every way except combat / graphics in my opinion.

    I sure hope you can select a race again, felt kind of robbed when they made it so human was the only one =/ However, I guess it was for story purposes.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Dark

    Just give us a bigger map , a town and 2 dungeons is joke for an RPG game.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Maximum Payne

    @5 Exactly! Look at Ubisoft they are using: anvil engine for AC series,unreal engine 3 for rainbow six,YETI for ghost recon,Dunia for Far Cry 2/3 , modified unreal engine 2.5 for Splinter cell, another engine for Anno…

    #8 2 years ago
  9. TMRNetShark

    Yeah, I liked Dragon Age a lot more than Mass Effect… I liked even the second Dragon Age but it was no Origins.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Moonwalker1982

    @8

    I certainly can’t say thats a good thing for Ghost Recon though. Most of the time it really looks rather bad and the same can be said about the physics :(

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Phoenixblight

    @9

    I agree I enjoyed the combat, art direction and the new tone system if you had those three things with the elements of Dragon Age Origins. THat would make the game much better than Origins imo. I hated the combat system and art direction of the original.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. DSB

    Frostbite 2 would be a much better engine if every game using it didn’t look like the sun had exploded.

    You can only assume that they forgot to include a feature to turn the fucking glare down.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. roadkill

    Dragon Age Origins = Awesomeness!! I really loved the story. And my companions.
    Dragon Age 2 = Meeeh. Great combat! Bad graphics. Average story. Companions were also a bit meh.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Moonwalker1982

    Frostbite 2 engine could turn out really interesting. I wonder how its gonna look in a fantasy RPG. Let’s hope they keep the combat like DA2 and improve on it, cause i could never get into Origins’ combat, i eventually put it down because of it. Also late 2013…maybe a potential next gen title as well?

    #14 2 years ago
  15. bitsnark

    Sadly, their adoption of super-efficient and high quality middle-ware doesn’t make them impervious to the sort of madness which inspired some of the crappy design decisions that afflicted their last game.

    I’m as interested as the next Dragon Age fan where they go with this.

    As it stands, they’re currently one for one.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Demigod

    Cautiously looking forward to it. Bio have done enough q/a’s on the forums and seem to have listened to fans about what was wrong with DA2. Hofully they will realize that the ending is as important as the rest of the game. DA:O’s ending while not bad could have been better and the M|orrigan dlc (imho) made it worse. DA2′s ending ignored a lot of what went before and like the rest of the game was rushed. ME3′s ending well does anything need to be said at this point. I just hope they learn from the mistake’s they and other bio teams have made. Endings are hard yes but can and should be great.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Fin

    I’m amazed the comments have made it this far without someone bitching about Mass Effect/EA/Bioware/making some comment about multiplayer/dlc/preordering.

    Just positivity? Wtf, are you guys ok?

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Erthazus

    Frostbyte 2 is indeed DICE’s masterpiece.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. YoungZer0

    I’ve yet to understand what people like about Dragon Age’s story. I thought it was pretty shallow. Can’t we get something new for once? I’m tired of ‘save the world from the dark forces’ storylines.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Moonwalker1982

    So this has been two years in the making, they were working on it when DA2 wasn’t out yet? Not sure anymore when DA2 came out. Seems to be a different team too this time?

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Phoenixblight

    @20

    Its the same team its still Bioware Edmonton. When a game is done which is 6 months prior to release the studio moves on to other projects DLC, sequels.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. M. K.

    Good news! I mean, it can’t get worse than DA2 and I quite liked it, so I’m looking forward to this.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. absolutezero

    Origins was Game of Thrones lite before it exploded.

    I hope to God to don’t listen to anyone in the fanbase and just make the game they want to make, be that either good or bad at least they can stand up for it. If they take advice from the Bioware forums then its just going to be a pandering piece of shit filled with awful stilted romance options and talking heads.

    Origins felt like one of those RPGs that have exploded on Kickstarter, length options to choose from, tonnes and tonnes of lore and fluff and back story and things to see. DA2 pretty much removed all of that and replaced it with Mass Effect 2 instead.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. viralshag

    I’m with #14, I couldn’t really get into Origins. 2 was alright, not sure how bothered I am about this one.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. Moonwalker1982

    @23

    You say they shouldn’t listen to fans because it will become a mess. But they didn’t listen to fans with DA2 and it became a huge huge mess too. Origins was perfect except for the combat (i could never get into it) and i bet the fans wanted more stuff like Origins. I don’t know what went wrong and who decided that Da2 was good to go. But who’s to say it won’t go wrong again with DA3? I really DO think some fans have great ideas and that BioWare could take a look at that.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. Clupula

    As a huge fan of Origins (especially the combat, it was like Final Fantasy XII done right), if it’s more like that, then I will pick it up. If it’s more like DA2, I won’t.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. absolutezero

    Go take a look at the official Bioware forums and tell me that anything good could ever come from that place.

    DA2 might have been terrible but I’m almost 100% positive if they listened to the official forum it would have been worse.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. Moonwalker1982

    Hmmm ok. Well i must admit i don’t visit the forums so i wouldn’t know. We’ll have to wait and see how this turns out.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. jgb102

    Personally I think origins was the best title of all the dragon age games.
    I was so immersed into the game play and the way everything seemed
    To be influenced by your decisions that I couldn’t put the controller down.
    The characters were more interesting, the story line was BY FAR superior
    Then it’s predecessor and the overall feel of the game made DA 2 (although
    A good game) disappointing at best. I was so amped to find out how your
    Decisions would influence dragon age 2 and how what you had done would
    Impact the world that when I played the second one and realized that it had
    No effect or relevance what so ever I almost quit playing it. Personally, and again
    I state this is just my personal opinion… I think DA 3 should revert back to the
    Original art, gameplay (aside from maybe the combat system), storyline and feel
    Of dragon age origins. Everything from the relationships, conversations, main story lines,
    Gear and as far as I’m concerned the engine made da2 a shell of it’s former self
    And did the “legacy” a terrible injustice.

    #29 2 years ago