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If you've been itching for news about Mass Effect 4, there's a tidbit of info relating to what BioWare is doing with the upcoming game. The general manager, Aaryn Flynn, explains that the game is most definitely running on Frostbite 3 and that there are some technological features carried over from Dragon Age: Inquisition, but the latter game isn't a blueprint for Mass Effect 4.
In a thread over on NeoGaf, Flynn addresses some comments about the foundation and basis for Mass Effect 4, saying...
“All of our games are using Frostbite now. We've said the next Mass Effect (and our new IP, but I won't expand on that yet) uses some of the technology from DAI. We've been enjoying building larger areas that you can explore with less friction, so that'll be there as well.
Flynn drops some info about the return of the Mako in Mass Effect 4 and how it's something they wanted to expand on and explore since the original Mass Effect from way back in 2007. Exploration with the Mako signals that the environments will definitely be a lot bigger than what they were in Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, which hinged on the corridor-shooter style setup.
What's more is that Flynn makes it known that Dragon Age: Inquisition has less to do with what they're aiming for and attempting to accomplish with the upcoming space-opera RPG than the emergence of the new generation of home consoles. Flynn states...
“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.”
That's actually really good news. One of the biggest issues hampering a lot of the technical creativity in games toward this recent end of the seventh generation of consoles has been the limited hardware capabilities. There's only so much give and take that can happen with 512mb of RAM and it's such a great thing to know that such a limitation is now an actual thing of the past.
Larger worlds, bigger environments, more vehicular exploration and better utilization of the Frostbite 3 should usher in some unique new experiences for Mass Effect fans when the fourth game in the series drops.
And given that the Frostbite engine is at the core of the game's functionality, I do wonder if physics-based gameplay will play a part in the experience? Destructible environments? Dynamic locations with the effects of the atmosphere playing a role in the gameplay? I guess we'll find out as the game draws closer to being revealed.
Flynn rounds out the post with this bit of reassurance to the game community, saying...
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".”
Now we just have to sit and wait to see what Mass Effect 4 looks like.