Dragon Age Inquisition "Not the Template" For Mass Effect 4

The next Mass Effect will be "drawing on its own rich and successful past," studio boss says.

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A senior development executive at BioWare has downplayed suggestions that the next Mass Effect game would follow a template laid by its successful action-RPG Dragon: Age Inquisition.

Previous comments from BioWare representatives had led Jeff Gerstmann, a journalist for GameSpot sister site Giant Bomb, to speculate whether Dragon Age: Inquisition had provided BioWare a "blueprint" for its Mass Effect 4 project. These comments were ambiguous in the first place, as they could've referred to pillar design concepts, game world creation, quest structure, or any number of key features of Dragon Age: Inquisition that other EA games would replicate.

But regardless, the general manager for BioWare's Edmonton and Montreal Studios has publicly downplayed plans to copy Dragon Age. Aaryn Flynn addressed this matter directly in a NeoGAF thread, saying he had "a good idea where [the speculation is] coming from."

He explained there would be some obvious similarities, at least at face value: "All of our games are using Frostbite now. We've said the next Mass Effect uses some of the technology from Dragon Age: Inquisition. We've been enjoying building larger areas that you can explore with less friction, so that'll be there as well."

Aside from this Mako concept image, little has been disclosed of the Next Mass Effect
Aside from this Mako concept image, little has been disclosed of the Next Mass Effect

But then Flynn went on to explain that the next Mass Effect will be "drawing on its own rich and successful past more than what DAI would say it should."

He wrote: "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 fulfil 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'."

Dragon Age: Inquisition was a front-runner for GameSpot's 2014 Game of the Year, but it was Warner Bros Shadow of Mordor that took the final prize. However, BioWare's latest action-RPG did win the People's Choice award, with a significant 33 percent of all votes.

GameSpot's Dragon Age: Inquisition review was glowing, with critic Kevin VanOrd writing: "Dragon Age: Inquisition is a wonderful game and a lengthy pilgrimage to a magical world with vital thematic ties to one we already know."

BioWare and publisher EA remain coy on releasing details of its Next Mass Effect project. The studio is not specifically calling it Mass Effect 4 either, but it is likely that a reveal trailer will air later in the year.

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