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We've only gotten glimpses of Dragon Age 4 in development videos and trailers, but this project that pulls Inquisition through Unreal Engine 5 is ticking all of our boxes for what the next game might look like.
Of course, BioWare uses Frostbite which is an entirely different kettle of fish, and this fact is noted by 3D artist Leo Torres who cooked up this gorgeous short cinematic. "The aim for this little project was just to re-imagine what DA:I could have looked like with today's graphical capabilities - to capture the mood and the essence of BioWare's environment level design," said the creator. After the technical and creative restraint shown in Origins and 2, the third game opened up the world of Thedas in a whole new way, with the cast of characters travelling to blistering deserts, drizzly and dark marshland, icy mountains, opulent cities, and more.
Even with the expansive environments of Inquisition, there are still locations that players would love to see realised in the fourth or possibly fifth game. One of these is Antiva, where our friend Zevran hails from. The one thing we know for certain is that we're off to the Tevinter Imperium in Dragon Age 4, and the community is utterly thrilled with that prospect because the nation is a wretched hive of scum and villainy. Just assume the opposite for most Dragon Age fans. They've been betrayed by so many mage allies in the series that they hardly know up from down.
Check out a behind-the-scenes look at the next entry to the acclaimed series of RPGs, with concept art, motion capture, and interviews with the team.
From Leo Torres, this snippet of an environment in Unreal Engine 5 is The Crow Fens in the Exalted Plains from Inquisition. Dragon Age mavens will know that this area is in fact the site of a historic conflict that saw the Dalish defeated at the hands of the humans, and so the scorched earth is punctured with rubble and skeletons. It is ultimately a very quiet and melancholic setting where characters come to terms with the scale of the destruction here, and Leo's recreation fits this feeling to a "t."
Unreal Engine 5 boasts Nanite and Lumen - two technologies that have revolutionised how developers approach realism in their projects. Leo says that "this level of complexity would never have been possible in UE4," and that Lumen is simply "working its magic" to elevate the scene. If Dragon Age 4 looks anything like this when it eventually launches, then players will look like the cat who got the cream. This level of detail truly honours the amount of world-building that the writers have spent on the series and it seems like a natural course for BioWare's art and environment teams to follow.