BioWare Edmonton is developing Dragon Age: Inquisition and producer Cameron Lee isn't shying away from promoting what a "much more immersive world" we're in for thanks to 'gen four' hardware.
It's a richer environment thanks to all the extra trimmings they can do, like lush foliage, which is a "huge" visual difference from current platforms. PCs will be 'melting faces' in late 2014.
This 'gen four' refers to 'generation four' of the current PlayStation console timeline. EA don't really think it’s worth counting before the days of the PSone, cycle-wise.
"On gen four you'll see far better graphics and, more importantly, a much more immersive world," declared Lee.
"It's a lot richer, and there's more depth to it. We can put more things on screen. There are more NPCs. There is more life to the world. That, while a subtle thing, really does over time build up into quite a strong connection to the game compared to the other gen three platforms." Aired footage of Inquisition certainly shows a much improved world.
The latest Dragon Age is being built with DICE's Frostbite 3 engine, which has given the BioWare team enormous advantages in constructing a greater and wider game world to adventure in over their own aging tech used in Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II. BioWare is particularly interested in getting us dirty...
"The visual fidelity differences are huge," said the producer. "For example, the shaders you can put on the characters through different weather systems. The build up system we have, like when you walk through mud, the mud builds up on the leg, then if you're in a fight, blood goes on top of the mud."
"One of our graphics programmers took a nug and overlayed all these different things on it. Eventually it looked like a nug that had been dipped in chocolate because there was so much stuff that was put on top of it. That's all the power you can get from the gen four stuff. You'll see that sort of a difference."
"The spell visual effects are incredible on the gen four and high-end PC. On gen three they will be much lower fidelity. Seeing Vivienne bringing up that big fire storm is brilliant on gen four and high-end PC. That's the kind of stuff that will make this a gen four experience." Vivienne can be seen casting spells in the recent .
"Really, gen four is about, how much can you do with the game? We've got these big open worlds. How much content we can put in there and how big that can be and how complex that environment can be can be pushed farther on gen four. You get a more interesting landscape. You get more foliage. And that provides more of a sense of discovery."
"If you're walking around a corner, because you couldn't see through all the trees and lush foliage on gen four, when you walk around a corner there's suddenly something interesting and cool there that you didn't know about. You get that sense of, oh my god, I found something!"
"On gen three, if there's less foilage you can see farther. It has this subtle influence over the experience you have. Fundamentally they're still the same game, but just a better experience on a higher end platform," added Lee.
"We build it on really high-spec PCs, which just melt faces. Then we're looking at ways of how we can bring that down to gen three platforms." It is "first and foremost" built for PC and this 'gen four'.
All platforms will have the same set of mechanic features for Inquisition, but PC, Xbox One and PS4 will be the superior versions visually. Cameron Lee feels the BioWare team will benefit from launching their game a year after the launch of 'gen four'. Dragon Age: Inquisition releases on PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One and PS4 in late 2014.
Thanks tofor capturing these BioWare gameplay presentations.