News: BioWare are using DICE’s Frostbite 2 engine for development on Dragon Age: Inquisition and the next Mass Effect, a decision the artists have embraced right away.
Take a look at the castle and the surrounding snowy mountains in that piece of concept art above. Now imagine it rendered in Frostbite 2, the engine that powered Battlefield 3. Neat, huh? Soon it will be more than an imagination, as BioWare have adopted DICE’s graphics engine for use with Dragon Age: Inquisition and the next Mass Effect.
“Mass Effect was done on Unreal of course. Dragon Age was done on the proprietary engine Eclipse. I think anyone who played Dragon Age 2 would agree that engine was starting to creak a little bit by the time that was released,” said BioWare’s art and animation director Neil Thompson at the Bradford Animation Festival, as captured by Eurogamer.
“[Frostbite is] a beautiful, beautiful engine. And what we’ve found is an improvement with Inquisition, is the artists who were really battling with the Eclipse engine have just embraced Frostbite. The work they’re doing now is stunning.”
“It makes my job easier because then it’s all about discussing the aesthetic and what you want to achieve. When you’re a character artist or an environment artist you’re focusing on a small aspect of the greater whole of the game. As an art director you’re concerned about the whole, the frame and everything it contains and how everything sits and the consistency. An engine like Frostbite allows you to focus more on that rather than the technological challenges of just getting the damn thing to run,” Thompson continued.
I’m personally more stoked that the next Mass Effect will also be using Frostbite. I’m sure plenty of assets can be carried over from the Unreal engine iterations, but a lot of the characters are going to be redesigned. And Frostbite seems to provide better lip-syncing, something that always irked me in the previous Mass Effect games.