Rumor Control: Dragon Age Multiplayer and Frostbite Engine

Rumor Control: Dragon Age Multiplayer and Frostbite Engine

Rumors have begun to circulate regarding the next Dragon Age title involving multiplayer, playable dragons and the fact that the Frostbite 2 engine (see also: Battlefield 3) is being utilized. Time to get these under control!

First up on the chopping block of my cynicism is multiplayer. According to some mysterious inside source, there is some Dragon Age arena style multiplayer in our future. Said multiplayer will supposedly include both PvP (competitive), PvE (co-operative) and playable dragons fit into there somewhere. Most likely one iteration of the PvP mode will involve one player controlling his/her hero while the other player controls a dragon and/or various monsters that were previously NPCs.

EA has, on previous occasions, publicly and officially stated that they will never again release a game without a multiplayer component.  So if that statement holds any weight then Dragon Age 3 multiplayer is a reality but I’m not entirely sure how that makes me feel. As a person who played an ungodly amount of Dragon Age 2(we’re talking literally hundreds of hours) I don’t think multiplayer fits into it terribly well.

Between Origins and 2, Dragon Age made a huge paradigm shift from top-down, strategy RPG to an action hack-and-slash and as you get farther and farther away from the original strategy model (as each sequel is seeming to do) it becomes easier and easier to imagine a multiplayer aspect, but at what point does the game go from Dragon Age to Diablo? There are enough hack-and-slash RPGs in the world, and the very thing that made Dragon Age unique and awesome was the fact that it was different. Given BioWare’s track record for trying to conform to the mainstream, we’ll probably lose the strategy element entirely and by that same token multiplayer is almost a certainty.

The second rumor to brave my unyielding wall of skepticism is that Dragon Age 3 (and possibly the aforementioned standalone multiplayer game [if it exists]) will be created with DICE’s Frostbite 2 engine. I’ve actually been hearing murmurs of this rumor since Dragon Age 2’s release so at this point I’m both ready to believe that it’s true and extremely hopeful it is. To actually sit back and imagine Dragon Age looking like Battlefield 3, complete with environmental destructibility, is a pretty incredible vision and one worth crossing your fingers for.

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