Looks Like Dragon Age III Will Definitely Be Influenced By Skyrim

Illustration for article titled Looks Like Dragon Age III Will Definitely Be Influenced By Skyrim

Last year, we reported that Bioware had specific opinions about Skyrim. They went on the record and stated that they admired the scope of Skyrim, and also acknowledged that both Skyrim and Dragon Age are lore-heavy games where your actions mattered.

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While cagey on where they'd take Dragon Age next and whether or not it'd be influenced by Skyrim, they did mention that they were hoping to recapture some of what Dragon Age: Origins did well.

Now, in a Game Informer interview with Bioware's Aaryn Flynn, Bioware doesn't tiptoe as much when it comes to discussing what similarities we might see between both dragon-centric games.

"You can't look at a game like Skyrim and not think about how impressive what they've accomplished is—or [think] that's an interesting new direction or that there was something that didn't work well for them that we could take in a new direction. So, we're always influenced by these games, especially in a relatively tight-knight genre like RPGs," Flynn stated.

Perhaps more interesting is the idea that Flynn poses next: that the RPG genre should emphasize more exploration, like older games such as Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights do. Flynn even recognizes that Bioware's major franchises, Mass Effect and Dragon Age, have shied away from these roots—but that Bioware wants to return to them.

Idle musing: if Skyrim is an influence on Dragon Age, and Bioware wants to emphasize exploration... could we expect an open-world Dragon Age? I mean, look at that Dragon Age III artwork. That's kind of open-wordly lookin, eh?

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We can't know for sure until they reveal more about the game. Unfortunately, following the mixed critical reception of Dragon Age 2, Bioware has been rather mum on what they're doing with Dragon Age III.

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DISCUSSION

Well I don't necessarily need them to go in Skyrim's direction with a huge pretty persistent world...but I LOVE the way Dishonored, Witcher 2, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution handle it.

They break up their levels into acts or chapters of a story, and each is a mini-sandbox space that offers a good degree of exploration, while giving areas for side-content. I think this is the most flexible approach from a developers standpoint, giving players real exploration and discovery, without the pain on the developers side for creating Skyrim or even GTA sized worlds. It's also more manageable to keep the game focused, and like Dishonored you can simply use more of that given space to put in multiple paths...which would be another way to let players effect their narrative in a Bioware game beyond dialog trees.

Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights were more fun to explore, and that degree of discovery made their worlds feel more alive than walking through more linear locations with repeated assets. I'm sure the dungeon-delving influence of D&D encouraged them to do that, but I'd like to see new Bioware games do it.