The creative director of Dragon Age, John Epler, has revealed that the game’s horses have been lying to us the entire time, thanks to the magic of creative thinking and camera angles.
In the lead-up to Dragon Age 4, more and more gems have been dropping about the beloved action RPG game Dragon Age Inquisition. In a Twitter post (opens in new tab), Epler dropped some hard truths about how sprinting on a horse didn’t actually make you go faster.
In reality, the game engine BioWare used to develop Dragon Age Inquisition called Frostbite “couldn’t stream in levels fast enough,” Epler said. This meant that the team was forced to change the camera angle and add speed lines when you started sprinting on your horse to make you feel as if you were faster.
This isn’t the only time Frostbite failed the dev team. According to a [report] by Kotaku, the engine was the bane of many devs' existence. “Frostbite is like an in-house engine with all the problems that entails—it’s poorly documented, hacked together, and so on—with all the problems of an externally sourced engine,” a former BioWare employee said.
BioWare also used Frostbite for their online multiplayer RPG Anthem. This engine could make expansive and stunning levels, but it wasn’t equipped to handle the finer details. This forced the team to cut back many features that could not function because of the engine.
While the lie about the horse speeds is certainly reality-shattering for me, it isn’t the only slip-up in Dragon Age Inquisition. This RPG has a somewhat complicated story with rogue Magi, civil war, and a space-bending rift that breaks a hole in the boundary between the physical world and the Fade, a place of spirits and demons. But one of the most crucial plot points is the mark left on your character's hand, which is the only thing capable of closing said rifts.
As you would think, this vibrant green mark gives your hero instant main character qualities and propels them into the center of this violent story. So I was pretty surprised when I saw this iconic and powerful mark on the wrong hand in all of Dragon Age Inquisition’s marketing material. In the posters, you can see the glowing green light emanating from the Inquisitor’s right hand when it should be on the left, according to the game.
While this isn’t as groundbreaking as the discovery that my horse has been lying to me all these years, I always thought that it was a weird slip-up to make. I’ve seen some reasons that this was a silent nod to The Legend of Zelda and Link, who has the same pose, while others just think telling right from the left can be hard sometimes. Either way, this adds to the strangely increasing list of lies and slip-ups in Dragon Age Inquisition, and I think that’s hilarious.