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Dragon Age: Inquisition’s Realistic Water Shows True Colors of Current-Gen Consoles

A long post made on BioWare Blog by Environment Artists of Dragon Age: Inquisition urges players to buy the game on a current-gen console or a PC.

The civil war struck Exalted Plains of Dales are portrayed in such a fashion that it perfectly reflects the aftermath of war; both on environment and the denizens of Exalted Plains. Furthermore, each area within Exalted Plains has its own distinctive feel and provides different opportunities to explore these lands.

The first thing we [did] was try to portray the civil war and the impact it’s having on the environment and the people of that region. In these spaces, we try to provide opportunities for the Inquisition to come in and make its mark on the area. Then the people there rally around that.

The storyline of Dragon Age: Inquisition begins after the war has settled down with bodies rising from the dead. Along with undead, players will also stumble upon Dalish Elves who have sought shelter in more secure areas.

However, the biggest highlight of the game which is said to utilize the power of Frostbite-3 Engine is interactive water. The water is said to have naturalistic reflections, riffles, and splashes.

Interactive water is one of the key things we’ve added to next-gen. It’s got realistic reflections, and also realistically ripples and splashes as you walk through it.

This task is achieved by a process called ‘Displacement Mapping’ which makes textures appear in 3D; especially on terrains.

Displacement mapping adds a new level of realism to the environment. Normal maps [in previous-gen technology] brought great detail to surfaces, but displacement mapping actually pushes those details out so you can see them in the silhouette.

Both artists urge players to get down from the regular path and explore the areas under the bridges and traverse through the dark corners of caves. And even if players miss out on anything, they can always travel back for more exploration. Who knows they might stumble upon something surprising.

You won’t be locked out of an area. We’ve got a lot of space, so you definitely don’t need to try and see everything on your first playthrough.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is slated to release in coming fall for Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, and PC.