EA have reignited the Mass Effect: Andromeda hype with some gorgeous looking screenshots and gameplay trailers in recent days. These dreamy shots of various exo-suited characters gazing into intergalactic landscapes are testament to BioWare’s mastery of the Frostbite 3 engine.
BioWare’s first foray into Frostbite was Dragon Age: Inquisition, a move that received predominantly positive critical attention. For Origin, the devs were using their in-house engine Eclipse, however after the strong graphical upgrade afforded by EA’s exclusive Frostbite 3, BioWare have stuck with the engine for the foreseeable future. Recently confirming that all Mass Effect titles in the future will run on Frostbite, BioWare assert that Andromeda will be “pushing the boundaries of what Frostbite can do and what Mass Effect can do”. While it’s no Crytek, the Frostbite really is EA DICE’s not-so-secret weapon in console gaming. Usually yielding a slightly more detailed product (developer skill not considered) than ‘blanket’ engines widely used across indie and larger scale developers like Unity.
This engine boost, alongside the PS4 Pro-geared HDR 10 support, will see Mass Effect: Andromeda hit new graphical heights alongside a more efficient frame rate output. We’ll see crisp, sharp lines and confounding depth of field that benefit both the dark, complex space stations as well as vast landscapes that make up a Mass Effect experience. One component of the Frostbite 3 engine that may not initially hit the headlines is its destruction engine – the part of the game that makes the background collapse when you shoot it. Previous games may have boasted some dust clouds over a targeted spot of wall, or even some rebounding of bullets, but Frostbite’s ability to employ precise physics in the construction, and destruction of its backgrounds will undoubtedly make for more immersive space battles. It’s a Frostbite feature that was instrumental in Battlefield, EA DICE’s flagship title for the engine, and one that Dragon Age: Inquisition came under critical fire for not exploiting.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is now looking at an early 2017 release, with more information to follow throughout November.