Image captured by Hatm0nster
The “next-generation” of gaming has been here for about a year now, which I suppose makes it “current gen” now. Aside from a few games that have been set to run at 60fps, it really hasn’t felt the monumental arrival of the Next Generation of Gaming that we thought it was going to be has it? Then again, what exactly were we expecting the next generation of gaming to look like anyway? It would have better graphics of course, and better frame rates but I always felt like there was going to be more to it…somehow. I wasn’t sure what exactly was going to make the next gen feel different, but with the release of Dragon Age: Inquisition I think I’m finally getting an idea.
Dragon Age: Inquisition has a tie-in site called DragonAgeKeep.com, which enables users to choose set up their own custom world state to bring into the game. It’s similar to the motion comic that accompanied the PS3 version of Mass Effect 3, which allowed players who didn’t have save data from the previous games to still make the important choices. What really makes the Dragon Age Keep a step beyond the likes of that motion comic is just how much it allows you do with the world states you save. Not only can you make decisions and port them to your game, but you make multiple states and save favorites, and even share them out among your friends. They’re features that save states have enabled on PCs (consoles if you have the right tools and knowhow) for several years now, but this is the first time we’re seeing this kind of functionality made officially part of a game. It’s not an incredibly dramatic feature but I’m thinking it’s a forerunner to the kinds of features we can expect to see from future games on Xbox One and PS4. I don’t know if this is available to the last generation versions also, but even if it is I’d still call it a next generation feature simply because we haven’t really seen its like before.
Better graphics and frame rates are nice, but now that I’ve seen it I realize that is this kind of expanded functionality that’s going to come to define this new generation of games more than will ever be able to.
What do you think sets this next generation apart from that which came before? Where should they go from here?