It’s bizarre to think that Dragon Age: Inquisition is bordering on being a decade old, as it launched back in November 2014. It was arguably the last time that developer BioWare released a new game that the large majority of people agreed was a high-quality title (after the usual dozens of launch bugs were worked out). However, BioWare’s struggles at EA to develop Dragon Age: Inquisition with the Frostbite engine are well-documented, and today, we learned of a particularly bizarre thing that Frostbite couldn’t handle: sprinting horses. Yes, Dragon Age creative director John Epler revealed on Twitter today that horses sprinting wasn’t really something they could do with Frostbite in Inquisition, so they added in a fake version of sprinting and hoped no one would notice.
The Horrible Truth of Horses Sprinting in Dragon Age: Inquisition, per John Epler
“When you ‘sprint’ on a horse in DAI(,) it doesn’t really do much because (Frostbite) couldn’t stream in levels fast enough, so we just added speed lines and changed the camera so it felt faster,” explained Epler. Then he joked that he could take the guilt of it no more. He did go on to clarify that riding on a horse is faster than traveling on foot, but “the difference between normal horse run and horse ‘sprint'” is nonexistent.
Still, we’ve been bamboozled. Played for fools. Hung out to dry! But since it seems like the majority of players (I would imagine speedrunners noticed it was somewhat ineffective?) went along with it for the better part of a decade, I think we can forgive, forget, and appreciate that BioWare was able to wrangle a successful RPG out of the RPG-unfriendly Frostbite engine in the first place.
But now that we can set aside the twisted lies of horses and other mounts sprinting in Dragon Age: Inquisition, we can look forward to the future. Dragon Age: Dreadwolf reached its alpha milestone last year, being playable from start to finish, and it could release as early as late this year — though 2024 seems much more likely. Based off a cinematic BioWare released, we know that Varric will be returning in some capacity once again, and Solas has been set up as the villain. To further drum up excitement for the game, Netflix released the six-episode animated series Dragon Age: Absolution this past December, which was well-received.