Mass Effect 4's design doc completed; shares systems in Dragon Age 3

Katie Williams at

BioWare's biggest sci-fi franchise will be taking a cue from its biggest fantasy franchise, with BioWare studio director Yanick Roy revealing that Mass Effect 4 will share "core systems" with Dragon Age 3.

Following Roy's tweeting yesterday of a fat binder—which he said made up the "first pass" of the Mass Effect 4 design document—he answered a few fans' curious questions, revealing some of the things we can expect from next game in the series. Of course, our biggest question is "How soon are we going to see ME4, anyway?" While the document's only in its first iteration, Roy revealed that development will be sped up by the fact that they'll be using the Frostbite 3 engine, the same engine that will power the currently-in-development Dragon Age: Inquisition.

"Yes, since we share engine, we can start from some of DA3's core systems instead of from scratch," he tweeted to a fan.

Does this mean that Mass Effect 4 will be sharing some of that open world and broader customization goodness that BioWare has been promising for DA3?

Maybe. While the studio's been fairly chatty about the fact that ME4 is a thing, we're still very scant on basic details such as plot, protagonist, and setting, meaning that any revelations we may have about the mechanics are likely to be a long way off.