Dragon Age 4: Why I'm Hopeful for the First Time in Years

Dragon Age 4: Why I'm Hopeful for the First Time in Years

Dragon Age 4

It's been a little over three years since I wrote a column expressing my concerns about the future of Dragon Age. That was at a time when it was not really known whether and how Bioware was working on the next part of the series. It was at a time when Mass Effect: Andromeda had disappointed rather than convinced, and when Anthem was lurking on the horizon as the next golden live service game. There was increasing evidence that the next part of the Dragon Age series should also be massively built around monetization and live service elements.

At that time, I had my doubts whether "Dragon Age 4 was still a role-playing game will be what I expect from the brand. " I looked at the official announcement of the game with a worried expression and I even went so far as to want to do without further parts of the series than to see them tattered in the greed machine called Electronic Arts. But three years have now passed. Dragon Age 4 is officially in development, but we don't know that much about the game. Still, three years later, my mood around Dragon Age is different. I wouldn't say that I'm already euphoric, too little is known about the game, but something like hope has been growing lately. Anthem never achieved the narrative quality and depth of character that one is used to from Bioware. Since the rest of the game was also unconvincing, failure was basically inevitable. Source: Buffed

Failure as an opportunity

To get this far, Bioware first had to fail enormously. Anthem's merciless flop, as ugly as it was for the developers involved, may have come at just the right time. And luckily, that belly landing happened with an entirely new IP. The loss and impact would be significantly greater if Bioware had this catastrophe again with a Dragon Age or Mass Effect. In this way, this defeat can also be turned into something good. Into a valuable lesson that one shouldn't stray so far from one's own virtues and traditions.

That there will finally be a remastered version of the Mass Effect trilogy is hopefully a good sign that one goes back to its strengths at Bioware. Source: Bioware This return to what Bioware once made is also evident for me in the decision to finally implement the remaster of the Mass Effect trilogy, which has been demanded by many fans for years. That shows me that you have understood how to listen to the fans and not to ignore them. In the meantime, this knowledge has even spread to the parent company Electronic Arts. At least if you can believe the statements of Chief Studios Officer Laura Miele. She recently said that EA studios would be given more freedom and that they should also include more player feedback. Whether such statements are just hot air, as is so often the case, or whether they are evidence of a real cultural change in the company remains to be seen. It would not be the first time that positive statements were initially made, which only a little later would be reduced to absurdity with contrary actions.

Singleplayer lives

At least for Dragon Age, the statements seem to be Laura Miele is already bearing positive fruit. Investigative journalist Jason Schreier reported at the end of last week that Electronic Arts had allowed the developers to design Dragon Age 4 again as a classic single-player role-playing game without any live service or multiplayer elements. A message that actually made me really happy. Because, as I wrote three years ago, everything Dragon Age fans want is a gripping single-player story, with great characters and exciting gameplay.

Recommended editorial content Here you will find external content from [PLATFORM]. To protect your personal data, external integrations are only displayed if you confirm this by clicking on "Load all external content": Load all external content I consent to external content being displayed to me. This means that personal data is transmitted to third-party platforms. Read more about our privacy policy . External content More on this in our data protection declaration. I am particularly pleased that it was EA-internal developments that contributed to this change of heart. On the one hand, the aforementioned flop from Anthem, which has shown that Bioware would be better advised to stick to its roots. On the other hand, the great success of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order from Respawn, which proved with more than 10 million copies sold that even single-player titles are still a lucrative business if the quality is right. I'm also grateful to the developers at Bioware, who reportedly actively fought to make Dragon Age 4 a classic single-player RPG again. That gives me confidence that there are still enough people, especially among the creative people in the studio, who know what the series is all about and what fans expect from it. I can only emphasize it over and over again. Dragon Age: Inquisition is way better than its reputation. The attention to detail, the fan service, all the great moments make the fan heart beat faster. Source: PC Games

More hope than skepticism

All these developments make me wait hopefully for Dragon Age 4 again. I'm curious to see how my emotional world will develop when Bioware finally actually shows something about the game for the first time. All I really want from Dragon Age 4 is that I feel the love, the passion, the fan service and the attention to detail that have made Dragon Age: Inquisition something very special for me and one of my favorite games to this day. But before that happens, a lot of water will flow down the Drakon River and I still have enough reasons to be a bit skeptical.

The numerous well-known departures in recent years are a heavy burden. People like Mike Laidlaw, David Gaider, Mark Darrah and Fernando Melo are emblematic of the creation of Dragon Age and will not be easily replaceable. After all, with Creative Director Matthew Goldman and Lead Writer Patrick Weekes, two bioware veterans who have helped shape various projects for many, many years, are still at the creative helm. As I said, I am still not completely free of doubts, but for the first time in several years, confidence and hope prevail when I think of the next Dragon Age. I hope Bioware doesn't disappoint. I would probably never forgive them for anything else.

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