Dragon Age 4 has been on development hiatus for a while. While there were some ambitious plans for the fourth entry in the series, disruptions over at Bioware have shifted the game in odd directions. Originally, there were plans for a live service and even a multiplayer component for this title, but apparently, those ideas have been scrapped. Because due to Anthem not reaching the hopes of EA, Dragon Age 4 has now been restructured to be a single-player-only affair. This move was also due to the success of Jedi: Fallen Order and God of War, respectively. There has been some debate, for some time, that single-player games are now “obsolete” or “a thing of the past.” Well, it turns out that an epic single-player adventure is as relevant as ever these days. Video games may have evolved over the years, but the classic way of playing them will never die, it seems.
The production team of Dragon Age 4 is now hammering out this new title full-stop. The story is under wraps, but what is confirmed is that players will be taking control of a new protagonist. Rumors have it that the Inquisitor will be taking the lead, but that’s not solidified, as of yet. Additionally, it’s a good chance that Solas will be the main villain in this installment. At the end of Dragon Age: Inquisition, Solas revealed that he plans on bringing back the long-dormant elven empire by eliminating the wall between the Fade and the rest of the world. Given how that plot point was set up, it’s pretty much a given that Solas will be the ultimate threat for this fourth chapter. The developers are focused on moving forward with this project and finally delivering a true next-gen offering for fans of this franchise. Even though there have been some doubts about the new talent involved with Dragon Age 4, the previous development leads assure fans that things are in “passionate hands.”
A New Age
Dragon Age 4 will be built with the famous Frostbite engine. Given that this game is being published by EA, this is no surprise. The Frostbite engine is most notably known for the look and feel of the Battlefield and Battlefront games. It’s a glorious engine, for sure, and using it for another Dragon Age game on next-gen hardware will be a treat. According to the developers, the game is already outlined and now the main focus is implementing all of the mechanics. In terms of location, this new adventure will be at the ominous realm of Tevinter. Fans will recognize this place since it was mentioned a number of times during Dragon Age: Inquisition. Of course, players never really set foot there and this will be the first time they will get to fully explore this terrain. It’s a mystical countryside that’s overlooked by mages and there is no doubt that this map will offer all manners of exciting new features.
With that said, there are certainly some next-level gameplay features rumored to be implemented in the game. One, in particular, is the planning and execution of heists throughout the map of Tevinter. Additionally, there have also been some talks stating that there will be new AI implemented into the game that weaves its own dialogue. Players can bribe, threaten or even trick guards through conversation that happens to unfold at the whim of the AI. As opposed to a finite pre-programmed discussion established by the writers. Thusly, Dragon Age 4 is aiming to have a smaller map, but richer with content. Open-world games can be a tricky proposition for developers. The idea has always been enticing, but gameplay-wise it can be a slog due to the general feel of “emptiness” that comes with it. Bioware is hoping to keep players entertained through the smaller and denser map of Tevinter, this time around.
Fellowship of Evil
What is currently known for the general plot of Dragon Age 4, is that it’s aiming to be an “underdog story.” The feeling of being powerless against the elites who rule over you. The standard hero’s journey in terms of starting as being a nobody to becoming a legend has been the staple in storytelling for eons. What is rumored is that the new plot for this game is generally going to be within that route. It’s pretty much established that players will be taking control of a new protagonist and there will be some returning characters, as well. Solas is one, no doubt. Another is the likelihood of Varrac Tethras making an appearance since he narrates the game’s trailer. The Dragon Age games have always relished giving their characters time to shine. There’s no question that other characters will be showing up in this fourth entry.
It’s entirely possible that Alistair, Hawke, Leliana, and even the Grey Warden will appear to assist the new hero. Let’s not forget the gallery of villains that Dragon Age 4 might have. Solas is one, yet. However, there is still Flemeth that’s still waiting in the wings that can potentially show up. She has been spoken about and kind of lurking in the background, pulling the strings with everything that has happened throughout the past games. Whether or not she’ll finally make an appearance and take center stage remains to be seen. Given that this game has been through a number of changes over the years, many of these aforementioned features and mechanics are subject to change. What is established is the fact that this game will indeed be single-player and its location. That alone should be enough to have fans interested.
At least now fans can have some solace knowing that Dragon Age 4 is indeed happening. It has been a long road and sometimes this happens with video game development. Talent comes and goes and new blood takes over the reins. Whether or not this will be healthy for the Dragon Age series remains to be seen. Gamers will need to wait until possibly later this year before they will get a glimpse of in-game engine mechanics. Currently, Dragon Age 4 is slated to be released for the PlayStation, Xbox, and PC sometime in 2023 or beyond.