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Video GamesJun 3, 2022 5:30 pm CT

Dragon Age: Dreadwolf answers the question “what will Dragon Age 4 be called” and almost nothing else

We finally know a little more about Dragon Age 4: the game will be named Dragon Age: Dreadwolf. With that name, it’s rather obvious that Dragon Age Inquisition’s Solas, the titular Dread Wolf, will play a major part — something we’ve known for a while. But this scrap of information has been a long time coming, and we’re still waiting for solid news about the game.

Dragon Age Inquisition came out in November 2014, and its last content, the Trespasser DLC, came out in September 2015. Which is to say that the last content for the series came out almost seven years ago, and ended the game on a bit of a cliffhanger. To put this into context, Dragon Age 2 came out in 2011, which means the notoriously troubled development of Dragon Age Inquisition took about three years to complete. The development of Dragon Age 4, now Dreadwolf, has taken over twice as long. And we’re no closer to anything substantial in terms of when the game will actually come out.

We did get a teaser trailer from 2020, which tells us everything we just learned from reading BioWare’s latest announcement, except for that title. The 2018 teaser trailer was even less informative, but still contained more concrete information, telling us that Solas would be the antagonist and the game would likely take place in Tevinter, as we’ve learned since.

With all of that in mind, what do we know about Dragon Age: Dreadwolf?

What is Dragon Age: Dreadwolf actually going to be?

Please understand, I love Dragon Age as a franchise and I have since Dragon Age Origins came out back in 2009, some thirteen years ago. But I’m also aware that over the years the dev time for these games has been going crazy, with DA2 coming out about a year after Dragon Age Awakening (the DLC for Origins) and now we’re looking at a seven year gap and likely more like eight or nine years before we even get a sense of what game we’re going to be playing in Dreadwolf. Dribs and drabs like this title announcement are not good enough after Anthem, a BioWare game that eschewed most of the things fans loved about BioWare games, souring a lot of  goodwill, in my opinion.

As of right now, we know (primarily from those trailers) that Solas is somehow involved and likely central to the events of this game — especially now that the game’s name has been revealed. We also know that Varric, long-time companion from Dragon Age 2 and Dragon Age Inquisition may be involved as that’s his voice we hear in the 2020 trailer narrating the story. We know from Trespasser who Solas really is — the Dread Wolf of legend — and what his motivations are. We know that the next setting for the game is likely Tevinter due to BioWare basically admitting it in a book they’re selling on their gear store. There’s also been concept art and scenes in the trailers indicating both Tevinter and maybe Antiva, home of the Antivan Crows assassin’s guild.

The rocky road to Dragon Age: Dreadwolf

Part of Dreadwolf’s difficulties problem is how many people have rotated in and out of the Dragon Age team over the past seven plus years. Mike Laidlaw, Creative Director of the Dragon Age franchise, left when the game was outright canceled because it didn’t have a live service component, ala Anthem. Since then we’ve seen Executive Producer Mark Darrah leave and be replaced by Christian Dailey, who then also left in February 2022. Senior Creative Director Matthew Goldman left in November of 2021. The current leadership on the team is Game Director Corrine Busche, Director of Product Development Benoit Houle, and Production Director. I will not pretend to know what the difference between Benoit Houle and Mac Walter’s jobs are.

In that time the game has gone through several iterations, starting as a heist-oriented game, possibly similar to the TTRPG Blades in the Dark which was brand new and hot as heck back in 2015. Then it morphed into a fantasy version of  Anthem with an extensive live service component. And now it’s something new again, since since Respawn’s Jedi Fallen Order proved to EA that single player games can be successful enough for them to back down on the live service formula that didn’t really do very well for Anthem. The success of Mass Effect Legendary Edition may also have played a role in getting Dragon Age: Dreadwolf back into the territory of a single-player RPG (probably).

So at present, we know the name of the game — Dragon Age: Dreadwolf — and nothing we haven’t already heard or surmised since 2020. Now, I’m very excited for more Dragon Age, but I think it’s been long enough that you could tell us something new with a bit more substance, BioWare. Who will be returning for this game? Will we see Dorian, the Tevinter Mage companion from Inquisition? Fenris, the formerly enslaved Elf from Tevinter who kind of hates all Mages and who might oppose or help Solas, for his own reasons? Zevran Aranai, the Antivan assassin and ex-Crow who was last seen murdering his former fellows in Dragon Age 2? Qunari like Sten from Dragon Age Origins, who is now the Arishok, or the Iron Bull from Inquisition? What about characters like Hawke, the Warden, or even the Inquisitor from previous games?

I love you, BioWare, but seriously it’s time to stop being coy here.

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