Okay, so EA isn't technically calling it Dragon Age 4 yet, but we now know that the fourth entry in the Dragon Age series is in development. The crew at BioWare is working on it right now, and although we don't yet know that much about it, we have had the game's first teaser trailer.
That first Dragon Age 4 teaser trailer may have only been 1.04 minutes long, and not included any gameplay whatsoever, but that isn't going to stop the hype train from pulling noisily out of the station. BioWare and EA have given us a cryptic nugget of info to analyze frame-by-frame in search of secrets after all.
Until we know more about the game, including even a vague Dragon Age 4 release date, there's plenty more info we've gathered about Dragon Age 4 - and some things we definitely want to see. Here's everything you need to know about the highly anticipated RPG, and what's been churning through the Dragon Age 4 rumor mill.
Watch the first official teaser Dragon Age 4 trailer
As part of the many reveals at The Game Awards 2018, we finally got a teaser trailer for Dragon Age 4 - though we still don't have an actual game name just yet. You should watch the brief glimpse above, but the gist is that #TheDreadWolfRises, with an ominous greeting from Solas, of Dragon Age: Inquisition fame:
"So, you found me at last. I suspect you have questions."
If you're not intimately familiar with Dragon Age lore, the 'Dread Wolf' moniker refers to Fen'Harel, the Loki-like elven god of betrayal who has (spoilery) ties to Solas and features prominently in Inquisition's epilogue DLC, Trespasser. The trailer also gives us a good look at a haunting statue sprouting red lyrium from its base. Our prayers of a follow-up to the Solas cliffhanger in Trespasser have been answered!
Dragon Age 4 may feature "live service" elements, but won't be like Anthem
"The idea was that Anthem would be the online game and that Dragon Age and Mass Effect, while they may experiment with online portions, that’s not what defines them as franchises," one developer told Kotaku. "I don’t think you’ll see us completely change those franchises."
Casey Hudson went on to say that Dragon Age 4 will be story-led and character-focused though, and although it's still "too early to talk details" - as explained in a tweet in Jan 2018 - "when we talk about 'live' it just means designed a game for continued storytelling after the main story."
"Dragon Age games shift more than other games," one developer said. Another said that "I know it's going to change like five times in the next two years."
Despite Dragon Age boss Mike Laidlaw leaving, you don't need to worry
And that's despite Mike Laidlaw leaving too. Laidlaw's been at BioWare for 14 years, but in October he announced he was leaving the company. During his tenure there he's worked on games like Jade Empire, Mass Effect and, you know, just the entire Dragon Age series, even serving as Creative Director on Dragon Age: Inquisition.
But fear not, just because one of the main guys making Dragon Age 4 has left, it doesn't spell the end of the series. Laidlaw spoke to a fan on Twitter and confirmed the Dragon Age team already had ideas for a "theoretical" Dragon Age 5.
"There is no planned ending for DA," he said, in response to a question asking if the fantasy role-playing series once had a set conclusion. "There is an evolving plan that tends to look two games ahead or so."
There is no planned ending for DA. There is an evolving plan that tends to look 2 games ahead or so. https://t.co/6Tp1lP6d5GAugust 8, 2017
Alexis Kennedy, of Fallen London and Sunless Seas fame, is involved... and TALKING
Although EA Games hasn’t officially announced Dragon Age 4, it’s nice to know that it’s coming. A semi-official reveal came from one of the writers on the game, Alexis Kennedy, who’s comments sparked ‘Dragon Age 4 confirmed’ headlines all over the place. He admitted the game was in its early stages during an interview, where he also gave us a few little hints as to what role he’s had on the writing team.
“What I can say is I have been given considerable autonomy to work on a storyline bit of lore which is well-segregated from other parts of the game, which makes sense with me being remote,” said Kennedy to Eurogamer. Kennedy is based in the UK compared to the rest of the team at BioWare Edmonton.
“And yes, if you’ve seen a lot of my work before you will probably not be surprised by the choice of subject matter. It’s familiar stuff.”
His previous work includes the brilliant Fallen London and Sunless Sea, both choose your own adventure/RPG titles with dark tones. No doubt Kennedy’s input into Dragon Age 4 is going to be of similar ilk.
He didn’t give much else away in his interview, but if Kennedy says the game was in its early stages in May 2017, we’re going to be waiting a while for a Dragon Age 4 release date.
However, Alexis Kennedy has been talking again; this time to VideoGamer.
"I'm going to tease what I can without, I think, annoying anybody," said Kennedy. "My other half, who is also my co-founder [Lottie Bevan at Weather Factory], said to me a year or two ago 'AK, are all your games about death?' and I said 'Well, kind of'. I'm just a big old goth. And BioWare put me on working on whole chunk of lore and backstory for the faction in the game that you would think of if were thinking big old goth. You know, if you were interested in death."
He went on to say this particular faction is in a game that "might be Dragon Age with a number after it". Cheeky.
"I think anybody who knows anything about Dragon Age lore can make some pretty clear deductions from that," he added.
Tevinter Imperium anyone?
Dragon Age 4 wishlist
Until we get our hands on a brand new scaly adventure or receive some official news, I’ve got plenty of ideas as to what the Dragon Age 4 gameplay and story should feature.
Here are the five top things I’ve got on my Dragon Age 4 wishlist:
1. The return of Solas
If you’ve played the excellent Dragon Age: Inquisition Trespasser DLC, you’ll know that it finishes with somewhat of a cliffhanger revolving around the renegade elf, Solas. In case you missed it, the DLC ends with the Inquisitor planning to pull together a new group of allies banded together from outside Orlais and Ferelden in order to track down Solas. He already has a great knowledge of the Inquisition, so that’s why there’s a need for a brand new crew. But depending on whether you’ve chosen to stop or redeem Solas, will no doubt depend on how you tackle the next part of the story.
That just happens not to exist yet… Until Dragon Age 4? Because Trespasser leaves you with such a Solas-focused cliffhanger, there’s little doubt in my mind that Solas is going to be at the centre of the next game.
2. A little jaunt in Tevinter Imperium
That Trespasser cliffhanger also showed a very important moment that could give away the potential setting of Dragon Age 4. The DLC finished with a dagger stabbed right through a map of Tevinter Imperium, which is an area of Dragon Age‘s world of Thedas, right next to Solas’ camp.
You might dismiss that as a wanton whim from me, but Tevinter Imperium just happens to be an area of Thedas that hasn’t yet been explored. Coincidence? I think not. Tevinter is the oldest human country within Thedas and it’s ruled by a powerful magocracy and leaders that are known as the magisters, who are the most powerful mages. If that doesn’t sound like an awesome place to set Dragon Age 4, I don’t know what does.
3. Better connections with our party members
Of course, a lovely world and a worthy foe is all good, but a Dragon Age game would be nothing without the characters you share your journey with. BioWare has such a talent when it comes to building believable and lovable characters that I actually want to be able to make more connections with them in Dragon Age 4.
Mass Effect, BioWare’s other major game (aside from the upcoming Anthem, that is), regularly features loyalty missions that allow you to build a stronger bond with your party members. Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect Andromeda are both games highlighted for such a feature, and it’s definitely something that would work for Dragon Age 4.
4. More control of how the story flows
From talking to fellow Dragon Age fans and reading online forums, it’s clear that there’s a demand for gamers to have more control over their destiny in Dragon Age 4. Back in the early days of Dragon Age, the decisions you make and your actions all have consequences. But consequences that actually affect the way the rest of the story pans out.
Like in Mass Effect, early Dragon Age games indicate that your choices make a difference to the game’s story. It isn't quite Telltale’s ‘they will remember that’ prompt, but it makes you feel as though there is more player agency than there is in more recent Dragon Age. Dragon Age fans - myself included - think that your choices should be given a little more weight for Dragon Age 4.
5. Take a world of inspiration from Inquisition
My favourite game in the Dragon Age series so far has to be Inquisition and that’s in part down to its open-world structure. Its blend of exploration, side-quests and expertly crafted immersive narrative leads you through its vast world like a Dragon Age game hasn’t quite pulled off before.
Other Dragon Age games prefer to focus on interconnected hub areas, but for a world as rich as Dragon Age’s it makes more sense to me to continue down the open world route started with Inquisition.
What would you love to see in Dragon Age 4? Let us know what you think by tapping the 'see comments' button below.