Although we’ve known it was coming for a while, it’s nice to have confirmation that Dragon Age 4 is on the horizon. Bioware has not confirmed the name (it probably won’t be called DA4), made a formal announcement, or hinted at any Dragon Age 4 features; but that won’t stop excitement from growing in our bellies like dragon’s fire.
Alexis Kennedy, the creator of Fallen London and Sunless Sea, joined the Dragon Age team at BioWare last September. He’s spoken to UK publication Eurogamer about his role within the studio and admitted Dragon Age 4 is still in the early stages.
“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, referring to his British location compared to the main 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.”
This is the mastermind behind the brilliant choose your own adventure/role-playing titles of Fallen London and Sunless Sea, so we imagine Kennedy’s input will be a little darker in tone.
“I don’t want to exaggerate the degree of the chunk [I’m writing]. It’s more analogous to Patrick Weekes writing [Mass Effect character] Mordin than me being told to go off and write a whole different country… It’s nothing that grandiose, but it is distinct. It’s a bit of lore which has not been addressed much to date in Dragon Age.”
But Kennedy isn’t going to give away much about Dragon Age 4 at this stage of course. BioWare didn’t hire him to give away all its secrets.
The Dragon Age 4 Features Wishlist
With the news of a new Dragon Age ringing in our ears, we thought we’d put together of the Dragon Age 4 features we’d love to see from BioWare, from the story threads to character customisation and more.
1. A story that carries on from Trespasser
If we were the betting types, we’d imagine that Dragon Age 4 is going to carry on from where the brilliant Dragon Age: Inquisition Trespasser DLC ended. There’s no denying that it finished on somewhat of a cliffhanger.
The DLC also ended with the Inquisitor planning a new group of allies banded together from outside Orlais and Ferelden to track down the renegade elf, Solas. He’s painted as a central figure in the future of the Dragon Age narrative and if that’s not a sign that we need more Solas, we don’t know what is.
2. A fresh setting hinted at in games past
And speaking of Tevinter, boy are we eager to explore that land. From what we know so far, Tevinter Imperium is the longest existing human country within Thedas ruled by a powerful magocracy and leaders called the magisters.
Despite being a major nation of Thedas, no Dragon Age to date has yet explored it. But Dragon Age 4 could be the chance to set foot inside this magical, yet decadent society.
3. A similar open world structure to Inquisition
Although there’s a special place for the other three Dragon Age games, there’s something magical about the glorious open world-like structure of Dragon Age Inquisition. It ditched the linked but independent hub worlds of the previous titles in favour of a perfect mix of open-world exploration, a vast variety of sidequests and an open world still a little bound by a beautifully crafted narrative.
Dragon Age 4 may well dip back a little into that hub world structure, but we think it would be far more successful building on that open world structure, especially with the power of the PS4 and Xbox One behind it – and dare we say the Xbox Project Scorpio too?
4. Loyalty quests a la Mass Effect
The relationships that you build with the characters in BioWare games has always been one the greatest appeals of the studio’s franchises. And, as it has always been, you glean the most from your party members by doing character specific quests, like the loyalty missions of the Mass Effect series.
Quests like these always bring you closer to your companions and the adventures they take you on are usually just as absorbing as the main storyline. Loyalty quests with multiple strands or linked missions would be great for Dragon Age 4, just like BioWare did with Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect Andromeda.
5. Choices that actually matter
Pouring over the many, many forum threads about the next Dragon Age, it’s very clear that the biggest things fans want to see are their choices actually having an effect on the game’s story.
In BioWare’s other major franchise, Mass Effect, and in the early days of Dragon Age every dialogue choice mattered. There was a time when the game would acknowledge when you’d made a choice that affected the entire storyline or triggered a different cutscene.
It wasn’t quite on the level of Telltale’s “they will remember that”, but it was close and it gave each interaction a little more gravitas and weight.
Dragon Age 4 should try and give players a sense of really having an impact on the story and the characters that they meet, and having to deal with the subsequent consequences.
What Dragon Age 4 features would you like to see? Let us know on Twitter @getfandom.