Dragon Age: Dreadwolf Is BioWare’s Next Epic — Everything to Know
The return of BioWare's fantasy series inches closer.
The next fantasy adventure in development from the studio behind the iconic Mass Effect series and divisive Anthem is Dragon Age: Dreadwolf. Nearly a decade after the franchise's latest entry, Dragon Age: Inquisition, there's no telling when fans might return to the continent of Thedas. But early peeks at concept art, and even a cinematic trailer showcases some of the changes. Following the game's latest trailer from 2022, and an update from BioWare, there’s a lot we know about Dragon Age 4, now known as Dragon Age: Dreadwolf — though, don’t expect to play it in 2023.
Dragon Age: Dreadwolf Release Date Delay
Dragon Age: Dreadwolf won’t launch before April 2024. This comes by way of an Electronic Arts earnings call in May 2023, in which the publisher revealed its tentative release schedule for its upcoming games.
The schedule covers a window up to March 31, 2024, and Dragon Age: Dreadwolf was not listed, indicating it will launch after that date. Electronic Arts did not specify when to expect Dreadwolf, but we know it won’t be ready in 2023.
In February 2022, a blog post from BioWare stated that the new Dragon Age was in the “middle of production,” which could give us a very rough idea as to when it could release. Teasers for a new Dragon Age game started as far back as 2015 when executive producer Mark Darrah tweeted a video of a mysterious red book.
Despite that, full production likely didn’t happen until years later. The aforementioned blog post wishes farewell to Christian Dailey and notes that he started with the team back in 2018. That’s likely about when early development started, so being at the midway point in February 2022 means that we probably won’t see Dragon Age: Dreadwolf until the tail-end of 2023 at the earliest. That’s likely a generous estimate, however, and fans shouldn’t get their hopes up for anything outside of 2024.
By all accounts, Dragon Age: Dreadwolf has had something of a rocky development. In January 2018, BioWare shifted much of its resources toward Anthem instead of the next Dragon Age.
BioWare announced in a December 3, 2020 blog post that General Manager Casey Hudson and Executive Producer Mark Darrah had left the company, saying that both wanted to "try something different." Hudson and Darrah published their own statements on the blog reflecting on many years with the company. These are just the latest of several key staff who have departed over some kind of creative differences. Christian Dailey, meanwhile, will now be leading the new Dragon Age project.
Dragon Age: Dreadwolf Trailer
A full trailer for Dragon Age: Dreadwolf was released at The Game Awards 2020. It was purely cinematic and emphasizes that the hero isn't a chosen one fulfilling a prophecy. We also briefly see Solas at the end of the trailer, confirming what the Dread Wolf will look like in BioWare's next title. While the game recently lost two of its biggest creative forces, Casey Hudson and Mark Darrah, this trailer indicates that the game is still on track.
Check out the trailer below:
"The world of Dragon Age needs a new hero — someone who can take on the evil forces threatening Thedas," the video's description says. "Get a first look at some of the new locations you’ll discover and the factions fighting by your side in the next chapter of Dragon Age.
We still haven't gotten a gameplay trailer, but some other videos do exist. For example, we got a "Behind the scenes at BioWare" video about "the next Dragon Age" during August 2020's Gamescom. The video features mostly interviews with developers, but sparse bits of concept art and in-game environments do look stunning. There are also hints that rather than an important and powerful character like the Inquisitor, players will assume the role of a nobody within this world.
“We want to tell a story of what happens when you don’t have power," Lead Writer Patrick Weekes says in the video. "What happens when the people in charge aren’t willing to address the issues.” Various pieces of concept art feature different characters, new and old, so there should be a mix of companions. The Game Awards 2020's trailer reinforces that.
The most recent cinematic trailer from December 2022 shows off some of the game’s visuals and art direction, as well. BioWare has yet to reveal what the game looks like in action.
Dragon Age: Dreadwolf Platforms
Dragon Age: Dreadwolf will launch for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC, leaving the old generation behind.
Dragon Age: Dreadwolf Story
Since details are so scarce on Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, we don’t know much about the actual story. Still, there are a couple of important details that are already known. The reveal trailer hinted at this, but the game’s subtitle of “Dreadwolf” guarantees that Solas from Dragon Age: Inquisition will have a huge role to play. At the end of Inquisition, Solas revealed that he’s actually the ancient elven god of betrayal, Fen’Harel, otherwise known as the Dreadwolf. In Dragon Age lore, the Dreadwolf was responsible for tricking the other elven gods and sealing them away, ensuring they could never interact with mortals again.
The Trespasser DLC for Inquisition reveals that Solas’ ultimate goal is to restore the elven people to their former glory, and he’ll stop at nothing to see it through. Here it’s also revealed that Solas actually fought to protect the people from the god’s tyranny, and sealed them away to stop them from destroying the world. Considering all this exposition comes from Solas himself, however, it’s possible the real truth could be something else.
While we don’t know Solas’ full plan, he’s likely going to play the role of Dreadwolf’s main villain, or at least a major character. BioWare’s latest update reads “Using Solas’s namesake no doubt suggests a spectrum of endless possibilities on where things may go. But at the core of this, like every past game, is you. If you’re new to Dragon Age, you have no need to worry about not having met our antagonist just yet. He’ll properly introduce himself when the time is right.”
The other major detail we know about Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, is that the game will take place in a location the series has never explored before now, the Tevinter Imperium. A 25th-anniversary book from BioWare confirms this with a passage talking about the new game that says “The game, helmed by executive producer Mark Darrah, will take players to Tevinter as the events of Inquisition and Trespasser threaten to forever change Thedas.”
In past games, players have heard a lot about Tevinter and talked to characters from the country, like the party member Dorian. Tevinter is the oldest nation on Thedas and it's a magocracy that prizes research and magical power above all else.
Dragon Age: Dreadwolf Concept Art
Dorian, an aristocratic necromancer from Inquisition, is featured swimming underwater in one piece of concept art, hinting that he'll be a member of the player's party once again. And some fans have theorized that the other two characters here are Zevran and Isabela.
The behind-the-scenes preview for the game teases that as players trek across the world of Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, they'll encounter a vast array of inhabitants with various cultures and backgrounds. These will lead to many different quests including "hard-boiled detective stories" and untapped "frontier" exploration.
The full cast of characters is pretty cryptic, but one of these characters seems to have a gun.
The next Dragon Age should be a vast, compelling adventure. It can't come soon enough.
Dragon Age: Dreadwolf Leaks
While there haven’t been many Dragon Age: Dreadwolf leaks, a new set of images and even a video has surfaced online, depicting the game’s combat and other aspects. The leak comes from Twitter user @mintsoir.
The images are reminiscent of an over-the-shoulder action game such as God of War. There’s also a screenshot showing off the game’s menu screen, depicting skills, weapons, and other gear. Most notably, though, a video of the combat — which looks like a hack ‘n slash game — was leaked. It’s unclear if the final product will actually end up mirroring this leaked footage, but it looks legitimate.
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