It’s now possible to play the new Dragon Age game through from beginning to end, but there’s still no confirmation it’ll be out in 2023.
Not only has it been eight years since the last Dragon Age game, but it’s been five years since developer BioWare has made any new role-playing game – and that was the much pilloried Mass Effect: Andromeda, by a separate team in Montreal.
That means there’s a lot riding on Dragon Age 4, aka Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, and yet despite having been officially announced in 2018 we still know virtually nothing about the game… except that it’s now come along far enough that BioWare can play it right to the end.
According to BioWare general manager Gary McKay the game has now reached the alpha stage, where most of the content and gameplay is complete. There’s still a long way to go before it reaches the beta stage though, which makes it hard to guess whether the game will be out next year or not.
‘Now, for the first time, we can experience the entire game, from the opening scenes of the first mission to the very end. We can see, hear, feel, and play everything as a cohesive experience,’ writes McKay.
‘First and foremost, we can now turn our sights toward bringing the visual fidelity to its final form and iterating on gameplay features,’ he added.
In other words, the graphics are currently very basic and likely still using placeholders from the existing games and other shortcuts, so there’d be little point for anyone but BioWare to play or see it right now.
Writing in a new blog, McKay offered little in the way of new information on what the game is about, merely once again confirming that it will take place in the Tevinter Empire, including the capital city of Minrathous.
As vague as they may be, McKay’s comments give some interesting insights on the process of making a modern AAA game, one that’s assumed to be at least 12 months away from release at this point.
Although in February BioWare said it was only half finished, so it could actually be considerably longer than that.
‘We can now evaluate the game’s pacing, how relationships evolve over time, and the player’s progression, as well as narrative cohesion – essentially how the story comes together.’ he said.
‘We can take the story we’ve written and see if we’re expressing it well through the characters, dialogue, cinematics, and ultimately, the player’s journey.’
McKay also briefly mentions the new Mass Effect game, which has been kept equally secret. It’s assumed to be out after Dragon Age: Dreadwolf but he does talk about ‘celebrating our community’ on N7 Day next month.
N7 Day, named after Commander Shepard’s military designation, takes place on November 7 every year and while it’s probably too much to expect any substantial news there may be a new bit of concept art or similar.
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