(Pocket-lint) - The Dragon Age series is one of the most monumental in all of gaming, with enormous storylines playing out with dozens of characters, factions and demons to consider, but we haven't had a new game since Inquisition came out back in 2014, quite a hiatus.
However, EA and BioWare have finally confirmed what was long suspected - the next Dragon Age is in the works, and we've even got a trailer to go with the news. We've gathered all the key snippets of information you need to know about the upcoming game, right here.
Dragon Age 4 release date
The above trailer for the next Dragon Age, which still doesn't have an actual title, debuted at the Game Awards in late 2020 and kicked off a storm of hype, as you'd expect. Of course, it's very much all CGI, without any gameplay at all, so this is definitely an early look at the game's themes and not much more.
As such, we aren't even close to expecting the game in 2021 - 2022 is even a bit optimistic target, to our minds, although EA and BioWare might well have the resources to spin it up more quickly than we're expecting.
EA has previously indicated that the game won't make it out before the end of 2022's fiscal year, though, and a recent VentureBeat report indicated that 2023 is the most likely release year for the project.
Dragon Age 4 platforms
When it comes to which platforms Dragon Age 4 is likely to appear on, we can be a little bit more confident. Given the timescale, and the fact that the game is still in fairly early development, it's very likely to be aimed at next-gen consoles only, coming out on the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S and skipping their forbears.
That's become all the more likely after eagle-eyed leaker Jeff Grubb confirmed it with sources, after a former BioWare employee's LinkedIn profile started things off by indicating the next-gen platforms as targets for the game.
Of course, Dragon Age is also an absolute favourite for PC gamers, who can get a little more in-depth with their strategic play thanks to a mouse and keyboard, so it'll be dead certain to come to the PC as well.
Sadly, none of the Dragon Age games have so far come to a Nintendo console, and with the Switch's limited power we think that'll continue to be the case this time.
Dragon Age 4 story
The teaser trailer BioWare debuted last year is pretty ambiguous, but there are some big points we can still draw from it. It sounds from the voiceover like we'll be taking on a new character, not returning to fill the shoes of the illustrious Inquisitor we played last time around.
Indeed, this character seemingly won't be a prophesied chosen one, but someone ordinary who'll reach extraordinary heights.
Furthermore, there are a couple of characters we can say with confidence will appear - namely, rugged dwarf Varric Tethras, who narrates the trailer after his starring role in both Dragon Age 2 and Inquisition. Will he be up for his third consecutive appearance as a party member?
Then there's the likely big bad for the game - Solas, the Dread Wolf whose presence seemed so helpful throughout Inquisition before that game's final twist revealed him to be very, very evil. It's a safe bet that whatever else happens, you'll be running into Solas in Dragon Age 4 for sure.
We can also make some firm guesses about the game's setting, which is highly likely to be Tevinter, the ancient human nation governed by mages. Inquisition's final DLC ended with a strong hint that Tevinter was the next big location to be explored, while multiple leaks have also pointed toward the setting.
That's now been made even more likely by a discovery from the Eurogamer team, reading a book on the history of BioWare.
Finally picked up the BioWare book and hey is this the first *official* confirmation Dragon Age 4 is set in Tevinter? (I know we all sort of guessed this already) pic.twitter.com/229xriPbof— Tom Phillips (@tomphillipsEG) January 24, 2021
That's the first sanctioned confirmation that it'll be in Tevinter, even if it hasn't been announced in a more formal sense. Now we've got another bit of artwork to further make it likely, posted as a thank-you to the patient fanbase:
That looks a lot like the same magic-infused city that features in the trailer, along with a proper look at a distinctly mage-looking character. This is all clearly evocative of Tevinter, and there are some really intriguing design choices going on.
In fact, the concept art train keeps rolling - the same executive producer on the game recently sent out another image, this time showing off a Grey Warden:
We don't have any more to on in terms of how important Grey Wardens will be to the game's story, but it's another little bit of flavour to enjoy as we await any further news.
Dragon Age 4 gameplay
Finally, we come to gameplay, and there's actually quite a lot of options on the table for Dragon Age 4. Each Dragon Age game has felt pretty distinct - Origins had more tactical combat, Dragon Age 2 was more action-packed, and Inquisition was somewhere in the middle depending on how you played it.
Whether combat is more involved or simpler, though, some other things are likely to be guaranteed. We should get a fairly lengthy story with dozens of characters to talk to and influence, and dialogue trees that give plenty of choice in terms of approach.
Dragon Age has so far also shied away from a true open world experience, preferring large hub areas that you can travel between for a more detailed approach to each location, so it'll be interesting to see if that structure reappears. One of the only real criticisms of Inquisition was that its areas could feel a little over-large at times, so we'll see if the next game makes these a bit denser, too.
However, one thing we can seemingly rule out is the game having multiplayer - this was apparently a major part of EA's plan for the franchise. However, the poor return from games like Anthem, paired with major success from singleplayer title Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has persuaded EA to stick with Dragon Age's roots.
According to a big Bloomberg report, this is very much what BioWare wanted, so hopefully that means we see a truer version of what they're imagining the game will be when it eventually releases.