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What we've seen of Dragon Age 4 over the years has been regrettably sparse and sporadic, so when a BioWare producer shared this glimpse at a possible new character in the next game, our spirits were lifted like a winged reptile on an updraught.
Dragon Age 4 (it might not be titled that in the end, mind) has been in development since 2015. Initially, BioWare aimed to produce a smaller, shorter, yet much more concise experience, set in the Tevinter Imperium following the Inquisitor hunting down Solas before he destroys the world. This area of Thedas has not been explored properly, though the lore surrounding the fictional nation is ridiculously rich compared to other parts of the world, and very popular with fans. Codenamed "Joplin," this iteration of the game would let players step into the shoes of a spy ring in Tevinter, "[focusing] as much as possible on choice and consequence," and offer a reactive setting where even "non-standard game overs" like Nier: Automata were achievable.
Sadly, this concept was canned, as BioWare stretched itself thin attempting to rectify the myriad of issues with Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem. I'm sure it goes without saying, but it was unfortunate that these weaker games trailed after Dragon Age: Inquisition, which won numerous awards, including Game of the Year at The Game Awards 2014. However, it looks like things are taking a turn for the studio, and the next-gen glimpses of Dragon Age 4 are simply stunning. Now, BioWare has expressed that the next entry into the series is in "early production," and Electronic Arts has already been clear that the game won't be arriving before 2022.
That won't stop us from poring over this new concept art like it's the next hot thing out of Orlais. First things first, I'm fairly certain that this mysterious person isn't Imogen Mellor, journalist for GAMINGbible and archer extraordinaire, dropping into the world of Thedas for a cheeky self-portrait. Only fairly certain, though. The character's weapon is very interesting too; it seems to be a spectral arrow drawn from the energy of the Fade, and the bow itself is an arc of shattered triangular rocks held in place by magic? Magnetism? All that I know is that it's fashion, darling. Look it up.
To me, the background is very reminiscent of the crossroads in between the Eluvians, towards the end of the Trespasser DLC. This character could be an elf, with their distinguishing ears hidden underneath their striking helmet. In fact, the set of armour looks like a variation on Abelas' outfit, meaning that they could be one of the sentinel elves from the Temple of Mythal. The ancient faction will likely have a few thoughts about Solas' plan to pull down the Veil and restore the elves' original power and longevity, and perhaps this one has realised the possible terrible consequences of such an action, and joins the player's fight.
In any event, BioWare is busying beavering away on Dragon Age 4, support for Anthem's anticipated reboot, and Mass Effect 5. We'll likely not hear from BioWare for a little longer as the team continues their work, but if all of the updates are as wonderful as this artwork, then I'm not complaining.
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