Bioware has been on the run ever since last year’s Anthem disaster. Yet, the reason for the particular hatred it received began way back with the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda. The game barely functioned, with a promise that the reason for this was due to the shift of staff to work on Anthem. So expectations were high. And the results were low.
After a PR nightmare, Bioware hangs on a noose held by EA, who is a known developer-killer by this point. So, where is the last hope of this once proud behemoth? In the only series left, of course. One final push of a painful gestation that will either save or damn the studio.
Dragon Age’s Development History
Dragon Age: Origin was a fresh take on the RPG genre back when it released in 2009. Not without its flaws, the game managed to garner positive reviews. It is with its sequel that the game divided the audience. Dragon Age 2 was polarizing on so many levels. It tried to innovate with its gameplay, and while it managed on most levels, many weren’t too keen on the idea of some mechanics that were taken out. Still, it managed to get enough good reception to garner Inquisition.
A game-changer, one that stuck to the roots of the original, while only changing the visuals and plot. Fans were rejoicing, and some consider it to be the last good game Bioware produced before the storm of garbage that graced the video game market in the following years. This, as mention before, started with the development of Mass Effect: Andromeda, yet some say that the exact date of their downfall began with Mass Effect 3.
Dragon Age’s Future?
So how could they ensure their survival at this point? For starters, Inquisition ended on a massive cliffhanger, one that will be central to the upcoming fourth installment. Most notable, the Inquisition DLC Trespassers. In the end, Solas, a companion that the player befriends during the game, reveals his true intentions, that of the Dread Wolf, the Trickster Lord. The current working title of the fourth installment is the Dread Wolf Rises, which only confirms this to be a continuation of the plot, but with Solas now acting as the main antagonist, rather than a companion.
What we imagine is that all the familiar faces from the previous games will make a return in some form or another. Naturally, this all boils down to the choices players made within the course of previous games. Who lives, who dies, who is romanced. Significant characters like fan-favorites Varric, Morrigan, Cassandra, and Cullen make their return.
However, it is still uncertain if players will continue the game as an Inquisitor, or create a new custom character. In any case, Bioware made sure that the protagonist of each game has a role in a future release, so you might bump into your Grey Warden or Hawke if they are alive.
Twerks That Should Be Addressed
Other minor details should still be addressed. Example being, Morrigan’s son Kieren. But these are all details that concern the story, and we are positive that in terms of plot, we have nothing to worry about. Every Dragon Age had a solid foundation on that front, but it’s the gameplay we’re concerned about. New doesn’t always mean better, and while Andromeda did improve gameplay, its graphics, visuals, and acting were a disaster.
Anthem is even guiltier in this regard. A more fluid RPG leveling system and combat similar to that of the Witcher 3 would be the right direction to go. Or go with the safest route of the original game and focus more on character depth and world-building. The Witcher 3 is a tall order, and a staple to witch many should aspire to when it comes to fantasy RPGs. So trying to measure might not be easy, but they should look at it as an example, as a guiding source.
EA’s Final Judgment
It’s currently hard to predict Bioware’s future. Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order proved successful with EA. And with the company’s known history, of looking at the next piggy bank, and not at the actual games, if Bioware doesn’t step up fast, they are gone for sure. But yes, Dragon Age 4 is their final attempt. Maybe not the last game, but definitely one that will decide their fate. It hangs on a small thread, and they need to be extra careful to avoid as much negative press as possible. Good luck, Bioware, you’ll need it.