Will New 'Dragon Age' Title Finally Realize Its Potential To Best 'Skyrim' And 'Witcher'?

dragon age
Dragon Age could be making a return EA

The jury seems to still be out amongst Dragon Age fans regarding the best title in the series. Some, myself included, might make a case for the first entry, Dragon Age Origins, and cite things like a fairly streamlined plot and memorable characters. Others might herald Dragon Age 2, praising its objectively smoother combat system and superior character animations. Dragon Age Inquisition is an impressive entry in its own right, largely improving upon what worked in Origins and its sequel whilst adding a striking open world feature.

Nevertheless, none of the three titles have risen above “good” or sunken below enough to warrant a definitive stand out. Even at its peak, the Dragon Age titles have always seemed to pale in comparison to other triple A titles like Skyrim and especially The Witcher 3.

It’s an uncomfortably peculiar thing to say about what has been thus far a rather enjoyable series of competently made games. Bioware and more recently EA flirted with greatness but never quite got there, which is why, three games in, the announcement of a fourth installment has me leaning towards trepidatious indifference.

I’ve always been of the mind that ever since the release of Origins, the devs over at Bioware never quite knew where they were going with the story, a shortcoming that’s only detrimental to a studio that prides itself on gripping plot and character development.

Dragon Age Origins showcased the best plot the series has yet to offer. There are clear stakes and motivations for you and your party members, which makes its ending feel the most satisfying.

The plight of Hawk and company becomes slightly more muddled in Dragon Age 2 but this is efficiently masked by vibrant characters and tight gameplay mechanics. Inuisition suffered the most, plainly from its weak plot, though it seems to have the most ambition.

After completing both Dragon Age 2 and Inquisition, I remember having similar feelings. I recall having a good time while playing through each game, but the minute the credits rolled having no desire to visit its world anytime soon.

Despite the less than stellar reactions to Mass Effect; Andromeda, Bioware has built up enough goodwill as to not leave me completely devoid of hope.

Dragon Age is a good series of games that I think has the potential to be truly great. The voice acting is always top notch, the score is both indelible and inspired. The unique and subversive way in which it handles magic, races and theology is at times awe-inspiring, if only it could recapture the confident charm found in Origins and then build upon it with the ingredients it clearly already has.

I only hope this next entry in the Dragon Age series will be the one to put the rest to shame.

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