Woe, woe unto the poor marketing teams of BioWare, who had the misfortune to release their latest Dragon Age: Dreadwolf video hours before the leak of the GTA 6 trailer. The Dragon Age trailer is just a teaser, with a full reveal coming in summer 2024, but it sheds some light on the new RPG’s setting, and introduces a rather menacing character who sounds like Patrick Stewart – BioWare have yet to reveal the actor.

Mixing cinematics with in-engine footage, the video offers sweeping views of an ornamental landscape reminiscent of Dragon Age: Inquisition’s map table, with a few placenames picked out for the fans to coo over. We’re shown the city of Treviso in the region of Antiva, a coastal trade centre with bountiful vineyards and, going by the trailer’s mention of the Crows, lots of cloak-and-dagger antics.

There’s also Rivain, a matriarchy that occupies a peninsula just north of Antiva, and is notable for not being part of the Andrastian religion that predominates elsewhere in Thedas. And lastly there’s the kingdom of Anderfels, birthplace of the darkspawn-slaying Grey Wardens introduced by the very first Dragon Age, who operate out of a fortress in Weisshaupt. The trailer blurb summarises the game’s setting as “a vibrant land of rugged wilderness, treacherous labyrinths, and glittering cities – steeped in savage combat and secret magics” adding that “now, its fate teeters on a knife’s edge”.

Which is where you enter the picture. “Thedas needs a new leader — one they’ll never see coming,” the just-launched Steam page continues. “You’ll forge a courageous fellowship to challenge the gathering storm. Friendship, drama, and romance will abound as you bring striking individuals together into an extraordinary team. Become the leader and light the beacon of hope in their darkest moments.”

The trailer also introduces what appears to be one of the game’s antagonists – the aforesaid Stewartalike, a drawling figure who promises that “all the world will soon share the peace and comfort of my reign”.

Dragon Age: Dreadwolf appears to directly follow the events of Dragon Age: Inquisition. The new story grants pride of place to Solas, that nice bald elf from Inquisition who paints the mural of your feats at Skyhold, and who absolutely doesn’t have any terrible secrets to share. I reckon Stewart could do a good Old Man Solas, though the character doesn’t appear to have aged much in the game’s key art. The game was playable from start to finish as of October last year, and according to leaks, features “completely real-time” combat inspired by the 2018 God of War reboot.

You might like to wash that down by reading Jeremy’s interview with Dragon Age writer David Gaider – amongst other things, they discuss the series’ handling of romanceable companions. I was too scared to romance anybody in Inquisition, but it would have been a toss-up between Sera and Cassandra, which is sort of like saying you can’t choose between a bottle of absinthe and a cup of very strong tea.

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