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The ‘Dragon Age: Dreadwolf’ Leaks Have Fans Divided

More plz.

Dragon Age: Dreadwolf cinematic

Yes girly, you read that right. Dragon Age: Dreadwolf leaks are out and about, baby. I tried watching the Grammys last night but couldn’t hack it, so when I went to Twitter to forgo having to watch the whole thing, I was given a phenomenal deliverance from my suffering: images and gameplay footage, which had allegedly been leaked by a playtester.

FINALLY, something other than the insufferable wizard game to pay attention to. Dragon Age: Inquisition came out in 2014, yet it wasn’t even one whole year ago that we got a simple title for the fourth game. After ten years, most fans—myself included—had all but given up on hoping to see any gameplay for Dreadwolf any time soon, so for me, seeing this leak was a treat. And no, I’m not gonna share anything, because while I have my doubts that this was a “real” leak (I have a feeling it was a canary trap), I’m also not keen on potentially getting anyone in hot water.

That being said, the fandom kettle certainly is boiling. The leak contained some screenshots, a video, and some written testimonials. Largely, the written details are fairly boiler-plate as far as Dragon Age goes: you have companions you recruit and you have a base. There’s darkspawn and dragons. You have abilities and classes. Etc., etc. The big thing that had people divided was the fact that combat will now be in real time, more or less, with heavy inspiration being taken from 2018’s God of War.

The video confirms this, with the player controlling a Grey Warden (as their armor and character screen indicates), and with no tactical option present whatsoever. It very much looks like other action RPGs: press X to hit, A to block, and so on. What’s more, there doesn’t seem to be a mechanic that allows us to control and direct party members (of which we only get two at a time, much like Mass Effect). And all of this has some fans worried, since the tactical aspect of the series was what drew them to it in the first place. They don’t want this to be just any other fantasy RPG, without a spine or its own unique legs to stand on.

I completely understand where they’re coming from, and don’t want to dogpile against them like a lot of other fans on the other side. I think it’s good to maintain some healthy skepticism for anything, especially a franchise you love so dearly. However, from my perspective, I will say that I don’t think this is necessary a bad decision on the devs’ part. I think it’s actually clever.

Dragon Age almost died out, after going through various rounds of development hell (thanks for nothing, EA). This is kind of its last chance to prove itself and finish telling its story, and it’s gotta do a good job of it in order to see the light of day. Therefore, whether we like it or not, it has to modernize—and the truth of it is that there’s no AAA fantasy game I can think of that still has combat functions like older Dragon Age games. Even The Witcher 3 had a real-time combat system, and that came out in 2015.

I feel for the people who are attached to the original combat system, yet I have to be honest: I like the idea of a real-time Dragon Age, if only because it’ll be something new and fresh for the series. Plus, the other aspects of the game (as shared via the leak) make it sound like it’ll be a much-needed breath of fresh air for the series, while harkening back to its roots. It’s really looking like we’ll be able to choose an origin again, with an established backstory, and apparently, the hair is supposed to be great this time around. It might sound like small fish to some, but oh, god, good hair is essential. It flows, apparently? God yes. Give me the flowing locks and a goddamn sword, please.

If you want to find the leaks yourself, they’re pretty easy to find, and a lot of them are still up. They don’t seem to spoil anything beyond a couple companions’ names and the involvement of the Grey Wardens in Weisshaupt. But A) we already knew one of the companion’s names from a video that came out a couple years back, and B) girl we knew the Wardens were in Weisshaupt. It’d be weird if we didn’t go there in the next game!

What do you think of all these developments? Fans of Thedas, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

(featured image: Bioware)

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Madeline (she/her) is a writer, dog mom, and casual insomniac. Her prior experiences with media have taken her down many different roads, from local history podcasts to music coverage & production. Niche interests include folk music, elves/wizards, and why horses are cool actually.