Dragon Age 4 is coming. That’s not a surprise if you saw the teaser Bioware and EA put out for the Game Awards in December, but it’s more surprising that the game we could see is a complete rework of the original vision. As of with many games that never see the light of day, the original edition of Dragon Age 4 had some cracking ideas.
This all comes from Kotaku, who report that the original version of Dragon Age 4, codename Joplin, was heading into pre-production back in 2015 with a story centered on spies working in the Tevinter Imperium, the oldest human nation of Thedas, ruled — according to Dragon Age lore — by a council of mages.
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Gameplay was to be reactive and emergent and action sequences dubbed “heists” were planned to take up a large part of the action. Ideally, the world would react to the players’ choices, which is a cliché in development at this stage, but “systemic narrative mechanics” were supposed to add some real weight here, allowing the game to build a story out of the choices you make.
There were a lot of cool ideas here, including a heavy focus on replayability. The idea was to make a much more focused game than Dragon Age: Inquisition, with less to do but much more player choice. This also meant there were “non-standard” game over screens.
Kotaku’s report quotes a former BioWare developer as saying: “We were working towards something very cool, a hugely reactive game, smaller in scope than Dragon Age: Inquisition but much larger in player choice, followers, reactivity, and depth,” they said. “I’m sad that game will never get made.”
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The game was canned in October 2017 by Bioware and EA and it is unclear whether any of this version of the game will appear in the new version of Dragon Age 4, but we can hope, right?
Take a look at Kotaku’s report for more info, but it’s a damning read on the entire state of Dragon Age, not just the now-cancelled Joplin project.
What do you want from Dragon Age 4? Let us know on Twitter at @TrustedReviews