Dragon Age: Dreadwolf is coming to get the gang back together. At some point, anyways. After the ending of Dragon Age: Inquisition's final DLC made it obvious that the story of Thedas was far from over, I've been waiting for the fourth game in the series to finally arrive.
BioWare spent years artfully dodging confirmation that a fourth game was in the works, but now they've stopped being coy and said they're working on the next Dragon Age game. Confirmation aside, we still don't know a lot of hard details. We do finally know its name, so we can stop calling it Dragon Age 4, but information has otherwise been coming at a yearly drip.
Reports have claimed that Dragon Age 4 has abandoned a focus on multiplayer elements and been retooled as an entirely singleplayer game, and BioWare has since described it as a "single-player focused experience". That may be a big deal, as we've been wondering how EA's online service game aspirations would trickle into BioWare's historically singleplayer series.
We're still missing a proper look at Dragon Age: Dreadwolf's gameplay, but BioWare did reveal a more alluring teaser trailer in December 2020 than what we'd seen prior. But that's going on two years ago now. While we patiently wait for a proper unveiling, here's everything we know about Dragon Age: Dreadwolf's story, possible release date, trailers, characters, and more.
Is there a Dragon Age: Dreadwolf release date?
We don't have a release date for Dragon Age: Dreadwolf yet. When BioWare revealed the official title Dreadwolf, it confirmed that the game won't launch in 2022. I don't think anyone was expecting it to, but just in case. "While the game won’t be releasing this year, we’re growing closer to that next adventure," BioWare said, adding that it would be talking more about Dreadwolf later in 2022.
We do know that progress is coming along steadily. In October 2022 BioWare general manager Gary McKay announced that Dreadwolf had reached its internal alpha milestone. "We can experience the entire game, from the opening scenes of the first mission to the very end," McKay said
Prior to that, the latest tiny crumb of a clue circling the internet was a tweet from game director Corinne Busche in August 2022 with a picture of a PS5 controller that said "Couch, coffee, controller and ready to play 🐉👵:😱🐺" Between that and the alpha milestone, progress is feeling promising for those Dragon Age fans who've been waiting eight years for a new game.
Will Dreadwolf be at The Game Awards?
It certainly seems possible, given the increased Dragon Age teasers we've seen recently. Dreadwolf was originally revealed at The Game Awards back in 2018 and made another appearance at the 2020 show with a teaser trailer. Geoff Keighley seems to be the Dragon Age plug, so it would make sense for the next exclusive trailer to premiere for this year's TGA on December 8, 2022. I'm not going to hold BioWare to this TGAs every other year appearance pattern it's created, but it sure would be fitting to see it there again this year.
What trailers are there for Dragon Age: Dreadwolf?
The latest Dragon Age: Dreadwolf trailer
During The Game Awards in December 2020, BioWare showed off a teaser trailer for the next Dragon Age game. The trailer does at least seem to confirm one returning character: dwarven archer Varric Tethras, a party member in both Dragon Age 2 and Dragon Age: Inquisition.
Aside from that, the trailer also confirms that, as is Dragon Age tradition, we'll have a new protagonist for the next game. Oh, and it's seriously pretty. The series seems to be getting even further away from its grimy Ferelden roots into some of the more grand and colorful magic of the world. Call me a silly superfan if you must, but even two years later this trailer gives me chills.
What other teasers and trailers are out there?
In 2021, many of the Dragon Age: Dreadwolf teasers we saw were concept art shared by then executive producer Christian Dailey. You can flip through a couple of those above.
The Gamescom 2020 Opening Night Live show gave us a look at some of the early production of the next Dragon Age. The video shows off concept art, some 3D environments, a bit of voice acting production, and some gameplay prototypes. It's a bit too early to count anything seen as true Dreadwolf gameplay, but getting a look at the process is something at least. Dragon Age might still be far out, but the trailer successfully sells the excitement of returning to BioWare's fantasy world.
In June 2020, EA didn't mention Dragon Age by name during EA Play but did make some allusions to it. "BioWare imagines and creates worlds where you become the hero of your own story. And we're using this next generation of technology to make those fantasy worlds your reality," it said, while sharing some 3D environment clips that sure look like they included red lyrium.
The first teaser for Dragon Age: Dreadwolf was during The Game Awards in 2018. It was a very brief video with voiceover from Solas, the Dread Wolf himself, who we're definitely assuming will be the game's antagonist.
Dragon Age: Dreadwolf's setting and gameplay
What is the setting for Dragon Age: Dreadwolf?
Tevinter—it's official. We'd been operating on this assumption for years now, given the less-than-subtle ending of Dragon Age Inquisition's final DLC, a 2019 report about the game's development, and the short story collection called Tevinter Nights from 2020. BioWare finally confirmed it in their huge studio history book "Bioware: Stories and Secrets from 25 Years of Game Development".
Tevinter has yet to appear in a Dragon Age game properly, though the country run by mages is often mentioned and we've had several party members from up north. The glimpse of Tevinter capitol Minrathous we saw in the 2020 Game Awards teaser had an almost cyberpunk feel to it with the colorful urban nighttime and floating central segment.
It's possible that, like Inquisition, Dreadwolf will not be set just in one country but will visit other nations as well. BioWare's studio history book includes some of the same concept art that we've seen in their behind the scenes video from summer 2020. Among the small selection of artwork chosen for the page are the Necropolis in Nevarra and an Antivan Crow assassin, suggesting that we could be visiting both locations as part of the story. Oh, and the Deep Roads, too. We're probably not escaping a Dragon Age game without a visit underground.
What will Dragon Age: Dreadwolf's gameplay be like?
It will certainly be an RPG, or so one would assume, but beyond that any real details about Dragon Age: Dreadwolf are still very hush-hush. From Kotaku's 2019 report on the first version of the sequel, codenamed Joplin, "a large chunk of Joplin would center on heists. The developers talked about building systemic narrative mechanics, allowing the player to perform actions like persuading or extorting guards without the writers having to hand-craft every scene. The goal was to focus as much as possible on choice and consequence, with smaller areas and fewer fetch quests than Dragon Age: Inquisition."
Game development is a highly iterative process, especially so at BioWare, according to Kotaku's reports on both Dragon Age and Anthem. Dragon Age: Dreadwolf has definitely changed staff and has likely changed vision as well since then. It's still possible that BioWare is attempting to make a smaller, denser open world for Dreadwolf after player critique that Inquisition's open world felt somewhat empty.
In a post to BioWare's blog following the teaser trailer from December 2018, then producer Mark Darrah wrote that "we have been building a new team around a core of Dragon Age veterans, people I've worked with on Dragon Age, Jade Empire, and some of whom I've worked with since the Baldur's Gate days." While that may just be a way to reassure players of the quality the team that will produce for Dreadwolf, it might also mean that BioWare is looking to channel its earliest CRPG roots for its next game.
Dragon Age: Dreadwolf will be a story about having no power
In the Gamescom trailer, lead writer Patrick Weekes described how Dreadwolf's story will diverge from Inquisition. "For the game we're working on now, we want to tell the story of, 'What happens when you don't have power?' What happens when the people in charge aren't willing to address the issues?" Weekes said. Now that we know the game will be set in Teviner, that's starting to make a lot more sense.
From the sound of it, BioWare is aiming for the story and its characters to feel a little less important to the world than in Inquisition (at least at first). Dragon Age games have typically followed the rise of a seemingly inconsequential hero to a position of power, though it almost sounds as if Dreadwolf will follow a character who never breaks into Thedas's traditional power structures.
Which characters will be in Dragon Age: Dreadwolf?
We don't know yet which former and future Dragon Age characters will be party companions just yet. Even those who make a return could take on non-combat roles like Dragon Age Inquisition's advisors. Even if we don't know who's made the cut for the adventuring party yet, here's who we think could show up in some way during the game.
One character we know will play a part in the events of Dreadwolf is, naturally, the Dread Wolf himself. Solas has been featured in both teaser trailers so far and his relationship to the greater struggles of Thedas means he's not going anywhere any time soon. It seems unlikely that he'll actually be included in your party this time though. You know, because of the Dread Wolf stuff.
Beloved party member and storyteller Varric narrated the second teaser trailer for Dreadwolf, so it seems safe to assume he'll be making an appearance too. He was a party member in Dragon Age 2 and Inquisition. Will he be in the fray for a third time, or staying on the sidelines like Inquisition's advisor characters?
Dragon Age has a history of recurring characters, like Alistair who was a companion in Origins and returned for appearances in the two sequels or Leliana who shares a similar trajectory. It's safe to say that we'll see some more familiar faces in Dreadwolf, but which ones?
So far BioWare has committed to hanging up its protagonists between Dragon Age games. Each adventure comes with a new hero, though the Grey Warden and Hawke do have the ability to cameo in Dragon Age: Inquisition. It's possible we might then see an appearance of The Inquisitor in Dreadwolf, but they'll likely not be center stage.
Flemeth, like Solas, is either elven legend or a god going by many names, who has seemed to be an underlying force in the overarching plot of the series, as has her daughter Morrigan. It seems likely that one or both will make an appearance as well.
Another old friend that may make a comeback is Fenris, the Tevinter elven warrior from Dragon Age 2. He was the star of a Dragon Age comic called Blue Wraith (opens in new tab) in 2020. It's hard to say whether Fenris appearing in a comic is setting him up for a cameo in the next game or for retirement as a character. Previous party members showing up in supporting Dragon Age media have gone both ways in the past.
Tevinter mage Dorian Pavus seems like another likely candidate given that he headed back to his homeland in Inquisition's final DLC. He also made a quick appearance in the Tevinter Nights stories. Some of the concept art shown during the behind the scenes video in summer 2020 sure looked like that familiar mustached mage too.
What other information do we have on Dreadwolf?
Dreadwolf won't be a live-service game like Anthem
In early 2018, Kotaku reported (opens in new tab) that the next Dragon Age game had been rebooted as a "live" game to better fit with EA's push for "games as a service" that could continue to generate revenue after initial launch sales.
However, as of 2021, Dragon Age: Dreadwolf has reportedly ditched all multiplayer elements to stay a singleplayer experience. This news came shortly after BioWare announced plans to cease work on Anthem, the live-service sci-fi game that it had been attempting to overhaul after its poor reception in 2019.
We don't know exactly what plans for Dragon Age: Dreadwolf's multiplayer were before this decision, but it's safe to say now that it definitely won't be an online-only game like Anthem. BioWare is now calling it a "single-player focused experience".
Based on what the studio has historically done well, this seems like a good decision. Mass Effect 3 and Andromeda had a multiplayer mode that was actually pretty decent, but singleplayer stories remain the focal point for both series.
Dragon Age: Absolution is coming in December
We might not be getting Dragon Age: Dreadwolf in 2022, but Dragon Age fans are getting something. Netflix announced that Dragon Age: Absolution, an all-new anime series collaboration with BioWare, will be releasing on December 9, 2022.
"When a heist against the most powerful man in Tevinter goes south, an elven mercenary named Miriam is forced into a desperate fight for survival," Netflix says. "Now, to save herself and her friends, Miriam will have to confront the tragic past she’s spent a lifetime trying to escape."
Netflix has confirmed that, like Dreadwolf, the series will be set in the magocracy of Tevinter. Who knows how much it'll tie into the next game, but expect some thematic crossover, at least. The series will follow an "ensemble of new characters," and sounds like it'll be painting with plenty of the established Dragon Age palette: mages, Qunari, templars, elves, all the hits.
The voice cast features Mass Effect voice actor Ashly Burch as well as Kimberly Brooks, Matt Mercer, Sumalee Montano, Phil LaMarr, Keston John, Josh Keaton, Zehra Fazal, and more.
Are there going to be DAD jokes?
In game? Who knows. From fans? Yeah, I'm expecting a lot of dad jokes and "daddy" jokes too. BioWare knows how you feel about Solas.