Finally news of a fourth Dragon Age game has been announced by Bioware and EA. For the last four long years, fans of the series have waited on bated breath for any tidbit of hope.  While there is not too much information to go on just yet, speculation regarding the upcoming release has already run amuck.

Most of the criticism seems to come from the ever-growing concerns with EA and the seemingly aggressive use of micro-transactions in their products. Most fans are concerned that the game will venture too far away from the story-driven, character-focused RPG format it has followed for the previous three games. Although Bioware has stated that the next Dragon Age will still be character-focused, EA’s involvement seems to have broken the trust.

Thedas map

The love for the series mostly overrides concerns, however. These games have cultivated a fanatical group of ride-or-die’s who have sustained long enough on fan content, codex entry books, and the occasional twitter banter between the writers.

Tevinter is likely to be the primary setting for the next game, which has fans all a flutter for recurring characters like Dorian Pavus, Zevran Aranai, and Maevaris Tilani, who not only reside in that location, but who also form a large chunk of the game’s LGBT representation.

Due to the congruent story-telling of these high fantasy games, the upcoming release definitely warrants a playthrough of the first three.  Even as dated as the graphics may be for the first two, the RPG storyline and combat still hold up.

Origins, the first game, sets the stage for the fantasy universe and really drags the player through the world history in a way that forces them to become invested. The second game focused the world down to a specific location, but ultimately is a perfect example of how character-driven this series has been. Inquisition, the third game, combines the open-world feeling of a sandbox game with the storyline of a classic RPG.

However, if for lack of man-hours or lack of desire a replay is not possible, Bioware has the option of going to the Dragon Age Keep, which allows you to combine all the major plot choices from the series to help make the upcoming game match the player’s individual world state. This is a huge help in keeping the game replayable and unique to each fan.

Whether or not micro-transactions are integrated into the next game, the single-player POV is abandoned, or entire plot points are retconned dedicated fans of this series have been far too thirsty for far too long to give up. The fourth game will, without a doubt, garner huge support and fanfare regardless of it’s integrity.

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