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Why I’m Hopeful for Dragon Age: The Veilguard

hello world!
Thomas Richards
| July 2, 2024
hello world!

It was 1:00 am Monday, and the reveal of the next game in the Dragon Age series was posted to YouTube. I shook myself awake as I eagerly pressed play on the trailer. I was excited, but as the trailer continued, I became confused. Why did this look so different from the other games? What’s with this song choice? And why does Varric no longer have red hair? After the trailer, I went to sleep, conflicted in my initial thoughts about the game.

But I waited until the gameplay reveal just a few days later, and once again, I was conflicted. The gameplay looked fun enough, and the vibe of the game felt more like Dragon Age, but I still didn’t know what to think. If I had written something about the game right then and there, I probably would’ve been a bit harsh on the game. But, after taking some time and looking back at the other games, I’m no longer conflicted. In fact, I’m somewhat hopeful for Dragon Age: The Veilguard and I’m gonna tell you why.

It’ll Be A Direct Sequel to Inquisition

He just a little hangry. (EA/BioWare)

Since it was revealed that the game’s title had been changed from Dreadwolf to The Veilguard, I was concerned that the plot wouldn’t focus on Solas. Ever since I finished the Trespasser DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition, I’ve wanted to learn what happened next. Was Solas going to tear down the Veil? What would the Inquisitor do? Would we get more Elven Gods lore? This concern quickly evaporated when the gameplay reveal immediately established that Solas was still planning to tear down the Veil (they didn’t forget him). I also got excited when, at the end of the reveal, where the player character, Rook (not sold on that name), disrupts Solas’s ritual, we see two giant and godly-looking figures begin to emerge from the veil portal in front of Solas. This means that not only will we see the continuation of Solas’s story (thank god), but the game will probably delve deeper into the Elven Gods!

On top of that, at the end of the character reveal trailer, a dragon appears, and I think there’s a chance that it could be an Archdemon (the first one since Dragon Age: Origins). If this is the case, then this game has the potential to be my favourite Dragon Age story. You’re telling me this game could have Solas tearing down the veil, the return of the Elven Gods, and the start of another Blight! Any worries about the story are a distant memory.

Old and New Faces

This can only end well. (EA/BioWare)

I was initially put off by the vibe of the character reveal trailer. There was something about it that just didn’t click for me. My first reaction was that I didn’t like it and that it was nothing like previous Dragon Age games. On reflection, I think it’s just because I watched it at 1:00 am. Going back to that first trailer, it’s not any more corny than previous Dragon Age trailers. Yeah, the music is different, but each character looks like they fit in Dragon Age (with some already appearing in the Dragon Age comics, like Lucanis, who appeared in Tevinter Nights). I’m interested to see how their skills and abilities work, although I am a little disappointed that you won’t be able to control party members this time around. Also, I’m a little let down by only having two companions with you at once (I’ll miss some of the party banter).

What I’m not as disappointed with is the return of origin stories. The player character Rook ( I still don’t like that name) can be any race, gender, or class. You’ll also be able to pick what faction they’re from, such as the Grey Wardens or Antivan Crows (I’m leaning toward those guys). This will undoubtedly lead to multiple playthroughs to see how different combinations change the story and how you interact with the world. On the topic of player characters, it’s also been confirmed that the Inquisitor will appear in a similar fashion to Hawke in Dragon Age: Inquisition. This means that we will most likely get an Inquisitor and Solas reunion that totally won’t be awkward at all.

A Not-So-Different Art Style

Now that’s a good-looking statue. (EA/BioWare)

When I first saw the art style for The Veilguard, I was thrown off guard. It didn’t look anything like Dragon Age, not even Inquisition. But then I went back and looked at the other games, and I felt stupid. The Veilguard looks almost identical to Inquisition except upgraded, and everyone is less wet-looking (if you know, you know). They also aren’t covered in blood, which is how you spend the majority of your time in Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2. Once you get past the prologue, there’s every chance your party will once again be bathing in the blood of your enemies. I’d actually bet money on it if the Darkspawn are in the game (and they look like they are). This also ties into me not vibing with the game initially, and I think I just needed time to process it and remind myself what the other games looked like. In the end, the game will look better than Inquisition, and I hope it retains some of the gore and little details from the first two games.

Why do we always get into fights? (EA/BioWare)

I’m no longer worried about Dragon Age: The Veilguard. The story, characters, and visuals all seem to be heading in a good direction. I didn’t even mention the gameplay being more action-focused (which won’t be for everyone, but it still looks fun) and the change to tailored missions instead of mini-open worlds. I could go on, but then I’d be here all day. But the main point I’m trying to make is that I’m hopeful this game will be great. I’m optimistically looking forward to its release. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go replay the entire series from the beginning to get ready for The Veilguard. Keep it locked to Couch Soup for more Dragon Age content to feed your hungry nerd soul.

Have you seen the reveal of Dragon Age: The Veilguard? What did you think? Did the gameplay reveal change your mind? Let us know in the comments where we can all agree that Solas has an egg-shaped head.

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