I Think It’s About Time I Accept That The Dragon Age We All Knew Is Long Gone

The Veilguard looks pretty solid for an action game, but is it "Dragon Age?"

Story Highlights

  • Dragon Age: The Veilguard shows impressive action combat, customization, and cinematic gameplay.
  • All this came at the cost of sacrificing its identity and novel game design just for more action.
  • It looks exciting for action fans and modern audiences, but the Dragon Age I know is no more.

Dragon Age is among the few franchises I hold in very high regard, simply because of how different and unique it was compared to everything else in its vicinity. With its tactical combat and an immense focus on party mechanics and interactions, it was in a class of its own.

After Dragon Age: Inquisition, when a sequel was announced all these years later, it was a pretty big deal. However, rather peculiar news also followed it. Dragon Age was ditching its identity in favor of a more action-focused approach. I ask you this, was that the right move?

YouTube video

Dragon Age: The Veilguard Looks Good If You Drop The “Dragon Age”

Before I begin, I must say that I’m not here to hate on or belittle Dragon Age: The Veilguard. I just want to say that this drastic change is a little too much for my taste. So, without further ado.

What was once known as Dreadwolf (a lot cooler if you ask me) is now The Veilguard. With a fancy new name also comes an extreme difference from the series’ origins. In an attempt to cater to modern audiences’ needs, Dragon Age was left somewhere in the way, while a new Mass Effect emerged.

Dragone Age Dreadwolf renamed to Dragon Age Veilguard
byu/opwnusprime inkindafunny

If I analyze Dragon Age: The Veilguard without the Dragon Age name, I’ll even say that it looks pretty impressive. From the gameplay previews, we know that the game is boldly and perfectly wearing its new action direction on its sleeve. The combat looks snappy and cinematic, the new real-time abilities and moves feel extremely satisfying to execute, and the adrenaline-fueled action is to die for.

It looks solid for an action game, just not Dragon Age | Source: Dragon Age (YouTube)
It looks solid for an action game, just not Dragon Age | Source: Dragon Age (YouTube)

In a nutshell, the combat doesn’t even look like it was a first-time attempt. That’s not all. The apparently cheesy design and dialogue are not as excessive as the trailer. Provided it does exist, the game’s still pretty grim and serious when it needs to be. Couple that with a less hectic, more over-the-top fun combat, and it’s precisely what a modern gamer would want. Plus, its character customization is beyond incredible.

The Veilguard: What we have so far
byu/ZestycloseBat5072 indragonage

If I have ample praise for it, what’s the problem then? Call me bitter if you will, but this is certainly not the “Dragon Age” I know. 

The Dragon Age Soul Is Long Gone

No matter how slick, stylish, and cinematically appealing the game may look, it doesn’t change the fact that Dragon Age as you know it has come to a halt with this entry. Now it looks like a third-person action game you have plenty of. It looks solid, yes, but does it have any novelty, I don’t think so.

[Spoilers All] Criticism and skepticism toward Veilguard are 100% justified.
byu/Worldly-Cantaloupe40 indragonage

The original Dragon Age was legendary. Go and give Dragon Age: Origins a try, and you’ll understand. For a CRPG fan, it is an unrivaled experience; you can’t ask for anything better. From the tactical combat with extreme depth, the focus on strategically controlling and developing your companions, character development unlike you’ve seen, and an extremely grim tone to paint a vivid picture of the setting, its novelty knows no bounds.

This is what true Dragon Age is | Source: Steam
This is what true Dragon Age is | Source: Steam

When Dragon Age 2 and Inquisiton tried to change some of these conventions for a more forgiving structure, I found this to be a weak decision as well. For me, Dragon Age: Origins is still the superior game. Still, they were true to the Dragon Age name, and didn’t go so far as to give up everything to achieve a misguided “evolution.” Not everything needs to be God of War-style action.

Unfortunately, Dragon Age: The Veilguard is exactly that. Although not too much, the cheesy dialogue and the obvious hero-shooter-style art style still bother me. The oversimplification of the gameplay to a simple action game, the Mass Effect-esque overhaul, losing the ability to control companions, and certain “modern” changes are the last thing I wanted in a Dragon Age game.

It’s Time To Accept Facts

If you’re a long-term Dragon Age fan like me and have followed the series since the beginning, you can understand my pain. Ever since Dreadwolf was revealed, I was preparing for this inevitability, but it’s not easy. Alas, we have to accept the fact that you and I are no longer the target audience for Dragon Age.

I’ll reiterate that I don’t think Dragon Age: The Veilguard is bad. It still looks pretty good as an action game, and apparently, that’s what’s in demand today. God of War-like games are what people want, and Dragon Age will be providing just that. As much as I think that not everything needs to be an action game, I can’t change the reality.

Can we stop turning all RPGs into action games?
byu/Booberrydelight ingaming

Thus, the time has come to accept this change. I’ll be giving Dragon Age: The Veilguard a try, and I’m sure I’ll even enjoy it if I forget it’s a Dragon Age game. However, every time this thought crosses my mind, I’ll be thinking of the series’ glorious origins, and what we were deprived of.

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Hanzala is a dedicated writer who expresses his views as opinion pieces at eXputer. He's always been fascinated by gaming and has been an avid consumer of many different genres for over a decade. His passion for games has him eager to encounter the latest RPGs and actively look for new Soulslike to challenge. He puts forth his experience and knowledge of gaming into captivating opinion pieces.

Experience: 8+ months || Education: Bachelors in Chemistry.

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