Dragon Age 4 Needs to Embrace Its Dark Origins

A new Dragon Age title was recently confirmed to be in development, prompting PCGamesN to put together an article where they argue that this potential new RPG should return to the dark and gritty style of the series' original game and fully embrace its weird and gory demonic aspects and tough choices. Here's why:

The structure of the game makes these temptations stronger still. Your ultimate goal is to stop the Darkspawn advancing from the bowels of the earth, and to slay the Archdemon - this is more important than any sub story. You are tasked with building up your power by any means and to recruit the strongest warriors to your army. Perhaps that means helping a powerful pack of werewolves to murder a village of elvish warriors, just because you would rather have the werewolves’ claws, fangs, and regenerative healing properties help out in the final battle, rather than the arrows of some wood elves.

With the next Dragon Age game recently confirmed to be in development, I would love to see the series return to the bleakness of the first game. Choice-heavy games are at their best when there is no simple answer to any solution, where you consider the big picture even as you help people with their personal problems. Sure, I’ll help you out, townsfolk, but what’s in it for me? What advantages will this give me in the final battle?

Dragon Age: Origins’ choices had more impact because of these considerations. It was a game that made you feel genuinely bad, and not just because you were roleplaying a character deemed morally corrupt. You feel bad because you made an awful decision, but you did it for good reasons. It is complex, messy, and dark. Wherever the next game takes us, I hope it embraces the series’ (literal) origins, takes all the components that made everything work so well, wraps them all in blubber, and pulls them into its gummy orifice with a slimy mess of tentacles.