Dragon Age Dreadwolf gameplay leak — three key takeaways

By Sean Lawson,

The new Dragon Age Dreadwolf gameplay leak has us pondering what we can expect to see when the game launches on PS5.

It's going to be some time before we get the Dragon Age Dreadwolf trophies, but we have a good idea of what we will be playing thanks to leaked gameplay footage. The newly leaked Dragon Age Dreadwolf gameplay revealed three key aspects of BioWare's upcoming RPG for PS5. We can only hope that something changes if it is to make it into our best PS5 games list.

Some takeaways from the Dragon Age Dreadwolf gameplay leak!Some takeaways from the Dragon Age Dreadwolf gameplay leak!

The Dragon Age Dreadwolf leak has divided opinion

The Dragon Age Dreadwolf gameplay leak originated from Reddit, where we were able to witness a variety of screenshots and short videos that showed off an alpha build of Dragon Age Dreadwolf. The leaker claimed to have a 20-minute-long video that they didn't feel comfortable posting as it may get a playtester they acquired the footage from in trouble with EA. Instead, they only provided the aforementioned materials (that have now been removed) and their own descriptions of everything that happens within the video.

With enough time between the leak and now, we decided to assess the leak with a little more distance and check out the things that caught our attention about the gameplay and the reaction. There are a few fun takeaways, so we now have a slightly clearer image of what to expect when the game launches. As always, take some salt in your loadout until we have concrete and official confirmation of what the next Dragon Age game will look like.

Concept artWe can hardly wait to see how Dragon Age Dreadwolf turns out

Dragon Age Dreadwolf has moved further away from DA: Origins

The direction that the Dragon Age series has taken since Origins has divided fans of the franchise for quite some time. While Origins is quite dated by today's standards, many people feel that it embodies what an RPG should play and feel like. Dragon Age 2 and Inquisition slowly but surely broke away from this formula and it's looking like Dreadwolf will put the nail in the coffin for many fans hoping to get a taste of Dragon Age's original mechanics.

The Reddit poster had this to say regarding combat: "Combat is completely in real-time and similar to a hack and slash [game]. I'm told the guiding reference point was the God of War (2018), and that shows."

The fact that God of War has allegedly been a reference point for the game is a telling sign of where the series is heading and how we most likely won't ever truly return to the formula we saw in Origins and even DA2. For some, this won't be an issue at all, as the new style of combat will be right up many players' alley. Sadly, those who prefer the original approach may find themselves a bit shafted and may even consider skipping over the next instalment of the franchise if it has strayed too far from the original for their liking.

Dragon Age DreadwolfDragon Age Dreadwolf is getting us excited!

Players have their regular combo attack, their abilities, and a special bar which generates as they take down enemies which will allow them to unleash a special move. From the looks and sound of it, everything is very reminiscent of how Dragon Age Inquisition worked, even down to the UI. However, it's worth remembering that the UI is usually one of the last things worked on before release, so we may see a huge overhaul when the game finally launches.

Discussing the animation quality, the Redditor had a lot to say: "The most immediate thing you'll notice is that animation quality has drastically improved. Like, for any other AAA title, it's probably not that big a deal. But we've never seen animation quality this good in any BioWare game. I didn't actually play it, but I can tell it probably feels really good to control your character. No more stiff animations, it's all very fluid and seems also very responsive."

It's looking strong with regard to the combat and animation of said combat, though, it does look like we will be saying goodbye to the idea of an Origins-style kind of game and most likely will never see that again. All we can do is see how Dreadwolf turns out on release — maybe those feeling more on the pessimistic side may be pleasantly surprised.

Dragon Age Dreadwolf has a lot of making up to do when it comes to hair.Dragon Age Dreadwolf has a lot of making up to do when it comes to hair.

The Dragon Age Dreadwolf hair is acting like... hair

Now, you may be asking, why hair is such a big deal? Well, if you've played Dragon Age Inquisition at all and perused any of the many subreddits that exist, chances are you have stumbled upon at least one meme about the DAI hair. Most notably the fact there were about 14 iterations of varying degrees of baldness and around 16 actual hairstyles — don't get us started on how bad most of the 16 looked. So yes, the fact that the hair is allegedly very nice, long, and flowy is a joyous occasion for many.

The best PlayStation RPGs can flawlessly enable you to see yourself within your created character, for them to become an extension of yourself. It can help pull you into the game a bit more and allow you to fully invest in the world, characters, and ventures around you. So, lacking hairstyles, skin tones, and any other aspects that help to conjure oneself in the digital world can be quite immersion-breaking and even ruin a game for some.

Hearing how in this leaked Dreadwolf gameplay that the hair "was flowing and bouncing as they moved" is exciting to hear, hair in DAI was incredibly stiff, shiny, and lifeless. Now we can only hope we have a lot of colour options to boot and we will be set. We did also learn that the hair clipped through the helmet a lot, but that's a quirky charm we have grown to love with Dragon Age. Right?

What side do you lean towards in the Dragon Age Dreadwolf gameplay debate?What side do you lean towards in the Dragon Age Dreadwolf gameplay debate?

Fan reception to the Dragon Age Dreadwolf leak is very mixed

After the gameplay leaked, fans took to Twitter and Reddit to express both positive and negative feelings surrounding the footage. It seems the fanbase is divided over BioWare's latest venture and many are dubious about if the studio is going to be able to pull off a stellar game after such a rocky track record as of late. You can see the divided opinion down below.

Fans expressing disappointment in the Dragon Age Dreadwolf gameplay
  • "Origins was one of my favourite RPGs, so it feels like I've been watching the series degrade in real-time."
  • "You're lying, Please be lying."
  • "Ah nice, after the Elder Scrolls, it was time for another great RPG series to get stripped of everything that makes it appealing."
  • "The combat in DAO and DA2 is one of my favourite parts of the games, this is just depressing to see them changing it even more than DAI."
  • "An RPG... just make an RPG... please!"
Fans expressing excitement about the Dragon Age Dreadwolf gameplay
  • "The combat was always the clunkiest part of DA, in my opinion. The combat looks fun and to me does not just look like a GoW clone. For an alpha build, looks very promising and companions haven't been fully implemented so people need to chill."
  • "Hoping this is real, purely because of the glorious hair."
  • "I am going to say this with the heaviest slice of scepticism possible: sounds cool."
  • "I like the look of this. Looks like DAI but actually embracing the action combat rather than ending up a bit awkwardly in between."
  • "The visuals look pretty good, the character models are also quite nice, I love the armour and hair (it's the small things). The potential companions also look interesting, too. The UI looks a little too minimalistic, but so does DAI's to me, so that's also to be expected. Overall, it looks better than I expected based on the article."
Dragon AgeDragon Age Dreadwolf is dividing opinion everywhere.

BioWare is never going to be able to satisfy the wants of every gamer out there, with the direction the studio has taken Dragon Age in it's no wonder a few fans are feeling crappy about the situation. I personally like the direction Dragon Age has gone. The combat feels more involved that the early days when you pressed a button once and watched your character act out a move. Now, I might actually have a surge of adrenaline as I try and work out how best to attack my foes, what skills to use, and if should I dodge now or later.

With that in mind, I want Dragon Age to feel like a Dragon Age game. Ideally, we don't want some semi-thought-through God of War clone: if I wanted that I would just play God of War. I want Dragon Age, I want the richness of the world, I want all the fun special abilities of each class, and I want characters with depth and incredible romance options. If BioWare is able to nail that, my hope is that the combat won't be such an issue regardless of if it is good or not.

That's the end of this deep dive into the Dragon Age Dreadwolf gameplay leak. What do you guys make of it all? Excited about the game? Nervous about the new direction? Or are you optimistic? Let us know all your thoughts and feelings down below!
Sean Lawson
Written by Sean Lawson
Sean is a Staff Writer with a focus on the geekiest Sony news. He writes stories about unobtainable PlayStation trophies, the best PS Plus games, as well as RPGs and Fighting games. He is also excited for Tekken 8, Dragon Age Dreadwolf, Baldur's Gate 3, and Dragon's Dogma 2 to launch on PS5. Sean’s favourite games include Mass Effect, Tomb Raider, Tekken, and Persona.
Hide ads
View discussion...
Hide ads