Dragon Age The Veilguard Design

More details on Dragon Age: The Veilguard are starting to emerge now that the game has finally been shown off. The main points are all rather evident if you've watched the gameplay demonstration: it's a full action RPG, dialogue wheels still exist, and you play as a completely custom character. But something from IGN's preview in particular has caught our eye.

According to comments made by game director Corinne Busche, The Veilguard is much more focused than its predecessor, Dragon Age Inquisition. Inquisition was built around a number of large, semi-open world environments, which housed side quests, optional exploration, and various collectibles. Those areas were divisive amongst players; some appreciated the need to adventure, while others bemoaned bloated game design. To be fair, there was a lot of busywork.

By comparison, Veilguard is very "mission-based", says Busche. "Everything is hand-touched, hand-crafted, very highly curated," she explains. "We believe that's how we get the best narrative experience, the best moment-to-moment experience."

To us, that sounds like we should expect a more linear approach in terms of level design. But Busche goes on to say that there'll still be room for some exploration every now and then: "Along the way, these levels that we go to do open up, some of them have more exploration than others. Alternate branching paths, mysteries, secrets, optional content you're going to find and solve. So it does open up, but it is a mission-based, highly curated game."

We're left picturing something of a Mass Effect-style structure. You'll have your hub where you can get to know your party members, and then you'll venture off to specific locations in order to complete your next task, making key story decisions along the way.

The Veilguard's gameplay reveal is probably a good indication of what Busche is talking about. Although it's obviously a very early part of the game where you're basically on a straight path towards the next plot point, it definitely reflects this "mission-based" and "highly curated" approach.

Do you prefer this design over Inquisition's more open environments? Get your party together and decide who you want to romance in the comments section below.