Dragon Age The Veilguard Varric and Harding in tavern
Screenshot via Dragon Age YouTube

Dragon Age: The Veilguard’s gameplay needs to win back fans as reveal trailer reaches 198,000 YouTube dislikes

First gameplay footage drops later today.

There were plenty of hype-worthy trailers to come out of the Xbox Games Showcase on June 9, such as the reveals for Doom: The Dark Ages and Gears of War: E-Day. One trailer that seems to have elicited almost nothing but complaints, however, was the reveal for BioWare’s next Dragon Age game, now titled Dragon Age: The Veilguard, which has accrued approximately 198,000 dislikes on YouTube compared to 35,000 likes.

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As for why fans have reacted so negatively to the reveal, it appears to stem from the trailer’s tone. Despite Dragon Age being a dark fantasy series, this cinematic trailer is anything but dark, going for a more comical and humourous take on its rundown of Veilguard‘s cast of characters. It feels more like something you’d see in a Borderlands game or an announcement for a new hero shooter. I’ve personally not played any of the previous Dragon Age games, but even I can tell this tone is jarringly different to the rest of the series.

Some of the YouTube comments have also made unfavourable comparisons to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the 2016 Suicide Squad movie, and mobile title Raid: Shadow Legends. Plus, the overall artstyle is slightly cartoonier when compared to other Dragon Age games. You honestly could be forgiven this is not the same game BioWare’s been teasing for the last six years. Previous teaser trailers had a far more serious tone that hint at a dark and dangerous journey, and not a fun, lighthearted romp like the newest one does.

The good news is BioWare has a chance to turn things around with the gameplay reveal taking place later today at 8am PT / 11am EDT / 4pm BST. It’s entirely possible the new trailer isn’t indicative of what The Veilguard is actually like. In fact, those who’ve already got to sample The Veilguard for themselves have suggested this is the case. One Bria LaVorgna, a member of the game’s Community Council, said on Twitter, “As someone who’s played some of Veilguard, if you want [Dragon Age: Origins]-like horror… it’s there. Trust me. All of the environments I got to experience were varied and very much felt like Dragon Age, including the new places. I think Tuesday’s gameplay reveal will tone set for the game well.”

Another council member, Twitter user sairaspooks, concurred, adding, “The gameplay reveal captures Dragon Age’s classic dark elements! The horror & gore is back, you won’t be disappointed.” Dragon Age creator David Gaider, who left BioWare in 2016, also shared his two cents on the trailer: “Interesting tone choice… though the art style of DA trailers has never really matched the games, so that doesn’t mean much.”

With any luck, it will turn out the reveal just made a bad first impression, and BioWare’s gameplay demonstration will show off the Dragon Age game fans have been waiting for. Expectations were already high for this considering it’s been almost a decade since the last entry, Dragon Age: Inquisition. Development, however, seems to have been tumultuous, what with the sudden departures of key staff members like Casey Hudson, BioWare’s general manager, and Mark Darrah, Dragon Age‘s executive producer. BioWare was also one of the many studios to be hit with layoffs in 2023, eliminating approximately 50 roles.

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Image of Michael Beckwith
Michael Beckwith
Staff writer covering all kinds of gaming news. A graduate in Computer Games Design and Creative Writing from Brunel University who's been writing about games since 2014. Nintendo fan and Sonic the Hedgehog apologist. Knows a worrying amount of Kingdom Hearts lore. Has previously written for Metro, TechRadar, and Game Rant.