Emmrich Volkarin from the Dragon Age Veilguard reveal trailer
Image via Bioware

The entire internet agrees Dragon Age The Veilguard art style is terrible

After 10 years, Dragon Age fans were finally given a first look at a fourth entry in the RPG series during this year's Xbox Games 2024 showcase. However, Dragon Age: The Veilguard's first cinematic trailer revealed an art style that has left many die-hard fans confused and disappointed.

Recommended Videos

Shortly after the official reveal trailer for Dragon Age: The Veilguard dropped on June 9th, 2024 during the jam-packed Xbox Games showcase, fans took to X (formerly known as Twitter) and Reddit to decry the game's surprisingly cartoony art style.

Longtime Dragon Age fans are particularly upset about the trailer's oddly upbeat tone, bright color palette, and corny reworking of David Bowie's classic song "Heroes" interspersed with witty one-liners spouted by the game's new cast of quirky characters. Indeed, it's severely out of character for the studio and, most importantly, the franchise.

While Dragon Age 2 had a slightly cartoony feel when compared to the rest of the series, the Dragon Age games still prided themselves on their serious commitment to high-fantasy lore and aesthetics. Fans have therefore been quick to point out that Dragon Age: The Veilguard's art style and characters would feel more at home in a free-to-play battle pass shooter like Fortnite or Overwatch rather than the latest entry in this beloved fantasy RPG series. But if you consider the game's bumpy development cycle, things might start to make a little more sense.

Dragon Age The Veilguard was almost a multiplayer-focused title, is now an exclusively single-player title

Dragon Age: The Veilguard has been through what we call in the industry "development hell" – an excessively long development period with multiple stops and starts, sudden changes in direction and, eventually, numerous hard-hitting layoffs which further delayed the game's release. In many ways, it's a miracle the game is even (supposedly) coming out in Fall 2024.

But what's worth keeping in mind when trying to explain the game's art direction is that, once upon a time, it was going be a live-service multiplayer game. With news of the recent name change from Dragon Age: Dreadwolf to Dragon Age: The Veilguard, Bioware admitted that they considered bringing in a multiplayer component to the game, before pivoting back to focusing on a classic single-player experience (much to the relief of fans).

We brought everything to the table which, yes, even included a multiplayer concept. The time we spent experimenting and iterating gradually taught us a lot. This work, and the amazing support from EA, helped us re-focus on creating an incredible single player game, with all the choices, characters and world building you’d expect from us.

Bioware Blog Post, June 6th, 2024

Given that Bioware toyed around with making the fourth Dragon Age title a live-service multiplayer title, it shouldn't be too surprising we see a more accessible, if not generic, art direction for Dragon Age: The Veilguard. We're just speculating, but reinventing the presumably already in place entire art style from scratch after the decision to pivot back to single-player would have been a costly move, leading to even more delays.

If the game's prior status as a live-service game doesn't explain matters, then I'm lost here, especially given Dragon Age 2 was the worst-selling game of the franchise, while the more traditional fantasy RPGs Dragon Age: Origins and Inquisition performed better.

What remains to be seen is whether the outcry from fans will be severe enough to force Bioware's hand like it was for Sonic's character design in the 2020 Sonic the Hedgehog movie (so far, it's looking very plausible).

There are still many ways Bioware could save Dragon Age: The Veilguard from a horde of angry fans: compelling gameplay, deep RPG systems, a captivating story propelled forward by complex characters – the list goes on. You never really know what you're going to get until the game arrives in full, but we'll get a taste with the gameplay reveal set for June 11.

Wondering if the upcoming Call of Duty Black Ops 6 will feature the franchise's divisive carry forward mechanic? Then check out Call of Duty Black Ops 6 lack of carry forward is exactly what fans wanted on Pro Game Guides.

Pro Game Guides is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Ivan Krasnov
Ivan Krasnov
Ivan Krasnov has been a writer for over 7 years. His areas of interest include shooters like Call of Duty, Apex Legends, and The Finals, but also RPGs like Cyberpunk: 2077 and the Dishonored franchise and single-player experiences like God of War and The Last of Us. Ivan has a double major in History and Russian from Oberlin College and when he isn't gaming – he is playing music and touring Europe with his band.

Write A Comment

The entire internet agrees Dragon Age The Veilguard art style is terrible

Comments are on moderation and will be approved in a timely manner. Please read the following rules before commenting:

  • All comments must be on topic and add something of substance to the post
  • No swearing or inappropriate words
  • No asking or begging for anything free
  • Do not attempt to start a poll in the comments
  • Comments in all CAPS will be removed
  • We reserve the right to remove a comment for any reason
  • Do not impersonate a staff member or influencer

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.