Dragon Age: The Veilguard looks better than its trailer

EA showed off Dragon Age: The Veilguard during the recent Xbox Games Showcase with a CG trailer that scared some fans off with its irreverent tone and stylized visuals. Well, during Summer Game Fest, I saw a live gameplay demo from the first hour of the game. And while I was not a fan of the CG trailer, the offhand demo was impressive.

While the trailer had a vibe and tone that felt a bit more Fortnite than Dragon Age, the actual game looks more like what fans expect. It’s a prettier, flashier version of Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Fantastic fantasy

That’s honestly underselling The Veilguard. The graphics and character animations are immensely impressive. Honestly, the actual game looks better in motion than that pre-rendered trailer.

The intro has the player character traveling in an advanced magical city. This is the most visually impressive locale I’ve ever seen in a Dragon Age game, and a demon invasion soon throws the city into chaos. The game is vibrant and colorful, but it’s not cartoony.

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You fight through the horde with Varric, a dwarven character familiar to Dragon Age fans. And while he keeps his familiar irreverent side, the game still manages a serious tone. Again, if that trailer made you worry that The Veilguard will be some kind of Marvel-esque quip fest, seeing the actual game will make you feel better. The story is presenting big stakes that characters are taking seriously.

The story you’ve been waiting for

The intro even leads to a confrontation with Solas, the Dreadwolf and former Dragon Age companion. It’s an exciting and tense moment that fans have been waiting a decade for.

Combat is also looking slick. Like with Inquisition, battles are largely in real time, but you can pause the action to use special abilities. It may lean a bit too much in the action side of an action-RPG for my tastes (I’m a sicko who prefers Dragon Age Origins’ slower approach), but fighting looks plenty fun.

So, yeah, don’t let that weird CG trailer scare you if you’re a Dragon Age fan. One hour can’t be representative of a whole game, but I saw plenty in The Veilguard that left me impressed.

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