“If we want to remaster games from the ground up,” mused David Gaider, lead writer on all three Dragon Age games Twitter (opens in a new tab)“what about Dragon Age Origins? Its graphics were behind even at launch… can you imagine that with all-new bells and whistles from the PS5 era? 🥳”
We’ll forgive the mention of PS5 to give this question the seriousness it deserves. After 2008’s well-received remake of Dead Space and remakes of 2003’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, 2005’s Resident Evil 4 and 2007’s first The Witcher game, it certainly feels like the time has come. While Gaider hinted at a remaster rather than a remake, there’s a fine line between the two, as explained by fellow former BioWare employee Mark Darrah (opens in a new tab).
Dragon Age: Origins would be a good candidate for both. While the 2009 RPG runs on modern PCs, it doesn’t run without a hitch, and a version where the text isn’t too small to read at high resolution would be a blessing. It can also benefit from a number of quality-of-life improvements, such as a toggle to hide teammates’ helmets and the option to have a dog as a companion without having to leave someone else to do it.
Of course, the improved graphics would have helped too, even if it weren’t for the fully ray-traced shadows as you sit around a campfire asking everyone inappropriate personal questions. “Even Inquisition-level graphics would be great!” Gaider said. “Look, all I want is for Morrigan not to have a protector’s arms and sex scenes not to look like someone who’s banging puppets and yelling ‘now kiss me!’
Since this conversation took place on Twitter, Gaider was immediately informed that women can have arms like protectors, so he explained: “All the models at DAO used a male animation kit. I thought it looked especially odd on the Morrigan, whose unique model had a very slim frame and was altered (particularly at the shoulders) to fit. I can’t unsee the change. No other implications are intended. 😅
“Did Morrigan still look great in DAO? Sure. Could there have been more body types for both sexes in DA, including even broader shoulders? It would have been great, but modelers and animators were limited by the variety of platforms available. Just how it was, my dears.
And yes, someone responded to idle speculation about the mother of the brood – the huge naked ghoul that gives birth to Darkspawn encountered in Dead Trenches Origins – and what it would look like with the 2023 artwork. “Just think: extremely realistic textures for slippery nipples,” Gaider said in response.
Given that EA released a remastered version of the Mass Effect trilogy in 2021, the idea of giving an early Dragon Age game a similar treatment has been around for a long time. Sam Gaider has previously discussed his ideas for a Snyder Cut in Dragon Age 2. However, a Dragon Age remaster is unlikely to happen. As Gaider says, “I suspect EA would only do this if they thought it would sell like *gold plated* hot cakes. They… never really got DA or understood why it sold better than Mass Effect, that was my impression.”
The BioWare Dragon Age team is currently busy with Dreadwolf, although the latest dev blog doesn’t tell us much about it in favor of explaining its thinking about skill tree design. After leaving BioWare in 2016, David Gaider is working on Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical, which is scheduled for release in 2023.
If you’re planning a Dragon Age replay, you should probably remaster it yourself by choosing from this selection of the best Dragon Age: Origins mods.