“If we’re on a quest to remaster games from the impossible,” thought David Gaider, lead writer of all three Dragon Age games. Twitter (opens in new tab)“what about Dragon Age Origins? Its graphics were behind the curve even at launch… can you imagine it with brand new PS5 era bells and whistles? 🥳”
We’ll excuse the PS5 reference to treat this question with the seriousness it deserves. After the critically acclaimed 2008 remake of Dead Space and with remakes of 2003’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, 2005’s Resident Evil 4 and 2007’s first Witcher game on the way, it certainly looks to be the period time. Although Gaider suggested a remaster instead of a remake, there’s a fine line between the two, as another former BioWare employee, Mark Darrah, explained. (opens in new tab).
Dragon Age: Origins would be a good candidate for both. While the 2009 RPG runs on modern PCs, it doesn’t do so without a hitch, and a version where the text isn’t too small to read at high resolutions would be a blessing. It could also benefit from several quality-of-life improvements, such as a toggle to hide party members’ helmets and an option to have the dog as a companion without having to leave someone else behind to do so.
Of course, the improved graphics would be nice too, even if they didn’t use full radiating shadows as you sit around the fire taking turns asking everyone inappropriate personal questions. “Even Inquisition-level graphics would be great!” Gaider said. “Look, all I want is for Morrigan to not have the shoulders of a linebacker and for the sex scenes to not look like someone smashing puppets and yelling ‘kiss now!'”
Since this conversation took place on Twitter, Gaider was immediately informed that it’s okay for women to have shoulders like linebackers, so he made the following clarification: “All the female models in DAO were using the male animation rig. I thought that looked especially weird for Morrigan. whose unique model had a very thin frame and was altered (especially on the shoulders) to match. I can’t tell the change. No other effects. 😅
“Did Morrigan still look great in DAO? Sure. Could there have been more body types throughout DA for both genders, including even broader shoulders? That would have been great, but the modelers and animators were limited by the variety available rigs. Just how it was, guys.”
And, yes, someone responded to wildly speculate about the generator—a giant, naked Darkspawn-spawning ghoul encountered in Origins’ Dead Trenches—and what exactly it would look like in 2023’s visuals. “Just think: ultra-realistic slime textures nipple,” Gaider said in response.
With EA releasing a remastered version of the Mass Effect trilogy in 2021, the idea of giving the early Dragon Age games a similar treatment has been mooted before. Gaider himself previously discussed his ideas for a Dragon Age 2 Snyder Cut. However, a Dragon Age remaster is not that likely to actually happen. As Gaider says, “I suspect EA would only do this if they thought it would sell like *gold-plated* hotcakes. They never got DA or understood why it sold better than Mass Effect, was my impression.”
BioWare’s Dragon Age team is currently busy with Dreadwolf, although the latest dev blog doesn’t tell us much about it to explain its thinking on skill tree design. Having left BioWare in 2016, David Gaider is working on Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical, which is due for release in 2023.
If you’re planning a Dragon Age replay, you should probably do it yourself by choosing from this selection of the best Dragon Age: Origins mods.