The third game in the Dragon Age series is taking a middle ground between linear game and full open world title. In an interview with RPS, BioWare’s Mike Laidlaw said the game would be a “multi-region” format instead of full on open world.
“Open world’ I think is a really loaded term, because everyone immediately thinks of Skyrim and assumes everything will be exactly like Skyrim. In our case, there are extremely large regions you can explore.
“It’s a multi-region game, which means that you’ll be traveling with world map. You’re traveling across this chunk of the continent in which the game is set. And each of the regions is purposeful. It has a reason you would be brought here. It ties back to the story, or at least to the overall themes of the game. ‘These are my enemies and they’re very active here. I should find out why.’
“That kind of stuff. That means they aren’t necessarily laden with story, because story is the antithesis of discovery, right? It tends to lead you along. But when you’re discovering things, you should feel like they’re part of the overall game and not random. I would say that it has elements of open world for sure, but it’s something close to the feel we had in the Baldur’s Gate games or in Origins, even where it’s larger areas, big spaces, and the chance for you to move around and see a wide variety of different terrains and locals and so on.”