Home > Gaming > 3 Things I’d Like to See in Dragon Age III

3 Things I’d Like to See in Dragon Age III

I’ve been reminded recently that Dragon Age III: Inquisition is being developed with a release date of Autumn 2013. While Thedas is not my favorite RPG universe, I’m invested in the DA franchise enough to look forward to the game. Having played most of BioWare’s recent RPGs, as well as both Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II (although I’ve missed out on some DLCs because I’m a poor, impoverished person), here are three things I’d like to see in the upcoming game.

3. Better character aesthetic designs.

Okay, so I admit I trend a bit towards the Japanese side of what I hope characters look like. And I think more than a few people who talk to me regularly have long since become sick and tired of hearing me say this. But could we have a character creation system that doesn’t make everyone look so ugly? Please?

2. Less darkspawn, more human(oid) conflicts and politics.

Dragon Age: Origins has done more to color more perception of the entire franchise than Dragon Age II, and it’s one of the major reasons why I don’t appreciate the series as much as I could’ve. There were a lot of good things to say about Origins, but its main plot was its weakness, a war against an impossibly generic army known as the darkspawn, which is pretty much every primal, unintelligent, generic orc, goblin, zombie army ever. Even the presence of a zombie-dragon archdemon (and the Awakening DLC) wasn’t enough to salvage how unbelievably boring the darkspawn were, and how much they felt like a ho-hum comical placeholder as opposed to a serious, formidable enemy. By contrast, Dragon Age II was interesting because it was mostly about humanoid (you know, humans, elves, dwarves, qunari, etc.) social issues and politics that gave it more of a dynamic, more of an interesting slant and a myriad of narrative issues beyond another army of ugly zombie-orc goons.

1. A party where not every member is bisexual.

If you haven’t been able to tell by my previous posts on this blog (or haven’t read those posts), or missed the “yuri” part of this blog’s subtitle (in which case I suggest you look up at the top of the page), I have nothing against non-heterosexual pairings. As a female Warden, I romanced Leliana, and as a female Hawke, I romanced Merill. (I also have no male playthroughs.) Just to be clear, I also have nothing against Zevran in particular or bisexuality in general. In writing about this, however, I am reminded of a chapter in the manga Gunslinger Girl (which, despite a name, is actually rather cynical manga about counterterrorism, and comes heartily recommended if that’s your thing), in which the deep-cover agent Rossana explains why people consider her to be boring: “I am all in all boring. A woman without preferences. I like people from the north as well as from the south, as well as the A.S. Roma and the Lazio (both are Italian football teams), if the person I play feels the need to. My favorite food? I like everything. I trained myself to eat everything with delectation. Someone able to do anything offers no interest. […] To like everything is the same as to like nothing in particular.”

Of course, the issue of sexuality carries its own set of circumstances, and it’s not entirely right to draw a direct equivalence, but given that even the most liberal estimates put non-heterosexual persons at 15% of the world population, it seems strange to put in a party that happens to be entirely bisexual in Dragon Age II (and Sebastian doesn’t count, being a DLC character BioWare tacked on later). I’m sure that BioWare meant well by trying to adhere to everyone’s preferences by giving all players any option they liked, but I find this boring at best and offensive at worst. The idea that every companion character’s preferences is automatically catered off-the-bat to suit the “needs of the player” troubles me, as it seems to me like BioWare is giving the player the power to change aspects of another character’s personality just by virtue of playing as male or female. In Mass Effect 2 and 3, Tali’Zorah becomes an available love interest, and while I wanted so badly for her to be a possible romantic love interest for a female Shepard, it was not to be. But I respected that because it was her character, because it was her preference, because I wouldn’t actually demand someone I like to suddenly change their sexual preference just on my account. And that’s the reason why I find it a bit offensive, because there is this uncomfortable insinuation that people can just happen to change their sexuality at the drop of the hat. (Of course, some people have said that there’s no reason why everyone in Thedas can’t be bisexual because it’s a fictional universe, but they didn’t seem to be fine with it when Star Wars basically said non-heterosexuality doesn’t exist in their fictional universe.)

So I’d rather we go back to the romance dynamics of Dragon Age: Origins. Yes, by all means, have homosexual and bisexual romantic interests. I support it heartily. But please don’t make everyone bisexual again.

Categories: Gaming
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: