Intimacy and having a relationship in a video game may not be as important as its other aspects, but these things indeed add a whole lot to the game. To see how characters play out with each other and their involvement lets one relate with the characters’ story and in turn, create a more memorable experience.
However, when we talk about most modern titles out there, the sole purpose of having romance options is for either in-game rewards/achievements or watch your character getting laid in a brief cutscene. And BioWare is striving to do exactly opposite of it in upcoming RPG, Dragon Age: Inquisition.
Speaking to IGN, DAI’s creative director Mike Laidlaw regarded Persona 4 as a strong example of a game that managed to achieve really effective relationships:
I finally got a date with Chie, but that’s not where it stops. Later, we’re going to do a slumber party, and we’re going to go to the beach.
Speaking of his favourite romantic moment in a video game, he regarded The Darkness as a game that accomplished most out of romance:
The most romantic moment in a video game that I’ve ever seen is when Jackie visits his girlfriend’s apartment in The Darkness…. She baked me a cake, she’s moving in, and you watch possibly the entirety of To Kill a Mockingbird as she passes out on your lap because she’s tired and snugly. That is amazing.
According to Laidlaw, the sole reason of Jackie’s memorable relationship in The Darkness and Joel & Ellie remarkable paternal affection in The Last of Us is because neither of these are systemic. Players don’t do it for the sake of achievements or other rewards, but only because they’re like real people.
Coming to Dragon Age: Inquisition, he stated that characters in the game will respond in particular way, depending on the situation. For example, someone present at the time of slaying a dragon may call for a celebratory drink which would lead to other things.
Let’s not have gifts that buy affection. Let’s not have sex be the end goal. Let’s instead try and reach for something that’s like genuine affections and let you go up and say, ‘Hey you, we’re going to kiss now.’ And let players enjoy that, and feel like, yeah, that’s a real thing.
There you have it! It does seem like writers are trying really hard to come up with relationships that will linger in the memories of the players for a long duration of time; something that we haven’t seen in previous Dragon Age games. What do you think?
Dragon Age: Inquisition is slated to launch on Nov. 18, 2014 for PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3.