How Romance And Relationships Work In Dragon Age: The Veilguard

Dragon Age: The Veilguard is a BioWare RPG, which means a lot of things, including the fact that the game will feature romance. Based on what I learned during a recent trip to BioWare’s Edmonton office for the current Game Informer cover story, Veilguard will be the team’s most romantic game yet. 

Relationship Level

Every companion in the game has a Relationship Level related to Rook, and the choices you make (and not even specifically about the companion, but in the world in general), what you say to companions, how you help or don’t help them, and more all play into it. Every time you rank up a companion’s Relationship Level, you unlock a skill point to spend specifically on that companion. Though companion skill trees pale in comparison to Rook’s expansive tree, which features passive abilities, combat abilities, and more, as well as paths to three unique class specializations, there’s still some customization here. 

Each companion has access to five abilities, but you can only take three into combat. Thus, it’s important to strategize which abilities to spend a skill point on and how those abilities can synergize with your current build on the battlefield. Though I couldn’t confirm, Dragon Age series art director Matt Rhodes hints that companion issues, problems, and personal quests will play into this Relationship Level and how a companion interacts with Rook. 

“[Bellara Lutara, for example] has her own story arc that runs parallel to and informs the story path you’re on,” Rhodes tells me while I watch game director Corinne Busche play through a linear, story-driven mission in Arlathan Forest where Rook is searching for Bellara. Busche adds that “relationships are key, not only romance but friendships. We wanted to lean into not just the relationships the characters have with you but the relationships they have with each other. It’s a found family, and at the end of the day, they need to trust they all have each other’s back.” 

Romance

However, fret not, BioWare fans – romance is a key part of relationships in the game, Busche says, noting some of the romances will get quite spicy. However, not all of them will, as “each romance has a very different flavor,” according to Busche. Some characters are straight to the point, while others are more awkward, having never been in a relationship before. “You learn who these characters are in how their romances unfold,” she says. She likens romantic and platonic relationships to another way to “level up” your companions. It’s not just experience and skill points that determine Rook’s standing with companions, but diegetic conversations, too. 

BioWare has already revealed that every companion in Veilguard is pansexual, notably different from the community-dubbed “playersexual” approach in some games, which sees NPCs adjust romantic and sexual interests based on the player rather than their own sense of sexuality. As pansexual companions, they are attracted to people of any gender (or regardless of gender). That’s a critical distinction because, in Veilguard, your companions aren’t just going to vie for your affection – they might take attraction to other companions in the titular Veilguard. 

Giving one companion the cold shoulder might nudge them into the warm shoulder of someone else on the team. Busche says companions can form romances with each other, although I’m unable to confirm if that means locking Rook out of forming a romance with them. 

I saw nothing resembling romance in my very early hours with the game. However, I did see the romantically inclined “emotional” response in Rook’s dialogue choices at times, which led to my Rook flirting with ice mage and private detective companion Neve Gallus. Busche says this is the option to flirt and push platonic relationships into romantic territory, though Rook’s flirtatious efforts aren’t always reciprocated. But that’s not to say you should ignore the other options – I saw dialogue choices resembling friendly, snarky, and direct, too, and I can see how these different flavors of dialogue likely mix and mingle into Rook’s relationships with companions. It’s still a mostly mysterious system to me, but as Veilguard is due out this fall, I don’t have to wait too long to learn more and neither do you.


For more about the game, including exclusive details, interviews, video features, and more, click the Dragon Age: The Veilguard hub button below. 

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