Dragon Age: The Veilguard’s companions can fall in love with each other, not just you

We already know that you’ll be able to romance all your companions in the upcoming RPG Dragon Age: The Veilguard. Sounds a bit synthetic on the surface, right? Even fantastic games like Baldur’s Gate 3 suffered from this overly obliging approach to relationships. A game letting you tell your own tales is dandy and all, but those stories don’t mean much if the cast feel like input/output affection bots, ready to drop trou like a clumsy Levis temp once you’ve adequately filled their invisible bonkometer.

However! It seems like The Veilguard’s romances won’t be as simple as spamming the dialogue option for ‘the way that darkspawn’s cursed blood on your hair reflected the moonlight was hot’. “We wanted to lean into not just the relationships the characters have with you but the relationships they have with each other,” game director Corinne Busche told Game Informer. Those relationships extend to romances, says Busche. If you ignore a companion’s affections, it sounds like they might well turn their attention towards other members of your party.

Each companion, write GI, has their own relationship level with Rook, the player character. This will change based on conversations, sure, but also how Rook interacts with the world. I’m less enthused about the idea of ‘ranking up’ your companions’ relationship level to unlock skill points. Again, it all feels dryly synthetic, like the way you’d end up effectively grinding moral choices in the Mass Effect series. Still, Busche notes that platonic relationships also contribute to the companion levels and skill points, saying that you’ll “learn who these characters are in how their romances unfold.”

Game Informer have published a wealth of detailed information on what to expect from The Veilguard when it launches in Fall 2024. They recently shared some details about the game’s difficulty customisation options, which look genuinely great for accessibility. Edwin said he’d make me write nothing but COD update posts (the games blogger equivalent of peeling potatoes in the brig, only less nutritious) until the end of time if I didn’t mention that his own hands-off preview is the only information you really need though.

Former Dragon Age lead writer David Gaider recently shared some thoughts on The Veilguard. He was a big fan of how evocative the city of Minrathous was, saying that he wished “we could have done this for Kirkwall or even Val Royeaux. Utterly gorgeous.” Still, he expressed concern about the choice to make every character romanceable. “The Dragon Age writers realized, eventually, that as soon as you make a character romanceable it limits the type of character they can be and the types of stories they can tell. They become beholden to their romance arc and their need to, ultimately, be appealing,” wrote Gaider.

“Why is that a limitation? Because not all character story arcs are defined by being appealing to the player. Even if the appeal of an arc is for a relatively limited audience, the requirement of having appeal inherently restricts the potential stories to a fairly limited band.” The line between giving the player what they want and focusing on authorial intent is a fine ol’ one indeed, but there’s no reason why we can’t have both. Probably don’t try that in the game though.

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