Dear BioWare: I was skeptical about all of the hype surrounding the characters in your new RPG, “Dragon Age: Inquisition.” But really, you outdid yourselves. You brought all the best parts of “Mass Effect” — the organizational meta-game; the choice system; the interesting, complicated NPCs — into a high fantasy genre that’s really been suffering. Thanks for that. While I’d like to be able to give my player character kinky hair (work on that for next time), the customization options are truly staggering. Thanks for that, too. Thanks for letting me turn off the gore and take off the helmets, because some things are just distracting. Thanks for giving me a Black female NPC who is so fabulous, people are writing articles about her fashion choices. Thanks for treating me, Black female gamer me, like part of your core audience. I’ll see you when the DLC comes out, debit card in one hand and controller in the other.
I’m about 35 hours into BioWare’s latest video game, “Dragon Age: Inquisition,” and I’m loving every minute of it. I’ve made it through three TPKs. I’ve outrun four very angry bears, lit five tower beacons, built like a hundred camps, traveled back and forth across a gigantic board, and I’ve almost decided who I’m going to romance (something about Blackwall’s beard calls to me, but the Iron Bull….mmmm). Sure, the game has some glitches – quite a few team members have half-disappeared into table tops, and there’s that audio bug that ruins occasional conversations – but overall, I’ll be damn happy to spend my winter being the Dalish Herald of Andraste and saving Ferelden from threats foreign, domestic and Fade-borne.
But I’m not here to tell you about how much I like the game, or to recommend that you buy it. You’ve read that article, it has been circulating around the Internet for months. If you wanted the game, you’d have already bought it, unless you’re waiting for it to hit the used shelf at GameStop. Folks gotta economize. I get that.
What I am here to talk about however, is the hype machine around BioWare, this game, and the “diversity of the characters.” I’ve been linked to a number of articles in the last two months about how diverse the NPCs are in “Dragon Age,” and how that’s a major breakthrough in a AAA title. Excellent.
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