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DA: Inquisition's relationships will be about more than sex

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Bioware has always taken a measure of pride in the relationship systems of their role-playing games (RPG's), but a valid criticism of the system is that it always seems like the ultimate aim was sex. With the upcoming Dragon Age: Inquisition, the game's creative director, Mike Laidlaw, says there will be a lot more to the romantic relationships than just hooking up.

Earlier this year lead writer David Gaider, made the comment that in Inquisition, romance will be "more than insert coin, get sex."  You can read more about that  in "Dragon Age: Inquisition - Love, Dragons and meeting old friends." Speaking to IGN, Laidlaw reaffirmed that Inquisition will not follow the same path regarding sex and romance that other Bioware titles did. He confessed that sex was ultimately the pay off for pursuing a romance in previous BioWare titles, but insists that Dragon Age: Inquisition will be the game that turn's that around. Laidlaw espoused the depth of relationships portrayed in Starbreeze's The Darkness and Naughty Dog's The Last of Us as examples to follow. 

“The most romantic moment in a video game that I’ve ever seen is when Jackie visits his girlfriend’s apartment in The Darkness,” Laidlaw commented.

“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 snuggly. That is amazing.

“[That scene] is as close as video games came to that first ten minutes of Up. Both scenes share the same purpose of making the audience think, ‘I really care about this character – aw, f**k,’ and their motivations change.”

Laidlaw also noted that the team is aiming to make relationships more organic and not so logically systemic. For example, affection-buying gifts, where simply giving a character a certain item automatically increases affection, would not be a part of their game. 

“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,” he continued.

The relationships between characters also wouldn't be limited to romance. Laidlaw explained that different characters would react differently during a dragon slaying, for example, and the players reaction to their reaction could spark camaraderie or affection. “And suddenly it’s a friendship moment, or maybe more. Maybe there’s flirting, who knows? It all depends on that state. It’s reacting to what happens in the game,”

Dragon Age: Inquisition is set for release on 21st November and is available from

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