Dragon Age Inquisition creative director Mike Laidlaw has spoken about the game's relationships and said that there's a lot more to them than sex.
Laidlaw admitted to IGN that intercourse has been the ultimate goal of romances in past BioWare titles but pointing to games including The Darkness and The Last of Us, he insists that this will change for Inquisition.
“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 then pointed to the paternal relationship between Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us and noted that their connection isn't systemic, and isn't something people can exploit for the sake of approval ratings or trophies/achievements.
As such, the development team set out a new vision for how to foster relationships in the game that doesn't rely on affection-buying gifts or sex as the end goal.
“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.
Producer Cameron Lee recently explained why BioWare features relationships for numerous sexual orientations in their games, saying that leaving out gay characters would be "beyond" the developer. In all, there will be eight relationships in the game including straight, gay, and lesbian romances.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is set for release on November 18th in North American and on November 21st in Europe for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.