How Romance and Relationships Work in Dragon Age: The Veilguard

Dragon Age: Veilguard is a Bioware RPG, which means a lot of things, including the fact that the game involves romance. Based on what I learned on a recent trip to BioWare’s Edmonton office for the present Game Informer Cover Story, Veilguard is the team’s most romantic game yet.

Relationship level

Each companion in the game has a level of relationship to the rook, and the choices you make (and not specifically about the companion, but in the world in general), what you say to the companion, how you help or don’t help them, and more all play into that. Each time you level up a companion’s affinity level, you unlock a skill point to spend specifically on that companion. While the companion skill trees pale in comparison to Rook’s expansive tree that includes passive abilities, combat abilities, and more, there are paths to three unique class specializations, with some more customization here.

Each companion has access to five abilities, but you can only take three into battle. Thus, it’s important to strategize which abilities to spend a skill point on and how those abilities can integrate with your current build on the battlefield. While I can’t confirm, Matt Rhodes, art director for the Dragon Age series, has hinted that companion issues, problems, and personal quests will play into this relationship level and how they interact 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 as I watch game director Corinne Busche play through a linear, story-driven mission in Arlaton Forest. There Rook is looking for Bellare. Busche adds, “Relationships aren’t just romances but friendships. We wanted to lean not just on 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 all have to trust that they have each other’s backs.”

romance

However, don’t worry, BioWare fans – romance is an important part of in-game relationships, Busche says, adding that some romances get quite spicy. However, according to Busche, not everyone does, as “every romance has a different flavor.” Some characters are straight to the point, while others are more awkward, having never had a relationship before. “You learn who these characters are in how their romances unfold,” she says. She compares romantic and platonic relationships to another way to “level up” your partner. It’s not just experience and skill factors that determine a rook’s standing with companions, but diegetic conversations as well.

BioWare has already revealed that every companion in Veilguard is pansexual, a marked departure from the community-dubbed “player sex” approach in some games, which sees NPCs match 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). This is a crucial difference because, in Veilguard, your companions don’t just compete for your affections – they can take attraction to other companions in the titular Veilguard.

Giving a teammate the cold shoulder can push them to the warm shoulder of someone else on the team. Busche says companions can romance each other, though I can’t confirm that romancing them locks the rook.

In my early hours with the game I didn’t see anything resembling romance. However, I sometimes saw a romantically inclined “emotional” response in Rook’s dialogue choices, which led to my Rook flirting with fellow ice mage and private detective Nev Gallus. Busche says it’s a choice that pushes flirtation and platonic relationships into romantic territory, though Rook’s flirtatious attempts aren’t always reciprocated. But that’s not to say you should ignore the other options — I also looked at friendly, snarky, and direct conversation options, and I can see how these different flavors of conversation mix and mingle in a Rook’s relationships with companions. It’s still mostly a mystery system to me, but with Veilguard coming this fall, I won’t have to wait long to learn more, and neither will you.


For more information on the game, including exclusive details, interviews, video features and more, click the Dragon Age: VeilGuard Hub button below.

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