Monday, May 17, 2010

"Dragon Age" anti-feminist?

That was the first thing I thought after starting up the game and trying to create my first character. I tried to make a female human warrior and the game just threw me out. I tried a female elf and the same happened. Then I tried a male human warrior and everything was fine. So, what is it?

Honestly, I still don’t know. I’ve sent a request at EAs support and I’ve gotten an answer already – they don’t know what it is or how it happens. So I have to wait, try and keep them working until they find out about it.

On the whole, though “Dragon Age” is a great game – albeit a gruesome one with lots of blood and corpses (not really a problem for me). I’ve started a game as a human warrior, a human rogue, a warrior elf and a warrior dwarf so far (but I’ve decided to stick with my warrior elf). No mages? No, I’m more of a hands-on person in RPGs, so I usually do warriors these days. Besides, with Morrigan I later get a good mage at my side, so why bother being one myself?

The game does everything right, though (apart from my problem with creating female characters, of course). As I expect from Bioware (the RPG-makers since “Baldur’s Gate”), there is a strong story leading me on, there are great characters to interact with (and characters who also interact with each other – Alistair and Morrigan, for instance). They work with big emotions, with betrayal, with loss and everything else you can come up with to motivate a player. No matter whether I lose my whole family through betrayal as a human warrior, have to leave my clan behind to survive as an elf or get banned from the underground as a dwarf, I feel motivated to go on and see this through, because ultimately there’s always the Dark Brood behind it all. And once I witness the father-in-law and supposed supporter of the king just pulling back his troops through an important battle and letting the king perish with his men, I really want to … um, hurt someone really bad. And someone has to make sure the world learns about this betrayal…

You see why I really love this game. You play for a couple of minutes and find the first reason to really go on. And the further you go into the story (I’m not that far in yet, but I really will get through it at least once), the more reasons to carry on you can find.

If only I can play as a woman sometime soon…


Rainy-Day Kate said...

It's bizarre that you're having trouble choosing to play as a woman. In just about all the reviews I have read (on feminist blogs, typically) the player has chosen a female character and had no problems.

Cay Reet said...

I know it's strange, but I've read in the forums of Bioware that other players had a similar problem and resolved it some way, even though none of them could remember the way.

The same way I have to install some DLCs to be able to use the galaxy map in Mass Effect 2 (but at least have no problems choosing a female character...).