Delayed Responsibility

I Shouldn't Be Gaming Right Now… But I Am!

Dragon Age: Supplemental

Posted by deckard47 on October 23, 2009

Dragon Date: something in a horrible Eldritch language you can’t even pronounce.

Last night, after performing my various editorial duties, I realized (with Owen’s help) that I had forgotten to include every possible character permutation in my Dragon Age characters. Now, I’m not going to create one for every gender and every class, but I want to explore every background for every race. This means two humans (mage and noble), two dwarfs (noble and commoner), and three elves (city, wood, and mage).

Of course, after going back in and adding my one new character, I realized that I had to make a bunch of physical changes to the characters I already had. In so doing, several things became abundantly clear:

They’re still getting that hair thing down It’s better than any other game I’ve seen, especially when it comes to longer hair. But, all of the hair is very, um, “European.” Likewise, all of the darker skin options don’t actually look nonwhite. They look like the white people I went to high school with, the ones who discovered what rub-on tan was one day and never looked back. Was it so hard to include skin tones that people who didn’t look “tan” (or that people who were white, or some non-existent version of brown) might want to play as? As it is, it looks like the cast of the OC (when you try to make characters who aren’t super-white). This is compounded by the hair. I think there is one option (for human dudes, not for elves or dwarfs) for dreadlocks, ans the rest is straight Euro/East Asian hair. Which is not terrible (that’s my hair!). It’s just incredibly noninclusive.

Aside from that, I wish they’d given me some better facial expression options. You can be dour, smirky, or totally high. There are places in between, but those are the recognizable portrait expressions. Likewise, it’s annoying that female characters get a ludicrous number of color and skin options, while guys get skin and tattoo options. On the other hand, women also don’t get to play around with all of the sweet beards (there are some sweet beards, and I say this as a beard and mustache hater). In fact, when I realized I couldn’t give my wood elf guy a sweet beard, I was very disappointed. Why we can’t have makeup options for our fantasy dudes is a mystery to me (I especially like the option for women to make your lips green, a la Jade).

Which is all to say that the game gives you an outrageous number of customization options. I just wish they gave me more! So I’m a complainer, as always. Although (and I can’t remember where I read this, I think it was someone quoting PC Gamer UK’s review of the game), apparently if you create a darker-skinned character, your parents (if they exist ingame) will still be white. OOOPSIES! Bioware, you might want to fix that before launch. Although, let’s be honest, what company would fix that, or see it as a “fix” that was needed at all? Would it really have been that hard (when they were making the game) to make it so your relatives’ skin tones matched yours? In my (non-game designer) head, that seems like a simple, mandatory “feature.” Right?

Oh, and the lack of Borderlands is killing me. 3 days. I’ve preloaded it, so I should be able to play it Monday night at midnight, right?

Oh, and while I’m here complaining about everything (about a game I will love forver and ever), Bioware, I want full-body tattoos. Don’t let Fable 2 upstage you!


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