Dragon Age Dreadwolf is still far too far away. BioWare recently teased a little bit of the game's codex, and with that a tiny sliver of what the game has in store, but it still feels like the game is lurking in the shadows, dealing in whispers. We've seen concept art, a vague voiceover trailer, confirmation that Solas is back (and at least initially, the villain), a glance at Minrathous, and a title that gives very little away.
I love Dragon Age, but I'm getting a little frustrated by this trickle of information. Look, games take a long time to make (too long and to unsustainable levels, these days), so I appreciate that we're a way out from Dreadwolf, and that BioWare wants to drip feed new information before giving us a bombastic blast with a well timed trailer. That's all well and good, but I have a deal for you BioWare. I will stop any and all criticism of every BioWare game past and future (including Anthem!) if you show me the Dragon Age Dreadwolf lesbian. What do you say, do we have a deal? There's probably more than one lesbian in the game, or at least more than one femme character attracted to other femme characters, but I'm not greedy. Just one will do.
Both Dragon Age and Mass Effect have a history of great romances, but it feels like Dragon Age has always been a little bit more queer friendly. If you're playing as a lesbian, your only choice in Mass Effect is Liara, while Mass Effect 2 only gives you Kelly Chambers in a mini fling with none of the usual high-tier relationship writing. Things are a little better by Mass Effect 3 and Andromeda, with Traynor and Liara in 3 and Andromeda bringing the vastly underrated Suvi as well as Peebee, Vetra, and another Kelly-sized fling with Keri. Unfortunately, with Mass Effect I can't help but think of the characters we missed out on - in a queerer world, Miranda is a lipstick lean in lesbian, while BioWare does not kowtow to Fox News and allows Jack to be the pansexual pirate she was written as.
You see BioWare? That's the kind of criticism I mean. Or that time I wrote about Garrus being a weird bird-faced monster that no one in their right mind should be smooching. All of this can go away, all you need to do is show me one of the lesbians. Please. I would like to see the lesbians.
All things considered, I prefer Mass Effect overall to Dragon Age, so I don't want to belabour the comparison too much. But It feels like when it comes to queer women, Dragon Age has always been in front. The quiet and reserved Leliana is the only option in Origins, but by Dragon Age 2 there's the awkward but charming Merrill and the charismatically sensual Isabela. Across the first two games of each series, we have three fully fledged romances in Dragon Age versus one in Mass Effect, and even then Liara is an alien from a race that has only one gender, femme coded though it may be. Isabela is perhaps the best love interest BioWare has ever written - if not necessarily the deepest or most moving, then certainly the most entertaining.
Inquisition brings in my personal favourite romance, Josephine, as well as the tomboyish Sera who, unlike a lot of lesbian love interests in games, is butch and not written nor styled for the male gaze. With Andromeda, BioWare developed its queer writing even further, and Dreadwolf should bear even richer fruit. And I would like to see these fruits. Just one of them. But I want them soon. My appetite for Dragon Age Dreadwolf will not be satiated any time soon, but a fruit could tide me over for now.
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