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Monday, December 1, 2014

Take Notes, This is How It's Done

Dragon Age: Inquisition arrived at my house almost two weeks ago, and I've been playing it non-stop since then. (The game is MASSIVE, and I know I still have a ways to go. At least I'm getting my money's worth! Writing can wait.) I'll reserve my final judgment for when I finish my first playthrough, but so far, the game is living up to the high expectations and the massive amounts of hype, and I'm having fun.

The reason I wanted to blog about it before finishing, though, is to note that so far I've been really impressed with the character of Cassandra. I was "meh" on her in DA2 (not that she was anything more than a narration device), and I never watched her side movie thing, or whatever it was (though I might check it out once I'm done with the game). She's the first companion you get, and she drives a lot of the plot in the beginning.

What stood out to me from the get-go was that it would have been so, so easy for her character to have been male. In other series or forms of media, she very well may have been. And then it saddened me to realize I was even thinking that. She's strong, she's tough, and she's passionate about her cause, which has nothing to do with landing a man. Her armor actually looks like armor and covers everything that should be covered when you're fighting many violent battles. As the game progresses, she does have her moments when she shows a little bit of a vulnerable or a light-hearted side, and those just make me appreciate her more. Not a single thing she says or does has had "even though she's a woman/because she's a woman" attached to it, which is the way it should be.

Even if I weren't playing a female Inquisitor, thanks to her and the other female characters, the game easily passes the Bechdel test, many times over. Bioware doesn't always get it exactly perfectly right, but their batting average is pretty good, and from what I've heard and read, they do a pretty good job of listening to all their fans, male and female alike. They try, and a lot of times they succeed. No matter what happens later on in the game (fingers crossed that there won't be a colossal flop of an ending like the original end to Mass Effect 3), I'm sure the good will outweigh the bad, and they've already won favor with me for continuing to include female characters such as Cassandra.

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