In an interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, lead designer Mike Laidlaw discussed more Dragon Age: Inquisition, including a little bit about the romance qualities. In past title Dragon Age: Origins, players could increase a love interest’s approval by purchasing gifts and making certain decisions. While this was fun and could create some interesting dialogue, BioWare seems to be deviating away from that particular formula.
When asked how this would work in Inquisition, Laidlaw stated, “It’s just attempting to get away from the idea of, ‘Oh, +10, and here’s a gift, +5.’ Getting away from that kind of raw, mechanical, insert happiness event kind of stuff. So event-based is more just a general approach.”
While approval ratings were still semi-present in Dragon Age 2, BioWare did seem to evolve it into something more event-oriented. Gifts and choices still influenced a character’s approval, but it didn’t feel as mechanical as it did in Origins. However, I think because of this, there were lots of possibilities and more personal involvements that were missed. While the character development was impressive, it lacked the casual intimacy which could be found in Origins. I would have loved to have been able to approach Isabela in camp just to see what discussions could be ignited.
And while it may be a bit stupid… the hopeless romantic in me enjoys being able to kiss my love interest whenever I want.