According to the statistics, less than 1% of all games released in 2013 let us play as a gay (or LGBTQ) character and the crux of that is because although the majority of gamers are a fairly progressive lot and wouldn’t mind gay characters right in there with the rest of the heterosexual ones, plenty of publishers and developers are guilty of shying away from the subject in fear of the vocal, ignorant minority coming for them with pitchforks and torches aflame. Developer BioWare are actually one of the few developers to embrace queer characters wholeheartedly, with all three Mass Effect games and both Dragon Age 1 and 2 allowing same-sex romances. Dragon Age: Inquisition is set to include same-sex romance too and, BioWare say, they have plans to keep putting gay characters in their games in the future.
From the disgruntled masses of PC and PS4 fans to the deafening cheers of Xbox One supporters, convinced they’d finally landed a blow to the PS4’s unstoppable success, to the critics and unaligned gamers who simply asked ‘wait, what?’, the announcement that Rise of the Tomb Raider will be an Xbox exclusive come 2015 has been the talk of the town. And although the chatter of secret big money deals and sales and console wars clutters up the highways, we will eventually have to accept the fact that Rise of the Tomb Raider is going to be exclusive to Xbox One and Xbox 360 for whatever unspecified amount of time. But do PC and PS4 really need Rise of the Tomb Raider and where does the Tomb Raider franchise go from here? Read on after the break to find out.
It had oodles of potential and promise that it was going to be a gajillion and 2 percent better than whatever round joints in square sockets features Dragon Age 2 coughed up and left us with like a soggy hairball. Alas, for all of the nice things that it was going to offer us, the Dragon Age: Inquisition release date has been pushed back from its initial October timing. Anyway, reasoning, the new release date and sadfaces all round can be found after the break.
If there’s one place that gamers like taking the fight about female characters in games, it’s the sports genre. We had a minor win in 2012 with NHL 13 which I waxed lyrical on in the year 2012, boasting the fact that it included two puck-slapping, ice-carving, gold medal winning female Olympians in the game at a time where EA Sports’ other popular franchise, FIFA, offered ‘female characters will get in the game eventually, just not right now/any time soon’ as a pretty weak response. NHL 14 was an arguable step backward in some cases so now, the more we find out about NHL 15, the more we’re hoping one bit of information is going to tell us that ladies will get more support, but judging by this brand new graphics boasting NHL 15 trailer we might be waiting a while. Watch the video after the break.
Uh-oh, well this is awkward, for EA and BioWare at least. Several weeks ago there was a leak in which one sneaky E3 attendee recorded the invite only viewing of Dragon Age: Inquisition’s E3 gameplay demo, complete with commentary from BioWare themselves. They managed to get out and upload it like the jammiest of dodgers before it was taken down a little while after but never fear! EA and BioWare have released an official version of that same Dragon Age: Inquisition gameplay scenario meaning that none of those camera-in-hand jitters are present here and you can also view it in 1080p HD. Watch the video after the break.
As one of the only games that portrays LGB (lesbian, gay and bisexual) characters in a good light and one of even fewer that lets you play as them, Dragon Age: Inquisition always had some high expectations on how it did these identities right by looking for some refreshingly queer gameplay in a see of unfortunate heteronormativity. Much of those queer identities are buoyed by the follower system as for three games now (Inquisition included) the game has let you form relationships with the followers in your party, as long their sexuality corresponded to your playable character’s gender. With BioWare today revealing new Dragon Age: Inquisition character ‘Dorian’, the series looks as hopeful as ever for diversity but in the process the developer have also landed themselves in a bit of hot water.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is one massive game. One section of BioWare’s upcoming RPG is bigger than the entirety of Dragon Age: Origins. There are 40 various endings to the game, more romances than you can shake Cupid’s cherubic face at and a brand new, revamped combat system after Dragon Age 2’s battle system was frustrating like trying to eat a bowl of soup with a knife and fork. Switching out that ill-advised cutlery for something far better and more tactical this time, Dragon Age: Inquisition is already guaranteed to be better but as this leaked gameplay from E3 2014 shows, we’ll have plenty more new feature additions to build on that improvement. Watch the footage after the break.
Welcome to the Rapid Fire Reading List! The world wide web is a big place and my deadlines are always close! So this is where I put all of the interesting links from the week when I haven’t had time to cover them for J Station X. Sometimes they cover feminism/gaming/queer theory and occasionally they cover all three! Read on to find out which big stories were making the headlines this week.
Ah, E3, otherwise known as ‘video game Christmas’ or ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ due to its glorious abundance of new shiny games to lust over is in just a few days. But what about the games that we missed out on? The Editor’s award receiving, high review score garnering blockbusters that for whatever reason, we didn’t get a chance to play? With the sequels to some of these cracking titles set to be revealed at E3’s LA-based event in a few days, there’s no better time than now to pick up the brilliant games that came before that further helped to cement as franchise’s status as ‘ace’ and buy the games on a budget as Ubisoft’s massive pre-E3 sale has now gone live. Find out more after the break.
Call it a quick grab for cash in the face of the upcoming World Cup in Brazil, call it a gripping insight into a world of sports that none of us have ever seen before or call it a foot-to-ball docu-thing (ok, maybe don’t call it that last one) but upcoming Xbox football/soccer show Every Street United is set to be the first test of Microsoft’s Xbox Originals project which is set to bring original TV programming to Xbox One and Xbox 360. As the first in a long and (potentially) illustrious list of Xbox Originals, all eyes will be on the new show like the gaze of an 80,000 strong crowd on the penalty kick decider. But will it score with ease or punt it over the crossbar? Find out after the break.