Dragon Age: The Veilguard Offers “No-Death Option”

If you think playing a video game where it’s possible to lose is unfair, Dragon Age: The Veilguard has got you covered. Game Informer visited BioWare’s office and spoke to the developers about the upcoming game, and they got a look at some of The Veilguard’s features, such as “the ability to pick pronouns separate from gender.” (To quote Jerome from Family Guy, “‘Cause whatever the hell nowadays.”) But the most striking option gamers will be provided with is the ability to turn off death. That’s not a joke about easy mode, either; in addition to the main difficulty levels – called “Storyteller,” “Adventurer,” and “Nightmare” – there is a fourth option called “Unbound,” where you get to customize the difficulty. Among the available customizations are auto-aim, adjusting how much damage you can take and inflict, and “a no-death option.” The game’s director, Corinne Busche, says, “[None of these options] are a cheat… It’s an option to make sure players of all abilities can show up.”

Mark Kern, the former Blizzard producer who goes by Grummz on social media, nailed it:

Indeed, games journalists will probably love this, with PC Gamer calling it “a great idea” and boasting of softening the difficulty of other games before seeming to mock those gamers who want to be challenged in any way, which is a strange take for someone who wants to write about video games with any kind of authority. Gamespot also celebrates the no-kill mode and appreciates that it’s “meant to be inclusive for players of all abilities and skill-levels.”

I’m somewhat mixed on this. It’s just an option, and I understand the desire to make games more “accessible,” especially considering how expensive they are to produce. But I’d be lying if I said this didn’t seem cheap to me. If you eliminate the ability to lose, are you even playing a game anymore? It’s just an interactive story at that point, devoid of challenge or, I would think, investment. Maybe the story is good, but if you’re playing a game, that isn’t the only important thing, or perhaps even the most important one. Mario games aren’t exactly masterclasses in storytelling, but people enjoy them because they have fun getting Mario through each level, knowing if they don’t time a jump right or fail to anticipate an enemy attack, they could die. Who would want to play a Mario game where you don’t have to engage with the gameplay? Even beyond the Mushroom Kingdom, what’s the point of a boss fight if you don’t have to figure out how to kill the boss? It’s just a really long version of the regular battles. But to each his own, I suppose; if this makes them more money, I can see other video game developers doing it. I’m not sure it will, however; I don’t think the fact that you can lose is what keeps people from playing a game. If it’s that important to them, they probably aren’t interested in games to begin with.

Comments (2)

July 6, 2024 at 9:53 am

I am not a game journalist. But, I don’t see the point in being upset that a game offers something to some people that may want it if you are not going to use it? The option to have perma-death in some games is no different than this. Maybe someone just wants to play this game for emersion and story without dying. It doesn’t effect YOU, so why care? Worry about yourself and how YOU play your game, not other people and how THEY may want to play a game they paid for.

July 11, 2024 at 3:37 am

The game seems to be made to pander to game journalists anyway, so I guess including a game journalist mode makes sense. I’m not even mad, I find it funny actually.

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