***Spoiler cut: you know it, I know it.***
Speaking of hard things to watch.
I’m still waiting for the patch on that DirectX issue (no the Visual C++ redistributable didn’t solve it; BioWare is working on it; it’s not just me), so because the scene was so long it bugged out three times. So I had to watch…to listen…to his voice crack on the accusation three times. And coming right after that burst of fury–so well voice-acted!–that makes you physically cringe in your chair, too, it just twists you into a knot.
I kind of want to steamroll through all of Thedas with him now (screw the Tevinters, man! it’s you and the rest of us against the world!) but I’m right where it warns you you’ll start endgame if you keep going. So those are the last of the cutscenes I have left to me. (Have we mentioned here what a tremendous job they did with the facial expressions? Sitting there trying to read whether someone wants you to play it off as nothing or push through the joke and actually ask after their welfare, and seeing the curl of their mouth that is both appreciative of the gesture but gently setting it aside in favor of putting on a carefree demeanor? They coded that.) Really want to beat up some Tevinters, frankly. And on the heels of all three times I watched the same scene comes the thought, I really wish more people had needed me as backup in life. I would’ve made great backup. But by the time people meet me, they already have their shit together. So disappointing. I could have been such a loyal companion! No one seems to need loyal companions these days.
Also, I guess this is obvious but just in case: as upsetting as that scene is, it is so important and fantastic that they put it in there, and that they made him who and how he is. Especially this year.
Also also, I’m wondering how they wanted these scenes to be encountered. Because we all figure out pretty quickly that each time you finish a chunk of main plot, each character has a cutscene or two waiting for you. And because the cutscenes and the characters are why I’ve been careening through this game five times faster than I ever allow myself, I run from character to character after every big chunk of main plot, collecting cutscenes like candy. But all these last ones are too affecting to be taken all at once! I had to stop after Dorian. And before him, Varric’s…that was perfect. On the fade-to-black between the screen transitions and the scenes I could see myself in the blank screen’s reflection, all misty-eyed and grinning. Really well-done.
So do I plod diligently through all the side things? Or gallop through to the end? I am trying to hold myself back because if it’s like with DAO, or for that matter even FO3, no matter how I keep telling myself “all right! I’m going to play through again immediately and do this this and this differently!” I never do. It’s too raw, too recent, and I put it aside for god knows how long, all the stuff I skipped untouched. But it’s the characters I’m here for; much as I love wandering the countryside that takes second place next to the writing in these games. And I don’t know how long I can put off getting more of it.
…especially what with everyone all getting upset and saying goodbye to me in advance. I kind of need to know how it shakes out for them.