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Dragon Age: The Veilguard strips your RPG party down to two companions, but they'll be "deeper" with a lot more banter

The most banter ever

All the companions in Dragon Age: The Veilguard sitting around a round table
Image credit: EA

"Two's company, three's a crowd," the saying goes, unless the first two are warriors and the third one is a priest, in which case the superior proverb is surely "three's a moderately balanced squad, two's a massive liability"? Here to put such kitchen wisdom to the test is BioWare's Dragon Age: The Veilguard, which "only" allows you to bring two companions into the fray, one fewer than 2014's Dragon Age: Inquisition. It's another indication that this will be more biffy action game than thinky party-based RPG. The upside, assuming you find that last sentence disappointing, is that exploration and combat will be more "intimate", and individual characters will have more screentime to bounce off each other and flourish as personalities. All this comes care of a BioWare Discord Q&A from late last week, which you can watch in full below.

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If you don't have time to watch an hour's worth of BioWrangling first thing on a Monday, Keywords Studios staffer and noted scuttlebutter Shinobi602 has done a quick Xeet round-up. Some highlights: BioWare are saying that Veilguard will offer their "deepest" companion arcs yet, and that your interactions with them may go as far as angering them so much they go AWOL for a while. They're also capable of falling for each other, not just the player, which I'd welcome former Dragon Age scribe David Gaider's thoughts about in the wake of his thread last week on how difficult it is to endow RPG companion characters with agency, when they're designated as player love interests.

BioWare are also promising/threatening the largest quantity of Dragon Age party banter ever, so much banter that you will never wish to speak to another human being again, that you will shriek and beg for silence. What's more, characters will dynamically break off and resume their bantering should they be interrupted by a rogue Pride Demon or because you've thrown yourself over a cliff to escape the relentless small talk. No more shall you miss out on the whimsical incidentals of character relationships: this banter will follow you everywhere, like a hungry dog or curse.

There's a lot more in the video so please accept this runner-up handful of Veilguard trivia: mages get healing spells again. There's no campaign progression block akin to Inquisition's power mechanic. Your new base of operations is called the Lighthouse. Tavern songs return. There appear to be fewer fetchquests. You can pet the griffin.

Anyway: thoughts on the new party size, everybody? I compared Veilguard to Mass Effect 2 in my first look preview and this certainly chimes with that analysis. Personally I'd like the extra body, but I must admit I always felt that one member of my Inquisition party got left out of the chinwaggery, which made me anxious. So thank you BioWare, I guess, for lowering the odds that I will feel like an Xmas host trying to ensure that nobody ends up in the corner of the room pretending to check their phone.

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