As makers of some of the most acclaimed RPGs in existence, Bioware has been cranking out open ended games with open-legged characters for a decade now. Seriously: Bioware is a digital slut factory&&(na
Bioware got it's start in 1995 as a Canadian game development company. Yep, Bioware is Canadian, which really stands out considering what that country has given us the last couple of decades.
Canada's greatest achievement.
Their fist big hit was the incredibly popular Baulder's Gate series, a Diablo style RPG that was based off of the Forgotten Realms Dungeons & Dragons franchise. Widely praised during its time, the game is said to have single handedly revived the computer role-playing genre. Most folks were enthralled by the great use of dialoge, story, and all things bad ass about D&D.
Well, most things.
Bioware followed up with Neverwinter Nights, another D&D title. What separated the two was NWN's online multiplayer, and the horribly pale fantasy nerds that it spawned. For the first time, people could live out thier greatest fantasies from the comfort of thier own
poolside sports bar massage table basement, without the threat of jock interference. Since people could dedicate servers for thier own online persistent world, many consider NWN to be the first true MMORPG.
Suck it, Warcraft!
Also, blue hedgehog epics
While Baulder's Gate and NWN had instances of morality for the Player Character, it wasnt until later that they really perfected it. KOTOR introduced the highly innovative (and grossly imitated) Light Side/Dark Side system, where you could essentially reenact Anakin Skywalker's journey from whiny, Pod Racing shit stain to wheezy, arm chopping Sith Lord.
Result on Google Images for "Vader". Enjoy your nightmares, folks.
Not to be a one trick pony, Bioware changed things up with their next big title Jade Empire. There, they replaced the Good Jedi/Bad Jedi schtick with a Confucius Tao like system. Players could walk down the paths of the Way of the Open Palm or the Way of the Closed Fist. While it seems like a same shit different day sort of deal, it differed from KOTOR in that your choices were not "Pet the puppy" or "Toss it into a wood chipper". Instead, it was either "Pet the puppy" or "Pee on it and then yell at it for twenty minutes". So, you could either be a benign saint of goodness or the biggest douchebag in the village.
We like to call it the Busey Scale of Insanity
Mass Effect decided to downplay the Good/Bad system, though the player could still make the big choices that resulted in light or dark endings (SPOILER: Shit gets blown up either way). However, it did inject a new way for the player character to interact with the world. You know, a way to....thrust themselves into the world? To....tumble right into the thick of things? To...bon-alright, its sex, ok? Sex is what we're trying to get at here.
"Alrighty then. Shall we flip a coin or do you just wanna do a Double Dragon?"
Sadly, sci-fi fanboys looking for a GTA Hot Coffee-esque boneathon with alien chicks had to settle for a minute long, boobless cutscene that was barely Skinemax quality. By that we mean the Skinemax that you've managed to pirate off of your neighbors cable line. Also, we have cameras in your house.
Despite its PG-13 approach, the whole thing still managed to rile up the folks at Fox News quite a bit. Hell, Dragon Age allowed a male player to get it on with a maybe-sorta gay assassin elf. We're a bit surprised no one has mentioned it on- oh wait......
Would a Brokeback joke work here? Yes? Maybe? We're playing it by ear.
While Bioware's plethora of NPCs are based off of long established archetypes, they always add that twinge of personality that makes each type so fun to talk to and/or bang till the sun rises.
Eh, fuck it. "I wish I could quit you!"
1.The Charming Male Lead
He almost always comes with some kind of dark, mysterious past that we all know gets the ladies juices flowing. He may or may not have a good sense of humor, but he can appreciate the value of a good joke. He is a bit of a do gooder, and will frown upon any acts that may be considered odd colored (spiking the camp's Kool-Aid with rat poison) or down right evil (blaring Cher on the loudspeaker for twenty strait hours).
2. The Naive Minx
While we label her as naive, she is by no means a classic case of what top Cracked scientists call a "Blonde Bimbo". She actually can be quite versed in whatever her background entails, wither it be science, religion or surviving the harsh streets of Tarris (Protip: Don't say yes when someone asks if you want to see a Rancor Show). What she lacks in is social skills, which can lead to some adorable moments of awkward silliness. She can usually hold herself in battle, but frets getting into unnecessary fights. While she by no means lacks sex appeal, don't expect her to be posting a "Single Ladies" fan vid on YouTube anytime soon.
3. The Wise Mentor
Ah, the tried and true Wise Mentor. A person of invaluable knowledge, wisdom and perspective, they always aid the Player Character in their quest to....do...something....maybe get into the Minx's panties? Anyways, they may not look like much, being old, decrepit men with the best facial hair this side of Grizzly Adams, but one thing is always constant: They can kill you in the most badass way imaginable. Whether it be scaling a troll with swords Cliffhanger style, sinking an entire ship with his friggin knee, or just being a god damn Jedi Master, they are all a serious 'do not fuck with.'
4. The Bitch
While she may be a constant PMS factory of moodiness and "I need a God damn pretzel NOW!!" sort of girl, she is not necessarily evil. She's jus the type of girl who knows what she wants and will take it if she spots the opportunity to do so. She is always, ALWAYS a candidate for Player romance, mostly because its a known fact that bad girls with daddy issues are scientifically proven to be hot pieces of ass. Trust us, we're scientists. She's usually got a bit of wit to her, and will not hesitate to speak her mind (though cracking a Lassie joke after Little Timmy dies down in the well might be a stretch).
5. The Murderous Sociopath
It could be safe to say that you would rather have a psychopath at your side that to your back, since they're more likely to splatter your enemy's brains on the wall than your own. The Sociopath loves to fight, or at the very least feels the most alive while in battle. They kill without hesitation or remorse, and only rarely do we see any kind of emotion other than a "Don't fuck with me or I'll shove a rock up your ass" sort of vibe. While dangerous and unpredictable at times, they often have a personal code of honor, and will not break it under any circumstances. Though we doubt shooting you over the last Pop Tart in the pantry falls within the confines of that code, so you'd best watch yourself.
6. The Asshole(s)
The Asshole is a character of contradictions. They claim to be on the Player's side, but almost always work to undermine the Player's goals at every turn. Just discovered a new threat to the populous? Meh, we'll keep an eye out for things. Went against the grain in order to save thousands of lives? Dude, you really need to listen to your elders. We know what we're doing. About to engage an army of enemy forces that outnumbers you fifty to one? Fuck this, Springer's on in ten minutes, man. For all their power and influence, the Assholes of Bioware seem to have nothing better to do than piss the Player off, and then laugh about it when the Player leaves. You know what? Fuck these guys. We're better off with a digital version of Betty White giving us orders. At least she would be nice enough to tell us to suck it if she had one.
7. The Bitchin' Robot
Ok, so we only have two examples for this one, but dammit they deserve a mention. If Terminator ever comes true, we hope that every robot that crunches the human skull is just like KOTOR's HK-47. As he stands over our mutilated torso, his cold, unfeeling eyes glaring into ours as we take our last breath, at least we can die knowing the last words we hear are "Ironic Statement: Look alive, Meatbag!" And yes, we know that Shale from Dragon Age is technically not a robot, but he is a artificially created golem with intelligence (it counts God dammit, it counts!). And who cant love a golem that refers to the Player as "It" and has a murderous hatred of birds? No one, that's who!