A note to flamers before we begin. I freaking love Dragon Age. One of the biggest obstacles to my giving Demon’s Souls the time it deserved was that I was completely enamored with Dragon Age. Bioware really outdid themselves with this game and even though I’m a bit disappointed in the direction they’re taking the next game, I’m still eagerly looking forward to it.
That said, what the hell were they thinking when they made Leliana sing?
Even when singing is done well in a game, it kind of makes me cringes. In Valkyria Chronicles for instance, when Rosie sings it isn’t bad, but it still feels a bit odd. That said, when Leliana sings, the only chord it strikes is awkward. The voice is disembodied sounding more like a part of the background music than the vocals of a trained minstrel. Furthermore, it sounds nothing like Leliana herself.
Making matters worse are the faces that Leliana makes while she’s singing. Leliana didn’t exactly have a wide range of expressions to begin with. Most of her looks fell between barely divided poles of passive softness and acute disapproval. Her faces while she’s singing fall more in the area of “I’m trying to pinch a loaf.”
Making matters worse is that she’s probably the least likable character in the game. This isn’t too heinous a crime; Bioware probably has the best writing team in the industry, so even their worst it better than most. That said, Leliana just reminds me too much of that annoying religious girl that is constantly go on about how Jesus (forgive me, Andraste) has shown her the light. Sure, she never directly pushes you to drink the kool-aid, but there’s the undertone. When I defiled the Urn of Andraste, I told Leliana on purpose just to see the look on her face. It was probably the most interesting thing she did in the entire game.
In short, she is absolutely the last character in need of an awkward singing scene.
But then, what game really needs a musical scene? Perhaps it should just be an unspoken rule that unless you are an actual music game that you shouldn’t try to include song. Chances are if you try to pop them into say, an RPG, that they’ll fall a bit flat.