I've been spending a lot of time with Dragon Age: Origins for my upcoming Merc review and after a few hours of gameplay realized that DA:O contains one specific element that I want all future roleplaying games to include.

dragonagedog.jpg
  • BioWare

Unless you're a literalist who took my headline in a really creepy direction, you probably guessed I was talking about the game offering you the chance to add a dog to your party. Not only does this virtual pup make for a really solid fighter, but in letting you name him/her and offering a surprisingly large number of suitably ambiguous "conversation" options with your new pet, you feel as much of a bond to it as you do with any of your other party members.

Hell, there might be more of a bond there since the dog is always interested in being your pal — the unconditional love of a dog for its owner is great, huh? — and only ever wants a nice pat on the head or an occasional "Good Boy!" from your main character. Unlike some of the other selfish bastards you meet who actually want you to adhere to some kind of idiotic morality system. Who says I can't stab orphans in the eyes? It's my goddamn party and I'll knife the dirty lil' urchins if I want Alistair!