Ok so Max, Max, Max whatever am I gonna do with him? I am struggling with his game choices because I’m (trying) to play him as a Chantry loving, believes to the utter depths of his soul that he was Chosen to help by Lady Andraste.
But…here’s the rub, under the cut so I don’t spoil anything.
He’s a good son, he believes wholeheartedly in the Maker, Andraste etc. He believes that Andraste laid her hand upon him to do right in this world and he is dedicated to that path. He wishes only to execute her will, to be a tool for the Maker’s Bride.
However, I as the player knows no such thing is the truth. I know Blackwall is a liar, pretending to be a good man; that Solas is hiding A BIG ASS LIE, that Cullen (who Max looks up to) is fucked up due to his past and attempting to break himself of lyrium addiction.
He’s sure the templars can be saved, (along with everyone else), so he’ll go the Champions of the Just route. He’s going to choose the templar specialization and keep Cullen on the lyrium becuase he fervently believes Cullen is needed as the Knight-Captain, so he can set the remaining untainted templars right.
He’ll be a friend to Ser Barris, another templar that is a good example and he will see him succeed, rise to Knight-Commander but when he learns of the path of the righteous, the way he must accept the glowing blue leash, it will be the first step towards cracks in his tower of faith.
He wants Cassandra but her crisis of faith has so far stayed his hand in going further with romancing her yet. But the player knows this is all going to go utterly bugnut over the wall once he helps Hawke and Warden Alistair. Those memories will utterly shatter his belief that he is Chosen, a tool of the Maker’s Bride, and that is where I’m stuck.
Like when I played Mass Effect 3, and Thessia happens, and it breaks Fenris Shepard a little (ok a lot), I wonder how to move forward with Max. Will he become aggressive, angry that his belief was a lie, that his special-ness is nothing more than an accident? A random happenstance, and not a blessing for all of his faith and devotion?
There’s also those who will ask favors of him post Admant and the Fade, choosing who lives and who dies against the creatures. Besides Haven, those choices will stay with him, break his confidence and make him doubt, wear off that varnish of being the one to heal the world with Her blessing.
So I dunno, it’s a lot of meta thought on how player knowledge informs replays of the same game; and how that knowledge can make or break immersion in a character’s run of the plot.