Bioware Dev: The Witcher Is Badass
RPG fans are some of the most passionate among gamers, so it isn’t that surprising to read about heated debates between those who prefer Dragon Age over The Witcher or vice versa.
For some, it might be a little more surprising to read the following statement by Bioware‘s Creative Director Mike Laidlaw, currently working on Dragon Age Inquisition (the third chapter of the saga, coincidentally just like CD Projekt RED‘s The Witcher 3), released to RPGSite as part of a larger interview (the context is mainly about the direction that the genre is taking):
If anything, I guess my hope is that maybe we can all stop fighting about what a ‘real’ RPG is. For years it was the Japanese RPG versus the Western RPG and now it’s a different debate.
So… The Witcher is more action focused, it has a sort of Batman-style real-time combat system; it’s awesome! There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s really cool! Playing a dude with a sword who rolls and stabs and stuff? Yes, sold! Our game is about a party, and working them, and deploying people into positions, getting height advantage… that’s a different style. I don’t see any reason why one of those styles would be more RPG than the other, or any reason why they can’t coexist in the genre.
Part of the fear I think, and you see this in a lot of genres that have had a lull – say space flight sim, lord help Star Citizen, I hope they get that right – is that it feels like there may only be one shot, so as a fan you have to hope that game speaks to you.
Meanwhile, RPG fans have been lucky. There’s always been multiple choices. If you compare us to The Witcher or to whatever is being done with Final Fantasy now, those are three very different flavors of game – pick one! Pick them all! That’s how I look at it. We can all learn from one another. Skyrim has certainly informed us, but we’re taking a different tact on those ideas. The Witcher is just bad ass, and good on them. I love them for it.
I couldn’t possibly agree more with Laidlaw, and it is nice to see that Bioware is keen to show utmost respect to a relatively new studio like CD Projekt – despite the recent stumbling with Dragon Age II (and arguably Star Wars: The Old Republic), Bioware’s pedigree in the genre is virtually unmatched, with games such as Baldur’s Gate 1&2, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, Dragon Age: Origins and the Mass Effect trilogy.
Personally, it’s my dearest hope that both Dragon Age Inquisition and The Witcher 3 will be awesome games in their own rights, and I look forward to play both of them and enjoy their own unique features.