It has been six years since The Witcher 3 published, and while CD Projekt Red (CDPR) suggested that The Witcher 4 is in development, it may take some time to be released. Freshly cleared Cyberpunk 2077, Polish studio CDPR will be working on several AAA games, and one of them could most likely be a new Witcher Thu.
The Witcher 3 is considered one of the greatest action RPGs of all time, and while the studio hasn’t quite hit the nail on the head with Cyberpunk 2077, it could be made up with The Witcher 4. One way to do this is to follow in the footsteps of BioWare’s cult classic. Dragon Age: Origins rather than heading towards Cyberpunk 2077.
Where Cyberpunk 2077 failed
While Cyberpunk 2077 had a host of groundbreaking issues that made it unplayable on the base PS4 and Xbox One models at launch, it had more glaring issues buried beneath its surface issues. Cyberpunk 2077 was promised as a deep role-playing experience with extensive customization of the original characters and storylines. While he kept the promises of the first, he failed on the second.
Cyberpunk 2077 features three Life Paths – Corpo, Nomad, and Street Kid – each with a unique character origin storyline and branching dialogue options that lead to different gameplay and storytelling experiences. In reality, however, these original storylines aren’t as fleshed out as many hoped. For starters, each original storyline takes just fifteen minutes, which is far less than the time many players will spend customizing their characters.
In addition, the choice of one of the life paths does not necessarily have an impact on the main scenario. Choosing different life paths unlocks certain dialogue options that reveal additional information and in some cases more side quests, but that rarely translates into a substantial choice. The lack of real consequences of choosing a particular life path does not encourage players to replay either. Cyberpunk 2077 with a different life path.
The promise of adding character classes and extended original storylines, and then not delivering, feels like a major misstep, mostly due to the scarcity of modern AAA RPGs that attempt to implement them. Much of modern AAA RPGs tend to eschew class systems, riddled with lengthy original character storylines that could overly complicate gameplay. For RPG veterans, the idea of Cyberpunk 2077 Modernizing the RPG genre by borrowing one of the most beloved aspects of the classics was exciting, but fell short of expectations. Quite interesting, Dragon Age: Origins delivered on Cyberpunk 2077The character’s origin story promises more than 10 years ago.
What the Witcher 4 could learn from Dragon Age: Origins
In 2009, Dragon Age: Origins was an exemplary example of what a modern RPG should look like. The transition to a third-person camera angle and real-time combat from the traditional isometric view and turn-based combat has been key in making RPGs more accessible to the general public. Dragon Age: Origins did so without compromising its RPG roots.
The original six story arcs of Human Noble, City Elf, Dalish Elf, Magi, Dwarf Commoner and Dwarf Noble in Dragon Age: Origins have a level of finesse, and although they coincide at the same story junction, the journey to this point is unique and surprisingly meaty. Each original storyline delves deep into the background of that particular race, introducing new characters and quests that result in a more organic world tailored to each player’s choices. In addition to affecting class, choosing a background also changes the way some NPCs react to the player, resulting in a more immersive and responsive gaming experience. For example, in a particular scenario, a city elf character may be mistreated compared to a human noble.
The previous Witcher the games had no room for multiple origin storylines that could result in unique NPC interactions and dialogue options, as they featured a predefined protagonist: Geralt of Rivia. However, with The Witcher 4, things could change. Geralt’s story arc ended in The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine, and he’s highly unlikely to return as the protagonist of the next game.
While Ciri could be the protagonist of The Witcher 4, it could also have a blank character ready to be personalized. The seven distinct witcher schools – Wolf, Cat, Griffin, Bear, Viper, Manticore, Crane – could easily offer seven uniquely fleshed out original scenarios.
Previous Witcher the games focus on the school of the wolf, with the story of other witcher schools only briefly affected by the scavenger hunt quests in The Witcher 3. Each witcher school has a different background and history. As such, The Witcher 4 has ample opportunity to offer very different experiences to each player depending on their initial choice.
The Witcher 4 is still years away at this point, and it might be some time before players hear or see anything about it. However, CDPR now has the time and experience to Cyberpunk 2077 promises with The Witcher 4, delivering a layered, replayable RPG experience that sets the benchmark for modern RPGs.
The Witcher 4 is rumored to be in development.
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