Patrick Weekes, brought from Mass Effect to join the DA team a couple of years ago, will be taking over as head writer. As a fan of his novels and the characters he writes, I’m absolutely fine with that. He’s wrung his fair share of tears from his fans (Mordin’s death scene and the Solas romance spring immediately to mind) so the feels-crushing seems likely to continue unabated.
I do wonder, however, whether this means an announcement of the super-secret new universe they’re creating is imminent. They’ve hinted and mentioned it since before Mass Effect 3 came out but all details have been kept under wraps. Is Gaider’s move to their team a sign that the veil of secrecy is about to be lifted?
I’m keeping my fingers crossed—like I need more games to consume me.
This leaves us fans torn between worry (what if they don’t make it an RPG?) and excitement (what will they come up with that I never knew I wanted?) They’ve pretty well got the space opera and fantasy genres covered, with Mass Effect and SWTOR and Dragon Age. One can’t help but wonder which way they’ll turn next.
Could they make a Western work? Will we see steampunk? Can I imagine, in my wildest dreams, that BioWare might create a game based around the wild premises of Baccano? Let me take a deep breath here.
At times I need to remind myself that, just because BioWare is renowned for their engaging and inclusive role-playing games, they need not only ever make such. They could make a real-time strategy game (for which I would love them forever) or a first-person shooter or even a racing or sports title.
I see no reason to believe they won’t play to their strengths, however. No matter what they do next I can’t help but think it will be a well-built world with a rich overlay of story to keep the player interested, even if the style of play doesn’t immediately appeal. Hell, if Bungie can make me care about Master Chief BioWare can certainly get me interested in an FPS.
My hopes, however, revolve around another party-based RPG. Inter-NPC interaction adds depth and variety to their main characters, even in SWTOR’s less-flexible MMO environment. Having a group that persists through the entire game gives writers the opportunity to make them more believable and deeper than a series of brief encounters would, no matter how well-written. Party banter breathes life into companions that ambient conversations that many will never hear could ever do.
Because BioWare has offered me deep, rich games in which I can be the woman (in many, many different guises) that saves the universe with her clothes on, I deeply want the company to succeed. Also because of this, I trust them to keep making games that let nearly everyone enjoy such a connection.
I hold out hope that future BioWare games will continue to allow player agency that so many other companies dismiss in favor of T&A and the lowest common denominator. Whatever this new IP turns out to be, I’ll be watching closely and will likely post plenty of blather about it here.
So why did I post this, if I have nothing but formless optimism and more questions? Because, my darlings, I’m dying to know what it is. Every trade show that passes with no announcement leaves me with another heavy sigh. They’re riding high on the success of Dragon Age: Inquisition.
Capitalize, BioWare! At least just send me an e-mail with the general outline. I promise not to tell anyone what it is. [NOTE: Said promise does not prohibit me from squeeing, bragging to the point of obnoxiousness, and/or doing a significant number of happy dances.]
Greedy? Me? Nah, just a BioWare fan.