The Witcher 3 vs DA 3
RPGs are undoubtedly one of the greatest genres within video game history. They immerse you into a world rich with lore and discovery, with unforgettable characters and hours upon hours of content. I for one have spent thousands of hours lost in the worlds of RPGs over the years and Dragon Age and The Witcher represent two of the greatest in modern times.
The Witcher 3 will be released for PC, PS4 and Xbox One on February 24th, whereas Dragon Age: Inquisition isn't that far away at all with a release date set for November 18th. Of course, those who are great fans of RPG worlds will more than likely be playing both of these games, though I'm fascinated to find out which series fans appreciate more. Given the choice, would you opt for Bioware's world or CD Projekt RED's?
Let's examine the greatest aspects of these series and compare them with one another in order to see which RPG is more favoured than the other and why.
Dragon Age Series
Bioware released Dragon Age: Origins in 2008 to tremendous critical acclaim. Game Informer 9/10, IGN 8.7/10, GamesRadar 9/10, PC Gamer UK 94%, PC Gamer US 92%, Gamespot 9.5/10 and it holds a 91% rating on Metacritic. The game was lauded. It gave its players a massive and immersive world, over 100 hours of content, characters we could all engage with and love and a combat system that was a joy to use.
Dragon Age II followed in 2011 to some of the worst reviews Bioware have ever received, that being said though they were still exceptionally high. The game just wasn't up to the standard that the studio normally produce, also reducing the sense of choice and exploration evident in Dragon Age: Origins. The game averaged around a high 7 or 8 from most critics, with a metacritic score of 82%.
Dragon Age 3: Inquisition has a lot of pressure upon it to succeed. The recent disappointment with Mass Effect 3's conclusion and Dragon Age II's lesser achievements have fans wondering whether they can pull it off. Myself included. Dragon Age is one of my personal favourite RPGs. Even its expansion was a triumph, demonstrating how real additional content should be made. Dragon Age: Awakening, gave players hours of additional content, content that contributed to the original game and was equally as brilliant.
Dragon Age, like Mass Effect, has given me some of the most memorable characters in recent game history (Morrigan anyone?), it instilled an insatiable desire to speak with everyone I met for as long as possible and the need to engage in combat to return to that sense of elation was never far away. The story was exciting, a mixture of dark and light and continuously shifted in ways you never saw coming. Additionally, the choices I made had tremendous impact upon the world and I often regretted some of them as it would upset some of your companions who you cared for.
If Dragon Age: Inquisition can improve upon its original, the game will assuredly become one of my favourite of all time.
The Witcher Series
The first Witcher game was released in 2007 to mainly positive reviews. The game featured a few minor bugs and irritating elements that pulled down its review score for most that played it. IGN 8.5/10, Gamespot 8.5/10, Eurogamer 7/10, GamePro 4.5/5 and a Metacritic score of 86% demonstrates the high, but flawed reception of The Witcher.
Though the game had some difficulties straight out of the gate, it demonstrated a rather incredible accomplishment from a relatively unheard of developer. The polish company CD Projekt RED adapted The Witcher from a fantasy series and have since expanded upon its lore and appeal. Though similar in some ways to Dragon Age, this is a very different RPG experience.
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was released the same year as Dragon Age II, 2011. The second instalment in the series demonstrated a massive rise in appeal, performance and quality. Every leading game reviewing site gave The Witcher 2 a score of 9 or higher. It was praised by critics for its dark storyline, choice system and great combat.
The Witcher represents a world that is very close to ours in the sense of corruption and darkness, playing as a far more adult experience than the likes of Dragon Age. The game is arguably more difficult in many ways, from combat to immersion and its story can be challenging to follow. That being said though, its choice system is one of the best in RPG history as it reflects upon the misgivings and faults of our own society, the combat is an incredibly enjoyable experience throughout the entire game and the characters and plot are challenging and fascinating.
Check out the cinematic trailer for The Witcher 3 which beautifully displays its dark world!
The lack of a meter which chronicles your 'good' or 'bad' character decisions, means that you make mistakes like you would in the real world and the consequences of which can be displayed far too late for you to change anything. This is The Witcher's strongest attribute. For players who prefer a more adult world, The Witcher has been the preferred choice of RPG. Though that's not to say that one can't enjoy both worlds.
What are your thoughts on these RPG series? Which one would you pick over the other given the choice?