The Game Awards have decided. The Witcher 3 has walked away with the Game of the Year Award, and its developer, CD Projekt RED, with the Developer of the Year award. Well deserved. But this achievement is even more extraordinary when you take a look at the nominees that it was competing against - [Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain](tag:2683985), Bloodborne, Super Mario Maker, and Fallout 4.
Bethesda's games have claimed Game of the Year, and RPG of the Year awards repeatedly since the release of Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. This giant publisher, who released one of the most anticipated games in years in November, lost out on the Game of the Year award to a small Polish developer. Why? Simple. CD Projekt RED made a better game.
5 Things Fallout 4 Could Have Learned From The Witcher 3
The main issue that a lot of us had with Fallout 4 was that it felt too safe. The game was very similar to Fallout 3, and everything else that Bethesda has developed in fact. Despite it being a hell of a lot of fun, this wasn't the perfect RPG that we have come to expect from this renowned developer/publisher. Therefore, let's see what The Witcher 3 had that it didn't.
When the initial trailer for Fallout 4 was unveiled, numerous players raised concerns over the game's visuals. Seeing as it had been four years since Skyrim, we expected quite a big leap. Instead, we saw the same engine, and a lot of the visual issues that Bethesda's games have been plagued with for years.
Comparing The Witcher 2 and The Witcher 3 is incredible. Both Fallout and The Witcher games had a similar development period (approximately 4 years), with The Witcher 3 actually having less time than Fallout 4. The game felt like a massive leap forward from what had come before. The graphics were beautiful, the world was massive, and the amount of content blew us all away. Fallout 4 didn't share this sense of innovation.
Every glitch I encountered in The Witcher 3 I can remember, simply because there were so few of them. Fallout 4 often feels like a fun glitch. Every time I've played the game I've encountered problems. Awful AI, characters getting stuck in environments, quests failing to start or complete, and I've even experienced hard crashes to the homescreen on my PS4. In 2015, this isn't really something we should condone or expect from anyone - even Bethesda.
Fallout 4 has terrible dialogue. It has to be said. Conversations have no flow to them, lines are often cliche-ridden, and the dialogue options that are presented to you often don't reflect what your character is actually going to say. Additionally, the options you have don't impact on the situation at hand. It's the same result and fails to give us that true sense of roleplaying.
The Witcher 3 absolutely nails this. Every conversation is excellent, the dialogue options make a real difference, and you feel like you can make Geralt into the kind of Witcher you'd like to be.
Fallout 4 is a ridiculous amount of fun. The combat can be so satisfying, and the range of guns on offer is pretty insane. But in saying that, the game has sacrificed some of its true RPG elements for fun gunplay. In Fallout 4, you can level to infinity. Therefore, your character can essentially become just like everyone else's if you play long enough. There's no individuality here, coupled with the restrictive dialogue options, Fallout 4 can feel like a pretty weak RPG at times.
The Witcher 3 walked away with the RPG of the Year award as well as Game of the Year for good reason. It's an exceptional RPG, one that challenges you with the varying options that are available to you as a player. Fallout 4 fails to provide the same sense of satisfaction.
Combat & Difficulty
Coming off of The Witcher 3, Fallout 4's combat feels uninspired. In fact, there are a lot of shooters that do a much better job than Bethesda's game. But The Witcher 3 also gave us a beautiful sense of difficulty and variety. Fallout 4, even on hard, felt far too easy for me. The Witcher 3 on hard made me suffer.
Therefore, combat become a wonderful challenge as I balanced swordplay, signs, potions, bombs, and traps. All of these became an essential part of playing The Witcher 3. In Fallout 4, it's all about that gun damage, and this can get old pretty damn fast. At least V.A.T.S. feels better though, but it still wasn't enough.
Fallout 5 vs The Witcher 4
Looking back on 2015 and the exceptional games that have been released over the last 12 months, The Witcher 3 emerges on top (even though I have a deeper love for Bloodborne). It's one of the finest RPGs ever made, so when I think of Fallout 5 or The Witcher 4, the latter suddenly becomes more exciting. I can't wait to see what CD Projekt RED can achieve in the future with Cyberpunk 2077, and how they'll grow as a developer.
Let us know what you thought of these two RPGs in the comments below!