2015 had some remarkable revelations in the gaming industry. Just taking Bethesda's Fallout 4 as a microcosm for the year is enough. Bethesda released one of the most highly anticipated games in years. They unveiled it months before it was released, it sold really well, and everyone was pumped to play it. However, the reception from the community couldn't be anticipated.
Hop on over to Metacritic and you'll see the disparity that exists between the critical consensus for Fallout 4 and that of the site's users. 2015 didn't belong to Fallout 4, it seems that the two greatest titles to emerge from a seminal year were CD Projekt RED's The Witcher 3 and From Software's Bloodborne. Can Bethesda learn from these RPGs before the release date of The Elder Scrolls 6?
Elder Scrolls 6 - Forget Skyrim, Embrace The Witcher 3, And Learn From Bloodborne
While Fallout 4 was a lot of fun for the some 80 hours I spent with it, I totally understand the grievances that both Bethesda fans and RPG fanatics had with this shooter. In many ways, Fallout 4 felt like a more refined and upgraded version of its predecessor. The leap from Fallout 3 to Skyrim was monumental, but it wasn't the case with Skyrim to Fallout 4. The engine and visuals were familiar, the dialogue was weak, the game was rife with bugs and plagued by performance issues. We expect more from Bethesda. Ultimately, we had to look elsewhere in 2015 for the perfection we sought.
For me, Bloodborne was Game of the Year when I finished it. Why? Because I instantly wanted to start again, and did so three times over. Bloodborne is everything I could hope for in a game. It has riveting gameplay, a deep intriguing lore to delve into, beautiful graphics, and one of the most consistent worlds you're likely to find in Video Games. Nothing else matched its level of perfection for me in 2015, and it truly is a testament to the genius of Hidetaka Miyazaki.
But what of The Witcher 3? I'm not denying the fact that it deserved Game of the Year, nor that its developer deserved Developer of the Year. It's an exceptional RPG - one that can teach Elder Scrolls 6 a lot. But what are the specifics that Elder Scrolls 6 can take from these masterpieces?
Gameplay, Performance, Dialogue & Narrative
The Witcher 3 never crashed. Bloodborne never crashed. The framerate issues in both games were minimal. The graphics in both games were stunning. The dialogue and narrative in both games were exceptional. And the gameplay for The Witcher 3 and Bloodborne will make them memorable and engaging in years to come. I don't think the same can be said for Fallout 4.
I disliked its dialogue, I disliked how your character had little to no impact during missions and dialogue sequences, and I grew tired of its graphical issues and infuriating performance problems. Elder Scrolls 6 needs to match Bloodborne and The Witcher 3 in the areas where Fallout 4 fell short. But what I'm most concerned about for Elder Scrolls 6 is its gameplay.
Bloodborne and The Witcher 3 are obviously locked to third-person. But there's something about this perspective that lends itself to great gameplay. Don't get me wrong, I love how we can swap between first-person and third-person in The Elder Scrolls games and Fallout series. But this perspective can limit us in terms of innovative gameplay mechanics.
Skyrim has awfully clunky melee, and Fallout 4 is simply a well-oiled shooter. The Witcher 3 allows us to carefully manage sword-fighting, blocking, parrying, rolling, bombs, traps, spells, and archery all within the same fight. Bloodborne allows us to switch between two different forms for our weapons while rolling around its various areas at top speed. Both games have fantastic gameplay that only this perspective can offer.
What Does The Release Date Of Elder Scrolls 6 Need?
So what can Elder Scrolls 6 do to improve its combat? Should it stay with its limitations in first-person and then allow us to do even more in third-person? Or should more innovative gameplay mechanics be introduced into this RPG landscape? I think both Bloodborne and The Witcher 3 need to be examined by Bethesda in order to further improve their own work. They've made exceptional games in the past and I'd hate to see their output become predictable and limited.
But what do you think needs to happen with Elder Scrolls 6? Did you enjoy Bloodborne or The Witcher 3 in 2015? And what did you think of Fallout 4? Let us know in the comments!