In a recent interview, Konrad Tomaszkiewicz uttered the most jimmy rustling sentence that I’ve ever heard spoken in regards to gaming. “Skyrim is generic.” The game director for the upcoming third installment of The Witcher series also claims that there is zero immersion into the world. Non player characters don’t respond the hero’s achievements and the quests in general were reused and fell into a repetitive rut.
Right off the bat I am going to say that I am a massive Elder Scrolls fan, so I am biased. However, I have played The Witcher 2 and have no ill feelings toward the game. It played well and had admirable voice acting supported by equally admirable writing. The combat felt a little shifty and far more complex than it needed to be, but it got the job done and offered a variety of options to appeal to several different play styles. All in all, it received the acclaim it deserved. I just want to establish that The Witcher 2 was by no means a bad game. We loved the game here at OnlySP, giving it a 9 out 10 so were certainly are not bashing a great title.
CD Projekt Red claimed that they turned to Skyrim early on for influence on the upcoming title. However, with everything that the game designer is saying in regard to his time with Skyrim, I can’t help but feel that they either misinterpreted or flat out missed the point of the game. I refuse to read his statements without thinking he’s just chest beating to conjure hype for his next title. In the wake of the Colonial Marines disaster, I have taken a stand against believing promises from developers. There is just no way you can responsibly say that Skyrim was generic.
Mr. Tomaszkiewicz goes on to say “They don’t get very good characters…I tried to remember 5 characters from Skyrim…and I can’t.” Creating characters that players can attach themselves to is a time tested way for developers to really suck the player into the story. The Elder Scrolls has never held your hand in attaching you to a character. Your bond with the NPCs is measured by your choice to involve yourself with them. There have been so many times where I’ve seen Lydia fall to her knees and caught myself with crossed fingers, hoping the blow was not mortal. But the thing is, just having Lydia accompany me was my choice. I could have left her in Breezehome. Or I could have just never told her to follow me in the first place and left her at Dragonsreach.
Perhaps Konrad Tomaszkiewicz didn’t care to involve himself with the characters of Skyrim; I can’t know for certain. I can however speak on the characters of Witcher 2. I find it amusing that he claims that the figures of Skyrim are forgettable because, aside from the protagonist, the only character I remember from Witcher is Triss. Even then I can’t help but believe the only reason I remember her is due to the raunchy sex scene. Well, that and because she’s a redhead. That’s pretty shameful considering The Witcher 2 is vastly more story driven than the free to roam about approach in Skyrim.
As for his remarks regarding NPCs not acknowledging my achievements? I suppose he’s right. Apart from the time that Irileth continued commenting on my defeat of my first dragon, post story scripted dialogue. Or the time that the citizens of Riften acknowledged that I had aligned myself with the Thieves’ Guild. Or the time the people of Whiterun reminded me to put on pants before leaving the house. Or the time…
It’s the clear that the main issue this guy has with Skyrim was his level of immersion. For me, immersion is all about option. I feel more part of a world when I’m not bound by predetermined paths, invisible walls, and limited amounts of side quests. None of which are present in the past three Elder Scrolls games. I guess Mr. Tomaszkiewicz is just using his obviously shallow experience with vanilla Skyrim to rile up the crowds for The Witcher 3. Besides, it’s not like Skyrim was a big enough hit to spawn thousands of fan created mods, making the fifth installment of the Elder Scrolls series one of the most potentially immersive games I’ve ever played.
You can hear all of Tomaszkiewicz’s comments here.