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Bethesda vs. BioWare

Discussion in 'Featured Polls & Comments' started by Taluntain, Dec 28, 2009.

?

Overall, which of the two game developers do you feel produces better RPGs?

Poll closed Jul 30, 2015.
  1. Bethesda (The Elder Scrolls series, Fallout 3...)

    4 vote(s)
    9.1%
  2. BioWare (Neverwinter Nights 1, Dragon Age...)

    23 vote(s)
    52.3%
  3. Both produce equally good RPGs

    10 vote(s)
    22.7%
  4. I've only played BioWare's games

    7 vote(s)
    15.9%
  5. I've only played Bethesda's games

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    I can't vote. To me Bethesda are the people who made Daggerfall and Morrowind, two of the most unique and memorable games I've played (for completely different reasons). They also made Oblivion, and while I didn't think it was a bad game it was also one of the most overhyped and disappointing, fails-to-live-up-to-its-potential games I've played. Then you have Bioware: they made the Baldur's Gate series, which I still love despite much of the initial excitement and later nostaligia tint having faded in the years since, but then they went on to do NWN, possibly the dullest game I've played, coupled to one of the most irritating and unpolished engines I've had to deal with.

    I agree with what Chev was saying (minus the sexual themes - I thought that aspect was deplorable because it was hilariously badly implemented, not because they're there). But I do get similar thoughts when I look back on their older games. I haven't dared replay BG in years because I'm worried about the disappointment that might result - I've played much better games since and with the fanboyism gone I may end up going overboard in the opposite direction and hating the game (I should point out that this doesn't happen to me with other old games - I replayed the first level of Ultima Underworld a few months ago and if anything the game was even more impressive than I remember it).

    Anyway I'll stop here because this is my fourth attempt at writing a third paragraph to explain what I mean, and all the previous ones ended in far too much introspection for an internet gaming forum :p All in all the only way I could pick an answer (even the "both equally") is to selectively pick some games and not others. I guess Bio and Beth are odd companies for me in this respect, in that I love some of their games and wish I had never wasted time on some of their others.
     
  2. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    Ziad, that is odd, because I find that to be true of every company I've ever bought more than two games from (with just two, they can often be consistent).

    I think it's the standard status of gaming companies to be a little unpredictable, simply because doing the same thing over and over again doesn't really work. It's great the first time, ok the second, but if there's no innovation, not even a little expansion and improvement, the third time is dead on it's feet. To combat that, the companies take risks, experiment, and innovate. Inevitably, some of those things fail, leading to some bad games here and there. Others succeed, leading to good games.

    As an example, I think Final Fantasy VI was the best of the series, and is a tie for best RPG of all time in my book (with the BG saga and Fallout 2, all for different reasons), while Final Fantasy VIII was one of the worst in the series, and at best a low mediocre in terms of RPGs as a whole.
     
  3. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    I agree with your statement about the need for innovation, but I don't agree that this is what companies do, quite the contrary, and it's one of the roots of my disappointment with the gaming industry in general, including Bioware and Bethesda. It's precisely the lack of risk, experimentation and innovation that's turned me off their newer games. Familiarity is good, because you at least have an idea what you're going to get (and if you liked the first game then you'll like the next one) but if the game is too familiar it becomes full very quickly. That's at the root of my dislike for NWN, KOTOR and now DAO: I constantly feel like I'm replaying the same game over and over again and there's too little that's really fresh to keep me interested (I'm feeling this a little less with DAO, but it's still strongly there). And unlike you I didn't used to feel this with other companies such as Sierra and LucasArt's old adventures, or SSI's RPGs. Which is really odd because at first glance SSI's Gold Box games (all 12 of them!) were pretty much the same game over and over again, but with the exception of two (the Savage Frontier series) there was always enough that was distinctive about each game to still make it stand out in my memory.
     
    Chandos the Red likes this.
  4. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    Ziad, I had thought about adding a whole other paragraph about what happens when gaming companies don't innovate (and Lord knows there's plenty of examples of that out there), but I don't honestly think it's the case with BioWare, and not too much so with Bethesda. I mean, compare NWN to Baldur's Gate or KotOR. Seriously, do it. I suppose you can make some comparison between BG and KotOR, since both were heavily story-driven, linear games with some plot options here and there, and that was the real core of the game, but NWN really wasn't. NWN was a model for persistent worlds and toolsets. The gameplay felt different, the story was different (and badly so), the characters, the romance, etc. Add in JE and ME and I think they've done plenty of innovation.

    For Bethesda, I do think they've fallen into something of a formula with the "build a big open world and fill it with some vague semblance of plot" games, but it seems to be working for them, and there is enough innovation from game to game to keep people interested.
     
  5. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The final poll results from the old forums (including guest votes):

    Q: Overall, which of the two game developers do you feel produces better RPGs?
    (251 votes total)

    BioWare (Neverwinter Nights 1, Dragon Age...) (149) 59%
    Both produce equally good RPGs (56) 22%
    Bethesda (The Elder Scrolls series, Fallout 3...) (25) 10%
    I've only played BioWare's games (20) 8%
    I've only played Bethesda's games (1) 0%
     

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