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Fargo: Players frustrated with ‘dumbed down’ RPGs and re-imaginings

Monday, 4 June 2012 03:56 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Wasteland 2 lead and inXile boss Brian Fargo certainly doesn’t sound keen on making a new-school, watered-down RPG full of romances and action tropes.

“There’s been a lot of frustration about where the genre has been going. The console is a different kind of experience, and a lot of effort in my opinion has been on dumbing things down,” Far go told GameInformer.

“I find on the PC side there’s no effort dumbing things down. The audience likes to be treated like they’re intelligent, and I’ve always tried to take that approach.”

Fargo said the audience for his earlier games was even smarter than he expected, even though they were younger than current fans. This ageing group of gamers is also pretty tired of not getting the kinds of games they want, apparently.

“I think people are sick of the ‘re-imagining.’ Where there’s a classic title and it gets re-imagined. It becomes a first-person shooter, for example, where it had been a tactical top-down game. People pretty consistently have said that they don’t want that,” Fargo noted.

“There was something about that earlier product that they loved, and they want that back. They don’t want it re-imagined in any way.”

The developer also said that he doesn’t pay much attention to what goes on in modern-style RPGs, because he isn’t concerned with attracting fans so much as pleasing the old-school crowd who want what he knows best. That said, he does hear criticisms of current trends and takes them on board.

“I hear a lot of negative things about focusing on relationships. I think that is something that is more popular now, and it certainly was not popular back then, and there is kind of a negative backlash to focusing on the relationships,” he noted.

“There can be a lot of ways of describing what that means, but my audience is saying don’t do it.”

Wasteland 2 is expected on PC in October after successfully raising $3 million to fund the sequel to a 1989 classic.

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10 Comments

  1. TMRNetShark

    Trust me, I put in more money than I would reveal to the Wasteland 2 kickstarter…. but I will say one thing right now.

    FALLOUT 3/NV were amazing games. So what if Beth bastardized your game? You were the one that licensed it off to another company, and now that it’s successful… it’s left Fargo with a bitter taste in his mouth.

    Original Fallout fans will agree with Fargo (and I do as well). I don’t like being treated like an idiot when I’m playing game. Fargo should be happy that he potentially has the Fallout 3/NV audience will potentially go to Wasteland 2. I just really hope the people won’t think “oh, this guy is copying Fallout 3! dur-dur”

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Phoenixblight

    It will be interesting with this game because it will be using mechanics that are antiquated and dead for a reason its because they can’t do much as far as gameplay goes.

    I paid for the kickstarter for nostalgia not for Fargo to show RPG developers how they are doing it “wrong”. He and his company are not the ones to do that especially since the last game he did was Hunted. Who is he to trash talk anyways? He should just be talking about how exciting it is to be making a game like this without any constraints not the “I can do it better even though I have been out of the scene for 20 years.”

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Jerykk

    @2

    “It will be interesting with this game because it will be using mechanics that are antiquated and dead for a reason its because they can’t do much as far as gameplay goes.”

    Sigh. There’s nothing “antiquated” about turn-based gameplay. Like any gameplay style, it has its own strengths and weaknesses. For example, in turn-based combat, every action you do is meaningful because there’s no simple way to recover from mistakes. This is why chess is turn-based. You have to put a lot more thought into a turn-based game than a real-time game. Is turn-based gameplay slower than real-time gameplay? Sure. That doesn’t make it antiquated. It just makes it better suited to genres that focus on strategy and planning.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Malmer

    Relationships like in bioware games and the witcher 2 are one of the main reasons those games felt so good. And Reckonning suffered due to lack of impactfull relationships. You can make an intelligent game with relationships, actually I think even more so. Without relationships of some kind (doesn’t have to be romantic) what you do looses it’s emotional impact.

    Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. Sure, many things are “dumbed down” in many games, but advancements in relationships are one of the most interesting developments in gaming. Rather than throwing it out, try advancing it further. Make it more meaningful and more intelligent.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Phoenixblight

    @3

    I have played them for half of my life no need to explain them. As far as I am concerned they are old school ie antiquated. Too much downtime for the same amount of fun I would get from current gen games.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. voxelman

    @1 he didn’t license anything to Bethesda, he made the Wasteland and Fallout games at Interplay who were then brought out, run into the ground and then sold off all their IPs long after Fargo had left.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Jerykk

    @5

    I guess you just don’t like strategic games anymore. That’s fine but it doesn’t mean that turn-based gameplay is antiquated. Again, look at chess. Chess is about as timeless as it gets (people will still be playing chess long after CoD or any other modern game fades from memory) and if someone decided to “update” it with real-time gameplay, it would be terrible. That’s because chess, like all other games that emphasize strategy and long-term planning, is better suited to turn-based gameplay. Maybe not your cup of tea anymore but “antiquated?” Hardly.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. TheWulf

    I don’t agree with him at all.

    The best moments in gaming history for me have come from memorable characters and my interactions with them.

    Mask of the Betrayer had Gann-of-Dreams, a character of genuine depth, and Okku, an old creature who’d just seen far, far too much. It was truly poignant and it made me weep. New Vegas? Every character mattered, but I still had my favourites. Lily, being the grandma who was trying to find herself again (who gave me one of the toughest choices in the history of gaming), for example. To the Moon, oh… damn you, To the Moon.

    To be honest, To the Moon is still one of the best games I’ve ever played. Purely because of characters. And it got me like a good Disney film. I sniffled, I sniffled more, and then twice the bastard responsible got me happy-crying. I couldn’t help myself, it was an emotional game, and I sympathised with the cast so much.

    Psychonauts was a work of sheer brilliance. Even the side characters left their marks upon you because of the time you spent with them. Anyone remember the Milkman? Psychonauts was simply fantastic, and the relationships I had with everyone… well, I won’t forget. Schafer, you magnificent bastard, you. He really can write. (Though Sasha Nein will always be my favourite. Sasha Nein, what a name…)

    Gemini Rue was clever in how it examined the nature of personality and how much we are based upon our memories. It got me attached to two characters, and then hit me with a major twist at the end which SPOILER! revealed that the two characters are actually one and the same.

    I became quickly attached to Legion and Mordin Solus because they were so alien at first, but ultimately they were very sympathetic and I ended up loving both of them. They were my guys, I took them with me on most of my missions. I ended up liking Legion and his observations so much that I hacked my save on another playthrough so that I could have him from early on.

    Modern Scientist Salarian. That is all.

    Another example? Tex Murphy. At a time when everyone hated FMV games, Tex Murphy still had a huge following of fans, and a lot of that had to do with how well the characters were developed. Tex always had something to say about everything, and most of that game was the relationship you built with that bumbling, wannabe noir detective.

    I can get more obscure than this too and cite MacGuffin’s Curse. A puzzle game with a werewolf. There have been rave reviews about this one all over the Internet, and a lot of those reviews were people trying to figure out why they were enjoying a puzzle game like this. What did it? The witty and warm writing, and the absolutely beautiful characters. It was so easy to become attached to MacGuffin and his family. That game got more than a few chuckles out of me, and the dialogue is written in such a way that… it’s just really feel good. You can’t play MacGuffin’s Curse and stay depressed. It’s impossible.

    And my ace in the hole – Bastion. Can anyone who isn’t a soulless, hateful husk of a person say that they hated the narrator? In Bastion, the narrator was my friend, he filled me in on details I didn’t know about, sometimes he offered advice, but he was always there. He was my erstwhile companion on all of my adventures, and without him, Bastion would have been a much emptier experience. (Similar to what I found Diablo III to be, I imagine.)

    I could go on like this. I totally could. But my hands are getting tired.

    What’s a game without these things? Without great characters, relationships, a brilliant story and narrative? It can be fun, but ultimately it’s incredibly forgettable. This is because we remember the experiences we had with other creatures that we could interact with on a sapient level.

    So… to be frank? If Fargo is saying that these things aren’t important, then I say that he’s full of shit.

    EDIT:: In fact, I have to add that one of the reasons that the BWE sold me so hard on Guild Wars 2 was because of the story, but especially because of hte characters. Rytlock Brimstone was a total bro, a guy to look up to and respect. I really enjoyed all my time with him. He had a fantastic voice actor (Steve Blum) and a brilliant sense of humour. And every time I think back to something, it comes back to this…

    I just can’t help doing this. The Walking Dead by Telltale Games? Who didn’t enjoy that? Who didn’t enjoy watching Lee’s growing relationship with the little girl he’d saved? It gives a game so much life. A game without memorable companions whose relationships you value is ultimately an empty, shallow, hollow experience.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. DSB

    @4 I can’t say I agree.

    Both The Witcher 2 and Mass Effect got some publicity from letting nerds fuck their party members, but at least for me that was the most impressive thing about it. Mass Effect turned it into a sad naive courtship leading to a sad naive petting session, that at least to me was short on any actual gratification, where The Witcher 2 probably did win a few points by treating people like adults.

    I think the naughty factor benefits the studios more than the games themselves. Kinda like giving every female huge tits. Like the sex, it has no meaning to the story, but it will make some people fap to the game.

    I’d rather take in some solid writing and solid mechanics, than trying to lay every boobed NPC I come across.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. fargotehliar

    Too bad Fargo lied to his Fallout fans.

    Half of your team is going to be mute and without a personality, so it will be very different from Fallout (or even that other fantastic game, Baldur’s Gate).

    It will be official once the vision document hits the net.

    #10 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Microsoft reported its Q3 FY15 earnings today, citing growth in Xbox Live usage as one of the contributing factors to the firm’s reported revenue. However, the firm noted a decline in units sales for its Xbox consoles during the quarter. Microsoft Q3 2014 (yoy comparison) Microsoft Q1 fiscal 2015 Microsoft Q2 fiscal 2015 The firm […]

  • Powerplay is a new feature included in the Elite: Dangerous May update

    The next update for Elite: Dangerous is coming next month and it includes a new feature called Powerplay. According to Frontier Developments, Powerplay allows players to participate in an ongoing battle that “enhances every aspect” of the game. Players can become allies with a number of galactic Powers and guide their strategy, pursue objectives in […]

  • Facebook says it’s “too early” to discuss large-scale shipments of Oculus Rift

    Facebook has said it is “too early” to discuss large-scale shipments of Oculus Rift as the VR headset is still in the development stages. Speaking during a call to investors, Facebook CFO David Wehner said the company had nothing to announce regarding the amount of stock it expected to ship. “We have not announced any […]

  • Battlefield Hardline’s first patch and rental server program hits next week

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch has a release date for both consoles and PC. PC & Console patch and RSP for Consoles coming April 28th. Fixes include TDM spawns and more: http://t.co/BZYJeomPlr pic.twitter.com/27TCiY8hmf — Battlefield (@Battlefield) April 23, 2015 The update will include fixes to Punkbuster, Nvidia DirectX drivers, TDM spawns, contains weapon balance tweaks and […]

  • Modders can now earn money through Steam Workshop starting today with Skyrim

    Valve has introduced a new functionality within Steam Workshop which will allow mod makers to earn money for their creations, starting with Skyrim. The update will allow content such as mods, items, or maps to be sold through Steam Workshop for titles which have the feature enabled. A new “streamlined process for listing” has been […]

  • Play Skyrim for free this weekend on Steam and take 75% off while you’re at it

    Skyrim is free this weekend on Steam providing wanna-be Dragonborns who have procrastinated on wetting their blades with Stormcloak blood the perfect opportunity to give the RPG a try. Head over to Steam and download the game and play for free until April 26 at 1am PDT. The game is also 75% off if you […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 “Ember” teaser video released ahead of full reveal

    Activision has released a Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 teaser video titled “Ember” and you can watch it right here. Here’s the video blurb: “In the next 50 years, technological advancements will lead us into a world where only those who risk going too far, will find out how far we can actually go.” […]

  • Dragon Age Keep update includes more customizability and control

    Bioware has updated Dragon Age Keep after listening to community feedback. The update includes more customization and control over heroes, world states, career and more. Players can now customize hero portraits or delete Dragon Age: Inquisition heroes from the Hero section. They can also remove playthrough states from the World State Manager and keep up […]

  • Here’s a look at some Conker community creations in Project Spark

    Conker’s Bug Reunion releases today, and below is a video showing some of the community creations you will be able to download using the creation pack. Project Spark is a free download on Xbox One and Windows 8.1, and you can download the Conker Creation Pack today. It contains 350 assets in order for users […]

  • Rainbow Six: Siege video shines spotlight on the British Counter Terrorist Unit

    Ubisoft has released a Rainbow Six: Siege video which gives you a look at the British Counter Terrorist Unit which features “the best of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.” The firm said that over the next few weeks it will introduce the public to each of the units in the game. Rainbow Six Siege […]

  • Mario Kart 8 DLC and Mewtwo for Super Smash Bros. headline eShop update in North America

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with an update and new DLC for Mario Kart 8 and the Mewtwo DLC for Super Smash Bros. Other highlights include Mario Kart DS on Wii U Virtual Console, the continuation of International StreetPass Week and more. Full update is below. Nintendo eShop Mario Kart […]

  • Square Enix host E3 2015 conference this year on June 16

    With Final Fantasy 15, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided on the horizon, it should come as no surprise to learn that Square Enix will be hosting a dedicated E3 2015 conference this year. The presentation will take place Tuesday, June 16 at 9am PDT/12pm EDT/5pm UK. It will be broadcast […]

  • Final Fantasy 4: The After Years 3D remake releasing on Steam next month

    Final Fantasy 4: The After Years has been given a makeover and will be released on Steam of PC next month. You can now pre-order it on Steam and take 10% off for the time being. The game will be released on the digital service May 12 and will include trading cards and achievements. Thanks, […]

  • This Project Cars video shows off the racer’s multiplayer

    Project Cars developer Slightly Mad has released a new video giving you a look at the game’s multiplayer. The game is out next month, and if you would like to refresh yourself on the tracks included,  give this a look. While you are clicking links, here’s the minimum and recommended PC specifications which dropped last […]

  • Looks like Logitech is getting out of OEM mouse production business [Clarification]

    Logitech will no longer produce “low-end” mice, citing a decline in PC accessories. This story has been updated to include a clarification. According to a Reuters report, per MCV, the firm will instead focus on video accessories and streaming music, as its wireless Bluetooth speakers are now its best-selling product rage. This will help offset […]

  • Win! We have 1,000 Heroes of the Storm beta keys to give away

    Must have more MOBA? Win one of our 1,000 Heroes of the Storm beta keys and see if you’re more Blizzard than LoL. Can’t wait for June 2? Of course you can’t. We have 1,000 closed beta keys for Heroes of the Storm to give away this week, allowing you access before Blizzard’s MOBA goes […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X Nintendo Direct airs tomorrow, April 24

    A Nintendo Direct devoted entirely to Xenoblade Chronicles X will air this Friday, April 24. The video showcase will start at 11am PDT/2pm EDT/7pm UK. After the showcase, a new Nintendo Treehouse: Live presentation featuring the game will air. This is the second Xenoblace Chronicles X Nintendo Direct, but the first in English. The first […]

  • Blizzard will have 500 game stations set up at gamescom 2015

    Blizzard is heading to gamescom 2015 in August and it will have 500 game stations set up for attendees to get their hands on five of its titles. The developer will be set up in Hall 7 and those who stop by will be able to get hands-on with the latest content for Heroes of […]

  • PS4 price cut to £299 in UK

    Sony has dropped the price of the PS4 in the UK. For a limited time only, you can grab the console for £299.99 from Argos, Game, Tesco and Very. Go to Amazon.co.uk and you’ll get it for £289. You’ve only got until April 28, then it goes back up to £349. Go, go, go. For […]

  • Mad Max: first ever gameplay footage revealed

    Today, we get to finally take our first look at gameplay from Mad Max. Avalanche and Warner Bros. have shown off the first gameplay trailer for Mad Max today. The trailer below offers a look at melee combat, car combat, customisation and much more. Give it a watch below: There are a few new screenshots […]

  • Overlord: Fellowship of Evil has four-player co-op like we figured

    Codemasters has pulled the veil back on the next Overlord game, and its a four-player co-op game called Overlord: Fellowship of Evil. Rhianna Pratchett is back to write the story. The game may be co-op at its core, but it can still be played single-player. Each of the four playable character have strengths and weaknesses, […]

  • Update now available for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Pokemon X and Y

    Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire along with Pokemon X and Y are being updated by Nintendo to fix a few bugs and in-game text. There’s also the possibility of a few hacks and exploits being fixed. Per Nintendo Life (via Serebii), both patches are 250-270 blocks in size, and it’s a mandatory update which […]

  • Side-scrolling cover shooter Not a Hero gets a demo

    Not a Hero, the upcoming game from OlliOlli developer Roll7, has received a demo. The demo for Not a Hero was made available today on Steam. In the game, you play as Steve, the campaign manager for BunnyLord. A time-travelling rabbit who’s running for mayor of London. Think this is an absurd premise? This trailer […]

  • You have until April 30 to export your Green Day: Rock Band tracks to Rock Band 3

    Harmonix has announced that those looking to export their song collection from Green Day: Rock Band into Rock Band 3 can only do so until the end of the month. April 30 will be the cutoff date for anyone who wants to export tracks from Green Day: Rock Band into their Rock Band 3 library, […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight minimum, recommended, and ultra PC specs revealed

    Batman: Arkham Knight is looking like it’s going to be quite a taxing game. Nvidia has released a list of the minimum, recommended, and ultra PC requirements for Batman: Arkham Knight. Here’s the full thing: Minimum OS: Win 7 SP1, Win 8.1 (64-bit Operating System Required) Processor: Intel Core i5-750, 2.67 GHz | AMD Phenom […]

  • Bloodborne patch 1.03 is live, reduces loading times, fixes suspend/resume bugs, more

    Patch 1.03 is now live for Bloodborne. The patch reduces loading times, adds item descriptions to loading screens, and fixes other various bugs. From Software has pushed update 1.03 live to all Bloodborne owners. As promised, it reduces loading times by approximately 5 to 15 seconds. Another new addition is showing item descriptions instead of […]

  • Battlefield 4: first look at Community Map in action

    Get your first look at the map designed by the community of Battlefield 4. Battlefield 4′s community-designed map is a reality. DICE has recently updated CTE to include an early version of the map. It’s not fully textured as Westie is about to show you, but the layout is nearly finalised. Westie goes over the […]

  • Microsoft apologises for uploading misleading Witcher 3: Wild Hunt footage

    Xbox’s YouTube channel uploaded a video of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt yesterday that was captured from the PC build. The most recent gameplay video for the The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt appeared on the Xbox YouTube channel and showed a quest from the game’s opening section. A few minutes after it had gone live, […]

  • Assassin’s Creed creator’s new game is Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey

    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is the game Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets has been working on. Patrice Desilets has just announced that the next game his indie studio Panache Digital Games is making is called Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. The announcement comes from Desilets’s keynote at the Reboot Develop event in Croatia. The trailer started […]

  • Bloodborne: Cathedral Ward closed door mystery solved

    The mystery of the locked door at the bottom of the Cathedral Ward in Bloodborne has been solved. Bloodborne, like earlier From Software games, is filled with doors that don’t open the first time you try them. Some will give you “locked” messages, others “does not open from this side”. Some of these will open […]

  • Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets is revealing his next game now [UPDATE: ended]

    Patrice Desilets, one of the original creators of Assassin’s Creed is hosting a presentation where he’s expected to talk about his next project. Patrice Desilets has emerged once again. This time he’s attending development conference in Croatia. Desilets is giving a live keynote and there’s a good chance we’re going to hear about his next […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: everything you need to know about gear upgrades & The Reef

    Bungie revealed plenty of important details in last night’s Destiny stream. Let’s go over everything. Alex wants to make sure you don’t miss any of the information revealed yesterday. Most of it affects all Destiny players too, even those who don’t intend on buying House of Wolves. During the first stream, Bungie explained the armour […]

  • Mod-friendly Galactic Civilizations 3 will leave Steam Early Access in May

    Galactic Civilizations 3 will leave Steam Early Access next month for a full release, Stardok has announced. The developer called the game the “largest and most diverse strategy sandbox to date,” as players have a variety of tools such as diplomatic treaties to resource exchanges, and United Planets resolutions to hundreds of research directions for […]

  • Ys 6: The Ark of Napishtim is out next week on PC – here’s the pre-order trailer

    Ys 6: The Ark of Napishtim will be released next week on PC, and today, we have a pre-order trailer for you. The game will be made available on April 28 for $19.99/€17.99/£13.99 on GOG, the Humble Store and Steam. Along with improvements over the original PSP version, it will contain less backtracking, controller support […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves – full gear set up to level 34 in PvP and PvE, upgrades, more

    The Destiny: House of Wolves livestream this afternoon was chock full of information. Read onward for our full report. According to Bungie, Petra Venj, who serves the Queen, is the main story agent who leads the player through the main series of quests. Players who complete bounties will be able to level up in her […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves – watch the livestream right here

    Bungie will host a Destiny: House of Wolves livestream at 2pm EDT today, and you can watch it right here. Watch live video from Bungie on www.twitch.tv The stream will introduce the new social space, The Reef, as well as gear upgrade paths. House of Wolves contains new Strike missions, The Prison of Elders three-player […]