This RPG Will Star History, Not Orcs and Monsters

Illustration for article titled This RPG Will Star History, Not Orcs and Monsters

When you think of an RPG, you think of dragons. Loot. Fireballs. Goblins. Worlds where entire ecosystems change every two miles. Basically, a whole load of stuff that's make-believe, and despite the frequent "medieval" setting, about as far from actual history as you can get.

So an in-development RPG at Czech studio Warhorse, which is setting out to take historical accuracy seriously, sounds very interesting.

Warhorse is led by Dan Vávra, who directed the first Mafia and was lead designer on the second game. He's joined by other developers who, aside from work on the Mafia games, have titles like Operation Flashpoint, ArmA and UFO: Aftershock on their resumes.

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The game, which is so early in development it doesn't even have a name (or proper media), will be running on CryEngine 3, and "is historical and takes place in entirely specific real places". So real that the landscape is being modelled on satellite maps, which have been converted to CryEngine 3.

The game will be open-world, but rather than cramming everything in "so that every ten metres you could find something fantastic or at least could be attacked by a monster every ten seconds", they're taking a more realistic approach to the world, which it's hoped will be roughly the same size as that found in Oblivion.

You can get more information on where the team is headed with the project. Given the talent involved and the ambition on display, it's certainly something I'll be keeping an eye on.

A LESSON IN CARTOGRAPHY IN POTATO LAND [Warhorse]

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DISCUSSION

"The game will be open-world, but rather than cramming everything in "so that every ten metres you could find something fantastic or at least could be attacked by a monster every ten seconds", they're taking a more realistic approach to the world,"

Um....why not? What interested me in Fallout 3 FAR over Oblivion is that every 10 meters of exploring, something awesome did happen. Oblivion on the other hand I could run for stretches, and jack would happen....boring me to tears. Dragon's Dogma did the same, except with all the monsters in the way with no fast-travel....moving through the world became a chore, along with long stretches of travel to get to crap I wanted to do. Kingdom of Amalur and GTA have the other problem, where they pack too much of the same shallow mini-games and mission types into their worlds...not realizing that the "something awesome every 10 meters" really means "give me a different kind of concentrated awesome every 10 meters".

The issue of open world games has never been that the "make something awesome happen every 10 meters" system was flawed, it's that barely any open world games actually DO that. I do love open world games for giving me a wide seamless world, but if the space if filled with long stretches of nothing interesting like real-life (Oblivion), or filled with tons of shallow repetitive content (GTA)...I'm not going to have any fun.

An open world truly feels like a living world when interesting dynamic content happens to you on a regular basis. Stalker, Fallout New Vegas, and even Skyrim understand that.