Mass Effect lead Casey Hudson returns to BioWare as general manager

Former Mass Effect project director Casey Hudson is returning to BioWare to become the studio’s general manager, coming back from three years in wandering the desert of Microsoft. He’ll replace Aaryn Flynn, who is leaving the studio entirely after seventeen years. Hudson left BioWare in August 2014, after helping lay the foundations of the game that became the Destiny-lookin’ action-RPG Anthem. After several games that haven’t quite clicked, can Hudson get the studio back on track?

Flynn doesn’t say quite why he’s leaving, only that he had been “contemplating changes in [his] own life for some time” when he heard Casey fancied a crack. Hey, it’s none of our business. And better a vague answer than a polished-up, PR-approved one, right?

As for his own return and ascendance, Hudson says that leaving “was the most difficult decision of my career”. He explains that he “needed some time off, needed a bit of change, and wanted to get involved in the new wave of disruptive technologies that were emerging.”

Aye, disruption’s always less fun than you’d hope for. All those detentions, writing lines after school…

Hudson is becoming GM at a difficult time. While he was away, Dragon Age: Inquisition turned out to be an unsatisfying end to the trilogy, Mass Effect Andromeda was a bland and troubled (and reportedly faltering) start to something new, the fantasy action-RPG Shadow Realms was cancelled, and Anthem looks yeah, sure, whatever. Still, Hudson says he thinks of BioWare “as home” and seems confident about the future.

“When I look at the stunning progress Aaryn and the team has made with Anthem, and the other projects in the works, I truly believe our best is yet to come.”

80 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    N'Al says:

    General Manager is the guy who makes sure the stationery cupboard is fully stocked and toilets get unblocked when necessary, right?

  2. Blackcompany says:

    EA and the AAA sector as a whole need to give studios more creative leeway. The paint by numbers stuff has got to go.

    The entire AAA gaming segment is so pathetically stale and stagnant its disgusting. But until the publishers relent and start taking chances – or go bankrupt – nothing will change.

    Bring in a new manager is EA flailing around in the dark, trying to solve a problem they created without bothering to turn on the lights and look the problem in the face first.

    • wackazoa says:

      “The entire AAA gaming segment is so pathetically stale and stagnant its disgusting. But until the publishers relent and start taking chances – or go bankrupt – nothing will change.”

      ———————————
      Problem is with AAA games they spend so much money on them they need to succeed. If they gamble and fail it costs them more than if they make a popular game like Mass Effect in it falls flat. With Mass Effect you still had a bunch of diehards who bought it, whereas not as many new fans did. Now take that game and take away the diehard fans and you go from a game that didn’t sell to expectations to a game that didn’t sell. And that is way worse.

      Honestly it is my opinion that for the most part AAA games need to die off. The few that remain, your Rockstar games or maybe Battlefields and COD’s will still sell and be relatively good and polished. Everyone else would the be allowed the creative space to try and fail.

      Only issue is the money from AAA games is too tempting.

      • Rindan says:

        Doing something innovative with Mass Effect Andromeda wasn’t risky. What was risky was making something bland. The die hard fans were going to buy it no matter how many risks they took. The slightly less die hard fans like me who were frothing at the mouth to buy that game didn’t when the reviews came back.

        Idiots who will buy a game for the name are going to do it regardless of what you do. If your game is just bad though, the rest of humanity isn’t going to buy it either.

    • ravenshrike says:

      Not the entire AAA market segment. CD Projekt Red exists after all and Witcher 3 along with Cyberpunk 2077 are AAA.

    • ravenshrike says:

      Also, in certain market segments you want only incremental improvements. Like in racing games. There’s a reason that Gran Turismo is so popular.

  3. Xzi says:

    I thought sure EA would toss Bioware in the bin full of dead developers’ corpses after the diarrhea salad that was Andromeda. Looks like they’re getting one last try at this, but I doubt it’ll turn out much better while the overlords still crack their whips.

  4. Sardonic says:

    Wasn’t he the guy who took over creative control over ME3’s ending and beginning, both of its weakest parts?

    • mnerec says:

      I believe that was Mac Walters.

      • JarinArenos says:

        The word was that Walters and Hudson basically locked themselves away to write up that awful ME3 ending, shutting the rest of the writing team out of the process.

        • kament says:

          A fake word, if memory serves. Also, that concept art* over at Matt Rhodes blog — complete with the Catalyst and RGB ending and things that were never done, — that art kinda contradicts the notion of Walters and Hudson “locking themselves away going through draft after draft after draft”.

          *ffi google matt rhodes mass effect behind the scenes

    • kament says:

      I understand he indeed assumed direct (what’s with his being a director) control over ME3 ending and beginning. Also, ME2 ending and beginning. Also, ME ending and beginning. And everything in between.

      See, the guy thought Mass Effect IP into existence in the first place. I think it’s good to remember that, whatever your thoughts about ME3 as a whole and its finale in particular may be.

    • woodsey says:

      He was the creative director for the entire trilogy.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      People have such short memories. The internet loves to complain about ME3 ending this and that and promises such and such but they forget that without this guy there wouldn’t be a Mass Effect. It’s probably unlikely he would have much direct influence on possible future games in a manager role but maybe he can help steer the series in a good direction (if it continues… which I hope it does).

  5. Zenicetus says:

    The company is at an interesting crossroads here. They have two big IPs in Dragon Age and Mass Effect that should still be worth something, in spite of the reception for the most recent efforts. Do they now ignore that, and only focus on new projects? Or take one last trip to the well, hoping fans will give them one more chance? A big part of the ruckus over MEA wasn’t that fans were tired of the series, it was that the game simply wasn’t good enough. Same thing with Dragon Age, I think.

    If I had to bet on it, I’d bet they’d take another shot at a Mass Effect title. Not following on MEA, because it was a lame premise to start with, but something new back in the Milky Way. This is a market space they basically have all to themselves. Nobody else is doing big budget space sci-fi RPGs (the upcoming Cyberpunk doesn’t count ’cause it isn’t in space). There is more competition in the Tolkien-ish fantasy area, with things like Mordheim doing nicely.

    Now they just have to hire some writers who have read some real, hardcore sci-fi instead of YA novels, and they can get Mass Effect back on track.

    • Wulfram says:

      The last Dragon Age got a whole bunch of game of the year awards from both critics and players. Yes, it was a relatively weak year, but there was no ruckus, it was a successful game that was well received by the fans.

      But anyway, the people in charge of the Dragon Age franchise have been very very unsubtly hinting that there’s another Dragon Age in the works, they’re just not allowed to officially confirm it yet.

      • Zenicetus says:

        I don’t remember DAI as being an unqualified success, but yeah, it’s probably not as disappointing to the fanbase as I indicated. Not at the scale of MEA anyway. I didn’t enjoy it myself and that’s coloring my view, I’m sure.

        Having the Witcher 3 out there as a comparison, didn’t help the game in retrospect either.

      • FriendlyFire says:

        DAI also benefited from the lowered expectations of DA2. It’s not an amazing game, but it’s good enough that it felt fine after the mess that was DA2 (not that DA2 was all bad, but it made too many blusters, much like MEA actually).

        • The Chadillac says:

          DA2 was an atrocity and anyone apologizing for it is deluding themselves, but ultimately DAI was about as bad as DA2 for all the opposite reasons. DA2 recycled what little content it had endlessly, whereas DAI was so bloated and padded out to distract from the insane shallowness of the combat that playing it became a literal chore. It took me almost 2 years to work up the motivation to complete Inquisition, whereas at least I blew through DA2 in about 45 hours over a couple months.

          • Coming Second says:

            DA2 is slightly tragic in my eyes, because at least in story terms it had Bioware stretching themselves a bit, not necessarily falling back on their by-the-numbers formula that they’ve been using since the dawn of time, and actually managing to come across as reasonably fresh and intriguing.

            But the gameplay itself is such a shambles, the maps so laughably copy-pasted, everything so obviously rushed that whatever shoots of new growth were in there got crushed by the whole shoddily built enterprise. Bioware have been playing it safe and anodyne ever since.

          • kament says:

            How could anybody enjoy themselves in that game when I couldn’t? Clearly they’are deluding themselves and should be burned at the stake for their heresy.

          • profmcstabbins says:

            I always feel like i must be the really weird Bioware fan. I have always had a soft spot for DA2. I completely understand and feel it was a disappointment after DA:O but I enjoyed the story quite a bit.

            And I wasn’t disappointed in the least by DA:I. I only wish the companion characters had been a bit stronger on the whole, but they are all still pretty memorable. What I have played of Andromeda so far does not have me excited. i’ll probably still plug on and see if it can redeem itself, but the companions are just the worst.

  6. Auldman says:

    There seems to be a lot of rewriting of history going on here. RPS hailed DAI when it was released: link to rockpapershotgun.com
    It sold well and was favorably reviewed by critics. I know it’s really trendy for all the cool kids to bash BioWare these days but let’s not trip over history in our race to get on the bandwagon. :)

    • Wulfram says:

      Also worth noting that DAI wasn’t the end of a trilogy. There’s going to be another one.

      Actually DAI is probably more like the first part of a duology, since it was the first part of what was originally written as one game, and seems to have set up the villain for the next one.

      • RobinOttens says:

        Yeah I was just scrolling down to comment this. DA:I isn’t the “end of the trilogy”, Dragon Age was never conceived as a trilogy, it’s been three more-or-less stand alone stories so far, and isn’t ending any time soon.

        And as far as I remember the game was well received at the time, despite the MMO-ish quest grind early on. Dunno, I still look forward to playing it one day.

        Anyway, I’ll be curious to see if Casey Hudson can make any meaningful changes to how the studio is run and what type of games they make. For now, Anthem looks boring as hell and I’m skipping Andromeda despite loving ME to death.

    • Jac says:

      I think the key thing is “when it was released”.

      I hailed the kebab I had 2 and half years ago but looking back it turned out to be an unsatisfying end to the night.

    • BloatedGuppy says:

      The current frosty attitude towards DA:I has less to do with revisionist history and more to do with the game being placed in proper historical context. Not only did more time to reflect allow the flash of the shiny new engine wear off and more thoroughly expose the drudgery underneath it, but Witcher 3 launched shortly thereafter and was ridiculously better at everything DA:I aspired to be, at lower cost, and with better performance. Placed along side DA2 and Mass Effect’s contentious final chapter, DA:I might have been perceived as a mixed bag. In today’s story driven RPG atmosphere, the bar has been raised, and it is properly viewed as a soggy disappointment.

      I know the go-to defense for flustered Bioware fans is to suggest they only catch flack because “it’s cool” to do so, or because dog-piling EA products is the reason some people get up in the morning (might be some truth to that latter one). As someone who played and loved Baldur’s Gate back when Baldur’s Gate was the bold new thing, any rancor I show today’s Bioware is because they’ve become Very Bad at something they used to be Very Good at. There has been a precipitous decline in the quality of their writing, world building and presentation that has been underway for over half a decade now. Younger, hungrier studios have elbowed them out of their niche.

      I’ll cheer for them to recover when they show me something worth cheering about.

      • Wulfram says:

        Yes, The Witcher had much better tactical combat, and the companions were great. And how about that character creation, that was great wasn’t it?

        Whether or not you prefer the Witcher, it is a very different game that does very different things. Its existence doesn’t invalidate Dragon Age.

        As for the current “frosty attitude” to DAI, all I can note is that there was a lot of hostility towards the game before people played it, and a lot of hostility towards the game long after people stopped playing it. It was when people were actually playing the game that it seemed like people liked it.

        • FriendlyFire says:

          Of course The Witcher doesn’t “invalidate” Dragon Age, that’s not what’s being said here.

          The Witcher 3 just showed that you can make a vast open world with meaningful quests, excellently written characters, good gameplay and a much better storyline than what Bioware made with DAI. No, the exact structure isn’t identical, but I think we’re all smart enough to be able to compare two games that aren’t perfectly the same?

          • Wulfram says:

            The comment I was responding to claimed that The Witcher was “ridiculously better at everything DAI aspired to be”. The fact that The Witcher doesn’t even attempt most of Dragon Age’s defining features makes that a nonsensical statement.

            If you want a relevant comparison, then Pillars of Eternity makes a lot more sense, since that’s basically Dragon Age in 2D.

            But of course that comparison doesn’t allow Witcher fans to indulge in their weird oedipal obsession with Dragon Age…

        • The Chadillac says:

          There was no tactical combat in Inquisition, dude, just autoattack until everything is dead. Origins is the only game in the franchise that even touched tactical combat, and Pillars of Eternity and Divinity OS blow it out of the water in all regards anyway.

          • EwokThisWay says:

            People like you are freaking annoying, really.
            If you actually tried to play in Nightmare difficulty you would have experience that tactical combat, because there’s no way to beat the game without it in this difficulty.
            It’s not BioWare’s fault if you’re too lazy to change the difficulty settings (litteraly two clicks to do it). Noone forced you to play in “Normal” difficulty, “dude”.
            Same thing with the “MMO side quests”, NOONE FORCE YOU to do them.

          • ravenshrike says:

            @Ewok – If you have to play on nightmare in order for tactical combat to even start to become necessary, it’s not a tactical combat focused game. Having tried to finish the game multiple times, I can honestly say the combat is less challenging than than that of SWTOR and the storyline is significantly more boring than SWTOR’s. That’s… really sad when you think about it.

          • malkav11 says:

            I grant that I didn’t play on Nightmare, but I did play on Hard and no tactics were required or helpful and there was nothing resembling challenge until a couple of boss fights in the DLC.

          • Hoot says:

            You are not annoying, you are 100% correct. Dragon Age : Origins was the only game that came close to anything remotely tactical and PoE and Divinity DO blow it out of the water.

            Every Dragon Age after the first was garbage. Pure and simple. The first was almost a rebirth of the story driven tactical fantasy RPG, man they built an amazing world, with amazing lore and combat systems that could have been built on.

            Instead of an epic sequel, they decided to tell us a hero story about some twat in a small town no one gives a fuck about, do away with the overhead combat camera altogether and send you to the exact same cave every few hours to do a different mission. When you get back you ask “hey was that the same cave?” and they go “no, no, course not!”.

            What a crock of shit. I mean did they even read the reviews and fan comments for Dragon Age : Origins?

          • RobinOttens says:

            They probably did read the response to the first game. Biggest problem with the second Dragon Age was just that they were forced to finish it in a year when the first game took them like seven years to make. They never had time to make more than that one cave.

            The idea of a story set in one location that isn’t about some epic hero’s journey to save the world was actually refreshing and interesting.

    • SaintAn says:

      They wrote the review out of hype like most people. After some time passed people started to see it for the crappy game it was.

  7. karthink says:

    > While he was away, Dragon Age: Inquisition turned out to be an unsatisfying end to the trilogy

    Where’s this coming from? Inquisition was well received by most critics (including at RPS) and fans, and the series was never structured as a trilogy. It has always been a serial story about the big events in the DA ‘verse, with each installment being roughly self-contained except for a few teases.

    • woodsey says:

      Yeah, bit odd.

      Still, it was genuinely rubbish.

    • SaintAn says:

      Hype wares off and people start to see things for what they are.

    • malkav11 says:

      Yeah, the Mass Effect games are the only point where Bioware ever said flat out “this is a trilogy”. Origins is a perfectly self-contained story. DA2 has callbacks to the first game but doesn’t continue its narrative in any meaningful sense and is largely self-contained as well. Inquisition is more of a continuation of previous story than either of its predecessors but even so, the big mage-vs-templar war that it inherits from DA2 is essentially dispensed with almost immediately and the real focus of the narrative is introduced shortly thereafter. The close of its final DLC does suggest the next big plotline for a presumed fourth game, but at that point maybe it’s the start of a trilogy, but it definitely isn’t the close of one.

      Also it’s great.

      • welverin says:

        Well, the way I see it is each DA game takes place on the same world and some amount of time after the previous game. Since each game has some world affecting event going on, it only makes sense for that to play some role in the next game.

        As for calling it a trilogy, they’re so common that when people see three of something that just assume it’s a trilogy regardless of the reality of the situation.

  8. Paul B says:

    Just make Jade Empire 2 or a single-player KOTOR3 – that’s all you have to do Casey ;)

    • Booker says:

      At this point I doubt EA could still make a good game.

      Besides, they are done with singleplayer games. Everything they are aiming at now, has at least a multiplayer component. If you read the story about the development of Mass Effect Andromeda, it’s painfully obvious that they shoved story and characters in there as the last element. It was just an afterthought. And it shows.

      • Paul B says:

        Makes you wonder how many of the team that brought us older BioWare greats like Jade Empire, KOTOR & the Baldur’s Gate series, remain so many years after the EA acquisition? It’s just a shame that it looks like we’ll never get a Jade Empire 2, or a single-player KOTOR3, as I think a lot of RPG fans, (especially in the case of Jade Empire) would love these series to continue.

        Also, did the original Mass Effect have multiplayer? I think it would be interesting to know if many people chose multiplayer in the Mass Effect series (I never did). I think in ME2 there were some achievements you couldn’t get in single-player, and you got better equipment if you chose online play. It’s another shame, because the Witcher 3, Skyrim, Fallout 4 & Zelda show there’s still a large market for single-player RPGs – at least of the open-world variety.

        What most disappointed me in Mass Effect, was that the RPG elements/interesting bits were weakened in favour of the action elements as the series progressed, and I suppose that’s reached its natural conclusion in Anthem being an online-shooter.

        • Booker says:

          Mass Effect 3 was the first to have multiplayer.

        • welverin says:

          You don’t understand what the RPG bits are.

        • kament says:

          You can google it, you know. Find out on your own if those who brought us those golden games from the sainted days of yore also brought us, say, Inquisition. I seem to remember, for instance, that Luke Kristianson, who worked on BG, also wrote for ME:A.

          Alternatively, you could just assume that people don’t remain fixed in their ways for decades and, by corollary, that it doesn’t really matter if a game is made by someone who’s been on the team for many years or not.

          • Paul B says:

            I think I meant the ethos of the place, rather than the actual physical team (apologies for my poor english). Is Anthem just an out-lier or the direction that BioWare are going to be heading in, in the future?

            I don’t really mind if BioWare never make Jade Empire 2 or KOTOR3, but do they still have it in them to make a great, genre-defining, modern RPG (especially after the poor reception of ME:A – which admittedly, they didn’t have their best team on).

          • kament says:

            Depends on how you look at it.

            I remember Mass Effect — the first one — being bashed for dumbing things down. (Fun fact: that dialogue wheel of theirs? They thought it up during KotOR development, it was just too late to implement it then). And did, say, Jade Empire define any genre? I doubt it. I doubt KotOR did — I mean, I don’t see any kotor-likes.

            What else? Mass Effect effectively remains a genre of its own; folks here at RPS call it guns and conversations or some such.

            Dragon Age: Origins? Definitely wasn’t anywhere near genre-defining. A good game, there just wasn’t anything really new there.

            So where does that leave us? I don’t know about you, but I personally don’t really care about technicalities — I like most of their games for their characters and maybe something else that I can’t be arsed to define but for me it’s there nonetheless. That’s probably why I enjoyed even universally hated DA2. Moreso than — gasp! — Origins.

            YMMV, naturally.

    • RobinOttens says:

      Please, Casey, make this happen.

  9. SaintAn says:

    Here’s hoping his time away has revitalized him. Dragon Age and Mass Effect haven’t been good since the first games so it would be nice to finally get a proper sequel for the real fans.

    • Booker says:

      The “real fans” can’t buy at least 10 million copies of a game. So these 100.000 people don’t count at all.

    • RobinOttens says:

      Hi, I’m a real Mass Effect fan. Nice to meet you. I loved every game in the series including the third. I’m ignoring Andromeda’s existence. But yeah. I’m a real person. Hi

  10. Premium User Badge

    Grizzly says:

    I’m actually quite enjoying Mass Effect: Andromeda, it’s the lightweight, star-trekky sci-fi adventure I wanted it to be.

    • malkav11 says:

      Yeah, i think it’s great also. Probably the best overall game in the franchise since the first one. But I will concede it’s got a bit too many menial sidequests to keep the proper momentum going. When you’re doing main quests, loyalty missions, or a lot of the sidequests tracked under the relationship/planet subheaders the game’s a delight, particularly with the former two categories. But while the Task subcategory does typically offer activities that make sense to need doing under the circumstances (which I don’t feel can be said of a lot of Inquisition’s smaller quests), they just don’t have enough narrative payoff or variety (with a small number of exceptions – e.g. the reporter) to be worth taking the time away from the better content. And once you’ve maxed a full set of three active abilities and all the relevant passives, neither levelling nor loot are enough reason to bother, either.

    • ravenshrike says:

      ME:A’s biggest problem is that the companions were all clearly written by committee and most of the loyalty quests were underwhelming to say the least.

      • profmcstabbins says:

        This. I enjoy the combat. I don’t much mind a world populated with filler and collection stuff. Distractions are nice some times. But those companions. Just no personality. Very much paint by numbers. Where is my HK-47, Shale, Sevran, Wrex, Thane, or any other good companion.

  11. SydSilver says:

    Dragon Age: Inquisition is my favourite RPG of probably the past 15 of so years. The combat wasnt the strongest. But in terms of narrative, characters I cared about, and a tone and variety Ive not seen in bigger budget RPGs, it carried me all the way through with great joy.
    I see a lot of people comparing it to the Witcher 3, and while the combat in the Witcher 3 is better, and visually it is of course stunning, it is stuck with an unlikable main character, extremely tired stereotypes, and a complete disdain for women, which leaves it feeling remarkably flat and cold, and not in an on purpose gritty world way, just in a lazy dull way. Its a good game, but its definitely not the crowning glory it gets heralded as.
    Both games are a little too full of busy work, but both have a good main quest and many enjoyable side quests. For me DA:I wins over the Witcher 3 for being something that has stuck with me, and a world that really invited me to get lost in it.

    • The Chadillac says:

      If you think Witcher 3 has “complete disdain for women” I hope you never encounter something that’s actually misogynistic because you’d probably die of a heart attack.

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      Ninja Dodo says:

      The Witcher series may have a… let’s say *mixed* reputation when it comes to portraying women, which was mostly deserved in 1 and to a lesser extent 2, but Witcher 3 certainly does NOT have “a complete disdain for women”… Yeah it still contains plenty of prostitutes and gratuitous nudity, but the women in Witcher 3 are some of the BEST characters in the game and they are very much portrayed as smart, powerful, independent women in control of their own destiny (Triss, Yennefer, Ciri, Cerys an Craite and many others). Like I don’t know how you come away from the quest where Cerys becomes Queen of the Vikings/Skellige by being smart and awesome and you get ‘no respect for women’ from that… Whether you like Geralt is of course subjective, but in the third game he is a very layered and considerably more sympathetic character than he was in previous entries… I found him plenty likeable.

      Honestly it sounds more like you had already made up your mind about disliking the Witcher. It’s cool to prefer Dragon Age – would be boring if everyone liked the same things – but there’s no need to shit on Witcher 3. The praise for that game is well-earned.

      • SydSilver says:

        Saying something is a good game, stating a couple of the great things about it, but also talking about some of its flaws isn’t really shitting on it.

        You’re never going to be able to present The Witcher 3 as an example of great female representation, even if it does have it’s good moments. Look at the disparity between the variety that is presented between the main male characters and the main female characters. The men span a wide range of body shapes, ages (perceived visually), attractiveness (based on social norms), clothing (practicality, sexuality). And then look at the relative absence across the majority of the side quests, some women here and there, but a lot less, and mostly falling into weak stereotypes.
        There are for sure some good narrative moments for the main female characters, Cerys’ narrative is one of the best. Most of the other female characters have their awesome moments too. However most are regularly objectified in many ways throughout, visually, narratively, audibly. And that blanket of misogynistic perspectives of women feeds across the whole game.
        It’s like putting some nice cheese on a moldy burger. The narrative has some strong tasty cheese female moments littered among a dish of moldy sexist problems. So narratively it’s like good cheese on a moldy burger, as a whole game, it’s a cheese topped moldy burger as one of the dishes in a three course meal where the other two dishes are delightful.

        At the end of your post you again misconstrue criticism of some elements of the game, for blanket dislike. I liked the Witcher 3, completed it through and through as I did with the previous ones. My mind wasn’t made up before, during or even after. I like the game (I wouldn’t play it if I didnt) but I am able to like the game and still find it’s overall representation of women tiresome, outdated, sometimes offensive, occasionally hopeful and exciting but then often straight back to another eye-rolling example of objectification.

        Witcher 3, it’s a good game, it could do some stuff much much better. I very much look forward to Cyberpunk 2077, and can’t wait for a new Dragon Age which I hope will feel as fresh and forward thinking as Inquisitions, but with some better combat please.

        • The Chadillac says:

          Congratulations on torturing your already weak burger metaphor until it begs for mercy.

        • Hybrid Salmon says:

          Aren’t you using your contemporary goggles too much? It’s set in a medieval setting full of grim folklore. Its portrayal of women is based upon that and not upon a misogynistic view of women. There’s a difference between portraying a patriarchal society and just being misogynistic.

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            Ninja Dodo says:

            Yeah, it bears repeating (as many seem to omit this distinction) that depicting misogyny is not the same as advocating it. The world of the Witcher is mostly unfriendly to women (and by most accounts so was medieval history), and there are clearly characters in it who are misogynists. The fact that the women of this story succeed despite that says a lot about their strength and resilience in the view of the writers.

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          Ninja Dodo says:

          Well, if you don’t mostly dislike the game that’s a pretty shitty metaphor.

          I will grant you that it would be nice if there was more variety in the types of women in the Witcher. Certainly not all, but most are young and attractive, though to be fair there it hardly differs much from your average film. I am personally not of the opinion that there is anything wrong with sexualized characters as long as that is not their only defining feature – people can be sexy and/or sexual – and it’s worth noting while it’s hardly balanced there is also a fair amount of half/mostly-naked Geralt (see PC Gamer’s favourite screenshot: link to gaminglatest.com).

          The thing I love about Cerys especially is that while some of the other ladies, especially Ciri, are more of your Buffy Summers types (great layered characters who happen to have super powers) Cerys has no special powers. Despite great resistance she shows everyone her enormous capability, not by being more like her brother and beating everyone in combat or something, but by succeeding on her own terms: by being intelligent and compassionate and resourceful. That’s awesome. Bonus: she’s dressed very practically. (link to witcher.wikia.com)

          Since you even agree the game has these high points (frankly I would go so far as to call the game occasionally feminist) I think it really deserves more credit than you are giving it.

        • Tritagonist says:

          The Witcher III has a problem with variety, not female variety in particular. Within minutes of leaving a meeting with the emperor, for which you were prepared in a lengthy scene with his chamberlain, you can run into refugees with the same face as his chamberlain. Important characters from side-quests, and even supporting characters in the main story, frequently share their looks with other characters. Vendors, travelling merchants, their faces and looks all show up time and time again. Children have only two or three looks, and plenty of costumes are recoloured.

          But in spite of that general limitation, female characters in The Witcher III also have different body shapes, some are even unusually fat for the societies depicted, different ages, and actually wear a wide range of clothing options – from workers in the fields, fancy farmers, noble ladies, court-assistants, aristocrats, shady rogues, warriors of different clans, etc.

          Women in The Witcher III scheme, fight, race, do sports, read, act, sing, learn, study, practice medicine, rule, trade, travel, etc. One of the main women in the events of the base game even brushes off Geralt’s questions with the statement that “this is not your story”!

          Speaking of Casey Hudson (yes!), the way BioWare framed Miranda Lawson’s posterior it was all about showing off to the player – but in The Witcher III, by contrast, Geralt’s obsession with duchess Anna Henrietta’s posterior is all about him – he is portrayed as looking, he is in focus in these scenes and shots – leaving the player to either sigh or smirk at his antics.

          The Witcher III could have been better, sure, but there are plenty of other things that would also end up on that list. Nothing is perfect.

    • Booker says:

      I think Geralt is extremely likable. What a weird notion. The Witcher in general has an extremely progressive stance towards women too, since there isn’t just a ton of female characters, but they are also just that: actual, deep characters who matter a lot and are interesting and have a lot to do with the plot. Except maybe for Morrigan, this is just another area in which Dragon Age just can’t compete with the Witcher.

  12. jeremyalexander says:

    I think Bioware are in serious trouble and I actually really enjoyed Dragon Age Inquisition. However, MA:E was a steaming pile, and Anthem looks like the most boring and derivative game I’ve seen in a long time. Nothing about that game looked good. The graphics were pretty, but it’s 2017. The graphics are usually pretty these days. Other than that it just looked like generic sci-fi online shooter number 445626245.

  13. EwokThisWay says:

    The vast majority of people who shit on Dragon Age Inquisition never played more than 10 hours MAX and probably never went out of the first zone (The Hinterlands). It’s beyond ridiculous to judge a game on maybe 5% of its entirety.
    DA:I is an amazing game, one of the most epic i’ve ever played, despite, yes, an average gameplay.

    • ludde says:

      10 hours should be plenty of time to judge any game. If it needs more than that, you really don’t value your time.

    • The Chadillac says:

      I played the entire game and started Jaws of Hakkon before finally uninstalling. It’s a tedious pseudo-MMO trainwreck and the people who quit during the hinterlands are the smart ones because they never had to encounter the Iron Bull or Sera.

    • Monggerel says:

      I got to, lessseee… about halfway through the game? A fair bit into Skyhold.

      Mostly out of sheer boredom, mind you, sailing riiiight over everything that wasn’t a main quest (Edit: not true! did a bunch of companion quests).

      Dragon Age Origami was a fine game. Not quite as good as the first Mass Effect, but pretty solid.
      Dragon Age 2: Draconic Boogaloo was a steaming fuckup, but had solid ideas and characterization.
      Dragon Age Inquisition was a video game

    • Hauskamies says:

      The problem is, the game starts to get dull AFTER that point. The more I played, the more I realized I was doing the same thing over and over again. Every new area became work and not something fun to look forward to. I cleared 3-4 areas and couldn’t force myself to continue any longer.

    • Pich says:

      I finished the main game with all sidequest finished, Finished The Descent and The Jaws Of Hakkon (which imo was the best part of the game) and started Trespasser before a game-related BSOD removed my will to continue.
      I found most of the game a light 6/10, with one of the most generic fantasy plot i’ve seen in a while; the gameplay was tedious as fuck too: the simple act of moving around your character doesn’t feel good (especially having to keep mounting your horse because the maps are unnecessarily huge, while having to dismount to do eveything else) (also who had the great idea to stop companion conversations from happening when you’re on your horse, i.e. 80% of the game?), and the combat is a clickfest, tho tbh i’ve never liked the BG-like combat in any game.

      Honstly i finished the game only because i had nothing else to play at the time at the time and someone else paid for it.

  14. Hedgeclipper says:

    From the desert of Microsoft to the fetid swamp of EA.

  15. Sheparddddd says:

    Please Casey Hudson give us Mass Effect 0
    It would be a good end to the series if it is to have Mass Effect 0 that takes place during the first contact war and skylian blitz, which then the save game can be imported into the remastered trilogy. Playable characters can be Jon Grissom, Anderson and Shepard.
    Game would be split into three acts:
    Jon Grissom- discovery of mass relays, first contact war and flashback to days of trading in the US marine corp
    Anderson- first contact war, backstory with Shepard, and secret mission with saren (revelation)
    Shepard- training in N7 program, skylian blitz, more backstory (based on choice of spacer/earthborn/colonist)(flashback?)
    Price ME0 at $60
    Trilogy at $60
    Me1 and me2 at $20 each
    Me3 at $30
    Me3 multiplayer as standalone game for $20
    Me3 single player only for $20
    The time between games should have suitable bridging mission for seamless transition between games. The last few hours should be expanded upon and have interesting themes like in the previous hours of me3 (endings need to have Shepard living for end game cutscene like in me1)

  16. Wicked says:

    This is the same guy responsible for Mass Effect 3’s conclusion. So no, I don’t think he’s going to get the studio back on track.

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