Besides the ever present Assassin’s Creed games, the Witcher 3 is among the nominees for the WGA Video Game Award for best writing, alongside Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Pillars of Eternity. If you are wondering why the Writers Guild of America nominated such mainstream games, it’s because that only members of the WGA can be nominated, leaving games like Undertale or Bloodborne out of the list.
Although some may like games for their gameplay or their graphics, one cannot deny that the story is extremely important when talking about immersion, as well as the general quality of the game. This is especially true when talking about character driven games like RPGs or action-adventure titles.
It is entirely unsurprising that the Witcher 3 Wild Hunt was nominated for an award once again, given the fact that even just side-quests like the Bloody Baron missions have a better story than most games that came out this year. Even if the main character, Geral of Rivia, can be described as a Mary Sue type character, being basically better than everyone else in the game from all aspects of the spectrum, the entire world that the writers from CD Projekt Red managed to build is amazing to say the least.
Political intrigue, conspiracies, racism, love stories, adventure, and action are just some of the subjects from within the game. Witcher 3 can be compared to Game of Thrones from that aspect, especially if you would consider the grim nature of the story, with happy endings being almost completely non-existent. You simply have to make the best out of a bad situation, according to Geralt’s and your own beliefs.
What is interesting is the approach of the WGA when compared to the Writers Guild of Britain. Over there, the nominees are completely different, choosing indies more than AAA titles. Her Story, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture and Sunless Sea are the ones being considered as the best-written games of 2015.
Her Story is an entirely narrative-driven game, where players have to watch videos of an interview conducted at a police station. That’s pretty much about it, at first glance at least, with the addition of a search bar that allows you to find videos depending on the keywords you input. The interesting approach stems from that fact that you, the player, must be extremely attentive when it comes to the statements of the one being interviewed. Using a pen and paper, you have to write down words that seem to repeat or that might seem of importance to you, using them to search for previously locked videos, eventually unraveling the mystery behind the game.
Sunless Sea, on the other hand, is a roguelike game where you travel the underwater ocean of Fallen London as the captain of a small vessel. Following some supernatural events, London was driven into the earth, where Lovecraftian gods reside. This game might not be to everyone’s liking, with a ton of text littering the entire map and screen, but the story and feel of the game are incomparable. Being a roguelike-type game, you will also die a lot, with your offspring taking the captain’s helm once you start a new game.
Although the Witcher 3 is among the nominees for the WGA Video Game Award, odds are rather high for CD Projekt Red to snatch a trophy once again. But seeing how other games have been omitted, along with the other nominations, this award might not entice the gamer demographic into viewing it by a hefty amount.