Why Do People Think Guerrilla Can Make a Great RPG?

The rumor is that Guerrilla is working on a role-playing game and everyone seems to be excited...but why?
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For the record, I’m a fan of both shooters and role-playing games.

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I love the Killzone franchise, even if I think Shadow Fall fell a little shy. I also love my RPGs. Obviously, I play both genres for very different reasons, as you might expect.

Furthermore, I have great faith in the talent of Guerrilla Games and I’m all for studios branching out and trying new things. I’m saying all this because I don’t want people to get the wrong idea: I’m not against the idea of developers embracing variety, nor do I heavily dislike either shooters or RPGs.

And yet, I’m wondering why everyone I come across seems to believe Guerrilla can create an amazing RPG. I hope they can but what evidence do we have that they will?

Me, I like a good story in my RPGs.

And because of that, I’m worried that we won’t get a top-tier role-playing experience from Guerrilla. Thing is, while the campaigns were always great, the stories were hardly RPG-quality in my eyes. The dialogue and writing in Shadow Fall was especially unimpressive, and you really can’t get away with that in an RPG. Even with the open-world RPGs like The Elder Scrolls, where the narrative doesn’t take center-stage, there’s still a ton of written lore, and the dialogue sequences are often quite intricate.

This is really not Guerrilla’s strong suit. Perhaps they went out and hired different people specifically for this new project (and I hope they did) but based on what we’ve seen, there’s no reason to think they can produce a quality role-playing script. That’s one problem.

It’s great to have talent but some talent is specified and as such… limited.

I’m not saying Guerrilla can’t do it; I’m just saying there’s nothing that says they can. There’s the old adage, “everyone is good at something, but nobody is good at everything.” That applies here. Just because you can create a great FPS doesn’t automatically mean you have the requisite skill to produce a top-notch RPG. There aren’t many similarities between the two, unless you’re going for a Bioshock-like experience, which is a FPS/RPG blend. The argument as to what Bioshock actually is continues to rage; I won’t get in the middle of that.

The point is this: you can’t just say “talent is talent.” In the artistic world, the artists tend to have a speciality, or a forte. Just because you can write a great sci-fi novel doesn’t mean you can write a great literary novel. Just because you can direct an awesome action movie doesn’t mean you can direct an award-winning drama. If you take this into consideration, and you examine Guerrilla’s limited body of work, I think it makes sense to have reservations.

Oh, but I still want a fantastic PS4 exclusive RPG

Despite all this, I have to admit that I’d love to see a PS4 exclusive RPG created by one of Sony’s internal studios. I can’t think of one since Legend of Dragoon on the PS1, can you? I’m probably missing something in there, but I still like the idea of an exclusive, Western-developed RPG for Sony’s new console. Sure, we’ll still get those niche JRPGs that will likely be exclusive to the PS4, but the western stuff is always multiplatform.

All in all, I do want it to happen. I just think we shouldn’t jump the gun.

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A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.