Roleplaying games are, by far, my favorite genre. I love Skyrim, Oblivion, Mass Effect 1-3, Fallout 3 and New Vegas, etc. That being said there are a lot of things that can still be done with RPGs in the next generation of gaming.
This one is sort of self-explanatory, but it should still be mentioned when talking next-gen. The graphics should be as detailed as ever. By making things look even more like the developers want, whether it be a fantasy-realism like Skyrim or a cel-shaded world like Borderlands 2, it should look beautiful regardless of style. With the advances in technology there shouldn’t be any game that doesn’t look absolutely breathtaking, especially games that are all about taking in the world around you.
With the new technology available to capture both voice and movement at the same time, which is being used for Beyond: Two Souls, it allows the acting in all games to be better. If developers of RPGs use this new tech, imagine what kind of stories can be told. Gone are the days of lackluster acting and static characters while choosing the dialog.
In Skyrim characters may continue their current task while talking to you but this is far from dynamic. They could implement this new facial construction and lip syncing into the way the story is told. By creating more dynamic scenes and better acted scenes, with more believable characters and human emotion, the developers will be able to create stories that involve the player in a natural way. By doing this they can make the number of quests more varied than ever before.
This is a rather broad category within RPGs but it’s a very important game. What’s a game without great gameplay? In the next generation you will already be able to have bigger worlds, grander detail, and unique combat. CD Projekt RED is already boasting that the land in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is three times larger than that in Skyrim. If they can make the economy ever-changing and cause the world to be dynamic and interesting it will be a great start to the RPG of the next-gen. Speaking of economy, by making NPCs trade with not only the player but other characters you can have a more dynamic and real trading system.
If this could be implemented then it could make for some really great gameplay on the role-playing aspect. I want to be able to play as a merchant without having to download mods, since I’m a console gamer and can’t do that. Lastly, let me talk about the combat. Skyrim, yeah I reference this game a a lot but it’s my favorite, has a fairly basic combat but it’s still versatile and dynamic. It can be kind of bland early on but once you start getting kill cams it’s much more intriguing.
If studios can find a way to make combat even more visceral while playing the character you’ve had a hand in developing then yes please. Another thing I would like to see in RPGs is the addition of aging, or at least the option to have it active. I recently read about the new Kickstarter project by Double Fine, Massive Chalice, and want to see that generational challenge added to RPGs. This would make for some great stories and add some interesting replay value. The time may need to be altered to allow your children to grow but that’s something for the developers to figure out.