For many years a lot of people have been hoping Blizzard would turn their attention to making a single player RPG. I count myself among these people? The reason for this is I still enjoy story driven games. The fashion may have swung to open world (which I enjoy too) but I still get excited when a story driven game comes out.
Of course the champions of this are Bioware. Mass Effect and Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic before that showed us what story can add to an RPG. They were not the first (I would argue that Ultima 7 had one of the better stories in an early RPG) but they are the best right now.
Then you look at Blizzard and the many worlds they have built, and you wonder, could they compete with Bioware if they developed a single player RPG?
Diablo does not count. It is a hack’n’slash based on a well developed world with such interesting lore that really makes difference to the game. World of Warcraft suffers from the same thing. An MMO by its very design must be set to continue with no end. Their expansions may tell a story, but it has little to do with the player character. We are not the hero, we are just there getting the job done.
But we know when you pull all the lore Blizzard put into their games that they do have stories. Even Overwatch has a decent story emerging. The game doesn’t need one. We have variable heroes, brightly coloured and various maps. Story and gameplay have no interconnect. Which is fine (well, I would love to see mission packs added to Overwatch to explore this story).
The real question becomes could Blizzard tell a story from start to finish in a game where story is front and centre? We don’t know. But I would love to see them try.
And for what’s it worth, if they were to take an existing property and RPG it I would pick Heroes of the Storm. I will do a follow up post explaining why at a later date!