Personally I dislike the origin system. I will be irritating when you play char X (lets say Gale) as main char in a specific way and the next time he will act totally different as companion.
Anyway, it’s a Larian thing. Like the stubbornly bad bubblegum-linked party members. They won’t change that. It’s part of their ‘creative identity’ now.
What I do disagree with is the black-and-white-isation of monsters = evil and everyone else = good. Hard pass for me. When we get AI-generated stories – and they’re already knocking about – this is the kinda tripe they’ll devise, because they’ve no facility for sussing out human beings as only humans can.
The best writers give you ‘complex’ characters who are pulled from their experiences/observations in reality: the fact that all humans are hypocritical in some fashion – contradictory and bias and convinced they’re the stars of their own show. It’s what makes the human animal such an interesting subject: everyone, even Hitler, is/was convinced that they’re doing the right thing, and anyone who disagrees with them is the enemy.
A good writer never takes sides. He/she is able to distance themselves from the characters they create, and simply let them be their raw contradictory selves. Bad writers think in terms of good and evil – they’ve mistakenly assumed they’re an authority on what both mean.
To write good characters, you must be able to ‘understand’ everyone’s point of view, and must never take sides. You must become the characters, Daniel-Day-Lewis-style, and invest in their biases as though they are your own.
That’s what gives you that ‘spark’ from the text – when the writer is really committed to every character they write, especially when they’re in disagreement, and they don’t take sides.
That’s difficult, because it’s psychologically challenging. Few can pull this off.
But an AI would likely be good at devising some wacky plot, scuppered from various fantasy clichés of a ‘dark god/dark one’, potentially imprisoned or ‘retired’ in some fashion and now re-emerging to challenge the hero. It’s because it has no ability to understand humans on a complex level, so they’re all just plot-points after that.
CD Projekt Red’s games are the only recent games where I see good character-driven writing in action. Forgot to mention that the last time. The Witcher 2/3 and, yes, the much-maligned Cyperpunk have excellently written characters – for video games.
Like I mentioned previously, Judy was so convincing and cool, she was actually pretty hot! Never before have I thought of a makey-up creation like that, be it books, TV or games. And you can’t even ‘romance’ her – haha. But unlike some, that’s not a big deal to me. I just appreciate the good writing.
Lastly, BG2’s Irenicus had great character-building, even as far back as BG1, where he cursed that woman and turned her into a bloated spider-creature out of vindictiveness. What fascinates me, more than plot, is why we’re all so full of ourselves, really, every one of us, in our individual ways – and yet we somehow haven’t eaten each other alive. Yet.