Friday, October 15, 2010

The Future of cRPGS...?

Am I the only one who reads this list and feels a little disappointed?

What next for someone that doesn't want MMO/MP-style mundanity? Why does it always seem that RPG elements in recent RPGs have to be hidden behind more arcade-y gameplay/graphics?

Don't get me wrong, there's interesting stuff on that list I'll likely pick up, but the grognard / old-schooler in me really feels there's something missing - something new yet harkening back to good old story-driven SP fun that will keep me locked in a room til the wee hours of the morning.

Trouble is, sometimes I keep thinking back to ToEE when I think about what style of game I really want to come out, and so far nothing's looking promising on that front... Fallout: New Vegas I'm expecting a lot from, but we'll see.

What are others looking out for?


veryblackraven said...

Well, popularity of MMORPG and Diablo-like hack'n'slash is not a new thing. And there is still a few companies that make a real RPG. Obsidian is an example.
So let's don't panic and wait for Fallout: New Vegas.

Starwars said...

I wasn't a fan of Fallout 3 so I think I will have my share of problems with New Vegas. That said, pretty much everything they have changed are things that really hits my RPG nerve. The biggest one being factions (with player choice) and how they affect the game.

Aside from New Vegas though? Well... I am curious about Obsidian's Dungeon Siege 3 as well. It's not a franchise or genre that I'm crazy about. But the game looks great and it's the same lead people as on Mask of the Betrayer which is nice.

Other than that, it's pretty much only indie games on the RPG front that I'm looking forward to.

Maerduin said...

I'm playing more CRPGs now than I have in many years. Why? Because GOG has been releasing Infinity Engine games.

Anonymous said...

I hear you Wyrin. The best you can hope for, honestly, is to, like Maerduin, go back and play some classics. You're not going to see games like that anymore and, well, it's the sad truth.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

I have (perhaps) a rather unusual perspective with CRPGs. With every computer released game, I take them at face value and enjoy them or not according to how they play. Therefore, while I do prefer an RPG style game in general, I am not opposed to some other games that are considered hybrids. (System Shock 2 is still my all time favourite computer game.)

However, I do appreciate the effort made by all game builders (the NWN modders included) who try to build/give a game that tugs at some of the old style play that (if we think about it) stems from good old pen and paper style gaming. The problem is, it is "easier" (I suspect) to both build and play to computer strengths (and market demands) than to "traditional" games.

So what am I trying to say? ... Basically, I believe a small market of games will survive in the more traditional sense, but I suspect they will be provided more by home modders than the official providers.

How do I feel about this? ... As we have NWN2 and at least some people who still mod for it, I am content. It may even save me some money if the games go too far down the "commercial" path, as I will stop buying them. (Difficult to say what I mean here.) From this perspective, I am almost convinced that CRPG have reached their pinnacle with NWN2 and its ability to build your own mods. My last appeal would be to allow a first person perspective (like true FPS) as a camera mode and perhaps a few fixes to the engine.

That said, there are one or two games that will probably still draw my attention, but no longer because they are CRPG's but just because they offer a new experience. I do enjoy multi-player co-op games with a friend, and perhaps in some ways that is as much of the appeal that I remember from my PnP days as much as the style of game itself ... the ability to share the gaming experience (as long as it is some kind of adventure) with a friend.

Anyay, waffled far too much ... ;)


Amraphael said...

Yeah, as I said before I'm feeling a bit lost gamingwise. There's always been some exciting new game to wait for, to follow during development. NWN2 _and_ NWN1 has still lots to offer and there are new releases every now and then. I'm following the Neverwinter Online/MP (and it can be played Solo) discussion and my hope for it being a good RPG fluctuate day from day. I have no problem with the Online-part, or the persistant part. It's more about Cryptic's interpretation and sense of quality of the whole thing. I'm curious about ME3 as I loved ME2 and liked ME1. But it's not a RPG in my sense of gaming. There's lots of bastard-words those days. MMORPG, ActionRPG, ShooterRPG, ThrillerRPG (I've not heard about a PlattformRPG yet, but anytime soon ,I'm sure). None of them fits my idea of a RPG.

My wife and I tried to replay BG2 a while ago. It's a great story with lots of combat and quests. But it really feels outdated from an engine perspective. I'm still trying to get it running on an iPhone/iPad via virtualization. That would be cool! The Fallout series never got to me. I've played them all but finished none. I like the settings but they are shallow too me.

SW:TOR will probably be the first MMORPG I'll give a chance as I have some trust in the Bioware-guys.

I play Undercroft on the iPhone and I recommend it. It's old school Dungeon Master-style and a good way to relax between meetings and on the bus.

So I'm not sure about what to look out for. Maybe there's nothing out there. Maybe we're alone in a vast space :)

This is probably when a bunch of clever guys step forward and say: Let's build the perfect RPG.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

The Perfect RPG ... Working on that now. ;) Seriously though, the perfect RPG will be in the eye of the beholder .... no, not the RPG. ;)

First and foremost, even the rule set used could be argued as a relevant part of the game ... for instance, I know and like the D&D rules and enjoy a game that uses them - because I feel comfortable. However, I am not averse to clever use or manipulation of those same rules, as long as this is done with respect to the story as well.

The second point that is a very big factor is what the "world" is like. Does it feel "real" and "established"? For me, a gaming world needs these factors if it is to be rememberable, which the perfect RPG would need to have.

Finally, and NOT least, is the story itself. However, I believe that the story is very much governed by a good rule set and great background. After all, to feel involved with the story, a good rule set that a player knows how to use helps achieve this.

I suppose when I look back over my years of playing RPGs, all these three elements (rules, setting and story) play a significant part in my enjoyment.

The bottom line is, however, that that is my opinion. Someone else will (I suspect) have a different opinion. What I do hope, however, is that what I describe is akin to your own interest in "traditional" RPGs. :) And in that sense, I hear you ....


die-yng said...

I read you there.
I'd also would have liked games like Fallout 3 or Mass effect 2 to concentrate more on being an RPG, but if the rest of the package works, you still get great games.
I'm already hungrily awaiting ME3 and Diablo 3 is also high on my list.
Games like DA2, even though it's battle system is very action-oriented still are great rpg's.