This month, we dared to ask our writers to talk about their “favourite” RPGs. Put on your armour, upgrade that weapon and prepare to cast “amazeballs (lvl 3)” as we delve into our favourite RPG games. Are you ready?
Interestingly enough, the first time I tried to play Dragon Age: Origins, I wasn’t that impressed. I thought it was too slow-paced, too complicated, too hard. So I gave up on it after only a few days of starting it, deciding it wasn’t for me, and didn’t give it a second thought. But then one day I suddenly started to think about giving it another go. After all, it was BioWare, and they hadn’t done wrong by me before, so I thought “Why the heck not? I’ve bought it, so I might as well play it.” So I deleted my original character, created a new one, and started all over again. And this time, everything just fell into place. I realised what a masterpiece of a game I was playing.
All the hallmarks of a great BioWare game are present in Dragon Age: Origins. It’s got compelling and memorable characters, tightly plotted story lines and dialogue, and hilarious background banter between your companions. It also benefits from a brilliantly realised world, one of the darkest stories BioWare has ever told, and a healthy amount of gloriously rendered bloodshed and nail biting tension. The game looks utterly cinematic yet feels wonderfully intimate, and, like all good RPGs, it’s more than easy to become completely immersed and lose a good few hours and/or days in the game.
If you like your RPG’s to be big, full of combat and full of wonder to explore. Then may I point you towards Kingdoms Of Amular: Reckoning. An epic journey into a new world full of magic, Fae and wonder. A world at war, where a well of souls has returned you to the living. A world from the minds of legends, R.A.Slavatore, Todd McFarlane and Ken Rolston. The world is lavishly created with an art style that makes your jaw drop as you explore taking in the beauty. From forests to swamps, the world is yours to explore. The combat is fast, fluid and proves to be a joy as you switch between a longsword to daggers. A bow and magic complete your arsenal. There’s a wide variety of weapons to master, along with some insane skills to unlock and new abilities. This is one epic RPG that packs a bunch and is worthy of your attention.
Fable 3 delves into a well-established fantasy world – a world that’s developing in tune with technology. They use firearms instead of bows and arrows – and this is one of the many interesting features of Fable 3.
The world is colourful, delightfully British, with an exciting enough story to keep a player hooked.
The trailers for this game were thrilling. Everything just looked really quite cool. Coupled with fantastic actors including Stephan Fry, Michael Fassbender and Jon Cleese giving their voices to this game, it’s fun to play, just to see who you will recognise next.
I like the game play, too: the way that fighting works and the opportunities in the world beyond the sprawling city.
You can either go down an ‘evil’ route or a ‘good’ route in Fable 3, and this is part of the game that is interesting, with your appearance changing and the way people react to you depending on your actions.
A fun, quintessentially British game, with lots of opportunities to explore a world and the wonderful characters.
I have to admit, the first Final Fantasy game was Final Fantasy VII. It was also a game I couldn’t really understand the first time around playing it. Where other games relied on skills like button bashing, timing and reflexes, this one relied on a bar being filled up. I remember the first couple of tries, I couldn’t get past the mechanical spider (the first boss) – because I didn’t realise how to use Cloud’s lightning materia. Even though I gave up after a few tries, replaying the game some time later, I began to realise just what you’re meant to do to play the game.
It wasn’t long before I was playing through the brilliantly crafted story – a confusing tale that didn’t like to explain the situation, but powered through dialogue instead. It took me a few playthroughs to really get what the games story was – and that’s something I love in both games and films, layers of meaning and narrative that cannot be understood solely through the first experience of it.
The game taught me all I needed to know about RPG systems – magic, levelling up, growth of powers, summonings and exploration. The game was actually very well crafted, as before long materia (and therefore abilities) started levelling up – along with experience points, limit breaks, etc… It was never long before gaining another ability or levelling up somehow and it was something that kept me going back for more.
Then there was the battle types – having “pre-emptive” and “side attacks”, which both had tactics involved. Then there’s front and back positions, where allies with ranged weapons didn’t get penalised for remaining at the back (and therefore could take less damage from enemies). The system was interesting and full of possibilities. Oh, and spoiler – when Aeris dies! The first time you play through and the bad guy kills the girl the game guides you to like. Every other time after that, I always kept my distance from Aeris – because I knew I she would die. But that first time was actually very well done (along with the continuation of the music with the battle against Jenova – who knew you RPG battles could remain so emotional…?).
While I love Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy VII will always remain with me because it was my first. I was an RPG virgin before that, but what a way to get into the genre!
Every RPG character I play, no matter how hard I try, basically ends up the same. Male or female, good or evil, tank or caster; they’re all just violent, kleptomaniac versions of me. But not Commander Shepard.
Shepard is nothing like me. She thinks a different way and believes in different things. I disagree with her a lot of the time and, even when we do agree, her brutal, uncompromising choices often shock me.
Except, of course, I am Shepard. It’s me doing those things, and making those choices. It’s me shooting people mid-sentence and betraying my friends. When I play Mass Effect, I become a different person.
They’re the only games I’ve ever played where I fully inhabit the character. I’m not controlling an avatar on the screen, or influencing someone else’s story, I am Commander Shepard, and this is my story.
But, despite appearences, it’s not some huge, galaxy-spanning story. It’s a small, intimate story, made up of conversations and personal relationships. That’s when these games shine – organically showing us this world through the people who live there. It’s in these quiet little moments that friendships are forged, love is kindled (I miss you, Garrus), and Commander Shepard – a living, breathing, unique person – is created.
The Mass Effect series is my favourite RPG because it stands for Role-Playing Game, and I don’t think any game has ever done that better.
I don’t really have a favourite, I have a whole selection of them! There are others in this article I would or could have chosen, so I’ll shine a light on the Fallout games. I have a soft spot for post-apocalyptic stories & this series is set after an American-Chinese nuclear war. Most of the population & cities were wiped out & left technological scraps for the survivors fighting not only amongst themselves but the horrific mutants left behind. All the same old frailties of human nature are still in evidence and the games have a dark humour to them which fits the moral choices you have to make to survive, or even to advance a faction you favour over another.