Over the past few months, I started playing RPGs. So far it has only been South Park: The Stick of Truth and Mass Effect, but I’ve gone all out recently with these games. A year ago, you never would have caught me playing an RPG as they simply didn’t interest me very much. There were a few things, such as the slow dialog and characters not actually saying the text. However, that was a minor hurdle I could overcome, but the style of turn based combat was rather repelling to me (even if it reminded me of my days playing pokemon). However, I turned the corner after the promise of interesting content in South Park. The result was the beginning of a spiral down a well of RPGs.
Turn BasedI don’t know that I will get in to turn based games due to turned based nature. Playing a turn based game is more tactical and while that can be enjoyable in doses, it can become irritating. Getting stuck on a turned based fight can be particularly frustrating as you become trapped and can’t get better. While South Park was a turn based game, I pushed through the annoyance of the fighting style so I could experience the wonderful humor from the minds of Trey Parker and Matt Stone. While, I made it through South Park, I doubt that I would play another Turned based RPG, because it mainly lacked the one element I’ve come to love about RPGs.
What I’ve come to love most about RPGs is the dialogue and the choices that out get to make within the game. Mass Effect does this very well as what I say will make each character react differently. As a result, a game like Mass Effect will allow you to make decisions that actually feel like you are making real decisions. There are things that you can do that make the game and how your character interacts with others different. You make decisions that are good or bad or neutral and it impacts the benefits or assignments that you go on.
However the most compelling thing that I’ve in the game is the ability to build relationships. Out of all the interactions that I’ve had, they are by far the most intriguing. Getting to know the characters and earn their trust is fulfilling. Just like it is to go on a mission for them to prove that they are important. Listening to their stories and finding out about them is part of the fun in the game. The fact that you can build towards a romantic relationship is just icing on the cake. I could spend the entire game just interacting and building the relationships in the game and earning favors and making enemies. It is by far the most engaging part of the game and I’m still only on the first one.
ConsequencesIt is rare that there are true consequences in a game. In the inFamous series you can choose to either be good or bad, which will change your actions and some of the missions you go on. But largely how you interact with all the other characters in the game is mostly unaffected. This is because a story is decided and the scenes drawn for that story. The morality system is ultimately just a way to get different powers on your power tree. In The Walking Dead: Season 1, you are driven through a truly compelling story, all the while making decisions and influencing characters, but again the overall story is unchanged. There is a story in mind and you are along for the ride, seemingly making decisions, but not really drastically changing the game. Having to deal with consequences of your actions within the game is an intriguing concept, but can be a burden for developers.
Are there any RPGs that you would recommend? What is your favorite RPG?