User review spotlight: Carmageddon (DOS). Released in 1997.

Role-Playing (RPG)

Description

Role-playing video games are descendants of pen-and-paper RPGs. In those games character development is the main driving gameplay mechanic. Typically one or more characters are created and shaped by the player, then embark on a series of encounters that increase the inventory, wealth, or combat statistics of said character(s).

A role-playing game is not just any game in which the player "plays a role", i.e. controls a character and participates in exploration and narrative. Rather, the defining characteristic of role-playing games is player-dependent character growth. A role-playing game can be seen as such when player-controlled characters become stronger ("levels up") because of the player's actions (usually depending on experience points received for vanquishing enemies), rather than being upgraded automatically as dictated by the storyline. The degree of the player's involvement in shaping the characters may vary considerably: some RPGs offer vast customization possibilities, while others tend to simplify and even nearly automatize the process.

Traditional RPGs have turn-based combat and a fantasy setting (Wizardry series, Ultima series, Roguelikes, etc.). Later, other settings were introduced, and many RPGs - such as Diablo - began favoring action-based combat. In these games, Action is used as a modifier to the RPG genre.

By the late 1980's, the genre has been distinctly split into two main sub-genres: Western and Japanese (sometimes called console-style) RPG. Western RPGs typically favored free exploration and player-made decisions, while Japanese RPGs focused on following a linear story line. Japanese RPGs also tended to retain simple turn-based combat mechanics, and in many cases also random enemy encounters.

In many early Western RPGs the player was given the option to create an entire party of characters (usually up to six). Ultima games introduced the possibility of recruiting initially non-playable characters (NPCs) with their own personalities from the game world into the party. Beginning with Phantasy Star, Japanese RPGs followed this template and even elevated it to their cornerstone mechanic.

Late 1990's saw a "RPG revival" in the West. Fallout greatly expanded the usage of non-combat statistics and moral decisions during gameplay, while Baldur's Gate popularized real-time party-based combat.
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EverQuest: Evolution Windows Front Cover

Windows (2003)

EverQuest: Evolution is an anthology that includes: EverQuest (original game) The Ruins of Kunark (first expansion) The Scars of Velious...

EverQuest: Gates of Discord Windows Front Cover

Windows (2004)

EverQuest: Gates of Discord is the seventh expansion for the MMORPG EverQuest. It introduces many new features and game content,...

EverQuest: Gold Edition Windows Front Cover

Windows (2002)

EverQuest: Gold Edition is an anthology that includes: EverQuest (base game) EverQuest: The Ruins of Kunark (first expansion pack) EverQuest:...

EverQuest II Windows Front Cover

Windows (2004)

In the future, Norrath has been struck by a major disaster, which has caused most of the world's prominent civilizations...

Windows (2004)

As well as the game itself, the Collector's Edition includes: An embossed tin Scenic paintings Talking statues of Antonia and...

EverQuest II: Desert of Flames Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

EverQuest II: Desert of Flames is the first expansion to the MMORPG EverQuest II. It takes place in an Arabian...

EverQuest II: Echoes of Faydwer Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

EverQuest II: Echoes of Faydwer is the third expansion to the MMORPG EverQuest II. The main content in this expansion...

EverQuest II: Kingdom of Sky Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

EverQuest II: Kingdom of Sky is the second expansion to the MMORPG EverQuest II. The main content in this expansion...

EverQuest II: Rise of Kunark Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

Rise of Kunark is the fourth main expansion pack for EverQuest II. It focuses on the continent of Kunark, introduced...

EverQuest II: Sentinel's Fate Windows Front Cover

Windows (2010)

EverQuest II: Sentinel's Fate is the 6th expansion in the EverQuest II franchise. This expansion sees the rediscovery of the...

EverQuest II: The Shadow Odyssey Windows Front Cover

Windows (2008)

EverQuest II: The Shadow Odyssey is the 5th expansion to EverQuest II. The expansion adds a new realm called the...

EverQuest: Lost Dungeons of Norrath Windows Front Cover

Windows (2003)

Lost Dungeons of Norrath is an expansion for the incredibly popular Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG), EverQuest. This full-sized...

EverQuest: New Dawn Windows Front Cover

Windows (2002)

EverQuest: New Dawn is an anthology that includes: EverQuest (original game) EverQuest: The Ruins of Kunark (first expansion pack) EverQuest:...

EverQuest: Omens of War Windows Front Cover

Windows (2004)

EverQuest: Omens of War is the eighth expansion for the MMORPG EverQuest. In this expansion pack a war-torn realm has...

EverQuest Online Adventures PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2003)

EverQuest Online Adventures is set five hundred years before the original EverQuest. Players create their own story and history through...

EverQuest Online Adventures: Frontiers PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2003)

EverQuest Online Adventures: Frontiers is set in the world of Norrath, 500 years before the PC game EverQuest. It is...

EverQuest: Prophecy of Ro Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

In the eleventh expansion in the EverQuest series, the recently ascended Mayong Mistmoore uses his newly acquired godhood to continue...

Windows (2012)

EverQuest: Rain of Fear is the nineteenth expansion of EverQuest. This expansion continues the story that started with House of...

Windows (2007)

Secrets of Faydwer is the fourteenth expansion to the EverQuest MMORPG. In this expansion players encounter a clockwork invasion of...

EverQuest: Seeds of Destruction Windows Front Cover

Windows (2008)

EverQuest: Seeds of Destruction is the fifteenth expansion of EverQuest. A new portal has been opened in the Plane of...

EverQuest: The Buried Sea Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

The Buried Sea is the thirteenth expansion of the MMORPG EverQuest. The story in this expansion revolves around the sunken...

Windows (2003)

The Legacy of Ykesha is the fifth expansion to the fantasy MMORPG EverQuest. Players can download the entire expansion (or...

EverQuest: The Planes of Power Windows Front Cover

Windows (2002)

EverQuest: Planes Of Power is the fourth expansion to the massively multiplayer online role-playing game EverQuest. A portal has been...

EverQuest: The Ruins of Kunark Windows Front Cover

Windows (2000)

Explore a new world in this add-on to the MMORPG EverQuest. In this first add-on, you explore the tropical region...

EverQuest: The Scars of Velious Windows Front Cover

Windows (2000)

The Scars of Velious is the second add-on to the MMORPG EverQuest. The add-on adds a new location, the continent...

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