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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Eternal Sonata Xbox 360 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2007) and PlayStation 3 (2008)

The hero of Eternal Sonata is a real historical character, the famous 19-century Polish composer Frédéric Chopin. The game begins...

Etrian Odyssey Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2007)

Far away in a vast fertile land lies a small town called Etria. Peaceful and serene, Etria became famous when...

Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2008)

Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard is a role-playing game from Atlus, it is a dungeon crawler similar to the...

Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2010)

Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City is a role-playing game in the Japanese style. The heretofore advanced city of Armoroad...

Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan Nintendo 3DS Front Cover

Nintendo 3DS (2013)

Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan is the sequel to the 2010 game Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City....

Etrom: The Astral Essence Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

In this sci-fi action/rpg, you take the role of Etrom, an officer in a futuristic dystopia world of Syghundia. During...

EVE Online Windows Front Cover

Linux (2007), Windows (2003) and Macintosh (2007)

EVE Online is an online RPG which is set in a futuristic galaxy. The main focus of the game is...

Eve Online: Commissioned Officer Edition Macintosh Front Cover

Windows (2010) and Macintosh (2010)

The Eve Online: Commissioned Officer Edition is constructed to assist new players to the second-generation massively multiplayer Eve Online universe...

EVE Online (Special Edition) Macintosh Front Cover

Windows (2009) and Macintosh (2009)

A collection of all ten free updates to EVE Online, up to early 2009's Apocrypha expansion. The Special Edition includes...

Evergrace PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2000)

A young swordsman named Darius and a homemaker named Sharline grew up together in Solta, one of the villages in...

EverQuest Windows Front Cover

Windows (1999) and Macintosh (2003)

EverQuest is a fantasy-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game.The game's basic concept is reminiscent of earlier MUD (multi-user dungeon) games,...

Windows (2000)

This compilation contains EverQuest and its first add-on, The Ruins of Kunark.

EverQuest: Depths of Darkhollow Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

In the tenth expansion in the EverQuest series, you travel through a bleak new area, when an expedition of Qeynosian...

EverQuest: Dragons of Norrath Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

EverQuest: Dragons of Norrath is the ninth expansion for the MMORPG EverQuest. It adds new content (zones, monsters, quests, items,...

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...

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