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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 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...

EverQuest: The Serpent's Spine Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

The Serpent's Spine is the twelfth expansion in the EverQuest series. Players uncover the lost city of Crescent Reach, hidden...

EverQuest: The Shadows of Luclin Windows Front Cover

Windows (2001)

EverQuest: Shadows Of Luclin is the third expansion pack to EverQuest, the massively multiplayer role-playing game. This expansion pack adds...

Windows (2006)

EverQuest: Titanium Edition is a compilation that includes the original game and the first ten expansions:The Ruins of Kunark The...

EverQuest Trilogy Windows Front Cover

Windows (2001)

EverQuest: Trilogy is an anthology that includes the original EverQuest and its first two expansion packs, The Ruins of Kunark...

EverQuest: Underfoot Windows Front Cover

Windows (2009)

EverQuest: Underfoot is the sixteenth expansion of EverQuest. This expansion explores the story of Brell Serilis and his maze of...

Windows (2011)

This is the eighteenth expansion of the popular EverQuest series. The plot of this expansion involves the demise of the...

DOS (1988)

Evets is a relatively rare roguelike game that has several unusual features like controlling a party of characters instead of...

Evil Islands: Curse of the Lost Soul Windows Front Cover

Windows (2000)

There is trouble in the land of Gipath. Legends tell of the Chosen One that will come and save its...

EvilQuest Windows Front Cover

Windows (2014) and Xbox 360 (2012)

EvilQuest is 2D retro action role-playing game. The player controls Galvis - an evil Dark Knight who wants ultimate power...

Evoland Macintosh Front Cover

Windows (2013), Macintosh (2013), iPhone (2015), Android (2015) and iPad (2015)

Evoland is a journey through the history of role-playing games during its course of breaking off from the traditional adventure...

Evolution 2: Far off Promise Dreamcast Front Cover

Dreamcast (1999)

Evolution 2 is a direct sequel to World of Sacred Device. The events of the game take place six months...

Neo Geo Pocket Color (2000)

A portable version of Evolution: The World of Sacred Device. Eternal Dungeon tells the story of the young explorer Mag...

Evolution: The World of Sacred Device Dreamcast Front Cover

Dreamcast (1999)

Mag Launcher is the only child in a legendary family of adventurers. Several years ago, a cute little girl showed...

Evolution Worlds GameCube Front Cover

GameCube (2002)

Evolution Worlds is a re-release of two games: Evolution: The World of Sacred Device Evolution 2: Far off Promise The...

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