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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Apple II (1982)

They want a piece of the action… They want success and all its spoils. They want the ultimate independence of...

Apple II (1981)

The gateway to the New York Rocket Field is your first step of a space voyage in which you may...

Windows (2006)

Empires & Dungeons is a medieval fantasy game that combines elements of Heroes of Might and Magic-type turn-based strategy games...

Empires & Dungeons 2: The Sultanate Windows Front Cover

Windows (2011)

Empires & Dungeons 2: The Sultanate is the successor of Empires & Dungeons. This strategy-roleplaying game combines the most addictive...

Empire & State Browser Front Cover

Browser (2011)

Empire & State is a free-to-play political strategy MMO. The game takes place on the colonial planet Altea. Upon arrival,...

Enchanted Arms Xbox 360 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2006) and PlayStation 3 (2007)

Over 1000 years ago a great war called "The Golem War" laid waste to the entire world. The war's name...

Enchanted Forest Browser Front Cover

Browser (1998)

Enchanted Forest is a game set in - appropriately - a forest. It uses a top-down view, which allows you...

Enchanted Forest II Browser Front Cover

Browser (2000)

Enchanted Forest II is a sequel to Enchanted Forest. Like its predecessor, it is a top-down, turn-based game where you...

The Endless Abyss Xbox 360 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2010)

Zachary Rickettz is a warrior who is on a mission: traveling through the kingdom and finding three relics. These are...

Endless Ages Windows Front Cover

Windows (2003)

Endless Ages bills itself as a "Massive Multi-Player Online Real Time First Person Shooter Role Playing Game."Players in this online...

End of Twilight Windows Front Cover

Windows (2001)

Troubles in Valhalla. After a hefty dispute between the gods and the destruction of Ragnarok, the eternal home of the...

PC-98 (1995) and FM Towns (1995)

Five hundred years have passed since the twelve Angelic Disciples defeated the evil sorceress Guendola. All that remained was her...

PC-98 (1993) and FM Towns (1995)

In Engage Errands, the player commands a unit of angelic fighters. These fighters look like pretty girls, but they are...

Enigma Force Commodore 64 Front Cover

Commodore 64 (1986) and ZX Spectrum (1985)

Following the events depicted in Shadowfire, General Zoff, the republican dictator, has been captured, but he still had time to...

DOS (1995)

The Enigma Of Ashrella is a BBS Door, text based, role-playing game. In the world of Daagrung lies the continent...

Ephemeral Fantasia PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2001)

In this game, the player controls Mouse, a silent musician who travels with his talking guitar Pattimo. One day Mouse...

Epic Dungeon Xbox 360 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2010)

Epic Dungeon is a Rogue variant with a twist. While the gameplay is more or less the same as in...

Epic Inventor Linux Front Cover

Linux (2012), Windows (2012) and Macintosh (2012)

Epic Inventor is a freeware 2D crafting role-playing game set in a fantasy sandbox world. The player takes the role...

Game Boy Advance (2006)

Eragon for the Game Boy Advance is a traditional turn based RPG with a combat system that emphasizes motion and...

Eragon Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2006)

Eragon for the DS is an over the shoulder action RPG game, unlike the GBA (a traditional RPG) or the...

Erinia Windows Front Cover

Windows (2004)

In the dawn of mankind, many creatures strived for survival. Among these creatures, there were some more powerful than others;...

Atari ST (1988)

Escape is a RPG-like labyrinth game for medium resolution coded in assembler. Your mission is to find the exit of...

Escape from Hell DOS Front Cover

DOS (1990)

For an inexplicable reason, an ordinary guy named Richard was thrown into Hell. Apparently, there has been some mistake, but...

Escape from Paradise City Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

Paradise City is a cruel city ruled by a gangster-organisation more powerful than anything the NSA has seen before. Known...

Escape Velocity Macintosh Front Cover

Macintosh (1996)

Escape Velocity is an open-ended, role-playing arcade game set in a future where interstellar space travel has allowed mankind to...

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