User review spotlight: Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (DOS)

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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Fallen Enchantress Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012)

A world to build...or to destroy is the motto of Fallen Enchantress, a turn-based fantasy strategy game. Similar to the...

Falling Stars Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007) and PlayStation 2 (2007)

Falling Stars is a role-playing game designed for children. As the player uncovers the mysteries of Dazzleon, they must participate...

The Fall: Last Days of Gaia (Extended Version) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

The Fall: Last Days of Gaia (Extended Version) is the first extended re-release of The Fall: Last Days of Gaia....

The Fall: Last Days of Gaia (Reloaded) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

The Reloaded release is an extended version of The Fall: Last Days of Gaia, including all previously released patches. The...

The Fall: Last Days of Gaia Windows Front Cover

Windows (2004)

The Fall: Last Days of Gaia is a game set in an apocalyptic future ruled by different gangs that fight...

Fallout DOS Front Cover

DOS (1997), Windows (1997) and Macintosh (1997)

A devastating nuclear war had wiped out almost the entire population of the Earth. The civilization, as we know it,...

Fallout 2 Windows Front Cover

Windows (1998) and Macintosh (2002)

The sequel to Fallout starts eighty years after its predecessor. When the First Vault Dweller was forced from his home,...

Fallout 3 Windows Front Cover

Windows (2008), Xbox 360 (2008) and PlayStation 3 (2008)

After World War II, rapid technology development carried humans towards a supposedly bright future, fulfilling their eternal dream. But eventually...

Fallout 3: Broken Steel PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Windows (2009), Xbox 360 (2009) and PlayStation 3 (2009)

Broken Steel is the third downloadable expansion released for Fallout 3. It extends the level cap from 20 to 30,...

Fallout 3 (Collector's Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2008), Xbox 360 (2008) and PlayStation 3 (2008)

This collector's edition contains: Fallout 3 Vault Boy Bobblehead - A collectible 5" Vault-Tec Vault Vault Boy Bobblehead Collector's Lunchbox...

Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition Windows Front Cover

Windows (2009), Xbox 360 (2009) and PlayStation 3 (2009)

This edition includes Fallout 3 plus 5 previously released downloadable content episodes: Operation: Anchorage The Pitt Broken Steel Point Lookout...

Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Windows (2009), Xbox 360 (2009) and PlayStation 3 (2009)

The fifth and final downloadable expansion for Fallout 3, Mothership Zeta begins with the player picking up a strange radio...

Fallout 3: Operation: Anchorage Windows Front Cover

Windows (2009), Xbox 360 (2009) and PlayStation 3 (2009)

Operation: Anchorage is the first downloadable content (DLC) for Fallout 3 patched to version 1.1.0.x It is available on Xbox...

Fallout 3: Point Lookout PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Windows (2009), Xbox 360 (2009) and PlayStation 3 (2009)

Point Lookout is the fourth downloadable expansion for Fallout 3, and takes the player to the misty swampland along the...

Windows (2008), Xbox 360 (2008) and PlayStation 3 (2008)

This US-only survival edition can only be ordered through the online retailer Amazon.com. It contains all the content of the...

Fallout 3: The Pitt PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Windows (2009), Xbox 360 (2009) and PlayStation 3 (2009)

The second downloadable content for Fallout 3, The Pitt takes players to the ruins of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - now a...

Fallout Apokalypse Windows Front Cover

Windows (1998)

Compilation including the 2 post nuclear role-playing games plus an additional promotional disc about the next game in development, Fallout...

Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2004) and Xbox (2004)

In a post-apocalyptic future, a society known as the Brotherhood of Steel is born, wielding powerful weapons and armor from...

Fallout: New Vegas Windows Front Cover

Windows (2010), Xbox 360 (2010) and PlayStation 3 (2010)

Fallout: New Vegas, like its predecessors, takes place in an alternate timeline where a war over resources sprouts up in...

Fallout: New Vegas (Collector's Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2010), Xbox 360 (2010) and PlayStation 3 (2010)

This collector's edition contains: Fallout: New Vegas A fully customized Fallout: New Vegas deck of cards Seven "Lucky 7" poker...

Fallout: New Vegas - Courier's Stash Windows Front Cover

Windows (2011), Xbox 360 (2011) and PlayStation 3 (2011)

Courier's Stash is a compilation of content that was previously only available to people who pre-ordered Fallout: New Vegas. These...

Fallout: New Vegas - Dead Money Windows Front Cover

Windows (2011), Xbox 360 (2010) and PlayStation 3 (2011)

Ah, the Sierra Madre resort and casino. The most opulent and extravagant resort ever conceived. It was built with the...

Fallout: New Vegas - Gun Runners' Arsenal Windows Front Cover

Windows (2011), Xbox 360 (2011) and PlayStation 3 (2011)

The Gun Runners Arsenal is a DLC add-on pack for Fallout: New Vegas that adds a host of new weapons,...

Fallout: New Vegas - Honest Hearts Windows Front Cover

Windows (2011), Xbox 360 (2011) and PlayStation 3 (2011)

Fallout: New Vegas - Honest Hearts is the second downloadable add-on for Fallout: New Vegas. The story leads the protagonist...

Fallout: New Vegas - Lonesome Road Windows Front Cover

Windows (2011), Xbox 360 (2011) and PlayStation 3 (2011)

Fallout: New Vegas - Lonesome Road is the fourth DLC (downloadable content) for Fallout: New Vegas. It leads the player...

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