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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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The Lord of the Rings Online: Helm's Deep (Base Edition) Windows Front Cover English version

Windows (2013)

The Lord of the Rings Online: Helm's Deep is the fifth expansion for The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows...

The Lord of the Rings Online: Helm's Deep (Premium Edition) Windows Front Cover English version

Windows (2013)

The Lord of the Rings Online: Helm's Deep (Premium Edition) is a special edition of The Lord of the Rings...

Windows (2008)

The Collector's Edition includes: The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines...

The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria (Special Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2008)

The Special Edition includes: The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines...

The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria Windows Front Cover

Windows (2008)

The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria is the first paid-for expansion for The Lord of the Rings...

The Lord of the Rings Online: Riders of Rohan Windows Front Cover English version

Windows (2012)

The Lord of the Rings Online: Riders of Rohan is the fourth add-on for The Lord of the Rings Online:...

The Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard Windows Front Cover English version

Windows (2011)

The Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard is the third add-on for The Lord of the Rings Online:...

The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (Collector's Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

The Collector's Edition was limited to 5,000 units and the box includes: The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of...

The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (Pre-Order Version) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

The Pre-Order Version of The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar includes: Beta access to the game -...

Windows (2007)

The North American edition includes: The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar 30-days of free online play Free...

The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

The Lord of the Rings Online brings the world of J.R.R. Tolkien to the MMO community. Middle-earth is represented accurately...

The Lord of the Rings Online: Siege of Mirkwood Windows Front Cover English version

Windows (2009)

The Lord of the Rings Online: Siege of Mirkwood is the second add-on for The Lord of the Rings Online:...

The Lord of the Rings: Tactics PSP Front Cover

PSP (2005)

The Lord of the Rings: Tactics is a completely original strategy game set in Tolkien's Middle-Earth. Players experience the entire...

The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle Earth II (Collector's Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle Earth II follows the lesser known story of the War of...

The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II - The Rise of the Witch-King Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

After Sauron's defeat in The Battle of the Last Alliance his most powerful servant called the Witch-King, Lord of the...

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Windows Front Cover

Windows (2002), PlayStation 2 (2002) and Xbox (2002)

Based on the legendary novels by the late JRR Tolkien, you take control of the Fellowship as they follow a...

Atari 2600 (2002)

This game's plot is a condensed version of the first book of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. This is...

Game Boy Advance (2002)

Based on the legendary novels by the late JRR Tolkien, you take control of the Fellowship as they follow a...

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Windows Front Cover

Windows (2003), PlayStation 2 (2003), Xbox (2003), GameCube (2003) and Macintosh (2004)

The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King video game again puts the fate of middle-earth in the hands...

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2003)

Return to Middle-earth in this video game based on the epic final chapter of the highly-acclaimed The Lord of the...

The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2004)

The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age for the Game Boy Advance encompasses the entire Lord of the Rings...

The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2004), Xbox (2004) and GameCube (2004)

Unlike the Game Boy Advance version of the game, the console version of The Lord of the Rings:The Third Age...

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2002), Xbox (2002) and GameCube (2002)

Electronic Arts' first game based on the Lord of the Rings movies is an action game with classic beat'em up-style...

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2002)

This portable game is based on the movie version of the second installment of Tolkien's classic trilogy. While the console...

BREW (2003) and J2ME (2003)

The mobile version based on the second The Lord of the Rings film turns the action into a top-down, turn-based...

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