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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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Mass Effect 2: Aegis Pack PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2010) and PlayStation 3 (2011)

The Aegis Pack is a commercial downloadable content (DLC) pack for Mass Effect 2. It adds the M-29 Incisor sniper...

Mass Effect 2: Arrival PlayStation 3 Front Cover

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

Arrival is the final downloadable content pack for Mass Effect 2. It adds a new quest, which serves as direct...

Mass Effect 2 (Collector's Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2010) and Xbox 360 (2010)

The Collector's Edition includes: Mass Effect 2 Hardcover Art Book with 48 pages Mass Effect Redemption Comic #1 Ingame-item Collector...

Mass Effect 2 (Digital Deluxe Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2010)

This online Digital Deluxe Edition includes the main game and these bonus features: Collector Armor and Assault Rifle Incisor Rifle...

Mass Effect 2: Equalizer Pack PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2010) and PlayStation 3 (2011)

The Equalizer Pack is a commercial downloadable content (DLC) for Mass Effect 2. This pack adds the Inferno Armor, Capacitor...

Mass Effect 2: Firepower Pack PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2010) and PlayStation 3 (2011)

The Firepower Pack is a commercial downloadable content (DLC) for Mass Effect 2. This pack adds the Phalanx heavy pistol,...

Windows (2010)

Firewalker Pack is a downloadable content (DLC) pack for Mass Effect 2. It adds the heavy hover tank "Hammerhead" which...

Windows (2010) and Xbox 360 (2010)

Kasumi: Stolen Memory is a commercial downloadable content (DLC) pack for Mass Effect 2. It adds a new quest for...

Windows (2010) and Xbox 360 (2010)

The Lair of the Shadow Broker is a commercial downloadable content (DLC) pack for Mass Effect 2. It adds a...

Windows (2010)

Normandy Crash Site (Cerberus Network) is a downloadable content (DLC) pack for Mass Effect 2. It adds an additional quest...

Windows (2010) and Xbox 360 (2010)

Overlord is a commercial, almost completely combat oriented downloadable content (DLC) pack for Mass Effect 2. An AI named "VI...

Mass Effect 2: Terminus Pack PlayStation 3 Front Cover

PlayStation 3 (2011)

The Terminus Pack is a commercial downloadable content (DLC) for Mass Effect 2. This pack adds the Terminus armor and...

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

Zaeed: The Price of Revenge (Cerberus Network) is a downloadable content (DLC) pack for Mass Effect 2. It adds a...

Mass Effect 3 Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012), Xbox 360 (2012) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

As a result of Commander Shepard's affiliation with the Cerberus organisation in the past, he or she is removed from...

Mass Effect 3: Alternate Appearance Pack 1 PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2012) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

The Alternate Appearance Pack 1 is a commercial DLC for Mass Effect 3. It includes three outfits, one each for...

Mass Effect 3: Citadel PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Windows (2013), Xbox 360 (2013) and PlayStation 3 (2013)

Citadel is downloadable content (DLC) and the final plot-oriented expansion pack to Mass Effect 3. It is set entirely within...

Mass Effect 3: Earth Multiplayer Expansion PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Windows (2012), Xbox 360 (2012) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

The Earth Multiplayer Expansion is a downloadable content pack (DLC) for Mass Effect 3. Includes the following content: Six human...

Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012), Xbox 360 (2012) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut is a free, downloadable add-on content pack for Mass Effect 3 and it expands the...

Mass Effect 3: Firefight Pack PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Windows (2012), Xbox 360 (2012) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

The Firefight Pack is a commercial DLC pack for Mass Effect 3. It includes seven weapons for use in the...

Mass Effect 3: From Ashes PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Windows (2012), Xbox 360 (2012) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

Mass Effect 3: From Ashes is the first commercial DLC (downloadable content) for Mass Effect 3. It adds a new...

Mass Effect 3: Groundside Resistance Pack PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Windows (2012), Xbox 360 (2012) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

The Groundside Resistance Pack is a commercial DLC pack for Mass Effect 3. It includes seven weapons for use in...

Mass Effect 3: Leviathan Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012), Xbox 360 (2012) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

Mass Effect 3: Leviathan is a DLC expansion for the Mass Effect 3 single-player game. It involves Shepard's quest to...

Mass Effect 3: Multiplayer Collection PlayStation 3 Front Cover

PlayStation 3 (2013)

This compilation includes all five multiplayer add-ons for Mass Effect 3: Earth Multiplayer Expansion Rebellion Multiplayer Expansion Reckoning Multiplayer Expansion...

Mass Effect 3 (N7 Collector's Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012), Xbox 360 (2012) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

This collector's edition includes: Mass Effect 3 in a metal keep case 70-page hardcover art book N7 fabric patch with...

Mass Effect 3: Omega PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Windows (2012), Xbox 360 (2012) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

Omega is a downloadable content (DLC) pack for Mass Effect 3. It is built like a side quest that can...

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