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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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Dota 2 Linux Front Cover

Linux (2013), Windows (2013) and Macintosh (2013)

Dota 2 is the official sequel to Defense of the Ancients, a fan-made map of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos,...

Double Dungeons Wii Front Cover

TurboGrafx-16 (1989) and Wii (2007)

Double Dungeons is a solo dungeon crawler in the strictest sense. One or two players can explore pseudo-3D, maze-like dungeons...

NES (1992)

The world of sword and magic, Double Moon, with its two continents - Northern and Southern - was created by...

Downtown Special: Kunio-kun no Jidaigeki da yo - Zenin Shūgō! NES Front Cover

Game Boy (1993), NES (1991), Wii (2009), Nintendo 3DS (2011) and Wii U (2013)

Downtown Special: Kunio-kun no Jidaigeki da yo - Zenin Shūgō! is a Japanese-only sequel to the classic beat 'em up/rpg...

Drachen von Laas DOS Front Cover

DOS (1991), Amiga (1991) and Atari ST (1991)

Drachen von Laas tells the story of two young friends who are bored with their everyday life in the medieval...

Dracula in London DOS Front Cover

DOS (1988)

Dracula in London is a board game / adventure game based on the classic horror novel by Bram Stoker. Tired...

Windows 3.x (1993)

This is a Windows 3.x conversion of the original MS-DOS Dracula in London board/adventure game. The ASCII graphics and CGA...

Dragon Age II Macintosh Front Cover

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

Dragon Age II is a sequel to Dragon Age: Origins.One of the key events early in the first game was...

Dragon Age II (BioWare Signature Edition) Macintosh Front Cover

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

Dragon Age II (BioWare Signature Edition) is a Special Edition of Dragon Age II exclusive for early pre-orders through specific...

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

Dragon Age II: Legacy is a DLC (downloadable content) for Dragon Age II. Hawke keeps getting attacked by Carta goons...

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

Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin is a DLC (downloadable content) for Dragon Age II. After being set up...

Dragon Age II: The Black Emporium PlayStation 3 Front Cover

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

The Black Emporium is a DLC for Dragon Age II. It is free for all buyers of an unused copy...

Dragon Age II: The Exiled Prince PlayStation 3 Front Cover

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

The Exiled Prince is a commercial DLC for Dragon Age II. It adds a new companion named Sebastian Vael who...

Dragon Age: Inquisition Windows Front Cover

Windows (2014), Xbox 360 (2014), PlayStation 3 (2014), PlayStation 4 (2014) and Xbox One (2014)

Dragon Age: Inquisition is a role-playing game and the third main game in the Dragon Age series. It is set...

Dragon Age Legends Browser Front Cover

Browser (2011)

Dragon Age Legends is a turn-based RPG on Facebook and Google+. Ravi, the Viscount of Kaiten fears something is wrong...

Browser (2011)

Dragon Age Legends Remix 01 is a "remix" of Dragon Age Legends. It features the same graphics as the aforementioned...

Dragon Age: Origins Windows Front Cover

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

Four hundred years have passed since the last Blight was successfully prevented by the Grey Wardens. Now once again the...

Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening Windows Front Cover

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

Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening is the first add-on to Dragon Age: Origins. After the death of the Archdemon in...

Dragon Age: Origins (Collector's Edition) Windows Front Cover

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

The Collector's Edition includes: Dragon Age: Origins The Stone Prisoner downloadable quest Downloadable Blood Dragon Armor for both Dragon Age:...

Dragon Age: Origins (Digital Deluxe Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2009) and Macintosh (2009)

Dragon Age: Origins (Digital Deluxe Edition) is a special edition release which includes:Dragon Age: OriginsThe Stone Warrior downloadable questWarden's Keep...

Dragon Age: Origins - Feastday Combo Pack PlayStation 3 Front Cover

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

Feastday Combo Pack is a compilation with two downloadable content (DLC) packs for Dragon Age: Origins: Feastday Gifts Feastday Pranks...

Dragon Age: Origins - Feastday Gifts PlayStation 3 Front Cover

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

Feastday Gifts is a commercial downloadable content (DLC) pack for Dragon Age: Origins. It features ten gifts for the companions...

Dragon Age: Origins - Feastday Pranks PlayStation 3 Front Cover

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

Feastday Pranks is a commercial downloadable content (DLC) pack for Dragon Age: Origins. It features ten pranks for the companions...

Dragon Age: Origins - Leliana's Song Xbox 360 Front Cover

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

Leliana's Song is a commercial downloadable content (DLC) pack for Dragon Age: Origins and requires the original game to play....

Dragon Age: Origins - Return to Ostagar Xbox 360 Front Cover

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

Return to Ostagar is a commercial downloadable content (DLC) pack for Dragon Age: Origins. During the course of the quest...

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