I bounced hard off of Unreal World because I couldn’t grasp the myriad of keyboard based commands and combat seemed like something to be avoided at all costs, which is not really what I think when I think RPG. I know tons of people absolutely love the game, but it just turned me off from the start.
It is not an RPG but it needs to be said… for exploration… Elite Dangerous is king. Nothing comes close.
Yeah, it’s undoubtedly a niche game. Too bad really, I would love if there were more than the one guy in Finland making games like this. In my opinion it’s the only game that does the “survival” subgenre properly.
I’d crank the difficulty all the way down and go with The Witcher 3. There’s fighting, but it nails everything else on your list, and there’s less fighting than you would think for a game about a monster hunter. At least there was the way I played it.
Not necessarily on topic, but I realized the other day that I never played Jade Empire. Is there a new HD version coming out? Is it still good? Will the graphics make my eyes bleed after being spoiled by Witcher 3?
No HD Version coming that we know of. And it wasn’t a hit game, so I doubt that’s in the cards.
I haven’t played it since it came out, but looking at screenshots just now, I’d say it still holds up since the art was very stylized to begin with. Plus there was lots of bloom lighting everywhere, which gives the screenshots a dream-like quality even today, like it did back then. I’d say it looks good.
I’d say you should go for it. I enjoyed it a lot back in the day. My best guess would be that it still holds up.
Caveat: I played it with a controller on Xbox OG. If you’re getting it on PC and using mouse and keyboard, I have no idea how it will feel. It’s an ARPG in terms of gameplay, very action-oriented with lots of fun buttonmashing. I don’t think that would translate well to the mouse and keyboard.
Hmm thanks. It does look like it has an interesting artistic style.
I just played it a few months ago. Looked fine at 4k with a high rez texture pack. It was fun, I finished it. Blew the romance, as it’s harder to trigger than most Bioware games.
I’ll just second everything you said here. Loved it.
I’ve been curiosly following this thread as well, but I just assumed you’d already played The Witcher 3, and Dragon Age: Inquisition. If not - GOOD GOD WHY NOT
:) When I first read your comment, I just shrugged it off as your being a wiseass. But when I think it over, there’s a ray of truth to it… only it’s not a game I already played, it’s a book that made an impression on me when I was young.
The Hobbit. It and the Rings Trilogy are, of course, the source of a lot of RPG tropes, from orcs to poisonous spiders to magic jewelry. But I think The Hobbit, in particular, created in my mind the perfect fantasy exploration of other cultures and varied wilderness. Elrond’s elves, Beorn’s settlement, the Misty Mountains, and, best of all, Mirkwood. With meaningful discoveries all along the way. It’s not that there was no fighting, but killing left and right was not the core of the experience, and, in any case, it was not a book about gaining superhuman, god-like powers. And certainly not about fighting random baddies every few steps. And that process being the source of rising powers.
In my mind, the RPG genre has mostly gone off further and further in another direction, and I have often enjoyed it. I loved Wizardry. I liked Icewind Dale and Baldur’s Gate and a fair number of others, many of which I never finished but liked for a time.
But I guess I am searching around for a game that comes closer to the spirit of The Hobbit.
I’m still watching Let’s Plays of games suggested here, being very indecisive. Balrum sounds to have some technical tangles but also sounds like it has much of the spirit. Age of Decadence sounds very enclosed in terms of space, but very promising and I think I’ll end up playing it sooner or later whether it scratches this particular itch or not. Witcher 3 sounds far closer to my tastes than I had previously thought – but this bit about playing a guy with superhuman powers (and right from the get-go) I just don’t know.
But I really appreciate all the suggestions! Thank you all!
Geralt’s powers are… not that impressive most of the time. You can drive your character build in a variety of directions, but mostly I was good with a sword and had some heightened senses. He’s not a crazy wizard by any means. Mostly Geralt’s powers are that he knows things and that he’s prepared. Witchers figure out what they’re facing, prepare appropriately in terms of weaponry, barely-not-lethal alchemic potions, and tactics. And then they sometimes don’t die.
Think Strider, not Gandalf.
Have you played Life is Strange? Gone Home? Some of the walking simulators may scratch the itch in ways that RPGs don’t as much.
You could also look at Fallen London/Sunless Sea/80 Days, which are exploration games where you level up and consume/look for story bits.
Whoah you’re looking for an interesting atmospheric single player faux medieval open non-linear RPG with wilderness and town exploration, and you haven’t played The Witcher 3? I know it’s popular and not ‘off the beaten trail’ but really… it was the forum GotY 2015! :)
Okay so there’s combat, but crank it down to easy for zero challenge. And as a bonus you’ll get some of the best character and quest writing in the industry, and it’s not too hard on the eyes either.
The bummer thing about Witcher 3, despite what some others in this thread have said, is that it’s absolutely full of pretty much constant combat. Even worse, it’s meaningless combat, frequently with wild dogs and thieves that you’ll quickly outclass. Given that the game assigns exp mostly through completing quests and very little through combat victories, I really wish it had the guts to dial back on the frequency and focus on making the fights more meaningful.
Of course, for every critically acclaimed game there’ll always be someone who comes along to complain about how it’s not perfect. ;)
Do you have an alternative suggestion that better meets the brief then? For me W3 is one of those landmark games that anyone interested in the genre needs to check out.
Whatever happened to proper setting of expectations? I don’t believe I said that Witcher 3 was not worth playing, or that it wasn’t a very fine game. However I am saying that it, like everything else under the sun, is imperfect, and how I find it to be so. As for RPGs that I think shore up this particular deficiency, damn few in my experience. I’d love one that allowed a straight charisma/diplomacy option for talking through stuff. Still waiting on that one.
Hey I didn’t say you were wrong. :)
I found W3 did have it’s share of meaningful fights as well though, and playing at the higher difficulty a lot of the earlier trash ones were still a challenge.
Sure they got steamrolled later on but to me that’s not so bad, wading in feeling like a ‘badass’, and better than them remaining the same challenge level throughout.
Perhaps they could have introduced more enemy awareness, where they’re hesitant to engage in battle when severely outclassed. Thieves run or prefer to bargain and surrender or something.
Age of Decadence largely allows talking through things (though you have to make decisions that don’t, e.g., lead to getting jumped in an alley). And I think Unrest is entirely dialogue oriented. but the thing is people regard combat as gameplay and talking… not so much. so games with no combat don’t tend to be pitched as or designed as RPGs.