*Possible Spoilers Ahead*

In this post I thought I'd address something I've been thinking about for a while. Recently I have been playing The Witcher 3 and got to thinking what makes an RPG a good RPG, is it story, is it the gameplay, graphics or is it the characters themselves. In a way I believe really these all play a part in making an RPG a good RPG. This is more me just sharing my opinion rather than recommending anything. 

Story

Sometimes an RPG is considered great for its story, one where you can't help but get sucked into the game and lose yourself in the fantasy that unravels before you. Take The Witcher for instance throughout all 3 games the story has been brilliant and has fully captured me and sucked me in. Another great story is the Mass Effect series which gave you so many tough choices it made you feel as if the fate of the entire galaxy was in your hands all the way through. 

However sometimes even without a story that is spoon fed to you an RPG can still be great for instance take the Souls series, although they do have a story it's entirely up to the player whether or not they want to learn the lore behind the game (Which I would recommend as it is amazing), this is because the story is hidden in item descriptions and character dialogue. If a player decides though that they do not want to learn the lore it doesn't take away from this game that challenges the player in different ways.

Gameplay

Next is the Gameplay. In an RPG you want some decent gamplay, whether it's combat, a leveling system or how much grinding you have to do to get a decent item. Some games have been saved by the gameplay on their own where as others have had to improve to stop a falling fanbase. I go back to the Souls series for gameplay this game has inspired copy cat games based on the gameplay itself such as The lords of the fallen and Nioh a game to released this year. On the other hand though you have games like Destiny a game on it's original release had mixed reviews and a lot of quarrels with players as to the lame story and the amount of grinding to do before you got any decent items, however a few good updates later and this game is up there with the rest for it's multiplayer gameplay and PVP. 

I think out of all the categories gameplay is probably the most important, it can completely take you out of a game and ruin the whole experience for a player, it's one of the reasons I found it difficult to play through the first Witcher game as the combat in that was atrocious. If a game has good gameplay sometimes you can forget about other problems the game may have. 

Graphics

For me graphics are a minor problem when it comes to them being poor, this does not mean that I will not have a little moan sometimes when the graphics are pretty rubbish. In this day and age graphics have reached a point where most games are impeccably  beautiful and you can find yourself lost in the scenery, I myself have found myself staring at sunsets in Witcher and ogling and the vastness of the landscapes in Dark Souls 3. However sometimes a game can be a little disappointing with its graphics, take for instance Fallout 4 a game I had been excited for, for 7 years and luckily I did enjoy the game when it came out despite some of it's flaws. One thing I could not understand however was the fact the graphics had not improved greatly from the last one, they were better but not in a way that made my jaw drop. This is something I hope Bethesda improve with the next elder scrolls game.

Characters

Characters in an RPG can be very important, you play a role and a lot of the time you will need to interact with other NPC's and you also want the character you play to have a distinct personality otherwise they just end up feeling like a plank of wood. Games such as The Witcher and Mass Effect do well to make a lot of the NPC's feel real and that their troubles are real, they also do a good job in making the main protagonist interesting. Where as games like Fallout 3 and Skyrim take a different approach making the main character silent, they do this to make it feel like you yourself are the protagonist which works very well for immersion and makes you feel as if you are talking to the NPC's. In other games such as Destiny though characters fall a bit flat, take the Peter Dinklage fiasco for instance, the work he did was criticised for being a bit boring, they changed his voice later to Nolan North's and although this was due to Peter's availability, it doesn't change the fact Nolan in most parts did a better job.

 

Published by Lewis Cattle