There's another fun little article to feast upon today, and this time it's a history/overview of the role-playing game as told by the enthusiasts over at... Gametard. I'll let these two paragraphs speak for themselves:
In the late 90's, both Fallout and Baulder's Gate hit retail shelves, and provided players the first extremely marketable non-linear RPG's. For once we were able to make ground breaking decisions which could alter gameplay and your stories ultimate outcome. You were truly living the game in a truly interactive world. These two franchises are sometimes credited for shifting the once traditionally Asian-held RPG market over to the West. It took a couple of years, but in 2009, it feels like Asian RPG's are redundant and completely exhausted. After all, why watch a 40+ hour "game" when you have the option to tailer the eventual outcome? You heard it here first: Baldur's Gate was the world's first "extremely marketable non-linear RPG".
Recently, we've been treated to titles such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect, and Fallout 3, just to name a few. These are all triple 'A' examples of an extremely interactive medium, yet the game which really made me question myself and my options was, humorously, a decidedly mediocre title with an extremely limited story arc. The game being Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2; an interactive journey which steals most of it's plot devices from Marvel's own Civil War story line, which finished it's run in January of 2007. It's still pretty fresh.