story-based/open-ended RPG's

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arconreef
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story-based/open-ended RPG's

Postby arconreef » Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:44 pm

So, I just recently got into playing rpgs, and after playing through kotor 1 & 2 (my first two) as well as Oblivion, I'm not sure where to go.

As I have looked through the most successful and popular rpg's in the history of games, I have realized that the kind of rpg I really enjoy is not what the general gaming audience enjoy. I am not looking for another sandbox game like Oblivion. It’s a great game in it’s own right, just not what I'm really looking for. What I truly enjoyed about kotor was the story (and the characters). I want to be immersed in a story that feels real. I want to be pushed along through the storyline like a movie, but with the ability to drastically change the outcome of it (unlike a movie) based on my decisions. Oblivion/Skyrim/Morrowind are all about having a world to explore, people to talk to, monsters to fight, and sidequests to do (to use GawainBS's words in another thread, they are "sandboxy" games.) Those games offer more than enough to satisfy my hunger for that kind if game. I am looking for a game that has characters that really feel alive, characters that feel so real that you could mistake them for real people. The way kotor did this was through frequent conversation which provided insight into the characters and changed how they talked to you based on your responses.

In summary, I want characters that feel alive and real who interact with you, and a deep involving, immersing story that changes based on the player's choices, with lots of variety and conflict.

What rpg's come closest to filling this void? If there are none that come close, what other kinds of rpg's would you recommend to me?

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Stworca
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Postby Stworca » Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:00 pm

Temple of Elemental Evil. Up until now : The very definition of Open-Ended, Story-Based RPG
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Bloodstalker
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Postby Bloodstalker » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:02 pm

Older games that fit the bill would be the Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 and Planescape: Torment. You'll probably hear those games recommended a lot around here. There really isn;t much I can say bad about any of them and I spent embarrassing amounts of time replaying them.

More recently would be Dragon Age Origins. I wasn't much of a fan of Dragon Age 2, but I played Origins quite a few times. . I also enjoyed the Mass Effect series. It also has a lot in common with Knights in a lot of ways, including the sci-fi space setting. That series has more shooter elements than the others which puts some people off, especially Mass Effect 2, but, again, I've played them to death.
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krissyboie
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Postby krissyboie » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:01 pm

Although I know some will disagree, neverwinter nights 1 and 2 are both really good as well as icewind dale 1 and 2. both have very interesting story lines and i have found both to have immersive storylines. I also agree with baldurs gate 1 and 2 as they are probably the best rpgs made. one last suggestion would be to try wizardy 8, but some people dont like the first person point of view

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Myrr Disparo
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Postby Myrr Disparo » Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:01 am

On story and believable characters, you can't really beat [url="http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/fallout"]Fallout[/url] (specially the [url="http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/fallout_2"]second[/url] one), or [url="http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/arcanum_of_steamworks_and_magick_obscura"]Arcanum[/url], which I always considered kind of a spiritual sucessor, even though it has nothing in common with the Fallouts, other than being done by largely the same developing team, being turn-based (or, rather, having the option of enabling turn-based play, which I highly reccomend) and having the same quirky sense of humour, interesting characters and a great storyline (which is already more than Fallout 3 has, but that's nor here nor there)
Look, I know not many people will reccomend these, since they are considered pretty sandboxy. These people are wrong. Dead wrong. So wrong it hurts. Arcanum has what is, to my liking, the best fantasy setting in a videogame, bar [url="http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/planescape_torment"]Planescape[/url]. And the story is top notch stuff. Real great storytelling, unlike what Bioware passes for cinematic experiences these days. Fallout... Well, Fallout is Fallout. I don't think I have to explain that one. Buy these games. Play these games. Enjoy these games. No need to thank me.
Also, if you don't mind getting a little shootery, [url="http://store.steampowered.com/agecheck/app/34010/"]Alpha Protocol[/url] has a pretty enjoyable storyline, and a quite nuanced take on characters and personality, that I wish was explored further (it gives Bioware's conversation wheel a purpose! And it finally makes the character influence thing that Obsidian is so hell-bent on implementing make sense! What more could you ask for?). It's somewhat open-ended, so it should fit the bill, but there are people who LOATHE the gameplay. I quite liked it, but, you know, approach with caution.

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Stworca
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Postby Stworca » Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:29 am

Ahh yes, Alpha Protocol has surprisingly good storyline, and is very open-ended. If not for the abyssmal combat mechanics..

I wish to plead to people, to not mention "Neverwinter Nights 2" or alike, as open-ended games. It's linear to boot, and you can not even choose to NOT take ALL of the companions with you.

Random Stranger "Can i come with you?"
- Yes
- Yes
- Yes
- N---- Yes

To compare it to ToEE, is to spit on every person that worked on the Elemental Evil game. (open-endness wise)
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Ares2382
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Postby Ares2382 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:40 am

Arcanum is a game I recommend for you. If you truly want a game where you can change the way you play, this is the one you want.

Want to be good, play one way. Want to be evil, you'll play a completely different way. Playing a mage and playing a tech oriented guy or neutral kind of fella, are all totally different experiences. Even the main quest will follow different roads depending on which choices you make.

Arcanum is sort of in between KOTOR and The Elder Scolls. It's not near as linear as KOTOR games, but it's main story is far more interesting IMHO to that of any of The Elder Scrolls (and IMHO better then either of KOTOR games).

It might be old, not very pretty to look at compared to KOTOR or The Elder Scrolls, but I still fire it up from time to time and play my elephant gun wielding dwarf.

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shadowwot
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Postby shadowwot » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:19 pm

I would highly recommend you check out other games by BioWare or Obsidian (the makers of KOTOR 1 & 2).

I would personally recommend Bioware's Dragon Age Origins and Mass Effect or Obsidian's Neverwinter Knights 2 as great games to check out first since they are similar in design to KOTOR.

There are some excellent older RPG's however if you are not used to playing older RPG's it can take awhile to get into.

Other RPG's I would recommend:
Baldur's Gate 1-2 (Considered by many to be the best CRPG ever made)
Planescape Torment (Considered by many to have the best and most unique story in a CRPG; however the combat is terrible compared to similar games)
Icewind Dale 1-2
Wizardry 7-8
Fallout 1-2 (You really don't have a party in these games, but they are awesome regardless)

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Postby Nymie_the_Pooh » Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:14 am

A guide to finding a good RPG. Step one, locate the Banshee Network drop bar up above. Step two, click on it. Step three, pick anything on the list.

All joking aside, every game mentioned so far is good for its own reasons. While the Neverwinter Nights games are not open ended, they are similar to the KOTOR games as well as pretty much anything Bioware has put out since such as Dragon Age, Mass Effect, and Jade Empire. They all share quite a few similarities.

Mass Effect originally came across to me as Bioware wanting to do KotOR3 but gave up on trying to get the license and gave things a more military bent. It's not KotOR3, but that was how it felt when I first started to play. I think it was the psionics as they act a bit like force powers and they also brought back some of the same voice actors.

The Baldur's Gate games are great. Really great actually. I didn't mention them with the others as they don't use the same formula Bioware used for their later games. I don't think I have played a bad Infinity engine game. The best of them was Planescape: Torment, but that was because of narrative. I know some that find it "too wordy" at which point I have to stop being that person's friend. 8P

I'll echo Arcanum, and I had lots of fun with Alpha Protocol. Then again, I didn't run into any bugs with Alpha Protocol either which is where most of the complaints I hear stem from.

If you decide to try an Oblivion style game again, then I'd suggest Fallout New Vegas or Morrowind. They have been my favourites so far of that group of games even with Skyrim out now. Gothic was good too and is a sandbox but a little tighter on the main quest so feels a little bit more linear, but is still wide open.

A couple that I haven't seen mentioned are Deus Ex and Vampire: the Masquerade Bloodlines. I don't know if the first is technically an RPG, but you can build your character how you like and tackle areas in multiple viable ways and has a story. It's linear in that you play through each area in order, but you are pretty free with what you can do in each of those zones. Vampire does some of that as well (You tend to have access to a few areas at once so can tackle a few in an order of your choosing) and you can get a completely different playthrough experience depending on the character being used.

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GawainBS
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Postby GawainBS » Thu Nov 24, 2011 11:24 am

I suggest my list in a post a few lines down.