What's new for RPG's?

Today's response is in request to a question left in the comments section of a previous post. In that post, I was asked what sort of RPG's were shown off at E3 outside of Zelda, and I had to sit and think for a minute. All I could think of, outside of Zelda, was one: Final Fantasy XIV. It's not that I don't enjoy RPG's from time to time...I just couldn't remember any being shown off. So I began digging to see what I could turn up, and found that yes, there are a few RPG's out there (one of which was announced today, not at E3m but is so grand it deserves a mention) that are coming, but I was shocked by the amount of emptiness I found (unless you're into MMOs, which I steadily ignore). This year may be one to dust of the old collection.

The first that I stumbled across while searching was Grotesque Tactics: Evil Heroes. Now, the premise of the game is one we've all heard before. Evil cult is taking over the land, strange boy must rise to meet his destiny, etc, etc all executed in a tactical turn based grid system. What makes Grotesque different is the fact that it is attempting to play off this common theme to make a game full of self-referential and mocking humor, hopefully to poke fun at it's own silliness. Will it work? Maybe. The art style looked fairly dark, so the humor end up being somewhat subdued. Nonetheless, it is an RPG, so there is something to watch and wait for as more detail comes out.

A second that I stumbled across is actually a sequel I didn't even realize existed slated for release this fall. ArcaniA: Gothic 4 is the latest in the long run Gothic series. While I know nothing about the series, it looks to be an RPG where you control a single character and where action-oriented combat is the order of the day.

Now, as far as that title I mentioned I had first heard of today, little needs to be said other then that it is a classic team based RPG (as near as we can tell) and it looks amazing, because it is part of a collaborative effort with Studio Ghibli, the geniuses who gave us movies like Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky, and Howl's Moving Castle. The result? This game looks amazing.

Sadly, that was all of the RPGs that I noticed. Has anyone else noticed any others that stood out? Aside from the obvious Diablo III hanging on the horizon.


Stephen said...

Thanks for answering my question! Its weird how few rpgs there are these days...and sad, because to me, its a signal that the game industry is less concerned about immersive storytelling and more about gameplay itself. And that's a shame, I think, because gaming has huge potential to convey rich stories in ways that books and movies can't.

Viking ZX said...

While it is a shame to see a sparseness, I wouldn't be too worried. Games these days have a several year development time, and in the last year many RPGs were released, so it may just be a matter of bad timing. Plus, there are bound to be RPGs that I missed, so if you keep your head up your bound to find more in the coming weeks, especially post the E3 rush.

Also, so many games these days cross the streams that RPG's are often mixed with other genres. For example, some FPS games these days carry RPG elements, such as Bioshock, and there is a new Deus Ex game coming, and Dues Ex is a very heavy RPG shooter, originally anyway.

As far as immersive storytelling goes, many none-RPG titles these days work towards deep stories, like the aforementioned Bioshock and Deus Ex, or upcoming games such as Castlevania: Lords of Shadow or Gears of War 3. True, they may not have all of the complexity of an RPG, but the melding of the genre's has led to much more engrossing stories as of late. Oh, and doing more digging, I saw a few more RPGs, so there's hope for this year!