The past few years have been incredibly generous to role playing gamers of all shapes and sizes, seeing a slew of titles both epic and daring in scope. Many of these games introduced new or masterfully refined game elements to provide fresh and exciting experiences.
5Dragon’s Dogma’s Combat
Capcom’s newest IP offers combat that even the most hardcore RPG’s struggle to keep up with. Battles in Dragon’s Dogma transcend simple button mashing, as players are offered a multitude of epic attacks and spells with which to do combat. As a Sorcerer, I can summon a meteor blast causing a griffin’s wings to catch fire and send it crashing into the ground, or as a Strider I can climb onto the beasts back as it takes off, hack at its wings mid-flight and bring it soaring back to the battlefield to be bashed away at by my warrior’s hammer.
Throw in fantastic enemy animations, a well-structured and deep real time battle system, satisfying Dark Souls-esque equipment weight and a plethora of ridiculously awesome combat moves, and you have possibly the best combat mechanics of any RPG to date.
4The Witcher 2’s Non-linear Storyline
Almost halfway through the game the player is forced to side with either a self-proclaimed freedom fighting elf or the commander of a special-forces unit. Choose the elf and you spend the next part of the game in a beautifully designed Dwarven village in the mountains. Choose the commander and you barely see this village, instead enjoying the political turmoil of a war camp. A second playthrough is essential to experiencing everything the game has to offer, from switching character classes to hearing the other half of the story and its alternate quests. In this game dialogue choices have significant consequences ensuring the player is truly impacting the games narrative. This is no Mass Effect.
3Ni No Kuni’s Art Direction
The first time you step into the town of Motorville or visit the village of Ding Dong Dell, prepare to fall in love. The game’s architecture, characters and lush environments combine to create one of the most beautiful game worlds ever created. Ni No Kuni’s charming art style extends beyond the graphics however, seeping into the game journal detailing the game’s weapons, enemies, magic spells and narrative. If there was ever a video game that proves art style is more important than graphical grunt, this is it.
2Mass Effect 2′s Characters
The Mass Effect series provides some of the most interesting and complex characters in videogaming history, the criticisms laid at its ending only highlights this point. Why would anyone care about the fate of its universe if they didn’t care about the people in it? Bioware spent a lot of time exploring the complexities of its vast cast of characters with the second instalment practically devoted to building better relationships with your crew members (or destroying them.)
Its characters are interesting as they contain enough depth to be real people. Each and every member has their own personal agenda and won’t hesitate to disagree with you for making a choice that goes against their morals. Thank you Commander Shepard for introducing me to Thane, Krios, EDI, Garrus Vakarian and The Illusive Man.
1Dark Souls’ Enemies
When people talk about Dark Souls and its predecessor Demons Souls, they often cite that the game’s difficulty provides a sense of achievement only early generations of video games were able to offer. Difficulty in itself, however, does not make a game enjoyable. What makes Dark Souls so enjoyable is its confronting, terrifying enemies. Everything about their design, movement and near fatal blows delivers an experience that constantly keeps you on your toes. This gives every encounter a sense of realism and adds life to every enemy in the game.
They don’t just feel like obstacles that the computer has generated because it has been programmed to, they feel like breathing creatures that live inside the television screen, taunting you to dare to take them on.
Have you got a favourite RPG element that’s not listed? Let us know below!