Death to the RPG!

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Hang on, hear me out before you go around stabbing your copy of Final Fantasy XIII. I mean the term Role Playing Game.Β  The definition of RPG has been thrown around a lot in recent times and I think its time it was put out of its misery. RPG is not a adequate genre defining term. Unlike when you say Third Person or shooter, RPG does not instantly bring to mind anything except other games that have claimed to have been RPG’s. Let’s face it, all games have you playing a role. I’m not Nathan Drake, it’s just a role I’ve assumed. Bioware reckons it’s story and character, Squenix reckons its stats and experience points. But neither of those things are exclusive to games that call themselves RPG’s. God of War has levelling up and experience. Infamous and Heavy Rain have character choices.
In the end the term is a false one. All those things that people list as defining what RPG’s are, are just features any game can have. Final Fantasy is a turn based strategy (or tactics) game. Mass Effect is a third person shooter. That they both emphasise story more than say Civilazation or Uncharted, does not change their genre. On that note, Borderlands is an FPS – it just happens to have a different set of features to Halo. So anytime I hear the term RPG being used, be prepared to be called out on it. There is, after all, always a more accurate alternative.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Haify says:

    To me RPG’s aren’t about leveling up, skill points, characters. Its more about how I choose to play from like you said with inFamous it allows you to choose the role of playing the good guy or the bad guy. The same with heavy rain there is so many things you can choose to do there is no set way that you are made to do it, even the dialogue gives your choices.

    With the likes of final fantasy or other Jrpgs is that there not really role playing games as its just like you said they’re turn based strategy games. As the newer ones have basically made the character for you, atleast in the older ones you actually got the chance to choose a character class haha.

    Just to throw it out there Fallout 2 is by far the best RPG πŸ˜›

  2. valaysir says:

    You mean Fallout 2 is the best turn based tactics game, surely πŸ™‚
    And I disagree – Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn is πŸ˜€

    1. Haify says:

      Fallout 2 has rpg elements too haha and ok Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn is a legendary game πŸ˜€

      Need to get a copy of that again

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