Monday, 25 Jan 2021

RPGs With The Best Balance Between Freedom, Impact, And Open-World Experience

Open-world RPGs are one of the most popular genres of video games. Most gamers love the freedom to travel where they want, craft the type of character they like the most, pick and choose quests that tickle their fancies—not to mention enjoy hours upon hours of the game without it becoming stale. But one of the problems that we run into continuously is a lack of impact on NPCs and plot, based off the choices we make while playing the games.

For example, Skyrim is one of the most popular, beloved, open-world RPGs out there. It has stood the test of time due to its many outstanding features. But as we all know, you have little to no impact on the rest of the world with the choices you make. Sure, the NPCs’ dialogue will change slightly when you go to a new place or start a new quest. But whether you’re a pacifist who is growing the most epic potato farm or you’re a psychopathic murderer, the game doesn’t really change. While it’s awesome to be able to play as whatever type of character you want, it’s disappointing when your choices do not reflect in the world around you. Not to mention, if you’re looking for an immersive, escape from reality, you want the world that you delve into to be as believable as possible to add to that experience.

I would argue that a game with the perfect balance has not yet been created. However, there are some games that at least come close.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Perhaps the closest game to this ideal balance would be The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. This game has a massive open world. Even though it does not feel quite as open as Skyrim, it is more open than the many hub-based games that try to give restricted areas a more open feel. Furthermore, unlike Skyrim, you are constantly faced with decisions that impact not only the story for many side quests in addition to the main quest, but they also impact your relationships with other characters and the ending of the game. You play the game as Geralt of Rivia, and you can decide what type of person you want Geralt to be and how he will handle numerous situations that come up. Though there is a main quest that you’re driven towards following, you still get the freedom of exploring the world and deciding to do (or not do) a whole host of side quests.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

While Deus Ex: Human Revolution is significantly less open than The Witcher 3, it deserves a mention because of the impact of your choices during the game, in combination with it still giving some attempt at “openness.” This RPG is more focused on open-world hubs, so you still get the more open feel without quite reaching the level of exploration opportunities as you’d have in the Witcher 3 or Skyrim. In this mostly first-person shooting game, you play as Adam Jensen, a man who used to work as a SWAT leader until he did not follow a questionable order. Throughout this game, choices you make during the gameplay will impact the story, along with the possibility for certain quests.

Vampire: The Masquerade –Bloodlines

Vampire: The Masquerade –Bloodlines is another hub-based game that provides a more open feel while maintaining impactful decisions. Though it would not be labeled an open-world game, you can explore areas and do quests in whatever way you want to, once you’ve unlocked areas through progressing the main story. In this game, you get to decide what type of vampire you want to be, who gets to live or die, what faction you will end with, and more. The dialogue with NPCs is important too, and you will see significant impacts depending on what choices you make. Both firearms and combat weapons are used throughout the game, switching between first and third person.

Next: Best Games To Play If You Want To Immerse Yourself In Escapism From Your Depressing Reality

  • TheGamer Originals
  • Skyrim
  • The Witcher 3
  • Deus Ex
  • Vampire Masquerade

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