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Old 08-08-2007, 11:52 PM   #1
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Best CRPGs?

Being rather new to CRPGs, I was wondering what the folks here at Lucasforums thought were among the best that they had played, which ones weren't so good, and which ones just plain sucked, and why. I shall start.

My favorites so far have got to be Baldur's Gate/Tales of the Sword Coast and Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn/Throne of Bhaal. Sure, they're old, but what engrossing games these are!

First, your party can have up to six characters. It's like having a small army, and you can even employ squad-level military tactics with it (actually, you may have to in order to beat Throne of Bhaal on its most difficult setting).

Second, you have TOTAL CONTROL (unlike NWN) over each and every aspect of your NPCs; how they fight, what proficiencies they get when they level up, etc, it's ALL up to you (muhahahaha!). Or you can select an AI script for them and let them go at it on their own (I usually don't do this).

Great characters (some of the banter between the NPCs is hi-friggen-larious, i.e. Edwin and Minsc, and Jan and just about everyone) and plot.

Tough battles (especially in Throne of Bhaal).

Lastly, these two games seem to favor the spellcaster classes (which I prefer) as much as NWN seems to favor the warrior classes.


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Last edited by Q; 08-15-2007 at 03:01 AM.
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Old 08-09-2007, 11:49 AM   #2
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Fallout2, closed followed by Planescape: Torment.

Well, what to say about Fallout, great game and you can play it in many ways, and i mean many. Evrything from a pacifist, to a mele figther or why not a sniper ? And the world is really big and open.

And about Planescape: Torment, i think stoffe or Pavlos will give you a pretty good explanation^^
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:58 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qliveur

My favorites so far have got to be Baldur's Gate/Tales of the Sword Coast and Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn/Throne of Bhaal. Sure, they're old, but what engrossing games these are!
If you like those, you should probably try out the Icewind Dale games. Same rules, same designers etc, although in my honest opinion not as fun as the BGs.


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Old 08-10-2007, 09:40 AM   #4
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- The NeverWinter Nights series, definately on top of my list.

- Maybe Baldur's Gate as well, it has a certain sense of charm.

- Would Diablo II constitute as this as i think the online activity on that game is just great!

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Originally Posted by Lantzen
closed followed by Planescape: Torment
I was thinking of trying that game, is it worth getting at all?
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Old 08-10-2007, 10:28 AM   #5
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Is everyone forgetting Knights Of The Old Republic

Still, my second favourite has to be NWN

If WoW counted that would be second, but that's an MMO so that doesn't count. Does it?!

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Old 08-10-2007, 10:46 AM   #6
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Is everyone forgetting Knights Of The Old Republic
It's good but isn't all that good IMO.
I think Mass Effect will pretty much be near the top of my list when it's released, looks very promising.
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Old 08-11-2007, 11:17 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Gargoyle_King
It's good but isn't all that good IMO.
If it wasn't for KotOR newer RPG's wouldn't look like they do actually.

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Originally Posted by Gargoyle_King
I think Mass Effect will pretty much be near the top of my list when it's released, looks very promising.
Now this is suspect, you can't judge Mass Effect yet. The topic is the games you have played.


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Old 08-11-2007, 01:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedHawke
If it wasn't for KotOR newer RPG's wouldn't look like they do actually.
Or sound like they do... having voice-overs for all the dialog lines makes a huge difference, especially if you turn off the captioning. I don't know if KotOR was the first RPG to have this with pretty good lip-sync, but it's definitely the first one I played. It very much adds to player immersion as does the familiar SW-themed music.


Wizardry - Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord was the first CRPG I ever played coming right on the heels of experiencing Dungeons and Dragons for the first time. It was the game that hooked me on computer games and the memory of that experience as a 10 year old comes back when I play a good CRPG.

Deeply entrenched now in Planescape: Torment. Going back and playing this after making DLGEditor, I have a profound respect for the Chris Avellone and the dialog engineers. This is the closest thing I've found to a true role-playing experience on the computer, that focuses on interactions over character statistics/leveling.

Fallout and Fallout 2 are right up there too for their diverse dialogs, ambience (visual and audial), and those over the top death animations (eg. plasma rifle).

Last edited by tk102; 08-12-2007 at 03:20 AM. Reason: because I don't really speak in non-sequiturs, honest
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Old 08-11-2007, 02:33 PM   #9
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Haven't played many CRPG's yet, my list is rather short. But no doubt KotOR and KotOR 2 stand on top, followed by NWN2.
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Old 08-11-2007, 05:16 PM   #10
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Apart from what everyone's already listed, there's Jade Empire. The story isn't groundbreaking, but it's fairly epic like most BioWare ones and has a few interesting twists and turns near the end. The oriental setting (and music) is also fairly different from most other RPGs and is a change from your standard castle age wizards and dragons setting. The combat is kind of like Morrowind's, where stats govern how powerful your character is but you're the one who hits the attack button and mashes the controls. Pretty fun game overall!


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Old 08-11-2007, 05:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedHawke
If it wasn't for KotOR newer RPG's wouldn't look like they do actually.
Good Point! It did lead to JE after all! (i personally prefer it to Kotor though)
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedHawke
Now this is suspect, you can't judge Mass Effect yet. The topic is the games you have played.
Oops!! sorry RH, gotta realise what i'm typing! (you know it will be good though! )
Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Or sound like they do... having voice-overs for all the dialog lines makes a huge difference, especially if you turn off the captioning. I don't know if KotOR was the first RPG to have this with pretty good lip-sync, but it's definitely the first one I played and gave It very much adds to player immersion as does the familiar SW-themed music.
Actually, the later Final Fantasy games did it (10+) but Kotor (as far as i know) was definately the first PC RPG to do it (although it was a port from the XBOX). But, the Kotor series have certainly set the standards for PC RPG's with the epic story, amazing score and visuals that really does immerse you in the game, when i first played it i actually couldn't put it down! However, compared to the likes of NeverWinter Nights and Baldur's Gate, Kotor is really a whole different kettle of fish in terms of gameplay (not that that is a bad thing, i'm all for change in a somewhat saturated genre). I'll definately love to see BioWare or even Obsidian (TSL wasn't all that bad now was it?) or other software companies to continue in the similar vein of Kotor, who knows what could be on the horizon for our next RPG?
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Old 08-11-2007, 05:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gargoyle_King
Actually, the later Final Fantasy games did it (10+) but Kotor (as far as i know) was definately the first PC RPG to do it
Deus Ex has full voice over for the dialog of all characters in the game (player character included) as well, even though the dialog system isn't as complex as that of the KOTOR games. But it predates KOTOR by a few years.

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Old 08-11-2007, 06:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by stoffe
Deus Ex has full voice over for the dialog of all characters in the game as well, even though the dialog system wasn't as complex as that of the KOTOR games. But it predates KOTOR by a few years.
I almost forgot about that, that is a great game, as is it's sequel Invisisble War. It was very original to put FPS and RPG elements and roll them into one, but the querstion is was the game more of an RPG or an FPS; that's a question which has bugged me for a while now. Apparently a Deus EX 3 is in the works, and if it is in HD (i highly suspect it will) then i feel it is going to be pretty amazing.
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Old 08-11-2007, 06:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gargoyle_King
I almost forgot about that, that is a great game, as is it's sequel Invisisble War. It was very original to put FPS and RPG elements and roll them into one, but the querstion is was the game more of an RPG or an FPS; that's a question which has bugged me for a while now. Apparently a Deus EX 3 is in the works, and if it is in HD (i highly suspect it will) then i feel it is going to be pretty amazing.
In my opinion Deus Ex clearly is an RPG (with a first person perspective set in a world/time period where guns are used, like with VtM:Bloodlines). I don't file any game with a first person perspective and firearms as a FPS. It is not turn based like NWN/KOTOR, but it's not a FPS game as the characters skills are as important as the player's reflexes in determining how good they are at fighting (similar to Bloodlines and to some extent Jade Empire). It has most of the mechanics that are usually associated with CRPGs:

It has a skill system that determines how good you are at various things (combat and non-combat) where you can level up skills to specialize your main character. Aside from skills you have the nano-augmentations as another way of specializing and classing your character, where you have to choose what Aug you want, and each can be leveled up to provide different benefits.

The game is story driven but also has loads of side-missions/quests aside from the main story. Talking with NPCs is an important part of the game and some of the decisions you make during dialog have consequences later in the game. There are usually multiple ways of solving a situation, and combat is only one of them. You are rewarded for exploring your surroundings and figuring out alternate ways around obstacles.


Last edited by stoffe; 08-12-2007 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 08-12-2007, 03:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Or sound like they do... having voice-overs for all the dialog lines makes a huge difference, especially if you turn off the captioning. I don't know if KotOR was the first RPG to have this with pretty good lip-sync, but it's definitely the first one I played and gave It very much adds to player immersion as does the familiar SW-themed music.
Yup... I forgot that tidbit in my post.

I am starting to feel all left-out of the loop, I haven't played (and apparently never got, though I could have swore I did) Planescape: Torment, as well as Vampire: Bloodlines...


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Old 08-12-2007, 04:19 AM   #16
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stoffe, your conversion of many of us here to VtMB had an inflationary effect on amazon. When I bought it, it was going for 29.99. Now it's up to 58-something. Steam still has it for 19.99, however.
RedHawke, you have to get VtMB--you'll love it. I think you might appreciate VV....

I would if I had the cash atm... hopefully after a while I can, and hopefully the local used game shops might have a copy, if that fails Steam. Then there is DDO...

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Old 08-12-2007, 04:48 AM   #17
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I noticed that too Jae. It's about $30 on eBay. Meanwhile Planescape: Torment is going for $62.50 on Amazon and about $40 on eBay.

****

Interesting no one has mentioned Oblivion or Morrowind as CRPGs worth getting. I guess we all take those for granted? For those who hate the linear RPGs, those two games are for you.

Am I right to say the graphics in Oblivion are still considered state-of-the-art for PC RPGs? Oblivion's face generator is an amazing piece of technology by itself.

I liked the skill development system in Morrowind/Oblivion. It made sense that the more you practiced something the better at it you became.
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Old 08-12-2007, 06:20 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
I noticed that too Jae. It's about $30 on eBay. Meanwhile Planescape: Torment is going for $62.50 on Amazon and about $40 on eBay.
Supply and demand I'd guess, PS:Torment is a classic that many people still are urged to try, while BlackIsle/Interplay are no more so there won't be any new copies of the game made. It's one of those classics (Like System Shock 2) that are increasingly difficult to find.

Expensive but still worth it IMO, if your computer can still handle the game (You'll either have to play in 640x480 fullscreen mode, or in Windowed mode with the monitor color depth set to 16 bit colors, otherwise the many movie cutscenes won't work.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Interesting no one has mentioned Oblivion or Morrowind as CRPGs worth getting. I guess we all take those for granted? For those who hate the linear RPGs, those two games are for you.
Morrowind/Oblivion kind of contradict themselves when it comes to non-linearity IMO. While the gameplay itself isn't linear and you can wander around and do things pretty much as you like, the quests in those games tend to be ultra-linear offering no wiggle-room at all for being creative (with a few exceptions). The non-linearity also tends to make the quests so "stand alone" that they have little to no impact on the game world. A character you just helped out a day ago in one quest act like they've never seen you before on the next quest they happen to be involved in. Your rise to leadership of guilds etc is nothing but a title since nobody treats you any different and you don't have a say about anything of how "your" guilds are run. Everyone just goes about their business as usual and will at best greet you with your title or at worst inform you, their leader, that you are too insignificant and unimportant for them to take the time to even speak to you.

While the exploration and roaming is fun I feel the games are a bit too unfocused and too loosely tied by a story to squeeze the most fun out of them. There are a lot of places to find and explore, but once you do find them it's almost a rule that there is nothing interesting there. Urban areas tend to feel empty even if there are NPCs moving around since 99% of those NPCs are just scenery and not involved in anything interesting. Most of them tend to say exactly the same thing when you speak to them as well.

Same for dungeons: after you've seen 10 Ayleid ruins you know the remaining 42 will be pretty much more of the same just arranged in a slightly different floor layout. The same type of containers with all random loot, the same type of traps, the same type of random, non-unique opponents that behave exactly the same. You very seldom find something that makes you go "Wow! This really made exploring and clearing out this ruin/dungeon/cave worthwhile!".

While Morrowind mostly suffered from the same it was actually a bit better than Oblivion in that respect since some of the dungeons had radically different designs with interesting things to see (for example the burial chamber with the huge maze and the viking ship), and some contained unique artifacts or treasures you could not find elsewhere, and not just a chest containing a lockpick and 400 gold pieces after you've beaten the random, nondescript boss monster at the end who silently attacked on sight.

This is in pretty sharp contrast to games like Baldur's Gate II where lots of interesting things, side-quests etc tend to happen wherever you go, giving each area it's unique flair, even if you're more restricted in where you can go and you don't have much reason to re-visit some areas later.

Both types of games are fun in their own way, even though I tend to prefer games which are a bit more story driven. The ideal would be a game with the free roaming world and exploration of MW/Oblivion and the quests, interesting places, dialog and NPCs of Baldur's Gate/Torment/KOTOR style games. But I guess that's a pipe dream.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Am I right to say the graphics in Oblivion are still considered state-of-the-art for PC RPGs? Oblivion's face generator is an amazing piece of technology by itself.
The Face Generator is a mixed blessing though, in my opinion. While it gives you much freedom it also makes character generation take forever, and it's enormously difficult to produce anything even remotely natural and good-looking with it (and very easy to create something freakish - something the Bethesda developers apparently have felt too given the number of unnaturally hideous-looking NPCs there are in the game ). And seemingly easy tasks like making the eyebrow color match the hair color of a non-dark haired character appears to be impossible without changing the color of half the face in the process.

IMO it would have been much better if they had included a bunch of realistic-looking, prefabricated baseline faces that you could pick and base your own tweaks on when creating your face. It would have reduced the character generation time by a few hours, and made it easier to create normal-looking attractive face.

(I also feel a bit sorry for the X-box players that the human/elf face textures for some unfathomable reason are some of the most low-res in the game, producing visible scaling artifacts and distortions. Good thing modders have produced high-res variants of those textures. Perhaps it's not as visible if you aren't playing on a computer monitor though.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
I liked the skill development system in Morrowind/Oblivion. It made sense that the more you practiced something the better at it you became.
I agree a skill system makes more sense, but the way it's implemented in Oblivion at least gives a bit to be desired.

The minor/major skill and ability bonus approach to leveling, along with the level scaling of 99.99999% of the NPCs in the game, tend to make your character very weak and gimped if you just play normally, doing what comes natural and don't plan your leveling. You are almost required to have your most used combat skills as minor skills, and plan your leveling so you get a +5 bonus to all three ability scores at every levelup, to be able to keep up with the ever-increasing power of the rest of the world. Sometimes it doesn't feel like you're getting better at what you do, but rather like you're racing to keep up with everyone else.

But I guess any system can be exploited. And it's still strangely addictive.


Last edited by stoffe; 08-12-2007 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 08-12-2007, 01:39 PM   #19
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In my opinion Deus Ex clearly is an RPG (with a first person perspective set in a world/time period where guns are used, like with VtM:Bloodlines). I don't file any game with a first person perspective and firearms as a FPS. It is not turn based like NWN/KOTOR, but it's not a FPS game as the characters skills are as important as the player's reflexes in determining how good they are at fighting. It has most of the mechanics that are usually associated with CRPGs:

It has a skill system that determines how good you are at various things (combat and non-combat) where you can level up skills to specialize your main character. Aside from skills you have the nano-augmentations as another way of specializing and classing your character, where you have to choose what Aug you want, and each can be leveled up to provide different benefits.

The game is story driven but also has loads of side-missions/quests aside from the main story. Talking with NPCs is an important part of the game and some of the decisions you make during dialog have consequences later in the game. There are usually multiple ways of solving a situation, and combat is only one of them. You are rewarded for exploring your surroundings and figuring out alternate ways around obstacles.
Hmmm.... Yeah it is an RPG i suppose, it's one of those games that i though was always hard to categorize, doesn't change it being amazing though! Can you imagine a game like Dues-Ex in a Kotor setting, would it ever work?
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Old 08-13-2007, 06:49 PM   #20
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Vtmb is my favorite, it'll trap suck you in and spitt you out many hours later with a desire to kill those that made troika close down.

Kotor1+2: obviously.

I of the dragon: only get it if you see it cheap somewhere, that said, it is quite satisfying to be a dragon instead of killing one.

Dark Messiah: Oblivion gave us fantasy physics, dm made it fun to use said physics to kill things in imaginative ways.

Icewind dale2 deserves a special mention. It isn't so story focused as bg, but you are given complete controll of creating your party. So you can go with a "enviromentalist" group of just druids (deadlier than you might think) or a helmite crusading group of clerics and paladins (as close to imortal as you'l ever get). The combat is well done, and while your characters don't chat, a few of the npcs are memorable. Add a soundtrack the is so good I use it in other games, being cheap if you can find it isn't a bad thing either. In short baldurs gate for controll freaks who loves combat more than chatter.
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Old 08-15-2007, 07:08 PM   #21
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Since CRPG is a bit ambiguous, I'll give both my opinions lolz

Eastern: Zelda, hands down, been my favorite RPG since I was like 6, and still is one of the top ones out there (Can't wait for Phantom Hourglass!!! I was a big fan of Link's Awakening and I feel this might even become a better Zelda experience for me...)

Western: KotOR, hands down, no other game has gripped me so much as this one has, since it blends all my geeky dreams together: the party based control system as seen in NWN, Star Wars environments, save the universe, amazing graphics (even for today), etc...



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Old 08-16-2007, 03:49 AM   #22
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Old 08-27-2007, 03:06 AM   #23
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^^^I really want to get that game, but I'll be damned if I'm going to pay $50.00+ for a used copy on FleaBay.


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