[CRPGs] A year ago...

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
You've summarized some of the reasons I never finished Fallout 2, but I'm not sure some of that hasn't been a problem I've had with most CRPGs since, well, ever. Its why I try not to even buy them anymore.
 

Phantom Grunweasel

Situation Normal Oll Korrect
Validated User
You've summarized some of the reasons I never finished Fallout 2, but I'm not sure some of that hasn't been a problem I've had with most CRPGs since, well, ever. Its why I try not to even buy them anymore.
Yeah, as I've mentioned, I often find CRPGs just a bit too long to suit my tastes and gaming patterns these days. I'm often drawn in by the sense of exploration and possibility at the beginning and kept interested by the story and the sense of gradually growing power and ability but by the end of the game, a couple of things have often happened:

1) Gameplay becomes less interesting as you reach the top of the character progress tree. You're either so over-powered that everything's a complete doddle or the game has resorted to just throwing ridiculous numbers of enemies at you to try to balance things out, generally fights without much real flavour.

2) So much has happened, there have been so many subplots and side-quests, and you've been playing for so long, that the story itself has lost a lot of its urgency and tension.
 

Argent

Anywhere... just not here
Validated User
2) So much has happened, there have been so many subplots and side-quests, and you've been playing for so long, that the story itself has lost a lot of its urgency and tension.
This is generally the issue for me, and why I (fr´ex) left Pillars of Eternity somewhere early in White March chapter 2. It doesn´t help that I tend to go completist in the early stages and want to do every sidequest ever.
 

Phantom Grunweasel

Situation Normal Oll Korrect
Validated User
This is generally the issue for me, and why I (fr´ex) left Pillars of Eternity somewhere early in White March chapter 2. It doesn´t help that I tend to go completist in the early stages and want to do every sidequest ever.
I sometimes wish that more developers would challenge the apparently widespread idea that CRPGs should be 60-80 hours long, as opposed to 25-30. Even in a best-case scenario, when the content is mostly worthwhile and engaging, that's a hell of a lot of time to sink into a single computer game, that's inevitably going to bog the story down. And most of the time, let's be honest, a lot of it's just generic and repetitive fetch-quest stuff that doesn't add anything interesting to the world or story but just exists to stretch the play-time out.
 

chrespo

Voice Actor
Validated User
Tyranny is a shorter CRPG, it clocks in about that 25-30 hour sweet spot. I was extremely impressed on my first playthrough, and I expected to enjoy it as much on future replays. It surprised me that the game in fact didn't hold my attention as much on the replay. Part of my problem was that a lot of the decision points feel kind of binary. "I either join group A of sadists or group B of fascists." It reminded me of the worst part of the Renegade/Paragon divide in Mass Effect.

I might have to give it a shot again soonish. Enough time has passed from when I was originally messing around with it that it might feel a bit fresher. I do recall there were great characters that I didn't spend enough time with, like Ebb.
 

Phantom Grunweasel

Situation Normal Oll Korrect
Validated User
I'll have to check out Tyranny. I like that its premise is something different (as I understand it, you're basically a Nazgul?) than the vast run of CRPGs.

At the moment, I'm on Dragon Age 2. A proper review will be forthcoming when I've finished it, but I will say this: it's very well suited to being played the way I have to play games at the moment: in short bursts.
 

chrespo

Voice Actor
Validated User
You are more of an ambassador of a regime than a Nazgul, but you are correct in essence. If you haven't played it, you really should check it out. Just because its less engrossing on the rerun than I had anticipated doesn't diminish that first, glorious playthrough. Some great characters in it too. I am downloading it again on Steam right now to dig back into it.

That is interesting what you say about DA2. I have actually never played it. I am sorta half-heartedly replaying Dragon Age Inquisition though, and I am feeling really luke warm about it. Having played through Anthem's critical path, I wanted to return to a Bioware game where I recall enjoying the storyline a lot, and kind of contrast and compare. DA:I hasn't aged well. Its kind of pompous for the sake of being pompous, and the dialogue isn't as natural sounding as I recalled it.

Anthem's story is interesting, but probably not in the way Bioware intended. The plot is kind of inconsequential, with no real stakes set. The villain is cool, he's got this kind of Sarevok menace to him that I found very intriguing. A lot of the NPCs back at the hub-town are fun too, like the smooth, entrepreneurial smuggler tavern-owner Max, or the grizzled mech-suit veteran Yarrow. One of the most fun NPCs imo was Lucky Jack, a fellow javelin pilot who tells tall tales about the missions he goes on. He is a sort of slick pulp adventure cool guy, who also happens to be the fort's librarian.

At first the lack of urgency to the story bothered me quite a bit, and probably rightly so. But once I stopped looking for awesome beats, and just sorta looked at it as this sort of soap opera-ish backmatter, this mundane bullshit to contrast the mech-suit combat exploration gameplay loop, it became almost instantaneously much more enjoyable. The point of the story is that it doesn't matter. Just enjoy the ride, it's all good. Its just fun banter, basically.

I don't really have a satisfactory conclusion here. I guess it is that different games can leverage story in different ways. And to be honest, eventhough *I* personally enjoy Anthem for what it is, I am not so sure I can recommend it with a clean conscience. At least not for the RPG and story bits. Not yet, anyways.
 

Azegoroth

Registered User
Validated User
There's also Pathfinder:Kingmaker(based on the pathfinder module of the very same name), It's relatively bug-free these days, and I'm enjoying my second playthough(never finished the first one), It's very much Baldur's gate with a slightly different ruleset and set in Golarion rather than the forgotten realms. There is whole system where you try to rule your newly forged domain in the wilderness, but to be honest, they could have had a few more of those choices cause some sort of conversation or cutscene when you're out adventuring. The game can be Punishingly hard in the same way as baldur's gate. Oooh, didn't have poison protection spells running when you ran into a venomous critter, enjoy your stat damage untill you can cast a restoration spell.
 

Phantom Grunweasel

Situation Normal Oll Korrect
Validated User
Does anyone have any opinion on the Divinity: Original Sin games?

Based on what I've heard, general opinion seems to be that the first game is quirky and enjoyable, and that the second is a masterpiece up there with classics of the genre. I've got them both on GOG. Once I get around to playing one or the other of them, do people think I should start with the original, or just go straight to the second? I know that the second is set centuries after the first, so it's easy to just jump in there, but should I? Does the first Divinity game hold enough interest in itself, or is it so completely outclassed by its sequel as to not be worth bothering with?
 
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