What is an RPG? …wait, we'll give you a month – or a year – to get back to us.

BioWare, one of the premier role-playing developers, has admitted that the lines are becoming blurred between genres, and the definition of "role-playing game" is…complicated.

In speaking with VG247 , BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk talked about how the RPG genre continues to blend with other categories of gaming. Unfortunately, he also says the term itself is becoming less relevant as a direct result of this mixing:

"It’s funny because the RPG in the context of the current world is – well, it’s not specifically irrelevant, but it’s becoming less relevant in and of itself. It’s more a function of ‘hey, this game has a great story’. For us having that emotion but also having other great features like combat and persistence of character progression and stuff."

As a frame of reference, BioWare Austin has been cranking on a new MMO called Star Wars: The Old Republic and it's a game that also boasts single-player elements. Oddly enough, Zeschuk says they "work:"

"We were working on [the single-player elements] for a long time. What’s interesting is that it really does work. It was challenging to make it smooth – we went through multiple iterations – there were points when we weren’t sure if we were going to do the voice thing – we were saying well, we’ll see how it goes – but at a point we committed to it and pushed it. Beyond doing it solo there’s also the multiplayer conversations where collectively you’ll be talking to someone. It took a long time."

Oh yes, we can go on and on about how the RPG has changed over the years. And the purists will just keep saying that only D&D actually counts as "role-playing" while Final Fantasy was never an RPG. Then you've got the crowd that wants to turn everything into an RPG; i.e., Zelda . Everyone has their own definition these days and it's becoming harder and harder to point to something and say, "Yep, that's a role-playing game."

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LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

As much as I enjoy ME2 it's not an RPG. It has RPG elements. A majority of games being released this generation that claim to be RPGs are doing the same thing.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Nice to see you out and about. I was in Chicago on layover for two hours the other day. Made me think of you. Ha. I'm in France now. Can't sleep. It's like 10pm for me normally. It's about to be 5am here in France.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

Damn Jawk, what are you doing there? Chicago is the worst place to fly in and out of.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

It was where we had to connect to our flight to Brussels. O'Hare wasn't too bad. LAX was a nightmare though. Most inefficient and unorganized airport I have ever been too. I hope I never have to use that airport ever again.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

ME2 is still more RPG than TPS to me. The TPS just serves the purpose of the battles, and since turn based smacking of each other was tossed out it seems any combat mechanic can simply be inserted in there. ME2 just happens to use the TPS mechanic, but as with other RPGs just spending lots of time in battle doesn't make it an action game.

LegendaryWolfeh
LegendaryWolfeh
9 years ago

Eh, I dunno. I didn't care for the Phoenix sky w/e airport. Been there twice and it's just annoying, but then again I haven't been to LAX haha

Fane1024
Fane1024
9 years ago

Best airport for layovers: Las Vegas.
Reason: nickel slots.

And I agree with World.


Last edited by Fane1024 on 8/24/2011 4:39:06 PM

LegendaryWolfeh
LegendaryWolfeh
9 years ago

A role-playing game is where you take the role of a character, so every game? Haha, broad/vague definitions are the best.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

Ya, I'm going to take a cup of cream, throw it in the freezer and tomorrow eat myself some delicious icecream.

LegendaryWolfeh
LegendaryWolfeh
9 years ago

I had to read that twice before finally realizing the ice/icecream part. LOL, but sure go ahead, it's the same thing 🙂

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

I'm currently listening to "A Secret Sleeping in the Deep Sea"

What RPG soundtrack is this from!?

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I'm tempted to just google it and seem smart but I'll be honest instead and say I have no idea.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

That saddens me. I'll give you a hint…

Na, just kidding you're not getting one.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Ah I see, well in fairness to me I never know the names of these things, just the tunes.

Geobaldi
Geobaldi
9 years ago

I'm thinking it was from FFVII. I have the full soundtrack but it's been a while since I listened to it. But I think that's what it was from.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

GEO close doesn't count. This isn't Family Feud.

Geobaldi
Geobaldi
9 years ago

Well just checked the back of the soundtrack case and it's listed as "Secret of the Deep Sea." But it's the same song lol. It's the underwater theme.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

Yup you're right! Weird that yours is labeled differently than mine.

Geobaldi
Geobaldi
9 years ago

Weird. Guess there was more than one company that made the soundtrack discs. Who knows lol. Now that you have me listening to them again tonight, I have the full orchestra version of Maria & Draco going. That's an easy soundtrack to guess though 🙂

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

I'm good at subtraction 🙂

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

When I think RPG I think Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Breath of Fire etc. Not hack n' slash or third person shooters. Not sure why everyone hails this company as a great "RPG" maker.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

Jawk I just read your message you sent me on the PSN, I'm sorry I failed to respond. Pretty funny and especially given the time. I'm sorry I'm a bad PSN friend 🙁

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Haha, no worries. I forgot what it pertained too. I'm not even home to check. Have been away from my PS3 for almost two weeks. 🙁

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

Your dog was chasing a baby deer while you attempted to get it to $hit. Sucks you're away from your PS3 there is gaming to be had!

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

LOL! Oh yea! The mom was not having it. She almost stomped out my dog.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Me too Jawkners, that's why I've always had a little beef with the "Tales" series because it's like an RPG but it has a fighting game action mechanic.

However, Star Ocean and Rogue Galaxy have action mechanics too and I think they are RPGs through and through.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

I didn't like Star Ocean till the end of the time but I LOVE Star Ocean the Last Hope. I played it for months when I had Gamefly and I've been meaning to buy it. In fact I think I'll do that now. I think it's $30 or so on Amazon.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Last Hope was definitely better but I had a particular affinity for TEoT. It was damn hard though and there was an enemy encounter every 2 steps.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

In my heart it's a Japanese anime-inspired turn based game that lets me level up and learn new techniques as I work toward saving the world.

In reality, who the f*ck knows any more?

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

I know and I'm willing to inform everyone how wrong they are.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I remember when Bioware tried to get a rise out of people by saying RDR was a great RPG. Nobody bit though.

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

I say an RPG is pretty much any game that has you assume the role, or roles, of characters in a virtual setting who expand in capabilities as the player engages and overcomes obstacles in play. These obstacles may include any combination thereof, but are not limited to, dialogue, combat, puzzles, or actions against time. Attributes are thus enhanced, or strengthened, as a player succeeds in overcoming said obstacles. The player is usually given direct or limited control over the distribution and customization of said attributes.

Well, there's my best in a 5 min nutshell =p

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

No, wrong. rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

Okay LV, lets have your version of it then?
=p

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

-Guys that look like hot girls with awesome hair
-Talking animals
-Magic
-Some form of turn based gameplay
-Multiple people forming a party that you have control over
-Made in Japan
-A dash of grinding, hell let it pour
-World to explore with towns to visit
-Item management
-Leveling up system
-Well over 60hrs of gameplay
-Multiple twists in the storyline
-No Multiplayer PERIOD
-Bigass swords and itty bitty guns
-Preferably Final in the title.


Last edited by LimitedVertigo on 8/23/2011 10:41:44 PM

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

Dang, owned =p

Ludakriss
Ludakriss
9 years ago

Damn, brother. Just before I red your comment I was contemplating my own version of what are those great three letters and it was real close to what I had in mind.

I do however notice the way those things (which you explained) are performed are delivered in a game in a very particular mannerism. It truly does hold it's own ground, the genre.

Ludakriss
Ludakriss
9 years ago

@Limited Vertigo

Yeeees!!!

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

Thanks, Luda.

I started thinking some more about it and I think y discription allows for games like Infamous to he considered RPG.
Looking at Infamous and Oblivion I see that both games have full realtime action genre components as a basis for the movement and interaction components within the game world. I see the difference being that only one game makes it requisite for the attribute distribution to have a majority factor in determining success against obstacles. It is not inconceivable that a player through their own dexterity and cooridination acould finish Infamous (even God of War) but in Oblivion or any RPG the attribute properties acting against each other determine the majority of your success. You get owned hardcore in Oblivion when facing higher leveled encounters. This, and Oblivion has talking animals and Infamous does not =p

I also see why ME2 is thought of as not so much of an RPG, strictly combat speaking. It's because dexterous or highly coordinated actions can and do play a heavy role in determining the outcome of obstacle encounters.

Related


Last edited by Temjin001 on 8/24/2011 9:49:39 AM

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

Sorry my post was a mess, my thick thumbs on my phone.

Fane1024
Fane1024
9 years ago

Comments like LV's make me want to argue (out of spite) that JRPGs aren't RPGs at all while WRPGs are at least *trying* to be Role-Playing Games.

But I prefer to be inclusive.

However, it's totally absurd to argue that the turn-based JRPG are the *only* valid kind of RPG, just because *your* first "RPG" experience was a JRPG. History proves otherwise.

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

I love action RPGs! Just sayin. 😉

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

That's like enjoying softcore porn more than hardcore porn….

TSK TSK!

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

No, it's more like enjoying one type of porn over another. Who are you to say the type I enjoy is worse?

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

I never used the word "worse", you're putting words on my fingers.

BTW you're counter comment while using different words was pretty much exactly the same example I gave you.

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

Oh. Aren't you implying it's worse? I should have said, type of "hardcore" porn instead.

PS: I never said I enjoy one more than the other but that I simply enjoy them.


Last edited by Claire C on 8/23/2011 11:49:41 PM

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

Worse is a little harsh. I enjoy action RPGs from time to time but I don't prefer them and I'm glad you're not going that route either.

As far as who I am, I'm just a concerned gamer.

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

Don't go getting too concerned on me, your Avatar is creepy enough. :/

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Veggie Alien FTW!

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

Not sure how a creature consisting entirely of vegetables could be considered creepy. You're trying to upset me, I can tell.