Does such a game exist?

Tarrosion

Weaksauce
Joined
Oct 2, 2007
Messages
110
Good evening,

Lately, my preferred type of game - character driven games with a strong story - all seem to have something wrong. I'm wondering if there's a game (perhaps old or obscure) which has most/all of the following:

- Strong story elements. It could be in the form of interesting side quests, the little quests MMOs send you on, a large overarching story, etc. - just as long as it pulls you in.
- Highly varied combat. For example, I thought the Jedi Knight games were fun due to the variety of weapons and force powers. I also enjoyed Dragon Age's combat as a mage since the spells had varied effects and different fights required different tactics. On the other hand, unmodded Oblivion bored me to no end; every fight felt the same.
- A sense of growing power. Vanilla Oblivion failed at this (due to level scaling), but with OOO Oblivion was quite good. I rather enjoy starting weak and growing considerably; it also helps if you get to exercise your power (so, even if there's level scaling or increasingly difficult enemies, there ought to be some areas where you can beat up the things that used to beat up you).
- Replay value, either in the default game or in the form of plentiful user created content.
- (Less important than the others) high mobility. Climbing over buildings in Assassin's Creed, Jedi Knight, etc. sure beats being unable to jump. Clearly wouldn't apply for slower RPGs.

To be clear, I enjoy slow-paced RPGs, third person action games, first person shooters, etc. The genre doesn't matter to me much; the content does. Also, I'd be up for a MMO if one fit the bill.

Just about any theme or setting works - fantasy, science fiction, present day, etc. - though I've yet to find a present day/"real world" game which interests me much; usually, such games tend to have repetitive (just guns) combat and low mobility.

Finally, it'd be preferable if this worked on my laptop (Lenovo T400 with an ATI Mobility 3470), but if a game fit most of the criteria and required more power, I do have a desktop with a HD 4870. I'm not picky about graphics. For RPGs and the like, very basic graphics (think Neverwinter Nights) don't bother me; for first and third person action games, graphics perhaps like Overlord or Jedi Knight 2 are perfectly sufficient.

Thanks for your help!

Tarrosion

EDIT: Relevant games which I've played: Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2, KOTOR 1 and 2, Oblivion, Assassin's Creed 1 and 2, Jedi Knight 2, Jedi Academy, Star Wars Galaxies, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, Mass Effect 1 and 2, Dragon Age.
 
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Jellylesg

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Sounds like New Vegas meets most of those criteria. Bit more demanding than you ask for though. KOTOR?
 

ditchmagnet

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Jan 8, 2011
Messages
307
+1 for KOTR 1 and 2, though it won't give you all the jumping around you are looking for.
 

Intel_Hydralisk

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Feb 6, 2005
Messages
4,743
You might want to give some JRPG's a whirl. Although, they aren't really PC games (the recent ones anyway).
 

Kilos

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
187
Fallout 2?
Good story, dark humor, varied combat (if you count guns, melee, unarmed, thrown, and explosives as varied), plenty of sidequests, high replayability if you choose different types of characters....but I may be a bit biased. :p

(Recommended the second one over the first because there's more to it so is less boring)

If the isometric turn-based gameplay is not your style, you could look into New Vegas as someone else mentioned, but I didn't like the story in New Vegas as much so kept neglecting the main quest.
 
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Zarin

n00b
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Messages
57
+1 for The Witcher or hit up GOG.com for some classics like Baldurs Gate Series Icewind dale series, Planescape torment, etc
 

speculative

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 10, 2005
Messages
252
Many such games exist. Which ones have you already played? Half-Life 2 springs to mind, for example, but has been out for a long time now...
 

Tarrosion

Weaksauce
Joined
Oct 2, 2007
Messages
110
Thanks for the recommendations - keep 'em coming

Jellylesg: It sounds like New Vegas might be good, though watching it over my roommate's shoulder gives me the impression that it's a bit run-gun-repeat for me.
Jellylesg, ditchmagnet: the KOTORs are great (despite being glued to the ground), but I've played each several times.
speculative: I played HL2 and found it to be fairly fun, but I wouldn't really say it fits the bill as there's a fair amount of run-and-gun and fairly little character growth (in power or personality). Games which I've played which have some of the desired elements: Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2, KOTOR 1 and 2, Oblivion, Assassin's Creed 1 and 2, Jedi Knight 2, Jedi Outcast, Star Wars Galaxies, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, Mass Effect 1 and 2, Dragon Age.

Due to the multiple recommendations I'll have to give the Witcher a look - I hadn't until now because what I'd read indicated that the combat wasn't so highly varied.

Tarrosion
 

Thuleman

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Joined
Apr 13, 2004
Messages
5,833
Mass Effect 2 will fit the bill imho, can do two play-throughs to get two different save games for Mass Effect 3 (one good, one evil).

EDIT: Ugh, had my posting window open too long and you posted that you already played ME2, ah well.
 

Jellylesg

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Jan 15, 2010
Messages
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Thanks for the recommendations - keep 'em coming

Jellylesg: It sounds like New Vegas might be good, though watching it over my roommate's shoulder gives me the impression that it's a bit run-gun-repeat for me.
Jellylesg, ditchmagnet: the KOTORs are great (despite being glued to the ground), but I've played each several times.
speculative: I played HL2 and found it to be fairly fun, but I wouldn't really say it fits the bill as there's a fair amount of run-and-gun and fairly little character growth (in power or personality). Games which I've played which have some of the desired elements: Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2, KOTOR 1 and 2, Oblivion, Assassin's Creed 1 and 2, Jedi Knight 2, Jedi Outcast, Star Wars Galaxies, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, Mass Effect 1 and 2, Dragon Age.

Due to the multiple recommendations I'll have to give the Witcher a look - I hadn't until now because what I'd read indicated that the combat wasn't so highly varied.

Tarrosion

The combat isn't hugely varied, it starts off as simple timed clicks. After a while though you unlock various powers like some kind of force push and shield bubble and traps and whatnot which you can invest talent points in, and the timed clicks develop more combos and power attacks depending on your point investment again.

It's also a challenge hitting the stance hotkeys in combat to adjust your style to fight a "fast" class opponent and then a "strong" class sneaking up on you, and so on, and the fact that potions - even health/endurance potions - have a toxicity level means you have to think about what you want to use beforehand because you can't often consume them in combat, and taking too many increases your toxicity to the point that you suffer more detrimental effects than beneficial ones.
 

Jalidi

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 22, 2001
Messages
1,325
World of Warcraft probably fits your bill but that game is pure crack and Blizzard is the devil pusher.
 

Mr Mean

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 2, 2004
Messages
1,357
Good evening,

Lately, my preferred type of game - character driven games with a strong story - all seem to have something wrong. I'm wondering if there's a game (perhaps old or obscure) which has most/all of the following:

- Strong story elements. It could be in the form of interesting side quests, the little quests MMOs send you on, a large overarching story, etc. - just as long as it pulls you in.
- Highly varied combat. For example, I thought the Jedi Knight games were fun due to the variety of weapons and force powers. I also enjoyed Dragon Age's combat as a mage since the spells had varied effects and different fights required different tactics. On the other hand, unmodded Oblivion bored me to no end; every fight felt the same.
- A sense of growing power. Vanilla Oblivion failed at this (due to level scaling), but with OOO Oblivion was quite good. I rather enjoy starting weak and growing considerably; it also helps if you get to exercise your power (so, even if there's level scaling or increasingly difficult enemies, there ought to be some areas where you can beat up the things that used to beat up you).
- Replay value, either in the default game or in the form of plentiful user created content.
- (Less important than the others) high mobility. Climbing over buildings in Assassin's Creed, Jedi Knight, etc. sure beats being unable to jump. Clearly wouldn't apply for slower RPGs.

To be clear, I enjoy slow-paced RPGs, third person action games, first person shooters, etc. The genre doesn't matter to me much; the content does. Also, I'd be up for a MMO if one fit the bill.

Just about any theme or setting works - fantasy, science fiction, present day, etc. - though I've yet to find a present day/"real world" game which interests me much; usually, such games tend to have repetitive (just guns) combat and low mobility.

Finally, it'd be preferable if this worked on my laptop (Lenovo T400 with an ATI Mobility 3470), but if a game fit most of the criteria and required more power, I do have a desktop with a HD 4870. I'm not picky about graphics. For RPGs and the like, very basic graphics (think Neverwinter Nights) don't bother me; for first and third person action games, graphics perhaps like Overlord or Jedi Knight 2 are perfectly sufficient.

Thanks for your help!

Tarrosion

Mass Effect 1 and 2 should keep you happy. Also remember you can important your character from Mass Effect 1 to Mass Effect 2. All his actions from Mass Effect 1 will have some impact in Mass Effect 2. Won't give any examples. But lets say if you kill/save someone in mass effect 1 he has a good change to be there/or not there in mass effect 2. Also your character in Mass Effect 2 will import to Mass Effect 3 :) Very good story too. Remember PLay Mass Effect 1 first then Mass Effect 2 :)
 

Jared701

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Joined
May 9, 2002
Messages
1,587
Not a full game, but have you played through all the DLC and the expansion for dragon age? Should give you 30 hours of gameplay if you haven't done any of it which is longer than most nonrpg games out today.
 

Jequirity

Weaksauce
Joined
Jul 26, 2010
Messages
64
+1 for The Witcher. Picked it up after New Year and thought i'd give it a whirl. I found it bit tough to get used to initially but after 10 minutes I was hooked. The Witcher 2 comes out this May so now is as good as time as any to play the original.
 

lilb3119

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 23, 2010
Messages
330
ME2. I could play that game over and over again. Great story to the game and imo excellent combat areas. Give it a try. Except if you haven't played ME1 I would give that a try first.
 

PrincessFrosty

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 6, 2009
Messages
5,905
Fallout series is good for this, 1st and 2nd game were isometric, it's classic RPG dynamics which allow multiple ways out of every situation, even the combat can vary since you can specalize in mutliple types of combat like unarmed, melee, light & heavy weapons, energy weapons, etc.

The overall story isn't a large component of the game, it sort of has a start and and end but everything in between is an adventure which often has nothing to do with your overall goals, this means when you finish the game you have a feeling of having an adventure rather than a highly structures experience.

The side missions are very good though they range from a single mission to subplots which have their own overarching story elements, there's plenty to do.

Fallout3 and Fallout New Vegas bring this to 1st person shooter, Fallout3 was a good attempt at ta modern take on the series but didn't quite capture the essence of fallout, New Vegas was a lot better in this regard IMO. New Vegas is easily the GOTY for 2010.
 

wrangler

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Messages
3,930
Deus Ex



although I don't know about a lot of user driven content
otherwise it sounds like what you described
 

The Oatman

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Messages
415
The combat isn't hugely varied, it starts off as simple timed clicks. After a while though you unlock various powers like some kind of force push and shield bubble and traps and whatnot which you can invest talent points in, and the timed clicks develop more combos and power attacks depending on your point investment again.

It's also a challenge hitting the stance hotkeys in combat to adjust your style to fight a "fast" class opponent and then a "strong" class sneaking up on you, and so on, and the fact that potions - even health/endurance potions - have a toxicity level means you have to think about what you want to use beforehand because you can't often consume them in combat, and taking too many increases your toxicity to the point that you suffer more detrimental effects than beneficial ones.

This is an accurate description of combat in The Witcher. I found Alchemy quite fun in the game and liked the highest difficulty since it forces you to pay attention to these details. Frankly the signs (force powers) are a bit overpowered, especially Igni. I played the game the first time when it was released on medium difficulty and built a character focused on Melee and Aard and had great fun. I did a second run recently on the enhanced edition on highest difficulty with a character built mostly around magic (Aard and Igni). By the later third of the game I could just spam Igni enough times and win the fight, and it usually did not take that many. The combat got boring but I was just doing the run to complete all the side quests I missed the first time. I will also note that the most powerful melee weapon in the game from the old version was removed in the enhanced edition unfortunately.
 

DITC

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
394
Fallout 1 & 2. Combat is not varied, but the story, quests and side-quests are great. Also the starting weak and sense of growing in power part.

Fallout New Vegas is better than Fallout 3. And in New Vegas a Deathclaw will tear you the shreds when you're low-level and poorly equipped, so the level scaling thing is not bad.
 

Thuleman

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 13, 2004
Messages
5,833
Also, STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl

The problem with Stalker is that it gets mind numbingly boring oh-so-very quickly.
"HI Stalker, go there and pick up this thing, bring it back to me!"
"ok!"
[stalker now travels for 7 minutes to the retrieval site, zoning once or twice, is attacked by the same dogs the stalker has previously killed approximately 5395737 times already]
[stalker kills 1-5 enemies and retrieves package]
[[stalker now travels for 7 minutes to the drop-off site, zoning once or twice, is attacked by the same dogs the stalker has previously killed approximately 5395737 times already]
"I have retrieved the package!"
"Great! Consequences will never be the same! Now go and retrive that other package!"
"ok!"
[stalker now travels for 7 minutes ...]

The game is well done, especially once you apply to complete mod, but the repetitive nature of travel and more importantly the time it takes makes this game complete trash imho. It's great if you are jobless or have no life and can spend 40 hours a week on a game, but when you come home from work, deal with family and then have 30-60 minutes to yourself you will spend the majority of your time running through the environment doing nothing but travel.

I /ragequit Stalker over this.
 

Jellylesg

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Joined
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Messages
2,283
The problem with Stalker is that it gets mind numbingly boring oh-so-very quickly.
"HI Stalker, go there and pick up this thing, bring it back to me!"
"ok!"
[stalker now travels for 7 minutes to the retrieval site, zoning once or twice, is attacked by the same dogs the stalker has previously killed approximately 5395737 times already]
[stalker kills 1-5 enemies and retrieves package]
[[stalker now travels for 7 minutes to the drop-off site, zoning once or twice, is attacked by the same dogs the stalker has previously killed approximately 5395737 times already]
"I have retrieved the package!"
"Great! Consequences will never be the same! Now go and retrive that other package!"
"ok!"
[stalker now travels for 7 minutes ...]

The game is well done, especially once you apply to complete mod, but the repetitive nature of travel and more importantly the time it takes makes this game complete trash imho. It's great if you are jobless or have no life and can spend 40 hours a week on a game, but when you come home from work, deal with family and then have 30-60 minutes to yourself you will spend the majority of your time running through the environment doing nothing but travel.

I /ragequit Stalker over this.

It helps to plan ahead in Stalker. Played it through very recently and avoided this by not going to do/get things until I had loads of jobs in that area. Go there, clean up and move on to the next area.
 

lobski2

Gawd
Joined
Oct 16, 2009
Messages
969
Good evening,

Lately, my preferred type of game - character driven games with a strong story - all seem to have something wrong. I'm wondering if there's a game (perhaps old or obscure) which has most/all of the following:

- Strong story elements. It could be in the form of interesting side quests, the little quests MMOs send you on, a large overarching story, etc. - just as long as it pulls you in.
- Highly varied combat. For example, I thought the Jedi Knight games were fun due to the variety of weapons and force powers. I also enjoyed Dragon Age's combat as a mage since the spells had varied effects and different fights required different tactics. On the other hand, unmodded Oblivion bored me to no end; every fight felt the same.
- A sense of growing power. Vanilla Oblivion failed at this (due to level scaling), but with OOO Oblivion was quite good. I rather enjoy starting weak and growing considerably; it also helps if you get to exercise your power (so, even if there's level scaling or increasingly difficult enemies, there ought to be some areas where you can beat up the things that used to beat up you).
- Replay value, either in the default game or in the form of plentiful user created content.
- (Less important than the others) high mobility. Climbing over buildings in Assassin's Creed, Jedi Knight, etc. sure beats being unable to jump. Clearly wouldn't apply for slower RPGs.

To be clear, I enjoy slow-paced RPGs, third person action games, first person shooters, etc. The genre doesn't matter to me much; the content does. Also, I'd be up for a MMO if one fit the bill.

Just about any theme or setting works - fantasy, science fiction, present day, etc. - though I've yet to find a present day/"real world" game which interests me much; usually, such games tend to have repetitive (just guns) combat and low mobility.

Finally, it'd be preferable if this worked on my laptop (Lenovo T400 with an ATI Mobility 3470), but if a game fit most of the criteria and required more power, I do have a desktop with a HD 4870. I'm not picky about graphics. For RPGs and the like, very basic graphics (think Neverwinter Nights) don't bother me; for first and third person action games, graphics perhaps like Overlord or Jedi Knight 2 are perfectly sufficient.

Thanks for your help!

Tarrosion

EDIT: Relevant games which I've played: Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2, KOTOR 1 and 2, Oblivion, Assassin's Creed 1 and 2, Jedi Knight 2, Jedi Academy, Star Wars Galaxies, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, Mass Effect 1 and 2, Dragon Age.

I would like to whole-heartedly recommend you Mount and Blade. The game's incredible melee combat system won me over, and it is my favourite melee combat system. It fits into all of your points, except for the lack of a strong story. It is open ended, incredible replay value is one of its high points. A sense of progress is definately something you feel, as you can either solo it, hire a few heroes along the quest, or even control vast armies. Think back to those battles you've seen in Braveheart, with hundreds of men and horses clashing with each other. This is quite possible in Mount and Blade.

One downside is that it can take a while to get into the real fun, meaty aspect of the game. But don't be turned off from the first few hours just because its slow.


edit: I read the entire thread, I am shocked it has not been recommended yet!

edit2: Old threads on it:

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1505699
http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1496044
 
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