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Look Ahead to the RPGs of 2005

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the dungeon-crawling-in-the-world-of-tomorrow! dept.

Role Playing (Games) 56 is running a series on Upcoming RPGs for the year 2005. The first part covers major releases from US developers, while the second piece concentrates on European and Russian games that haven't had as much press coverage. From the article: 2004 was widely considered to be one of the best for PC gaming in years, with a number of highly anticipated titles generally hitting the mark. From Rome: Total War to Sims 2, City of Heroes to Half Life 2, 2004 put PC gaming back in the gaming headlines for all the right reasons. Unless, that is, you were a fan of single player cRPGs."

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Feline Poop! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11256633)

Fuck you, you motherfucking LambdaMOOers you! That's right, fuck y'all! Yeah!

BEST GAME EVAR! (0, Offtopic)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 9 years ago | (#11256675)

what about stalker!?!?

Re:BEST GAME EVAR! (2, Insightful)

Vaevictis666 (680137) | more than 9 years ago | (#11257281)

I think I'd term Stalker more a FPS than an RPG.


biryokumaru (822262) | more than 9 years ago | (#11259450)

but its in-depth gameplay far surpasses the level of simple fps. the level of simulation is on the scale of an entire city! it may be an fps ui, but the game itself is no shoot'em up!

Bard's Tale (1)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 9 years ago | (#11256822)

Seems to me whoever it is that got ahold of the Bard's Tale franchise has ruined it. Those games were great but another shitty top-down Diablo game it didn't need to become. How about some innovative features instead of a stripped down Baluder's Gate?

Best all time franchises:
Ultima (III was the first RPG I ever played outside of D&D on pen & paper early 80's)
Bard's Tale
Wizardry (the game listed in the article by this developer looks interesting)
Neverwinter Nights (not really a series but lots of expansions)

Re:Bard's Tale (1)

Quinn (4474) | more than 9 years ago | (#11257126)

Do you realize that the "whoever" who got hold of the Bard's Tale license is...its original creator?

Re:Bard's Tale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11257189)

No, it's not the original creator. It's just some dude who worked on Bard's Tale. And the "new" Bard's Tale sucks ass.

Re:Bard's Tale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11257355)

You're exaggerating. The dialogue and cut scenes are hilarious and very well done. The only real problem with the new Bard's Tale game is that it's nearly impossibly to block effectively, which practically guarantees you'll be killed quickly whenever you're outnumbered.

Re:Bard's Tale (1)

Loadmaster (720754) | more than 9 years ago | (#11257501)

You are partially correct. Brian Fargo did not create Bard's Tale (That's Michael Cranford), and he did work on the original BT (And Wasteland). But he is not just "some dude." Brian Fargo co-founded Interplay and was its CEO until 2002.

Re:Bard's Tale (0)

zonker (1158) | more than 9 years ago | (#11261764)

here's some linkage [] and here [] too...

Re:Bard's Tale (1)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 9 years ago | (#11257235)

Tunnels of Doom!

Re:Bard's Tale (1)

British (51765) | more than 9 years ago | (#11257632)

There was some web page(now gone) for remaking Tunnels of Doom with sprueced up graphics, etc on the PC.

Sadly, the web page is gone, and never got a downloadable demo. Shame.

Tunnels of Doom! (1)

Aropax20 (636154) | more than 9 years ago | (#11257947)

I loved that game!

Looks like someone is still working on a remake of it though, according to Dream Codex Retrogames []

I've already bookmarked it to keep an eye on it :)

Re:Tunnels of Doom! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11258346)

The only problem is, it's written in Java. Gag.

Re:Bard's Tale (1)

Mr. Ghost (674666) | more than 9 years ago | (#11262844)

I would replace Bard's Tale with the Might & Magic series. I thought that was the greatest series of all time. I always liked the way there progression system worked and also there weapons.

I will always remember finding my first coral sword and wondering if it was better than a wooden axe.

Also they had a couple of decent ports to the Genesis game console that were fun to play.

Re:Bard's Tale (1)

Boronx (228853) | more than 9 years ago | (#11267243)

I played one of the Might and Magic games, and it was fantastic, but no matter how I built my characters, two or three of them would gradually become totally useless compared to the rest as they levelled.

KOTOR2 (1)

DarkFencer (260473) | more than 9 years ago | (#11256825)

Only thing on the horizon (that I'm aware of) for Single Player PC RPGs is Knights of the Old Republic II. It is scheduled for release in mid-Feburary at last check.

Of course since RPGDot has ALREADY been SLASHdotted, I'm not sure what else is up there.

Is there anything else to look forward to on the single player PC side?

Re:KOTOR2 (4, Informative)

Xentax (201517) | more than 9 years ago | (#11258226)

And KOTOR2 is already out on the XBox, of course.

I have to say I'm impressed. There's some nitpicky things I don't like (inventory doesn't have an "only new" filter, for example, I've seen a graphics glitch on the equip screen, and load times get obnoxious but that at least is to be expected), but as far as the story and length of play goes, I'm *very* impressed, it's a better story than KOTOR1 (IMHO) and I'm pretty sure it's longer - I'm 55 hours into the game according to my latest savegame, and I'm at least not "quite" at the end yet - it's a little hard to tell how much more I have to go.

I'm tempted to call the combat too easy - 3 Jedi towards the end-game are nearly invulnerable on the normal setting. But that hasn't really bothered me as much as it might. The relatively 'narrow' conversation trees are a little noticable sometimes (often multiple of the response options lead to the same place instead of branching out like you might expect them to), but for the most part it's a well written and compelling story.

Some of the new features - far better item creation/customization for example - are nice, but mostly gravy. The ease of combat has made that seem less critical to 'max out' than it might otherwise, and (just as in the first one, imho) most of what you pick up is either already useless or soon will be - too much medium and heavy armor and non-upgradeable guns.

But as I said, that's all stuff to point out for the sake of completeness. I've enjoyed it moreso than the first, which truly surprised me.

I wanted to wait for the PC version (mostly because Patches Are A Good Thing), but getting it sooner on XBox was still worth it - the graphics look at least as good as the first, no hassle setting up and enjoying 5.1 sound is nice - only the load times are a draw back and I'm not sure how much better that'd be on the PC.


Re:KOTOR2 (2, Interesting)

arkanes (521690) | more than 9 years ago | (#11258783)

I've been playing it (I'm about 25 hours in), and I've been enjoying it too. Agree with most of your points, except I have to add that that unarmed combat is way too frigging powerful. I just recently made my lightsaber (and got a second for Keira), but up until now all my characters have exclusively used unarmed. It does far more damage than any gun I've come across and quite a bit more than any melee weapon, even an unmodified lightsaber.

I'm a little disapointed that there weren't any new useful powers for Light Side jedi. Dark Side was way cooler in the first game and it remains so in this one.

Re:KOTOR2 (1)

WarDancer (542700) | more than 9 years ago | (#11263301)

I finished the game twice. First time was a light side Jedi Gardian (15) and Jedi Weapon Master (10-15 don't remember). I found the game challenging until I got my first lightsaber (2 handed), then with master speed and master flurry I could pretty much take any enemy in the game (except final bosses) in one round. I'm not sure the amount of hours I took to finish it, probably around 25-30.

Second time was a dark side Jedi Consular (15) and Sith Lord (35). Maxed the levels using the dead jedi in the tomb on korriban. Most of the game was very easy as I even had more skills than the first time so allies were almost useless and I could take out most group of enemies with 1 or 2 force storms. But this character wasn't as strong as I expected because it had way too many force points for nothing (I would rarely go below 80% after a while) and too few vitality points (I would still get beaten up from time to time). So I guess a maxed balanced character would have been better.

Except for a few glitches and bugs, the game was pretty good. I was a little disapointed with my second game as I was expecting more differences between the 2 storylines.

I agree with the new item filter, it would have been much more usefull than the current ones. Item creation was a nice addition but it was pretty much not needed because you were already strong enough.

A bug (I would say it's a bug) I found was that only your main character's repair skill can be used to break down items. While for medical items, you can use one of your ally's with high treat injury to break down into chemicals. So if you have a guardian with low skills, until you find lots of items to boost your repair skill you will never get much more than 1 component from breaking down items.

The other thing with item creation is that there as no super strong items to create, once you have skill levels around 25-30 it doesn't give you anything to have something higher.

Re:KOTOR2 (1)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 9 years ago | (#11260545)

Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion
Gothic III

Those would be some of the best games to come out, well, ever, for PC. When and if they do.

blehs (1)

exfinite (603126) | more than 9 years ago | (#11256838)

Between Elder Scrolls 4 and Gothic 3, I wonder where school and work come into play...

Good list. (3, Informative)

Ahnteis (746045) | more than 9 years ago | (#11256871)

That's a good list. I'm looking forward to KOTORII, DSII, and the next Freedom Force. Some possibly interesting ones in the part II also.
(I do in fact prefer singleplayer RPGs.)

Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher: LucasArts
Release Date: Feb 2005

Dungeon Lords
Developer: Heuristic Park
Publisher: Dreamcatcher
Release Date: 1st Qtr 2005

Freedom Force vs The Third Reich
Developer: Irrational Games
Publisher: Vivendi Universal Games
Release Date: 1st Qtr 2005

Dungeon Siege 2
Developer: Gas Powered Games
Publisher: Microsoft
Release Date: Spring 2005

The Bard's Tale
Developer: inXile
Publisher: Vivendi Universal
Release Date: Spring 2005

Gothic 3
Developer: Piranha Bytes
Publisher: JoWood Productions
Release Date: TBA

The Fall: Last Days of Gaia
Developer: Silver Style Entertainment
Publisher: TBA
Release Date: TBA

The Witcher
Developer: CD Projekt
Publisher: TBA
Release Date: 2005

Elder Scrolls 4 Oblivion
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: TBA

Re:Good list. (2, Interesting)

Quill_28 (553921) | more than 9 years ago | (#11257244)

So out of 9 games, only 2 maybe 3(The Fall: Last Days of Gaia) aren't sequels?

Re:Good list. (3, Insightful)

chrish (4714) | more than 9 years ago | (#11263076)

Welcome to the new consolidated and risk-averse gaming industry. Pray for the small developers and independants to deliver us from rehashes.

Re:Good list. (1)

Quill_28 (553921) | more than 9 years ago | (#11269608)

Quick question.

I don't play many games, but where is the best web site for reviewing these games that don't get the press?

Re:Good list. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11259301)

The only two out of those i'm looking forward to are KOTOR 2 and Elder Scrolls 4.

The most exciting thing about Dungeon Siege was the donkey inventory management simulation it had.

What about..... (1, Offtopic)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 9 years ago | (#11256893)

The Matrix Online? Does that count as an RPG? I suspect it does. And that ought to be a huge title. I don't expect it to be a great game, but It really ought to sell well.

Re:What about..... (1)

glowimperial (705397) | more than 9 years ago | (#11256978)

It's not a RPG, it's a MMORPG, which is a totally different kind of game. Neither of the articles are commenting about MMO's at all. There are at least 5-6 MMO's with 2005 release dates, none of which are being discussed. That is why it is absent.

Re:What about..... (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#11257212)

They say it's MMORPG which is just RPG with a subscription fee. Anyways if this game pans out the way it's supposed to (unlike some other matrix games... Enter the Matrix cough cough) I am there.

Re:What about..... (1)

harrkev (623093) | more than 9 years ago | (#11257855)


In a typical RPG, there is a main plot line that usually involves the killing/destruction/obtaining of a certian person/object/place. Once you do it, the game is over.

If this were the case in a MMORPG, the first person kills the mega-bad dude, and everybody else goes "Awwwww. I wanted to kill him." Then they go home. Since this cannot be the case if a MMORPG wants to make money, this does not happen.

So, the "flavor" or "feel" of the two types of games are completely different.

Re:What about..... (1)

cluke (30394) | more than 9 years ago | (#11262577)

Nah, in an MMORPG the bad guy just respawns. Imagine, as your party leaves victorious after defeating Sephiroth, and on your way out there is a queue of 100 other parties, lined up like in a post office, waiting for their crack at him.
Oh yeah, the other difference is that levelling up is about a hundred times slower, so as to give you a 'challenge'.

Re:What about..... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 9 years ago | (#11262679)

Nah, in an MMORPG the bad guy just respawns. Imagine, as your party leaves victorious after defeating Sephiroth, and on your way out there is a queue of 100 other parties, lined up like in a post office, waiting for their crack at him.

Thus removing the aforementioned "cohesive plot/storyline" and replacing it with "grind,camp,voke,zerg,repeat"

Re:What about..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11264694)


I'm not sure what a MMORPT is, so I assume you mean Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game or something to that effect. And when you say RPG you mean Role Playing Game campaign on the computer. Because in either case you are (supposedly) playing a role which is the point of a role playing game. In any case, World of Warcraft has proven that MMORPGs can feel just like typical RPG campaigns (like Baldur's Gate) minus the ending when you stop playing long enough to go out and get the expansion pack. . .oh wait!

Re:What about..... (2, Informative)

glowimperial (705397) | more than 9 years ago | (#11258178)

Sorry to disappoint, but the beta of Matrix Online has been getting bad, bad reviews from players. I think it's going to be like SWG. Large initial subscriber base, and immediate tank afterwards due to bad gameplay.

A lot of Matrix Online's success is going to be dependent on the staying power of World of Warcraft.

Re:What about..... (1)

Maserati (8679) | more than 9 years ago | (#11259841)

So they aren't going after NDA breakers ? I'll wait until release to bitch anyway.

I probably CAN say that I dropped out of the beta in early November (no, BEFORE WoW went gold). Still, probably a better game than Enter the Matrix. I like the concept of a more involved combat system, but the interlock system never really grabbed me.

Re:What about..... (1)

glowimperial (705397) | more than 9 years ago | (#11262785)

I imagine that they can go after NDA breakers, but I haven't seen anyone break their NDA in a big, big way. Everyone I know who was in the Matrix Online Beta has both braodly panned it and has left the beta. That is not a good sign.

Re:What about..... (1)

Tizen Kotoko (845699) | more than 9 years ago | (#11259755)

As a Matrix Online Beta tester, I regret to inform you that it will suck. Badly. So bad infact, that their threats to cancel beta testing status on accounts for breaking their NDA (ie: Discussing the status of the beta, like I am now), gives me a feeling of satisfaction. Here is how it works: create hip-trendy looking human character, run from Building A to Building B with the optional killing of hip-trendy looking human NPC, and level up. The entire environment is limited to repetetive city scapes and building interiors. Sound exciting? I do appreciate being in the beta for one reason, I now know first-hand how bad this will be when it goes retail.

Re:What about..... (1)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 9 years ago | (#11260579)

I can't say I'm hugely surprised. Enter The Matrix was one of the laziest games I think I've played. They tried to rely purely on the novelty factor of the game having been produced in parallel with the movies...they presumably thought that everybody would be so impressed by that that it wouldn't matter if the game itself was a steaming pile. Though my view has always been that the Wachowskis completely sold their souls after the first both the sequels they were simply committed to impersonating George Lucas as closely as possible, which infuriated the hell out of me.

The thing that really annoyed me more than anything else about Enter The Matrix in particular is that it sucked when it didn't have to. They would have had the money to license the Unreal engine...Hell, Epic are such Matrix fanboys themselves that they probably could have struck a deal with them to make the game. UT's physics can be very easily modified to resemble the physics employed in the films, complete with bullet time in single player that is actually gravity/speed altering as it was in the films, rather than purely aesthetic as it is in TMO apparently. Granted, that's because of the multiplayer element...Bullet time can only be done semi-authentically in single can't be implemented in a network the films it was the neural interface that made it possible within that particular virtual can't be done with modems.

In terms of TMO though, I didn't know the gameplay itself was going to be that bad, but reading the Gamespy stuff on it made me think it definitely would not have mainstream appeal. It seems the developers of the game have boosted the martial arts/Asian cultural emphasis a lot more than it was actually present in the movies, and so those of us who aren't fans of Jackie Chan or Jet Li (most people, I'm guessing) aren't going to find TMO to be their shot of sake.

If the peeps who own the Matrix franchise want to make themselves some real PC-related money, IMHO they should license either the Unreal or GTA 3 engine, employ some people who actually care about doing the job properly, and then release an(other) absolutely monster single-player game. I say single player because that's the only way to do bullet time convincingly. Then they can (and should, dammit!) pull out all the stops. Give us the ability to perform bullet time stunts in the game with chasecam replay afterwards...where from the player's perspective during the movement it is in slow mo, but from the camera's perspective for the replay it is re-rendered at high speed...I haven't been able to work out how to do that myself with the existing UT bullet time mod, but I'm fairly sure it could be done. Bart Janssen's BT mutator proves that it's possible to make bullet time aware bots, as well...which has to be seen to be believed.

A new Matrix-related FPS could be the most awesome thing we've seen yet gaming wise if they wanted to be creative about it. They won't do it, of course...but it's fun to dream.

Re:What about..... (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#11269482)

Man these are horrific news. I guess it's back to everquest for everybody.

Kohan II: Kings of War (0, Offtopic)

clausiam (609879) | more than 9 years ago | (#11257206)

Just wanted to give some word-of-mouth advertising to this game which (due to bad marketing and bad release timing) has been largely overlooked by most gamers. It's the best RTS game out there IMHO. More strategy, less click-fest.

Download a beta from [] and then buy the game (you can pick it up now for ~$20 in most places I think).

Broken Link? (1)

dohadeer (598581) | more than 9 years ago | (#11257438)

The above link appears to be broken (an sql error relating to not being able to find a user id in the database).

Copy the URL and add the following to the query string:

The site will then load without problem.

what about... (1)

jmank88 (813483) | more than 9 years ago | (#11257991)

Kindoms Hearts 2? thats scheduled for Q4 of '05. i cant believe it didnt make the list! -jordan

Re:what about... (2, Informative)

glowimperial (705397) | more than 9 years ago | (#11258207)

Probably because the article is about PC RPG's. the initial /. post didn't really explicitly say this, but the article does. Kingdom Hearts is a console game, so didn't make the article.

The genre's kinda split right now. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11258236)

As eventually happens with most "enthusiast" genres (i.e. simulations, strategy), it's kinda split right now between the uber-realistic (Morrowind, Gothic) and the simplified (Neverwinter).

Personally, I tried and tried, but ultimatley couldn't get into Morrowind. Not because of the depth and size, but I think that it's currently *really* hard to tell a cohesive story with that kind of depth and freedom in the game world. Time sink was a factor, but not the deciding one.

Games like Morrowind are pushing the limits and are definitley creating the "higher" art of PC RPGs. Once those developers figure out how to tell a more cohesive, emotional story with that medium then we will see a watershed year in RPGs.

The last game, to my mind, that acheived that kind of synergy was Ultima VII.

Dragon Age? (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 9 years ago | (#11258323)

I don't know if they missed this one, or if it's not going to make 2005...

Dragon Age []

Re:Dragon Age? (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 9 years ago | (#11263115)

I would be extremely surprised if Dragon Age comes out this year - after all, it's going to be based on a completely new engine, and Bioware is busy with other projects right now...

I'd say 2006 very earliest, 2007 if we're just normally optimistic and 2010 if they're going to make it as influential as NWN has been. And Linux client in 2013, no matter what year the game is released =)

Re:Dragon Age? (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 9 years ago | (#11266935)

yeah - so I thought. The engine is supposedly quite far along, but content takes years for RPGs usually. I wouldn't be surprised if they borrowed a lot of stuff from their other engines, though (inventory management, for instance).

hey - thought of another Fallout 3... knowing Bethesda, it will be released, but will be about 4 years in coming :)

Re:Dragon Age? (1)

Senobyzal (826207) | more than 9 years ago | (#11264763)

Yeah, this is why I'm looking forward more to 2006, when Dragon Age and Neverwinter Nights 2 (handed over to Obsidian, although Bioware's still helping a bit from what I've heard) are slated to be finished. But I play more multiplayer than single player, mostly long-running campaigns with small, established groups of players. Neverwinter Nights is still my primary online game in the RPG genre, and I expect that both of my current campaigns will keep going throughout 2005.

Jade Empire? (2, Informative)

tc (93768) | more than 9 years ago | (#11259212)

They missed out Jade Empire, currently being developed by Bioware (the developers responsible for Baldur's Gate and the original KOTOR), which I believe is due out for Xbox this year (no idea about a PC version).

That's certainly one RPG that I'm looking forward to this year.

Zelda? (1)

BTWR (540147) | more than 9 years ago | (#11260733)

There's a new Legend of Zelda coming out this year, and the question always comes up as to weather it's an RPG or not. Personally, I think it's more action/adventure with RPG elements. But then again, Zelda 2 was pretty RPGish. Any thoughts?

Xenosaga 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11261685)

for PS2

Infinity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11261785)

Am I the only one that wishes they had made more quality PC RPGS with the Infinity Engine? 2D isn't completely dead, you know, and with a few games on par with something like Planescape, I'd gladly welcome some more of that tasty role-playing goodness.

Final Fantasy XII ??? (1)

gorim (700913) | more than 9 years ago | (#11263313)

The Final Fantasy franchise is the hugest in existance on the PS2. Every FF release is a major event. I am quite frankly surprised that this was not even mentioned, even though some XBOX games were mentioned a few times, and they are no doubt not nearly as huge.

Yes, they covered themselves by saying they knew they would miss some things, but missing this one is as big as it gets.


Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11263696)

I want a new Summoner game!!!! BEST RPG EVER.
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