Few things get gamers more excited than the prospect of a massive RPG. That’s probably because this particular genre has never been better. Worlds are more sprawling, questlines are move involving, and graphics more jaw-dropping. They’re the sort of games we could only dream of just a few short years ago, with worlds you can just get lost in for hundreds upon hundreds of hours.
If you thought 2015 was a great year for RPGs though, you’d best think again. In 2016 we’ve got the return of some of the most esteemed role-playing franchises of all time, as well as brand new IPs and a spectacular upcoming indie release that says no to fantasy.
If the voting at this year’s Global Game Awards was anything to go by, Mass Effect Andromeda is going to be huge. BioWare’s sci-fi RPG picked up the Most Anticipated Game of 2016 gong with ease, more than doubling the votes of the second placed game. It seems that Mass Effect 3 ending wasn’t enough to put off series fans for good. The original trilogy is one of the most enduring RPG game series of all time, and we see no good reason why Mass Effect Andromeda can’t accomplish exactly the same.
By now Final Fantasy XV has entered near-mythical status. Beginning life as Final Fantasy XIII Versus, it’s been in development since 2006. That’s coming up to a decade. Final Fantasy XV can legally drive a car in six years, and it’s not even out yet. Never let it be said that Square Enix aren’t an ambitious bunch. I dread to think of the money that has been sunk into this sequel. It’s looking more and more as if FFXV could be a return to form for the series, which would be most welcome. Just looking at that iconic logo against a white background is enough to get me salivating.
RPGs are ruddy obsessed with magic. Finding an RPG without spellcasting is almost an impossibility. And when one does come along, like Alpha Protocol, it gets slated for being ‘boring’, even though it was almost factually awesome. Which is where Kingdom Come: Deliverance. It’s got all the beards, thatched roofs, and pestilence we’ve come to expect from a fantasy RPG, but it’s not got none of that Harry Potter baloney. Kingdom Come: Deliverance is an RPG that lets the blades do all the talking.
Ask a console gamer about Dragon’s Dogma and then you’ll witness frothing at the mouth and mad ravings about beheading Hydras and flying griffins. In the years since its PS3 and X360 launch Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen has built up quite a fervent cult following you see. Up until now we PC gamers have had to stand by as console players embarked on their embark quest, but no more! Capcom’s RPG is PC bound and it will be the definitive version, with enhanced visuals, higher resolutions, and the possibility of sky-high frame rates.
Up until recently we didn’t expect CD Projekt RED’s Cyberpunk 2077 until 2017 at the earlier, but recent chatter has hinted we could see the sci-fi RPG hoverboarding into town as early as next holidays. It’s safe to say The Witcher 3 turned a few heads earlier this year, and CDPR has said it’s going to build on the systems it had in place for Cyberpunk 2077. Expect a massive open-world city, humming with a neon glow, with hundreds of hours of questing.