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PC games with great combat, a compelling story and meaningful choices

Physiocrat

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I am looking for recommendations. Compelling story, meaningful choices (especially narrative ones) and great combat are the three things I like most in games. I haven't been 100% on the pulse in gaming for a number of years so I could well have missed some gems.

These are the games I have played already which probably touch hit all three in some way to varying degrees of success -

Banner Saga 1, 2, 3
Witcher 1, 2, 3
Dragon Age Origins, 2 and Inquisition
Mass Effect 1, 2, 3
Deus Ex Human Revolution and Mankind Divided
Kingdom Come Deliverance

Any recommendations?

They need not be RPGs nor open world (I actually don't like open world all that much). These just happen to be some that I have actually played.
 
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Sentenza

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Divinity Original Sin 1 and 2?
Pathfinder Kingmaker?
To a lesser extent Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire?

I know you said that they don't need to be RPG, but on the other hand you didn't say they can't be one.
 
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Physiocrat

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Divinity Original Sin 1 and 2?
Pathfinder Kingmaker?
To a lesser extent Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire?

I know you said that they don't need to be RPG, but on the other hand you didn't say they can't be one.

I played Divinity 2 Original Sin for about 5 hours or so and gave up. The battles last soooooooo long and you are way way too underpowered in the beginning. Will have a look at the other two though
 
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Exentryk

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Cyberpunk 2077 is an obvious choice. Runs great on PC, and the characters/choices/story is all very impressive. Combat is great as well as you can build your character in various ways to resolve the situations in that many ways. You can get pretty OP though, but that's fun for some (like me).

Assassin's Creed games are also decent, though the story/choices component is low there. Exploration and Combat are okay.

If you are open to JRPGs, then perhaps stuff like Ni no Kuni 1 and 2 are decent options. Monster capture is great in 1, and the action combat is great in 2. If you are open to emulators, and turn-based combat, then definitely try Bravely Default 1 and 2 for best turn-based combat ever. There is also Octopath Traveler on Steam by the same team (if emulators are no go). Check out trailers for these if they take your fancy.
 

CitizenZ

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Tough question, IMO you already named probably the best well known choice driven RPGs, Witcher 2 probably the best because of one decision will lock hours of content. Though i dont think TB is your style I will throw out one underrated gem, Expeditions Conquistadors. Solid TB game with some very serious choices in a world not utilized enough in VGs. Its actually pretty dark and an actual RPG.
 
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rodrigolfp

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B-but he said great combat and a compelling story.
What is bad in Skyrim's destruction magic or bow with m+kb combat?

And the Story is more than ok.

Plus, OP mentioned Witcher 1. If that has good enough combat for him, Skyrim melee combat will be wonderful for him/her.
 
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Dr.Morris79

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Dont knock it as a rubbish old FPS. What you have here is one of the best PC games ever made. Combat? A+, Story? Get out of Hell and find your missus, it's meaningful! Choices? Shotgun, or Painkiller? Which tarot cards shall I use? The choices are tough.

Turn the 'Battle' music off and leave ambient music ON.



They dont make em like this no more.
 
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Fbh

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If you liked the World of the Witcher and you enjoyed Gwent, then Thronebreaker is an amazing and often overlooked game


It has a fun story with a great cast of characters, the combat is all card based but it's really fun with a lot of unique scenarios and cards specifically designed for single encounters. And it's filled with Witcher style decisions, some of which I actually found tougher than the ones in the main Witcher games since it's usually not "good choice" vs "evil choice" but rather two grey options.
Now, it's not like most decisions have this massive effect on the story and it's not like main events have a 1000 different ways to play out, but they'll often affect your resources, troop morale, give you unique cards or make you loose, gain or power up party memebers.
 
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Guilty_AI

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Right, there's also Fallout New vegas, though its questionable whether its combat is actually good
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. I replayed it recently and it holds up incredibly well.
Talking about surprisingly good games made with source, its also possible to add:
EYE Divine Cybermancy
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines
 

Vae_Victis

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Mar 4, 2020
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I am looking for recommendations. Compelling story, meaningful choices (especially narrative ones) and great combat are the three things I like most in games. I haven't been 100% on the pulse in gaming for a number of years so I could well have missed some gems.

These are the games I have played already which probably touch hit all three in some way to varying degrees of success -

Banner Saga 1, 2, 3
Witcher 1, 2, 3
Dragon Age Origins, 2 and Inquisition
Mass Effect 1, 2, 3
Deus Ex Human Revolution and Mankind Divided
Kingdom Come Deliverance

Any recommendations?

They need not be RPGs nor open world (I actually don't like open world all that much). These just happen to be some that I have actually played.
Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 have an excellent narrative, and the combat system is solid and varied enough if you make the right choices in terms of character/party. They also offer a lot of plot choices along the way, even though the overall endings are pretty much rail-roaded. If you don't mind the mild clunkiness, I'd call them some of the greatest RPG video games of all time.

On the topic of choices and systemic effects of your actions, Pathologic 2 is probably the most interesting game to try, and the plot/narrative is beyond unique. The combat though is clunky and unbalanced, but you can mitigate that if you go and mess with the extensive difficulty settings menu (sadly I'm not sure if you can change it after the save game is started).

I played Divinity 2 Original Sin for about 5 hours or so and gave up. The battles last soooooooo long and you are way way too underpowered in the beginning. Will have a look at the other two though
My biggest gripe with that game was the writing. It always tries to be too many things all at the same time (serious, tragic, mysterious, slapstick, lol-so-random etc.) to the point there is just a total tonal cacophony and it becomes impossible to take anything seriously. The first Original Sin had even worse writing though, it was just a mess that in the first hours bombards you with a billion plot points that don't connect with one another and leave you there confused as to what the fuck you are even actually meant to be, do or react to things.

I found the very fist Divine Divinity much more enjoyable, even though the combat is a bit dull (it's basically Diablo's, and you don't have a party) and there was some tonal randomness here and there as well.
 

rofif

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Dont knock it as a rubbish old FPS. What you have here is one of the best PC games ever made. Combat? A+, Story? Get out of Hell and find your missus, it's meaningful! Choices? Shotgun, or Painkiller? Which tarot cards shall I use? The choices are tough.

Turn the 'Battle' music off and leave ambient music ON.



They dont make em like this no more.
why turn battle music off? The music was great in painkiller. Ambient too
 

mcz117chief

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Right, there's also Fallout New vegas, though its questionable whether its combat is actually good

Talking about surprisingly good games made with source, its also possible to add:
EYE Divine Cybermancy
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines
Vampire yes, incredible writing and very fun RPG system with great combat.

EYE Divine Cybermancy though... well, I don't even know where to start with that. It is one of the most bizarre and insane games I have ever played. Clunky and massive for no reason too. I enjoyed my time with it but it all felt like a fever dream, definitely would not recommend to most people, only to really hardcore gamers.
 
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Guilty_AI

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EYE Divine Cybermancy though... well, I don't even know where to start with that. It is one of the most bizarre and insane games I have ever played. Clunky and massive for no reason too. I enjoyed my time with it but it all felt like a fever dream, definitely would not recommend to most people, only to really hardcore gamers.
 
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Dr.Morris79

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why turn battle music off? The music was great in painkiller. Ambient too
Oh no no no, it utterly ruined the immersion for me. I get why it's there, I get blasting metal music but no, not here. You need to be able to hear the wails, screaming and weird whispers in the background, it sets the tone perfect. It is Hell after all..

I've never felt such pain as I did playing the 360 version of Painkiller: Hell & Damnation and seeing you could only have battle music. Farm 51 ruined Painkiller with that crap version

And to be honest it's why i'll always prefer the PS1 version of Doom over all the others, that ambient music made it complete.
 

rofif

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Oh no no no, it utterly ruined the immersion for me. I get why it's there, I get blasting metal music but no, not here. You need to be able to hear the wails, screaming and weird whispers in the background, it sets the tone perfect. It is Hell after all..

I've never felt such pain as I did playing the 360 version of Painkiller: Hell & Damnation and seeing you could only have battle music. Farm 51 ruined Painkiller with that crap version

And to be honest it's why i'll always prefer the PS1 version of Doom over all the others, that ambient music made it complete.
oh yeah, the remake was TERRIBLE. Black edition is where it's at.
The ambient is fantastic just as You say.... is ambient still playing when You are in battle ?
 

Exentryk

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Also, did I mention NieR Automata?! It has great world building and story, and fantastic action combat from Platinum Games. It's also a very unique game (NieR 1 too), so highly recommended. Warning though, the movement controls are so good and fluid it'll make it hard to play other games.


 
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Loope

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What is bad in Skyrim's destruction magic or bow with m+kb combat?

And the Story is more than ok.

Plus, OP mentioned Witcher 1. If that has good enough combat for him, Skyrim melee combat will be wonderful for him/her.
Well you can pretty much wreck everything middle game (not saying is not fun though :D)
 

Physiocrat

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What is bad in Skyrim's destruction magic or bow with m+kb combat?

And the Story is more than ok.

Plus, OP mentioned Witcher 1. If that has good enough combat for him, Skyrim melee combat will be wonderful for him/her.

I have played Skyrim. I didn't think the plot was very good which is why left it off the list. The combat was fine but you became way too overpowered later on. The original Witcher's combat I agree is limited.
 
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CitizenZ

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Shadowrun Returns
Shadowrun Dragonfall
Shadowrun Hong Kong

The most underutilized series in existence IMO. I could easily see this game being done as a 3rd person action game(Borderlands like) and would love to see it in a more realistic art style keeping the turn base aspect. Heck, you could make this into an ARPG even so much depth and interesting world and stories to tell.
 

Husky

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Dragon's Dogma controls wonderfully with keyboard & mouse, and has some of the best combat I've played with. Its story can be um, a bit out-there, and that's very compelling :lollipop_smiling_face_eyes:
There's not much room for player choice to deeply impact the story though.

I saw a video today about how Middle-earth: Shadow's Nemesis system creates a unique story for each player, and I found many relatable moments while watching. Those two games are great, and the expanded Nemesis system in Shadow of War never left me bored. It's got Arkhamesque combat, but without the focus on rhythm, more on actually staying alive.
I'd have played Shadow of War for several hundred hours if there was more unique content for me to complete. Hell, I'd even have played it if it were a live service.

Oh hey, Dying Light had some pretty sick combat. Awesome navigation too. It's one of the most liberating games to play, as it presents so many options I've found myself wishing for in other games. Kicks, stomps, jump-kicks, climbing, sliding, shoving, wall-running, a fucking grappling hook. The story's nothing amazing, and I can't even remember if the main campaign had a single player choice, but um... that's some really good first-person combat. An improved version of the system found in Dead Island, with limb-targeting and an agile dodge feature.

STALKER's dynamic AI and faction allegiances can lead to some different outcomes with each run, dunno how much they'd affect the main storyline though. Got some of the best gunplay ever as well.

Sorry they're all open world :lollipop_smiling_face_eyes:, and none have particularly great stories. I'd call them compelling, but not best-in-class or anything worth special acclaim.
I'll second the Dark Messiah of Might & Magic recommendation, that's some top-tier melee, can't wait to see if Arkane's upcoming fantasy title is similar.
 

johntown

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The most underutilized series in existence IMO. I could easily see this game being done as a 3rd person action game(Borderlands like) and would love to see it in a more realistic art style keeping the turn base aspect. Heck, you could make this into an ARPG even so much depth and interesting world and stories to tell.
I would love a more AAA style or 3rd person game. I like ARPG's but IMO I would not like it for this game.
 

PlayerPurple

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Dragon’s Dogma Dark Arisen and Dishonored 2 sound right up your alley.

Dragon’s more so for the great combat (directed by Itsuno of Devil May Cry fame) and Dishonored more for the story (directed by Harvey Smith of Deus Ex fame).
 
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