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Why is Witcher considered an RPG and not Horizon?

bender

What time is it?
Noone said videogames should simulate tabletop RPG 1:1

But calling Final Fantasy and Horizon RPG just because they have skill tree, hitpoints and XP, is absurdly inaccurate.

That's not really counter to my comment about you being far too rigid in your definition of a true RPG:

There are very few - possibly even zero - video games that I would consider "real" RPGs.

Neither are true RPGs - those almost don't exist in video games anymore. Witcher is closer, though. A true RPG *must* allow the player to affect the narrative.

The games are almost entirely scripted. Same is true for most modern WRPGs. It is very difficult to translate the mechanics of what a "real" RPG is to the video game medium because the core of role playing is essentially total freedom


The last one is particularly absurd. All video games scripted and have boundaries. And by your definition any game that presents a narrative to the player should be ruled out as the player isn't affecting the narrative, they are just selecting a predefined path that a scenario writer has presented for them which is not a lot different than a choose your own adventure book.

I never said Horizon was an RPG. Early Final Fantasies allowed you to create parties and level up characters as you saw fit to tackle the adventure as such.
 
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The term RPG is soo loosely defined in gaming that it almost doesn't warrant a discussion. Everyone has different definitions of what a RPG should be.
 

Utherellus

Member
That's not really counter to my comment about you being far too rigid in your definition of a true RPG:

There are very few - possibly even zero - video games that I would consider "real" RPGs.

Neither are true RPGs - those almost don't exist in video games anymore. Witcher is closer, though. A true RPG *must* allow the player to affect the narrative.

The games are almost entirely scripted. Same is true for most modern WRPGs. It is very difficult to translate the mechanics of what a "real" RPG is to the video game medium because the core of role playing is essentially total freedom


The last one is particularly absurd. All video games scripted and have boundaries. And by your definition any game that presents a narrative to the player should be ruled out as the player isn't affecting the narrative, they are just selecting a predefined path that a scenario writer has presented for them which is not a lot different than a choose your own adventure book.

I never said Horizon was an RPG. Early Final Fantasies allowed you to create parties and level up characters as you saw fit to tackle the adventure as such.

ofc all games have limitations. But so do tabletop RPGs.

The only tabletop I know that has nearly no limits is Fate Core. It takes everything into "life simulator" realm.

But here we are talking about role playing, which has clear core definitions. "Core" underlined.
 

OceanGaming

Member
Japanese RPGs are making things complicated though. Is Final Fantasy 7 a role playing game? You can’t create your own character, it’s super linear and nothing you do change the story. Where is the role playing? 🤔

Because they are not RPGs , they are Action-Adventure/Strategy games with the trappings of an RPG.
 
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bitbydeath

Member
Yes?
Affecting the narrative was a key part of Adventure games.

Eg.
 
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k_trout

Member
I always thought rpg was not the best term, imo most games are roll playing,
in doom I played the roll of a space marine, in tomb raider I played the roll of a rich hot English woman
 

OceanGaming

Member
Is that so? And what part about Final Fantasy 7 makes it an "Action Adventure" game, exactly? This is going to be good.
Well, it's strategy as well, i mean the OG FF7. Anyways, it's the story of Cloud & Gang going of a (perilous) adventure to stop Le-Long-DaiKatana-Wielding-Guy ( Nodachi Guy?) from destroying the planet.

There is no mutual exclusivity, no proper choice & consequence etc.

If we accept most J"RPG" as RPGs then everyone and their mother is an RPG, which makes the term meaningless.

Having stats DOES NOT make a game an RPG or if it does, then even Last of Us 2 is an RPG if you squint enough.

Now can you tell me WHAT makes FF7 an RPG, pretty please?
 
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bender

What time is it?
ofc all games have limitations. But so do tabletop RPGs.

The only tabletop I know that has nearly no limits is Fate Core. It takes everything into "life simulator" realm.

But here we are talking about role playing, which has clear core definitions. "Core" underlined.

Tabletops games have rulesets but are really only limited by the imagination of the players. Everything in a video game is limited to by the construct of the developers. It's why comparing them to video games is silly. What's core to you isn't going to be core for everyone. And when your core definition of an RPG rules out every video game that's considered an RPG, I don't know what to tell you other than that feels absurd. The best "narrative" in games is by letting me have my own adventure with the systems you put in front of me rather than the stories that narrative writers want to tell. That's really no different from a tabletop game. You can purchase a campaign or your DM can create their own but the framework is largely unimportant, it's an excuse for a set adventure and the real narrative comes from the creativity and interactivity of the party and DM.
 
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bender

What time is it?
Those were once called “Adventure” games.

Those aren't my words. The "Adventure" moniker is rather nebulous too, as Zork, Sierra's Quest series and the Legend of Zelda all get lumped into it and are all wildly different experiences.

There is no mutual exclusivity, no proper choice & consequence etc.

What games offer proper choice and consequences? What makes those predefined narrative paths different than a choose your own adventure book?
 
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Rykan

Member
Well, it's strategy as well, i mean the OG FF7. Anyways, it's the story of Cloud & Gang going of a (perilous) adventure to stop Le-Long-DaiKatana-Wielding-Guy ( Nodachi Guy?) from destroying the planet.

There is no mutual exclusivity, no proper choice & consiquence etc.

If we accept J"RPG" as RPGs then everyone and their mother is an RPG, which makes the term meaningless.
Your usage of the word "if" is redundant because JRPGS, including Final Fantasy, are accepted as RPGs by the industry at large. These games are considered, and always have been, RPGs because their core mechanics are based on traditional tabletop RPG games.

Your characters capabilities are based entirely on stats, classes, levels and equipment and this is the main focus of the game. This differs from a game where RPG mechanics are meant to compliment the experience and not dictate it.

At no point in this industry has player decision making ever been an absolute requirement for a game to be labeled an RPG. Yes there is a lot of overlap between genres, Yes there is always going to be discussion and debates which game belongs where but this is common in any other media and anyone thinking that a game like FF7 fits more in the Strategy genre than the RPG genre is kidding themselves.
 
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bender

What time is it?
You mean old AC games? Valhalla is as close to RPG as a game can possibly be without being RPG.

Is Valhalla different from Origins? While the game has loot, levels and skill trees, it really feels like those elements are tacked onto traditional action games these days in order to turn them from 10-15 hour experience to 35-70 hour experiences.

I think the general game audience needs that dopamine hit from progression which is why so many games structure themselves with these types of elements. Or at the very least these hooks keep more players engaged longer.
 
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Sosokrates

Gold Member
Games are to varried these days to have such rigid genre description.

I wouldn't put any time into thinking about such things.
 

AV

We ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space
They're action RPGs no matter what Twitter might tell you. In Horizon you gain XP to level up, collect scraps to craft gear with stats. If Dark Souls is an action RPG then Horizon sure as shit is.
 

Juza

Member
If Horizon is called RPG then Far Cry, Batman and Just Cause.. etc are RPGs!


Many devs/pubs describe their games as action RPGs because they contain only a very small percentage of RPG elements, and this has become a marketing purpose to suggest to the consumers that the game is 30+hr long and they will spends a lot of time playing it.
 

OceanGaming

Member
They're action RPGs no matter what Twitter might tell you. In Horizon you gain XP to level up, collect scraps to craft gear with stats. If Dark Souls is an action RPG then Horizon sure as shit is.

If Horizon is called RPG then Far Cry, Batman and Just Cause.. etc are RPGs!

EXACTLY my point. The term RPG is meaningless, everything is an RPG because no honest actual differentiation of what is an RPG and what is not.

You can even call Darksiders 2 and 3 RPGs, DS3 even has a different ending on who you kill.

 
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Rykan

Member
If Horizon is called RPG then Far Cry, Batman and Just Cause.. etc are RPGs!


Many devs/pubs describe their games as action RPGs because they contain only a very small percentage of RPG elements, and this has become a marketing purpose to suggest to the consumers that the game is 30+hr long and they will spends a lot of time playing it.
GTA isn't a driving/racing game even if it has a lot of cars and actually has racing events. The difference here is how much emphasis and focus are placed on these mechanics.
 
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spons

Gold Member
Genres are mostly pointless these days as games have been spanning several of them at once for decades now. I'm sure you can slap at least 3 of them at any modern game, which means labeling them as such has become nonsense.
 

Bo_Hazem

Gold Dealer
Because it's RPG-Lite, which is the best part. I ended up punching people with barehands on The Witcher 3 on Death March difficulty.
 

kuncol02

Member
Is Valhalla different from Origins? While the game has loot, levels and skill trees, it really feels like those elements are tacked onto traditional action games these days in order to turn them from 10-15 hour experience to 35-70 hour experiences.

I think the general game audience needs that dopamine hit from progression which is why so many games structure themselves with these types of elements. Or at the very least these hooks keep more players engaged longer.
All three are slightly different. In moments Valhalla really feels like dumbed down and streamlined Witcher 3. Slightly more complex mission and dialogue design and it would be no different than what CDPR did. It even has it's own Gwent in form of Orlog.
 

Nickolaidas

Member
I kinda agree with what the OP is saying.

The reason the Witcher 3 is considered more of an RPG than Horizon is because of the following reasons:

A) Campaign Setting: The Witcher series has a more 'traditional D&D setting' compared to Horizon - a focus on medieval weaponry, magic, fantasy monsters, etc., while Horizon has robot dinos and a focus on archery.

B) It has a few story choices which supposedly affect the story, although that's mostly an illusion because you basically get a slideshow telling you what changed by what you did, but in reality it hardly affects the setting, you basically just exchange a NPC's life with someone else's or something.

C) Geralt feels a little more customizable than Alloy in terms of gameplay, but AGAIN, this is mostly an illusion. The Witcher games do not have the depth and meaningful customization other true RPGs have. It's not like you can make a Geralt who will completely ignore melee attacks and only focus on signs or traps. You need to use all three to survive - you just choose which of the three you're going to give a little oomf in order to suit your playstyle better.

I said it once, I'll say it again. If the game doesn't allow you to make a character avatar from scratch, and doesn't have game mechanics that allow you to play your character entirely differently on each playthrough, it's not a true RPG.

Honestly for me, Souls games are a lot more RPG than the Witcher ever could be. The Witcher and Horizon are action adventure games with RPG *elements*. They're not true RPGs.
 

bender

What time is it?
All three are slightly different. In moments Valhalla really feels like dumbed down and streamlined Witcher 3. Slightly more complex mission and dialogue design and it would be no different than what CDPR did. It even has it's own Gwent in form of Orlog.

Kind of funny since I always felt the Witcher 3 felt a lot like AC mechanically.

Honestly for me, Souls games are a lot more RPG than the Witcher ever could be. The Witcher and Horizon are action adventure games with RPG *elements*. They're not true RPGs.

Where do you put Bloodborne then? It's really streamlined when you compare it to Souls games.

p.s. The best RPG with Geralt in it is Nioh.
 
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Cyberpunkd

Gold Member
They are action games with RPG >ELEMENTS<


Role Playing Game. You create your character almost entirely. Your backstory. Starting skill attributes. Class. Race, subrace. etc.
Wrong. Role-playing game means exactly what it means - you play a role, whether it is a defined one or you start with a blank slate. In many RPGs (and that goes all the way back to pen&paper of 30 years ago) you can also pick a pre-defined character complete with a back story - selecting one doesn't turn an RPG suddenly into an action game with RPG elements.

Witcher 3 is an RPG since all the stats and choices have a profound effect on the game, whereas in Horizon's case it is just there to give you an impression of complexity. It's a 'gamification' tool to give you a dopamine boost because of unlocks, weapons, skills. Witcher 3 is an RPG with action elements, Horizon is an action game with RPG elements.
 
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@James Sawyer Ford lol fucking yessssssss! Thats my favorite one. It MUST play like shit to be an RPG, no fun must be had with the combat at all. We need to put that as some bullet point on the box. Be like "combat is weak as it should be, cumbersome, laggy, bad animations...just as an RPG is made to be"
There is a reason for that.
The "better" the combat, the more the skill of the player matters compared to the stats of the character. And the more the skill of the player matters the less roleplay you get.

If you are a progamer in real life and aim like a god, then in an RPG it should not matter as the accuracy should be based on your character's skill, not yours.

And same with you being a middle aged guy who's reflex isn't what it was used to be, that you should still be able to roleplay a strong character because a well built character should be strong despite the limits of the player.

RPGs are dying because young kids with their competitive nature and infinite time would rather win by their skill. RPG elements are just used to spice up gameplay these days and you are punished for not being young and focused. All these elements related to button timing are just action game tropes that have no place in RPGs, the skill of the player should not drag down the character's abilities.

Example: in TES Morrowind, you have accuracy stats. As in, even if you swing a sword in the direction of the monster, you can still miss if your character is inaccurate. This is as it should be, your ability to swing a sword should have no link to the character's actual swordmanship.

Action gamers hate this of course. They want to hit what they aimed at. And since action gamers are the majority, RPG games die.
 

SpokkX

Member
are you serious?

An rpg means more than leveling (is battlefield an rpg?)

Horzon lacks choice in both story and character development. It is totally linear and 100% the same for every player
 

Tschumi

Member
I've heard plenty say neither game is

I just call Witcher 3 "Witcher 3", couldn't care less what designation we attach it.. ditto HZD anyway, the way i choose to play that game is so divorced from the intended approach that i can't say what it is.. one of the most beautiful cinematic action and adventure experiences of the last decade
 

Topher

Gold Member
Games can have multiple categories associated with it. If a game has "RPG elements" then the RPG category still works. Look at Ratchet and Clank and Pschonauts 2. R&C is more shooter than platformer. P2 is more platformer than shooter. But both games can be categorized as platformer or shooter. If folks want to be picky and say R&C is a shooter with platformer elements then that is up to them, but personally I don't see the point in being so strict.
 
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Allandor

Member
Because you develop your characters and make choices that matter.
In Horizon, everything you do does not really matter, the story progresses without it and you don't need to build your character in order to beat a "monster"/boss. Horizon is more or less an open world (modern) Tomb Raider. Just an action game.

JRPG just means RPGs made by Japanese developers… so yes Souls is a JRPG.
Souls games are their own genre. They are not RPGs. And yes, by the definitiven, JRPG are just RPG made in japan, but normally people mean a specific style of a game (e.g. Final Fantasy, ...).
Btw, I wouldn't consider FF XV to be an RPG. It is just a very long action game with some meaningless character development.
 
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ethomaz

Banned
Wrong. Role-playing game means exactly what it means - you play a role, whether it is a defined one or you start with a blank slate. In many RPGs (and that goes all the way back to pen&paper of 30 years ago) you can also pick a pre-defined character complete with a back story - selecting one doesn't turn an RPG suddenly into an action game with RPG elements.

Witcher 3 is an RPG since all the stats and choices have a profound effect on the game, whereas in Horizon's case it is just there to give you an impression of complexity. It's a 'gamification' tool to give you a dopamine boost because of unlocks, weapons, skills. Witcher 3 is an RPG with action elements, Horizon is an action game with RPG elements.
This.

The ability to build your character, story and make your decisions is not part of the tabletop RPG definition… these abilities are just rules set that can be used or not by the game master.

RPG just means your are playing a role.

That role can be pre-defined, with linear story, without any player decision affecting it.

That is where most games RPGs go.

PS. This thread there are some weird takes from what RPG is using rules sets of the tabletops the guy played instead of what RPG really is.
 
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Spaceman292

Member
People. Neither Witcher, especially nor Horizon are RPG games.

They are action games with RPG >ELEMENTS<


Role Playing Game. You create your character almost entirely. Your backstory. Starting skill attributes. Class. Race, subrace. etc.

Pillars of Eternity is RPG
Elder Scrolls is RPG
Divinity/Baldur's Gate are RPG
Even Cyberpunk is RPG

Witcher has RPG elements. And not a shallow one tbf.
And Horizon..... has very basic coverage of the definition mentioned above.
That's not right. If that were true then none of the Final Fantasy games would be RPGs because they all have main characters that you don't create. If Cyberpunk is an RPG then the Witcher is too.
 
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