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Why is Witcher considered an RPG and not Horizon?

Valonquar

Member
Pretty much every AAA title now feels more like a Narrative Sandbox Game than a RPG. They throw in crafting, and stats and stuff, but they tell a forced narrative where your choice do not effect the overall story very much other than maybe a few random supporting characters live or die.
 

partime

Member
It has to do with the mathematical formula with enemies per square foot traveled. I believe the enemies health is contriburted as well, more info can be found here:

 

Mozzarella

Member
I think the problem lies with the terms WRPG. It just doesnt make sense. JRPG on the other hand makes sense, thats one distinct style for games.
WRPGs terms should be replaced with the two ones that people use, Action RPG and RPG. The RPG is the standard one, you will find this in games like Divinity Original Sin and Baldur's Gate. And Action RPG should be something like Witcher.
But again a new problem appears, where do you put Skyrim and New Vegas? It's a bit complicated with all these subgenres.
Either every game of those is RPG and thats it, or we can add more subgenres, like ARPG, CRPG, JRPG.
I honestly dont have a perfect solution for this mess. Some people found the solution to be is RPG being only games where you create character, have actual role playing, something that stems from Tabletop games, but then we have Kingdome Come, a clear RPG and doesnt do that. But thats probably the closest thing to a consensus, however that will make JRPG and ARPG lose their RPG tag.

RPG could be:
1- Stat based system, your level matters, your gear level determines how much damage you deal, you level up and enemies have a level.
2- Skill tree and perks, a system that the player can create builds with and make different builds by choosing different skills.
3- Choice and Consequence in the dialogue/story (doesnt matter how deep as long as you have it, just have different endings and some significant choice to offer player agency)
4- Customization around your character.

Those 4 core aspects, if they are present in the game, it can be called RPG. All of them, not just 1.
 
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Amiga

Member
What is it that makes you come to that conclusion? I don’t see it, personally
Several have already made the point that most of the games we refer to as "RPGs" don't qualify and only take elements. popular JRPGs like DQ and FF also shouldn't qualify for the pure term. "RPG" has devolved to mean a game has a system of character progression, loot, damage dependent on stats.
Souls have more of these elements than FF. in Souls you can beat the game at different points and get different endings depending on what you did/didn't do. So they are more of RPGs than FF/DQ. and Souls games are made in Japan, so JRPG.
 

ethomaz

Banned
It just shows the strange nature of the names themselves.

I think most people would agree that JRPGs are party based games based around turn based menu-controlled combat, with stats dictated by both level and gear. Final Fantasy 7 is a typical example.

Dark Souls isn’t that, so it’s not a JRPG or maybe even an RPG even though it has RPG elements (perhaps more than some more ‘obvious’ RPGs that aren’t so skill-based) and made by a Japanese developer.

But then what is an RPG? A game where you play a role? 99% of games have you assume the role of someone. By name alone, it’s an almost useless term.

Obviously we know that the term is derived from the tabletop games and things change over time, getting lost in translation and whatnot. But we either scrap the entire system and come up with new names, or we keep them and people stop moaning about what is or isn’t a “real” RPG.
So Tales of, Secret of Mana, Star Ocean, Alundra, etc are not JRPGs?

Your definition basically remove half of the JRPGs.
 
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I really don't care too much about labels. I just care if a game is good to me. And, as noted, there's so much mixing and blending of genre conventions within games that it's not really that useful to get fixated upon hard definitions imho.
 

Amiga

Member
So Tales of, Secret of Mana, Star Ocean, Alundra, etc are not JRPGs?

Your definition basically remove half of the JRPGs.
Back in the SNES/PS1 era we didn't even use the term JRPG. the differentiating terms back then were RPG(FF style standard turn based). ARPG(action like Zeda, Mana) and TRPG (grid based movement). they were all Japanese.
the "J" came later in the post Bioware ascendance after Baldur's Gate to differentiate between western style RPGs that grew on the PC with Japanese style that grew on consoles.
 
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Rodolink

Member
To some people just for getting EXP and some stats here snd there, makes a game an RPG, I can't understand why some even call Zelda and RPG. Anyway at least the Witcher 1 was more RPG than 3 but Horizon? come on.
 

CamHostage

Member
The term "RPG" has become fairly well cuisinarted over the years, especially when the action combat system replaced the typical diceroll-emulating turn-based system. (It's sort of annoying that turn-based play has been deemed passé now that "RPG" applies to games with button-mashing and so all the AAA RPGs have abandoned the perfectly enjoyable combat systems we used to set as a core definer for what gamers think of as an "RPG", but maybe that's a different thread?)

It used to be easy to define a game: this thing put the camera in the character's eyes and you shoot things, so it's a FPS, this thing had you jumping all the time so it's a Platformer, this thing had you swinging a sword and collecting fairies so it's an Action-Adventure but this thing where you swing a sword and collect fairies also shows the stats of your hits so it's an Action-RPG...

Games that neatly fit into one and only one genre are pretty rare these days, most big games are a soup of different concepts and play elements. Maybe we don't need to worry about what category something fits in these days? Everything checks several boxes. Unless you need to arrange your games on your shelf sorted strictly by Genre, it's hard to see how it matters.



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.

I mean, yes, if we need to get picky about it, but then that's to say that Japan has never produced an RPG except when the country took over making Wizardrys...

The term RPG came over from board games, where it was a useful concept to define the difference between traditional party vs tabletop games compared to the more involving scope and range of play scenarios. Even in tabletop gaming, the concept has evolved greatly over the years and been mixed up into new game styles. And as far as video game RPGs, even going back to the 1975 DND, you will find that there was always separation between an electronic RPG and a tabletop RPG, and both have evolved over the decades in their own directions, with each taking a look at one another for inspiration at times.
 
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Fredrik

Gold Member
Pretty much every AAA title now feels more like a Narrative Sandbox Game than a RPG. They throw in crafting, and stats and stuff, but they tell a forced narrative where your choice do not effect the overall story very much other than maybe a few random supporting characters live or die.
I’m honestly more annoyed when I can’t create the character or is limited to just a few choices. I want the real deal when I create my RPG characters, the more customizable details the better it is. Goes for other games as well, instead of having gamers cry on Twitter that Aloy has gained weight, why not just let us change her looks or at least her body? I have more choices how the main character should look in Sunset Overdrive than The Witcher 3. Why?
 
Real RPG's would be too confusing for a more wider audience. That's why they are watered down. The worst one was fallout 4. It became more of an FPS than an RPG.
 

TheInfamousKira

Reseterror Resettler
To me, RPGs have always been defined more by gameplay conventions than the actual "playing a role," thing that some people (in and out of this thread) get hung up on. Yes, character can be an element to it, and in most classical cases is, but let's examine a couple of things.

1. Old school console RPGs, specifically JRPGs, were quite limited spatially by what was possible. Take Final Fantasy, the original. I believe that this was basically the closest a FF got to riffing off of Dungeons and Dragons wholesale, near to the point of plagiarism. To sort of "shorthand," the character creation aspect, they provided you with a set of four characters who had no background, no names, and no classes. This, essentially, let you create a headcanon of four characters who could be basically anything within the confines of the game's world. They could all be orphans from different corners of the world, they could all be edgelords pulled in from another dimension who hate Chaos, or, my personal favorite, they could all be male strippers from Pravoka.

2. As time went on, the medium dictated that having silent protagonists and audience stand ins was antiquated, and a more narratively flowing, character driven tale was expected, and the status quo. Saying that a game doesn't qualify as an RPG because it's lacking elements that it's real world, physical counterpart doesn't have is being unnecessarily rigid. With things like sports games, I could see the point. You aren't physically throwing that ball and running through the field. You don't have to maintain a level of fitness and exercise. These things fundamentally change the game. Madden games are essentially RTS games for people who would beat you up in high school if you said you liked RTS games. But with traditional RPGs, certain things have to change for the genre to remain afloat in another medium.

3. I think what another user said here (can't remember your name and I'm lazy, sorry) made a lot of sense. An RPG in a contemporary sense is a game that is built from the ground up and dictated by statistics. Random number generators. Equipment. Accessories. Weapons. Armor. Dramatic boosts according to levels. Weaknesses and resistances. Buffs and debuffs. Other games have little pinches of RPG flavoring, other games have far more. I think it's politically correct to say Assassin's Creed is an RPG now. Now, were we to go back to say, Unity or Syndicate, I'd say it was a stealth game with RPG elements. I haven't played Horizon yet, so I can't dictate what my opinions are about that just yet, but we'll see.
 
I think the problem lies with the terms WRPG. It just doesnt make sense. JRPG on the other hand makes sense, thats one distinct style for games.
WRPGs terms should be replaced with the two ones that people use, Action RPG and RPG. The RPG is the standard one, you will find this in games like Divinity Original Sin and Baldur's Gate. And Action RPG should be something like Witcher.
But again a new problem appears, where do you put Skyrim and New Vegas? It's a bit complicated with all these subgenres.
Either every game of those is RPG and thats it, or we can add more subgenres, like ARPG, CRPG, JRPG.
I honestly dont have a perfect solution for this mess. Some people found the solution to be is RPG being only games where you create character, have actual role playing, something that stems from Tabletop games, but then we have Kingdome Come, a clear RPG and doesnt do that. But thats probably the closest thing to a consensus, however that will make JRPG and ARPG lose their RPG tag.

RPG could be:
1- Stat based system, your level matters, your gear level determines how much damage you deal, you level up and enemies have a level.
2- Skill tree and perks, a system that the player can create builds with and make different builds by choosing different skills.
3- Choice and Consequence in the dialogue/story (doesnt matter how deep as long as you have it, just have different endings and some significant choice to offer player agency)
4- Customization around your character.

Those 4 core aspects, if they are present in the game, it can be called RPG. All of them, not just 1.

Those are CRpgs
 
I think it's clear that people are still using the classic definition of an RPG, since the name RPG today, based on the titles which are commonly considered part of the genre, becomes essentially a misnomer.

We should change the genre name from Role Playing Game, to something more apt to what the genre has become.

But, yeah OP. I agree with you that Horizon is just as much a part of the RPG genre as TW3.
 

GymWolf

Gold Member
Nowadays if a game has a skill tree, various armours and weapons, loots, statistics, min\max stuff, some minor choices etc. it is considered an RPG, if the combat is in real time, then you have an action rpg.

Real rpg where you really shape your story are more rare, something like elex or kingdom come or divinity 2.
 
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Warablo

Member
Horizon Zero Dawn is more action adventure, same with the AC/Watch Dogs/Uncharted/Ghosts of Tsushima/God of War/Tlou games.

Dark Soul games are more action RPG. Lack of story telling, but you can build your character into a playstyle.

The Witcher 3 is a RPG, no idea why you guys think a preset character means it's not a RPG. You play the role as Geralt.
 
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nemiroff

Gold Member
Throwing W3 into this is only creating artificial opposition. Why treat "RPG" as a quality seal, this is more akin to a potential mislabeling issue.
 

Fare thee well

Neophyte
The mass public craves categorization. People don't want to think about how something might be different. Their brains usually just want to conclude. It has cars in it? Yea just a car game, done. You have different armors and swords as you level up in a sandbox? Rpg. But it misses so much, which is why I try to ignore that little voice in my brain that wants to just find a rapid conclusion. I don't always succeed.
 

Yoboman

Member
I’m honestly more annoyed when I can’t create the character or is limited to just a few choices. I want the real deal when I create my RPG characters, the more customizable details the better it is. Goes for other games as well, instead of having gamers cry on Twitter that Aloy has gained weight, why not just let us change her looks or at least her body? I have more choices how the main character should look in Sunset Overdrive than The Witcher 3. Why?
Because its easy to quality control a single character when the bar has now gotten so high and they now use a lot of cinematic and close ups of the characters in games like Witcher and Horizon. Then they dont end up with situations like:

 
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Guilty_AI

Member
Because its easy to quality control a single character when the bar has now gotten so high and they now use a lot of cinematic and close ups of the characters in games like Witcher and Horizon. Then they dont end up with situations like:

Basically devs want their games to be less fun.
 

Woggleman

Member
Neither one is an RPG. In order to be an RPG you need boring turn based combat and characters that look like an anime take on Dungeons and Dragons. Also I am far from an SJW but I wish people would shut it about Aloy's appearance as well.
 
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Kacho

Gold Member
Just about every AAA game masquerades as an RPG these days. Just because Assassins Creed or Horizon have superficial RPG elements doesn’t make them RPGs. Anyone with any sense would laugh at you if you tried to claim otherwise.

Fun fact: Horizon was classified as an RPG by the NPD group and they deservedly got shit for it. That Mat Pascal guy who used to post here got super defensive over it. Lol
 

poppabk

Member
If Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest are not RPGs, neither is the Ultima series then.

I always like to think that RPGs always favor CHARACTER SKILL over PLAYER SKILL.
That is, the player basically just makes decisions, and the end result is determined by your characters skills, class, equipment and all that.

Obviously that's not all, but it's an important aspect of RPGs.
Yeah a lot of it is this. You also need a story and characters.
Character creation isn't a must - that isn't even a requirement for table top RPGs.
 
If character progression like gear and levels is necessary for game progression then it's a RPG. You'll find this true across all RPG sub genres like with diablo 3 your character needs to be higher than level 1 to beat the first boss. Same with classic FF7, fallout 2, skyrim and I think even with the witcher 3.

So with horizon if can beat the game without levelling your gear (which some people have pointed out you can) then it's not a RPG but an action/adventure game with a gear progression system.
 

NahaNago

Member
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.
I've always just been of the opinion that you have to also be in a party when fighting for it to be a jprg. It's the only reason I consider ff xv a jrpg and not an action adventure game with rpg lite elements like horizon. This has always been the reason I've excluded zelda, devil may cry, and souls game in the past.
 

ethomaz

Banned
I've always just been of the opinion that you have to also be in a party when fighting for it to be a jprg. It's the only reason I consider ff xv a jrpg and not an action adventure game with rpg lite elements like horizon. This has always been the reason I've excluded zelda, devil may cry, and souls game in the past.
Vagrant Story is a JRPG and doesn’t have parties.
 

Soodanim

Member
Several have already made the point that most of the games we refer to as "RPGs" don't qualify and only take elements. popular JRPGs like DQ and FF also shouldn't qualify for the pure term. "RPG" has devolved to mean a game has a system of character progression, loot, damage dependent on stats.
Souls have more of these elements than FF. in Souls you can beat the game at different points and get different endings depending on what you did/didn't do. So they are more of RPGs than FF/DQ. and Souls games are made in Japan, so JRPG.
RPG elements don’t mean a game is an RPG, it just means an element most commonly seen in RPGs has bled out into other genres. A few years ago people were sick of seeing “RPG elements” pop up in marketing for games in other genres, now people are saying everything is an RPG.

JRPG means Japanese style RPG, whether it’s in the name or not. Western devs can make RPGs in Japanese style, and vice versa. Whether it’s an accurate name or not, JRPG has come to be accepted as a certain style of game design that Dark Souls doesn’t fit. You can have a girl that is a friend, but it doesn’t mean she’s your girlfriend just because she’s both of those words.

Multiple endings do exist in Souls, but they’re fixed and most endings in the series are decided at the last minute. Their endings are nowhere near the same as games that actually develop and flesh out based on choices you make throughout the game. You barely ever make any actual choices across the entire series, and when you do they rarely make much difference. “Do a specific set of things for an additional ending based on one quest line” doesn’t count as the sort of ending system you’re saying it is.
So Tales of, Secret of Mana, Star Ocean, Alundra, etc are not JRPGs?

Your definition basically remove half of the JRPGs.
You’re right, some of that was too specific to FF-style and you’re right in pointing that out. But the point I was making is that Dark Souls is nothing like JRPGS, and that still stands even with a broader, more correct description/definition.
 
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CamHostage

Member
Just about every AAA game masquerades as an RPG these days. Just because Assassins Creed or Horizon have superficial RPG elements doesn’t make them RPGs. Anyone with any sense would laugh at you if you tried to claim otherwise.

Shouldn't anyone with any sense have better things to do with their time?
 
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CamHostage

Member
Because its easy to quality control a single character when the bar has now gotten so high and they now use a lot of cinematic and close ups of the characters in games like Witcher and Horizon.

It's also way easier to market something where shoppers know what they're getting. Central characters can drive interest in a title (to the point that, when they changed the playable character of MGS2 or did the lanky reboot version of Dante in DMC, people got mad; even though Halo Reach is one of the best Halo games, some people don't count it as part of the core franchise because it's not starring Master Chief.) You can put a well-conceptualized character on the box and that alone may be enough for people to check it out. You can put a zero in the lead role and people will turn away from it even if the gameplay is solid.

And it's not just marketing; personal connection to a fully-defined character can enrichen the value of the experience (especially as a shared experience, since you can talk with your friends about what they though of "that one part when that thing happened" or "that crazy ending"... can't do that if everybody's game story is different.) A player-made character may look how you want, and maybe that feeling of having a character which is all yours might over time feel very personal and alive in your mind, but it's typically just a rough avatar as far as what's in the game world, instead of a fully-developed character where every aspect of the story has been written with one character's journey in mind.
 

Fredrik

Gold Member
Because its easy to quality control a single character when the bar has now gotten so high and they now use a lot of cinematic and close ups of the characters in games like Witcher and Horizon. Then they dont end up with situations like:

Lol

Character editors is nothing new, they just have to have restrictions so you can’t go too far, it’s been done in so many games by now. Not having any sliders for the body in Cyberpunk is such a shame, it’s like they’re trolling when they have multiple designs for the dick but only one for the body, or two if you count the gender choice. The preset designs has become more boring in general too since they’re now trying to get all check boxes ticked to not upset any Twitter mob.
 
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Karonoth

Member
If you define an RPG by what those letters mean, most games considered RPGs are not really RPGs.

To me Horizon is an action adventure game with RPG elements, but so was Mass Effect for example. And don’t tell me the dialog options in Mass Effect giving you 2 options (angry and not angry), or having 3 different endings (each one with a different color, yay) makes any difference when it comes to role playing.
 
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