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Why is Witcher considered an RPG and not Horizon?


Gold Member
The Witcher 3 Vs. Horizon Zero Dawn
Fully realized story Fully Realized Story
Leveling system Leveling System
Equipment with stats/perks Equipment with stas/perks (much more shallow)
Auxilliary customization that affects Auxilliary customization that affects combat (unlock abilities, Weapons)
combat (mutagen, potions. bombs, Open World to explore with NPCs
crossbows, alternate weapons,etc.)
Open World to explore with NPCs

You get the point.

Conclusion: People define the designation "RPG" based on games they've experienced in the past. Taken at face value a "Role-playing Game" is simply a game where you take on the role of a character not of your own creation. You're playing the ROLE of Geralt or of Aloy and living their story. RPGs in the past have been mostly Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Lost Odyssey, Legand of Mana, Zelda...the list goes on. So I conclude that these are both RPGs, though they vary in the depths of their respective systems. However, this does not take away from what these games are fundamentally.

You can add designation or qualifiers to further distinguish from games in the past. Maybe consider these "Action RPGs". Still RPGs at it's source.

Edit: I'll make a table...word jumble....ewww

Double Edit: Got busy at work and making a table just seems pointless now.
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I'd even got as far as to say from Witcher 1-3 the series slowly become less and less of an RPG.

@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"


So, I’ve played a lot of rpgs in my life, western, japanese, Crpg’s, tactical rpgs….etc it seemed like for a long time if it wasn’t turn based it just wasn’t an rpg. Now it’s like every game is rpg-lite, even god of war could really be considered an RPG if you wanted.

Now witcher 3, great game, epic sprawling adventure. But what really makes it an RPG? You have a set character, mostly a set story with some choices here and there, (the big choices don’t come until the last 5 hours of the game), you get your magic, your melee, your gear…etc almost the same as Horizon. Both games almost follow the same gameplay loop. Main quest, side quest, hunts, level up, gear up, rinse and repeat.

I bring this up because i saw a post of Parris xbox games refer to it as an rpg and people lose their minds.

It’s almost the same level of stat customization between games. I almost feel like the fact that horizon has better combat and enemies than the witcher is what keeps people from wanting to call it an rpg. I also never hear anyone say, “witcher isn’t really an rpg is an action rpg or adventure game with lite rpg mechanics”, like they do the former.

Assassins Creed Valhalla won best RPG at PCGamer in 2020. Is that an rpg?
Horizon is a action game tbh. If Horizon is an rpg does that also mean Destiny is as well?
Witcher3 is more of a traditional rpg when compared to hzd but it isn't a proper RPG like FF pre FF12 or something like Baldur's Gate or Divinity.
Also not all rpg are turn based. Some of the most hardcore rpg are real-time like BG2, Planescape Torment etc...
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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.
Those are old rpg, HFW is new rpg.
Just actually finished DMing another session of D&D for my kids, and I popped in to say... it's still hard for me to see any game as a genuine RPG when it has no turn based elements. WRPG games are basically action games with some borrowed elements from RPGs, but they really don't qualify in the end.


Gold Member
One of the best JRPG on PS1.
I’m always there in doubt which was the best one: Grandia, Xenogears or Vagrant Story.

Out of those 3, Vagrant Story !

Xenogears starts off great but shits the bed by the end and Grandia is good, but not in the same league.


Both are classified as RPGs. Guerrilla made the choice to make some of the RPG elements more light to make the game more acessible to a larger / more casual audience. Some ppl may call it an Action adventure game with RPG elements. Guerrilla itself call it an RPG.

Back in the days, RPGs was pretty much games where you could choose your role and craft your story. Outside of the pen and paper dungeons and dragons, games like Elder Scrolls. Then there was the japanese version of RPGs that ppl just called JRPGs. Nowadays, alot of action or adventure games have RPG elements, some might call them just action adventure games, other RPGs, ill go with what the developer chooses to classify they games.

Ghost of Johto

Gold Member
For me I think it mostly comes down to freedom of builds. In horizon there really is no freedom as far as it comes to with builds while in the witcher there is quite a bit more.
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