RPG Fanatics Will Have Some Difficult Choices To Make
Although I have been a role-playing fan for about 17 years, I always know that during the first few years of any given generation, there's going to be a dry spell. This generation has been no different, but I love all genres these days, and there's no shortage of fantastic titles out there.
That being said, I'm excited to see so many potentially great RPGs heading our way; most of which are scheduled to drop in the month of October and only White Knight Chronicles won't make it until this year. Perhaps the best part is that these are all very different in their own way: you've got BioWare's new project, Dragon Age: Origins, which is bound to appeal to fans of past BioWare titles and those who have enjoyed the likes of Fable. This is almost guaranteed to be a winner if you're a fan of Western-style RPGs, so there's little risk in picking this one up (unless you don't know what you're getting into). Than there's Obsidian and Sega's Alpha Protocol, which has been described as the "Espionage RPG," which makes us think it's like a Bond-esque role-playing/action/adventure game. We figure this one will appeal to all you spy-hounds and fans of the more sci-fi/futuristic setting; very much different than Dragon Age, White Knight, or Demon's Souls.
Speaking of WKC, it's the lone title of the bunch that can be considered to be a true "JRPG," as it features the expected anime artistry and flair that fans of the sub-genre have come to expect. One should anticipate a solid story - perhaps better than in any of the other RPGs on display here - and a combination of turn-based and real-time combat action. Borderlands reminds us of Deus Ex a little, in that it has a sci-fi setting and a first-person perspective...and is still thought of as an RPG. I'm still not sure if I'm interested in this type of thing, but it certainly has promise. And then there's Demon's Souls, the RPG that garnered a huge amount of critical acclaim and praise when it launched in Japan earlier this year, and it's a straight-up, hardcore, dark-themed RPG that features both an interesting story, some freedom and exploration, and a definite challenge.
Oh, and we should probably tell you that we'll have a Demon's Souls review for you a whole lot earlier than you might expect (it releases on October 6). Just stay tuned. ;) And in the end, with all these RPG choices, fans of the genre should really be encouraged. The time has finally come this generation!
9/1/2009 Ben Dutka