The FPS rpg, can it really work?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Cyratis, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. Cyratis

    Cyratis First time out of the vault

    Jul 27, 2015
    In the past, we have bared witness to some truly fantastic RPG's, especially in the heyday of the genre during the late 90's and early 2000's. Games such as the original fallout titles, Baldurs gate, planescape torment, Diablo, and Ultima. Notice however that none of these titles which have no doubt resonated with many of the people on this forum, are from the first person view. One can easily say that it was due to the technology of the time and the constraints it put on developers unlike today even if the most iconic FPS titles such as DOOM and Wolfenstein also appeared in the same era that the RPG dominated the market. And whether some people like it or not the FPS is the most successful genre ever to grace gaming and it has no doubt given us gamers some great franchises and IP's like unreal tournament, Quake, and Painkiller.

    But few shooters have had the true depth of the staple RPG's we all know and love, and even as the RPG genre itself has diminished with time that begs the question, can the Fps RPG work?
    I will cite several well known examples of FPS games with heavily RPG inspired elements and a few real RPG's that are simultaneously an FPS

    Far cry(3 and 4)

    One of the biggest and most well known FPS games that include RPG elements are the most recent installments in the Far cry series, namely Far cry 3 and 4. These games feature a large and detailed but sometimes static open world that is choc full of detail in many aspects. As far as world building goes, these games excel at telling a silent story visually, with most of their written pieces(in my opinion at least) falling somewhat flat compared to what you can see with your eyes. And this is why the world spaces in the Far cry games are their true saving grace, though it also unfortunately share the same problem with it's character progression system, a lack of real depth. Your character in Far cry advances through the game and unlocks different perks from progression tress the player has access to through the course of the game. These perks offer many things, such as new ways to take down enemies, faster sneak speed and healing time, and even riding elephants. And though this serves as a way to show the amount of progress you and your character have made they all feel rather arbitrary than giving your character a more unique sense of personality. This is because every single perk in this game has absolutely no draw backs and alleviates your character from many flaws thus by the end of the game you are a bullet munching schwarzen-rambo hybrid that is practically un-phased by the armies that stand in his way. And while I can personally attest to loving the cheesy 80's action feel of the gameplay, it's RPG elements leave much to be desired and have no real place in the overall scheme of things other than to show the difference of the beginning and end of the game character wise.

    S.T.A.L.K.E.R call of pripyat

    While every single game in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R series contains RPG elements in some way, the one that embraces them the most is the latest installment in the series,stalker call of pripyat. Much like Far cry, one of the greatest parts of these games is the setting itself, a place called the Zone. The Zone itself drags you into it's bleak and hopeless environment through both it's silent characterization and many of the human NPC's you interact with. Another aspect that greatly adds to the depth of the Zone are the many stashes and journal entries you can find and read, which give the Zone a feeling of a place that people do more than just survive in at a more organic and even primal level. World building aside, the way your character progresses in this game is primarily through the equipment that you find on journey through the Zone as well as the strange and unique artifacts that you can equip that add both boosts and detriments to your character depending on which ones you use. This already adds a greater level of personality to your character as both where they falter and where they excel come into play when you are locked in a firefight or fending off deadly mutants. Another thing that greatly adds to your character are the in game achievements the player earns from doing various quests along the course of the game. This, unlike Far cry's perks, does not feel arbitrary and can affect the world at large and the other characters you meet, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. This helps give a true sense of progression through the game and it's contents as well as a level of true depth to the world and your character. But in my mind, there is simply not enough of it to truly become endeared toyour character by the end of the game, and though the achievements you attain during the game affect the world you play in, most of it is not really apparent except after the ending.

    Fallout New vegas

    As I know how most of you feel about Fallout 3, I am going to talk mainly about Fallout New vegas,though they are both similar. This is the first example on this list that is an RPG with FPS elements, and only really uses the first person view more so to portray the world rather than add to the combat. Being a tried and true RPG, it's character customization is leagues above the first 2 games on this list, with a detailed if somewhat basic Skill and stat progression system that affects much of what your character can and can't do through your travels in the Mojave desert, the games setting. This extend further to the other NPC characters too, which when talked to bring up a list of what to say that can further define the kind of character you want to play.But here is the thing, while Fallout New vegas is a fully fledged RPG, it does not make full use of the first person view it utilizes.I say this because most of the combat in new vegas, shooting or otherwise feel clunky and unsatisfying to a seasoned FPS player and to be a good FPS-RPG, both elements must feel equal to each other in terms of quality and unfortunately, New vegas fails in this respect,despite being a quality RPG in and of it's own.

    There are many more FPS games withRPG elements such as the Deus ex and Borderlands series but these 3felt like the most appropriate examples in my mind to illustrate thequestion I am asking. But I want to hear your opinions, can the mixwork? Can the depth of the games from the prime of the RPG genre beproperly experienced in an FPS form while still reaping the benefitsof being an FPS?
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
  2. PossibleCabbage

    PossibleCabbage Vault 22 Survivor

    Jul 2, 2015
    I believe strongly that an RPG can work with any interface or any set of mechanics provided the game is built around sufficient negative space in which to roleplay and provides sufficient tools with which to roleplay. There are no other requirements.

    Honestly "how you organize combat" is one of the least important parts of being an RPG from where I sit. As long as what you're doing works, you're fine.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
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  3. Cyratis

    Cyratis First time out of the vault

    Jul 27, 2015
    I know what you mean, but at the same time in an age where the FPS genre dominates the market, The FPS combat should at the very least be comparable to what people are used to, or in terms of being an RPG it should be on par to things like character customization and character interactions and in New vegas it just isn't.
  4. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    Well it's a pretty tough thing to make it work well, RPGs work in abstractions while FPS work in direct representations. To make the RPG elements work with the real time combat presentation you would need to actively "cripple" the FPS gameplay. You would need to get players to accept a direct disconnection in gameplay between THEM and the character. Which could result in a great game, a Fully moded New Vegas (Project Nevada + The Ai Overhaul mod) is just a marvelous experience that actively punishes you. But it just not might be everyone's cup of tea.
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  5. ChildServices

    ChildServices Banned

    May 22, 2015
    Mount & Blade works and I only ever play in first person, so yes.
  6. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    FPS gameplay traditionally functions off of player skill. How quickly you can react to seeing a blip or shadow or movement on your screen and react is not governed by the gameplace but rather entirely by the player's skills. Some games tried catering to this by adding gameplay elements for players to react to, such as COD4 making movement very noisy, and these attempts worked to some level of success. By contrast, RPG gameplay is supposed to be about the player avatar. You're not playing as yourself, you're playing as a character you designed to some degree. So this opens the possibility for a character to be perhaps skilled in one area but very inept in gun combat. So how does a medium which traditionally embodies player skill work with a medium that MUST simulate avatar skill? It just don't work. I love all the changes to combat that FONV brought to the equation, but ultimately it was a broken playground for a FPS sniper player (such as myself) because the limitations on avatar strength couldn't compensate for the format that pure and simply abides by the whims and abilities of the player.

    Elements OUTSIDE of combat naturally do not need to follow this rule. But the whole point of the question is considering the combat format, itself. It just doesn't work. If you add a "weapon sway" gimmick to make it harder for the player to aim steadily unless their arbitrary skill number is at a certain point, the player can still compensate for this just like the 360 no scope trick. By contrast, if your combat system is entirely automated to react to numeric calculations, and the skill distribution is all that matters, then the player's ability to trick the system is of little impact. It all becomes a matter of simulating a fictional character; the whole POINT of playing an RPG!

    So, no, FPS just doesn't work for RPG gameplay. It's tried many times, and sometimes the games that come out are pretty decent titles (like FONV), but NOT because of the combination of RPG and FPS. Those just happen to be incidental. "It was a great RPG... it also happened to have great FPS gameplay" is not the same as "it was a great RPG because of its great FPS gameplay". Going for this hybrid model just defeats the purpose of either genre. "Why do I have to use my mouse and have lightning reflexes to shoot? I thought dumping all my stat points into my Firearms ability would make shooting easier!" "Why am I talking to people and trying to find food to survive? I just want to shoot n00bs with my 1337 skillz!" The two don't mix.
  7. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    What makes it a role playing game though? Serious question.

    But don't tell me "CUZ IZ CAN PLAY SWORDMAN FROM ANCIENT TIMEZ!". Because with that logic Doom would be as well an RPG because you "role play" a spehs'smarine killing demons. In spehs.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
  8. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Hazel Hegemon oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010
    Deus Ex

  9. But that game is too hard for mainstream audiences.

    So good luck with funding.
  10. ChildServices

    ChildServices Banned

    May 22, 2015
    It has almost everything that makes New Vegas an RPG, only I'd argue that your character stats actually have a much more obvious effect on how he behaves in combat, whilst still retaining the player skill requirements.
  11. DarkCorp

    DarkCorp So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 27, 2003
    Deus Ex too hard?

    It is sad that mainstream kiddies think this way.

    I don't think it could work. The biggest draw in an RPG, is active use of imagination. Much like reading a book, the reduced perspective requires the player to plug in the rest of a ruined city or lab with their minds.
  12. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Antediluvian as Feck

    Nov 26, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2016
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  13. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    I think for something to be labeled as RPG combat should not be the only factor. You have no chance to role play if all you do is combat. Like I said, or Doom could be an RPG about roleplaying a marine killing demons. So just as I thought, M&B is no RPG. At least not in my eyes. - Except the game has also a single player campaign where said skills play one way or another a role.

    This is just my personal opinion, but for me First Person Games simply will never be RPGs. They will always be shooters first using some RPG ideas/concepts, but they still stay shoters at their core. First Person Games simply work on a very different design principle. This of course ONLY counts for the so called FPS RPGs that I played so far.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
  14. Imagination is hard. If I'm going to use my imagination, Ill play MineCraft.

    Not me, but that's the argument from the other side, and the truth from sales statistics.

    However, I think soon that gaming being mainstream will no longer be a case. It will be a wave fad that will die off. Then games will start catering to younger audiences again.

    The cycle will continue. Most gamers of the old days will grow older and not be recognized in the "mainstream."
  15. Moosick

    Moosick cats

    Jul 8, 2015
    Oh god

    one day people are going to speak of games like F3 in the same way as we speak of the original Thief and Fallouts
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  16. ChildServices

    ChildServices Banned

    May 22, 2015
    Don't trigger me.
  17. The word Trigger just Triggered me.

    In seriousness, the thing is.... fans of something are never the mainstream. The mainstream creates fans. The best thing that can happen, is to preserve, play, and review old games.

    One thing I've learned from playing old titles, is that the technology of today is far superior, not just in terms of hardware and software, but in technological mindset. Gooey menus are a testament to that, as well as autosave functions and engine coding.

    There is a wave and crest effect, and ebb and flow if you will, between technological advancement and the utilization of said technology. Right now technology is far more advanced than we can actually find ways to apply it effectively. In the immediate future, I assume there is going to be a Renaissance of gaming and software. That being said, the "Retro" phase is what is in progress throughout all of culture currently. Society has changed more in the last century than it has since the dawn of mankind.

    Humans need time to catch up.

    What this means for video-games, is that if we keep focusing on graphics "Which are becoming less important due to numerous reasons." then games will not progress in other areas.

    So if games continue sucking, there will be a resurgence of well written games. However, it needs to take place before the older gaming generation dies. I say we have about 20 to 30 years to make sure that Fallout 7 doesn't exist in title, and as a Farmville, Occulous Rift Facebook App.

    One title I am really looking forward to as an FPS-RPG hybrid is Kingdom Come: Deliverance.
  18. Cyratis

    Cyratis First time out of the vault

    Jul 27, 2015
    Common guys, stay on topic
  19. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Antediluvian as Feck

    Nov 26, 2007
    We're fast approaching the time when they will speak of Harry Potter as we might speak of Dune or the Worm Ouroboros; or Shogun.


    To topic: I think first person RPGs can work, but that they are inherently less suited for it. FPP by nature encourages player substitution of the PC. PC limitations and restrictions become damned awkward in FPP games ~without a lot of care and additional voice and animation to visually and verbally explain what went wrong... In a game like Morrowind, the PC can be clearly seen to have slashed an opponent when they missed them. In FO3, the PC can watch 2 dozen bloody head shots, while still actively being attacked by the victim. Fallout never had this problem. In Fallout the PC pulled the trigger, and their aim was based on their own ability; and the game never showed the barrel and path of the bullet. The player never saw the barrel pressed to the target, and had them miss the shot.

    Additional animations and taunts in FPP games could be used to good benefit by illustrating how the PC missed, or just barely scratched the target for their lack of weapon skill. PC's that are expert hTh fighters should visibly get better skilled as their skill is improved on the character sheet.

    People tend to take failure personally in FPP RPGs, as if it were them that failed, and not the PC. FPP actively encourages this by putting the player behind the PC's eyes, and in the situation ~personally... setting them up for (perceived) personal failure. Is it any wonder why Bethesda's skill system is a permissions model, that ensures that the player will never fail and they know in advance not to try until they attain permission , (the skill threshold). The game only allows you to try once success is guaranteed.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
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  20. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign Guest

    I think people need to be reminded that some of the first RPG's were in first person view - Wizardry and Might and Magic - which directly inspired Dragon Warrior/Quest. One game inspired numerous other sub-genres - cut from the same cloth but very different in execution. All of them were inspired by Dungeons and Dragons which places value on stats and role playing. Everything doesn't have to be turn-based and isometric to be a RPG. It depends on the game. Fallout should be turn-based but I won't go into that.

    I see the excuse that player skill plays too big a role in FPS RPG's, thereby making it less of an RPG, but I don't agree with that sentiment. Is a third person shooter like Mass Effect a RPG? Does the point of view really matter? This is what RPGCodex calls popamole in regards to Mass Effects combat. I don't think the combat is the sole measure of a RPG game. It should be said I don't consider Mass Effect to be a good RPG series especially relating to the combat, but that is partially due to taste.

    I am baffled at the notion that some degree of skill being involved negates the RPG aspects of the game - Fallout: New Vegas and Deus Ex are definitely RPG's. They offer numerous ways to navigate whatever problems you face during the game. A certain element of discovery and choice needs to be present. You aren't simply carted from location to location like in many games. You need to solve problems, often through dialog, with several different ways of playing. Even simplistic jRPG's have different character strategies and builds. Simply having an option for no combat isn't possible for all plots. You don't play too many D&D campaigns where you don't kill shit. Maybe Call of Cthulhu (PnP) but even then you face eldritch horrors that can drive you insane simply from farting on you.

    Skill is involved when you take down Ruby Weapon in FF7. Skill is required to take down the Master with Dogmeat and Ian. Skill is required in Baldur's Gate. You get the point. Your skill at shooting does improve in FNV when you put more points in it. The abstraction of pointing and shooting in relation to what you are aiming at - it is necessary - not only that I see no problem whatsoever with it. I never have. It was fine in Morrowind, it is fine in Fallout: New Vegas. It would be fine for me in Fallout 4 if they knew how to actually make the RPG part of the game. The shooting does appear to have improved.

    If you suck at the combat in FPS games then you might have difficulty, but really it shouldn't matter at this point. If you haven't learned how to play a FPS by now, you need to find a new hobby. The basic mechanics have been around for over 20 years now. Get good folks. Deus Ex is amazing. Ultima did have a few titles that were in first person view.

    To me a RPG is about replayability. The good ones (like Fallout) allow you to play the game differently without limiting yourself with player based limitations. I shouldn't have to go out of my way to roleplay, like in Skyrim where you can join every guild regardless of your class and skills. They shouldn't let you do that. A Mage doesn't make a good Thief necessarily much less a good Warrior, but they want everyone to be able to do everything. So that is why you get a FPS RPG that feels more like a straight up shooter. People will say "Don't go apply to the guild then" but that misses the point. The characters should react to that like "Hey dickhead. We don't need a Mage doing a Warriors job. Go conjure a daemon or something."

    There is no real cause and effect in games like that. The world is too shallow. If the world is paper thin, with hundreds of NPC's with one farm, or one long hallway after another, then it starts to feel more like a game, less like you playing a role in a living breathing world. Some of the best FPS RPG's are dungeon crawlers which some might not like due to less dialog, but they are more *immersive often times because there are no idiotic things to break the illusion. It is actually harder to make a FPS RPG that is worth a damn since you see all of these things up close. Isometric games were allowed to hide things, or imply that things exist, but you don't have that luxury when developing a FPS RPG.

    *cringes when using the word
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2015
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