Top 5 RPGs of 2014
The RPG genre has always been a stacked category of the game industry, gathering tons of fans in huge communities worldwide. With so many great titles to choose from, I’ve decided to give it a shot, and drew up my own list of top 5 RPG preferences. RPGs have been my cup of tea for a very long time, ever since I laid my hands on Diablo 2, about 13 years back. There’s something quite rewarding and exhilarating in “hacking and slashing” armies of beasts and dungeon crawling your way through challenging quests, which became even more exciting when the action resumed night after night in Internet Cafes with my friends. Without further ado, I present to you my list of top 5 RPG games of 2014. Let’s see if you agree with some of my choices:
5. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
Reaper of Souls started out as the first expansion of Diablo III. Officially announced by Blizzard on Gamescom 2013, it was released on March 2014, and resumes the story of Diablo III after a short period of peace. At the time of its release, Reaper of Souls promised to deliver some exciting new features to the core gameplay of Diablo III, and in my opinion it managed to do so. One of the main additions to the expansion is the Crusader – a new character class with strong defensive play, solid weapon wielding abilities and holy magic powers. Also, the introduction of a Fifth Act which follows Nephalem’s quest across the flimsy Westmarch and Pandemonium Fortress seeking to halt the rule of Malthael and his allies, is a welcomed plus. On top of this, Reaper of Souls features a new Adventure Mode encompassing the well-known Nephalem Rifts, a new artisan called the Mystic, additional skills, runes, and passive abilities for all characters. In my book, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is a great addition to the series, bringing a whole new level of excitement thanks to its variety of features jiving in quite well with the core Diablo III story.
4. Dark Souls 2
Dark Souls 2 is the third installment of From Software’s highly acclaimed series. Originally revealed on December 2012, and released in March 2014, the game was a great success. The action is set in the world of Drangleic, while the gameplay includes both player versus environments (PvE) and players versus player (PvP), complemented by a few co-op elements. This particular Dark Souls story focuses on a cursed Undead human seeking a cure in eerie Drangleic, the home of numerous powerful souls which are the key to regaining his long lost humanity. Compared to the previous installment, Dark Souls 2 features more refined gameplay mechanics, an improved engine, and advanced AI system. All in all, Dark Souls 2 is a fantastic game, both from a single and multiplayer standpoint. Players will be engaged in a memorable adventure studded with dark environments, terrifying enemy encounters and some good old adrenaline rushes. Both console and PC versions are great, with a plus for PC in my opinion.
3. Wasteland 2
Wasteland 2 is a one of a kind turn-based RPG, courtesy of inXile Entertainment. The game began its crowdfunding journey on Kickstarter and launched on September, 2014. The action begins 15 years after the story of the original Wasteland, as the legendary ranger Ace is found dead by the locals. Featuring an alternate history timeline, Wasteland 2 presents a post-apocalyptic world torn apart by a massive nuclear holocaust. Years later, the newly formed Desert Rangers faction sets off in typical Texas and Arizona Rangers tradition, to help the remaining survivors scattered all across the desert and beyond it. Players will be embarking on a challenging journey, as Ace’s murder needs to be solved, while his original mission needs to be completed. The core tactical gameplay and great environmental graphics make up two of the main reasons why Wasteland 2 is a must play RPG title. If you’re looking for a solid turn-based RPG, Wasteland 2 is as good as they come.
2. Legend of Grimrock II
Legend of Grimrock II, the traditional action RPG developed by Almost Human is easily one of this year’s best representatives of the genre. Released in October, the title has been praised for its old-school feel successfully ported into the modern era. This sequel boasts great improvements in terms of gameplay and presentation compared to the first installment. Grimrock II employs tile-based movement and real time game mechanics. Players will be weaving through a vast network of grid-based dungeons infested with traps and all sorts of gruesome creatures. The gameplay is similar to what we’ve seen in classic RPG titles such as Dungeon Master and Eye of the Beholder, which are the two driving sources of inspiration for the Legend of Grimrock series. Being trapped on the Isle of Nex is no fun, and wits will go a long way in overcoming the great obstacles that lie ahead. The puzzled-like gameplay is one of the main elements that allow this game to stand out from the crowd.
1. Dragon Age: Inquisition
Very few developers manage to walk the walk as well as they talk the talk, but BioWare seems to be one of them. Their recent release, Dragon Age: Inquisition is a true masterpiece. Featuring a huge exploration roam, state of the art graphics and excitingly immersive gameplay, the third installment of the Dragon Age franchise is surely on the verge of becoming a memorable RPG. Dragon Age: Inquisition employs two engines, the Speed Tree and Frotbite 3, which are cleverly bind together to deliver a nearly flawless play. Thedas is once again the playground of this Dragon Age title. The action picks up from the final events of Dragon Age 2 where templars and mages reached a truce. The peace is broken by a mysterious occurrence which leaves the main character in the middle of a crater with a great magical power in his hands, while the leaders of the two factions are decimated. From here on then, an epic journey awaits. Game Informer writes, “With the mixture of open-world exploration, entertaining combat, and top-tier characters, the team at BioWare has found a winning formula that isn’t shackled to either Dragon Age: Origins or Dragon Age II. Inquisition is not defined by the traditions it returns to, but by the new directions it forges for this magnificent fantasy universe.” For all the above mentioned reasons, Dragon Age: Inquisition has to be my top pick.