Top 5 Best Action RPG Games For PC to play in 2017
Action-RPGs are currently in demand in the gaming industry. The amalgamation of two very contrasting genre’s – the first-person shooter/hack-and-slash, and the turn-based role-playing game – have surprisingly resulted in some of the best games in recent times. The ability to develop a customised character, while still being able to retain the excitement of real-time combat, provided a challenge that gamers across the world relished. However, like every other genre, the Action Role Playing Games also has had its share of failures, so it’s important to know which games to buy, and which to avoid. So, here’s a list of the 5 best Action RPG Games for PC, with their pros and cons:
Dragon Age: Origins
Developed by BioWare, the Dragon Age series has been immensely successful in producing the best Action Role Playing Games for PC into the market. Though their recent release, Dragon Age: Inquisition flaunts a massive open-world setting, and excellent graphics, it still struggles to hold a candle to the very first game of the series. While Origins is much more linear than many of its competitors, and suffers from the lack of an open-world setting, what really sets it apart is the quality of the script, and the effort put into creating engaging, realistic NPCs. The game lets you choose your own origin story, out of six different options, depending upon your race and class. Dwarves, Humans and Elves are the three playable classes, and you can choose to play as a mage, a warrior, or a rogue. As your character levels up, you can spend points on different attributes to suit your playing style, and can also unlock different specializations, based on class. The game world is scattered with pieces of lore, in the form of books or dialogues, that allow you to find out more about the fictional land of Ferelden. The combat system involves squad-based real-time fighting, with special attacks attached to several hotkeys. However, you can also zoom out to a top-down view and pause active battles to lay down traps, or down potions, giving a more old-school RPG feel. You can have up to three companions at a time in your party, and the rest of your followers will stay back at a camp. Your followers can leave your party, or you may not get to recruit them in the first place, depending on the choices you make. There is also a romance option available with certain followers. In terms of story, the dialogue options you choose, and the steps you take in critical moments in the game will not only affect how NPCs see you, but can also end up giving you a major advantage/disadvantage in the game’s final battle, making you feel like your choices really matter.
Pros – Engaging storyline, Realistic NPCs, Good combat system which makes you plan differently for different enemies.
Cons – Limited scope for exploration, Lack of an open world, Average graphics.
When Bethesda took over the already-successful Fallout franchise in 2004, the first change it made to the isometric, turn-based game was to turn it into a real-time action game with a 1st person/3rd person view. Their first two titles, Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, were both great games in their own rights, but Fallout 4 absolutely blew our minds and stood as one of the best RPGs of all time. The game creates an alternate reality, one which shows the world to have developed differently after the second world war. In this world, focus had been put on utilizing atomic energy to the maximum, till an insane nuclear war destroyed most of it. What is left of the USA is a massive, radioactive wasteland, with mutated humans and creatures – a hostile topography scattered with sparse settlements. The player is put into the shoes of a survivor, who wakes up after being in a state of suspended animation in an underground vault for nearly two hundred years. Along with a well-scripted story, what really strikes us is the level of graphical detailing that has gone into the creation of a post-apocalyptic world that seems strikingly realistic. The player can wander through the wasteland, discovering new settlements, helping people (or pissing them off), and fighting mutated monsters, while inevitably forgetting about the main questline. There are hundreds of side missions to occupy the players, thousands of components to gather for crafting and, to top it off, you have power armours, which are some of the most badass armours you will ever wear. You can decide entirely how to build up your character, and can put points into different attributes and special abilities to boost your chances of survival. Also, even the smallest decisions you make in the game world (like whether to steal that potato or not) will affect your Karma, and decide how people react to you. The combat system is very similar to that of any first-person shooter, and you can have 1 human and 1 non-human follower at a time, who will probably get blown up by traps if you are not careful. The main quest would involve you choosing one or two among several major factions, and help decide the future of the wasteland, but you are free to just spend your time exploring, killing and looting if you want to. There is also a romance system in the game, where the player can enter into a relationship with certain NPCs, but it isn’t very well-developed.
Pros – Massive explorable open-world, Excellent graphics, Realistic character building and immersive gameplay, POWER ARMOURS.
Cons – Slightly bizarre ending, Stupid AI in combat, Boring main quest.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim –
The Elder Scrolls series, developed by Bethesda, is one of the pioneers of the modern-day action-RPGs. Skyrim, the 5th and last instalment of the game was first released in 2011, and is still considered by many to be the best game in its genre. Skyrim’s beauty lies in its massive open world, with its caves, tombs, cities, villages, towns, rivers, mountains etc. What Skyrim has done with the open world genre, very few games have managed to achieve. Set in the fictional land of Skyrim, a part of the Elder Scrolls universe, the game traces the journey of the Dragonborn, as he/she looks to fulfil his/her destiny by killing Alduin, the dragon which threatens to drive mankind to its extinction…unless of course he/she is busy getting someone’s sword back from a bunch of thieves, or chasing elks across mountains to get some hide. This is what makes Skyrim so special – the ability to do anything…well almost anything, except killing chickens, or swinging your sword underwater, but that’s beside the point. The game lets you play as one of several races, which even includes a cat-like race called Khajiit, and a lizard-like one called Argonian. The character-development system is quite standard – you get expendable points upon levelling up, which you can then invest into several skill-trees, to suit your build. The sheer number of mini-quests in the game is baffling, and they involve everything from rescuing a kidnapped fellow to getting drunk and then having to clear up the mess you had made. There are several factions in the game – the mages’ school, the thieves’ guild, the assassins’ brotherhood etc. and, not surprisingly, you can be the leader of all of them at the same time. The crafting system involves making weapons and armours and enchanting them, brewing potions, cooking, and even building your own house, if you have the Hearthfire DLC. You can also become the Thane of different holds, buy properties there, decorate your houses, and get your own personal assistant (called a housecarl). You are even allowed to transform into a werewolf, or a vampire, with the Dawnguard DLC. Another aspect of the game that cannot be ignored is the massive amount of lore embedded in it, discoverable by reading books and talking to people. In terms of role playing, you can play as the good guy, helping people and solving problems, or you can be the complete jerk, killing and threatening people and siding with Daedric Lords. The combat system in the game is one of its downsides – it is overly simplistic and rather boring. The NPCs are also quite bland and emotionless, and the enemy AI is atrocious. This is where the huge modding community becomes important, as it corrects every flaw in the game, customises characters, weapons and armours, adds content, and changes the visual quality to godly levels. The game is so successful even today, that Bethesda released a revamped version of it last year, with improved graphics.
Pros: The massive, incredible world, The modding community.
Cons: The vanilla version has many, like poor combat, boring NPCs, dumb enemy AI, dumber follower AI etc., but they have modded everything.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided –
Eidos Montreal’s Deux Ex series has produced some fantastic RPGs, often masquerading as 1st person shooters. Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the previous entry into the series was a massive hit, and is often considered to be a stealth/shooting game. However, the game’s outcome is heavily dependent on choices and decisions, and it presents more complex dilemmas than many mainstream RPG entries. Mankind DIvided picks up right where its predecessor had left off. You can play the game in two ways – you can go all guns blazing and smash right through your enemies, or you can sneak and hack your way through. Both methods will yield equal satisfaction, and this is just the beginning of the diversity which the game offers. Travelling through the dystopian city of Prague as Adam Jensen, a technologically enhanced human, you can really grasp the feel of a cyberpunk world, which makes this game a must-play for sci-fi fans. The different environments and opponents are meticulously designed, and the way you build your character will greatly change your playthrough. The game’s character building system allows you to invest into several enhancements and powers, like one allowing you to speed-dash through a large distance, which makes you feel like a real cyborg. Even the smallest of scenarios can be dealt with in many different manners, meaning that if you are a brutal muscle-man, you don’t need to invest into improving your hacking skills, you can just knock the guards out and take the key. The combat system is also very well developed, with precise shooting, awesome stealth-takedowns and great unarmed combat. Even your weapons are massively customisable, ensuring that no two playthroughs seem quite the same. Although the story itself may strike one as being underwhelming, the gameplay will keep you glued throughout.
Pros: Almost everything, from the gameplay to the world to the decision-making ability.
Cons: A slightly underwhelming story (if you want to be stingy), Non-customizable player character.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
When The Witcher 1 came out, based loosely on Andrej Sapkowski’s novels, we saw in it a game and a story which had potential. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings fulfilled some of that potential, with its great, story-driven gameplay. But no one, not even the most hardcore fans of the series could have imagined the absolute masterpiece that the third title of the series would be. With their 2015 entry, CD Project RED, the developers, not only outdid expectations, but managed to put massive pressure on the rest of the gaming world to up the ante. Visually, The Witcher 3 is so stunning that it seems unfair to compare other video games to it. You can easily go to one of the most scenic places on earth, take a photo of it, and compare it to a screenshot of The Witcher 3. The game takes you through lush forests, meticulously detailed towns, snowy mountains and foggy marshes, as you step into the shoes of Geralt of Rivia, a ‘witcher’, or a monster-killer, who is in search of his lost lover, Yennefer, the sorceress, and his missing ward, Ciri. You encounter several types of monsters while exploring the vast, open world, and each of them have different methods of catching you off guard. Combat is quite sophisticated, depending on timed dodges, blocks, counters and breaking the opponent’s guard. You can also use a limited amount of magic, through ‘signs’, drink potions to boost your abilities, and poison your weapons in various ways. There are two swords which can be used, a steel one, for humans, and a silver one, for monsters. You can also wield a crossbow, and ride a horse named Roach, whose equipment can be customized. In terms of character development, the game is restricted though, because Geralt is essentially a swordsman, so there are only 4 skill trees to invest points in – combat, alchemy, signs and general. The roleplaying aspect is also restricted by the single stock character, but the story driven nature of the game makes up for it. The choices you make have important consequences in determining the fate of NPCs, and also in the climactic battles of the game. The characters you interact with are indeed very life-like, and their thoughts and emotions make them seem real. The crafting system of the game involves the ability to brew potions from specific ingredients, and the ability to get different armours and weapons made for you by blacksmiths and armourers, based on their levels. The side quests in the game are consistent with Geralt’s role as a professional monster killer, as he can choose jobs from town notice boards, and gets rewarded upon their completion. The lore is seamlessly weaved into the storyline, and if you get tired of all the killing, you can always settle down for a round of Gwent – a card-based minigame where you can build your own deck by gathering cards that are found in the world.
Pros: Great combat system, Wonderful graphics, Great storyline, Entertaining dialogues, complete with Geralt’s witty banter.
Cons: Non-customizable player character.