Go to Xbox Academy - xba.psuni.com
 

Best Upcoming RPGs to Look Forward To

24 Comments | posted
RPG_flash_thumb

Thanks to high definition TV’s and the enhancements in gaming technology, people are able to experience new fantasy worlds, filled with lively characters and adventurous stories like never before. Many of the most anticipated role-playing titles take developers years of hard work, engineering advanced AI and breaking new ground with additions like multiplayer and visual explosiveness. To help RPG fans find what will provide the next generation of interactive fantasy experiences, we’ve compiled a quick list of the best titles coming in 2011 and beyond.

Everything from Square Enix’s highly anticipated PlayStation 3 exclusive Final Fantasy Versus XIII to the dragon lairs of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, we cover all your RPG needs.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Developed by Bethesda Softworks, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim takes players on an adventure to the mountainous northern regions of Tamriel. Home to the Nords, a race of frost resistant men and women, these people find that not just orks and wizards prove threat to their lands, but also thick-scaled, brimstone and fire breathing dragons.

The technology turning the gears behind the colorful landscapes and intelligent AI is impressive, utilizing Bethesda’s proprietary Creation Engine the new engine renders vast draw distances, realistic dynamic shadows and dynamic snowfall on the terrain. Speaking with Game Informer in the February 2011 issue, developers described how wind even effects small details like the flow of water in river and streams. Revamping Radiant AI into Radiant Story, Bethesda Softworks stepped NPC interactions and living up a notch, giving new animations and various tasks to computer players to conduct on a daily basis from working at bar or mine to building armor and cooking.

While the game is around the same size as Oblivion, Skyrim features over 120 unique dungeons, five tremendous size cities, and nine settlements. To travel the lands, game director Todd Howard confirmed that players will be able to traverse by boat, however using horses and other mounts are still being tested.

“There are boats but you don’t sail them around,” said Howard.

“As far as mounts and horses it is something we’d really like to have but we’re still messing with it. We’re definitely not ruling it out. We want to make sure it’s a gameplay addition. Horses have come a long way in games. We want to make sure we’re paying off on that. It’s looking good right now but we’ll yank the feature if we think it makes the game better.”

As far as quests, NPCs will be able to spawn random side-quests depending on your characters class or reputation outside of the main storyline. The number of skills has been lowered to 18, giving players a more refined and specialized path for their play style. Also, outside of being able to smith your own battle axes, Bethesda promises that players will be able to dual wield them. Beware though of what happens within the kingdom, as an example, a harvest being burned will ripple into trade prices being higher and food becoming a shortage.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is set to release November 11, 2011 for Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3. Expect Bethesda to reveal more this June at the E3 2011 convention in L.A.

Mass Effect 3

In a last hope scenario, Shepard must unite alien races from across the galaxy to bring a massive counter-attack to Earth and stop the Reaper onslaught. This is Bioware’s third entry to the Mass Effect series, bringing the epic space triology to a climatic finish.

Among some of the new gameplay changes, weapons are no longer restricted to class and can be customized to fit different ammo load outs, scopes, and barrels. Some of the locations detailed so far in the game include a mining facility on Mars and a mega city representing a futuristic vision of Seattle and Vancouver. Player will also have the chance to traverse to homeworlds such as Salarian, Asari, and Quarian.

Heroes such as Garrus, Liara, Kaidan, Ashley are all playable characters as long as they’ve survived the previous games. Also, newly added Tali will be a character in the game. For gamers who weren’t faithful in previous relationships in Mass Effect 1 & 2, the developers have stated this may come back to haunt them in Mass Effect 3.

Bioware’s executive producer Casey Hudson confirmed that the game has been delayed until 2012 to ensure that it “exceeds everyone’s expectations.”

Final Fantasy Versus XIII

Unveiled in 2006 by Square Enix, Final Fantasy Versus XIII is seen as the darkest entry to the Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy series or any Final Fantasy title for that matter, telling the story a young prince by the name of Noctis Lucis Caelum, air to the Caelum Dynasty and his fight to protect the last Crystals of the kingdom from invading heretics. Unfolding separately as it’s own story from other Final Fantasy titles, Versus XIII is neither a sequel or prequel, complete with unique characters, visual design, fashion, and gameplay.

While players will be able to take the wheel of advanced and stylish vehicles and airships, game designer Tetsuya Nomura stated that the game will not be completely open world. Players will be able to use a world map, exploring vast cities and landscapes, witnessing beautiful day cycles from morning to dusk, but some areas will be more linear and scripted. Such detail has gone into the game, that Square Enix even locked a deal with Japanese label ROEN to design clothing based on the fashion and wears of some of the game’s characters.

Developed using Square Enix’s Crystal Tools, Final Fantasy Versus XIII has been built specifically for the PlayStation 3 with Nomura reiterating several times in the past the use of Sony’s Blu-ray disc storage capacity and SPUs for providing a unique Final Fantasy experience on PS3. The gameplay has explained by developers to be much similar to past Final Fantasy titles with a mix of elements from Kingdom Hearts. Players will be able to switch from Noctis to other party members on the fly, using everything from special abilities and magic to powerful sword attacks and firearms to dispose of enemies on the open battlefield.

This is another title that will likely miss 2011, launching sometime spring next year. Square Enix has yet to provide any details regarding a solid retail date, however expect more information to be released at E3.

Dungeon Siege III

Looking for something to fill Diablo III’s shoes on console? Obsidian Entertainment’s Dungeon Siege III returns fans to the Kingdom of Ehb, where the king has been murdered and 30 years later the Legion has all but been wiped out after a genocidal rampage to take seize of the kingdom is led by adversary Jeyne Kassynder.

This is the company’s first outing with the Dungeon Siege series, however their portfolio proves that this may be something worth keeping an eye on. Other than the failure with Alpha Protocol, Obsidian Entertainment has developed such role-playing adventures as Fallout: New Vegas and Neverwinter Nights 2, each featuring fantastic worlds, characters, and in-depth skill mechanics.

The game includes online and offline co-op with all characters being balanced to fit any mix of team. Some of the characters include Lucas, a tank type character stacked for close combat with a shield bashing ability that stuns enemies and Anjali who uses different combat stances from melee to ranged spirit form attacks. Katarina is a sexy half-witch vixen in which players can use her mighty gun-wielding abilities to depose of evil undead.

Dungeon Siege III is expected to release June 21 for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

White Knight Chronicles II

Following the story that left off in 2008, developer Level-5 further improves upon solid core gameplay aspects laid out in the original White Knight Chronicles, adding new features such as six player online co-op for both cooperative quest and free-roaming mode, giving players the opportunity to uncover the story together and use Georama to build their very own towns online.

White Knight Chronicles II incorporates a fully redesigned, dynamic new combat system, customizable to the players liking for unique strategies and combos. Those of you who have characters from the original title, you can import your equipment and guild ranks right into the sequel. In addition to the predecessors four knight avatars (White Knight, Black Knight, Dragon Knight, and Sun Knight), Level-5 has added at least one more, the Moon Princess. She is the only female knight in the group and wields a bow for ranged attacks. Also Level-5 is providing a special treat to newcomers, including the entire first game with release of White Knight Chronicles II, exclusively for the PlayStation 3.

D3 Publisher and Sony Computer Entertainment recently announced that Europe will be getting their hands on the game later this month, with North America having to wait it out until August 2. If you own a PS3, definitely add White Knight Chronicles II to your RPG playlist.

Dark Souls

From Software has a lot of pressure on their shoulders as they are developing one of the most highly anticipated role-playing games for consoles this generation, expanding the original Demon’s Souls 30 hour game, containing only 30 enemy types to Dark Souls, which features a story campaign lasting more than 60 hours and over 100 creature and enemy variations.

According to Japanese magazine Famitsu (via andriasang), From Software has increased the game’s difficulty greatly over the original. While the story-lines between Demon Souls and Dark Souls have no connection, they share similar concepts and themes allowing players to explore and traverse online fantasy worlds together. Players will need to search for hidden items and weapons as well as interact with players journeying within their lands. The developer promises new weapons, spells, classes, and support for online in-game messaging.

In addition, players are given the ability to transform into basic objects such as brooms and forks if an enemy online player boasting higher rank is scouring the fields for young blood. The game creates some of these face to face situations that demand visiting other player’s realms, using search, recover, and destroy mission types.

“One player may be tasked with hunting down a certain item that another has in his or her possession,” said game director Hidetaka Miyazaki in an interview with EDGE. “There will be several quests or missions in the game like that. It’s usually posed a bit like a competitive version of ‘Lord of the Rings’ in which one player has the ring and the other characters must find him, attack him and attempt to claim the ring for themselves.”

Dark Souls is set to release October 2011, exclusively for PS3 in Japan, with Namco Bandai publishing for Xbox 360 and PS3 in North America and Europe.

In closing, what are your thoughts on some of these upcoming RPGs? Any amazing titles that should make an honorable mention? Post your thoughts in our comments section below.

Posted in Editorials, Featured |

Comments (24)

  • Jack Shrout

    You forgot Dragon’s Dogma.

  • Reneid Klein

    WKC2 and FFXIII Versus are the two I can’t do without.

  • Justin Pinter

    Witcher 2 and Diablo 3 on PC. :) Forgot about Dragon’s Dogma. Although, not a lot is known on that title yet.

    I’ll probably get Skyrim for PC too.

  • Tom Ato

    Final Fantasy Versus XIII won’t be out until Q4 2012 but fortunately we’ve got Final Fantasy XIII – 2 coming out this Winter to help keep us busy until then.

    The other big 2 games for me are White Knight 2 and Dark Souls. I got the first WCK when it came out in February last year and it’s one of the best RPG’s i’ve ever played.

  • Hero

    Awesome article, love hearing about these games. ME3, Skyrim, Dark Souls and FF13vs are all day one buys for me.

    Oh and its spelled “heir” ;)

  • TES fan

    “these people find that not just orks and wizards prove threat to their lands”

    It becomes blatantly obvious that Justin Pinter has not played either of the two most recent Elderscrolls games yet it seems he´s compelled to write about a series he does not even have a basic understanding of. It makes me cringe. It´s like having never heard of LOTR but knowing there are ents in it saying “these people find that not just ents and wizards prove threat to their lands” or having never seen a Star Wars movie and saying “these people find that not just ewoks and jedi masters prove threat to their lands”…

    Honestly I´ve seen people doing a sloppy work of gathering information about the subject they need to write about but this sentence just has me at a loss for words, just absurd how misinformed one can be of such a big series especially when one is going to write about it. It can´t even be blamed as an honest mistake, it only takes 15 minutes of playing either Morrowind or Oblivion to get to know orcs in the game, this is just lazy.

    • Justin Pinter

      I’m pretty sure there is a race of orcs in Oblivion.

      http://static.zenimax.com/bethblog/oldcontent/Gogron_gro-Bolmog.jpg

      Not all are necessarily bad. I was just referring to them as creatures in the game.

      • Topal The Navigator

        You’ve never even played an ES before. It is blatantly obvious from your article. Go back to playing COD and making your pointless left/right choices in the linear, dead Mass Effect series. RIP Bioware, we knew you fairly well.

    • Bigger TES fan

      Well they’re called Orsimer actually, and after that rant, I’m not sure I want to read the article, or I may have to rant too. :P

  • Bigger TES fan

    Ok, I finished the article on Skyrim,and it’s not that bad at all, it has a lot of good information and I can tell research was done. There are just 3 major issues.

    1) Radiant AI did not become Radiant Story. Radiant AI was revamped and made far better, and Radiant Story was added as a separate feature.

    2) Boats have not been confirmed as a method of transport, they have only been confirmed to be in the game, as your quote states.

    3) This is the biggest one. There are well over 200 hours of side quests, but NONE of them are random, they’re all hand-crafted, and use Radiant Story to make certain elements of them dynamic to relate better to your character.

    • Justin Pinter

      Thank you for the additional information and clearing some things up. I’m a huge fan of Oblivion. Played through the game on PS3 and recently started playing through it again on PC (with expansion and add-ons). I’m really looking forward to Skyrim and all the new features the developers are implementing into the game. They talked about testing mounts and horses… dragons would be a sweet mount. Lol

      • Bigger TES fan

        Ya, dragon mounts would be awesome, and Todd said it hasn’t been counted out yet, but most likely won’t be in.

        It is awesome to know that a TES fan is writing about the new TES game, there are too many people who know nothing about the series trying to report on it, sometimes you guys get stereotyped.

        • Justin Pinter

          I play more of the stealthy marksman type with an enchanted bow. Right now I’m questing for the Skeleton key in Oblivion so I don’t have to worry about lock-picks. Supposedly lock-picking is still part of Skyrim, however I’ve heard people talk of a Bash mod. Realistically they should just let you smash the lock off if you are the warrior type.

          Dragon mounts were in Lair. I don’t see why they couldn’t have something similar now with a game like Skyrim. Perhaps by the time the next generation of consoles come around. Hahaha.

          • Topal The Navigator

            Dragon Mounts are lame. This isn’t WOW, this is Nirn. The men that trained Dragons are long dead, the last remnants of the Nedic Dragon Tamers have been long extinct. The extinct Red, nor the Black dragon would let you mount them. Tosh Raka wouldnt let anyone ride him either.

  • Tim G.

    Who’s Tim G. and why was I logged in as him?

  • Justin Pinter

    Btw, for PC RPG gamers (and possibily console), a really cool looking title that almost came to light was Project Offset. If you haven’t heard of it, look into it on Youtube and around the web. Had a lot of amazing concepts and pushed some high end technology. The project I think is dead though as the company was bought out by Intel.

    It would be cool to see the IP revived or some of the concepts carried over into some upcoming fantasy titles.

  • jecht

    ff xiii-2, tales of xillia, persona 5, dq x, next monolith soft rpg on cafe,ni no kuni

  • flux

    should be list of crappy recycled crap not worth stealing. i can tell you right now mass effect 3 and dungeon siege 3 will both suck balls. bioware hasnt existed for about a year now, they are just being sold as a name by EA, so any game you THINK is made by bioware is really being made by EA, and therefore will suck, also obsidian is making DS3 and they have yet to make a single game that doesnt eat cock compared to their predecessors. i could pick most of this list apart honestly, but think about how fast ME3 is coming out after ME2, there is no fucking quality in rushing games. theres probably 2 games mentioned that are worth a spin, the rest you have no right declaring are worth anyones attention since you yourself havent even played them hence you have no soap box to even start preaching from.

    • Justin Pinter

      What RPG’s are you looking forward to then?

    • Tom Ato

      Think about how fast ME3 is coming out after ME2??? Are you really that stupid? ME3 is scheduled to launch in Q1 2012, 2 years after ME2. If you do some research, you’ll see that 2 years is the industry average for creating sequels.

      • Vetle

        Yeah, I and they started making ME3 1 year after ME 1 was released, and that makes around 3,5 years top. ME3 is not rushed, and will probably be very good. Of course not as good as Skyrim but I will probably play trough the game more than once. Too bad it’s been delayed
        (Probably had nothing to do with the fact that Skyrim is being released the same year XD )

  • faraohRAMSI

    On Dragon mounts, dragons are not pets to ride

    On WKC2, why would anyone want that game when is same as WKC that is one of the worst games ever created by far ? If not the very worst

  • jecht

    u obviously never played last rebellion lol… WKC is pretty bad though

  • Justin Pinter

    Who’s looking forward to E3′s announcements for upcoming RPG titles?

Leave a Reply

*

Integrated by BBPixel ©2004-2014 MSI Engine