When it comes to realism in video games, RPGs are the most promising of the genres to deliver on this promise. Large open-world, crisp and beautiful looking graphics, and a way to make their worlds feel bigger than what is actually seen in the game, RPGs can create an immersive experience for players to enjoy.
Since video games were first released, the hunt for a good immersive experience had begun. Developers started putting their best efforts in RPG games that could make players feel like they have stepped into another world itself, or maybe even another time period.
With the graphical capacity reaching a new peak in recent years, many games have finally managed to offer a way to escape into another life. This article will list five such RPGs that bridged the gap to reality and provided players with an intriguingly interesting and immersive experience.
Note: The games are not listed in any particular order and the list reflects the writer's opinions.
1. Ghost of Tsushima
Sucker Punch Productions released Ghost of Tsushima on July 17, 2020, and let players step into the shoes of Jin Sakai, a samurai warrior in the feudal Japan era, as he defends his home from the invading mongol forces. While the mongal invasion was a real occurrence in history, the characters in this RPG are mostly fictional.
The game, however, delivers a beautiful open-world experience set in ancient Japan that is yet to be seen elsewhere in the gaming industry. As a samurai, players can take part in cinematic duels and other fights, facing enemies head on in the game. As an alternative, players can also decide to take the less honourable path of the Ghost and silently eliminate enemies from behind.
Aside from the main quest, the game is filled with several side activities, including chasing down animals. Players can also discover hot springs and shrines, take part in bamboo cutting challenges as well as write Haikus to spend time in this world.
2. Cyberpunk 2077
After months of patches, fixes, and player complaints CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 is finally playable, at least on the next gen consoles. While the Night City has left a lot of things on the cutting room floor, the world is still fun to explore as it is the only Cyberpunk setting in a video game set in a fully open world.
From the character creation menu itself, players get an idea as to the kind of adjustments that can be made with regards to the cyberpunk aesthetic of the game. When players can whip out twin mantis blades from their forearms to use as melee weapons, guns feel almost obsolete in the game.
The freeform hacking featured in this game is fun to utilize in combat and goes on to show that over-reliance on technology can simultaneously be humanity’s best chance at survival as well as their downfall. In a world where a self-driving car would be nothing out of the ordinary, roaming around Night City on one’s bike while soaking in all the neon colors and the hazy skyline is a surreal experience.
3. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
The Assassin’s Creed games have always strived for realism and historical accuracy, and so going to ancient Greece in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey can almost feel like a vacation. The game has one of the most expansive maps in the series’ RPG outings, spanning across the Greek landmass, Agean sea, and numerous islands.
The main campaign itself takes the misthios (Greek for mercenary) across the majority of the map, to scenic places like the oracle of Delphi, the Parthenon in Athens, and the statue of Leonidas in Sparta. However, the game still leaves much more for players to explore, letting them take the wheel (of the Adrestia) and sail to unseen shores.
Like all Assassin’s Creed games, Odyssey features many historical figures the misthios can cross paths with, such as the physician Hippokrates, sculpture Phidias, and the most interesting of them all, the philosopher Socrates. The philosopher discusses moral quandaries with the protagonist, based on the actions they take, which leads to some of the most fun conversations in the game.
4. Kingdom Come: Deliverance
For players looking for realism, Kingdom Come: Deliverance is an RPG that will make them wish they hadn’t gone looking. Developed by Warhorse Studios and released in February 2018, this is a first-person perspective game that is set during the early 15th Century in the Bohemian Kingdom.
Players assume the role of Henry, a simple apprentice who is thrust into a soldier’s life after his parents are killed. No class system exists in this game, and players can assume any role they want based on the skills they want. Realism is dialed up to an 11 here, as even something as simple as clothing has 16 item slots to facilitate different parts of the armor as well as layers.
Aside from the aggressively realistic combat in the game, players also need to keep a check on their health by eating and sleeping on time. Clothing, armor, weapons, and food will go bad over time in the game. While the first three can be repaired, eating spoiled food might lead to disease or even death in the game. This RPG was probably specifically made for realism enthusiasts.
5. Red Dead Redemption 2
Gamers looking for a more balanced take on realism vs escapism should not look further than Red Dead Redemption 2. With a fully fictional story and a world inspired by the late 1800s American Wild West, this immensely immersive game offers players a beautiful world to explore, filled with interesting characters in settlements, and realistic animals in the wilderness.
While RDR2 does reward players for eating two meals a day and dressing appropriately for the weather, it doesn’t put too large of an emphasis on it other than extreme conditions. Players are open to explore around and disregard the main quest, although they will occasionally meet their campmates who will come looking for them, after it has been a while.
With side activities like hunting, fishing, and the freedom to live anywhere in the wilderness if the player chooses to, this RPG provides a certain level of freedom no game before has. Bird watching is an actual hobby players can take up in-game if they wish, or collecting rare animal parts, or simply going on a murder spree if they do not mind the low morality.
Poll : Do you often get into large-scale RPGs?
Yup, all the time
Not so much