From Sims to The Witcher, RPGs (Role Playing Games) have an extensive definition of what it means to play in someone else’s virtual shoes. In RPGs, players take on a character to experience an immersive world, whether turn-based or action-packed. Of course, there’s a time and a place for shooters and arcade games, but there’s something about RPGs and their immersive experience that keeps me and others coming back for more.
Here are a few games I’ve been anticipating that will release (fingers crossed) in the coming months. They range from creepy to wholesome and sometimes a little of both.
September 27, 2019
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
I’m not sure what’s “bitten” me lately, but I’m in need of vampire media: books, shows, movies, you name it. So, of course, I’m itching to play Code Vein, an action RPG set in a post-apocalyptic world populated with vampire-esque characters.
Warning, though, it’s basically an anime Dark Souls, so if you’re more the type to sit back and enjoy a blood-free, carefree experience, best try Harvest Moon or Animal Crossing. Code Vein is bloody (go figure) and challenging, with not only difficult enemies but an assortment of puzzles. It honestly sounds kind of like the Devil May Cry series, just harder.
More than that, you get to create your own character, collect gifts that essentially give you magic, and pick your own blood codes (basically, this game’s class system). You can even link up with other players online to fight the baddies. Something you may need after your thirteenth try on a level.
Really, all we can do is wait and try out the demo as we bide our time in the weeks to come.
November 15, 2019
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Who doesn’t like Pokémon? Okay, okay. That’s not true. I’ve met those who have never dreamed of trading for a shiny Pokémon, picking starter Pokémon, or having ever heard (and loved) the Pokémon theme song. Whether you’ve played Pokémon before or not, it’s always worth consideration. I mean, just look at how cute most of them are!
Yes, Nintendo is coming out with a new Pokémon and yes it’s bigger and better than ever. Okay, so there is a slight controversy about the new Pokémon not having all the adorable pocket monsters available to the player, but hey, at least we still have the bigger part promised.
Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield takes place in a more modern time with a country similar to Great Britain. Players may battle with literal giant Pokémon (bigger, see) by using the Dynamax function, which turns any Pokémon you choose into a bigger and more powerful version of themselves, but only for a limited amount of time and only in specific circumstances…oh, and only once per turn. Basically, it’s a strategic move, as Pokémon is a strategy-based game.
The storyline is the classical Pokémon story of a child embarking on a journey to be the very best in their quest to “catch ’em all” and befriend ’em all. What’s also exciting is that we are seeing a return to Pokémon gyms and their respective gym leaders, which Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon did not have. The only thing is, there will be some gym leaders who will not be in both Sword and Shield!
If you’ve never played Pokémon before and have always wanted to, consider the following! With even more beautiful graphics and a variety of adorable and unique Pokémon, now may be the time to “catch ’em all.”
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Linux, Macintosh operating systems, macOS
For anyone who enjoys a good story, without all the leveling and grinding, you may like In the Valley of Gods, a graphic adventure game by the same people who brought you Firewatch. The whole premise of Valley is that you are a 1920s adventurer named Rashida who is exploring Egyptian tombs. Along the way, you may find discoveries or death, all while interacting with and building camaraderie with your companion Zora.
Since this is a graphic adventure game, the story is the most important aspect, so Valley will act almost like a novel in video game format, where the player is focused on the narrative rather than quick-reflex gameplay. There is even a photography aspect to the game. With a camera in hand, your character can document the astonishing settings as you progress further.
If you’re more invested in stories and in character development, make sure to try out In the Valley of Gods, where plot twists wait around every turn and character relationships are at the heart of the game.
March 3, 2020
Platform: PlayStation 4
Picture this. You’re at your birthday party, unwrapping your presents and though you haven’t told anyone what you’ve truly wanted, you still hope that someone was able to read your mind. You tear into the last present of the evening and find that one thing that was way too expensive, that you were afraid to ask for, is shining up at you.
Yeah, that’s the Final Fantasy VII remake. Fans secretly hoped Square Enix would remake (no, not remaster, though that happened, too. Remake the game FROM SCRATCH) the beloved game, and though we got a movie, a few spin-off games, character guest appearances, and even a remake teaser trailer that we were told not to put our faith in, we finally got it, kids.
For all those who don’t know, Final Fantasy VII is a story about an ex-super soldier named Cloud and his companions. They must pit themselves against Shinra and the infamous Sephiroth in the hopes of saving a dying planet.
It should be said that FF VII remake will not be turn-based like the original counterpart and instead play similar to Kingdom Hearts or FF XV. Instead, it’s an action RPG with optional turn-based elements, meaning that there is a strategy mode during certain points in the gameplay where time essentially freezes and a player is (if they so choose) able to think through their next moves rather than hash and slash. Though, if you’d prefer to do the latter, you may!
There have been many rumors about what original content the remake is keeping and what it is not. What IS true is that the game will be split into installments. The first part is coming out at the beginning of next year (hopefully) and will focus more on Midgar, even tacking on more story that wasn’t in the original that takes place in Midgar.
Regardless, everyone who has seen the content so far weeps at how glorious it looks. I wait with baited breath for such a masterpiece. So, if you’re excited about an amazing story, gorgeous graphics, action-packed gameplay, and more, you may consider it too.
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Skull and Bones is for every person who has ever fantasized about taking up sail and pursuing their dream of becoming a pirate (without truly murdering or snatching treasure). Skull and Bones is a third-person tactical RPG with an open world focused on your character as a pirate captain. You may also team up with up to five friends online to orchestrate larger scale assaults on the open seas. Regardless of what you choose, your character must complete naval battles, all while considering the wind, enemy ship’s cannons, and your next move. You also may commandeer ships and hunt for treasure with friends, making a pirate’s work never truly done.
If you’re interested in such a daring quest, you may have to wait until next year to get your hands on this bounty, but it looks like it will be worth it.