10 Underrated Role-Playing Games Worth Trying
If you want something deep and unique, and blockbusters are boring.
The genre of role-playing games, at first only board games, for a long time was the lot of geeks, who were not enough just to throw a dice and move a chip from one cell to another. They wanted each character to have their own characteristics, their own strengths and weaknesses, and a unique role in the narrative.
Now everything is quite different: RPGs, which have long migrated from paper to computer screens and consoles, are so popular that the most prestigious awards are now and then awarded to various kinds of “Witchers”, The Elder Scrolls and Fallout.
But due to the abundance of high-profile projects, it is easy to miss those that were released by not too well-known studios, or those in which not enough money was invested. They deserve no less attention, and we will describe them below.
1. Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines
In Bloodlines, you have to create a vampire by choosing abilities for him and distributing characteristics. After that, you will find yourself in an open Gothic world, where you can create anything that pleases your black soul.
It is very important that as few people as possible know about your belonging to the caste of bloodsuckers. Many tasks can be completed in a non-violent way: threatening, convincing, breaking locks and computers.
However, due to the large set of vampire powers, many will choose a much rougher approach to the passage – and also will not be mistaken. The game is almost 14 years old, but it is still fascinating.
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360.
Obsidian Entertainment is known for such cool RPGs as Fallout: New Vegas and South Park: The Stick of Truth. But one of her games, Alpha Protocol, went unnoticed by many gamers — and in vain.
The protagonist is a special agent of the CIA, who performs tasks around the world, using numerous devices and abilities. In terms of stealth, of which there are many, the project resembles a primitive version of Metal Gear Solid, but boasts an interesting dialogue system.
You’re free to talk to characters in the tone you like. That being said, almost every decision you make will have consequences. The pumping system is also able to please: it allows you to create exactly the kind of hero you want. Therefore, Alpha Protocol can be passed many times, and each time will be unique.
3. Mount & Blade: Warband
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One.
The most realistic simulator of the feudal lord in the genre of RPG. The action takes place in a fictional medieval world, where you have to prove your right to be the ruler of your own lands.
Most of the gameplay is occupied by large-scale battles. You must prove yourself not only as a strong warrior, but also as a skillful commander, giving the right orders during battles. The construction of the kingdom and the management of the economy are also given considerable attention.
Over time, you will have to choose whether to become a ruthless raider or a generous lord. Such an opportunity is found in very few role-playing games.
4. Pillars of Eternity
Another project from Obsidian Entertainment, which will be a real gift for any fan of old-school RPGs like Baldur’s Gate and Planescape: Torment. Only locations, as if drawn by hand, will certainly cause nostalgia in such people.
Pillars of Eternity has one of the richest universes in the genre: almost every stone has its own story. You will constantly meet new characters, many of whom you can take to your group.
If you are looking for a game full of dynamic action, then this project is not for you. It has a huge number of lengthy dialogues, and you will have to spend some time to understand the combat system. But if you can do it, then soon you will be dragged away with your head.
5. NEO Scavenger
After this post-apocalyptic indie project, Fallout 4 will seem like a children’s fairy tale to you. The world of NEO Scavenger is cold and cruel, and any dirty rag or torn shoe can be the thing that will save your life.
The game is merciless to those who came to it just to have fun. Despite the external primitiveness, this is a very deep project in which you will not be able to relax. But if you want to test yourself for strength, install NEO Scavenger without thinking – and soon you will not be able to tear yourself away.
6. Gothic 2
In the early 2000s, the already legendary series The Elder Scrolls had a worthy competitor – Gothic 2. In this game, which takes place on a large island in a fantasy world, you can create a hero from scratch and do anything, anywhere.
You are free to choose the path of a deceitful thief or, for example, a magician-killer. The project looks outdated, but even today it is able to deliver great pleasure due to the intriguing plot and the many events that arise from your actions. Each situation has to be approached deliberately, and not immediately reach for the sword.
Platforms: PC, Xbox 360.
Having released a not quite successful third part of Gothic, the studio Piranha Bytes decided to start with a clean slate and embody their best ideas in another game. This is how Risen appeared, in which titans awakened from a long sleep became a threat to the whole world.
The plot of the project can hardly be called its strong point. But the unique world, the depth of character customization and a well-developed dialogue system more than make up for it.
The island on which the events take place resembles sunny Sicily, with dungeons full of traps. The world of Risen is open and mysterious, so you constantly want to return to it.
8. Jade Empire
BioWare is known as the developer of the best RPGs in fantasy and sci-fi setting. For example, Mass Effect and Dragon Age. This is probably why Jade Empire, set in ancient China, has passed many players by.
It was in this project, which was released in 2005, that the studio first realized many of its ideas. In it, you can have an affair with a number of characters, and the statements of the main character greatly affect how others relate to him.
Battles in the game take place in real time, but they can be paused to choose a fighting style or build a series of blows. In addition, Jade Empire has a fascinating plot, and the world is not like any other.
9. Divinity: Original Sin — Enhanced Edition
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One.
Have you dreamed of a big RPG with a well-developed world, which you can go through with a friend, making important decisions together? Then Divinity: Original Sin is perfect for you.
At your disposal is a huge map full of towns, villages, dungeons and other locations, as well as interesting characters. Many of them are eager to give you some kind of task, which can be completed in different ways.
The game has a brilliant turn-based combat system, which, coupled with wide pumping opportunities and a lot of skills and spells, inspires experiments. You can choose the appropriate combinations of attacks and try different tactics throughout the passage.
10. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning was supposed to be the start of a large RPG series, but due to poor sales and litigation, everything was limited to a single project. The famous science fiction writer Robert Salvatore wrote not only the script for the game, but also came up with a story for as much as 10 thousand years.
The scene is a fairy-tale world, divided into five different regions and full of qualitatively written characters. Kingdoms of Amalur is very different from today’s dark role-playing games and looks like a colorful World of Warcraft.
The project pleases with fast and diverse battles, which are easy to understand. The picture is complemented by a deep role-playing system with four races and three class trees – 22 abilities in each.