A problem that I’ve long been mulling has been put into a somewhat clearer train of thought. Still a bit rambling and all over the place, but overall a good summation of my issues with »RPGs« like »Mass Effect«.
The main argument resonates a lot with me: trying to make RPGs appeal to a bigger audience produces games that are simply not RPGs—by introducing things like player skill based combat (Fallout)—but Action games.
Of course I am hugely biased: I love the Baldur’s Gate series. I haven’t finished Tides of Numenera yet, but I’ve enjoyed it a lot. And the next RPG on my bucket to play through is the Planescape Torment remaster, because I just couldn’t deal with the old graphics when I attempted my last play-through two years ago.
So, I need to think a little more about this. It’s polemical. But it kind of puts into words a criticism I have long held. Most games that are called RPGs nowadays usually come along as »Action RPGs« or something similar, and are mostly »Action« games with a few RPG elements tacked on. If this feels unfinished, that’s most certainly on purpose; I have not finished thinking this through. :)