Joystiq - The Future of WRPGs
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November 21st, 2012, 13:02
New Vegas hardcore? No, I don't think so. Even on max difficulty level - it's a pushover - and everything is pointed out to you in logs and on the map, just like it was Fallout 3. You can't miss anything and you'd have to be blind not to complete the quests.
Dragon Age on above average difficulty was among the more hardcore in terms of combat difficulty, but I'd say it's still very streamlined, handholding and forgiving compared to what I consider hardcore RPGs. It's also the last game from Bioware that resembled anything like a hardcore RPG.
Then again, there's no official definition of hardcore - and if people think Fallout NV is hardcore, that's not unreasonable.
My personal definition is about the level of investment required to succeed. As in, for a game to qualify as hardcore - you have to invest yourself and think about things to get through quests and combat. Having an optional high combat difficulty is not sufficient - as even the more casual games have that - and they're generally silly implementations that don't alter the balance, but rather just adds hitpoints to enemies and increase their damage - instead of making enemies smarter, or the game more demanding in terms of your builds.
The only reasonably modern game with high production values I can think of, that qualifies, would be Neverwinter Nights 2 - but I don't consider it an AAA game. Also, it's only "semi-hardcore" because you can get by just fine by using recommended builds - and though some fights will be hard, you still have auto-resurrection for party members and other such casual features.