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January 6th, 2013, 20:40
It's always RPG elements, though, isn't it? You've got your quests that, together, make up a story line, you've got your character progression, and you've got your roleplaying elements (either a role handed to you or a role you make yourself). Drop those things onto any game and it becomes an RPG, IMHO.

Drop a few onto a shooter and you've got a shooter/RPG "hybred" like Deus Ex. Drop even more on and maybe change the gun to a bow or a magic spell, and you've got a first person RPG. Make it third person and you've got an action RPG like Diablo or, if you bring the camera in closer, something like the Dragon Knight Saga. Drop a few onto a turn based strategy game and you've got something like King's Bounty. Drop in even more RPG elements and you've got something more like Baldur's Gate.

I don't think there's any such thing as a pure RPG. There probably could be if you had an RPG with no combat at all, but I don't see any games like that out there. You just have various types of games with different levels of RPG "spice" added. The question is, how much spice do you need to qualify?
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