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Default What was the latest "great RPG" made by an American studio?

November 11th, 2020, 14:58
@Stingray posed a good question in a controversial political discussion that I thought to move here since this is RPG related and (hopefully) not controversial:

Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
I'm not sure you have much to worry about in regards to the US making great RPGs - when was the last time that actually happened?
This is obviously a subjective question but I think it can be answered if we set some limits/definitions:

1. The studio that made the game have to be situated mostly in the US, be under the US legislation and have (mostly) American employees.
2. The game has to have a lasting impact on the industry and gamers.
3. The game has to have a critical acclaim.
4. The game has to be RPG enough to called an RPG by the majority of people on this site.

As an example using European games, I would say that D:OS2 or Witcher 3 could be claimed "great RPGs" (very subjective, you see ). Some say Witcher 3 is not an RPG and D:OS2 not great, but both got great reviews and are considered RPGs by the majority of people on this site, I would guess.
Last edited by largh; November 11th, 2020 at 15:24.
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November 11th, 2020, 15:03
I thought of this and since Red Dead Redemption 2 is not an RPG and Wasteland games not considered "great" by most people, one has to go quite far back in time. Is it Skyrim (2011) then?
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November 11th, 2020, 15:16
Originally Posted by largh View Post
I thought of this and since Red Dead Redemption 2 is not an RPG and Wasteland games not considered "great" by most people, one has to go quite far back in time. Is it Skyrim (2011) then?
Is Fallout 4 considered an RPG? I'm playing it currently and I'm enjoying it after some modding.

Hmm, it's good, but maybe not great. I'm really not sure what the story is about, apart from the
Spoiler
, and I've played about 25 hours. I'm having fun, but do not feel strongly about following the story. And maybe modding it isn't allowed?

Where's Disco Elysium made? That was a hit, right? I own it but haven't played it yet.
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November 11th, 2020, 15:19
Originally Posted by SveNitoR View Post
Is Fallout 4 considered an RPG?

Where's Disco Elysium made?
I think Fallout 4 would be an RPG but not "great" if judged from acclaim and the conditions above. Disco Elysium was made by an Estonian studio.
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November 11th, 2020, 15:27
Originally Posted by largh View Post
I thought of this and since Red Dead Redemption 2 is not an RPG and Wasteland games not considered "great" by most people, one has to go quite far back in time. Is it Skyrim (2011) then?
Pillars of Eternity games maybe. That's about all I've got, and it depends on the individual person's opinion. Personally I don't think Skyrim or Fallout 4 are great RPGs by any means..they are barely RPGs.

Anyway, my original comment wasn't intended to be 100% serious, but it's definitely true that the best RPGs are not coming from the USA, and it's been that way for a while now.
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November 11th, 2020, 15:36
Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
Anyway, my original comment wasn't intended to be 100% serious, but it's definitely true that the best RPGs are not coming from the USA, and it's been that way for a while now.
I was not serious either and this thread is not meant racistic/nationalistic or anything like that. It just was a good question I had never been thinking about (I thought Bioware was American, for example), and I thought we could find an answer together. True this is a very subjective question and therefore I tried to limit it. I think Skyrim would pass the criteria I set even though it is not my favorite game either.
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November 11th, 2020, 16:33
This is a surprisingly hard question! What ARE US studios doing these days?
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November 11th, 2020, 16:51
Could you define great (Trump jokes aside)? True to genre principles, great critical acclaim, commercial success, or?
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November 11th, 2020, 17:05
Probably Pillars (the first in my opinion). Strange parameters to this question… but telling in just how many good RPGs are made out of the US.

Looking forward to Pathfinder and Cyberpunk… oh.
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November 11th, 2020, 17:50
PoE II?
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November 11th, 2020, 18:06
I call bull-crap to all your points above almost every recent Bethesda game is great. So I'm including the Skyrim remaster, and Fallout 4. They are still Steam biggest sellers.

Also yes both those games are RPGs and saying otherwise is subjective.

Then we have Obsidian with Fallout: New Vegas, The Outer Worlds, and both Pillar of Eternity games. Next we have Bioware with the Dragon Age games that are still selling.

Still yes the RPG genre is in decline in the US in the last five years.

On another side Note BioWare is remastering Mass Effect and working on a new one. We also know a new Dragon Age will be released in a year or two also.

Also a final note I'm not including all the games with RPG element's.
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November 11th, 2020, 18:46
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
I call bull-crap to all your points above almost every recent Bethesda game is great. So I'm including the Skyrim remaster, and Fallout 4. They are still Steam biggest sellers.

Also yes both those games are RPGs and saying otherwise is subjective.

Then we have Obsidian with Fallout: New Vegas, The Outer Worlds, and both Pillar of Eternity games. Next we have Bioware with the Dragon Age games that are still selling.

Still yes the RPG genre is in decline in the US in the last five years.

On another side Note BioWare is remastering Mass Effect and working on a new one. We also know a new Dragon Age will be released in a year or two also.

Also a final note I'm not including all the games with RPG element's.
Last ~5 years is what I had in mind when I made the statement that the OP quoted. Even if you do like Bethesda games, they haven't released an RPG (not counting MMO garbage) in just over 5 years.

And don't forget, BioWare isn't American.

Haven't played Outer Worlds yet but it's mediocre by pretty much all accounts. I agree with PoE, specifically PoE 2 since PoE 1 was almost 6 years ago - it's the best candidate.
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November 11th, 2020, 19:01
For me, Wasteland 2 was a recent rpg that I thought was very fun. But in terms of American vs European rpgs, I know they have always had a strong rpg tradition such as in the Gothic games and we have always known they are good at making rpgs over there. I'm not someone who decides I will only "buy American" when it comes to my rpgs, lol.

Let's just be thankful we aren't talking about the latest great rpg from China at this point, which educates us on how great communism is, how awesome forced conformity is (though big tech/ mainstream media is trying however) and the horrible evils of capitalism and freedom.
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November 11th, 2020, 19:02
Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
And don't forget, BioWare isn't American.
True but BioWare are owned by EA hence they are technically American.
Last ~5 years is what I had in mind when I made the statement that the OP quoted. Even if you do like Bethesda games, they haven't released an RPG (not counting MMO garbage) in just over 5 years.
Subjective once again.

Still I agree the focus has shifted to RPG element crossover games.
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Last edited by Couchpotato; November 11th, 2020 at 19:13.
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November 11th, 2020, 19:05
Originally Posted by Arkadia7 View Post
For me, Wasteland 2 was a recent rpg that I thought was very fun. But in terms of American vs European rpgs, I know they have always had a strong rpg tradition such as in the Gothic games and we have always known they are good at making rpgs over there. I'm not someone who decides I will only "buy American" when it comes to my rpgs, lol.
Can't believe I forgot about Inxile.
  1. Torment: Tides of Numenera
  2. The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep
  3. Wasteland 2
  4. Wasteland 3
Still based off the so called requirements only Wasteland 3 qualifies. I'm not someone who cares were my RPGs get developed either. Just letdown by US developers.
Originally Posted by Arkadia7 View Post
Let's just be thankful we aren't talking about the latest great rpg from China at this point, which educates us on how great communism is, how awesome forced conformity is (though big tech/ mainstream media is trying however) and the horrible evils of capitalism and freedom.
Well with Epic and Tencent working together it's just as matter of when.
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November 11th, 2020, 19:12
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Can't believe I forgot about Inxile.
  1. Torment: Tides of Numenera
  2. The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep
  3. Wasteland 2
  4. Wasteland 3
Haven't played BT4 or WL3 yet. The other two are competent, maybe even good, but not great. Don't see any way BT4 would go down as great in my book based on everything I've read about it. Maybe WL3?
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November 11th, 2020, 20:01
I did not find any of inXile's recent games to be "great" (though not played Wasteland 3), but they were good and worth playing. Not counting Bards tale their critical reception has overall been quite good though (Bard's tale is not terrible in this regard, but nor was it great)

The Outer Worlds I guess is in a similar situation. It's good, I really enjoyed it, but I would not go so far as to call it great. Critical reception of it was overall quite good

Pillars of Eternity II I thought was great. It sadly did not sell very well though. Critical reception of it was overall very good.

Originally Posted by Arkadia7 View Post

Let's just be thankful we aren't talking about the latest great rpg from China at this point, which educates us on how great communism is, how awesome forced conformity is (though big tech/ mainstream media is trying however) and the horrible evils of capitalism and freedom.

I doubt this will happen, not if they expect any real success. Heck, China themselves have kind of given up on the whole idea of Communism, they just seem to want to keep up a facade of it, while also going ham on the whole big companies and market economies because it makes money thing to the point where it's hitting the other extreme.
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November 11th, 2020, 20:39
Pillars of Eternity Two is the first one that jumps to my mind, likely followed by Wasteland Two.
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November 11th, 2020, 20:39
Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
And don't forget, BioWare isn't American.
Wrong.

Canada is still a part of the american continent.

What you do here is an illegal equation which goes like this : USA = America.
This is like hijacking a whole continent's name for a country's name.

So, in your opinion : Canada & Mexico = not America.
Not even to mention Argentinia, Brasil, Chile, Peru etc. …


Edit : EA is a U.S. company, by the way …
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November 11th, 2020, 20:41
I also thought pillars of eternity 2 was very good. Not great, though.

Wastelands 2 I really enjoyed when I played it a month or so ago, but simply lost interest before finishing it. Don't really know why, but it got tedious and not very interesting.

Didn't try W3 but it seems to be better than W2 so maybe I'll find it great?

I'll probably enjoy Outer worlds when I get to it.

I enjoyed Numenera, but also didn't find it great. Very interesting setting, but the story was only good, not great. And the mechanics were only decent. I'd love to see more games in that setting.
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