Video Games are by far and away my favorite type of entertainment. Nothing gets me salivating like the thought of spending endless hours ridding the land of evil doers. And if the game is really good, maybe I am the one cackling evilly as I create mischief in the name of profit. Either way, I expect a lot from the games I play. Especially Roleplaying Games.
I do not think it is unreasonable to have certain expectations when it comes to devoting your time and money. Personally, I enjoy games that are broad in scope and have a great story. I love feeling like I am involved in the game and if my choices impact the story? Even better. I like to flesh out my characters with deep skills. I like well rounded RPGs that give me plenty of side quests and options to craft and create. I need lots of shinnies to keep my character visually endowed to the world around me. I cannot possibly be a stunning hero or vile overlord without the proper attire and arms. Oh, and the game needs to be challenging. I expect to have to fight and scrap to succeed as well as solve interesting puzzles to find the best loot. Role playing games are just as fun as poker online site games. The only difference is that in roleplaying games, you have to play the character himself or herself. But these games share common things in common. They are both challenging, interesting and very enticing to play all over again.
With Diablo III on the horizon, I thought I would take a personal look through some of the RPGs I found that were suitably difficult in the last decade or so.
Two Worlds II
Two Worlds II was an amazing game. Stunning visuals and well written with challenging puzzles and great encounters. I really enjoyed the combat and found that some monsters not only dodged but came at you from various directions. The game play was quick and the world was visually pleasing to behold. I really got hooked on creating my own spells and upgrading my equipment.
The problem with Two Worlds II was that as you rose in power you eventually out leveled the competition and the game lost its appeal until you got to the end boss. There was really no challenge after your weapons and armor were buffed and the game started to feel repetitive. After you make your way through the evil citadel and make it out onto the roof the evil dragon stops you like a brick wall. If you happen to be a lower level or without potions the fight feels nearly impossible.
Honorable Mention – Dragon Age II
Dragon Age: Origins
Origins was really an awesome game, however it wasn’t the hardest game. The fact that your decisions impacted and changed the world kept me coming back for more. I would play through a part and then save it and play through it again with different choices just to see what was different. It was like the ultimate choose your own adventure book and I was hooked. It wasn’t too hard as far as combat went, nor were there many puzzles, however there were plenty of unique toys to keep me interested. I even enjoyed the crafting which is something I usually don’t spend much time on.
Origins was not the hardest game I have played. The breadth and scope of the world was huge though if you looked hard enough you could see the limitations of level design though they were cleverly hidden. I enjoyed the combat well enough and it was interesting that I could form my own party. It was even refreshing that I could set tactics for each of them. However it seemed once I got the right combination of supporting cast with the correct orders the game was really a cake walk. If it had not been for the compelling choose your adventure storyline, I probably would never have finished it.
Honorable Mention: Mass Effect
The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings
The Witcher 2:
Assassin of Kings was a solid game. The combat was suitably hard and it was an adjustment learning how block and dodge complemented your fighting skills. The controls never felt intuitive to me and the menu driven game screamed console port. Because of this, at times the combat felt unnatural which I think made it harder than normal. Aside from that though the game was a huge success. I remember playing through the prologue and being completely mesmerized by the detailed graphics. It really felt like we were laying siege to the castle. CD Projekt Red really did a great job with the story and it hooked it me from the opening cut scenes. I spent many hours beating that game and am very much looking forward to the Witcher 3.
Honorable Mention: Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim
Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga
Divinity II, The Dragon Knight Saga had everything I longed for in a game. It had stunning visuals and a great story. The game play was dynamic and even I could not complain about a lack of treasure as there was simply tons of equipment. The skills and crafting systems were each suitably robust. The story was deep enough you felt like your choices mattered. Did I mention you could also turn into a Dragon?
Yeah just when combat started to feel repetitive you would come upon an area where you needed to turn into a dragon and lay siege to different castles and fortresses. There were ample puzzles which challenged you and the end game had you fighting in a citadel where you face the ultimate betrayal. The game ends leaving you wanting for more and if you pick up the expansion, Divinity II, Flames of Vengeance you will be pleased to know the game starts there, with your betrayal.
The expansion is terrific in its own right and if you play through it, you will face the legions of flying fortresses and ballistae looking to shoot you out of the sky. It took me several times and much frustration to conquer it but it is worth it as Divinity II, The Eternal Flame left me completely satisfied.
Each of these games hold a special place in my heart and I know there can never really be any one that is the best. Where some have a great story, they miss on combat or skills. Some have amazing graphics but the game play was lost in space. Other games, I find personally hard whereas other players feel that same game was a breeze. All of this is what makes gaming so much fun. It is the ultimate personal experience for the individual player and each opinion is subjective. With that said, the hardest RPG I have played recently would have to be Divinity II, The Dragon Knight Saga and Divinity II, Flames of Vengeance. Both were amazing games that brought a higher standard to Roleplaying Games.