RPG stands for Role playing game, in which the player is thrust into the position of one or more playable characters named or unnamed. RPG’s usually involve an immense story line, huge environments to explore, collectables to gather, grand battles or scenes and hundreds of hours of game play. Many big titles today contain RPG elements, including the first and third person shooter, Simulation and RTS, as well as other fantasy games. Role playing suggests you the player stepping into the shoes of a main character or protagonist, backed by a storyline from which you must progress.

The RPG is as old as the concept of fun, as many board games employ elements you would expect from the genre. However, in the modern age the RPG has evolved into an in depth experience, rival to the movie industry especially. Many titles such as the Final Fantasy franchise in particular dominates the RPG scene.

I would imagine most gamers would disagree with my synopsis of this genre, however is it not role playing when you step into the shoes of Niko Bellic from GTA 4, or becoming the Dragon born from Skyrim? Is it not role playing when you become the Commander of an Army in any RTS game? What about a SAS or Delta Force soldier in COD? I think you’ll find that nearly every available title on the market is in fact an RPG. However the genre mostly sticks to games like Pokémon and Final Fantasy, games that have similar battle simulation models and lengthy missions and quests.

RPG elements include high res graphics, with gorgeous cut scenes, simple game play and a story line that usually shakes the player to their cores. The biggest and most important fraction from an RPG is no doubt the tale that is told. After all you are stepping into the shoes of a deep, complex character that usually represents the hero. Games like FF7 had Cloud a supposed ex Special Forces soldier who in fact turned out to be a clone of an insane super soldier bent on the destruction of humanity. The story line included twists, side missions, loss and grieving, and humour.

Any decent RPG has an open play attitude, a free roam non linear style of game play. It is this element that allows freedom for players to progress the game at their own pace. Being able to complete main and side quests at your own leisure whilst exploring the environments from which you are set, certainly adds to the charm of the RPG. Puzzles to unravel and complete are also an added feature in the RPG, and this allows stimulation for player and a sense of achievement, coupled with a levelling system to make your character(s) more powerful.

Many an RPG has fully customizable characters, armours, weapons and sometimes, vehicles. Even special or finishing fighting moves can usually be unlocked by completing side quests or challenges. It is due to the illusive nature of these “ultimate” in game items that gamers have developed various YouTube tutorial videos and blogs. I myself have found myself searching the internet for guides on how to level up, earn in game cash, and find the best weapons or features.

The RPG genre continues to inspire writers, gamers, and the movie industry. Millions of fans worldwide make purchases in droves whenever the next Final Fantasy or Pokémon games are released, as well as many other titles. The genre allows the consumer to delve and immerse themselves in amazing worlds, rich in content, and become a part of a story that has more twists and turns that Birmingham city centre.