A Look Back at the RPGs of 2021

Everyone needs a good laugh sometimes. And if you could use one now, you’re in luck, because PC Gamer has this article that looks back at a number of good RPGs released this year and presents that as somehow a bad thing. It then proceeds to imagine a world where RPGs are RPGs no more, and are actually Groundhog Day instead. The whole thing is a hoot. It even has some Michael Moorcock quotes.

Here a couple of paragraphs to prepare you for what to expect:

While a layer of Skyrim is visible in The Forgotten City’s foundations, like the burnt level of strata beneath London from the time Boudica razed the place, it ditches a lot of traditional RPG cruft. Stats and skills are irrelevant to the kind of story The Forgotten City tells, so it does away with them. Distinctions between character classes are so minimal they barely exist—archaeologists get insights into objects they examine, outlaws get increased sprint speed—and there’s no leveling or XP.

Instead, you improve from loop to loop by learning what’s going on. You solve a sidequest to get life-saving medicine to someone in need, then set up a convenient way of delivering it to them each day.

You’re not empowered because some numbers went up, but because you’re transforming into Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, always in the right place at the right time, a living Rube Goldberg machine walking a path you’ve set up perfectly.

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Val Hull
Val Hull

Resident role-playing RPG game expert. Knows where trolls and paladins come from. You must fight for your right to gather your party before venturing forth.

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