I’m not much of a computer-gamer but of late Emma (my better half) and I have been trying out some two-player co-op RPGs on the PC. We’ve worked our way through Diablo 2 and the Lord of Destruction expansion and now we’re doing the original Neverwinter Nights campaign.
It’s been darn good fun and, sad to say, much of the appeal comes from only having to turn on the PC and run up whichever game we’re currently on in order to play.
Emma had said she wouldn’t mind trying out pen-and-paper roleplaying but one way or another I’d been struggling to find the energy to prep anything after work. But with PC play there’s no prep, it’s just there ready to go. I’m beginning to understand the allure of MMORPGs.
That said, the downside is the quality of the story and the character interaction, which is somewhat lacking. To be honest, this aspect of play doesn’t seem to have advanced all that much since the early 1980s, when I was playing text based RPGs written in BASIC on a Compukit UK101.
So is this really all computer based RPGs have to offer? Advances in the game engines and graphics have been huge but characterisation, conversation and story seem to be standing still.
Are there any games out there that are taking this to another level? Interactive NPCs? Immersive story arcs? Meaningful PC-NPC relationships? Anything like that?