11 RPG Games Every PC Gamer Needs to Try: Page 7 of 11

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The RPG genre's "required reading"

5. The Mass Effect series (2007-2012)

Mass Effect
Cinematic conversations play out like a movie, with plenty of choices for going good or rogue.

This is the last BioWare game, I promise. The developer is hard to avoid when talking about deep, interesting RPGs that offer great writing, moral choices, interesting characters, and fun gameplay—since Baldur's Gate, it's been their entire business. With the Mass Effect series, the studio took a departure from the medieval fantasy settings they'd been building (even Star Wars is mostly space fantasy), in favor of a new, hard sci-fi more similar to Star Trek. Mass Effect wanted to present that feeling of exploring a wide galaxy and interacting with alien races and cultures. On top of that, they sought to revolutionize how they presented dialogue scenes. Where BioWare had already proven their writing skills, the scenes were always static. In Mass Effect, BioWare created cinematic camera angles and action that occurred throughout conversations. This required a huge undertaking of voice recording, motion capture, and animating. The result is a game series that prioritizes deep, interesting conversations above all else.

They are among the best RPGs of the last generation, and many feel that Mass Effect 2 is the pinnacle of what they've done. Taking the pulp sci-fi setting from the first game, and improving every last detail, Mass Effect 2 is an unrivaled gameplay experience. The story and world feel huge, every companion feels like a real person, and the gunplay mechanics are a major step up from the rough third-person shooting experience of the first (in that it's actually fun to shoot and use your powers, whereas the first game was a little slow and clunky). Mass Effect 2 introduced players to a galaxy-wide conflict that had very personal consequences, where your decisions directly influenced who lived and died. It was a deeply impactful game that remains on many fans' must-play lists.

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Teacher, writer and story-gamer in Japan
Gamer Since: 1994
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Overwatch
Top 3 Favorite Games:Mass Effect 2, Portal 2, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
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