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Cloudbahamut

Is HZD really an RPG ?

32 posts in this topic

You know I love this game so much, it is practically tailor made for me as I am a big fan of open world story driven 3rd person games. But I have been wondering about wether this game really is an RPG because it feels a lot more like a 3rd person action adventure like Tomb Raider with the weapon wheel, focus on traversal, collectibles, camp fires, fast travelling system etc.

For example most of the gameplay and progressione elements found in HZD are also present in games like the new Tomb Raider games, Ghost of Tsushima or Spider-Man all of which are games not classified as RPGs.

For example the skilltrees which you unlock with skillpoints, crafting ammo, enhancing your carry capacity with resources, the over the shoulder bow gameplay, an open world full of collectibles and campfires which connect in a fast travel system are all elements found in Rise of the Tomb Raider as well. Overriding Tallnecks to unlock the map is pretty much the same as the towers in Spider-Man or Assassins Creed - again two Action adventures, not RPGs. Even Sidequests are present in those games.

of course HZD has some unique features to it - taking control of enemies, damage numbers appearing on screen when you hit enemies, elemental weaknesses, exploiting weak points of enemies and levelling up through XP to become stronger are RPG elements (Though Spider-Man also had a levelling system). Also the ability to customize weapons and armor with exchangeable mods that increase damage, defense, elemental attack or elemental defense is also definitely a strong RPG element not found in most action adventure games.

But and maybe that why HZD appeals so much to me, the gameplay really feels more Tomb Raider or Assassins Creed then RPG. Also interestingly unlike most RPGs the game takes place on earth instead of a fictional world and has no fantasy elements whatsoever and also completely lacks any form of a magic system - which again is highly unusual for a RPG.

And if we call HZD a RPG, doesn't this mean that games like the newer Tomb Raider games, God of War, Ghost of Tsushima or Spider-Man are also RPGs given how many similarities they share with HZD ?

I kinda like that HZD is so hard to classify and it blends quite a few genres together.

Edited by Cloudbahamut
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1 minute ago, Helyx said:

Nah. It just has some mechanics that mimic RPG elements.

 

At its core, it's a third-person action/adventure.


Yeah that's what I was thinking but it is listed everywhere as Action RPG. On it's wikipedia page as well as on the Playstation store for example. Which is why I was wondering.

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It's on that borderline between RPG and action-adventure like some of the Assassin's Creed series. I would argue that God of War and Ghost of Tsushima are just as much RPGs as HZD is.

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I don't think Sony has a true 1st party rpg. Most of those who gets this tag just have gameplay elements of rpg games, and most of the time, these elements are just outfits/weapon customization with % damage modifiers.

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I don't think of this a RPG but as an Action-Adventure which has some elements RPGs have like AC, God of War PS4 or Spiderman. A real RPG for me has a character development with much greater value. HZD is still a great of course :)

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i would say action game with mild rpg elements to pretty much all the games you mentioned above.

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I mean you play a role during the game...but its not an rpg as such. 

 

Its a 3rd person action adventure.

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Action/Stealth adventure with combat RPG elements I would say, still I am looking forward to playing the sequel on a PS5.

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Is part of your confusion stemming from JRPGs?

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1 minute ago, mako-heart said:

Is part of your confusion stemming from JRPGs?


Who said anything about confusion ? And what do JRPGs have to do with it ?

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Just now, Cloudbahamut said:


Who said anything about confusion ? And what do JRPGs have to do with it ?

 

Western RPGs are a dime a dozen and basically every game released now is a "RPG".

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1 minute ago, mako-heart said:

 

Western RPGs are a dime a dozen and basically every game released now is a "RPG".


Yes but not every game is officially classified as one. All of the games I mentioned before are not labelled as RPGs yet HZD actually IS.

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Nope is another case of "hey look it have a skill tree so is a RPG case". But it's a really good game can't deny that.

 

I see it more in the action/adventure open world with little touches of rol play with no to much to consider a pure RPG

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Guerrilla and Sony talked up the game as an RPG, going so far as to hire the creative lead of Fallout New Vegas. The actual gameplay however is your typical open-world, third person "action adventure" so I'd say no. By JRPG standards, it might qualify, as you play a predetermined role and the leveling system is on-rails, but it's not made in Japan or inspired by JRPG design and conventions, so it's not that. 

 

As a WRPG, it falls flat because you can't really build a character to tackle challenges with a specific skillset. These days, games let you become a god by the end, able to do everything (and most everything you do is go to the place and kill a bunch of dudes). There's no skill checks to hard-gate your progress, other than enemies that out-level you in combat. Dialogue options also bear no consequence on quest or story development, but in that regard the game does let you, strictly speaking, "role play" by choosing the tone of Aloy's responses. 

 

In other  areas, the game's equipment system offers a bit of power scaling, but gear won't really make a huge difference either and there are really only say 4 tiers of quality, so it's not a Diablo-like either. 

 

All in all, I would say no, Horizon isn't an RPG at least in a mechanical sense as that term is so loosely applied these days, maybe because it's a trendy way to market something.

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A lot of AAA games have been pushing the idea of "RPG" nowdays, Spiderman, God of War, Horizon, Assassins Creed and a bunch of others but all they have is the lighest possible version of what a RPG is. Having a skill tree and a bunch of weapons doesnt make a game a RPG.

 

RPGs are all about choice and consequence, that is the essence of it. I choose this weapon and because of it I am able to do X and unable to do Y; I do this quests this way and it rewarded me with something useless or even bad for my game that will screw my progression/character for a time; I have to choose my items and my skills carefully to build my character the way I want to play always giving up on something for something else; the game reacts to my choices for good or for bad in a small or big scale.

 

Sony idea of nothing is missable and you can do everything in the game with only 1 character automatically makes their games a non-RPG, plus in all their games you are just a spectator, you cant influence anything that is happening, so how can you "role play" something that you have no control over? Their games are very much separated between the story and the game, you watch the story and play the game while RPG go more towards "you play the story".

 

Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Pillars of Eternity, Tiranny, Baldurs Gate, Divinity Original Sin, Fallout, Elder Scrolls, those are RPGs, some more complex than the others but RPGs nonetheless.

Edited by Montyzu
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Horizon Zero Dawn is not a RPG. It's an action adventure game in the same vein as God of War 2018 and Marvel's Spider-Man.

 

Fallout 3, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Dark Souls, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Mass Effect and Dragon Age are RPGs because you are given the choice of how to handle various NPCs and how the quests will turn out in the end.

 

Horizon and God of War 2018 are completely story driven with very shallow RPG mechanics. You are not as much in control are you are seeing how the story unfolds. That is Horizon Zero Dawn and God of War 2018.

 

The fact that both games are classified as action RPGs baffles me completely. That just tells me games have become more dumbed down and streamlined.

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No it's not. It's an action adventure game. 

Use table top/pen and paper games as a basis for what a rpg should be.  Basically you create your own character and adventure, therefore there are not many video games that can do this because of engine limitations. DnD, cyberpunk, Call of cthulhu, and other table tops are only limited by your imagination and the game system.

Many games such as Dark souls World of warcraft. and divinity original sin use elements from TTRPGS such as class systems, loot, level up perks but are not true RPGS

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6 minutes ago, wackt1 said:

No it's not. It's an action adventure game. 

Use table top/pen and paper games as a basis for what a rpg should be.  Basically you create your own character and adventure, therefore there are not many video games that can do this because of engine limitations. DnD, cyberpunk, Call of cthulhu, and other table tops are only limited by your imagination and the game system.

Many games such as Dark souls World of warcraft. and divinity original sin use elements from TTRPGS such as class systems, loot, level up perks but are not true RPGS

 

Hit the nail on the head.

 

Fallout 4 is barely even a RPG, but it's definitely more RPG like than Horizon Zero Dawn and God of War 2018.

 

The people labeling those two games as action RPGs are probably people who never really played RPGs in the past. A skill tree and different tiers of weapons doesn't make a RPG. Skill trees have already been done in inFamous: Second Son, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor and numerous other games. Yet they're not RPGs, they're action adventure and Horizon Zero Dawn is certainly an action adventure.

 

Turns out that true RPGs like Baldur's Gate 1 & 2, Icewind Dale and the original Fallout are too complex and complicated for a general audience. I just think Horizon Zero Dawn is being labeled as an action RPG simply because it's a trendy thing to do, as the guy above me pointed out.

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In my opinion, it's an action game with some rpg elements🙂

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14 hours ago, Spaz said:

 

Hit the nail on the head.

 

Fallout 4 is barely even a RPG, but it's definitely more RPG like than Horizon Zero Dawn and God of War 2018.

 

The people labeling those two games as action RPGs are probably people who never really played RPGs in the past. A skill tree and different tiers of weapons doesn't make a RPG. Skill trees have already been done in inFamous: Second Son, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor and numerous other games. Yet they're not RPGs, they're action adventure and Horizon Zero Dawn is certainly an action adventure.

 

Turns out that true RPGs like Baldur's Gate 1 & 2, Icewind Dale and the original Fallout are too complex and complicated for a general audience. I just think Horizon Zero Dawn is being labeled as an action RPG simply because it's a trendy thing to do, as the guy above me pointed out.

 

On 8/11/2020 at 0:41 PM, Montyzu said:

A lot of AAA games have been pushing the idea of "RPG" nowdays, Spiderman, God of War, Horizon, Assassins Creed and a bunch of others but all they have is the lighest possible version of what a RPG is. Having a skill tree and a bunch of weapons doesnt make a game a RPG.

 

RPGs are all about choice and consequence, that is the essence of it. I choose this weapon and because of it I am able to do X and unable to do Y; I do this quests this way and it rewarded me with something useless or even bad for my game that will screw my progression/character for a time; I have to choose my items and my skills carefully to build my character the way I want to play always giving up on something for something else; the game reacts to my choices for good or for bad in a small or big scale.

 

Sony idea of nothing is missable and you can do everything in the game with only 1 character automatically makes their games a non-RPG, plus in all their games you are just a spectator, you cant influence anything that is happening, so how can you "role play" something that you have no control over? Their games are very much separated between the story and the game, you watch the story and play the game while RPG go more towards "you play the story".

 

Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Pillars of Eternity, Tiranny, Baldurs Gate, Divinity Original Sin, Fallout, Elder Scrolls, those are RPGs, some more complex than the others but RPGs nonetheless.

 

 

Even then Bethesda games (I.e. Elder Scrolls and Fallout series starting with fallout 3) don't have a lot in regards to player agenda (and for most games calling them selves 'rpg'). The main story line ending still only gives the player to either poison the river or not. There is no 3rd option or player agency to influence the ending. 

I have played DnD 5e for 2 years now and I remember playing and finishing the "Waterdeep dragon Heist module" and remember getting an ending not even listed in the book. My group was in the final part, in the vault, trying to talk down a dragon. Two of the players i was with each had a demon heart from a halloween oneshot (not related to the module)and one of them used it to summon Asmodeus, the Devil of the 9th circle. In short, team did not get gold, Dragon ran us out, all the humanoid npcs in the vault died, and the summoner player was taken by Asmodeus. This is player agency at its finest, team got the worst ending not listed in the module that video game "RPGS" do not provide. 

Yes, actual RPG video games do have complex class and game systems like you too pointed out and loot and is what makes an RPG. But then again most games you're just the spectator and player agency is constrained by game design, Engine limitations, and what the writers want to happen. Go play a Table top for an RPG 

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8 hours ago, wackt1 said:

Even then Bethesda games (I.e. Elder Scrolls and Fallout series starting with fallout 3) don't have a lot in regards to player agenda (and for most games calling them selves 'rpg'). The main story line ending still only gives the player to either poison the river or not. There is no 3rd option or player agency to influence the ending. 


Fallout 3 and New Vegas aren’t really true RPGs. Fallout 1 & 2 in contrast were RPGs. The games were turn based combat giving you numerous options. I could target a gangster’s head with a combat shotgun with a good chance of blowing that guys face clean off his body.... or I could aim for a Deathclaws eyes resulting in major damage. The Karma system meant everything, how various factions treated you and how your destiny would unfold. 
 

In Fallout 4, various RPG elements were dumbed down so it feels more like a looter shooter like Borderlands. But Horizon Zero Dawn being labeled a RPG is setting a new low. 
 

You can argue all you want on Dark Souls, but that is a game that pays respects to the player. The balance between presentation/cinematics and gameplay/substance is almost perfect. 
 

8 hours ago, wackt1 said:

Yes, actual RPG video games do have complex class and game systems like you too pointed out and loot and is what makes an RPG. But then again most games you're just the spectator and player agency is constrained by game design, Engine limitations, and what the writers want to happen. Go play a Table top for an RPG 


Baldur’s Gate and other games of its era were limited because of technology limitations and the fact that Windows 98 computers were rather slow/primitive, again because of technology. 
 

With today’s technology developers are capable of doing much of what you describe, I would argue they could emulate the freedom and feel of a table top RPG. 
 

Table tops have existed since the 1980s. For one, I have nobody to play table top with. Two, we’re still in the middle of a virus pandemic. Why would I ask people to come over and play table top when there are more important things at stake?

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A lot of people here saying its a Action Adventure, but that literally just means: you can get killed and there's an ongoing story to follow in a traversable environment. Which seems a tad too broad for me. When Wolfenstein and Persona 5 could feasibly be in the same genre, I think there's a narrowing down we should do.

 

Now yes I'd say HZD is technically an RPG, but it's also a third person shooter. Which ever you think is more important to the game's identity should be your answer. Hell, you may even say it's a stealth game if you wanted.

 

I similar case I had; my brother and I were arguing whether Deus Ex HR was an RPG or an FPS, I was team RPG and he was wrong and so we've never spoken again.

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17 minutes ago, breakingthegreen said:

I'd say HZD is technically an RPG

 

You're free to say what you'd like, just know that you're incorrect.

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4 hours ago, breakingthegreen said:

Now yes I'd say HZD is technically an RPG, but it's also a third person shooter. Which ever you think is more important to the game's identity should be your answer. Hell, you may even say it's a stealth game if you wanted.


Throwing in various gear and having a skill tree doesn’t make Horizon a RPG. 
 

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 3 were more RPG like in comparison. 
 

The term is applied so loosely these days I can’t in any possible way consider Horizon nor God of War 2018 RPGs. Did the definition of RPG change over time? Perhaps, but it’s rather weak to call these two games RPGs in my opinion. 
 

I might as well call some horror survival games shooters, because I can carry a few guns on me and blow off some guys head clean off, done in the style as The Walking Dead television series.

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