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Elder Scrolls Are there even Elder-Scrolls-like Exploration RPGs?

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Moaning_Clock, Apr 20, 2021.

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  1. Molina Learned

    Molina
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    You want morrowind vibes ? Cave of Qud or Kenshi.
     
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  2. MotherMachinae Arcane

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    Why not Divinity - Dragon Knight Saga?
     
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  3. Moaning_Clock SmokeSomeFrogs Developer

    Moaning_Clock
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    That one was also recommended by a friend, sounds good!
     
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  4. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    If we go with first/third person open world RPG, then there really aren't that many games like it.

    I guess you can count Legends of Valor, which was a major influence on The Elder Scrolls Arena, but it's a very limited game compared to TES. It has some interesting ideas though. Not that open a world since it's set in a single city, no globetrotting wilderness wanderings here.

    Then of course Ultima Underworld 1 & 2 which started the whole "first person exploration RPG with free movement" genre. It's not an open world but a big multi-level dungeon, which can be explored in any way you wish. Highly recommended. Lots of cool shit to discover in this game.

    In the vein of Ultima Underworld, there's also Arx Fatalis. Big multi-level dungeon with lots of fun stuff to discover. But like UU it lacks an overworld.

    And uh... I guess we can count Ultima IX too. It's third person, it has an open world, the issue is just that it sucks as a game. Only play it if you're desperate.

    Gothic, Risen, Elex... pretty much every single game Piranha Bytes ever made is an open world exploration-focused RPG. Their worlds are quite a bit smaller than TES on average (with ELEX and Gothic 3 having the biggest worlds) but they're of high quality. Lots of stuff to discover and a decent hand-crafted difficulty curve. No random stuff here. They're top notch and the only thing on the market that even remotely compares to Elder Scrolls. Sadly it lacks custom character creation. Risen 2 and 3 are less good than the rest, though (and less open world than the rest).

    Kingdom Come Deliverance is a "Skyrim killer" set in medieval Bohemia. Others already recommended it - it's good. And one of the very very few historical RPGs out there.

    Two Worlds is a budget version of Elder Scrolls. It's decent, but nothing special. Two Worlds 2 is more of the same but the world is less open, instead it's divided into distinct zones, each of which is its own mini-open world. It's not great, but it's decent enough. There are also several expansions for it because the developer decided to milk it dry... I don't know if those expansions are any good, didn't try them, but the most recent one has a shit review score on Steam.

    Outward, as others already mentioned, is a game that tries merging TES style exploration with survival game elements. It's pretty decent overall but the world feels a bit empty.

    Enderal was already mentioned. Do try it out, and also give Nehrim a try - a total converison mod for Oblivion, made by the same team as Enderal. Both are available as standalone installs on Steam, free to play if you own the base game on Steam.

    I guess Might and Magic 6 to 9 kinda somewhat sorta fit into that mold. You play as a party of 4 characters instead of a single dude/dudette, but the exploration is pretty great. There's lots to discover, there's a spell that allows you to walk on water, a spell that allows you to jump very high, a spell that allows you to fly... lots of fun stuff.

    There's a cheap indie RPG I picked up on the last Steam sale called "The Dark: Survival RPG" which kinda fits the bill. It has more survival elements than TES, but it also has a big handcrafted world to explore with stuff to find in every corner. Haven't played it a lot yet though so I can't give a definite "Is it worth playing?" answer.

    D.W. Bradley's Dungeon Lords is a third person action RPG with an open world and exploration, but its structure is way more linear than TES, and it's overall a very mediocre game. Not even half as great as the man's previous works.

    Fallout 4 is surprisingly decent if you ignore the story and focus on exploring the dungeons. It has some genuinely good dungeon design, which is a surprise after Skyrim's donut-shaped dungeons of linearity.

    I guess the Dark Souls games kinda somewhat qualify? They're open world, you have full custom character creation, and they're action RPGs with finding loot and leveling up your stats. They feel very different to TES, but they're the same basic genre of open world exploration-focused action RPG.

    Assassins' Creed Odyssey and Valhalla both added "RPG elements" to the old Assassins' Creed formula, but to be honest the introduction of these elements made the games worse rather than better. Many enemies are HP sponges and you have to grind repetitive side quest activities to level up. Meh.

    Dragon's Dogma was already mentioned, and it's pretty damn good. The only action RPG where companions are an actual help rather than getting in the way of your main char. Sadly the cities feel a bit dead because it's a Japanese-made game and Japs don't know how to deliver interactive NPC dialogue and sidequests.

    FRONTIERS is a kickstarted game that promised to be a spiritual successor to Daggerfall, with more focus on exploration and mapping out the world than fighting combats. People had high hopes for it, but the solo dev had some issues with managing a project this big, and the end result was very disappointing. But credit where credit is due, he didn't abandon the game but finished it and released a working 1.0 version. It's just nowhere near what has been promised in the Kickstarter. Play it if you're really desperate for more games of this type.

    The Precursors is a Russki-made slavjank FPS-RPG hybrid in a sci-fi setting with some beautifully weird vistas. It's light on the RPG elements but it's a pretty good game regardless. You get several planets to explore, and even space battles to fight in a figher shuttle. The planets are all open worlds, but they're relatively small, and the first planet is the most content-packed one. They become more sparse as the game goes on.
     
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  5. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    Which is partly my point.

    Play games where it's actually worth exploring.
     
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  6. luj1 You're all shills

    luj1
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  7. mkultra Augur

    mkultra
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    They did that with Divine Divinity. They seem to have absolutely zero intensions of ever doing an immersive RPG again, they stripped NPC schedules and even day night cycles from their games. They have moved away completely from their U7 roots, it was a one time thing i believe.

    KCD seemed so good, followed it from the start and absolutely hated it, i could never learn the combat in that game, way too complex, which is too bad because the rest of the game seemed really great, loved the graphics too..
     
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  8. Funposter Magister

    Funposter
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    In terms of the gameplay from a mechanical perspective, Piranha Bytes games and Kingdom Come: Deliverance are probably the closest (discounting Bethesda's Fallout titles and New Vegas). However both of those examples fail at one of the key features of TES, which is full character customization/creation. I think it's entirely fair to say that there's not really anything which compares to TES in terms of the core gameplay structure. Compare this to Baldur's Gate, for example, which has numerous "clones", "spiritual successors" and "inspired-by"s.
     
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  9. KateMicucci Savant

    KateMicucci
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    The combat isn't complex. It just relies very very heavily on your character stats. You will get unblockable countered by enemies not because you messed up but because your stats are too low. It gets much much easier as you grind and level up.

    I also dropped it, not because of the combat but because of quest-breaking bugs and the very long cutscenes.
     
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  10. HoboForEternity sunset tequila Patron

    HoboForEternity
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    They aren't the same at all. Comparing those to skyrim and most tes games are disservice to those games. At the same time, there isn't anytjing that replicate the appeal of bethesda's game either. The complete playground open world, without being too artificial (like ubisoft games).
     
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  11. Assisted Living Godzilla Cipher

    Assisted Living Godzilla
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    Oddly enough, given how fucking huge of a money maker Bethesda's open world formula has been for Bethesda, not really. You'd think between like the release of at least Oblivion in 2006 and now we'd be getting a number of open world action sandbox games set in some fantasy world where exploring dungeons and the world was kind of the focus, kind of like after GTA3 in 2001 you had a bunch of sandbox games for two generations of consoles, but it didn't happen.

    For whatever reason everyone just kind of does it adjacent enough to not really hit the shit people seem to like about Bethesda games, or just be something completely different. Like there's some survival games that do the exploration stuff better, but there's also even less of an RPG than Skyrim and Fallout 4...and those aren't RPGs. There's some Ubisoft open world stuff like Far Cry and Assassin's Creed, but exploration isn't quite the same; although now depending on the game you might have some leveling aspect to it.

    Kingdom Come: Deliverance and Two Worlds 2 are kind of about it when it comes to games that are pretty specifically in the mold of Elder Scrolls. There's also the first Two Worlds game but that fucking sucked. Most of the stuff I can think of that would get compared to Elder Scrolls games had smaller open worlds with more stagy kinds of layouts to them.

    There's also Breath of the Wild, although that isn't a RPG. But then neither are Betheads games anymore either, so how much that matters to you I don't know.

    This isn't exactly true, since the game was first pitched a couple years before Oblivion came out. But yeah, they did drop a lot of locations for budget reasons. Although I wouldn't really say exploration is a big part of the game, despite it being open world. It does probably have better crafted dungeons than any Elder Scrolls or Fallout game.
     
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  12. bylam Funcom Developer

    bylam
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    Play Conan Exiles singleplayer. You can jack up harvest rates and play it as an exploration game. It doesn't have quests but the world is fun to explore. Naturally, I am ridiculously biased.
     
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  13. mkultra Augur

    mkultra
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    Is it really though? I mean what can you even find, any unique loot, any interesting NPC's or cities etc?

    As someone who loves Conan i was very disappointed in it. But i haven't played in perhaps 2 years.
     
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  14. Poseidon00 Arcane

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    Might and Magic 6/7/8 is really the closest thing.
     
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  15. Alexander DeLarge Cipher

    Alexander DeLarge
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    For exploration? Assassin's Creed Valhalla & Odyssey unironically
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Desiderius Found your egg, Robinett, you sneaky bastard Patron

    Desiderius
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    Insert Title Here Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Enderal different enough to justify a playthrough if you had your fill of Skyrim five years ago?
     
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  17. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Strap Yourselves In Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    It's worth a gander frere.
     
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  18. Bloodeyes Arcane

    Bloodeyes
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  19. Lord Commissar Alexer Learned

    Lord Commissar Alexer
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    Just buy Skyrim again.
     
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  20. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Strap Yourselves In Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Todd Howard please leave
     
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  21. bylam Funcom Developer

    bylam
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    I mean it kinda depends what you were disappointed in - but the exploration stuff (again as someone who designed a lot of it so has intimate knowledge)
    - Hundreds of locations - many of them containing some lore/backstory.
    - All of the lore stones scattered around that tell the history of the Exiled Lands.
    - Three ancient civilizations (all of them from Howard's notes) with backstory.
    - A bunch of dungeons - each is unique and contains their own story etc.
    - The factions, their capitals.
    - Sepermeru is an NPC city (but kinda simple because we lacked basic AI etc.)
    - Echoes of past events seen through ghosts in the world.
    - Unique loot is more about finding unique recipes for crafting items since that is a focus of the game.

    I guess it depends what you want - it isn't as content dense as Skyrim because it didn't have quests or even more than a handful of dialogue NPCs, but it is a coherent world that touches on a lot of the world-building aspects of Howard.
    And there is a story that can be pieced together and even completed - where you escape the Exiled Lands forever.

    It's not exactly a Skyrim style RPG but the world has a lot more to discover than most games IMO (again biased).
     
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  22. Moaning_Clock SmokeSomeFrogs Developer

    Moaning_Clock
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    Should really play Nehrim and Enderal somewhen, really liked Arktwend back in the day.


    thanks for all the suggestions guys!
     
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  23. V_K Arcane

    V_K
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    Besides the already mentioned, Ultima 5: Lazarus and Ultima 6 Project (remakes of U5 and U6 in Dungeon Siege engine) definitely qualify. Seven: Days Long Gone also has a continuous open world and a focus on stealth and infiltration, so exploration plays a big role.
    Otherwise, depends on how attached you are to 3D, first-person perspective, and the world being continuous. For me, Jeff Vogel's Exile/Avernum games come closest to evoking the feel of TES as free-exploration games with fairly large, open and unique world with lots of lore, even though they're turn-based and party-based. Avernum 4 even has single-scale exploration, even though it's isometric and animations are rather limited. The same can be largely said about Eschalon series, although they are single-character and the world is more standard fantasy fare.
     
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  24. Moaning_Clock SmokeSomeFrogs Developer

    Moaning_Clock
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    Honestly, it's more about the Bethesdian Feeling - can't really pinpoint it to one thing, exploration is the closest. I have a copy of all the 6 Avernum parts on gog. Eschalon looks interesting. The only thing I dislike about the Vogel games (the couple I tried) is that they have a lot to read and no German localization but that's just a comfort feature.
     
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