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A lot of folks speak about the resurgance of Isometreic RPGs and how it was short lived, but honestly, I think developers are reading the market wrong. When Isometreic legends like baulder gate were released, they were trying to do a narrative breakthrough in games, the (isometreic rpg) part was just a boat for the awesome narrative.

Now, years later, Bioware did two series of games that follow their narrative tredition, but plays more like a modern game then previous titles. THAT is what caused the resurgance, yes, if people famous for narrative make an isometric RPG, I will buy it, but I don't have any strong feelings about the fighting.

But I enjoyed ME3 far more, because between the narratives, I played a half baked 3rd person shooter, which even on half baked is still more engaging than fully baked tactical turn based play.

Obsidion, to me, are a company of which I will always buy every game, they earned that, but honestly, I want them to sell more, so they can make more, and to do that, they need to forget about the "resurgance" of isometreic rpgs, and focus on the resurgance of "companieons that are awesome with seriously thought out back stories, worlds that are never done giving you mystries, and dialog trees, lots and lots of dialog trees."
The way I see it, Pillars of Eternity was riding on that Baldur's Gate nostalgia. It was a great throwback to the golden era of gaming, but they overproduced it in a way and did many other things wrong. Tyranny is a weird cousin of PoE in the sense that it tries to introduce some new ideas using the existing engine/interface, while experimenting with a few new features (maybe a case study for subsequent games?). With Pillars of Eternity 2, the nostalgia wave is gone and it is mostly a tired product with nothing new. I believe the hype for isometric RPGs will die for a while, only to experience a resurgence in a few years.
Yes, I really am into isometric RPGs, and I greatly prefer their combat over Bioware's more recent offerings. Plus, when they changed the combat, Bioware also massively over simplified dialogue, which means their narratives are taking hits, too.
In my opinion, these kind of games (PoE , Tyranny and games alike) bring me something that I use to love a lot in older games when I was younger, giving place to the player imagination through reading.

By imagination, I mean that you can picture what you read personnaly, sometimes differently than another player and this leads to interesting discussion.
In a way, it feels like reading a book where you are the hero, but in a much more visual and interactive way. I love reading books (even if I also play games) and for me, they are siblings. When I explain a game to someone, I always start by describing it as a book.
Of course I guess playing pen & paper games in my old days also helped a lot with this.

Another thing I trully love in this category of game, is that you have to manage a team, their gears, their growth, and "raising" them is an interesting challenge that can be shared with other players.
I never really liked these kinds of games back in the day because they were too text heavy for me.

Only some years ago I got into them because of Avernum Escape From The Pit being in Humble Bundle and me being bored.

What I really love about these games is indeed the isometric style (I hate 3D style) and the level of freedom and mystery these games offer. I don't really like the combat much as I prefer turn-based. Still much better than shooter combat like in Mass Effect (I don't like gun combat in general even if it's turn-based like in Shadowrun).
The isometric perspective, either turn or real-time with pause combat (no pure real-time for me thanks, I hate RTSs for a reason), the complexity of tactics, the characters raising in power, the epic story, and the interesting setting is a whole package deal to me. I enjoy each of Darklands, Fallout, Arcanum, ToEE, BGs, PST, IWDs, PoE, Tyranny, and more, just as much. Each one of them has some low points, but to me they do not subtract from the overall enjoyment.
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tws.orange: When Isometreic legends like baulder gate were released, they were trying to do a narrative breakthrough in games, the (isometreic rpg) part was just a boat for the awesome narrative.
I have to give a big NAH to that idea in my opinion. Up until then CRPGs, and especially D&D CRPGs, had had a really tough time conveying the "epicness" of the settings. Don't jump on me old timer fans, but the first person dungeon crawlers sucked in that aspect compared to almost any text description based game from before them, and to all 3rd person perspective games after them (even the later 3PP D&D Gold Box ones were light years ahead of the FPP ones). The best 1st person perspective RPG which I can think of (and which absolutely love and replay often) is Betrayal at Krondor... and even it has an abysmal result at conveying the setting graphically. Thank goodness for the awesome text in that game.

When we saw for the first time the hand painted backgrounds of BG, IWD and BG2... It was glorious (and it still is for me). I cannot think of a game that presents graphically the Forgotten Realms in a better way than those. The CG backgrounds of newer isometric RPGs are still good, but no so much as those. Maybe a future 3D game might do something that moves me in the same way, but I doubt it.
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tws.orange: and focus on the resurgance of "companieons that are awesome with seriously thought out back stories, worlds that are never done giving you mystries, and dialog trees, lots and lots of dialog trees."
All good things, surely, but they are not an absolute must for my enjoyment. Imagine: I liked IWD just as much as PST (even if I might grade them differently if I had to put numbers to them).
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tws.orange: But I enjoyed ME3 far more, because between the narratives, I played a half baked 3rd person shooter, which even on half baked is still more engaging than fully baked tactical turn based play.
You almost lost me there dude :P Love good stories, and good FPSs but... no, just NO

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I might think of something more to write about this later, but I'm too tired right now.
Post edited February 21, 2019 by Links