The history of CRPG (computer role-playing game) is the rise of video games. Because RPG games initially found a foothold on personal computers, and then gradually developed into the mainstream games on all major platforms that we see now. The basic rules of RPGs such as narrative dominance, player roles, and upgrade mechanisms have become an indispensable part of all kinds of video games. But even so, CRPG still has special characteristics that other game types do not have. In the past few decades, why CPRG has such a profound influence and is still popular today is worthy of our review.
Although the definition of “modern CRPG” is very controversial, its origin is beyond doubt. The influence of “Dungeons & Dragons” published in 1974 on the video game world cannot be overemphasized. “Dungeons & Dragons” was co-created by Gary Gygax and David Arneson. It itself is an innovation to the strategic sandboard game of chess, adding more tension to it The personification of the character, and set a fantasy world similar to Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” and Robert E. Howard’s “(Conan)”. “Dungeons & Dragons” not only made board games popular, but also had a profound impact on early computer game designers.
In the mid and late 1970s, hard-working creators used large computers on university campuses to create games such as “Dungeon”, and the Unix system was able to support the random generation mechanism of “Rogue”, which was later called “roguelike”. “The origin of the game. But in order to be well-known outside the campus, Richard Garriott (Richard Garriott) began to try to adapt “Dungeons & Dragons” and Tolkien’s fantasy stories into computer games, which helped to create The first golden age of video games. His early work “Akalabeth: World of Doom” (1979) was the predecessor of the later “(Ultima)” series. “Ultima” is the enlightenment of many players in the dungeon adventure game. The wide overhead map in the game has become the pioneer of open world games in the future.
“Ultima” keeps launching sequels, especially “Ultima III: Exodus” (1983) and “Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar” (1985), which laid the conceptual and commercial aspects for the future CPRG Benchmark. But the “Ultima” series was not the only video game that tried to simulate “Dungeons & Dragons” at the time. “Wizardry” (1981) and its sequel created a rough first-person dungeon adventure game, and adopted a team system rather than a single-role game mode. Although it is far from the general system of RPG later, “Witchcraft” still introduced the very important faction system in “Dungeons & Dragons” for the first time. The team members in the game may be kind, neutral or evil, which will affect Their equipment and profession are optional.
These pioneering works, together with lesser-known classics such as “Dungeons of Daggorath” (1982) and “(The Sword of Fargoal)” (1982), paved the way for an endless stream of high-quality works in the late 1980s. Interplay’s “(Tales of the Unknown Vol.1)” (1985) is widely known under the subtitle “(The Bard’s Tale)” and achieved great success. While taking the first-person perspective of “Witchcraft”, “The Bard’s Tale” 》Meet players’ expectations of visual and sound effects better.
Another work that has made important innovations is “Dungeon Master” (1987). The 3D graphics and complex magic system of this work have triggered a new craze among players. “(Might and Magic)” made its debut in 1986. The vastness and sophistication of its game world and background settings made the entire industry busy catching up for a while. Even Sierra Entertainment, known for its adventure games, released the first work of the “Quest for Glory” series that focused more on the role-playing experience in 1989.
During this period, a game company named SSI conducted extensive experiments in many lesser-known works, laying the foundation for the combat and exploration mechanisms of its subsequent works. However, it wasn’t until the official authorization of the ADnD (Advanced Dungeons and Dragons) system that SSI truly reached its peak. The first work of the “(Gold Box)” series “(Pool of Radiance)” (1988) adopts DnD’s original rule variants and also incorporates the “(The Forgotten Realms)” campaign settings, making many CRPG enthusiasts shine. Players can also transfer their own characters to the sequel, extending the character’s adventure journey to multiple games, and follow-up masterpieces such as “(Mass Effect)” as a selling point.
Although the games that laid the foundation for CPRG were not produced by SSI, there are still a small number of people who believe that “Gold Box” is the direct start of the popular trend in the CRPG world in the following years. Because “(Curse of the Azure Bonds)”, “(Champions of Krynn)” and several other “Gold Box” games feature team battles, long-term mission plots, and dungeon adventures: so later officially authorized DnD rules games are Followed in their footsteps. Similarly, the “Gold Box” series gave birth to the first graphical MMORPG “(Neverwinter Nights)” (1991), and gave video games a place in the social field.
At the same time, while the “DnD fundamentalists” worked hard to discover the content of the rule book that could be adapted, other developers chose another way. “(Autoduel)” (1985) showed the “(Mad Max)” style drag racing. “(Star Saga)” (1988) directly sent players to space, creating a background as grand as “Sword and Magic” for games with a science fiction background. The post-apocalyptic style created by “(Wasteland)” (1988) later gave birth to a hit like “(Fallout)”.
In the mid-1990s, the concept of RPG has become much broader and is no longer limited to traditional CRPG. The development of the “Ultima” series is divided into two general directions. The action and non-linear simulation elements of “Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss” (1992) are still present in many other IPs today. reflect. “Ultima Online” (1997) established an early benchmark for the emerging MMO field. And don’t forget, the complete action mode Blizzard used in “(Diablo)” (1997) will be self-contained in the future. But it is precisely the large number of 2.5D games in this era that have led players to solidify their understanding of CRPG, and this concept has continued even today.
However, Fallout (1997) broke the boundaries with a dark ironic tone and challenging exploratory gameplay. “(Baldur’s Gate)” (1998) promoted the development of officially licensed DnD games in one fell swoop, and regained the entire RPG field in the era when shooting games and other action games gradually became mainstream. The sequel “(Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn)” (2000) is even more acclaimed and is often regarded as one of the games that defines RPG. “(Planescape: Torment)” (1999) demonstrated the possibility of a bizarre multidimensional universe setting and minimized the impact of combat on the development of the plot.
At the turn of the century, the direction of traditional CRPG has become complicated. The rapid growth of multiplayer content in MMO, games such as “Everquest” (1999) and BioWare’s “Neverwinter Nights” (2002) have shifted the focus to shared maps. “(Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic)” (2003) and the upcoming “(Elder Scrolls)” series these newer IPs are entering the console market. “(World of Warcraft)” was launched in 2004 and has won extremely high reviews. Then, “(Dragon Age: Origins)” (2009) proved that DnD-style fantasy games can be successful on both PC and console.
In the past 20 years, classic CRPGs have appeared from time to time, and finally reached the peak of revival in the past five years. Players who are eager to experience the huge and complex CPRG will definitely find those games that are significant in the history of CPRG from the above (although there are dozens of works that have not been mentioned). But what most players may want to know more about is the current CPRG new work. May wish to read other articles on this website, take a look at our recommended high-quality modern CPRG, and find out which one suits you best.