Adventure RPGs, Where Are They Now?

I’m in the middle of a Quest for Glory marathon – well slow-a-thon I think – and recently finished the 3rd game, arguably the weakest of the 5.  This series was the starting point for adventure RPGs and since then, we really haven’t see any strong outings.  Action RPGs are all over the place, were combat takes massive precedence over story.  At least recently, with Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 3 as good examples.  Where are the adventure games though?  The thrill of using your mind to solve something rather than your twitch muscles just seems like a lost art.

Where do I have to look now?  I can only find minor outings on mobile devices but a large game?  The last adventure game I can remember is Mist!  The main issue with adventure games is that there is typically only 1 solution to a given problem and that makes games have only 1 playthrough at best.  Heavy Rain sure did try to change this and had some moderate success but it felt more like a choose-your-adventure game rather than a true adventure.

I’d love to have a game with that Indiana Jones combination of brains and brawn once again.  Puzzles that have various solutions based not only on the tools available but on the skills you have.  If you’re a gunslinger, perhaps you can shoot the lights out in the room but if you’re an acrobat, you can sneak behind everyone instead.  And having your success based on a skill check too, with a failure bringing you back down to the common thread outcome – a fistfight.

I wonder who will take a stab at this niche in gaming that just isn’t seeing the love it deserves.

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