#1 Posted by Original_Hank (132 posts) -

I've been looking for a rpg to play, particularly one in a science fiction setting. The obvious ones like Mass effect, Deus Ex and Fallout I have already been through, and enjoyed a lot. I'm hoping someone can recommend me something, maybe a little bit older or off the radar? I never tried any of the Star Ocean games or Xenogears, are those worth going through?

#2 Posted by SunBroZak (1263 posts) -

Borderlands 2 is pretty good, mindless fun, but it's not your traditional RPG. The STALKER series is also worth checking out, or at least, Call of Pripyat. It's similar to the likes of Metro: 2033 and Fallout.

#3 Posted by csl316 (9233 posts) -

Knights of the Old Republic

Online
#4 Edited by believer258 (12079 posts) -

I've never played Xenogears or Xenosaga, but from what I understand both rely heavily on philosophy and metaphysics and religious imagery and such. Might still be worth checking out, those games have their fans.

Shadowrun Returns might be what you're looking for.

Video games seem to be lacking in excellent science fiction RPG's, especially hard science fiction.

#5 Posted by Sinusoidal (1738 posts) -

Xenogears is pretty awesome, but also a bit of a slog: expect at least 80 hours first playthrough, the last 10-20 of which being a long string of story with few playing parts since the budget ran out. Also, unlike the three you mentioned that you've already played, it is Japanese as fuck.

I've never played a Star Ocean, but they seem to get really mixed reviews.

Phantasy Star 1, 2 and 4 still hold up if you don't mind playing 8-bit and 16-bit rpgs that can tend to be a bit of a grindfest. Especially 2. There is no Phantasy Star 3.

Many Final Fantasy are at least partially sci-fi.

PS2's Rogue Galaxy seems to have gained some cult status.

#6 Edited by Ravelle (1374 posts) -

@original_hank said:

I've been looking for a rpg to play, particularly one in a science fiction setting. The obvious ones like Mass effect, Deus Ex and Fallout I have already been through, and enjoyed a lot. I'm hoping someone can recommend me something, maybe a little bit older or off the radar? I never tried any of the Star Ocean games or Xenogears, are those worth going through?

I really recommend Star Ocean 2, it's been quite a while since I've played it but I really enjoyed it back in the day. It has a good story, interesting characters and awesome fast based combat.

#7 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (1870 posts) -

Chrono Trigger is a classic for a reason, and while it may at first appear to be a standard medieval fantasy RPG, there's plenty of science fiction elements introduced as things progress. There's also the recent Shadowrun game, Shadowrun Returns, which I haven't played myself but have heard some good things about (particularly it's mix of XCOM style combat with western RPG design).

#8 Posted by L1GHTN1N (493 posts) -

Anachronox isn't a terrible choice if you're looking for something off the radar. It's made by Ion Storm who are the guys that did Deus Ex and goes for $6 on GOG. I picked it up without knowing anything about it and really enjoyed what I played of it, would love to go back to it at some point.

#9 Posted by Jeust (10804 posts) -

Xenoblade Chronicles and Star Ocean: The Last Hope. Both of them are solid titles.

#10 Posted by csl316 (9233 posts) -

Chrono Trigger is a classic for a reason, and while it may at first appear to be a standard medieval fantasy RPG, there's plenty of science fiction elements introduced as things progress.

I was going to mention Chrono Cross, myself. Trigger has future elements, but I remember Cross having a prominent sci fi aspect to it, too.

Both are worth playing, regardless. CC has one of my favorite battle systems.

Online
#11 Edited by Stonyman65 (2808 posts) -

The only thing I can think of that hasn't been mentioned already is Wasteland 2 and E.Y.E. Divine Cybermancy.

#12 Posted by Giantstalker (1708 posts) -

I've heard nothing but good things about Starpoint Gemini 2, but I haven't played it myself yet. I definitely plan to, though, once I finish my slog through Divinity.

#13 Edited by believer258 (12079 posts) -

@stonyman65 said:

The only thing I can think of that hasn't been mentioned already is Wasteland 2 and E.Y.E. Divine Cybermancy.

Wasteland 2 looks interesting but isn't finished yet, which is why I didn't mention it.

I bought E.Y.E. for almost nothing a year or so ago, might have been a little more. It's one of the worst-designed I've ever seen. I mean, it has some cool gameplay ideas, but anyone buying it should know that they're leaping into something that people like because of its ideas, not because any of it is executed competently.

Calling Chrono Trigger science fiction is a bit of a stretch. Sure, you have Lucca's machines and Robo, and Lavos is a creature from space who is on Earth to reproduce and consume energy, but there's way more fantasy and magic in that game. And most of the science fiction-y technology is too outlandish to really fit. However, I will never tell someone to not play Chrono Trigger. It's a must-play in my book.

EDIT: How science fiction-y is Alpha Protocol?

#14 Posted by CrusaderNoRemorse (17 posts) -

@believer258: Alpha Protocol is not science fiction-y at all, as far as I remember. Well aside from the whole when you develop your stealth skill you literally become invisible.

I got no idea why, but your mention of science fiction really made me want to play through Escape from Butcher Bay again, man what an awesome game.

#15 Posted by BeachThunder (12276 posts) -

Septerra Core.

EDIT: How science fiction-y is Alpha Protocol?

You get some gadgets, but that's the closest you get to being science fiction.

#16 Edited by believer258 (12079 posts) -

@beachthunder said:

Septerra Core.

@believer258 said:

EDIT: How science fiction-y is Alpha Protocol?

You get some gadgets, but that's the closest you get to being science fiction.

Ah, well.

System Shock 2, then. You could call it a first person shooter, but it's pretty heavy on the RPG elements.

#17 Posted by MB (12911 posts) -

I'll second Shadowrun Returns. If you can hold off, watch out for Steam sales because it tends to go on sale for $3.75-$5 every other month or so.

Moderator
#18 Edited by chrissedoff (2157 posts) -

I've never played Xenogears or Xenosaga, but from what I understand both rely heavily on philosophy and metaphysics and religious imagery and such. Might still be worth checking out, those games have their fans.

Shadowrun Returns might be what you're looking for.

Video games seem to be lacking in excellent science fiction RPG's, especially hard science fiction.

Shadowrun Returns is a really cool game - especially the expansion. The only bummer about it is that it's very easy.

Xenogears is an absolute mess in terms of plot, design and gameplay. It might have blown your mind if you were 14 and the year was 1999, but now it's just a particularly nutty JRPG with a really convoluted story, random encounters, bad graphics and a poorly conceived combat system. I would steer clear unless you're already really curious.

#19 Posted by Aetheldod (3681 posts) -

@chrissedoff: WEll you are a liar >:3 Xenogears is an awesome game (and before you say that it is rose tinetd glasses I recently played it and liked it just as much as always) .... any way yes it is very japanes , if you dont like that then dont play it , perhaps I would better recommend the Xenosaga games , they are a bit story heavy tho , but has a nice japanese anime space opera vibe.

#20 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4731 posts) -

Resonance of Fate? That's scifi-ish...right?

#21 Edited by fisk0 (4396 posts) -

A bit older and under the radar - if you can stand running an Amiga emulator and having to switch disk images a lot, I'd recommend Perihelion: The Prophecy (it's graphics artist Edvard Toth has made it available, along with an pre-configured Amiga Emulator on his website: http://edvardtoth.com/games/perihelion/) and Hired Guns (quick notice on Hired Guns, the screenshots on the GB page are of an entirely different game which I can't identify - the real Hired Guns also uses split screen, but plays like a traditional grid based dungeon crawler).

There's also Consortium, released earlier this year and which I haven't tried, but heard some interesting things about.

Oh, I also haven't tried UnderRail, which is in early access, but kinda seems to be aiming for something in the vein of the first two Fallout games: http://store.steampowered.com/app/250520/

Oh, and there's Bionic Dues, which is more of an rogue-lite with mechs. Grid based, top down combat. Didn't really grab me, but I kinda enjoyed the general atmosphere. I guess I was hoping for something more in the vein of Front Mission.

#22 Edited by Original_Hank (132 posts) -

Wow, thanks for all the suggestions! I forgot to mention it in my original post but i totally love the stalker games, Shadow Over Chernobyl is probably one of my all time favorites.

@csl316 How does Kotor compare to mass effect 1? I definitely like starwars, if its just like ME1 but with starwars setting I would totally play that.

Anachronox seems like a pretty cool game, as does Shadowrun Returns. I really would like to play that Cyberpunk 2077 game but considering that's not going to be out for a while this seems like it might be a decent replacement.

E.Y.E. Divine Cybermancy I tried a few times and could not make heads or tails of it. It looks like the kind of game I would really get into in setting, but I have a really hard time understanding what I'm supposed to be doing and why.

I love Chrono Trigger, never tried Chrono Cross though. I always heard a lot of not super favorable things about that game, but that might be something worth checking out anyway just to see for myself.

I still got a playstation 2 so I'll see if I can find star ocean 2 for a decent price.

Thanks again for all the suggestions!

#23 Edited by Hayt (327 posts) -

Shadowrun Returns is excellent as a few people have mentioned. It's 100% Russian and 200% broken but if you can get it working Precursors is like a sci-fi Stalker game and I've heard good things from die hards.

#24 Posted by csl316 (9233 posts) -

@original_hank: Going back to Kotor, or even Jade Empire, you see a lot of seeds of what would become Mass Effect. Character-based, tactical gameplay with an emphasis on exploration and choice. Lots of quests, gear, and dialogue with a pretty good overarching story. More melee combat than shooting, and it's been a loooong time since I've touched it so I'm curious what it'd be like to go back after ME. But at the time, I remember loving it a great deal.

And people hate on Chrono Cross because the story's more complex than Trigger. There are more characters so it's you don't get as intimately familiar with your party. At least, that's my understanding. I played Cross first and thought it was a brilliant game. With some gorgeous art and music to go along with an engaging and dynamic combat system.

Online
#25 Edited by Original_Hank (132 posts) -

@hayt: 100% russian is right up my alley. I actually tried that game a while back and it seemed super promising but, sorta similar to EYE Divine Cybermancy, I couldn't really wrap my head around it. A game like that though with a bit more polish would be something I would be all over.

#26 Edited by audioBusting (1638 posts) -

I played Star Ocean 2 and Till The End of Time, and I thought they were both good but took a while to finally leave the fantasy RPG world. Till The End of Time in particular has some crazy sci-fi mindfuck plot twists near the end of the game.

I really liked Xenogears even when I didn't care much for the story (my English wasn't as good back then). I remember the mech stuff being pretty rad. Edit: I should also mention that I never got to Disc 2 so that might have colored my opinion for the game.

#27 Edited by syz (252 posts) -

I recommend just listening to the Xenosaga 3 soundtrack.

#28 Edited by TheHT (11663 posts) -

@original_hank: KotOR is probably closer to Dragon Age Origins, but sci-fi. I'll throw in my hat with those suggesting Shadowrun Returns. Looking forward to getting around to the DLC.

Also, The Old Republic is basically a KotOR MMO. 8 different storylines too, all with dialogue options and whatnot. When I first started playing I found myself frequently hitting F5 to auto-save, thinking I was playing a single-player BioWare RPG. Just keep in mind it's still an MMO, so if you're not overly fond of the classic sort of trinity gameplay (like in World of Warcraft), this is a whole lot of that.

Of course, it's also free-to-play, so you can try it out for yourself if you've got the time to spare. Only advice I'd give is if you're not enjoying the way things are going with your class, try another. Seriously. It might be the way that one plays, or it might just be that the story is completely sapping all excitement from you. I'm currently playing through all classes, and some are definitely more exciting than others, whether it's because of the narrative or the dialogue options.

The Smuggler and Sith Warrior storylines probably my favourite so far, for what it's worth.

Online
#30 Posted by mason20 (221 posts) -

Xenogears is pretty awesome, but also a bit of a slog: expect at least 80 hours first playthrough, the last 10-20 of which being a long string of story with few playing parts since the budget ran out. Also, unlike the three you mentioned that you've already played, it is Japanese as fuck.

I've never played a Star Ocean, but they seem to get really mixed reviews.

Phantasy Star 1, 2 and 4 still hold up if you don't mind playing 8-bit and 16-bit rpgs that can tend to be a bit of a grindfest. Especially 2. There is no Phantasy Star 3.

What!? No love for Phantasy Star 3? Heresy! But I love all 4 and may even say that the Phantasy Star series is the best RPG of that generation. Especially the way PS2 and PS3 paved the road for Jrpg to follow.

#31 Posted by FreezyFrog (90 posts) -
  • KOTOR
  • KOTOR 2
  • Too Human
#32 Edited by charlie_victor_bravo (1066 posts) -
#33 Posted by fisk0 (4396 posts) -
#34 Posted by goonage (53 posts) -

The only one I could think of is Cyberpunk 2077, but it doesn't have a release date.

#35 Edited by BisonHero (6789 posts) -

Infinite Space on the DS is actually pretty good. The combat isn't great (it's really simple), but eventually your ships get so powerful that you can just trolololol stomp all the random encounters and then your engineering bay almost immediately heals all the damage in between fights. But the story is actually a pretty good space opera with some significantly different major acts to it, with a pretty big cast of characters you can assign to various positions within your fleet. Also it has a cool ship customizing feature where you're given a blueprint for a ship and how much space it has inside, and then you have a host of different bridges, engine rooms, crew quarters, medical bays, engineering bays, etc., that are all shaped like Tetris pieces (well, many of them are bigger than Tetris pieces, but you get my meaning) and you have to slot them into the ship blueprints in the most effective way possible, which I found to be a pretty clever system.

The finale is kinda depressing in a Mass Effect 3 sort of way, but it fits the story much better than Mass Effect, because Infinite Space never makes you believe that it's super fun times Star Wars and you're gonna get the Animal House epilogue where you get to see how everybody is doing after you saved the galaxy. Infinite Space is pretty clearly all about "yo dawg, we killin' off characters left and right."

#36 Posted by csl316 (9233 posts) -
Online
#37 Edited by Veektarius (4968 posts) -

Anachronox?

#38 Edited by Karkarov (3229 posts) -

Xenogears would be the best you could try. That said... Shadowrun Returns is good, but make sure to get the Dragonfall expansion as it is better than the initial game and makes some needed improvements. Rogue Galaxy is also very solid. Phantasy Star 2 and 4 are also very very good if a bit old. Star Ocean Till The End of Time is the one game in that series that is just plain solid and a good game. It is definitely worth checking out as it is uber sci fi and it's ending is well... a bit off the rails.

You could of course also go for Knights of the Old Republic but honestly I would advise any of the other games I have mentioned over them unless you are a die hard Star Wars fan.

#39 Posted by Brodehouse (10105 posts) -

@karkarov said:

Xenogears would be the best you could try. That said... Shadowrun Returns is good, but make sure to get the Dragonfall expansion as it is better than the initial game and makes some needed improvements.

Did they ever fix the way saving works? I don't always have 90 minutes to dedicate to finishing this run for sure, and I've got stuck redoing the same mission (the first time you do cyberspace) about three, maybe even four times, because I failed to get to wherever the checkpoint is before life or disinterest takes over.

I love Shadowrun and I recently just read Neuromancer, so I'm kind of jonesing for some cyberpunk RPG action.

#40 Posted by Marduke1913 (30 posts) -

its a throw back but you could play Amorines:Project Swarm for N64, for newer I agree with the Borderlands series, then you can look forward to the prequel as well!

#41 Posted by JasonR86 (9762 posts) -

Anachronox!

Or, Mass Effect.

...I really like Anachronox though.

Online
#42 Posted by Kidavenger (3599 posts) -
#43 Edited by Karkarov (3229 posts) -

@brodehouse said:

@karkarov said:

Xenogears would be the best you could try. That said... Shadowrun Returns is good, but make sure to get the Dragonfall expansion as it is better than the initial game and makes some needed improvements.

Did they ever fix the way saving works? I don't always have 90 minutes to dedicate to finishing this run for sure, and I've got stuck redoing the same mission (the first time you do cyberspace) about three, maybe even four times, because I failed to get to wherever the checkpoint is before life or disinterest takes over.

I love Shadowrun and I recently just read Neuromancer, so I'm kind of jonesing for some cyberpunk RPG action.

Yeah they did, which is a big part of why I stress getting Dragonfall, having the expansion is what fixes it.

#44 Posted by SomeJerk (3361 posts) -

The Phantasy Star games are immortal classics, if you can get 1000 points on the Japanese PSN and have a PS3 there is the PS2 collection there with English Language roms emulated. The first two are heavy on the 80's standard and feature a lot of turn-based combat and grinding compared to storybits, but what story there is, is huge and got emotional right from the start of the first game in great ways. The last two games are from the 90's and deeper in story and chatter, taking inspiration from how RPGs changed and modernized with the 16 bit consoles but so much more colourful and touching than what the competition had - I say this as a lover of sci-fi of course.

When it comes to Star Ocean, the fourth game Star Ocean: The Last Hope ("International" and only one disc with the option for original Japanese language and 2D portraits and tasteful UI designs) has a lot of regrettable anime cliche's in it being a bad victim of its time, but in the end it's hard sci-fi from start to finish along with great game systems, scenarios and progression, combat, crafting, exploration, alternate ending systems, music, environments, a list that goes on. It's easier to recommend to people than Tales of Graces F with regards to writing and characters. It's a strong reason for me to replace my dead and sold-for-parts PS3, as one can skip terrible character-building "WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS" screaming-at-the-screen cutscenes and focus on unlocking the mystery while having tolerable voices and art.

Xenogears is a bag of mixed nuts that quickly trips and fall over its own dick in the balance of storyblabber to gameplay, more religious mystery than sci-fi, did not go well with me but I'm happy I went through it just to learn what it had in store.

Xenoblade is "WHOA", hoping Xenoblade Chronicles X becomes Whoa^2.