The role-playing game is the cornerstone of PC gaming. Long before shooters or real-time strategy, the earliest PC developers replicated their tabletop RPGs on the PC, building sprawling adventures filled with orcs and wizards and foul dungeons. Those early games slowly built on their tabletop origins, and RPGs eventually became so popular, their elements spread to other genres. Here are our 25 favorites: the RPGs we’d tell anyone to play right now.
Legend of Grimrock
From PlanetSide to Quake to Team Fortress, the current issue of PC Gamer US is locked and loaded to count down the 25 Greatest Shooters of All Time. Plus, we bring you our review of a brand new Eastern European dystopian shooter with mutants—Metro: Last Light—and invite you to Reinstall a classic Eastern European dystopian shooter with mutants—S.T.A.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl.
When it released last year, Legend of Grimrock was a loving throwback to a simpler age: back when dungeons were proper bloody dungeons. Back when dungeons were dark, repetitive, difficult to navigate without a map and full of giant spiders.
If you think you've reached the end of Legend of Grimrock's twisting stone warrens and clever traps, the Master Quest is here to remind you that the mighty crawl never ends. Creator Komag's substantial work is a custom super-dungeon that tosses in more challenging enemies, puzzles, and even a value tracker for all the loot your party lugs around.
Near-weekly Steam deals and Humble Bundles mean you can't blink without stumbling into a PC gaming sale somewhere, and GOG isn't listening to your cries of sanctuary from these savings. Nope, it's holding you down and letting you buy five games from a list of hits for the amount of change you could probably find rooting around beneath your couch for a bit.
Almost Human's Legend of Grimrock applauds the dungeon crawlers of yesteryear with mutli-layered floors filled with complex puzzles and a Monster Manual's worth of enemies, and the arrival of a dungeon editor late last year forged an ambitious community of crafters. In pleasing news for those dungeon-delvers, Almost Human announced it's now working on Legend of Grimrock II.
Are hard-as-hell indie games enough to satiate our hunger for a challenge, or should mainstream developers quit trying to appease everyone and start really testing us? In this Face Off from our archives (originally published October 2012), Executive Editor Evan Lahti gives former Senior Editor Josh Augustine a hard time for his willingness to take it easy.
Almost Human, developers of Legend of Grimrock, have shared details on the performance of their Dungeon Master inspired RPG. According to their 2012 recap post, the game racked up over 600,000 sales through the year. To celebrate, they've also released teaser images of some brand new dark, dank dungeons, suggesting that new content is incoming.
The seventh Humble Indie Bundle is upon us, just in time for the holidays. For whatever cash you’ve got left over after your shopping’s done you get a slew of indie winners that include The Binding of Isaac, bloody platformer Shank 2, the surreal Closure, the gross-tastic Binding of Isaac (and its Wrath of the Lamb DLC), and colorful sidescroller Snapshot.
Choosing the best thing out of a pile of really good things is always a tough decision, but hey, we're used to it. You too can participate in the careful choicemaking by voting for your favorite mod and indie game of the year over at Mod DB and Indie DB, where the top 100 nominations were just plucked from a gargantuan pool of over 9,000 mods and 5,500 indies.
Friday only, GameFly has Battlefield 3 for $10. Friday is such a generous day! Looking forward, Steam's weekend is dedicated to THQ, with 50% off its collection, individually or in a bundle, Amazon has 10% off Borderlands 2 and War of the Roses, Green Man has another 25% off voucher code, and Legend of Grimrock is 50% off at GOG. Much more after the jump.
Legend of Grimrock is an affectionate modern take on ye dungeon crawlers of olde, which means its maps are built around great big multi-layered grids. There's plenty of scope for some intricate puzzles in them there grids, however. That makes Legends of Grimrock the perfect candidate for a dungeon editor. The boxy layouts are easy enough to attract the clumsy prodding of casual tinkerers like myself, but detailed enough to allow a talented modder to add a whole new wing to Grimrock's treasure-choked subterranean city.
Good news, everyone! Blue's News note a post on the Legend of Grimrock front page announcing a release date for their dungeon editor. 'Tis tomorrow. Put away that pencil and gridded maths paper. We have something so much better now.
Almost Human's dungeon-plumber Legend of Grimrock places the designer's chisel in your hands today with the public beta test of its level editor. A demonstration video shows how players combine Grimrock's accessible dungeon grid layouts and its 350 existing assets with custom scripts and models such as the fabled cow-wagon of ancient prophecy. This is nothing out of the ordinary and a perfectly normal thing.
What does hit-indie RPG Legend of Grimrock most need? Fewer goddamn spiders! What else? More levels! Somehow, I suspect we're only going to be half lucky when the level editor hits. Still, it's an impressive looking piece of kit, making it easy to lay down level grids, but with scripting to do interesting things with them. Amusingly, the enemies don't seem to know they're in an editor, and will happily try to eat your face off even as you build their home around them. Want to check it out? Here's a video...
I like most of Legend of Grimrock’s impenetrable puzzles. I like the way it makes consumables scarce. I like its shadows. I like the way its spell system feels like Simon. I don’t like its damn electric bats. I like that it’s the most insulated I’ve felt in a game space since BioShock.
But an under-mentioned thing I love about it is that I can play it mostly one-handed. You know, while swirling a tumbler of Mountain Dew, or something.
Legend of Grimrock is difficult for me. It’s a love letter to Dungeon Master, one of my favourite games. It’s difficult to pretend to be objective when you’re being poked so stubbornly in your nostalgia pipe. I was gurglingly well-disposed to Grimrock, even before I started playing it, so this review runs a real risk of becoming either a nauseatingly self-indulgent gush or kneejerk backlash.
Legend of Grimrock has been out for less than a week, but it's already turning a considerable profit according to a developer blog post on the official site. Almost Human say that "the development costs of the game have now been covered many times over so the future of the company seems pretty secure."
"Everyone who has bought our game and supported us, you have our gratitude!" they add. The game was the highest selling game on Steam for a short while as players flocked to check out Grimrock's slick modern take on classic dungeon crawler RPGs like Ultima Underworld and Dungeon Master.
It's available with a 10% discount from the Legend of Grimrock site, GOG and Steam. The developers also mention that there's an update incoming, fixing a few exploits, typos and bugs. Here are the patch notes.
Legend of Grimrock is an indie dungeon crawler inspired by classic RPGs like Eye of the Beholder and Ultima Underworld. You play as a party of four exiles who must turn 90 degrees left, 90 degrees right and sometimes move forwards to escape the infested catacombs of Mount Grimrock. It's full of traps, ancient prisons, ancient enemies and horrible crawly things ready to bite your face off. Expect to encounter lots of puzzles, traps and treasure as you fight through the mountain.