Recommend me a Sci-Fi RPG

dangoball

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I hope this is where recommend-a-game threads go.

Anyway, as the title says, I'm in a dire need of some sci-fi RPG goodness. I've had too much fantasy and now I find it hard to enjoy them so some change is in order.

To give at least a fain notion of what I'm looking for, here are some criteria:
- PC title, I don't own any consoles
- good story (at least for a video game, I'm not expecting any Dune or Space Odyssey)
- interesting characters; can be party based but doesn't have to be

What doesn't play a role:
- graphics; the game can have pac-man level graphics, but as long as it's compelling and style fits the narrative I couldn't care less.
- mechanics; this one is a bit tricky, I don't mind complex and difficult mechanics because understanding them can be a game and reward in its own, neither do I mind simple and streamlined mechanics, though I would prefer the game not be broken on some fundamental level
- level of sci-fi-ness; space magic (Star Wars), cyberpunk wizards (Shadowrun), post-apo with sci-fi elements (Fallouts), anything is fine

What I've already played:
Mass Effect trilogy
Shadorun: Returns/Dragonfall
KotOR 1/2 (with restoration mod)
everything Fallout
Space Siege (never again)
Deus Ex: HR (I own the original Deus Ex, haven't gotten around to it yet)

And I guess that's it. I've heard a lot of good things about System Shock so it's definitely an option, but what else should I set my sights on?
Also no MMO. Can't stand those. Though I guess majority of them is discarded by the "good story" qualifier.

So, Escapists, I ask your collective knowledge of games do divine a title for me to enjoy. Please help?

Edit:
If no RPGs come to mind, some action adventure (whatever that is) could serve it's purpose. I kinda enjoyed Warhammer 40k: Space Marine.
 

Zhukov

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Mass Ef...!

Oh.

Well, how about Deus...

Damn it!

Umm... System Shock 2? It's old and crusty and unbalanced and unintuitive and has the production values of an etch-a-sketch, but it has its charm in spite of all that and it's pretty definitely a sci-fi RPG.

There's that EYE: Divine Cybermancy thing. I can't in good conscience recommend it, but some people did like it, so I guess you may be one of them.
 

dangoball

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Zhukov said:
Had a chuckle out of that. Thanks for reminding me of EYE, had my eye on that one some time ago. It could be interesting should nothing better recommended show up.
 

Madkipz

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Homeworld remastered and starcraft / broodwar have great stories. They are RTS's but not very hard.
 

dangoball

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While I'm not opposed to playing an RTS, or any kind of strategy for that matter, what I realized some time ago is that I enjoy taking a unique individual or a group through their personal story, facing overwhelming odds and defying death (through loading often). That's why games like X-Com: Enemy Unknown or Dawn of War 2 held my interest for quite some time, but normal RTS fails to do so. I realized this while playing Battle for Middle-Earth. The fellowship part was fun and all, but once I started commanding armies, the game lost it's charm.
 

SoreWristed

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The only one I know of, that isn't already on your list, would be Mars : War logs.

Basic rpg elements, let's you choose your own style of play. Story is pretty predictable, mars is dry so people fight about water, upper class is in control of the water, join the resistance and fight stuff.

It is quite a niche genre you are asking for though...
 

dangoball

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SoreWristed said:
It is quite a niche genre you are asking for though...
That's why I'm asking you guys. Were it easy to find what I'm looking for I would.
Thanks for the name, I'll check it out.
 

kris40k

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Phantasy Star II and III are some of my favorite JRPG sci-fi games. They are old school SNES/Genesis era games, so prepare for that, but I loved them. The later Phantasy Star Online games that followed were fun to play, but the story was either non-existent, nonsensical, or just plain bad, depending on the game.

Edit: Just wanted to add I know that III is on Steam, I'm not sure if II is.
 

Frezzato

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Oooh.
- graphics; the game can have pac-man level graphics
How about Starflight then? I bought a decent copy for Genesis five years ago for less than $6 shipped.
Jeez, it's a long freaking game.
Oi with all the talking and the gabbing and the gibber jabber Y-HEY.
Oh right, it can be brutally difficult. I read it was a huge influence for the first Mass Effect.
 

shrekfan246

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dangoball said:
While I'm not opposed to playing an RTS, or any kind of strategy for that matter, what I realized some time ago is that I enjoy taking a unique individual or a group through their personal story, facing overwhelming odds and defying death (through loading often). That's why games like X-Com: Enemy Unknown or Dawn of War 2 held my interest for quite some time, but normal RTS fails to do so. I realized this while playing Battle for Middle-Earth. The fellowship part was fun and all, but once I started commanding armies, the game lost it's charm.
Technically speaking Homeworld and Starcraft do that to a certain degree.

Homeworld is all about the trip of your mothership, while Starcraft gives you a faceless Commander but then through that relays the stories of all of the hero units like Jim Raynor and Sarah Kerrigan.

Admittedly, the actual gameplay still has you building and commanding armies, so.

I've been playing the original Deus Ex for the first real time myself recently. It's a lot harder to break into than Human Revolution, but I'd say if you have the mindset to appreciate older games it's very much worth playing. Maybe look into modding it to get better-looking textures, though. Same goes for System Shock 2.

You could chance giving a look at Starpoint Gemini 2. It's a space-sim RPG vaguely like an older game called Freelancer, except much wider in scope (it allows you to eventually work your way up to captaining full battleships if you so desire, for example). It's got some pretty rough edges given the fact that it's an indie title and the developer's previous game (the first Starpoint Gemini) was a buggy mess, but it's been a lot of fun so far. Story might not be as gripping as you're looking for, though.

Transistor is more sci-fi in aesthetic than anything else, but it's a gorgeous game with a really unique and interesting combat system, though it's not everyone's cup of tea. The story can be fairly vague as well, even more so than Supergiant's Bastion.

If you like Fallout you could maybe check out Wasteland 2? I haven't played it myself and I've heard some mixed feelings on it, but a lot of people seem to like it all the same.

Two older games that draw some inspirations from JRPGs are Anachronox and Septerra Core. I still need to play more of them myself, but I've read a lot of positive things about them and what I have played thus far has been pretty neat. Anachronox is cyberpunk-y like Deus Ex, while Septerra Core is a bit more strange.
 

GundamSentinel

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Aug 23, 2009
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How about the Final Fantasy series?

Many of them have good stories and fun characters and several of them have come to PC over the past years.
 

Mister K

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GundamSentinel said:
How about the Final Fantasy series?

Many of them have good stories and fun characters and several of them have come to PC over the past years.
Yeah, but none of them are Sci-Fi. FFVII is a magical steampunk, VIII and X are kind of a mix between fantasy and sci-fi. IMO, the closest thing FF has to Sci-Fi is XIII, but I'll never ever recommend it to anyone.

OT: I too am looking for good Sci-Fi RPG's, but OP already mentioned those that I know. Bookmarking for further use.
 

Hawki

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dangoball said:
While I'm not opposed to playing an RTS, or any kind of strategy for that matter, what I realized some time ago is that I enjoy taking a unique individual or a group through their personal story, facing overwhelming odds and defying death (through loading often). That's why games like X-Com: Enemy Unknown or Dawn of War 2 held my interest for quite some time, but normal RTS fails to do so. I realized this while playing Battle for Middle-Earth. The fellowship part was fun and all, but once I started commanding armies, the game lost it's charm.
StarCraft II would definately be up your ally there, at least with WoL - focus is on the characters, and Raynor's Raiders are small fish in a big pond. They're a fish that gets bigger over the course of the story, but the tightness remains the same. The same can kinda be said for HotS, but not to the same extent, since you're commanding swathes of zerg throughout the game, though does have RPG elements with Kerrigan herself (choosing abilities for missions, gaining more as you level up). While I like SC1 as well, it doesn't really have any of that feeling you're looking for. Of all the SC1 expansions, you'd probably only find that feeling in Insurrection, and...well, let's just say the story of that game doesn't end well for the heroes (hint: it involves zerg). ;)

While we're on the subject, for Battle for Middle-earth, I'm the opposite. While I love character focus, I have to admit, the Fellowship sections just couldn't beat the point when you started commanding actual armies.

Anyway, sci-fi RPGs...since this seems to include science fantasy, the only one I can recommend that isn't on the list would be Star Ocean: The Last Hope...sort of. I haven't played that much of it, as it was a case of me getting up to the first boss, dying, realizing I'd forgotten to save at a checkpoint, and ended up quitting in frustration. That said, the combat was very enjoyable. It's very much a JRPG, so whether that's a deciding factor will be on your own preferences. Personally, I enjoyed it, and intend to go back to it one day, but again, haven't played too much of it.
 

suikodenstorm

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Indy title for you, give a shot at Aphelion. I ran into it by accident, and it was pretty interesting to play, and the price is right.

https://lunaticstudiosgames.wordpress.com/
 

Cette

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If you're willing to hop in the wayback machine I'd recommend Anachronox and maybe Septerra Core. They're both a little on the JRPG side gameplay wise and I have no idea if they run well on modern systems but scifi and RPG can be a hard combo to find.

I'll go ahead and second Zhukov's suggestion of System Shock 2 as well. Damn fine game once you get used to it's quirks. The horror even holds up decently in spite of the aging graphics because frankly it never looked good to begin with.
 

chozo_hybrid

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Would Mars War Logs count, it's a bit rough around the edges, but I found it to be a decent little title.
 

Mikeybb

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Okay.

There's an odd little rpg on the ds called "infinite space."

There's some nice storyline twists and while it does go over the top in typical anime style storytelling, it remains enjoyable.
Basically, you are the admiral of a small independent fleet of freelancer/mercenary/pirates.
You set officers to command ships and crew positions, modify your vessels and fly around a galaxy.

Simple combat mechanics but ultimately entertaining.

If you have a ds and time to kill, find a copy.
 

J Tyran

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Post Apocalyptic with sci fi elements and on PC? What about games from the S.T.A.L.K.E.R Series? Not quite as scifi as something like Fallout but there are glimpses of it, they are not to everyones taste but they are pretty in depth.

Think Metro 2033 on Ranger difficulty with a more open world and a heavy focus on inventory and survival mechanics, much more in depth if not as focused.

There are three of them as well if you get stuck into it, there is plenty of content.
 

Ryotknife

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Unfortunately, the only other ones i can think of are PS1/2/3 games:

Xenogears (PS1)- a good but weird story.

Xenosaga 1-3 (PS2)- This is a hidden gem, although the story is also weird. The first one is fairly normal, but by the third game it gets really weird. Also, there are a lot of things about the story that you wont understand until you finish the series completely, so you kinda have to play through the entire series twice in order to understand what is going on. That said, the characters are pretty good, story can get quite intense, and it has a female lead protagonist! Progress!

Star Ocean series (PS1-2, there is a PS3 game but i kinda hated it). Combat is really fun. Star Ocean 3 gets a bit hammy, but the first three characters (Fayt, Cylde, and Nel) have really good chemistry. The last part of the game gets....really weird.

Actualy, it seems like all sci-fi RPGs on the consoles are kinda weird.
 

GundamSentinel

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Mister K said:
GundamSentinel said:
How about the Final Fantasy series?

Many of them have good stories and fun characters and several of them have come to PC over the past years.
Yeah, but none of them are Sci-Fi. FFVII is a magical steampunk, VIII and X are kind of a mix between fantasy and sci-fi. IMO, the closest thing FF has to Sci-Fi is XIII, but I'll never ever recommend it to anyone.

OT: I too am looking for good Sci-Fi RPG's, but OP already mentioned those that I know. Bookmarking for further use.
Well, OP stated he wasn't too strict about the actual 'sci-fi-ness', and since most Final Fantasy games have more than a little sci-fi added for flavour, why not?