Captain's Log: 3 Reasons We Need More Sci-Fi Role-Playing Games
If you are an RPG enthusiast, allow me to ask you the following question: out of all the RPG games that you have played, how many of them were sci-fi? Not many, right? Now, why is that? You can still explore as much content as in any other RPG game, still stick to the whole quests and side quests mechanics, and everything else that pertains to RPG games.
But, why aren't there more sci-fi RPG games out there? With the upcoming release of Mass Effect: Andromeda, let's take a look at why we need more sci-fi RPGs than we are currently getting. Hopefully, these three reasons will be strong enough to persuade you to want more sci-fi RPGs in the future.
To Infinity...and Beyond!
What can happen in space? Or in galaxies far, far away...?
Most games limit you to your surroundings, particularly Earth. How many games have you played that took place on our planet, be it on the actual planet, or a fantasy world that closely resembles Earth? The beauty of sci-fi is the concept of space, time travel, and life on other planets.
Imagine having the entire solar system to yourself. Think No Man's Sky, but much better and more engaging! Imagine something along the lines of Skyrim or Witcher 3, but instead of being limited to one location -- the game's world/map -- you get the opportunity to explore the solar system, other solar systems, or maybe even distant galaxies. Now of course, you wouldn't have to travel in real time like in No Man's Sky! You would have other means of transportation that would get you to your destinations faster.
And, here's something to consider. While traveling in space, you'd be able to come across random events like: abandoned/destroyed space stations, cluttered debris that are home to some kind of alien lifeforms, star cores, smaller planets that do not show up on your map and might hide some sorts of secrets. The possibilities with outer space are figuratively and literally endless!
You're Never out of Time
With time travel, anything is possible!
Now, we're not saying that time travel does not exist in other RPGs -- or other games for that matter. Time travel definitely plays an important role in story lines like sending your character back in time to stop a disaster, or into the future to see the outcome of their actions. However, time travel is not emphasized enough in most games. Where is it emphasized in? Sci-fi games!
Just imagine having the power to control and manipulate time -- besides in games like Quantum Break and TimeShift. Imagine if you were flying towards a black hole for whatever reason and didn't want to get sucked in? No problem, just warp back to the moment before you made that foolish mistake! Or, what if you accidentally killed an alien merchant -- who was a hostage -- while fighting space pirates? Not to worry! Just go back into the past, freeze time, place your shots and kill the threat with precision.
Now of course, time travel wouldn't just benefit you in small situations like the ones listed above. You could potentially do anything, like: Let's say you explored an abandoned space station and it happens to be the most interesting location you ever came across. While yes, you can save the game keep your location but what if you accidentally delete the save file or the game overwrites itself for unknown reasons? Well, luckily thanks for time travel we can just explore it again by warping to the beginning of the area.
Majora's Mask is an excellent example of this as the game does this concept very well. Remember when you were given the opportunity to go in time if you weren't satisfied with the way you killed the main villain? It was as simple as going back and let your creativity fly free by killing the bad-guy over and over again with different methods!
Don't Bring a Sword to a Gun Fight...
Would you rather bring a sword, or this thing to a fight?
Dark Souls, Witcher 3, Demon's Souls, Skyrim, Bloodborne. See the pattern here? All these games depend on swords or on any other sharp or blunt objects to do damage. We are also aware that Bloodborne has guns, but those aren't effective weapons since their primary purpose is to parry/counter.
With sci-fi games, the aspect of weapons can be seen as limitless. Want a gun that shoots little rockets that blow up on impact, and scatter heat-seeking shrapnel? That can be done! Or, how about a plasma rifle with a scope that auto seeks the kill-shot against any enemy. And how can anyone forget about shiny, colorful laser beams!
There really is no issue with weapons when it comes to sci-fi games because the setting is so advanced and innovating that pretty much anything is possible! You will find that in other RPG games that deal mostly with bladed and blunt weapons, you are severely restricted to your play-style.
Sci-fi games are just as interesting and diverse -- if not more diverse -- than any other genre out there. But, what exactly is the problem when it comes to releasing more sci-fi RPG games? Do the fans want something else? Is there not enough exploration? Or perhaps, the combat system is alien -- no pun intended -- and feels very strange? Feel free to share your perspective down in the comment section below!