Have you given Dark Souls a try? It’s about 2.5 years old, now, with a sequel coming out in March.
It’s sort of an RPG. It has a reputation for being extremely hard, and it can be if you don’t learn from your mistakes and take it slow. It’s NOT like an Elder Scrolls game where you can easily win by rushing in, bashing the fuck out of tings and get the loot.
I haven’t played Dark Souls - looks interesting, but the Steam page says a controller is strongly encouraged. I don’t have one, and honestly, that’s a little bit of a turnoff for me. Does it really need it? And am I wrong? Seems to me that mouse & keyboard is better for most of the games I like.
It really does need one, yes. It was a console game first, and then the port to PC was kind of lazy and crummy, so the keyboard and mouse controllers are terrible. Everyone I know who used them switched to a controller or bought one.
In addition, there’s a fan-made mod that’s also highly recommended called DS Fix was adds better resolutions and frame-rates for PCs.
And these days, I don’t think there’s a good reason not to have a controller for PC. A wired X-Box 360 controller is like $30, maybe less on sale, and is supported by Windows, no software or driver download required. So many games out there either outright require it, or are just made so much better. The game in question, for one, but also things the Batman: Arkham series, the Assasin’s Creed series, and platformers like Spelunky, Braid, etc…
I’ve played Banner Saga. It was fun to start with, but the tactical battles and the game’s progression got really repetitive really quickly. It’s a very limited game. Fun concept but I wouldn’t go into it expecting too much playtime.
I’ve played through the first act of Broken Age that’s already out. It’s an excellent example of a point-and-click style adventure game with the quirky humor and visuals we expect from a Double Fine game. Not an RPG, though.
I’ve been having a lot of fun playing Borderlands 1 and 2. It’s an action-heavy RPG, but far more RPG than, say, BioShock.
I have played Shadowrun, and I’d say it’s worth buying when it’s cheap. I enjoyed the top-down turn-based combat, but the game needs more content. It has been built for fan-created scenarios, so you might want to check out that scene.
I played Banner Saga and deeply enjoyed it, but I offer the following caveats:
A) It’s not long, though it does have substantial replay value.
B) It’s not anything like a traditional RPG. If you’re looking to fulfil your “I create a character and watch his numbers go up.” “RPG” itch, then it absolutely will NOT do it for you.
That said, I really liked it, and am looking forward to doing another playthrough soon.
I wouldn’t even call Banner Saga an RPG. It’s got a story, it’s got characters with progression, but the focus is unquestionably the tactical battles. If you’re not into those, it’s not the game for you. It’s more of a Western entry to the Fire Emblem / Final Fantasy Tactics / etc genre.
Personally, I loved it and proceeded to replay it twice immediately after the first playthrough, so I don’t much get the “repetitive” charge people make on it. What it does, it does well.
Yeah, I watched a stream of it an it’s firmly in the turn-based tactical combat genre. It’s a Fire Emblem… eh, not knockoff, but definitely in the genre. To people not familiar with the genre, I’d describe it as something closer to Civilization, if they took out city management and just gave you military units instead, before I’d go to RPG analogies. The closest analogy is really Warhammer or Battletech or other tabletop wargames; I guess a fair comparison is “D&D where you control all the characters and with the meaningful statistical character progression drastically reduced.”
Edit: And as for Broken Age, I haven’t played it, but isn’t that a traditional Point+Click adventure game? I expect it’s closer to The Longest Journey or Monkey Island than, say, Baldur’s Gate.
I’ve played both Banner Saga and Broken Age. Broken Age is an adventure game and not a RPG. The Banner Saga might be better explained as a cross between Oregon Trail and a turn-based tactical RPG. If you have the right type of itch, the Banner Saga can scratch it for a little while.
I know you said PC games, but Bravely Default (a JRPG) comes out in a week for the 3DS. The press for that game has been quite positive.
I did end up getting Banner Age. At first, I was a little turned off by it, as it seemed to move sooo slow, but after 30 minutes of playing I got into it. So far, I’m liking it; I would have preferred something a little more upbeat and more RPGish, but I didn’t want to shell out more than $20-$30 and couldn’t find anything that really struck me even above that price point.