The RPG genre has come a long way in the past few decades as the genre has evolved from text-based console games to immersive experiences in 3D worlds where players have the freedom to explore and create their own characters in certain titles. Since WRPG is a sub-genre of RPG. In this guide, we’ve written everything you need to know about this subgenre.
- The Western RPG is a subgenre of the ever-popular RPG.
- Some of the qualities that make this subgenre stand out are its realistic graphics, real-time combat, and a story with branching paths where every decision can impact the game world.
- Unlike Western RPGs, JRPGs focus more on art direction, turn-based combat, and story and character writing while having a somewhat linear story.
- Some of the best WRPGs are Fallout New Vegas, The Witcher 3, and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
What is WRPG?
WRPG stands for Western Role Playing Game and is a subgenre of the ever popular RPG genre. The characteristics that distinguish the RPG genre from other genres are the existence of an open world where players are fully allowed to explore every corner of it and a form of role-playing mechanic that players Allows you to make your own choices and decisions. game, which can ultimately lead to a different ending in most titles.
Western RPGs, in particular, are role-playing titles produced mostly by Western developers, a prime example for a WRPG developer would be Bethesda as they own some of the most popular RPGs of all time such as the The Elder Scrolls franchise and the Fallout franchise.
Characteristics of WRPGs
Unlike JRPGs, most WRPGs allow players to shape the narrative themselves and the genre mostly focuses on a story with realistic graphics and branching paths, while JRPGs focus on art direction, anime-like graphics, and characters. Focus more while focusing on more. A linear story with unique writing. Some JRPGs even have multiple endings based on your decisions and choices.
As for combat, WRPGs generally follow a real-time combat approach while most JRPGs have turn-based combat. Combat in RPGs has evolved a lot over the past few decades. Older games had a combat system in their own mode of gameplay, separate from the open world. In all new titles, you can see that players can easily engage in combat at any point during exploration thanks to the addition of random world bosses or wandering enemies that you encounter in the world. .
WRPG vs JRPG
As you already know, both of these terms are sub-genres of the genre of role-playing games. WRPGs are mostly made by Western developers while JRPGs are mostly made by Japanese developers. So here we will write down all the basic elements of JRPGs so that you can better understand how this subgenre differs from WRPGs.
JRPGs focus more on a linear story and anime-like graphics while WRPGs focus more on realistic graphics, a non-linear storyline, character creation, and more. A better example would be that in a WRPG, you are creating your own story while in JRPGs, you are experiencing someone else’s story.
As for gameplay, you’ve seen many popular JRPGs like Persona feature turn-based gameplay where players are given control of one or more characters (commonly known as a party) and where only one character can move at a time and decide which ability to use.
Turn-based combat requires strategic thinking and proper decision-making, while WRPGs have a more traditional combat system that is easier to learn and master.
If we turn our attention to the open world, most WRPGs always give you the feeling of wandering into a new area and the NPC’s reaction to your character’s behavior is far more realistic. In JRPGs, your character is often the center of attention and your role in the plot is of utmost importance.
Now we give examples of four different RPG games, two of them will be WRPGs and the other two will be JRPGs so that you can understand how these two subgenres differ from each other.
The Witcher 3 – WRPG
The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt is an undisputed masterpiece created and released by CD Projekt Red in 2015. It is an action role-playing game based on the novel The Witcher written by Andrzej Sapkowski. This game ticks all the boxes to be considered a WRPG due to its gameplay and the amount of narrative players control.
As for the story, players’ decision-making and actions will affect the world around them, some actions will lead you to make new allies while actions can have dire consequences. The end of the game is the end of all the decisions you have made.
In open world terms, you are a Witcher in a world where there are only a few Witchers left and everywhere you go, you are looked down upon for your profession. The overall tone of the world is dark and bleak. In this game, you are given the choice to fully explore every corner of the map and interact with different characters throughout the map.
Its gameplay/combat takes place in real-time and is quite easy to master, allowing players to craft and purchase new weapons, bombs and crossbows. Thus, more variety is added to the combat.
Persona 5 Royal – JRPG
Persona 5 Royal is the latest mainline game in the popular Persona franchise developed by Japanese developer Atlus. It is considered one of the greatest JRPGs of all time because the game has everything that fans of the genre look for in a game.
It is a game set in modern day Tokyo, Japan, with anime-ish graphics and turn-based combat. The story itself is linear but has multiple endings and the endings are determined by the choices you make near the end of the game. JRPGs often focus on story and writing as they are one of the selling points of games in the genre. It’s also one of the reasons why JRPG titles have gifted us with some of the most well-written stories in gaming.
In terms of gameplay, the game encourages you to think strategically if you want to survive, especially on higher difficulties. If you act first and think later, avoiding the boss fight will be impossible. Attacking is just as important as defending and supporting your team. Strategic turn-based mechanics are also one of the selling points of JRPG titles.
World-wise, the map is small and closed, as expected from a JRPG, and while players have complete freedom to explore it, it’s not as large or as expansive as the open worlds of most WRPGs. .
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – WRPG
Of course, we can’t write an article on WRPG without mentioning the game that defined Bethesda’s masterpiece, Skyrim. The game is considered one of the greatest games of all time and received a lot of critical praise for its character creation, variety, world design and more. The game has everything a WRPG fan could want and more.
Like The Witcher, the game starts with you on a large map that you are free to explore. Your choices and decision-making affect everything around you. Some choices will lead you to new allies while some choices can turn NPCs against you.
In terms of gameplay, players have the option to choose their weapons, which include bows, swords, and hammers. Players also have the option to learn magic thus adding variety to the gameplay and preventing things from getting stale. Everything happens in real time, as expected from a WRPG.
In terms of world design, the map is huge and full of secrets to uncover. Players will find dungeons, caves, cities, towns and what not while exploring. The map is filled with NPCs who will provide your character with optional side quests that you will have the option to complete. In short, Skyrim ticks all the boxes and is a perfect example of what a WRPG is supposed to be.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon- JRPG
As A Dragon is the eighth mainline entry in the long-running Yakuza franchise published by Sega, yet this game decided to do something different and stand out from every other Yakuza game. Like a Dragon is the first Yakuza game to feature a turn-based combat system and this title ticks all the boxes to be considered one of the greatest JRPGs ever made.
Like a Dragon’s story is like any other yakuza game, it’s linear with a single ending. The choices you make don’t matter much because you’re not carving out your own destiny as the player, instead you’re experiencing the protagonist’s story.
One of the reasons Yakuza games are so beloved is their serious main story, while the side stories are lighthearted in contrast to the story. It somehow blends perfectly with the dark theme of the main story and creates a perfect blend of the two.
In terms of world design, Yakuza games aren’t as big of a map as you might find in WRPG titles like Skyrim. But the world of the yakuza is always full of different stories to uncover. Its graphics and art direction don’t focus too much on photorealism yet it has its own charm like any other JRPG.
Is it mandatory to develop a WRPG by a western developer?
Not necessarily, while most games made by Japanese RPG developers have JRPG elements and most games made by Western developers have WRPG elements. A WRPG doesn’t have to be developed by a western developer, the same can be said for Japanese developers and JRPGs. A good example of this would be Alden Ring, an RPG developed by a Japanese studio but closer to being a WRPG than a JRPG. Another example would be Battlechasers, as it was developed by a western studio but is considered a JRPG.
What are the most popular WRPGs?
Some of the most popular WRPGs of all time are The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, The Witcher 3, Fallout New Vegas, Mass Effect series, The Fable franchises and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
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