Top Action RPGs of 2024

If you’re bored of mindless slashers but don’t feel like committing to another weekend of Dungeons and Dragons, allow us to introduce the exciting slate of Action Role Playing Games expected to hit the market this year! Action RPGs combine the excitement of real-time combat with the heavy decision-making of classic role-playing games. The choices you make early on can affect character growth, faction alignment, and even the main storyline for hours to come. This gives aRPGs an edge over traditional, linear-story games, as their replayability value is through the roof. Just think how many times you launched into your alleged last playthrough of New Vegas or Last Epoch in order to see how differently things can turn out. Coming off of the monster release of Diablo IV last year, 2024 has some major shoes to fill, but we have a list of new releases that will do just that.

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Gothic, Round Two

A defining moment in aRPG history came with the 2001 release of Gothic, a trailblazing game that set high standards for PC gaming. It boasted a Skyrim-sized skill tree, politics of Nixon-era complexity, and an early debacle that forces the player down one of three different plot-lines. Now, twenty-three years later, a new generation of gamers will be able to return to an expanded, revamped Myrtana in Gothic: Remake. THQ Nordic assembled a team of developers and former Gothic modders to reimagine the classic over two decades later, using Unreal Engine and other contemporary software to bring the world to life.

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In Gothic, humankind is slowly losing a decades-long war to the Orcs. As the adversary draws nearer, the king begins implementing desperate legislation. One such policy involves sending all convicts to the mines to extract a magical ore which can help turn the tides of the war. This is where your story begins: as an unnamed prisoner, sentenced to a lifetime of mining ore to power the Wunderwaffe that will turn the tide of the war. As the story unfurls within Old Camp, your gulag-esque setting, you will learn to do a lot more than just swing a pickaxe. You will be faced with decisions early on that will affect the rest of the game, and must try to appease each of the three major factions for as long as possible in order to prevent turmoil. The remake of Gothic looks absolutely stunning, and developers have promised enhanced storytelling to fill in some plot holes of the original. This game will be an absolute treat to the grizzled veterans of the series, and will also be an amazing introduction to the series for the current generation of PC, PS, and XBOX players.

Final Fantasy Reincarnate

Sticking to the theme of reworks, February saw the release of Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth. Not to be confused with 2020’s Final Fantasy VII: Remake, this year’s rendition piggybacks off of Remake to deliver even more of the legendary plot laid out in the 1997 classic. Set on “The Planet,” players will control Cloud Strife, a mercenary with morals hellbent to unseat the tyrannical Shinra Power Company from their ruling position over Midgar. Unlike the turn-based, 2.5D original version, Rebirth is an over-the-shoulder, third-person game with a fluid combat system. It retains and expands on the worldbuilding and storytelling aspects of the cult-classic, but also incentivizes being quick on the sticks. Turn-based strategy games are heavily dependent on player attributes, but combat in Rebirth gives players a chance to use their wit or weapons expertise to upset a more powerful foe. This game is reminiscent of a book-to-film adaptation; it is loyal to the original story and setting, but is full of its own modern twists and turns that will delight repeat offenders and newcomers alike.
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Fans of Star Wars have many reasons to rejoice in 2024. With a litany of television releases, and the surprise remastering of both Battlefront classics, the year is already off to a great start. On top of these, gamers can look forward to the blockbuster aRPG Star Wars: Outlaws, set to release in the second half of 2024. In Outlaws, you play as the gun-for-hire Kay Vess, a complex character with questionable morals. Set in between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, players step into a galaxy ruled by the iron fist of the Galactic Empire. This game doesn’t take place in the limelight, but rather aboard blockade-running ships, in greasy smugglers’ dens, and lively cantinas – it is the ultimate space western sure to give Starfield a run for its money.
The gameplay is fluid, and features stealth mechanics reminiscent of the Far Cry series. Being cunning is critical to success, as most missions feature just Kay and her mutant compadre, Nix, sleuthing around restricted areas. In the event things do go awry, you will always have your trusty blaster on your hip, or you can try to speed off into the vast open world on one of the many starships or land cruisers in the game. The dev team used original concept art from the 1970s to build the universe from the ground up, and stated they drew much influence from classic spaghetti westerns when choosing colors, adding music, and creating random events. It looks like Ubisoft might have created a real gem here, and we are eager to see what it will look like upon release.

Political Turmoil in Crimson Desert

If the shadows of the twin suns of Tatooine get your brain too twisted, fear not, for you can explore the beautiful, medieval world of Pywel in Crimson Desert without the headache of circumbinary orbit. Like Outlaws, players will again assume the role of a mercenary with a dark past and a mixed moral compass. Set in the kingdom of Demeniss, you will encounter chaos and turmoil in even the farthest reaches of the land, for your glorious king and unifier of the fief lays in a coma. This has created a massive power vacuum, and factions are popping up everywhere vying for the throne. Some of these wannabe leaders are charismatic and cunning, others regicidal and downright evil. You can’t please everyone, so you’re bound to run into some enemies along the way, which is why you’ll want to recruit an ensemble of fellow mercs to fight alongside you. Each recruitable ally has their own backstory, allegiances, and skillset; you need to earn their respect before they’ll help you, so there is no shortage of side quests to keep you busy!

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The combat system is utterly chaotic, with battles being enormous and foes often attacking you from all sides. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to dispose of them: on foot with a giant Zweihander, from range with a bow and arrow, or even on horseback, making quick passes with a lance in one hand and firebombs in the other. Depending which fighting style you choose to develop will have a profound effect on which companions you will prioritize recruiting, and whether you will charge into or steer clear of certain battles.

While the main storyline remains a mystery, it’s safe to assume players will have an impact on how the kingdom will be run after the king passes. The trailer shows off an extremely diverse terrain, from snowy mountain forests to barren, red deserts. There is plenty to do as you travel between them as well, from fishing, mushroom gathering, and playing with stray animals. Just don’t let these niceties distract you too much, as you never know when a mythical beast or a band of roving raiders might sneak up on you!

Enshrouded in Fog

For fans of multiplayer, Enshrouded is a hardcore survival aRPG that supports up to 16 players. Set in the dreary world of Embervale, a dark place covered in swaths of thick fog, you must fight to survive by gathering food, water, and other loot items. While most of the basics can be found in the relative safety of the world’s numerous towns and villages, daring players can delve into the fog in hopes of finding elite-tier loot. If you have the guts to do this, be deliberate. Don’t go wandering around like Norstein’s Hedgehog in the Fog, as players can only survive a limited amount of time in the mysterious mist. There are perks and in-game items that can help you hold out a few minutes longer, but lingering in these areas is beyond dangerous.

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In addition to fighting the elements, players will encounter a wide variety of foes, from humanoids to hideous beasts. You can choose between playing as a trickster, battlemage, or survivor, each class having its own ups and downs. Playing with friends helps hedge these downsides, as you can have a suave talker, fierce warrior, and wilderness expert all in your squad. One of this game's most enjoyable features is its crafting and customizability. The world is your oyster to dig up, fortify, or otherwise change. Building is done from a menu that lets you select from a list of pre-fabbed pieces that you can piece together into shacks, houses, or entire castles. The story is very player-centric and doesn’t feature any grand scheme like the other titles mentioned. This gives Enshrouded a more leisurely vibe and players never feel rushed to run off to the next quest if they’d rather spend time building up their homestead.

2024 promises to have an aRPG for everyone, from long overdue remakes to ambitious new projects, the choice is yours! Each of these titles promises countless hours of replayability and will always leave you wondering how the story might have developed had you done something differently early-on. Whether you choose to blast into space, toil in the mines, or get mixed up in medieval politics, hours of thoughtful, exciting gameplay await!

If you're working on an aRPG of your own, look no further than Argentics to assist you every step of the way. The crucial initial step towards creating a blockbuster title involves presenting a unique, fluid prototype to investors and prospective players alike. Our seasoned team of experts can lend their assistance with various aspects such as game design, early concept art, game art production, and cost-effective full-stack game development.

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