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Favourite RPG cities?


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The opposite answer for this thread goes to Denerim in Dragon Age Origins. Touted throughout the game as the biggest city in Fereldan, blah blah blah, and when I arrive there it's the size of a small outlying village in any other RPG.

 

The beginning village in Witcher 3 (White Orchard) was bigger than Denerim.

Denerim still wasn't as disappointing as the city of Orlais. It was supposed to be the largest city in Thadus, but boiled down to a single small level. At least Denerim is kinda explained away by Ferelden being a poor backwards country.

Denerim at least did a better job of portraying your visit to the city as limited to small parts, Val Royeaux didn't even let you see any landmarks. This is the capital of the most powerful nation on Thedas, center of the Chantry, and you don't even get to see the Imperial Palace, the White Spire, or the Grand Cathedral in the background.

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I think we can all agree that Dragon Age just sucks at city building.  Although the Dwarf city was pretty solid in the first one.  

 

 

You guys are making me want to play Arcanum again.

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Baldur's Gate

Dorns Deep Yes its a ruin of a city, but still great.

DC ruins in Fallout 3

Boston - Fallout 4

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"I think we can all agree that Dragon Age just sucks at city building.  Although the Dwarf city was pretty solid in the first one.  "

 

You say DA sucks at it then provie an example of a good city found in that very game. For the rcord,  that 'dwarf city' is easily a top 20 city of all time.

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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"I think we can all agree that Dragon Age just sucks at city building.  Although the Dwarf city was pretty solid in the first one.  "

 

You say DA sucks at it then provie an example of a good city found in that very game. For the rcord,  that 'dwarf city' is easily a top 20 city of all time.

 

What are your other 19?

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-New Reno (Fallout 2)

Again, the atmosphere. Just don't feel too save there, or you might end up caught in the conflict between the leading families.

 

Makes me wish New Vegas had been done in a different engine - that city deserved to be a crazy infestion of greed and debauched wakyness.

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Berlin in Shadowrun: Dragonfall.

 

My favourite game of the isometric revival of the last few years. The cityscape is oozing atmosphere, decay and despair.

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Tarant of Arcanum for sure, a modern city, really modern; and I feel the power of the science! Well, really like the steamrail (underrail), kind of reflection of real life cities; and I'd like take bates' mansion as my own :shifty:

 

Sigil of Planescape, it's just amazing, such a huge city filled up with so many bizarre stuff. And every districts got their own special charming part.

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I think we can all agree that Dragon Age just sucks at city building.  Although the Dwarf city was pretty solid in the first one.  

 

 

You guys are making me want to play Arcanum again.

 

I actually thought Kirkwall was pretty good.  But I guess that's what happens when the entire game is based around one city.

 

Ironically, Kirkwall's size is what Orlais/Denerim should have been.

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Kirkwall was a good attempt. It wasn't small and titchy, it gave you a nice sense for a semi-grand fantasy city. Plus the whole concept of seeing it change over time depending on your decisions was really nice to talk about.

Unfortunately, it just wasn't executed that well at the end of the day and some of the points that had been hyped on it before hand didn't seem to actually occur.

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Yeah, Kirkwall was great, what really prevents it from getting onto the "Best RPG cities" list for me is quite simply because it felt like a modder created it. The city wasn't alive, it was empty, some NPCs just wandering about aimlessly. Real shame too, the city looked fantastic.

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Yeah, Kirkwall was great, what really prevents it from getting onto the "Best RPG cities" list for me is quite simply because it felt like a modder created it. The city wasn't alive, it was empty, some NPCs just wandering about aimlessly. Real shame too, the city looked fantastic.

 

That seems to be a theme in a lot/all BioWare games.  Apparently NPCs have conversations with the same person that last months.

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I'd cite Kirkwall as exactly how not to do a city, no interactivity, no break from combat, no interesting characters that spring to life but also demonstrate how the world and mechanics work, it was just a painted background. Now I would regard a good city as one where you can sit in a tavern at night and muse on how exactly you can rob the Royal Mint, and then hoist a plan that involves murder, ressurection, the thieving of keys and finally selling the Mint back their own gold in a heist worthy of the Rat Pack. Or stopping a frantic woman and listening to the tragic tale of how she has spent thirty years of her life running from the portals that swept her up and have never released her, gaining an understanding of both their danger and use in the setting, and how fragile life is when faced by the uncaring multiverse.

 

Kirkwall insulted the Orcadian town in terms of vitality and depth.

 

Edit: Though i'll admit that I haven't visited Kirkwall in almost four decades now, as my Orcadian kin moved on from the islands while I was a teenager.

Edited by Nonek
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Skyrim's Blackreach. I love Dwemer ruins especially that city. Just wish there was more city to explore.

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Will throw my hat in the ring for Kuldahar, even if it was always more a hamlet than a city, or even a village.  There were memorable characters in each of its iterations (IWD1 and IWD2) and many of those characters had a connection to the surroundings in the form of quests or just little bits of knowledge that fleshed out the areas you'd be plunderrrrr... wandering into later.

 

Where it really stands out in my mind is in the area that Kirkwall attempted but didn't pull off so well: the passage of time.  Kuldahar in IWD2 was still recognizable as the one from IWD1, but there had been new buildings added, old ones removed (or burned down); the characters that we knew from the first ones were still there, only older; and time had just... passed, the way I'd expect.  Even the paths were still recognizable, but life had happened as well, both life in the intervening years as well as things that were the result of the material with which the game itself was involved. 

 

Was excellently done, IMO, and it's probably the best in-game example I can think of where a place takes on just as many of the trappings of a character as the NPCs.

 

But Baldur's Gate was well done, too, as was Novigrad and, to a lesser extent, Vizima.  The latter may have had a more distinctive character, but the completeness of Novigrad is what tips the scale in its direction for me.  Thinking back, I find myself partial to Vivec in Morrowind, as well.  Phlan, too: the PoR series was the first where I got a decent sense of "place" from a game, and was then allowed to revisit it in a subsequent game (tho Phlan from other entries in the Pool of Radiance series wasn't really recognizable as such:  if it wasn't for the name, I wouldn't, for example, have known by the layout of the streets or the landmarks that it was Phlan, as opposed to Zhentil Keep).

 

Detail, completeness, and continuity, I suppose, are my main criteria when it comes to gaming environments.  If it's more accurately described as a "level", then it fails at whatever story-related purpose it was supposed to have.

Edited by Magnum Opus
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nyc

 

if you didn't know it were real, you wouldn't believe it could be real.  every rpg city dreams o' being new york on a good day... or a bad day.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

ps am not a ny lover as is many, but it is unique. is as much martin scorsese as it is terry gilliam. london has a similar mad-game-designer feel to it, and the english city gots even more history, but no city is as diverse and improbable as is ny... at least in our experience.  dunno, but it seems as if every great sci-fi or fantasy game city is trying to be what ny already is. 

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I liked all the cities in classic Everquest (not sure if MMO's count). Each one had its own unique feel, and learning your way through each one was a quest in and of itself.

 

For single player games... the most memorable might be Daggerfall. I can't forget the first time I arrived in the city at night and almost had a heart attack when I had to immediately flee a bunch of specters while a booming, disembodied voice yelled, "veeeeeeeengeaaaaaaance!"

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Hmm

- Baldurs Gate (still like it. It is big and gray, but it feels real. There are cities with better quests, but I actually want to live in Baldurs Gate)

- Tarant (still the biggest city in an CRPG for me and although ugly it suited the steampunk-atmosphere of the game. Caladon was also nice. And Dernholm ist still such    a dreadful place, that you want to make it better)

- Twin Elms in Pillars of Eternity (the most exotic place in the game and I liked the quests there. I still think that the second act should have played mostly there)

-  Broken Hills/NCR from Fallout 2 (can't decide, but both cities showed, that there could be something more than the dystopic visions of Vault City and New Reno. New    Reno was also nice, hmm).

- Murolosch from Drakensang 1 ( I love Dwarfcities and this one was just so beautiful, I had to chose it. But the one in Divinity 1 was also okay)
 

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Very few cities in RPG's actually feel like cities, the basically-a-winding-corridor in Planescape: Torment you guys refer to as a city being the most obvious example.

 

Novigrad in The Witcher 3 is probably the best depiction of a city I've ever seen in a RPG. Big enough to get lost in, it is also varied, detailed and lively enough to become believable. There's not enough to do in it (in my opinion), but it's still the best I've ever seen.

 

3uXhK2a.jpg

 

Every one of those streets are real and there. Nothing fake, it's all there. You can actually take a boat and sail around the entire city if you wish, and it all comes without loading times. Absolutely amazing.

 

I also liked Las Vegas in Wasteland:

 

vJgd5xz.jpg

 

It doesn't look like much nowadays, but every one of those houses are enterable and contains something. Some of them are multi-level and some have lots of npc's and quests. Also, there are a lot of secrets to find everywhere. Plus a Scorpitron in the middle..

 

Other than those two, nothing really comes to mind. Khorinis in Gothic 2 was really cool at the time, but it's way too small to count as a city.

 

city_merchants.jpg

 

The cities in Gothic 3 were cool too, but not memorable enough due to the diluted state of the game.

 

If we're mentioning games outside the RPG genre I'm pretty sure the GTA games are at the top of the heap for cities. Every one of them, in fact. GTA: San Andreas alone has three cities better than basically any RPG in existence.

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My first favorite city in a video game was Hyrule in oot. Next it was Balmora in Morrowind. Later on I got into CRPGs and loved Berogost, kuldahaur and East Haven. But no city has been like Novigrad, blows me away.

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If I skip Torment and its Hive/Sigil I would say New Reno in Fallout 2

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