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Let's See Action

Thursday, May 11, 2006, 11:07AM EST

More and more it seems that role-playing games are shifting away from the standard turn-based method of combat to a more fast-paced and action-oriented style.

Developers on titles such as THQ's Titan Quest (a mythology-based PC RPG set in Ancient Greece and Egypt), Square Enix's Final Fantasy XII, Namco Bandai's Hellgate: London, Microsoft's Mass Effect, and Sony Online's Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom have all opted to merge their role-playing elements with a more fluid combat system.

It's uncertain whether this is a natural evolution of the genre or a direct result of some new influence. Perhaps new technologies have made it possible to more easily fuse disparate game elements such as action and strategic role-playing, or the dramatic increase in online play wherein waiting is perhaps a deadly sin has made developers wary of anything that slows down gameplay. Whatever the reason, this year's RPGs are definitely pushing action to the fore.

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