It’s one thing to experience the thrill of sauntering your way through an epic role-playing gaming as one of the existing characters in the game, but nothing quite beats the thrill of being able to wrap your interests up further into the experience by creating and shaping your own characters for the experience. Sure, the era of Final Fantasy, Zelda, Everquest, and Chrono Trigger could be described as golden; we all love nostalgia as much as the next RPG fan. The era of the PS5 is now upon us, however, and with this comes a set of graphics capabilities the level of which could only be laughed at as a mere futuristic folly by those embarking on their first few hours of Chrono Trigger back in the day.
While the concept of character creation games is not a new one, the technological capabilities of the PS5 will allow players to enter into a world of character creation that is unrivalled in its look and feel. The level to which the technology feeds the quality of the character creation element of any game is up for debate – I’ll cede this point without bother – but these upcoming and imminent RPG Character creator games are arguably at the top of their game, and the PS5 is a platform that makes this possible.
Release Date: 12/11/2020
Price: 69.99 (in $ and £)
Character-Creation Brief: Outrageous – 16 Million potential combinations of customisation; Photo Mode; extreme levels of detail and photorealism, granular sliders for height, width, depth, and other elements
Of all the games that allow you the ability to create your own characters and have them function as part of the thrill of the entire experience, Demon’s Souls may be the most anticipated of them all. Fans will already know that the original Demon’s Souls was released 11 years ago way back in 2009; we’re talking about the remake here, and one that can accurately be described as one of the most hotly anticipated on the entire PS5 platform.
The main thrust of the game, nay, the bread and posh-nut-butter of the whole experience remains the same as when this was released for the Playstation 3 all those years ago. This remake of Demon’s Souls, like the original on which it is based, is a sturdy action-focused RPG game.
Developed by Bluepoint games, the remake features much of the expected presences that one would want in a remake: new weapons with which to fight, additional armour with which to defend yourself, new ring collections to amass, and additional items that one could easily call the drizzle of honey that trickles upon the aforementioned bread-and-posh-nut-butter that is this game: Grains. This new concept allows players to defend themselves (albeit on a temporary basis) against effects like bleeding and poison. There’s an even bigger emphasis on keeping an eye on your carrying capacity, too. Items are weighted according to their effects. But wait – we’re not here to focus on these elements alone – what of the blogged-about character creation element?
Well, fans of the forebearer can rest assured that the character creation elements for which the original was so famed are still present, and are at a minimum improved upon. Demon’s Souls introduces even more detailed levels – realms even – of customisation to this remake, too. Expect a staggering amount of detail here, with the ability to customise (and therefore connect with) your character by changing virtually everything about their experience, from their eyebrows to their follicles, skin tone, and even battle-scars should you choose.
Photo mode allows you to capture any scene you wish during the game in order to add them to your memorable moments and to show off the character that you have so dutifully created. The options are serious here, and these are just a few of the facets you can customise: character class, starting gift (bright water to providential rings, soul remains, and fire arrows), animation, appearance (eyes, brow, face, skin, nose, mouth jaw, facial hair, decals, width/height/depth sliders– you name it).
Release Date: 10/12/2020
Price: Free Next-Gen upgrade for current owners / £49.99/$59.99
Character-Creation Brief: The Best in the FPS RPG Class – Customisation of character’s voice, hair, face, body type, various modifications. Customisable backgrounds, and clothing. Buildable stat categories dependant on player class.
For the love of first-person shooters. That was an exclamation that required its own sentence because, well, Cyberpunk 2077 is the first-person shooter fans’ ultimate dream. The greatness of this game cannot be understated, since as well as being a first-person shooter, it is also a game where you are able to customise a myriad of variables when it comes to your character. As if it wasn’t cool enough that Keanu freakin’ Reeves has a starring voice role, the character customisation options here are built into and weaved around the game essentially from the ground up.
The RPG elements of this first-person shooter are also so impressive as to be touching upon being beyond belief. You can assume one of a few character classes (Netrunner, Solo, Techie) and the game has developments and upgrade trees that allow you to get into your hands (among other things) some cool weapons from shotguns to melee weapons, rifles, and sniper rifles. The RPG mechanics truly do feel like they were designed by a committee of extremely discerning RPG and first-person shooter fans that enjoy elements of customisation being not only peripheral but integral to how the game looks, feels, and develops as you play.
In addition to the PS5 version looking extremely moody at worst and unbelievably realistic at best, the character creation and editing options here truly are the best of their kind in the world of FPS RPGs. Everything from Face to hairstyle, clothing, backgrounds, body type, a myriad of modifications, and even your character’s freakin’ voice is customisable here.
Furthermore, depending on the player class you choose to be (hacker, machinery, or combat), your stats will vary and you’ll also be introduced to the wonder of the game’s perks and item/weapon trees that develop based on your choices within the game.
Cyberpunk 2077 may not have the ultra-fantasy RPG feel of Demon’s Souls, but what it lacks for in the dark mystique of deep warrior-fantasy madness, it more than makes up for in its unique character-creation options that determine everything from your character’s appearance and sound to the backgrounds, your player class, your weapons/item trees, and the insane amount of variables that are woven throughout the gameplay, all of which depend on each other as well as the choices you make throughout the game. Games Radar are correct in their summation that Cyberpunk 2077’s character creation represents human diversity to a staggering degree.
Madden 21 – Yard Mode
Release Date: 04/12/2020
Price: Free Next-Gen Upgrade for current owners / 80-100$ outright
Character-Creation Brief: Unexpedly Deep – Role-play in QB1 Mode with character development and playing your player from College Tryouts to NFL Stardom; The Yard features custom looks and custom football/street gear and cross-platform inventory share
So the inclusion of a sports game like Madden NFL in a top RPG list may seem like a mad-ting to some, but one can argue quite vehemently that you’re playing a role in a sports game just as much as you are in any other RPG game. Instead of entering into a fantasy world, however, we’re coming in quite literally from leftfield with a sporting experience in which you assume the role of a variety of American Football players in a series of matches or games split into sections. You have wins and losses, ups and downs, and adventures across land like any other RPG games, only you can assume the role of a whole damn team. Plus, Madden NFL 21 is of more impeccable quality than so-called character-creation-laden RPG Godfall, so let’s continue…
Madden NFL 2k20 is everything you want from a sporting-recreation-based roleplaying gaming. The graphics are better than ever and will be even better when the PS5 version is released. The game is feature-rich and includes all your favourite teams and players.
The focus here, however, is on just how far the Madden NFL series has come in terms of customisation and character development. Specifically, I’m talking about the Personalised Career Campaign (QB1 for the football-initiated) in which you go deep into the life and career of your own football character that you are able to create. You assume the role of and guide your player to varying levels of success. You see your own personally-created player through his role from his college try-outs through to NFL success. This truly is as close to an RPG as a sports game gets, with amazing levels of customisation and character creation.
Madden 21 improves on 2020, too, with its character and team-creation mode named “The Yard”. Madden 21: The Yard allows a player to go 6 vs 6, with 1 of the 6 being your very own created-and-customised player. You can customise facial features as well as kit out your football player in the latest and “freshest” (not my words, but those of EA). You can earn “Rep” points and also keep your eye on frequent “gear drops” at certain intervals, too. Also impressive is the shared-inventory feature which lets you access your personal avatar and his gear on mobile and online.
Release Date: Sometime in 2021
Price: Unknown (expect 69.99 upwards, though)
Character-Creation Brief: Decent (from the limited previews): Customise appearance, choice of the four Hogwarts houses
Ok, so a significant proportion of the gaming world like probably be either very excited or notably nonchalant about the arrival of this Harry Potter title. However, expect some big things from this hugely-anticipated Harry Potter RPG. The previews so far have given some things away, such as the ability (of course) to assume the role of any of the four houses (Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, or Hufflepuff), navigating your way through an open-world RPG experience. Expect to explore Hogwarts and beyond, completing missions and playing through scenarios. Hopefully there’s a multiplayer in Hogwart’s Legacy too, but this is unclear as of yet.
Most importantly, though is the inclusion of what is definitely going to be a reasonably detailed character creator. It looks like, well, many other character creators that you see in your typical RPG games. Again, the previews have been more scant with information than Johnny Tighlips, but suffice it to say that you can have your character assume allegiance to any of the four houses, as well as being able to customise their appearance. It’s unlikely to blow other character creators out of the water, but character creation within the Harry Potter universe? It is bound to get some warm reception, no?