Games with as many main characters as in GoT/ASoIaF or The Wire?

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  • Deleted user 2 September 2017 17:07:40
    Hey,

    Does anyone know of any games with as many main characters as in GoT/ASoIaF or The Wire?

    Right now I can only think of GTA V and Game of Thrones a Telltale games series where you can control respectively 3 and 5 characters but it is nothing compared to the scope of modern TV dramas like Game of Thrones, The Wire, etc. Do you know of any other game that has attempted to do something as big in terms of number of characters and their interactions? (I'm particularly interested in controllable characters but I'm curious about anything else having a similar scope or ambition).

    Thanks

    Edit: I'm also interested in J-RPGs like Tales of Symphonia where there is a lot of interactions between characters.

    Edited by badagaga at 17:11:08 02-09-2017
  • elstoof 2 Sep 2017 17:09:08 23,943 posts
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    Almost every rpg
  • Deleted user 2 September 2017 17:11:55
    Ha! too slow to edit :p
  • elstoof 2 Sep 2017 17:17:01 23,943 posts
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    You could start with

    Final Fantasy
    Final Fantasy 2
    Final Fantasy 3
    Final Fantasy 4
    Final Fantasy 5
    Final Fantasy 6
    Final Fantasy 7
    Final Fantasy 8
    Final Fantasy 9
    Final Fantasy 10
    Final Fantasy 10-2
    Final Fantasy 11
    Final Fantasy 12
    Final Fantasy 13
    Final Fantasy 13-2
    Final Fantasy 13-3
    Final Fantasy 14
    Final Fantasy 15

    Then move on to

    Dragon Quest
    Dragon Quest 2
    Dragon Quest 3
    Dragon Quest 4
    Dragon Quest 5
    Dragon Quest 6
    Dragon Quest 7
    Dragon Quest 8
    Dragon Quest 9
    Dragon Quest 10
    Dragon Quest 11

    Also trying

    Seiken Densetsu
    Seiken Densetsu 2
    Seiken Densetsu 3
    Seiken Densetsu 4

    Then maybe think about going west, like

    Mass Effect
    Mass Effect 2
    Mass Effect 3
    Baldur's Gate
    Baldur's Gate 2
    Neverwinter Nights
    Neverwinter Nights 2
  • Load_2.0 2 Sep 2017 17:20:27 29,773 posts
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    Adventures of Dog Faced Knight.
  • elstoof 2 Sep 2017 17:21:33 23,943 posts
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    If you want to go leftfield then there's

    Cannon Fodder
    Cannon Fodder 2

    Or

    FIFA
    FIFA 95
    FIFA 96
    FIFA 97
    FIFA 98
    FIFA 99
    FIFA 2000
    FIFA 01
    FIFA 02
    FIFA 03
    FIFA 04
    FIFA 05
    FIFA 06
    FIFA 07
    FIFA 08
    FIFA 09
    FIFA 10
    FIFA 11
    FIFA 12
    FIFA 13
    FIFA 14
    FIFA 15
    FIFA 16
    FIFA 17
    FIFA 18
  • Deleted user 2 September 2017 17:44:29
    Thanks a lot everyone!

    @elstoof Never heard of Seiken Densetsum I will check that out. Will also check Cannon Fodder.

    @Load_2.0 Can't find anything about it, I suppose it's a joke?

    But maybe I wasn't precise enough in my question.

    Yes, you can control different characters separately in some of those games but it is only to an extent and at the end of the day what you really control is the squad as a whole, mainly during combat. There is still only one main character (Shepard, the Bhaalspawn, Cecil or the unnamed hero in Dragon Quest).

    There's no switching between characters that are in different part of the world doing their thing, like in games and TV shows I cited in my original post (excluding ToS which uses the "squad" game mechanic, i.e. people join your main character and leave you but you never really play them as individual characters).

    Does this make any sense?

    Edited by badagaga at 17:49:50 02-09-2017
  • Deleted user 2 September 2017 17:57:33
    OK so apparently in litterature it is called either multiple narrative or parallel narrative.

    Better explained than I could:
    http://penandthepad.com/multiple-narrative-1808.html
    http://www.storyboardthat.com/articles/e/nonlinear-plots

    So again, only GTA V and Game of Thrones a Telltale games series really fit the bill.

    Are Seiken Densetsum and Cannon Fodder like that as well?
  • Malek86 2 Sep 2017 17:59:48 8,759 posts
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    In b4 Suikoden 2
  • Deleted user 2 September 2017 18:14:50
    @Malek86 looks like what I'm looking for! Can you switch between playable characters that are not at at same location in the world? Or is switching characters is restricted to people that are near you and/or currently in your squad?
  • mrpon 2 Sep 2017 18:27:02 35,401 posts
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    Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing
  • One_Vurfed_Gwrx 2 Sep 2017 18:42:25 3,566 posts
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    A SAGA game or Legend of Legacy?
  • One_Vurfed_Gwrx 2 Sep 2017 18:47:16 3,566 posts
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    Broken Age. Final Fantasy VI and IX have a little.

    Yakuza 0, 4 or 5.

    The Silver Case.

    Head over Heels :p
  • spamdangled 2 Sep 2017 19:06:27 31,761 posts
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    Resident evil 6
  • mothercruncher 2 Sep 2017 19:07:41 16,484 posts
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    Lemmings.
  • elstoof 2 Sep 2017 19:31:18 23,943 posts
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    Pikmin
  • Deleted user 2 September 2017 19:53:07
    @One_Vurfed_Gwrx Yes! Broken Age is definetly another one although you can only control 2 characters, not the scope of a JRPG or modern TV show. SAGA, Legend of Legacy, The Silver Case and Yakuza I haven't played but from what I've seen online, you only control the main protagonist. Or am I wrong? In which way Final Fantasy VI and IX are different from the other ones in the series? Isn't it a squad mechanic like all the other ones?

    @spamdangled I've never seen it done that way (seperate campaigns), this is quite unique, thanks! Something I can't seem to find an answer to online for Resident Evil 6: can you play one campaign from beginning to the end with a character or does the game forces you to switch character/campaign when the storylines influences one another?
  • spamdangled 2 Sep 2017 20:22:10 31,761 posts
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    @badagaga

    I believe you play as a single character in each campaign. It's been years since I played it (and it's not good).
  • Deleted user 2 September 2017 20:52:43
    I'm surprised Dog Faced Knight doesn't get more recognition. So many people haven't heard of this cromulent game.
  • mothercruncher 2 Sep 2017 21:10:17 16,484 posts
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    Nobody wants to bag up poo in a computer game though.
  • One_Vurfed_Gwrx 2 Sep 2017 21:20:06 3,566 posts
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    badagaga wrote:
    @One_Vurfed_Gwrx Yes! Broken Age is definetly another one although you can only control 2 characters, not the scope of a JRPG or modern TV show. SAGA, Legend of Legacy, The Silver Case and Yakuza I haven't played but from what I've seen online, you only control the main protagonist. Or am I wrong? In which way Final Fantasy VI and IX are different from the other ones in the series? Isn't it a squad mechanic like all the other ones?

    @spamdangled I've never seen it done that way (seperate campaigns), this is quite unique, thanks! Something I can't seem to find an answer to online for Resident Evil 6: can you play one campaign from beginning to the end with a character or does the game forces you to switch character/campaign when the storylines influences one another?
    Yakuza 1, 2 and 3 are single protaganist. 0 has 2 and 4 and 5 have 4 and 5 respectively. You usually play each character's campaign in turn learning more about the overall story from each peespective before the cast join together in a final chapter to finish the story. 0 switches more often between two characters. As for FF, VI has a few point of view changes throughout but you are usually leading with one main or another. IX has sequences where you can see what toher characters arr uo ti while you are playing and you switch protaganist occasionally. SAGA games usually give you 7 lead characters with their won motivations and you can meet others along the way. You don't get too many JRPGs with the switching you want though so I came uo with a few that fit. SAGA are closest but less story orientated than a lot of other JRPGs.

    As for RE6 you can choose whether to switch or do a campaign at a time. I did the latter.
  • One_Vurfed_Gwrx 2 Sep 2017 21:21:39 3,566 posts
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    The Corpse Party games go through multiple protaganists too with lots of character switches and I have just remembered one of my favourite examples, the Forbidden Siren games.

    Edit - maybe Until Dawn too....

    Edited by One_Vurfed_Gwrx at 21:25:32 02-09-2017
  • Deleted user 3 September 2017 00:11:09
    @One_Vurfed_Gwrx Thanks a lot for all these titles (some very interesting ones) and info!

    @Malek86 I watched a playthrough of Suikoden 2 and although it looks like a very cool game it uses the same squad+recruit mechanic as most other JRPGs (there's just a lot of characters available).



    This is the list so far:

    - 428: Shibuya Scramble
    characters: ?
    switching: ?

    - Broken Age
    characters: 2
    switching: free (campaign system with separate saves) until progression lock

    - Corpse Party
    characters: 9
    switching: linear/enforced (chronological chapters, enforced switches during chapters) ?

    - Final Fantasy IX
    characters: 8
    switching: linear/enforced ?

    - Game of Thrones: A Telltale games series
    characters: 5
    switching: linear/enforced (chronological chapters, enforced switches during chapters)

    - Game of Thrones: The Role-Playing Game
    characters: 2
    switching: ?

    - GTA V
    characters: 3
    switching: free until progression lock

    - Heavy Rain
    characters: 4
    switching: ?

    - Machi
    characters: 8
    switching: ?

    - Resident Evil 6
    characters: 2x3 (coop) + 1 (solo)
    switching: free (campaign system with separate saves)

    - Siren (aka Forbidden Siren 1)
    characters: 19
    switching: linear/enforced with small inter-storylines consequences ("Link Navigator")

    - Forbidden Siren 2
    characters: 10
    switching: linear/enforced with small inter-storylines consequences ("Link Navigator")

    - Siren: Blood Curse
    characters: 8
    switching: linear/enforced (chronological chapters, enforced switches during chapters) ?

    - Until Dawn
    characters: 8
    switching: linear/enforced with small inter-storylines consequences ("Butterfly Effect")

    - Yakuza 0
    characters: 2
    switching: ?

    - Yakuza 4
    characters: 4
    switching: linear/enforced (separate campaigns until climatic ending) ?

    - Yakuza 5
    characters: 5
    switching: linear/enforced (separate campaigns until climatic ending) ?



    So...
    - Is there no indie game using this type of parallel narrative?
    - It seems Final Fantasy IX is the only JRPG where actually you play multiple main characters from beginning to end, not just in combat? Seems weird to me given the quantity of available JRPG.

    Regarding scope, I haven't played all of those so correct me if I'm wrong but:
    - Only Resident Evil 6 span multiple continents? Though a few games in the list spread amongst different regions/cities.
    - Every playable character always interact with every other playable character? Maybe not the case in Siren.
    - Siren seems to be the exception in scope with 19 characters. But I suppose the player doesn't spend the same time with all characters equally?

    Anyway if anyone has more games to suggest please do so (especially indie and JRPG). In the meantime I'll be trying the ones in this list. Thanks again.

    Edited by badagaga at 00:11:35 03-09-2017

    Added new games in the list from other's suggestions

    Edited by badagaga at 10:50:09 03-09-2017
  • One_Vurfed_Gwrx 3 Sep 2017 01:01:21 3,566 posts
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    Siren games you will find some characters interact with others while others will not. Not all characters will survive. The link navigator is interesting although a little unclear in the first game. First game has best atmosphere though despite the awful dub. Second is really cool too and offers Japanese voices. The PS3 one is a remake of the first and still enjoyable bit a bit simpler than the original with its original episodic format.

    The SAGA games are JRPGs btw, but availability may be an issue. Legend of Legacy is a spiritual successor on 3DS. I will have a think about if any JRPGs fit your criteria but most tend to focus on a main character as a rule. Also I am pretty sure that Until Dawn had a lot less characters than you listed. Large world scale AND multiple perspectives... Hmmm. Other examples I can think off the top of my head are visual novels, mostly untranslated ones like Machi and 428 (the latter is getting a PS4 release next year in English).

    I still have a feeling that I am missing some obvious ones...
  • DrStrangelove 3 Sep 2017 02:49:24 14,498 posts
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    Quake 3 Arena
  • UncleLou Moderator 3 Sep 2017 07:45:37 40,158 posts
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    It's probably bleedingly obvious, but there was a Game of Thrones RPG a few years ago where you played different characters, I think. Not played it myself.

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-05-31-game-of-thrones-review
  • Deleted user 3 September 2017 10:14:34
    @One_Vurfed_Gwrx Yes, my mistake, Until Dawn apparently only has 8 playable characters not the 15 (total characters in the game) I previously listed. I edited my previous post.

    Regarding SAGA and Legend of Legacy:
    I checked a few playthroughs and gameplay descriptions (Legend of Legacy 2 and SaGa Frontier) but it seemed to me that even though there are multiple unique characters to choose from in the beginning, you only get to choose one and you keep playing it from beginning to end, recruiting other characters along the way, using the classic JRPG/D&D squad mechanic? Or is there something I'm missing about the gameplay of those games? Going to check more playthrough of those and read more about Machi and 428 too. Thanks!



    @UncleLou I always thought there was only one playable character in GoT: RPG but apparently I was wrong. Added to the list thank you!



    Also, I thought aout including Assassin's Creed III and Origins but eventually didn't. In each game, the story really revolves around a single main character only (not talking about Desmond), even though you can play additional characters from time to time in order to advance the story, I don't think it compares to the others in the list.

    The way I see it, the defining elements are:
    - at least 2 playable characters each with their own autonomy (I don't think simply changing squad leader or only controlling an additional character in combat or for one mission should count)
    - at least one interaction between playable characters
    - PoV switches back to a previously played character at least once (not the linear A>B>C seen in AC3)
    - bonus if at least 2 of the playable characters still don't know about each other, even after you played each character once
    - bonus for geographical distance between characters

    And now I understand better why so few developers try this type of narrative structure :p

    Edit: also found this cool Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperlink_cinema

    Edited by badagaga at 10:15:19 03-09-2017
  • One_Vurfed_Gwrx 3 Sep 2017 10:22:27 3,566 posts
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    In Saga you will play as one lead for that playthrough but they are often designed for multiple playthroughs. Sometimes adding an extra character to complete story when you have done the rest IIRC (I haven't completed any myself...)

    Heavy Rain is another btw, although with only 4 characters. There are probably more adventures too...
  • Deleted user 3 September 2017 10:47:46
    @One_Vurfed_Gwrx Adding Heavy Rain thanks. Regarding SAGA, if the story is the same no matter which character you choose (same progression, same objectives, same endgame) I'm not sure these are parallel narratives, no? A lot of games change dialogues and minor story beats depending on choice of character in the beginning but that doesn't change the bigger story or ending. I will dig more.

    Apparently Call of Duty does this too. Not a big fan of this series so I'm not sure if this is linear (A>B>C) or not.

    - Call of Duty: Black Ops features Switching POV in order to brief Mason on what happened in his absence. In addition to the switching between Mason and Hudson, there's a flashback mission from ___ POV. "Rebirth" is the series' most prominent application of the trope, as we get to see just how different the same event looked from the two main characters' perspectives.
    - Call of Duty: Black Ops II does much the same Switching POV trickery, this time between father and son - the former in the 1980s witnessing the start of it all, the latter in 2025 resolving the conflict. In addition, there are parts of two levels where ___ is playable, as well as a mission from ___ perspective.
    - The Modern Warfare series is also an example. The first game alternates between the SAS and Force Recon characters until ___ the endgame. Modern Warfare 2 switches between a squad of Rangers defending the US and Task Force 141 after the person in charge of the attacks. 3, aside from a few one-off characters for certain missions, mainly focuses on ___ and ___ operators in turn.
    source:
    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SwitchingPOV
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