Modern Hardcore Action RPGs

Modern Hardcore Action RPGs

What are the general criteria of the hardcore action RPG? Top 5 Most Famous hardcore RPG franchises are Nioh franchise, Bloodborne, Souls series, Code Vein, Monster Hunter etc…

Today these games are known as Souls-like. Technically, it is true. Japanese company From Software makes the same mechanics all the time. The style of grim, challenging, and stylish Hardcore action RPG is critically acclaimed today. But before Dark Souls, there were other titles. Software often struggles with copyright and has some law issues with publishers.


That’s why we don’t have Demon’s Souls on the PC platform. Sony doesn’t allow it. Still, the Japanese studio has made these titles for decades. The King’s Field series has very similar aesthetics and a lot of gaming mechanics. Though, people love them. And upcoming in early 2022 year Elden Ring will deliver the same experience.

Why are we talking about action titles, not classic RPGs? The answer is in the core gameplay. We appreciate good storytelling, but the rich lore sometimes is too much. Hardcore games design for hundreds of hours of walkthroughs. Can anyone listen to even renowned stories over and over again? Hence, the strong plot is good. The polished gameplay is better in this genre.

What are the general criteria of the hardcore action RPG? The main principle is still intact: death is your best teacher. If the protagonist dies too much, then the strategy is wrong. The lesser criteria are:

Main Criteria:

  • A rich fighting system. You can achieve a goal in different ways. Some of them are easier, others – even more difficult;
  • A fair balance. The title itself is not unbeaten. The protagonist just have to find a solution;
  • Various enemies. In casual franchises, you can make a button mashup: every move or attack is almost equal. In complex games, each step you must calculate quickly and accurately;
  • No auto-leveling. A hero can make a backtrack and release a local Armageddon. Some mobs might have enforced versions, but the strategy against them often is changed;
  • The steady difficulty curve. The progress in skills is a great deal. A well-balanced fighting system always gives you a live experience of learning;
  • A fair multiplayer. Of course, if the game has one. The same rules for all competitors and stable connections are required.

Of course, the gamers will have a lot of sweat, tears, and broken gamepads. But the deserved victory is the most precious. If you want to chill at the time of the game process – play best real money slots online. They are very understandable and joyful.

The most famous hardcore RPG franchises

Well, the classification here is a difficult task. That’s why we will not divide the games by ranks. Every title, even from one company, has a unique challenge. Of course, the leading role belongs to From Software. They are the founding fathers of modern hardcore gaming history. So, the adventure and pain have begun together.

Souls series

Demon’s Souls is from another realm, but a lot of characters and game mechanics are similar. The Dark Souls games, though, have a philosophical dichotomy of fire and darkness. These two sides show through the trilogy. The cooperative model in these games is unique. The player can summon phantoms from other realms and be summoned too. Each game has a covenant system. Every society of warriors has its rules. You make a career inside a covenant through numerous battles. And the prizes are valuable. Demon’s Souls has a feature of the fog of damnation: don’t die often, or the land will be in a deadly mist, the monsters will grow in numbers, and the kingdom will fall quickly. Later, the Sekiro game Dragon’s Disease copies it in the same way.


Another Hidetaka Miyazaki’s creation. Some gamers even are talking about “the Soulsborne,” like this is a united franchise. The reality is quite different: the Souls games are defensive. The protagonists can roll through damage or evade it. Bloodborne is working in the other way and it is a famous Hardcore RPG franchies: you are parrying enemies via pistols with mercury bullets. Yes, the logic of the game is pretty surrealistic. So, the successful parry gives you a bloodlust rally. In a short time, a hero can heal from the enemy’s wounds. Blood is not even the main secret of the game, but the plot is another miracle of the franchise.

Nioh franchise

It is another Japanese title from different creators. We are struggling against various demons in Japan. The timeline is within the Sengoku period, so there will be many ninjas, samurai blades, and primitive armor. The enemies are mighty, and the hero almost hasn’t a defense. Another game from From Software – Sekiro video game, exploits the same theme. Though, Sekiro, or Wolf, is a shinobi, a master of disguise. In Nioh, the stealth options are limited. The main activity is sword art. Also, the hero is using numerous blessings, toxins, and other amplifications.

Monster Hunter

Monster Hunter Game

It is a lesser RPG than the predecessor franchises. Monsters here are too severe. Each requires a unique strategy. This way of boss design is very recognizable. Yes, we are talking about the masterpiece of yore – the Shadow of the Colossus. The Monster Hunter franchise is more pompous and grandeur. In “The Shadow…” colossal creatures were the entire content and gameplay. Today the hunt is much more satisfying.

Code Vein

More anime, less brutality: the Souls series inspired by the Berserk manga. The game itself is an almost pure slasher. The hardcore part is about difficult game locations and the number of monsters. The game is pretty short, but the challenge is still relevant.

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