What is an isometric rpg?


The world of video games offers lots of choices. Among them, Isometric Role-Playing Games (RPGs) hold a special place.

In isometric RPGs, the viewpoint is usually at an angle, often in a non-horizontal plane. This type of game provides a lower level of detail and easier movement, which is ideal for action play. However, isometric role-playing games have their own features.

These games combine good isometric game art with interesting gameplay to give us a fun experience for us.

Isometric RPG Challenges

One of the main problems with isometric RPGs is their optimization. If your computer is not prepared to deal with fast-paced games, an isometric RPG may not be a good choice.

Also, in these games, the view is often limited to the character (as they are usually group-oriented), and it’s rare to be able to overcome barriers or look across nearby rooms. Although isometric graphics provide more detail, allowing for faster gameplay, the character can often seem small and cramped.

For example, let’s take the game Torment: Tides of Numenera (2017). This project, set in a far-future post-apocalyptic world, has been cited for having performance issues on lower-end PCs and consoles, including frame rate drops and long loading times.

Torment Tides of Numenera bad optimization

While the game itself doesn’t look very attractive for the year it came out. Even if you compare it to other multiplayer free-to-play games.

Another problem is the difficulty of navigating and learning in isometric role-playing games.

Unlike traditional games, where the player’s attention is focused on the entire screen or on a specific moment in time, isometric games involve the constant movement of the player from one side to another. This makes learning more difficult, as it becomes harder to memorize what is happening due to the unpredictability of the player’s movements. For some people, these dynamics can make isometric role-playing games quite monotonous. Those who want dynamic and fast-paced games, however, prefer isometric games.

We can see these problems in the Pillars of Eternity series (2015-2018)

These games are characterized by complex game mechanics and deep, branching narratives. However, the complexity of their systems, from character creation to combat, can be overwhelming for beginners. In addition, map layout and navigation in the games can be challenging due to the scale of the world and the number of areas to explore.

Pillars of Eternity UI

Finally, there is a shortage of high-quality isometric RPGs on the market. Despite the fact that many gamers are fans of the genre, there simply aren’t enough modern, high-quality isometric RPGs on the market. There are a few, but most of them are relatively old, outdated, and created on a low budget.

The Contrast Between Isometric RPG and Standard RPG Games

Isometric RPGs are different from true RPG games because there is no need for a gamepad. Most isometric RPG games simply do not support controllers. The main distinction between true and isometric is that isometric games are played with only the keyboard and mouse (or sometimes, without a keyboard).

Since the game is played with only one hand, there is more control over the action, and there is less to worry about in terms of remembering where to click or what to do. In contrast, true isometric games use both hands and use the right or left hand to move and look around.


Isometric RPGs typically offer a complex, detailed environment for the player to navigate through. Due to their unique perspective, players see the world from top to bottom, allowing them to explore and interact with the game world in ways that conventional RPGs do not allow.

Isometric RPGs are usually considered “action games” since they tend to involve some form of fighting, instead of playing a traditional role-playing game. However, many of these games contain elements of both shooting and combat.

There are several isometric RPGs that feature both shooting and combat.

If you’re interested in isometric games, try games like:

  • Diablo series (1996-Present): Blizzard’s action RPG series has had a massive impact on the gaming world. With its dark fantasy setting, fast-paced action, and multiplayer capabilities, the Diablo series continues to be popular among RPG fans.
  • Disco Elysium (2019): This is a highly innovative game that combines a deep narrative with unique mechanics. It’s a detective game with no combat, where dialogue and skill checks drive the gameplay.
  • Pathfinder: Kingmaker (2018): Based on the popular tabletop game, Pathfinder: Kingmaker is known for its deep character customization, large game world, and complex, strategic combat.

Is Isometric RPGs Boring?

Absolutely not. Isometric RPG games are really fun to play. Finally, it must be said that the only way to truly enjoy a game is by having fun. You may think that playing isometric games is dull, but the truth is, there is actually a lot to be enjoyed about this style of game.

These games often feature combat mechanics that involve strategy, planning, and character development. Players can control multiple characters, each with unique skills and abilities, necessitating strategic choices to overcome challenges and progress through the narrative.

Character Development

Like traditional RPGs, isometric variants thrive on character development. Players can customize characters, develop their skills, and make decisions that affect their progression.

Minsc (Baldur’s Gate series)

A lovable and slightly deranged ranger from the world of Dungeons & Dragons, Minsc is known for his great strength, a somewhat confused sense of heroism, and his pet hamster, Boo.

He is one of the most iconic characters of the Baldur’s Gate series.

Warrior Dwarf

RetroStyle Games, an outsourcing studio, recently breathed life into a novel fantasy character known as the “Warrior Dwarf”. This exciting development was undertaken for a client, who needed a 3D character art and animation for the demo version of their action RPG.

Reflecting Celtic folklore, the dwarven warrior has fire-red hair with decorative beads, giving him a commanding look. His strong build with a belly suits his heavy armor. The beautifully decorated hammer he holds is larger than himself, hinting at his formidable strength. The isometric game art was finalized and approved within a day.

With an impressive portfolio that boasts of projects like Celtic Tribes, Storm Wars, and Magic Arena, 3d game art outsourcing studio RetroStyle Games has an enviable reputation for creating awe-inspiring fantasy characters.

The character was then carefully modeled in 3D, going through various stages including sculpting, retopology, UV mapping, and texturing. After rigging and skinning, the gnome warrior was adorned with chest armor, cloak, and helmet, giving him a menacing look. The armor was artistically beaten to tell the story of former battles. The entire process of 3D modeling the character and his weapons took over a week.

Crafting an Isometric RPG

Creating a new game from scratch, including isometric RPG games, can be a daunting task. It involves a slew of activities, including modeling, coding, and writing. But, with dedication and time on your side, it’s a challenge you can overcome.

For modeling, you could hire an artist or use outsourcing 3d modeling services.

You can also find collaborators on social media platforms like LinkedIn. However, the most crucial aspect is selecting the right game engine.

Top game engines for Isometric RPGs include:

  • Unreal Engine
  • RPG Maker
  • Godot Engine
  • Armory
  • CryEngine
  • Defold
  • Monogame

These engines can assist you in developing your own RPG games. Whether they’re isometric or not is entirely up to you.

In conclusion, isometric RPGs are a unique combination of narrative depth, strategic gameplay, and a unique visual perspective. Players who are looking for engaging and challenging gameplay should explore the genre of isometric RPGs.

So, ready to dive into the adventure? It’s time to play!

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