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Did The Witcher 3 Live Up to the Hype?
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Recently Released

Aug: King's Quest
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Jul: ICY
Jul: Victor Vran
Jul: Breach & Clear: Deadline

Saturday - July 18, 2015

BGEE: Siege of Dragonspear - On Mods, Publishers and the Future of Baldur's Gate

by Hiddenx, 00:27

Paul Dean (Rock, Paper, Shotgun) has written an interesting article about Baldur's Gate 1.5 - Siege of Dragonspear:

"We move from custodian to creator."

That was how Trent Oster described it. Beamdog's co-founder who, twenty years ago, was also there when Bioware began, is once again returning to one of roleplaying's most beloved and most influential series. This time, he won’t just be adding a new lick of paint here or a subtle embellishment there, as he has with the company's Enhanced Editions of the Baldur’s Gate games. No, Baldur&'s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear is something wholly new. While Beamdog are calling it an expansion pack, its scope and scale mean that it outsizes both Tales of the Sword Coast and Throne of Bhaal. For all intents and purposes, it’s Baldur’s Gate 3.

Okay, fine, it's more like Baldur's Gate 1.5, since its plot is designed to slot neatly between those of the other two games, bridging a narrative gap that has long remained murky and ambiguous. Whatever its numeral, it is a third game in the Baldur’s Gate series, set in the same world, during the same time, and featuring many of the same characters. While it may not boast the same enormous size as the tremendous siblings that bracket it, it's not looking slight. Beamdog are estimating that it will give players at least twenty-five hours of adventuring and Oster says it's actually larger than both previous expansions combined. This, they say, will be some very substantial adventuring. [...]

Baldur's Gate: EE

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Friday - July 17, 2015

Balrum - Trying to be Greenlit

by Myrthos, 21:48

Balcony Team, the developers of Balrum, have started the process to be greenlighted on Steam.

Balrum is an old-school, hybrid turn-based, open world, RPG. Balrum features a living fantasy world with deep tactical combat and dozens of side quests next to an epic main quest. In addition to traditional RPG features Balrum has deep crafting which allows the player to craft their own custom items. Balrum also features farming your own crops, building your home, and survival mechanics complemented by the game's main features. In Balrum you control a single character, but your character will have a faithful animal companion as a pet. Your pet is fully controllable and adds greatly to the complexity of the combat. 

Features:
  • Real-Time world with Turn-Based Combat 
  • A huge Open World to explore with dozens of Dungeons 
  • Your Choices define your Class 
  • Dozens of Side Quests and an epic Main Quest 
  • Building 
  • Farming 
  • An animal Pet as your loyal companion 
  • Deep Crafting Systems (Alchemy, Cooking, Weapon Crafting, Armor Crafting, Item Combining)
  • Day/Night Cycle with Weather System 
  • Survival Mechanics

Balrum

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Skyrim - Bethesda Talks Skyrim's Paid Mods Controversy @ Gamespot

by Hiddenx, 19:43

Bethesda's Pete Hines about talks about paid mods and future plans:

[...] "I think our stance on it is we're going to re-evaluate it going forward," Hines said. "I think that we feel like there is a case to be made that people who spend a lot of time working on mods ought to be able to have a way of monetizing what they're doing.

"Certainly some of the folks that we talked to were very interested in and supportive of the idea," he added. "We had creators who said, 'I've been asking for donations for years and never saw anything, and I made more in one day.' So why would I not support that?"

One of the issues that some brought up around the Skyrim paid mod system is that creators aren't paid enough. As part of the now-scrapped plan, the breakdown for mod revenue looked like this:

  • Bethesda - 45 percent
  • Valve - 30 percent
  • Modders - 25 percent

"Is this the right split? There are valid arguments for it being more, less, or the same," Bethesda said back in April. "It is the current industry standard, having been successful in both paid and free games. After much consultation and research with Valve, we decided it's the best place to start."

Hines told us that, if the paid mod system does return, Bethesda would still expect to get a cut of the revenue-- even if the percentage might change. [...]

Skyrim

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Interstellaria - Release Day

by Hiddenx, 18:04

Interstellaria will be released today on Steam:

Interstellaria is a real time space-exploration sim and crew management game.

Command a fleet of vessels wandering the galaxy for adventure and profit! You’ll be forced to make tough decisions as you face hostile starships, crippling space anomalies, and intriguing aliens. When your fleet faces certain doom, should you direct your crew to make critical repairs, or report to their stations and boost your fleet?

Land your flagship on an alien world, allowing your crew to gather valuable resources for you— but be sure to equip them with powerful armor and weapons! It’s a dangerous universe out there, and although many helpful creatures will trade or share valuable information with you, many more will attack on sight!

Features:

  • Tactical crew management. Direct crewmen to put out fires, or repair damaged equipment. Posting them to their station boosts your fleet's speed and combat abilities.
  • Customize your ship with helpful stations. Allocate power to important systems or simply outfit your ship with lasers and put all power into weapons!
  • Your crew eats, sleeps, and needs entertainment. Each one develops unique traits throughout the game that help or hurt the mission. Various outfits and weapons can be found to customize them further.
  • Fleet-based combat. Instead of controlling a single ship, you control multiple ships each with their own crew.
  • Fully explorable galaxy, no areas are off limits. Each region has unique ships, aliens, and mysteries to find.
  • Land your ships on planets! Each world is a new experience and has special rewards for you and your crew.
  • Featuring an all-original soundtrack from the incredibly popular chiptune musician Chipzel.

Trailer:

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Interstellaria

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux
Release: Released

Details

The Witcher Series - Developers Interview @ RPS

by Myrthos, 12:31

Rock, Paper, Shotgun have talked with long time developers at CD Project Red about the development of the three Witcher games.

Konrad Tomaszkiewicz, another CDP Game Director, explained, “It was our first title, a project we actually used to learn how to develop games. On top of that, we had huge ambitions that extended well beyond the capabilities of BioWare’s engine. Above all, we wanted to push the envelope graphically, so we rebuilt the renderer from scratch and created our own means for displaying visuals.”

One of the unique things about The Witcher, back in 2007, was the way it was brimming with life-like details. I remember being floored when the skies opened up over a tiny village center and everyone started running for shelter, clustering under eaves and awnings while waiting for the storm to pass.

“Since BioWare’s engine didn’t support large in-game communities, we had to create our own tools that would let us generate populations that would be satisfactory in size and follow a daily life cycle,” Tomaszkiewicz said. “It wasn’t easy, but ultimately we managed to produce something that truly resembled a living world, where folk had their jobs and lifestyles. They’d leave their homes in the morning, visit the local tavern after work to unwind, then go home to their families come evening. Merchants would hawk their wares, guardsmen would patrol Vizima’s back streets.”

Witcher 3

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

GOG - Totalbiscuit recommends

by Myrthos, 12:12

The GOG sale for this weekend consists of games recommended by Totalbiscuit, such as:

  • Pillars of Eternity (Hero and Champion)
  • Wasteland 2 (Regular and Deluxe)
  • Age of Wonders 3 (Regular, Deluxe and Add-ons)
  • The King's Bounty games

And many more.

GOG

Details

Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor Martyr - Announced

by Myrthos, 09:31

Neocore Games have announced that they are in development of Warhammer 40.000: Inquisitor - Martyr, labeled as an action RPG.

Here is the press blurb:

Building on the experience gained from The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Action - RPG trilogy, NecoreGames aims to expand the boundaries of the genre itself by taking the in - game mechanics and visual solutions to a brand new level and also by opening up a persistent sandbox universe.

Warhammer 40.000 : Inquisitor – Martyr will portray the secret war of the Inquisition against the taint of Chaos . The presentation will feature one of the available classes fighting his way through a haunted, Gothic cathedral of a space - faring, colossal monastery - ship, infested by mutants and heretics of Nurgle , one of the terrible Gods of Chaos. This Inquisitor belongs to the Crusader class, the perfect candidate to illustrate how our game adds some extra flavor the to the familiar ARPG elements with the new additions: the cover - based combat, enemies with attackable body parts and the so - called battle drugs that will replace the usual potions.

The single player campaign pitches players into a grim and secret war among the stars as the agents of the ever - vigilant Inquisition . After the end of the campaign the story ties into a colossal sandbox game : set in a persistent setting, a secluded sector in this vast universe, it grants years of constant entertainment, gradual development and a continuous flow of content that enriches the gameplay.

IGN has a quote from Neocore's producer Zoltán Pozsonyi:

“There’s a reason why we chose the world of Warhammer 40,000: it’s intense, brutal, visceral – a perfect material for an action RPG. Working with Games Workshop, we’re doing our best to bring a high quality game to the community. We’re huge fans as well, so we care deeply about this game.”

It will be released on PC, MAc, Xbox One and PS4 in 2016.

Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor - Martyr

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Deus Ex - Let's Play

by Hiddenx, 00:49

The creators of the original Deus Ex, Warren Spector, Sheldon Pacotti and Chris Norden, take a trip down memory lane while playing their game fifteen years after its release:

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Deus Ex

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Shooter-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Thursday - July 16, 2015

Sorcerer King - Released

by Hiddenx, 22:17

The 4x Strategy game Sorcerer King has been released today on Steam:

Your world is about to come to an end in this new fantasy strategy game from Stardock. You’re in a struggle against the ever ticking Doomsday counter to save your world from the Sorcerer King before he can cast the Spell of Making to become a god and destroy the world. You’ll explore the land and encounter hundreds of quests along the way as you expand your kingdom, learn powerful new magic spells and choose who will be your friends or rivals. Can you last long enough for the final showdown? Can you stop the Sorcerer King?

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Steam

Details

Secrets of Grindea - In Early Access

by Myrthos, 16:33

We have been informed that the action RPG Secrets of Andrea is now available on Steam in Early Access.

Secrets of Grindea is an old-school Action RPG with co-op support for up to 4 players. It is a tribute to and sometimes a parody of the old SNES games so many of us grew up with and loved! Journey through fantastical lands and battle tons of different enemies and bosses in your quest for truth, friendship and, above all, finding the world's rarest treasures!

Key Features

  • Character customization. There are no class restrictions, which gives you precise control over how your character develops! A flaming ice mage smashing faces with axes? Sure thing! On top of this, there’s a wide variety of haircuts, hats and head gears that will make your character look unique as well.
  • Co-op support for up to four players! Bring your friends on the adventure by inviting them directly via Steam!
  • A story filled with mystery, laughs and suspense will take you through dungeons and fields of all shapes in the rich and varied world of Grindea. A ton of side quests and hidden content will keep you busy for hours after finishing the game!
  • Arcade Mode features a unique experience of procedurally generated Action RPG madness, truly putting your skills to the test. Help build the town of Arcadia by rising to the challenge of this extremely tough and replayable mode!
  • A pet system that makes sure you never have to be alone, even when playing by yourself. Catch any of the cute tameable animals and have them accompany you on your adventures while also boosting your skills!

There is also a demo available.

Indie RPGs

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Unknown
Genre: RPG
Platform: Unknown
Release: In development

Details

Fallout 3 - Retrospective on Drugs

by Myrthos, 16:17

Here is a different way to look at a game. While under medication an editor at Gaming rebellion has played Fallout 3 and feels it has its lows and highs.

Although for me, and in my (in real life) medical condition, I didn't mind the grind so much while in my hazy state. Even with fast travel, prepare to walk, a lot. I mean a whole hell of a lot, but my (IRL) medical issues were pleasantly distracted discovering POIs, making the endless hikes worthwhile. I didn't discover every single POI, but after 90 hours, along with the repetitive nature of the game, I feel that I got the entire Fallout 3 experience. So no rating, no scoring this game. For various reasons Fallout 3 would scale very low and very high. If you have enjoyed Bethseda's previous games, you will enjoy Fallout 3. The addition of active combat made it both more fulfilling and at times, frustrating. This is also a manic depressive adventure, so if you can deal with the ups and downs like your weird cousin Fred, and if you're the type that can overlook technical failures (bored Liam, clipping, so much walking) than you're going to have a blast. If not, then perhaps don't spend any time in the DC wastelands and stick with the far superior Borderlands or Metro series instead.

Fallout 3

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: Shooter-RPG
Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Release: Released

Details

ICY - To Be Released Next Week

by Myrthos, 15:14

Icy, the post-apocalyptic game taking place in a new ice age, will be released next week. This is what the new publisher Digital Tribes informs us of in a press release.

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A NEW ICE AGE HITS THIS JULY

STAMFORD,CT, July 1, 2015 - Inner Void Interactive teams up with DIgital Tribe Games to proudly announce the upcoming Steam release of ICY - a narrative-driven, survival, RPG set in a post-apocalyptic frozen world. Prepare to get chilled to the bone during one of the hottest months of the year when ICY launches on Steam July 21, 2015.

In ICY, your life and the lives of your followers hang on every decision you make. You begin by creating your own character using a detailed stats system that influences your abilities to Hunt, Travel, Scavenge, Communicate and Lead, then begin a journey of survival across the White Wasteland.

It is up to you to take on the responsibilities and lead your new-found nomad family in their fight for survival. Do not take your role lightly for each decision you make, each word you speak, ripples through the lives of your community.If your words fail you, pray your weapons aim true.
In addition to the elements and wildlife you encounter there will be weird loners, friendly cannibals, mutant cults, slave traders and spiritual tribes along with all sorts of other miscreants to deal with. Decide well on who to trust and how to react or the snow covered landscape will become your icy tomb. You just better hope that your mouth doesn't write a check that your ass can't cash.

Key features:

  • Experience an intense and mature story of survival in a unique post-apocalyptic new ice age setting.

  • Influence the plot with your choices, with numerous shades of morality that lead to multiple endings.

  • Lead a group of survivors, each one with different needs, values and ideals.

  • Scavenge for items and hunt for food while facing the challenges of starvation, illness, harsh elements as well as other bands of survivors.

  • More than 400 pieces of detailed hand-drawn artwork help paint the backdrop for the story.

  • Customize your character by choosing how to distribute attribute points among 3 main character traits and 10 different skills that affects your abilities and experience through the entire game.


ICY will be launching on Steam for Windows PC and MAC July 21, 2015.

ICY

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Celestian Tales - Release Date Set

by Myrthos, 15:01

Digital Tribes, an indie focussed publisher, announced that they are working with Ekuatar to bring Celestial Tales to the masses and that the release date is the 11th of August and will come to Steam, Humble Bundle and GOG.

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MORAL DRIVEN JRPG ASKS, WHICH PATH WILL YOU FOLLOW?

STAMFORD, CT. July 14, 2015 – You are not special. The world is not about to end. There is no ancient prophecy nor a giant mythical beast about to be unleashed…
 
Digital Tribe and Ekuator Games present to you Celestian Tales: Old North, a turn-based roleplaying game created in traditional JRPG style, full of lush hand-painted environments, emotive portraits, memorable characters and a sprawling engaging moralistic storyline that is told through the eyes of six protagonists over many engrossing hours of gameplay.
 
Celestian Tales: Old North allows players to become part of a diverse group of young warriors in training who must learn who they are and where they stand as everyone’s skills are developed to survive the impending war with a dangerous threat from another land.

Experience six intertwining tales from the perspectives of a noble prepared to sacrifice those of lower birth for the greater good, a loyal soldier bred for the fields of battle, a prodigy in strength pushing through all obstacles by force, a knowledge-hungry explorer shackled by the chains of duty, a peasant crawling out from a life of poverty, and an outsider questioning the natural evils of humanity. Then face the cause which unites them all.
 
One's truth may not be another's. Good deeds done by someone may be perceived by another as evil. Often we see only what we want to see and believe only in what we want to believe. Which path will you follow as you journey in the Old North? Through whose eyes will you experience the events that unfold?
 
FEATURES INCLUDE

  • Moral Confrontations - Situations are presented to the player throughout the game that tug at moral standings and beliefs.
  • Unique Story – Brings a fresh approach to RPG storytelling by avoiding genre clichés in a story where players feel the weight of their character’s actions.
  • Multiple Story Arcs - 6 Selectable Characters allow you to play the game from 6 different perspectives. Play through the game as all 6 characters to get the entire experience.
  • Traditional RPG Gameplay - Inspired by classic JRPGs with a turn-based RPG battle system that allows players to develop a personal combat style.
  • Beautiful Art - Lush hand-painted background visuals and environments with detailed emotive character portraits and animated pixel-art characters that run around the world.
  • Epic Music - A sweeping score that captures the pace and emotion of the story as it unfolds.
Celestian Tales: Old North will launch on Steam, Humble Store and other major digital distribution channels for PC, Mac and Linux.

Celestian Tales

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: J-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Evoland 2 - Release Date Announced

by Myrthos, 12:43

The release date for Evoland 2: A Slight Case of Spacetime Continuum Disorder, has been set to the 25th of August.

Bordeaux, France – July 15, 2015 – French indie developer Shiro Games today announced that Evoland 2: A Slight Case of Spacetime Continuum Disorder, the time-traveling, genre-spanning standalone follow-up to the 2013 indie hit Evoland, will release worldwide on digital storefronts for Windows PC on August 25, 2015, with Mac and Linux versions to follow soon after. Players who pre-order Evoland 2 through the official website at www.evoland2.com will receive a special 10% off discount as well as a digital art book.

A unique RPG adventure on a grand scale, Evoland 2 takes players on a truly epic journey through time and across a variety of classic and contemporary video game styles. Filled with homages, a wide variety of gameplay genres, and a graphical style that evolves throughout the game, Evoland 2 is an RPG adventure bursting with charm and character. Players can expect exciting beat-’em-up battles, captivating puzzles, pixel-perfect platforming, a tense shoot-’em-up segment, and much, much more.

“By confirming to our fans when Evoland 2 will release, we hope the excitement and anticipation will garner further awareness of this very special game,” said Sebastien Vidal, CEO of Shiro Games. “We are taking every measure to deliver a memorable experience that delivers on the original vision we had set for the original Evoland. This is going to be an epic adventure through the world of videogames and we hope players will join us.”

The story of Evoland 2 revolves around a hero who must protect the strange world he lives in by learning to understand events in different timelines, and in turn attempt to alter a grim future for the better. With a strange secret buried within the core of this world affecting the course of time itself and powerful forces at play, can he change the world’s destiny or is it already set in stone?

The original Evoland released in early 2013 for PC and Mac via Steam as well as on mobile devices, and has sold over 500,000 copies to date. Developer Shiro Games has absorbed critic and user feedback garnered from the original Evoland and has expanded its development team significantly in its endeavor to fully realize – and exceed – the original game’s vision. Evoland 2 is a standalone experience, and the player’s enjoyment will not be dependent upon playing the first Evoland. Existing fans will also appreciate the host of new gameplay styles and elements to warrant experiencing the world in an entirely new way while maintaining the game’s familiar charm.

Evoland 2

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: Unknown
Release: In development

Details

Matt Chat - Richard Bartle Interview #3

by Hiddenx, 08:21

Matt Chat #299:

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Bartle is back to talk about user communities and the MMORPG genre. According to Bartle, the text-based MUDs had some real advantages over their graphical counterparts!

Matt Chat

Details

Wednesday - July 15, 2015

Lords of Xulima - 70% off Promo + Contest @ GOG

by Hiddenx, 22:45

If you still don't have Lords of Xulima then now is the time to get it at GOG:

Lords of Xulima 70% off Promo + Contest

Win an autographed, physical copy of Lords of Xulima: Collector's Edition!

Scratch your old school RPG itch with a 70% discount on Lords of Xulima - Deluxe Edition, and the edition upgrade!
If we had to say one thing about Lords of Xulima it would be that it's huge -
over 100 gameplay hours of completely original fantasy roleplay huge. With a mix of isometric exploration and first-person turn based combat - it's all the good old school gameplay you know and love to scratch that unique RPG itch. Lords of Xulima - Deluxe Edition includes exciting extra content: Talisman of Goldot DLC and the Special Digital Rewards package. The DLC includes three artifacts of epic giving power to help you on your journey, while the digital rewards are a package of impressive bonus content including an Original Soundtrack, a detailed Bestiary & Mythology of Xulima, Map of Xulima, and more!
The promo lasts until July 19, 11:59 AM GMT.

CONTEST:

If the promo wasn't a good enough reason to explore the lands of Xulima, we're also happy to announce a contest for you all!
You've shown us time and time again that you’re all other kinds of creative. If you're anything like us, than about half of every extended classic RPG session was spent rolling and adjusting every possible stat on that perfect party. That's the side of RPG gaming joy that really doesn't get enough credit - so this week we want to bring it to the forefront in the most classic style!

THE GOAL:
Design (write, draw, paint, photoshop, photograph) your very own RPG character sheet. Pen and paper style. Show us the coolest, funniest or just most creative character you can think of! Is it you? Is it your cat? Is it your grandmother, vanquisher of the empty stomach? We *need* to know.

THE GOODS:

We will pick 2 winners, who will receive their very own physical (and signed!) copy of Lords of Xulima - Collector's Edition. These editions are brand new and pretty unique collectors' items featuring a world map, and two hardcover books: Secrets of Xulima Game Guide and Bestiary & Mythology of Xulima.
We'll also throw in 4 GOG.com game codes worth $9.99 each!
Knowing how these things go, there'll be plenty of runners up as well - so don't hesitate to enter even if you don't think you'll be numero uno.

THE RULES:

  • We're allowing only one entry per user, so make sure it's the one you love.
  • Submit your creation as a .jpg image as a forum reply to this post. Make it an attachement, or host it on http://imgur.com/.
  • We're accepting entries until Tuesday, July 21st, at 23:59 GMT.
  • We’ll be posting our favorite entries on our social media profiles, so get ready to get some fame - we promise to credit you by your GOG.com user name.

Have fun with it!

 

Lords of Xulima

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Pillars of Eternity - Review #4 @ RPGCodex

by Hiddenx, 19:06

The Codex can't get enough of Pillars of Eternity. This time old Watcher Prime Junta has reviewed the game:

The big-picture similarities between Pillars and the IE games are obvious, and many featured already in the Kickstarter pitch. Top-down isometric camera. Six-member party. Real-time-with-pause combat. Class- and attribute-based character system. Swords and sorcery. Elves and dwarves. Dragons and dungeons. Looks that take you straight back to Icewind Dale or Baldur’s Gate 2. Pillars also has the feel of selecting and commanding units down well. Selecting a unit or a group, moving, rotating a formation, or picking a target has the same crispness and feel of immediate feedback as in the originals. The user interface has a number of small but subtle improvements, such as better support for quick keys and the ability to shift-queue commands. Switching between Baldur's Gate 2 and Pillars is almost seamless. The characters respond instantly, and there's the same pleasurable and "connected" feeling of direct control. This is where the game succeeds best, and it accounts for a lot of the praise it has received. [...]

The Infinity Engine games made great use of one of D&D’s best features: magic. By the time BioWare began making its games, the ruleset had been played for over 20 years, and it was massive, flexible and polished. It offered plenty of tools, from opening locked doors to protecting yourself against the petrifying gaze of a basilisk, to sequencers releasing a number of spells at once, or preparing contingency spells that automatically fire off others in specific situations.
It is not without its flaws, however. It is extremely limited at low levels, and tends towards instant-win or instant-lose effects in the mid levels. It has a quite a lot of spells which are as good as useless, and only really hits its stride at late mid to high levels, when you have a significant amount of spellcasting oomph available, both in range and quantity. That’s when the famous ‘mage duels’ start.
The growth curve of Pillars magic is the opposite. It is highly useful and has a lot of variety straight out of the gate. Where Baldur’s Gate mages would rack up a few dozen misses with a sling on an average day, Pillars’ level 1 casters are already full participants in encounters. By the time IE game magic would start to really hit its stride, towards the end of Pillars, underlying weaknesses start to emerge, and it never develops the depth and emergent complexity of a Baldur's Gate 2. There are four main causes for this: the core resolution mechanic, status effect impact and duration, the inability of the AI to exploit the synergies in the system, and limited counters. [...]

Even with its flaws, Pillars of Eternity is a remarkable game. It was made in a short time with limited resources, yet it is as big, sprawling, complex, and detailed as the games it references. The world is deep, fully-realised, and more believable than Forgotten Realms or most other swords-and-sorcery settings. The gameplay is rich and varied, with massive scope for experimentation and creativity, and if you crank it up to Path of the Damned, challenging enough to keep you on your toes for most of the ride. The writing is up to Obsidian's usually high standard. And there's a lot of it: masses of quests, monsters, maps, dialogues, items, abilities, and much more.

Baldur's Gate would likely have been forgotten had it not been for Baldur's Gate 2 and Planescape: Torment. If Obsidian can build on Pillars' success, improve on the areas that need improvement while maintaining its strengths, Path of the Damned can point the way to Path of the Incline. Pillars is a first, somewhat faltering step to reviving a near-stagnant genre. A few years ago, the very idea of a Baldur’s Gate 2-scope, top-down, isometric, party-based cRPG from a major studio seemed like a pipe dream. Whether this new flowering can survive between the siren song of a mass market and the grumbling of the grognards — let alone come close to making both groups happy — hangs on the followup. For some of us, Pillars delivered. Others are still waiting. The space it and the other big-ticket Kickstarters has helped clear benefits us all.

Pillars of Eternity

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Legends of Eisenwald - Review @ Gamespot

by Hiddenx, 18:35

Brett Todd (Gamespot) has reviewed Legends of Eisenwald - some snippets:

Legends of Eisenwald Review

Get out the beer and the lederhosen.

Legends of Eisenwald has just about everything except Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses on a church door. Developer Aterdux Entertainment has traded in the usual Dungeons & Dragons-influenced fantasy realm common to tactical role playing for a more realistic story and setting based on medieval Germany at around the time the Reformation was starting to annoy the popes. The concept brings a unique feel and an absorbing (if occasionally workmanlike) campaign to a been-there, done-that genre.

Nevertheless, the heart of Legends of Eisenwald is based on the same structure that has powered fantasy role-playing/tactical combat since the glory days of Heroes of Might and Magic. Differences between this game and traditional tactical fantasy role players seem rather superficial, at least at first. The three available Knight, Baroness, and Mystic character classes match up almost perfectly with the standard Warrior, Ranger, and Mage/Cleric found in standard swords-and-sorcery gaming. Both heroes and the mercenaries you employ level up and come with assorted skills, special upgrades, slots for a full range of gear and armor and weapons, and a range of stats for hit points, attack, willpower, and so forth. [...]

A few aspects of the design are somewhat problematic. Quests are not always spelled out clearly. At times this is good, as it promotes more exploration. At times this is bad, as you can get lost when a destination and/or the maps are too dark and cluttered with complicated terrain features. Some quest descriptions leave a lot to be desired, and locations are often given different names in quest dialogues from the maps. Also, be wary of bugs: I had the game crash to the desktop with exception errors on a few occasions, although generally the game was stable.

Visiting a virtual medieval Germany probably isn't at the top of the to-do list of any tactical RPGers, but maybe it should be. While Legends of Eisenwald is something of a grim, brutal experience much like the land in question back in the 15th century, the game is certainly a unique addition to a genre that has mostly settled into a high-fantasy comfort zone. Strong storytelling and sheer novelty make guiding Heinrich and his pals around the dark forests of old-time Deutschland enthralling...even if you do miss the magic missiles and elves every so often.

The Good:

  • Atmosphere blends fantasy into real medieval Germany to create a unique game world
  • Deep RPG elements and solid, if traditional, turn-based combat
  • Absorbing storytelling
  • Stylishly gloomy aesthetic

The Bad:

  •  Quest instructions can be confusing
  • Combat gets repetitive

Final Score: 7/10

Legends of Eisenwald

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

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Shenmue 3 - New Trailer

by Gorath, 16:42

With only a bit more than two days to go in the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter campaign, Ys Net released a very short trailer.

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The campaign is at almost 5M$ now.

Shenmue 3

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Modern
Genre: RPG
Platform: Unknown
Release: In development

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Dead Island 2 - Deep Silver Fires Yager!

by Gorath, 16:07

Several sites of the Eurogamer network published the news and several updates on the divorce between the publisher Deep Silver and the independent AAA developer Yager Development. Deep Silver moved the Dead Island 2 contract from Yager to an undisclosed other studio.

Here are parts of Deep Silver's comment

With Dead Island 2, Deep Silver has always been dedicated to delivering the sequel that Dead Island fans deserve. After careful consideration, today we announce the decision to part ways with development partner Yager," publisher Deep Silver said in a statement.

"We will continue working towards bringing our vision of Dead Island 2 to life, and we will share further information at a later stage."

and Yager's statement:

In a statement issued to GamesIndustry.biz, Ullmann reiterated the company's commitment to both AAA development and its own independence - an increasingly difficult double-act in the modern games industry.

"Our team is made of the best creative minds and tech specialists, who all share a common identity," he said. "The team worked with enthusiasm to take Dead Island 2 to a new level of quality. However, Yager and Deep Silver's respective visions of the project fell out of alignment, which led to the decision that has been made."

The German Eurogamer site also writes they've heard rumors about a substantial number of layoffs at Yager following Deep Silver's decision.

Yager is working on at least two other projects, the space shooter Dreadnought and unannounced project(s).

Dead Island 2

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Modern
Genre: Hack & Slash
Platform: PC
Release: In development

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RPGWatch - Expeditions: Viking Preview

by Myrthos, 10:59

A while ago the Nordic Game Convention in Malmö took place and Aries100 went there to check out the, at that time, recently announced Expeditions: Viking. Here are his findings from that meeting.

I asked Alex the questions from Watchers Pladio and Archangel about magic weapons, mythological elements, bears, Nordic gods and skills in the game, as well as choice and consequence and here a summary of his answers: "There will be no magical weapons in this game.  However, since this was a time where people believed in magic you might find a weapon that’ll boost your characters’ morale. These weapons can either be a spear of Odin or a weapon which has bone runes inserted. As such, it will be the characters perception of the weapons that will boost their morale."

In line with this, the Nordic Gods will not have a direct influence on the gameplay in any way. However, Alex gave an example from Conquistador in which a character went into cave and was exposed to some hallucinogenic fumes and experienced a meeting with a south American god. They might do the same for Viking, but they haven’t yet decided how to represent them [the Nordic Gods] in the game.

Expeditions: Viking

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Historical
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

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DA:Inquisition - Free Trial Version

by Hiddenx, 08:14

You can get a free trial version of Dragon Age: Inquisition on Origin now.

Start your epic adventure in Dragon Age: Inquisition - Trial. Enjoy unlimited free multiplayer and play 6 hours of the single-player campaign.

A multiplayer adventure like no other:
Get unlimited free multiplayer, including both multiplayer Expansion Packs with the Dragon Age: Inquisition - Trial. Explore the world of Dragon Age with friends. Experience incredible adventures and fight sinister enemies with friends who own the game and those playing the trial.

Enjoy weekend multiplayer events. Each weekend, complete challenges for a chance to earn in-game rewards.

Six hours of the single-player campaign:
Play six whole hours of the single-player campaign and get an extended look at the thrilling world of Thedas. Track demons and recruit legendary warriors. If you decide to buy, your progress will carry over.

The free trial version is a limited time offer. Get it before 10am PDT on July 21. But once you have it, you have unlimited access to Multiplayer!

Trailer:

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DA:Inquisition

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

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BGEE: Siege of Dragonspear - Announcement Recording

by Hiddenx, 07:56

If you missed it - here's the 27-minute recording of live streamed event announcing Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear:

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Baldur's Gate: EE

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Tuesday - July 14, 2015

Enderal: Shards Of Order - Sign Up for the Alpha

by Gorath, 22:11

GameStar.de reports that German gamers can now sign up for the closed alpha test of SureAI's Skyrim total conversion Enderal: Shards Of Order. An English alpha will be made available at a later point.

You can expect ca. 30 hours to solve the main quest and ca. 85% of the side quests. The developers hope to have Enderal feature complete soon.

Here's the product description from the official page:

So, what exactly is Enderal?

Enderal is a Total-Conversion-Mod for Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Basically, a Total Conversion (TC) is a new game built from from scratch, using the original game`s ressources as well as additional ones. Skyrim and Tamriel do not exist any more. However, by using Skyrim´s Engine and its models a new game is developed. It comes with its very own story and world, and new as well as changed and complemented gameyphsics. In conclusion, for you Enderal is a brand new game that will approximately provide you with 30 - 150 hours of gameplay.

What distinguishes Enderal from Skyrim? 

One could say that we try to combine the concept of open world gaming with a complex and profound storyline. Furthermore, we try to merge the strengths of various open world games into one RPG. Enderal is a mixture of The Elder Scrolls and Gothic, added up with a multi-faceted and complex story. Enderal comes with a big world filled with, ruins and ancient fortresses and lots of interesting landmarks to explore. We will also add new features such as experience points, special classes and talents and set-items.

Skyrim

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Macabre - Released on Steam

by Hiddenx, 21:48

The indie JRPG Macabre has been released on Steam:

What is Macabre?

“An earthquake of cataclysmic proportions annihilates the world and ushers in what many address as “the end of times”. But is it really the end?

Join one man as he travels the world in order to unravel the truth behind these tragic events.”

Macabre is a post-apocalyptic role-playing game in a medieval setting.

While it is a traditional JRPG at heart, it has supplementary features that help make it more modern in terms of gameplay.

Features:

  • Classic JRPG gameplay.
  • A refreshing take on the random battle system that rewards grinding, or allows you to skip fighting altogether.
  • Over a dozen side quests, many of which utilize a “fast travel” turn-in system.
  • ​ Over 40 in-game achievements (three designed for those who want the most challenging experience).
  • ​ A tiered crafting system with over 100 craftable items.
  • Craftable equipment that gives you a choice in some character stat progression.
  • Two combat ability paths per character to discover.
  • ​ Semi-randomized loot system that encourages exploration. Over 750 lootable objects.
  • Controller support with JoyToKey (Windows) (other software might work too, but not tested).
  • Two difficulty levels.

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Macabre

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: Unknown
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Birth of Shadows - On Steam Greenlight

by Hiddenx, 21:06

Birth of Shadows is now on Steam Greenlight. A lot of improvements have been implemented since 2008, most recently an update of the scenery artwork and some improvements of the gameplay mechanics.

Overview: In Birth of Shadows, you play a Shadow Knight with unique rage mechanics. There is a campaign as well as co-op multiplayer. New content can be created using a built-in map editor.

Description: Learn the dark arts of a Shadow Knight to rescue your fiancee. Discover the cause of a plague that is ravaging the local towns. Slay enemies and destroy strongholds using an innovative combat system. Advance your character by gaining prestige, magic gems, and experience versus different creature types. Create new boards using a variety of content, including the option to add your own quests. Play these boards alone, with friends over the Internet, and share them with others.

Gameplay:

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Birth of Shadows

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Antharion - Release Day: July 15

by Hiddenx, 20:32

Antharion will be released tomorrow:

Antharion is an epic old-school fantasy RPG that combines tactical turn-based combat with the freedom of a huge living-breathing open world. You'll create and customize a party of four: choosing from seven races, nine classes and fifteen skills, before setting out to explore the fully interactive continent of Antharion. Explore dungeons, get thrown in jail, discover hidden passageways, burglarize homes, read books, create potions, become and infamous pickpocket, embark on a journey at sea and discover uncharted islands or persuade NPCs to do your bidding. In Antharion no play style is off limits.

Features

  • Create and fully customize a party of four, choosing from 7 races, 9 classes and 15 skills.
  • Journey through five huge provinces, each with its own environment, history and culture.
  • Experience an open-ended epic storyline where you determine what happens.
  • Turn-based tactical combat makes dungeon crawling endlessly satisfying.
  • Explore a huge living-breathing and fully interactive open world.
  • Make choices that matter and affect the world around you.
  • Enjoy total freedom to play however you want.

Gameplay video by tr1ppa:

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Antharion

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Red Solstice - Review Roundup

by Myrthos, 13:16

Here are some reviews for The Red Solstice.

Armed Gamer

I’m not a fan of numerical ratings, but I will definitely recommend this one to anyone who likes the top down squad shooter genre. Especially if you liked games like Alien Breed or that Starcraft II mod I mentioned. It’s a solid entry into a field that could use more entries in general, and one I’ll probably end up convincing a few friends to buy for some co-op fun.

Mouse n Joypad, 83%

The Red Solstice is a title that has a gravitas and a weight far in excess of what it should. The story and voice acting has a true B-movie vibe and can come off as a bit “hammy”. The Red Solstice can afford to poke fun at itself in this area as the oppressive and atmospheric gameplay more than compensates for any perceived shortcomings. It has a brilliant artistic design and players will be on the multiplayer mode for a long time to come. In the beginning it can be confusing to equip and upgrade your squad, but once you realise YOU are the hunted and play accordingly, The Red Solstice becomes a fantastic experience.

Softpedia, 4/5

The Red Solstice is clearly designed to be played with other humans rather than Artificial Intelligence partners, and the fact that missions take one hour and are heavily focused on cooperation means that the experience can be both tense and challenging.

The problem is the fact that eight players need to be involved at the same time, and that there's a limited number of gamers who have that kind of group to connect with on a constant basis, and there's no guarantee that the community will remain engaged with the title in the long run.

Wasduk

Graphically, the maps are large and lavish enough for a game with The Red Solstice’s recommended specs, but you’re not going to stop and take the time to appreciate them much.  Open plazas and tight corridors all start to look the same when you’re hurtling down them away from a pack of rabid devourers, and the same goes for the music.  It does its job well enough, keeping up the tension and adding to the overall atmosphere of hopelessness, but it’s not something you’re going to remember later on.  The mainstay of the effort in the game has been ploughed into creating an enjoyable multiplayer game with as much replay value as you can handle.

Co-Optimus, 4.5/5

Throughout my whole experience with The Red Solstice, it never loses focus on what it was built around, teamwork. Players looking for a challenge will be right at home, and anyone who wants to experiment with different strategies will find a wealth of variety here. They manage to succeed in delivering an atmospheric tactical strategy game where friends become allies and allies become monster food. The game is all about maintaining momentum, balancing risk and progress, remembering there is no solace during The Red Solstice.

PressA2Join

Overall the game suffers a little from downfalls of feeling very dated, that being said I did quite enjoy it despite this not being one of my favourite genres so kudos for that. It may however be tough for most people to get past the “rough edges”. If this style of game is your thing then it’s worth a look otherwise it might be best to give it a miss. Aside from that, this is a pretty good first attempt.

TerminalGamer, 8.5

Overall, this game has a lot of pros and very little cons. I would consider it a good purchase as long as the developers continue to add more content. The only reasons I wouldn’t give this game a 9 or 10 is because the randomness of the game can make it extremely difficult.

Red Solstice

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

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Frayed Knights 2 - Demos

by Myrthos, 12:53

Jay states in his blog that he will be demoing Frayed Knights 2 at ToshoCON on Friday, July 31st from 5-9 PM at the Viridian Library & Events Center in South Jordan, Utah and at Salt Lake Gaming Con on August 6th – 8th at the South Towne Expo Center.

Frayed Knights 2

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details