Back in December, Former Mass Effect Andromeda Development Director Chris Wynn left Bioware, and the development of the upcoming space RPG, and today we learn about his new creative home.
Wynn announced on Twitter that he moved to Daybreak Games (formerly Sony Online Entertainment) to work on the company’s online zombie survival game H1Z1 as Executive Producer.
— Chris Wynn (@The1Wynn) January 25, 2016
In discussing the opportunity, it was clear that we had incredible creative alignment on the game and the future of gaming.
— Chris Wynn (@The1Wynn) January 25, 2016
Interestingly, Wynn also teased “plenty” to talk about in the coming months, stating that he couldn’t be more excited for the future of the game.
I couldn't be more excited about the future of @H1Z1game! There will be plenty to talk about in the coming months!
— Chris Wynn (@The1Wynn) January 25, 2016
It’ll certainly be interesting to hear what Wynn has to say about the upcoming features for Daybreak’s zombie apocalypse, but we’ll have to wait a little while for that. Could it also be released to the teased console version? Time will tell.
Game of the Year Awards 2015 - Most Promising RPG
Like every year, you also got to vote for Most Promising RPG of 2016. Check out the details to find out what games we and our visitors think are most promising.
» Continue reading the article...
Game of the Year Awards 2015 - Best RPG
The RPGWatch team and our visitors have cast their votes for the best RPG of 2015. Check out the details to find out what games made it to the top three.
» Read the article
I don't do resolutions
I had them, but failed already
I'm still going strong with mine
I'm still thinking about it
Forum WatchiPhones 'disabled' if Apple detects third-party repairs by Thrasher
Dragon's Dogma by sakichop
Apparently Tomb Raider 2 port is fantastic by joxer
The ever-popular "Currently Listening" thread by Hexprone
CoxMu.com | 1000x exp | Season 8 episode 3 | Start today 08.02.2016 by coxmu
Thursday - January 28, 2016
Steam Games - On Greenlight
Black Rune spotted some interesting games on Steam Greenlight:
A new age retro JRPG with innovative gameplay for the modern era. Gorgeous art, music to remember, and a story you'll never forget!
Shadows of Adam is on Kickstarter as well.
Aselia the Eternal combines hardcore strategy gameplay with an epic fantasy storyline to create a fantastic experience for gamers of all ages. Travel to a fantasy world and lead an army of cute girls in battle against powerful enemies. With dozens of missions, hundreds of skills, three difficulty levels, and eight endings, Aselia the Eternal offers countless hours of RPG fun.
A stunning adventure with unique gameplay based on exploring and rescuing lost Minaur Nation scattered in various planets underworlds of the Minaurs Universe. A catastrophe has occured and now you are one of the few surviving Minaurs. Your quest is to rescue and reunite the Minaur nation.
The game has a nonlinear gameplay and it is unique for each player. There are various ways to achieve you goals in expeditions. Find your own way, find your own style. The game controls are easy; but to successfully finish your missions will demand full focus of your mind.
Travel to and explore hundreds of unique locations blooming with life. Game offers many interactive worlds on various planets with specific environments and wildlife. Conduct expeditions and explore these unique detailed ecosystems. Observe and use specific behavior of wild animals their various abilities and way they interact with their environment to your own advantage. Save lost Minaurs and fulfill special tasks. Gather and manage valuable resource as well experience. With help of the resource you gather and experience you collect build new and upgrade special abilities of your Minaur. You have a large choice of different abilities to learn and their further development.
Minaurs are a plentiful nation so prepare for a serious long lasting adventure… Minaur scholars continuously discover and develop their special abilities. New possibilities of upgrading your character as well as new worlds will appear with time.
The only thing left now for you is to begin! All depends on your abilities and decisions…
Steam GamesSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Game Informer - 10 RPG Franchises We Want
Game Informer waxes enthusiastic about ten RPG franchises they feel deserve to be resurrected.
These days it seems like anything is possible in the gaming world, thanks to the growth of crowdfunding and social media. Series that were once relegated to memory are suddenly coming back. Did you ever think we’d have a chance at Shenmue 3? How about Square Enix reviving the Nier and SaGa franchises? This got us thinking about our favorite RPGs of yesteryear. While plenty of great series have vanished, we think many have potential to thrive again. Without further ado, here are the 10 RPG franchises we’d love to see return.
Darkest Dungeon - More Reviews
One of the reasons I love Darkest Dungeon is that measuring the mental toll of adventuring feels so overdue. Game violence has been consequence-free for a long time, but that’s changing. The new Tomb Raider games show Lara Croft dealing with profound mental trauma, for example, and games like Viscera Cleanup Detail poke at shooters’ carefree bodycount.
Teetering on The Brink
That’s not even all of what’s going on, but you get the idea: it’s an incredible amount. A lesser game might collapse under the weight of so many detailed moving parts, but Darkest Dungeon ties it all together surprisingly well. Even so, in the later missions I found I spent at least as long planning a run as playing it, which is a little lopsided. It feels as though developer Red Hook might’ve had trouble saying no to cool-sounding feature ideas, and even though it pulls off an incredible feat by making it gel into an excellent game, I have to wonder if it might’ve benefitted from a little pruning for the sake of easing the burden of management in the late game.
The VerdictDarkest Dungeon is a grim and merciless tactical strategy game whose great tension comes from its many layers of complexity, unpredictable randomization, and willingness to put our fragile characters in mortal danger if we dare to venture into its depths in search of treasure and glory. Brilliant narration and stiff yet surprisingly expressive animation make it easy to be drawn into its vague but tantalizing world, though the end feels artificially out of reach.
IGN - CRPG's Are Back
IGN's Jack Forde discusses the RPG renaissance through the runaway success of Shadowrun Returns, Divinity: Original Sin, Baldur's Gate: EE, and more.
Thanks to Couch for tonight's news.
It has been a truly awesome last few years for fans of CRPG games. Since the release of the new and improved Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition in 2012, we have seen a major resurgence of interest in these type of games, and the trend shows no sign of stopping any time soon. Quality titles like Pillars of Eternity, Wasteland 2, Shadowrun Returns, and Divinity: Original Sin have breathed new life into the genre, and have proved beyond doubt that it still has a hell of a lot to offer. So, you may be asking yourself, what exactly is causing this rise in popularity, and why should you be excited about it? Well folks, allow me to explain.
Final Fantasy VI - Now Moddable
Final Fantasy VI is now moddable thanks to Modder Jed Lang. PCGamer has the full story.
Final Fantasy VI's PC port was definitely not built to be fiddled with. Modders are doing it anyway. And unlike the typical PC port, Final Fantasy VI contains a surprise secret: a pristine copy of the Game Boy Advance ROM buried in its source code.
...From a programming perspective it's a really clever solution to remastering the game, as opposed to remaking everything from the ground up. They just take the data from the old version, and render it out in a supposedly prettier way."
Modder Jed Lang, who goes by the handle Nyxo, has been leading the charge for VI modding with a tool he calls FFVI_Explore. Lang is the reason modders know about that ROM buried at VI's core. FFVI_Explore, which he released the first version of 12 days after the game hit Steam, was the breakthrough that allowed other modders to start digging into FFVI's files. Lang's tool extracts the game's .obb container into its source files, laying bare sprites and tilesets and music and all the rest to be modified.
As it stands now, FFVI_Explore only allows for replacing files. Modders can use it to completely overwrite the game's sprites and backgrounds, for example, but they can't use it to change game logic or rework the functionality of the UI. That degree of modification is more complex than a file explorer can support. But that GBA ROM nestled inside Final Fantasy VI's port may be key to deeper modifications-even opening the game up to new player-crafted story and gameplay within the Final Fantasy VI engine.
Final Fantasy VISP/MP: Single-player
Wednesday - January 27, 2016
Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen - Review
The South China Morning Post likes Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen:
Game review: Dragon's Dogma is still a deeply enjoyable, totally immersive experience
This port from console to PC is showing its age a little, but it remains a gripping game that will consume many of your hours.
Halfway down the winding ramp, I realised how big a mistake I’d made.
Up to this point I’d been holding my own against any bandits and creatures I came across. But the lurching troll ahead of me stood taller than I did, and he wasn’t very happy either. Without thinking, I pulled out my bow and let arrows fly. Beside me my companions raged forward, their spells and swords lashing out at the beast. He took them down first, leaving me no choice but to retreat and try to escape while my pawns lay dying in a pool of their own blood. I never made it to the exit. I’m not sure how things turned so badly. I only know that troll was out for blood, and mine must have been pretty tasty.
Overall Capcom has done a solid job bringing a very well-made RPG to the PC. The game features the massive world of Granys and is filled with tons of customisation options, as well as hundreds of complex and dynamic combat situations. It’s really one of the better RPGs we’ve seen of late, and I only experienced two crashes during my time with the game. I also never had any problems with the game’s frame rate, which was a huge issue on the console release. If you’re looking for a game that combines elements of Skyrim, Monster Hunter, Dark Souls and Japanese RPGs, then Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen should be on your watch list.
Underworld - Review @ Game Industry News
GiN has reviewed Swords and Sorcery: Underworld and the gameplay gets a 5 out of 5:
Going Deep RPGing With Swords and Sorcery: Underworld
Swords and Sorcery: Underworld is an interesting gaming experience. It’s a new game that appears like a traditional Might & Magic or Wizardry game, allowing you to create your own party of characters, adventuring in first person, etc., with all of the old timey flair those games may have had. The Dark Spire as well as the Etrian Odyssey games also make a very good comparison, due to the highly customizable nature of your party. This is a new game styled as an old-school RPG, straight out of the late 80’s, to the point that even the art style evokes the source material.
Overall: Swords and Sorcery: Underworld is a game very much for people who enjoyed the classic Wizardry series. Those not on Windows 10 (right now, anyway), and those who wish for a classic coat of paint on that style of gameplay will absolutely adore this game. Those who are intolerant of glitches, or are on Windows 10, may want to stay far away from this game right now due to crashing bugs, save file errors, and more. This is a fantastic game for those who love RPGs, but if you’re on the current Microsoft operating system, it would be best to wait until the bugs are figured out.
Genre: Dungeon Crawler
PC Gamer - Hero's Song Kickstarter Cancelled
PCGamer reports that the Hero's Song kickstarter has been cancelled. They will be using investment backing instead.
The Kickstarter for Hero's Song, the new game being developed by former SOE and Daybreak Games President John Smedley and his recently-founded Pixelmage Games studio, has been canceled. The campaign was launched last week, but after notching up just $137,000 on an $800,000 goal, the team has decided to opt for investment backing instead.
"After looking at our funding levels and the reality that we aren't going to reach our funding goals, we've decided that the best thing to do is to end the Kickstarter. We sincerely appreciate all of the support we got from the backers and the Kickstarter community," Smedley wrote in a Kickstarter update posted today. "This was our first Kickstarter and we made mistakes along the way. I want to acknowledge that right up front. We put a lot of time and effort into the Kickstarter, but it's obvious missing things like physical goods hampered our efforts. It's also fair to say because we're early that we didn't have enough gameplay to show the game off enough to get people over the hump."
Release: In development
ME: Andromeda - Director Moves to H1Z1
Former Mass Effect: Andromeda director Chris Wynn goes to work on H1Z1 as its executive producer.
General NewsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Tuesday - January 26, 2016
RPGWatch Feature - Torment Preview
Aubrielle played the beta of Torment: Tides of Numenera, entered its strange world and brings back a glimpse of what you can expect.
This Torment is set in a very different place than the smash RPG hit of 1999 that shares its name. Planescape: Torment, quite possibly the most acclaimed RPG of all time, was set in Sigil, an incomprehensibly large city that served as a hub joining all the planes of existence. Set in a Dungeons and Dragons universe, it used the AD&D ruleset as well (second edition Dungeons & Dragons), just like its cousin, Baldur's Gate. This new Torment takes place on Earth, a billion years in the future. The planet is unrecognizable. Countless civilizations have risen and fallen on our planet in that unimaginable span of time, and technologies beyond comprehension have been unleashed on its surface. What we might call nanotechnology is at the core of the game's magic system, though the "nano" mentioned in the game is a substance much like the fabled Dust of the Endless universe. Wielded by the right mage, its power is immense.
The game is still relatively early in development, so I won't bore you with descriptions of flaws or bugs, except to say that I'd only just gotten into the "real world" (the world outside of character creation) when the game's next steps didn't load. It had effectively died on me, and since I'd failed to save (go me!), I'd lost about two hours of progress and was in no mood to retrace my steps. But I'll tell you about what I saw, and what you're likely to see upon release.
The Tower Prophecy - Story Beats
For kickstarter update #4 Interdimensional Games explain how your story choices will carry over.
*All unique universe settings will be importable from our first game, Consortium, though this is absolutely not required to fully experience The Tower.
*If starting without an import from Game One, receive an interactive recap sequence to start the Tower. As the recap plays out, you'll be given the chance to make key decisions along the way in order to customize your starting position in the gameworld.
*Begin The Tower on board Zenlil, the location from Game One. Get the chance to familiarize yourself with the crew as well as receive custom content tailored toward people new to the franchise.
*If starting The Tower without importing from Game One, the murder mystery storyline will remain unsolved. You must play Consortium in order to get a chance at apprehending the traitor by the start of The Tower.
*If you start The Tower by importing save data from Consortium, many things will be transferred over including: alignment stats, character states (dead/alive/captured), general narrative decisions, and conversation choices.
The Tower ProphecySP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Dragon's Dogma - Performance Comparison
Darkest Dungeon - RPS Review
Rock, Paper, Shotgun takes a look at the cruel dungeon crawler, Darkest Dungeon.
Darkest Dungeon [official site] begins with a foreboding admonition. It’s a game about making the most of a bad situation, you’re told from the outset. Your actions are permanent, therefore the quests you embark upon will often end in failure. “Heroes will die,” it says. “And when they die they stay dead.”
These preeminent words of wisdom project an honest sentiment that’s not only a tone-setter for Darkest Dungeon, but also serves to define its makeup: through each stage of development – from its beginnings, its crowdfunding success, a year-long stint in Early Access, and now onto full release – developer Red Hook Studios envisioned a brutally difficult game that would offer little in the way of concession. But does the game make death and despair engaging? Here’s wot I think.
Darkest Dungeon is the realisation of its theme and cruel twist on dungeon-crawling. Its prudent candor is what stands it apart from the hordes of commensurate permadeath-operating, procedurally-generating roguelikes available elsewhere. It’s a game that can be stubborn, incredibly frustrating, at times baffling, and often wonderful. It’s as much about micromanagement, resource gathering and squad building as it is about luck, perseverance and determination, where the line between hope and despair is often as hard to determine as guessing which mindset your haphazard crew will grudgingly drag onto the battlefield.
Unlike its genre siblings, though, it’s far from a whimsical fairy tale depicting valiant warriors and fervent champions, but the complete opposite. Worse still, it wastes no time reminding you of this at every turn.
Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Fallout 4 - Mod Adds Traits, More Perks
There's a new mod that re-introduces traits back into Fallout 4, along with a host of new perks.
Traits, in the context of Fallout, are character modifiers that provide a significant advantage of one form or another, at the cost of a significant disadvantage. The “Heavy Handed” trait in Fallout: New Vegas, for instance, grants characters a 20 percent bonus on melee and unarmed damage, but also imposes a 60 percent penalty on critical damage. Character traits are are an optional, but for many players vital, part of character creation in Fallout, Fallout 2, and New Vegas—but Bethesda chose to omit them Fallout 3 and, more recently, Fallout 4. Now, thanks to the work of a modder by the name of Cirosan, it's possible to bring them back.
The “Traits and More Perks” mod that hit the Nexus over the weekend adds ten Traits, and a few new Perks, to Fallout 4. Many of them are inspired by traits from previous Fallout games—“Heavy Handed” is present, for instance (with slightly changed stats)—but others, like "Determined" (permanent bonus to damage, energy, and rad resistance, limbs are harder to cripple, but chems have no effect) are original creations.
Source: PC Gamer
Fallout 4SP/MP: Single-player
Torment: Tides of Numenera - RPS Preview
Rock, Paper, Shotgun takes a look at the beta of the year's most anticipated RPG, Torment: Tides of Numenera. Be advised: this article is spoiler heavy.
RPGWatch's sneak peek is done and should be published this week.
Turns out you can’t play Torment: Tides of Numenera [official site] with your eyes closed. So much for my big plan to try and avoid spoilers. It’s simultaneously one of the RPGs I’ve been looking forward to the most, and the one I’ve deliberately learned the least about. Planescape Torment fans should need no explanation as to why, but though I apparently have no self-control, it at least puts me in position to tell you whether the current beta is worth your time now or whether you should wait.
Let’s get hands on with the only game this year allowed to use any variant of a ‘mysterious amnesiac’ story without being pelted with rocks and rotten fruit.
Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Monday - January 25, 2016
Underrail - Matt Chatt #324
The third and final interview with Styg creator of Underrail.
Greetings, Matt Rats! I'm back this week with the third and final installment of my interview with Underrail developer Styg and his graphics artist, Mario.
Morrowind - Physically Based Rendering
This is all possible thanks to the Morrowind Graphics Extender XE version by Hrnchamd. Although a lot of materials will have to be remade this is something to watch for if you are into modding.
The latest Morrowind Graphics Extender XE version by Hrnchamd added PBR (Physics Based Rendering) and normal mapping support to the 14 years old Morrowind engine!
This is an alpha quality preview. It will look even better in the future.
The models and textures in this video are made by me and are far from perfect. The PBR materials can sure be made much better but it should still be clear that this engine magic made by Hrnchamd is a huge achievement!
GOG - New Year Absolutions
Pillars of Eternity, Legends of Eisenwald, Satellite Reign, Wasteland 2, and a lot more big titles are 50-75% off at GOG right now, for the next three days, if you've been waiting.
Gaming sins are a regrettable thing. Whether they come from games you shamefully put aside without finishing them, from questionable methods you used while trying to finish them, or from borrowed discs that you claimed were already scratched - they might all give you trouble sleeping. But the worst offenders are always the games you should have picked up and never did. Well, worry not, fellow sinners, for our Weekly Staff Picks: New Year Absolutions will help you settle the bill with the Gaming Gods and venture into the rest of the year as a whole new person!
General News - Denuvo DRM on the Rise
Denuvo, the DRM infamous for affecting Dragon Age: Inquisition's gameplay, is apparently on the rise. More AAA titles are to ship with the DRM this year, and more RPG's may use it in the future.
If this is the first time you have heard of Denuvo, it is a company that produces anti-tampering technology designed to protect DRM solutions. Which, in turn, is supposed to protect games from unauthorised use. In fact, its anti-tampering software was so notoriously difficult to crack that a Chinese cracking group, 3DM, had nearly given up on cracking Just Cause 3. The operative word is “nearly”, though.
Far Cry Primal, in particular, will contain a version of the software that “may remain even after the product is uninstalled from your computer”, as revealed in the game’s end-user license agreement. How this will affect the game’s performance or even your PC’s performance is not yet known.
Denuvo had been plagued by persistent rumours on how its software could shorten the life span of solid state drives (SSDs), since it supposedly encrypts and decrypts itself to make it stupendously difficult to crack. However, the company had released a statement that says that the software “does not constantly read or write any data to storage media”.
Source: Pixel Dynamo
General NewsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Morrowind - As Told by Facebook Posts
Kotaku features an amusing segment on Morrowind, as told by Facebook posts. There's spoilers, but...since most everyone here has either played it or doesn't plan to...
Morrowind, the third Elder Scrolls RPG, has a rich and somewhat complicated story. Luckily, now we have a Facebook timeline to simplify it all. Humorously.
It was whipped up by redditor TheTitanova, using this Facebook wall generator, and posted to r/morrowind last week. Basically, it’s a cleverly written account of the backstory and the in-game events of Morrowind—it starts with the creation of the Tools of Kagrenac way, way before the player character’s time, and concludes with the events of the game’s ending (with some post-ending bits thrown in).
It’s filled with spoilers, of course, so if you haven’t played Morrowind, and want to, then be careful. You need to be a bit of a lore junkie to get a lot of the jokes anyway. To everyone else, enjoy:
Atari Vault - Coming to Steam
It's not exactly RPG news, but the old-school 1980's gamers among us may want to know that many of their Atari favorites are coming to Steam.
It feels like this should have happened ages ago, but here it finally is: a bundle of 100 Atari classics is coming to Steam in spring (or autumn in Australia). Dubbed the Atari Vault, it's set to include the likes of Asteroids, Centipede, Missile Command, Tempest, and Warlords. Assuming it won't cost an arm and a leg, it'll be worth checking out for Centipede and Adventure alone (the latter hasn't been confirmed, but the collection would suffer without it).
Interestingly, the bundle will feature Steam Controller support, as well as local and online multiplayer bolstered by global leaderboards. Atari claims the Steam Controller will result in "significantly improved precision control", which will be useful if you want to break my record of three consecutive clockings of Centipede.
The bundle is in development by Code Mystics.
Source: PC Gamer
Non-RPG General NewsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen - ACG Review
Sunday - January 24, 2016
BioWare - Interview with Patrick Weekes
VGS has an interview with Patrick Weekes about how you get into writing for videogames.
Things talked about cover the subjects below - and more:
- His origins
- Training the player to do the wrong thing
- Looking at the evolution of the media comparing it to the beginning of film
- It's harder now to get a job than ever before, focus on the nonlinear narrative
- Get the application called TWINE! Get a job.
- Weekes talks extensively about the HORROR of "Peer Reviews"
- The most common mistakes that still happen in the writer's room
- Key piece of advice "Make sure the player knows where to go next, and what he has to do when he's there"
Thanks to Capone666 at the Bioware forum for making this interview.
Darkest Dungeon - Review @ Shacknews
Shacknews recommends Darkest Dungeon:
We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes
Before you start seeing manifestations too horrible to describe, though, you inherit a huge manor perched above a decrepit town. From these humble beginnings you learn that your ancestor unearthed hellish beings that cursed this land and its inhabitants. It is up to you and the heroes you acquire to rid this land of the horrors.
Darkest Dungeon has the core elements of your typical roguelike: procedurally generated levels, permadeath, and punishing difficulty. However, it stands out from the crowd with its stress mechanic and the quirk/affliction system. Darkest Dungeon drives home the point that your adventurers are not overpowered deathbringers that can barrel through these dungeons while high fiving each other and chuckling throughout it. They are flawed humans that face horrors that they can barely conceive, and will leave them physically and mentally scarred.
Dungeon crawling leaves a toll on your party, causing permanent (well, permanent-ish) changes to them. Sometimes these changes can be beneficial. They may be able to navigate the Ruins better, or are faster at the start of a fight. However, most of the time they are afflicted with negative quirks like being more stressed in low torch light, or a drinking problem. The quirk and affliction systems create a personality for your adventurers, allowing you to grow attached to them, so it will hurt more when they die a brutal death. That's when, not if.
Darkest Dungeon takes the staples of roguelikes and adds the atmosphere and themes of Lovecraftian Horror and does so with incredible success. The game captures the feeling of battling an unending wave of nightmarish abominations with little to no chance of hope. But when you do succeed you feel like a million bucks. The difficulty may deter many people from trying this game out, but if you are brave enough you will be rewarded with a rich experience.
Score: 9/10 - Great
Star Traders 2 - Trese Brothers Interview
Touch Arcade interviewed the Trese Brothers (they are real brothers!) about Heroes of Steel and their upcoming game Star Traders 2:
Back To The Future
SM: So, do you have anything else you'd like to talk about that our readers might enjoy hearing about?
AT: Our next game, perhaps? The development engines of Star Traders 2 are stoked and roaring along now. We're moving quickly to put the first component of the game into the hands of the Kickstarter alpha team. The game is an amazing mix of the best parts of the original Star Traders RPG and our new capabilities and what we've learned in the 5 years since we built the first one. Oh, and Firefly. Mix in a little Firefly for good measure!
If you loved Heroes of Steel, then you might want to hear about the sequel Legends of Steel. The storyline has been developed, as far back as when we dreamed up Secrets of Steel. It is on our list as a future game, based on the highest point of evolution on the Heroes of Steel engine - which is Templar Battleforce.
If you don't know, we are a family company - Cory, Andrew, and Martin, three brothers in that order of age. We're excited to share our visions and creations with you, and so thankful of your support that has allowed us the freedom to create huge, deep, and heartfelt games.
CT: We're always available on our players' forum, Touch Arcade, or on the Steam discussion pages for our games. We're always excited to talk to players, new and old.
AT: Something special that is coming up for me is that I am nearing my 20,000th post on our community forum. That's something like 4,000 posts, or 11 posts a day for five years. We are insanely active on our forum, and it is a great place. Check out our games, and come visit us. You can find Cory and I on there nearly every day, and you'll get a warm welcome.
Star Traders 2SP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Crashlands - Review @ PC Gamer
PC Gamer has reviewed Crashlands:
Crashlands feels like a case study in the pros and cons of designing a game for both PC and mobile. It’s easy to assume that any decision made with mobile in mind will hurt the overall game on PC, but that’s really not true, and Crashlands proves it. Simple controls and a clean UI are good news for a game on any platform. Unfortunately, Crashlands also lends some ammo to the other side of the argument.
Crashlands is a top-down action RPG with lots of exploration and crafting. You play as Flux, an intergalactic delivery truck driver who has crash landed on an alien planet, and must find a way off so she can finish her deliveries. At first glance, it seems very similar to Klei's whimsical survive-'em-up Don’t Starve, but Crashlands isn’t trying to be a survival game. Instead of hunger and thirst bars, developer Butterscotch Shenanigans puts the focus on combat and quests. I spent most of my time doing missions for the grotesque but charming denizens of the world, helping them kill beasts, undermine demigods, or just go fishing.
Crashlands is definitely a fun game—mostly thanks to its combat—but it feels torn between PC and mobile. Had the item progression and crafting been paced to allow for more player choice and more satisfying long play sessions, I would likely call Crashlands one of my favorite action/crafting games in a while. But with things the way the are, Crashlands started out very fun before becoming repetitive and predictable. It’s a good game on PC, but probably one better suited to your phone.
Ubisoft - We Care About the PC...Really
In a conversation about the upcoming RPG-ish Tom Clancy game, The Division, Ubisoft Massive, the game's developer, says "PC is incredibly important to us."
Creative Director Magnus Jansén released the following statement to Rock, Paper, Shotgun in a lengthy interview on The Division:
PC is incredibly important to us. There are plenty of incentives to do a good PC version. Personally it’s important – a I play on PC whenever I can and I want the thing they play at home to be the best possible version. That is not to be underestimated as a driving force. Secondly, both of the studios, Massive and Red Storm started out on PC so it’s a matter of pride, or heritage and pedigree if you will. We feel kind of ashamed if we don’t do the PC version really well. It really is something that we care about.
We’re a very technical studio as well. Sweden is a very technical country – we’re good at infrastructure and design, and a lot of our staff come from the old demoscene as well. There’s a lot of that heritage in the Swedish dev community and that is true here at Massive as well. It comes very natural to us. The engine, Snowdrop, enables the artists to do all of that great UI work and makes it relatively easy to expose all of those options on PC.
Ubisoft Massive also shared a fact sheet highlighting the main PC features of The Division.
- Flexible user interface: move, scale and adjust the opacity of the HUD.
- Intuitive controls: navigate easily through the interface, inventory panels and map designed specifically to be used with a mouse or a controller.
- Full mouse & keyboard support: opt for the high precision mouse and keyboard experience and switch to a controller in the middle of any encounter without interruption.
- Text chat: team up with more agents of The Division by using the in-game text chat.
- Optimized graphic settings & customised GPU effects: adjust a vast variety of technology treats, from realistic lighting, shading, snow particles, local reflection, fog volumetric scattering, depth of field and much more…
- Multi-GPU support: unleash the graphic power of the best computer set ups for jaw-dropping graphics powered by Massive Entertainment’s game engine Snowdrop.
- Multi-screen support: play with up to three screens for the most immersive and stunning experience of The Division.
- Multi-resolutions: opt for 1080p or 4k and automatically adapt the resolution to fit multi-screen configurations with FOV correction.
- Unlocked framerate: let the most powerful computer reach the highest framerate.
- HBA0+: enjoy the most realistic shadowing, lighting algorithm and ambient occlusion.
There’s more, though. NVIDIA confirmed that The Division will also feature NVIDIA PCSS (Percentage Closer Soft Shadows); those are contact-hardening, realistic soft shadows that progressively soften as the distance from the casting object increases, further increasing realism.
There’s even support for certain LED keyboards. For example, the button mapped to your medkit will begin to flash when you’re low on health. You can also map a key for teammates, and that will flash too when they are in need of support.
Respected German website PCGamesHardware seems to agree. In a hands-on preview posted just yesterday, they said that the game on PC looks so much better than the console versions that it’s worlds apart, and there hasn’t been such a drastic difference in a very long time.
Witcher 3 - Solving a Problem Like Geralt
In "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Geralt?", RPS takes a look at Geralt as a stodgy narrative figure, and how to get him doing unbelievable things in Hearts of Stone.
Here’s a question: How do you solve a problem like Geralt? There he is, stern and stalwart, everyone’s favourite low fantasy drifter. A man of rank bogs, blasted no man’s lands and rugged islands. A man who isn’t much of a laugh, or awfully fun to have a drink with.
But what if you want to extend his world, and expose him to new adventures? That’s what last October’s expansion to The Witcher 3 [official site], Hearts of Stone, aimed to achieve, but it had to get Geralt doing things he’d never normally do. So how did CD Projekt manage to get him drunk and dancing at a wedding, robbing a bank, and appraising fine art? Their solution was deft.
Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Witcher 3SP/MP: Single-player
Endless Legend - Free Exclusive Heroes
If you fire up Endless Legend, Endless Space, and/or Dungeon of the Endless any time before the 25th, you can receive an exclusive hero in each game, just for starting a new game.
Amplitude Studios is celebrating its fifth birthday with its second annual Endless Day: a day that lasts from 21 to 25 January, and that offers up rare heroes and achievements to people who play their games during this time, and who fulfil various conditions. That stuff is detailed here, and includes a trio of heroes simply for starting new games of Endless Space, Endless Legend, and Dungeon of the Endless. You can also bag some time-limited achievements, though these will require a mite more effort.
(Amplitude hints here that you might be able to get these things after January 25, perhaps by mucking about with the time settings on your computer.)
During a celebratory livestream, Amplitude also announced a new expansion for Endless Legend titled Shifters. Ampz sez "this expansion will include a new Major Faction called The Allayi. This new civilization will be able to ‘shift’ during long winters", a fine alternative to sticking the heating on and hugging a hot water bottle, I reckon. Meanwhile, "all factions will also be able to collect a new resource called the ‘Pearls of Auriga’, enabling them to unlock new powers through the ‘Altar of Auriga’ and modify the upcoming winters’ impact". Good on them.
Source: PC Gamer
Endless LegendSP/MP: Single + MP