Clandestine - Playthrough Diary
Aubrielle infiltrates Clandestine and brings back valuable intel about the upcoming spy thriller.
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Heroes of a Broken Land
Heroes of a Broken Land Review
Forgottenlor takes us to Heroes of a Broken Land, and shows us what it's like to be a demigod in this retro dungeon crawler.
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It Was a Good Year
It Was Just Okay
It Was Terrible
Tuesday - December 02, 2014
I Shall Remain - November Update
The sixth major update of I Shall Remain is here with an even longer list of changes than listed below:
Note: Since a lot of logical changes have been made to Doctrines and Weapons, it is suggested to start a new game in order to have it working correctly (the game won't crash but the doctrines and weapons won't do what people were used to have them doing)
Key features in the I Shall Remain Sixth update.
- Ellis Island map extended and updated
- Two new maps are in (Holland Tunnel Subway and Alphabet City)
- Doctrines have been revamped and updated, 28 new doctrines have been added (128 in total now to shape your character)
- New doctrine effects (avoid explosives, max encumbrance, pierce armor, more scraps from weapon dismantling)
- Weapons have levels now, the level influencing their characteristics (damage, repair cost, most of the weapon effects, serum cost)
- We can now upgrade our weapons by spending scraps/serum (Enhance ammo, Increase rarity, Increase Level, Add random weapon bonus). This opens up new possibilities to upgrade and improve your weapons
- Weapon Enhancer loot items added (these represents an effect we can apply on a weapon, from range to damage or inflict weakness). This opens up endless possibilities to customize your weapons
- 10 new Infected mutations added (Regeneration, Burden, Drain, Osmosis, Enrage, Rejuvenation, Acute sense, Aura, Armor, Crowd), each with its own logic to improve the infected behavior and statistics. We have now 22 mutations the Infected can have in any combination)
- Added "Unique' rarity. 8 new Unique weapons created, all given as quick-events rewards. Some of them have special names :)
- Large texture overhaul. Recreated many textures and adjusted others. Generally higher resolution, new normal mapping and sharper details overall
- Main and secondary quests and content added and updated (new quests from Andrea, Thomas, Jim, Chain, Jay, Cathy)
- 12 new music pieces are in
- New teammate - CJ Hodges (Sibling and Commander abilities)
I Shall RemainSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
ZX Spectrum - Brought Back to Life
Perhaps not really RPG news, but it is capable of playing quite a bit of RPGs. If you are old enough to have known and used the ZX Spectrum, this might be an opportunity to play some of the 14.000 games again, that were created in the time, by participating in the Indiegogo campaign, which has been started featuring the ZX Spectrum Vega.
The Vega has been developed by Chris Smith, a former ZX Spectrum games developer who is the world's leading expert on Sinclair Spectrum technology and author of the definitive technical book "The ZX Spectrum ULA: How to design a microcomputer".
Retro Computers Ltd is making arrangements with the owners of the software rights to Spectrum games to donate a combined software royalty to a charity – Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. The company’s Chairman, Dr David Levy, had his life saved by the hospital when he was diagnosed with meningitis as a 3-year-old.
The development of the Sinclair Spectrum Vega is complete, and we have a fully working prototype waiting to go into production within the UK. We are making contact with thousands of the original Spectrum game developers in order to secure their permission to use their games on the Vega, for which a combined software royalty will be donated to charity ‒ Great Ormond Street Hospital for children.
Once the first 1,000 Limited Edition Vegas have been manufactured and shipped, and we move on to the next 3,000 units and thereafter to batches of 10,000 or more, the retail price of the Vega will reduce. But even at £100 the cost of the limited edition Vega, with its 1,000 games built-in, represents a huge saving over the cost of the original product plus the cost of 1,000 of the original Spectrum games. What cost thousands of pounds back in the 1980s is now available for around 1 per cent of that amount.
Monday - December 01, 2014
Skilltree Saga - To be Released on the 4th
Here is a game that did not get to much press attention: The Dark Eye: Skilltree Saga. It is going to be released this week Thursday.
'The Dark Eye: Skilltree Saga' releases at December 4th 2014 on Steam
Düren, November 27th 2014 – We would like to announce the latest collaboration of Silent Dreams, the creators of the Grotesque Tactics saga, and Headup Games, which will launch on Steam on the 4th of December: The Dark Eye: Skilltree Saga.
The Dark Eye: Skilltree Saga is the first casual RPG with Rogue-like Elements in Aventuria - the world of the famous pen and paper RPG "The Dark Eye". Choose your race as human, elf or dwarf and battle your random generated opponents in up to 100 deep stages with numerous skill, which you can advance and enhance.
We have some screenshots in our gallery and here is a trailer to watch as well.
Skilltree SagaSP/MP: Single-player
Dungeons Of AledornSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Balrum - Version 0.88 Released
Version 0.88 of Balrum has been released and with this version all reported problem reports are apparently fixed.
-Finally the 2x zoom option does not make the mouse super fast.
-There is an “always walk” feature for your convenience. (default key for it is X)
-In the options panel you will find a new toggle button for increasing the size of the cursor.
-Right click menus now have a close button.
-When it's raining you can catch some rain. (camping button)
-Entering the escape menu now pauses the game.
-We disabled the minimum resolution checking when resizing the window. (Linux users reported strange behavior)
-There was a rare bug with looping sounds. Now the sound system should properly stop every looping sound effect.
If you copy your saves folder please delete your old config file! Savegames are compatible with this release.
Release: In development
The Curious Expedition - Hands On Early Alpha
There's a lot of back and for around here about what exactly constitutes an RPG. Upcoming roguelike The Curious Expedition -- which is exploration-based and as far as I can tell completely combat-free -- may push that boundary, but to me the player-directed story makes it qualify. Plus, wandering around on an 8-bit-looking world map. The feels.
My first few moments with The Curious Expedition were almost misleadingly delightful. Set in the 19th century, I was told to pick from a selection of charming pixel renderings of historical figures [you can play as Madame Curie] and dropped into the world, with the only stated goal of exploring the strange new randomly generated land I had found myself in. It was welcoming, colourful, and hiding a whole host of things that wanted to kill me.
The Curious Expedition is all about exploring a randomly generated set of hex tiles, finding villages, caves, people and roaming animals to interact with... This person wants payment if you’re going to stay the night, but do you want to stay in the cave full of human remains? Is it safe to eat these strange fruits?
When an expedition begins, you’ll know the location of a single native village and the area immediately around your party. The needle of your compass is swinging wildly, indicating that you have no idea which way to go ... Every new tile that you uncover adds to you knowledge of the region and the more you learn, the more accurate your compass becomes.
The game just entered alpha -- privately the through its German developer, not on Steam for once -- so you can see if it falls off the edge of your own private map of the genre.
The Curious ExpeditionSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Ultima - The (Not So Helpful) Legacy Of The Avatar
It's always a good time to reminisce about the Ultima series a little. But was Ultima's hero the Avatar always a good person? Over at PC Gamer, Richard Cobbet muses that actually, the Avatar was pretty much a walking disaster for everyone he ever met and every place he ever visited.
What I find fascinating about the Avatar is that [...] you can argue that despite saving the world on at least four separate occasions, the Quest Of The Avatar was the single worst thing that ever happened to Britannia. This is never really gone into in the games, where he quickly becomes a mix of Superman and mythical god [...] but looking back it's tough to argue that what it led to was worth the benefits.
In the first place, damn near everything that goes wrong is entirely, literally, the Avatar's fault. Never intentionally! There's no arguing that.Ultima is not a story about perfection. That's important. Lord British, despite being creator Richard Garriott's author avatar, is regularly wrong, often pig-headed, and at times, damn near blind.The Avatar too is, canonically, just a guy. He's from Texas. He makes mistakes. Between adventures in Britannia he comes back home and he lives a regular life [...] The Quest For The Avatar isn't an attempt to find a magical chosen one or a demigod scion or anything like that, but a role-model. Anyone could in theory be an Avatar [...] and even if most won't have what it takes, they can at least aspire to it - to step up, to be better, to actively live the Virtues instead of simply paying lip-service to them. [...] It's not about being the toughest, it's not about being chosen, it's about trying.And Britannia... never gets that. At all. Instead, the Avatar becomes their equivalent of Superman, a symbol deified in a world that otherwise goes out of its way to avoid religion. His depictions grow more saintly, his victories become legends. But when he's gone, and as said, he can be gone for centuries at a time, does anyone truly follow in his footsteps or rise to the challenge? No. They figure that if something goes badly wrong enough, he'll be back. And he always is, even if usually to clean up the mess that he started.
Sunday - November 30, 2014
Skyrim - 9 Skyrim Secrets You Probably Didn't Find
I'm probably one of three people on this planet who haven't played Skyrim yet (it's collecting dust in my Steam library, though), but IGN has an article with 9 Skyrim Secrets You Probably Didn't Find.
One of the more spooky secrets in Skyrim, you can find a Headless Horseman roaming the wilds on his spectral steed. He can be hard to locate, but if you manage to find and follow him to his final destination, you’ll find yourself at Hamvir’s Rest, where along with a number of undead enemies, you can find a coffin with a helmeted skull. Too Spooky For Me.
For more information, head over to IGN and find out which (if any) of the secrets you already know.
Chaos Reborn - New Trailer and Steam Early Access Release Date
Julian Gollop, X-COM creator and founder of Snapshot Games, has posted a new trailer for his successfully crowdfunded game Chaos Reborn. He also announced that Chaos Reborn would be released on Steam Early Access on December 9th, 2014 for PC, Mac, and Linux.
About the game:
Chaos Reborn is a game of battling wizards in which you cast spells and summon creatures in order to defeat your enemy. The game features an extensive RPG mode where you can seek knowledge, power and wealth by adventuring in the Realms of Chaos. You can join guilds, trade items and ascend the social ranks in order to become a God.
Chaos RebornSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Three Moves Ahead - Podcasts on Valkyria Chronicles and Final Fantasy Tactics
Noteworthy strategy podcast Three Moves Ahead has had two recent RPG-focused episodes. First, they did an episode on the console strategy RPG classic Final Fantasy Tactics. More recently, they did an episode on Valkyria Chronicles, which was released on PC earlier this month.
The participants typically have a PC strategy perspective on gaming. If you have a similar mindset, you may appreciate their approach to discussing these Japanese console-originated favorites.
Three Moves Ahead
Broken Age - Will Release Early in 2015
The goal now is to get all the finale work done so we can hit Alpha on all of Act 2 by the end of the year. That means, as you may have guessed based on recent updates and documentary episodes, the Act 2 ship that will deliver the complete adventure is now looking like it will be early next year. The game is looking really good and the team is working super fast, but we just gotta give the game the time it needs to really deliver on everything we're hoping it will be.
Saturday - November 29, 2014
PC Gamer - Bioware and Sex
PC's Gamers Richard Cobbet has penned an editorial about how Bioware handles sexuality
in their games. At first, he talks about Dorian, the first full gay character in a Bioware
game. Cobbet writes that:
I don't want to reduce the character down to just his sexuality, because as you'd expect from both Gaider and Bioware, it's not particularly what defines him - nationality, magic, friends, family all play a far larger role in his conversations and snarking, as you'd expect for a world where nobody particularly cares who you sleep with as long as it doesn't create a terrible god-baby. Sometimes not even then.
Another comment from Cobbet is this:
The fact that Bioware's push for inclusiveness and increasingly not defining characters by their sexuality first makes for better and more well-rounded games though isn't the real reason we should be glad that they do it. The big advantage is that in doing it, it demonstrates to the rest of the world that it can be done......The result of this is that smaller, more vulnerable companies get to see directly that even if someone does make a flap, it doesn't actually mean a damn thing, as well as being able to point to an increasing range of high profile examples of different character types, sexualities and storylines.
Do you agree with Cobbet?
GameSpot - Independent Gamer's Gift Guide
Have you ever wondered what you should give a person who likes independent games? Wonder no more, since Gamespot has made a gift guide. The first one is called Hohokum,
the second one is called Swapper where you're create copies of yourself and use them to solve puzzles etc. You can watch all the games here.
Dragon Age: Inquisition - Angry Joe Review
Angry Joe has made a video review of this game. His final verdict is 9/10 with a Must Own comment beneath. However, he gives the pc version 8/10 and says that Bioware and EA needs to fix the pc version with a patch. He played for 60 hours and could easily have played for 60 hours more. He is also thinking of playing again just to explore the alternate paths in the game. You can watch the video review here.
Thanks to OrdanUrr at the Bioware DAI forums.
Dragon Age: InquisitionSP/MP: Single + MP
Shroud of the Avatar - Lord British's rough new world
Any love left for Richard Garriott? His Shroud of the Avatar is now on early access, and apparently it does have some unusual features for an MMO -- like an old-fashioned keyword-based dialogue system.
Shroud of the Avatar isn't one of those games with NPCs balancing big exclamation marks over their heads; here, you have to chat up the local populace to dig for information. As in, you type out questions and carry out conversations.
I love it, even if you'll come across occasional oddities ... It's fun mainly because it lets me speak to these people as I want to, and most of their responses yield clickable words for prompts if you want to minimize the guessing games.
Everything old is new again. And the story's by Tracy Hickman, if anyone was a Dragonlance fan. The reviewer is guardedly enthusiastic:
As the warning that pops up when you play the Early Access version now available on Steam proclaims, it "still needs a LOT of work," but there's nevertheless the rough draft of something wonderful on display here.
Source: PC Gamer
Shroud of the AvatarSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Friday - November 28, 2014
Raven's Cry - Delayed to December
Raven's CrySP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Unsung Story - Post-Funding Update #40
An update for Unsung Story has been made available that talks about atory, development status and art update.
The portions of the Battle System our designers have been focusing on are the turn-management system and the action point system. By expanding on the traditional turn based tactics model through the use of a strategic turn-based timeline which can be manipulated by the different actions available for the characters, Unsung Story brings a new game play approach to the tactical RPG genre. Players are given greater control over when and how they can use their characters during battle, which opens up an entire new level of strategy formulation. This turn-management system is dependent on the action points needed in order to perform certain tasks during the character’s turn. Players can choose to perform lesser actions during their turn to influence the activation order and chain the activations of specific units to change the turn order based on their plan.
Unsung StorySP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Thursday - November 27, 2014
The Witcher Adventure Game - Released on GOG
Not sure if it qualifies as an RPG, but The Witcher Adventure Game certainly has some RPG-elements and we have plenty of The Witcher fans here (including me), so posting news about its release on GOG is probably warranted. The price in its first week is $8.99, after which it will increase to $9.99.
The Witcher Adventure Game takes players on a journey across the world of the Witcher as they assume the roles of four distinct characters known from the books and video games: Geralt of Rivia, monster slayer; Triss Merigold, cunning sorceress; Yarpen Zigrin, dwarven warrior; and Dandelion, roguish bard. Each character has unique skills and multiple ways of overcoming obstacles - the choice is yours: do you fight your way to victory, call on your charm or try your hand at diplomacy? It's the true spirit of board gaming brought straight to your computer screen. Set in the mature and brutal world of The Witcher the game features 4 unique heroes with different skills and approaches to problem solving. With clear, simple rules and intuitive mechanics, tons of quest cards allow players to tell a new tale every time they play. Look adventure in the eye in a world with which you'll fall in love!
The Witcher Adventure GameSP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Card-Based RPG
Platform: PC, Mac
Dragon Age: Inquisition - sulky, uncommunicative companions investigated
I knew something was wrong! Multiple outlets are reporting that, if Inquisition seemed to have a lot less banter and charm than past Bioware games, that's a bug, not a change in tone.
That bit where Solas winds Sera up about her unexplored innate magical ability because she messed with his things? Mad bants - the kind some people are missing out on in Dragon Age: Inquisition because of a bug.
Some people have ploughed hours upon hours into the fantasy adventure only to be frustrated at the lack of chat between party members as they explore. There are pages of reports - on the EA Answers HQ support forum - of people only encountering a handful of occasions of banter in upwards of 10, 15, 20 hours of play, and longer.
BioWare has acknowledged the problem and is asking for 60+ hour game-saves, in which the player experienced the problem, for research purposes.
The causes aren't known but there's a workaround of sorts that has met some success.
Here's the partial workaround, courtesy of helpful user Maljester on the EA forums. Basically you mess with the audio settings until something resets. But it doesn't help in all areas -- Maljester reports that for him, Val Royeaux remains as bare of music and talk as ever.
Enchant_m3nt on the BSN Feedback thread had success with cycling/changing the audio settings to trigger banter and fix music/combat dialogue. I'd sadly had no luck with the mount/camp rest/teleport combo, and to my absolute astonishment - Houston, we have music and banter! (For those having trouble with the glitch, try the mount/dismount-rest, or trying the audio settings cycle to trigger banter/music.)
At first I ran around in the Hinterlands for awhile, trying out mount/rest. Dorian/Sera/Bull wouldn't talk, so I change from (Home Theatre - TV), get into combat, get combat noise, and 1min later, Dorian/Sera have a banter. Stumble into more combat with correct combat noise, 1 min later, get another banter between them. Run all the way to Redcliffe Village, Dorian makes an ambient comment (I have gotten ambient comments before, though), but then everyone stopped talking.
For those with the glitch, keep an ear out as you're playing for music and combat dialogue - if they're both working, there should be a higher probability you'll get banter to trigger, too.
Dragon Age: InquisitionSP/MP: Single + MP
Steam - the Latest Holiday Sale
And now Steam's holiday sale is up. It's not quite as irresistibly wallet-busting as in previous years, but there's lots of stuff from the RPGWatch Curation List, including:
- The Last Remnant - 33% off for $6.69
- Agarest: Generations of War - 50% off for $7.49
- Alpha Protocol - 50% off for $7.49
- The Banner Saga - 50% off for $9.99
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution - 50% off for $9.99
- Dishonored - 50% off for $9.99
- XCOM: Enemy Unknown - 50% off for $14.99
- Might & Magic X - Legacy - 40% off for $14.99
- Endless Legend - 33% off for $23.44
- South Park: The Stick of Truth - 40% off for $23.99
- Wasteland 2 - 25% off for 29.99
- Divinity: Original Sin - 20% off for $31.99
And as usual a bunch of classic series like Geneforge and Avernum can be had for a few bucks each. Myself, I'm going to listen to the 'Watch and pick up The Last Remnant -- not a game I would normally have considered, but you guys haven't steered me wrong yet.
[Update: some of the stuff Steam has on sale is cheaper today at Greenmangaming -- in particular you can get Dishonored at five bucks instead of ten. Thanks, JDR13.]
Pillars of Eternity - Voiceovers and the First Complete Playthroughs
Joshua Sawyer has posted Update #87 on the development of Pillars of Eternity. The Obsidian team just finished a "play week" in which developers were given the chance to play the whole game from start to finish rather than sticking to the limited span of the backer beta. Sawyer writes:
We learned a lot from the play week. Most notably: Pillars of Eternity is a big game.
Only two of our developers managed to finish. One was a designer who developed a lot of the crit path and sprinted straight for the end. The other found an early ending and decided to wrap his story up there. About half of the developers had not yet made it to Defiance Bay (the first big city).
In his wonkish way, Sawyer also breaks down a list of gameplay tweaks, including:
- Combat was still too fast. We increased the Recovery of most creatures and tuned the global Recovery factor to slow down combat overall.
- Melee Engagement needs to be communicated more clearly. (Yes it does!)
- Standard casting and Recovery times were too long. The standard casting time was adjusted down to make casting feel less sluggish.
- Hiring adventurers, buying items, crafting, and enchanting were all much too expensive. These have all been made more affordable.
- All classes need a per encounter ability to use at 1st level. (Yes we do!)
They're also beginning to add voiced dialogue and character barks, as well as continuing to expand the variety of character portraits. A new Pale Elf and a couple from the Vailan Republic are below.
Source: Obsidian Entertainment
Pillars of EternitySP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Numenera - Back on Kickstarter
Monte Cook's Numenera is back on Kickstarter, this time you can get yourself a deluxe boxed version of the game rules, which are behind Torment: Tides of Numenera.
The Kickstarter has already been funded, but there are still 16 days to go if you want to join the crowd and help reach more stretch goals.
At Monte Cook Games, we love Numenera and we love Numenera fans. We want to give them the best, coolest, most wonderful products that we can create.
Now that the game has been out well over a year, won many awards, and garnered an audience of enthusiastic fans, we'd like to do something special--but only if it's something that you'd like too. Our idea is to create a boxed set, like the RPG boxed sets of our youth, for this game. Only we'd love to make it absolutely beautiful and crammed full of all the coolest extra content we can come up with: character sheets, XP cards, and even a gorgeous cloth version of the poster map! With your help, we’re going to make it a reality. If this sounds cool to you, pledge now: This is a short Kickstarter, and once it’s over there is likely to never be another opportunity to get Numenera in a boxed edition!
(Already own Numenera? Don't worry--we've got some things that will interest you as well as those new to the game.)