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Thursday - January 21, 2016
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RPGWatch

2016-02-01

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...

RPGWatch

2016-01-28

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

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Recently Released

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Expected Releases

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Mar: Dishonored 2

Thursday - January 21, 2016

Avernum 5 - The Morality of Cheating

by Myrthos, 13:22

Rachel Presser asks herself the question about the morality of cheating when she felt it was the only thing left to do when she went through Avernum 5.

And it made me think. In a majority of video game worlds, you truly get ahead based on merit. You can grind your stats until you’re strong enough to get past a certain area or fight that boss battle, as well as do enough looting and questing to afford the supplies and training you need for these battles. That’s honestly how a lot of Spiderweb games are: you don’t need to cheat but it’s a lot harder if you don’t do it. In previous Avernum games, it was difficult to beat them but not totally undoable.

This time? This shit was straight up impossible. How was I supposed to both find the right route as well as clobber all these Darkside Loyalists plus all their warped wolves then eventually their wizard and worse yet, dervish, when I had but one potion left?!

There was no way I was going to get past this part of the game, let alone beat it, unless I typed in cheat commands to replenish my health and spell points and get 1337 powerups before battles, plus send me back to Blackchasm Outpost if I really got in a jam I where I couldn’t leave the workshop the way I came (barely doable in the sentinel workshop based on the layout, but literally impossible by design to do in the Anama Lands once the Darkside Loyalists invade.)

I could finally stop cheating when I made it to the Azure Gallery and was able to find potions plus go back and forth to town to heal between battles, but warily kept my fingers on Shift-D in case I needed it again just because I wanted to move forward with the story and not spend hours fighting when I have two businesses and a social life to get back to in the real world. While I did comment to myself numerous times that there were no way I could’ve won these battles without cheating, it didn’t diminish my enjoyment of Avernum 5.

But it begs the question: is it wrong to cheat when life gets hard? Or flat out impossible?

Avernum 5

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

Details

Witcher 3 - Best 13 Mods

by Myrthos, 13:17

Let's do another list. This one is about the best mods in The Witcher 3, according to PC Gamer, listing 13 of them. Here are the frist three on the list.

Absolute Camera

Unhappy with the camera placement while you're running, fighting, riding, or swimming? Absolute Camera doesn't just change the camera distance and angle but gives you over a dozen completely customizable options for camera placement during Geralt's many activities. In the video above you can get a look at just how flexible the new camera tools are.

PhotoMode

Want to take some awesome screenshots of Geralt in action? This mod provides a toggle button that lets you freeze the game at will, then fly your camera around in 3D space to line up the perfect picture. There's also a toggle for making yourself invisible (good for landscape shots), and an option to spawn fog and mist to make your shots more atmospheric.

Friendly HUD

The Witcher 3 isn't just a great game, it also contains a great game: Gwent, a collectible card game Geralt can enjoy during his adventures. In fact, it's not unusual to hear that players would rather indulge in a Gwent fix than kill monsters. Now, you can do both! This mod replaces all combat with games of Gwent. You even earn similar loot and XP rewards for winning a game.

Witcher 3

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

Details

Shiness - Interview @ WCCFTech

by Myrthos, 13:10

WCCFTech talked to Enigami’s CEO Hazem Hawash, to talk about their action RPG Shiness.

  • Shiness is officially described as a half-open world RPG, can you explain what that means exactly?
  • In Shiness, you can explore vast environments, like The Plains of Meonis, which is one of the main areas of the game where you can complete many quests or secondary objectives. Or discover narrow places like the dungeons, which are more similar to those you can cross in the Zelda games. Numerous enigmas and exploration phases await you!
  • Will it be possible to level up and upgrade/customize skills RPG style? If so, is there a level cap?
  • For sure! Shiness got its own skill system! You can customize all of your characters stats by equipping them with the items you’ll find during your journey. The level cap of each character will be fixed at 50.
  • Will there be proper boss fights in Shiness and if so, how many?
  • There are different bosses in Shiness, but we’d rather not tell you how many to keep the surprise! One thing is certain: we do our best to make the boss battles as epic as possible!

Shiness

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

Details

Banner Saga 2 - Update #60

by Aubrielle, 01:01

Banner Saga II gets another update and another character.

Very pleased to let you all know that we’re working hard on wrapping up development on Banner Saga 2. As we get toward the end we’ll start sharing more information about the game, but at this point here’s what we can tell you: 

  • Combat Changes - Over the past few years we noticed and heard all of the feedback regarding combat in The Banner Saga, so improving that experience has been on the top of our list. We’re adding things to the battle boards to make them more interesting, adding in objectives to certain combat scenarios, vastly increasing the unit and ability diversity, and telling more story via the battle board this time around. 
  • The Story Continues - You’re going back to the same world but you’re going to see more of it and experience a host of new characters. We hope you import your saved games from The Banner Saga because doing so will make sure your choices, characters, items and ranks all carry over to Banner Saga 2. 
  • Keeping the Bar High - We set a high quality bar for ourselves with the launch of The Banner Saga, and nothing has changed as far as that standard is concerned, except that we like to think we’ve raised the bar just that bit little higher for Banner Saga 2.

One character you’ll encounter early on is Folka. Folka is a shieldmaiden, gets involved in combat up close and personal, is a true force to be reckoned with and is our first female melee character.

Folka’s size, mind for strategy, and gall make her the unofficial second-in-command of the Ravens, the infamous mercenaries led by the last varl berserk, Bolverk. From a frozen region where a family’s worth is measured daily by the trees they fell, Folka knows hardship and loss better than most, yet still finds reason to fight on. As the only human alive who has challenged Bolverk’s orders and gained his trust, the other mercenaries go to her to make requests. Her strong personality keeps most of the men around her at arm's-length, whether she wants that or not.

More information.

Source: Stoic Studio

Banner Saga 2

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

Details

General News - Fewer Side Quests?

by Aubrielle, 00:57

Do you think open-world games would benefit from fewer side quests?

How many of the games you’ve bought last year have you’ve played until the end credits?

I recently wrote about slowing down and enjoying the games you have, as opposed to joining the rush to playing the latest “must have” title before it was spoiled through social media and the like. To me though, this is only half of the issue.

Looking at the games that I’ve seen through to the end credits, excluding the review titles I’ve been assigned, my completion list is embarrassing to say the least. The Order: 1886, Until Dawn, and Transformers: Devastation are about all I managed to finish in 2015, while the year before, it was the likes of The Last of Us and Tomb Raider on the PS3 that went the distance. I had a damn good time playing through them, and looking at them now, I see a common factor running through them all. They do a fine job of keeping themselves relatively linear and to the point, and none of them rely on open world, sandbox, side-quest filler to “enhance” the experience.

I’m a gamer of advancing years and short of free time. I’m able to snatch an hour or two every three or four days at the very most if I’m lucky. I’m not alone as well, it’s a common theme for my older demographic to simply not have the time to spend on trivial pursuits like 80-hour gaming sessions, especially when partners and children and dull reality television demands your time instead. I’m never surprised to hear my more time fortunate gaming friends rattle off a list of games they’ve spent thirty or so hours in, and feel like they haven’t scratched the surface or already have the game world map lighting up like a Christmas tree every time they press start with a list of possible quests they can undertake.

More information.

General News

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

Details

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen - You Must Play

by Aubrielle, 00:52

Vice chimes in on why you absolutely must play Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen.

When Dragon's Dogma first popped up in 2012, there didn't appear to be much reason to get excited. During the days of the Xbox 360 and PS3 we were frankly inundated with bland over-the-shoulder shooters and action RPGs, and Capcom's oddly flat-looking offering didn't appear to be anything different.

But underneath the muddy veneer hid an admittedly fairly ropey game that was still quite genuinely worth getting psyched about. Four years later, and a swanky re-release on PC (in its Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen guise, albeit now supporting 4K resolution and looking delicious) has people like me popping out of the woodwork to defend this gorgeous flawed-gem of a game, which having finally waved goodbye to many technical issues that plagued it originally is now the definite version to play. Here are five reasons why it's worth your attention.

More information.

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen

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

Details

Torment: Tides of Numenera - Early Livestream

by Aubrielle, 00:46

IGN livestreamed an early play session of Torment: Tides of Numanera with Brian Fargo and lead area designer George Ziets.  Skip to 9:43.

Thanks to Couch for tonight's news.

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More information.

Source: IGN

Torment: Tides of Numenera

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

Details

Wednesday - January 20, 2016

RPGWatch Feature - Tears of Avia Interview

by Myrthos, 13:03

Aubrielle talks to the Tears of Avia developers about this beautiful, skill-based tactical RPG that just won't die.

Aubrielle: "I was sorry to see that the Kickstarter didn't go like you hoped, but I was overjoyed to see that you swore not to give up on this project.  How is development going for you?  Where are you - currently - in developing the game?"

Andy: "At the time of our kickstarter campaign we simply had a single level playable. Since then we've been working on the very early game (if you're a member of my patreon page, you can see monthly updates to this effect). The first two levels are nearly complete with more to come.

In fact, making levels is not the time consuming aspect. Constructing all the dialogue possibilities is the main time sink for us, and there's a lot, even right from the start. That's a difficult thing for us to show without giving away major spoilers, though."


And of course, I was curious where the inspiration came from.

"We drew inspiration from quite a few different games," Andy says. "Disgaea for its turn based gameplay, guild wars for the incredible skill build crafting system as well as the Baldurs Gate series of games for dynamic story telling."


That started to make me wonder about combat.

Tears of Avia

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

Details

General News - Are RPG's Too Long?

by Aubrielle, 12:49

Why you wouldn't want more content is beyond me, but Syfy Games' Tony Nguyen thinks that RPG's could be better if they were condensed.

Whenever I think about role-playing games, the first thing that comes to mind is the thought of embarking on a grand-scale adventure filled with hours upon hours of content. In fact, one of the reasons why I decided to purchase Fallout 4 the very first day it came out — despite how notoriously glitchy Bethesda games tend to be at launch — was because I knew that I was going to spend dozens of hours seeing everything the game had to offer. True to my expectations, I did spend over forty hours exploring the Boston Commonwealth, shooting countless numbers of Ghouls, Raiders, and whatever the wasteland wanted to throw at me. I didn't even finish half the list of the available side quests, or even half of the supposedly short main quest line!

During that, I discovered a little gem called Undertale. While it's enjoyable for its own reasons — which I highly recommend that you find out for yourself — one of the main things about it that stood out to me was that it was a relatively condensed adventure. Although you won't explore a vast wasteland or anything even remotely comparable, I feel like the game still somehow managed to deliver a satisfying journey. In just around ten hours, I got to meet an interesting cast of characters that I came to love, witnessed a story full of genuinely unexpected twists and turns, and even managed to tear up more times than I'd like to admit. So, it has me wondering: should RPGs be shorter to deliver a more focused experience?

Read more.

General News

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

Details

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen - Best New Mods

by Aubrielle, 12:41

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen's PC release has only been out a few days, but it's already gathered a nice collection of mods, including a character/pawn editor and some visual mods.

More information.

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen

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

Details

Black Desert - Free Character Creator

by Aubrielle, 01:26

Everyone has seen screenshots of just how gorgeous Black Desert Online's character creation system is.  But now you can see for yourself - a free version of their character creator has been released.

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If you haven't been following Black Desert Online's development, you probably know it as 'that one with the crazy character creator', and you'd be right—we're approaching Black Desert's second and final beta, and the character creator has been deemed special enough for a standalone release ahead of time. You can download it and marvel at the results (hideous or uncomfortably beautiful) here. Any characters you make in the creator can be imported both to the beta and the finished game.

More information.

Source: PC Gamer

Black Desert

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

General News - All Time Top 50 @ PC Gamer

by Hiddenx, 01:02

Another week another toplist - this time made by PC Gamer:

<< The 50 most important PC games of all time >>

Thanks rjshae!

General News

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

Details

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - Time and Seasons in RPGs

by Silver, 00:40

@RockPaperShotgun Richard Cobbett has produced another segment for the RPG Scrollbars titled 'Time And Seasons In RPGs'. 

The times change, and we change with the times. Or in the case of RPGs, not. I've always felt this a bit of a shame, especially in games like World of Warcraft, where your character is officially hanging around long enough to see the leaves fall off the trees and the snow to cover up the capital cities. That's why I was quite keen on both Fallout 4 taking the time to redecorate Diamond City a little for at least Halloween and Christmas, and last week, to see a mod take the next step and give the Commonwealth a makeover for all seasons in a way that nobody's really tried since Lords of Midnight 3 way back in the 90s. Whole minutes of fun with the system clock there!

But then as now, it's hard not to start wondering how time could be given its due as more than the fire in which bad movies turn out to be even worse than they initially seemed. Maybe it could be our friend too, and in so many interesting ways.

[...]

Still, the simple fact that so few games actually do cool things with time means that it doesn't necessarily take much to stand out. Rockstar's Bully for instance offered a special Halloween event full of pranks and costumes and a Christmas equivalent shortly afterwards, and the Halloween section is one of the most memorable slices of the whole game. Similarly, while I'd argue that Blizzard really should shake things up a bit more each year, I remember the first time I did their Christmas content - going to get presents from Greatfather Winter, etc - and it was hard not to feel the warm fuzzies about that, even playing on a laptop that could barely run the damn game and looking out a rainy Yorkshire evening instead of a snowy winter wonderland.

[...]

Even so, when I look back on some of my favourite moments, several do involve the passing of time and the ability to do stuff with that. Consortium for instance, the closest to a modern day successor to The Last Express that I've found (sequel Kickstarter coming soon, and I've got my fingers crossed for it) does some fantastic stuff with it, like a murder mystery that has to be complete by a certain point, but doesn't simply drop the boot if you fail. It's like playing through a slightly clunky SF version of 24, where disasters are always happening and piling on each other, and you're right in the middle just trying to keep up. On a smaller scale, I also like games that force you to choose at least some options under pressure, like the Telltale games, or Alpha Protocol, which did exactly the same thing... only had choices matter.

And I like the sense of a world outside the confines of my screen, even if most games that do that tend to limit themselves to one big moment to knock over-confident players off their stride, and then immediately lose interest. The start of Deus Ex: Human Revolution for instance, where taking too long pissing about the Sarif offices leads to the hostages being killed before you get there. Mass Effect 2, where wasting too much time before rescuing the captured crew leads to them being mulched in front of your face. Star Control 2, where the enemy Ur-Quan turns out to be in the middle of a civil war which resolves during your fight. Spoiler: This is not great news.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun

Details

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen - Review

by Hiddenx, 00:40

Game-Debate has reviewed Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen:

Hackest Thou and Slashest Thou, Brave Sir.

CAPCOM.  Whilst enjoying Dragon’s Dogma, that’s the word to hold onto.  CAP.  COM.  Now don’t forget it.  Okay?  It’ll crop up again later.  Promise. Initially that’s precisely what I did.  Forgot CAPCOM.  And it almost spoiled what turned out to be a wickedly enjoyable game.  Read on, brave adventurer, if you dare…

[...]

Viewed from this new angle, what previously seemed to be liabilities now become assets.  It’s not a half-arsed, failed shot at aping Skyrim; instead it’s Golden Axe dragged into the 21st century and fed with steroids.  It’s straightforward and two-dimensional because it’s supposed to be.  The plot, the landscape and its denizens are trite and reductionist because they’re supposed to be.  You’re supposed to beat them up, not try and make friends with them.  Freed from the heavy expectations of almost every other modern RPG, it’s immense fun.

[...]

Score: 8/10 - Very Good

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen

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

Details

Tuesday - January 19, 2016

General News - Chris Avellone @ H.A.M. Radio

by Hiddenx, 23:47

Chris Avellone talks about the Fallout series, his KOTOR 3 ideas and StarWars and more at H.A.M. Radio:

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Welcome to the H.A.M Radio Podcast! A weekly podcast discussing everything and anything Bethesda, featuring LoneVaultWanderer, Noah, one of you, and myself!

General News

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

Details

Hero's Song - New Kickstarter

by Hiddenx, 21:02

Hero's Song is a 2D pixel art sandbox rogue-like action RPG being built by Pixelmage Games with a team of  veteran game developers:

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Cohh Sits Down With John Smedley & Pat Rothfuss To Talk About Their New Game Studio PIXELMAGE And The New Game HERO'S SONG

Kickstarter Games

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

Details

Mage's Initiation - New Years Update #45

by Silver, 05:07

The folks at Himalaya Studios, Inc. have released a new update titled "2016 Frozen Water Mage Summit". Yes there is video.

Light At the End of the Programming Tunnel

So, what have we been doing since last you heard from the development team, we hear you ask? Well, we're glad for your question, dear Initiates! For the most part, our time has been spent bug-fixing combat issues, as per usual, and playing the now all-too-familiar combat "whack-a-mole", addressing two new issues for every one issue that gets resolved. We know these updates are probably a little on the dull, repetitive side and they probably make it sound like not much has been taking place behind the scenes, but we have come a very long way on this front since August last year with literally thousands of battle bugs being squashed. And now we're thrilled to announce that we have finally resolved every combat bug (that we're aware of) for every spell, monster, and boss in the game -- bar one! Yes, a sole combatable critter remains to be tangled with and we plan on duking it out with him and taking him DOWN over the course of the next few weeks. After that, it's simply a matter of refining gameplay elements, fixing some non-combat bugs, juggling the score/XP and RPG system a bit, and then we'll have our first alpha-release candidate that can be considered for in-team testing and, subsequently, private backer testing!

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Alpha For Your Thoughts (We Need Your Feedback!)

So, we have a question. We're wondering if eligible backers would rather test a rough (but complete) alpha version sooner, in a couple of months time? Or would you prefer to hold out several months longer for a more stable beta build? In either case, the playable build won't have recorded voices yet, as we don't want to record them until the game has been thoroughly tested and any necessary textual changes to the dialogue have been made. It's always a pain to get actors back for pick-up sessions, so we're hoping to work around that by testing the text-only game first and foremost.

Additionally, would backers prefer to receive their test builds via Steam or Humble Bundle? We're still trying to figure out the logistics of getting the test build into eligible backer's hands in the easiest, most seamless manner possible.

Please let us know your feedback in the comments (or via email if you're a PayPal backer.)

Mage's Initiation

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

Details

Dark Souls - The King and I

by Silver, 03:57

@Megagames.com reports on a AI opponent for Dark Souls known as the King.

With Dark Souls III set to arrive soon, it's not surprising that there are only really a few hundred dedicated Dark Souls players still slaying their way through bosses and dominating enemy humans who's worlds they invade with glee. There was is one person who's world they don't want to invade, or be invaded by though and that's The King.

Why though? Surely he's no tougher than any other veteran of the game? Well no, not exactly.

Although he is tough and stands a good chance of killing you, he's different in that The King is an AI. Developed over the course of 10 months by fan of the game, "metal-crow," The King is reverse engineered to be almost unbeatable, or at least worthy of providing a very solid challenge for anyone who considers themselves highly experienced at the game.

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Dark Souls

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

Details

Project Resurgence - Kickstarter Update

by Hiddenx, 03:27

The Kickstarter campaign for Project Resurgence is going well. Farflame spotted this update with shoutouts from Chris Avellone and Swen Vincke:

Tribes & 1st Backer Quest Rewards

Nectarines, assemble!

Rob here, and welcome back to another edition of “What’s up NGS?” First off, I wanted to highlight that we’ve had a few more big shout outs since our last update including one of our favorite writer/designers Chris Avellone (Planescape: Torment, Pillars of Eternity), the founder of Larian Studios Swen Vincke (Divinity: Original Sin), and the Crowfall team in their latest newsletter! Woohoo! :D

[...]

Kickstarter Games

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

Details

Fallout 4 - A Final Goodbye

by Aubrielle, 01:21

Pixelgate, rather apocalyptically (no pun intended, honest), insists that Fallout 4 destroys everything the Fallout series was built on.  Ouch.

As a franchise, Fallout has tended to maintain a high standard. Aside from spin-offs, the experiences on offer have constantly been enjoyable. From the top down view, to the modern first person, the stories told have been memorable. Things changed with Fallout 4.

At its worst, Fallout still managed to create good stories. The latest entry into the franchise bucked the trend, and bucked it hard. No longer was the story directed by the player. With a new found focus on linear narrative, Fallout 4 pushed and nudged the player forward. Dialogue options stripped back to nods and shakes of the head. Player choice reduced to nothing but a lie.

...

Fallout 4 marked the end of my interest in the franchise. Not because it’s a bad game, but because it’s no longer the franchise I knew. The changes made clearly had the desired affect. Fallout 4 sales hit impressive numbers, brand recognition increased and critics love it.

No longer do I see Fallout as the franchise I can count on for quality RPG experiences. The last two games may have been departures from the originals, but they still had numerous core elements. Numerous dialogue options, deep side quests and builds that affected the whole game. All Fallout 4 had was Nick Valentine and a decent map.

More information.

Fallout 4

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

Details

Darkest Dungeon - Review @ Gameinformer

by Hiddenx, 01:21

Today is the release day of Darkest Dungeon - Gameinformer has reviewed the game:

Darkest Dungeon

Aphotic, Atmospheric, And Awesome

Despair overtakes you as your houndmaster misses an all-important attack on an enemy fusilier, the lighter of the brigand’s massive boss cannon. The cannon is going to fire this turn, and there’s nothing left you can do to stop it. While your leper and bounty hunter land the finishing blows on the massive machine, your plague doctor and houndmaster fail to survive the encounter, joining the legions of the dead that occupy the hamlet’s graveyard. Dead champions never return, but their memory will haunt you through all the battles and dungeons yet to come.

Tremendous highs and tumultuous lows combine in the Lovecraft-inspired, turn-based dungeon-crawler Darkest Dungeon. You’re always one hit point or one mind sliver away from complete collapse as you explore winding halls of ruins, warrens, coves, and the titular Darkest Dungeon itself. Featuring permadeath, procedurally generated levels, and some aspects of permanent progression as the player builds up the decrepit hamlet into a bustling economy, the game is ultimately about finding combinations of curious glory seekers and treasure hunters and putting them to work against swarms of deadly and debilitating monsters.

[...]

Score: 9.25/10

  • Concept: Assemble various teams of unique characters to battle against against deadly dungeons and bosses in stylized turn-based combat
  • Graphics: The stylish look is one all its own and works incredibly well with the dire themes and environments
  • Sound:The narration – done by Wayne June of Lovecraft audiobook fame – is stunning and makes the game feel like turning the pages of a Cthulhu nightmare
  • Playability: The game is unforgivingly difficult, making it perfect for those looking for a dungeon crawling challenge. Easily frustrated players will have a tough time adapting to the gameplay
  • Entertainment: While the game can feel grindy at times and losing a critical team permanently is soul crushing, taking down big bosses, collecting treasure, and restoring the fallen hamlet to glory is challenging and fun
  • Replay: High

Darkest Dungeon

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

Details

Final Fantasy XIII - Most Unappreciated in Series?

by Aubrielle, 01:16

Gamerpros.co makes the argument that the Final Fantasy XIII arc is the most underappreciated set of games in the whole franchise.

Final Fantasy XIII was rather divisive. While its gameplay and combat system were superb, the story was a bit over pretentious and it was extremely linear, with the player simply going from place to place on a pre-set path. The characters were wonderful though, the combat was intricate and completely customizable, and there was a level of difficulty — especially during the boss battles. You had to think quick on your toes with the paradigm system and be able to quickly switch your player’s roles in order to survive. It is the best Final Fantasy battle system yet, but fans are so hung up on the game’s linearity and complex story that the game gets so much unwanted hate from fans of the series, who actually prefer story over gameplay.

...

The battle system is a mixture of the system found in the previous two games with real-time combat. It took a bit of getting used to but I truly enjoyed it. Lightning can be equipped with a number of different outfits that allow her to perform magic, become a mighty warrior and more. Even her gear (like weapons) can be bought and equipped, making her classes completely customizable. The game was not critically praised, but I found it to be a wonderful conclusion to the XIII saga, even if the ending was a typical Japanese trope about killing God (who is actually just another deity within the mythology of Fabula Nova Crystallis). The combat and gameplay are solid, and you have a whole world to explore and so many quests to complete with incredibly compelling characters. All the characters from the previous titles return in unexpected ways, and it really is a great ‘last hurrah’ for the XIII series. Lightning’s character arc is finally put to an end, and it is one of the most dynamic and introspective arcs in the entire Final Fantasy series.

More information.

Final Fantasy XIII

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

Details

Witcher 3 - Hearts of Stone Hotfix

by Aubrielle, 01:11

There's a new hotfix to address some recent issues with the Witcher 3, namely with Gwent.

Check the list of changes made in Hearts of Stone by the Hotfix:

- Fixes a problem whereby boards shown after finishing a game of Gwent were incorrectly grayed out.
- Restores the progress bar shown when passing a round during a game of Gwent.

More information.

Witcher 3

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

Details

Dragon's Dogma - Performance Analysis

by Aubrielle, 01:07

DSO Gaming takes a look at Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen's performance.

Thanks to Couch for tonight's news.

Given its old-gen nature, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is not really a demanding title. Even though the game scales well on multiple CPU cores (thanks to the MT Framework that was always friendly to multi-core CPUs), it does not require a high-end CPU in order to run with constant 60fps. In order to find out whether an old CPU was able to offer an ideal gaming experience, we simulated a dual-core CPU with and without Hyper Threading. Without HT, we experienced minor stutters. With HT enabled, the game ran with constant 60fps and without any stutters. In other words, those with Intel’s i3 CPUs will not be CPU limited under any-case scenario.

Regarding the game’s GPU requirements, Capcom recommends an NVIDIA GTX760 or an equivalent card. And we are happy to report that this recommendation is spot on. Due to the lack of an SLI profile, our GTX690 performed similarly to a GTX680 (that is slightly faster than the GTX760). And while there was one scene in which our framerate dropped at 60fps (in the prologue when you first encounter the dragon), the game ran with constant 70fps at 1080p with max settings.

Dragon’s Dogma performs great on the PC, no doubt about that. PC gamers won’t encounter any stutters while exploring the game’s world, there are no mouse acceleration and smoothing issues, the mouse is supported in all menus, and there are proper mouse/keyboard indicators while playing the game. And Capcom has provided a respectable amount of options to tweak in case you own a really weak PC system.

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All in all, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen performs great on the PC. Thanks to the MT Framework, PC gamers will be able to enjoy this game on a variety of PC systems. It’s also great that the game ‘behaves’ like a PC game. However, Capcom did not do much to improve the game’s dated visuals. Yes, PC gamers can use the ENBSeries mod and Reshade in order to improve them, however it would be great if the developers actually did something more about it. A more advanced lighting system, higher polygon characters, out-of-the-box support for NVIDIA’s HBAO+ and better textures would do wonders to this game.

More information.

Source: DSOGaming

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen

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

Details

Monday - January 18, 2016

The Tower Prophecy - Kickstarter launched

by Silver, 23:57

CONSORTIUM: The Tower has a goal of $450,000 and 32 days to achieve it. Consider backing it if you enjoyed the first game.

The ultimate single player first-person immersive sim. Explore, talk, fight or sneak through The Churchill Tower in 2042! PC/XB1/PS4

The Tower Prophecy

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

Details

Deus Ex - Retrospective @ Harcore Gaming 101

by Myrthos, 15:41

Hardcore Gaming 101 is offering an in-depth look at the original Deus Ex and its Mac and PS2 ports, including screenshots comparing the different versions.

Note the article does contain spoilers.

A common problem with games that try to mix different genres and accomodate different playstyles is that they end up not being particularly good at any single thing. This is also true for Deus Ex, which is a clunky first-person shooter, a stealth game that gives more loud and lethal solutions than stealthy ones (and the stealthy ones you're given are often not the most reliable) and a fairly shallow RPG. Forunately, in this case the whole is much bigger than the sum of its parts and Deus Ex manages to be a great game in its own right regardless.

Deus Ex players control JC Denton, an anti-terrorist secret agent employed by United Nations. The character's abilites can be modified by distributing experience points (received for completing mission objectives and exploring different locations) to a set of skills ranging from the use of different weapons to hacking and lockpicking, as well as by installing and upgrading 'augmentations': nanotechnological devices inside Denton's body that allow him to use special skills like health regeneration, silent movement or resistance to bullets. Skills are fairly straightforward - just increase the ones you're using the most - but augmentations require a bit of strategic thinking as augmentation of each body part is permanent and usually requires choosing one of two mutually exclusive bonuses (e.g. either being able to lift heavier objects or doing more damage with melee weapons). Bonuses that come from skills are passive, while augmentations need to be activated and require energy to use.

Thanks Dark Savant.

Deus Ex

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

Details

Ghost of a Tale - Feature Freeze

by Myrthos, 15:35

The development of Ghost of a Tale has reached a feature freeze.

We’ve reached feature freeze! Simply put what this means is from now on we stop adding new features. This is so we don’t fall into a loop of “hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we did this…”. It is always very tempting to add little (and sometimes not-so-little) features and get caught up in what’s called in development terms “feature-creep” (which itself can ultimately lead to “vaporware”).

We now have a very clear idea of what the pre-release needs to be –as well as what it can live without. So rather than attempting to cram in every idea we have, we’re going to make sure that each feature which gets into the pre-release actually works as expected. I prefer the early access game to feel solid rather than overly ambitious and half-broken.

The update also provides more information about the development status of the game.

Ghost of a Tale

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

Details

Fallout 4 - Building the Acoustic World

by Aubrielle, 12:57

Vice interviews Inon Zur on creating the acoustic world of Fallout 4, as well as his technique and work on earlier titles like Dragon's Dogma.

Thanks, Couch.

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Fallout 4 features the kind of compelling landscape that could just as accurately be called a wonderland as it could a wasteland. It's a post-nuclear environment crawling with monsters and home to an arsenal of potential adventures; but the game's story wouldn't be nearly as compelling without its accompanying soundscape.

In addition to the delightfully sinister soundtrack of the in-game radio – check out "Atom Bomb Baby" for a flavour – Fallout 4 features a score that shifts with the player's actions, transforming the act of virtual exploration into an all-encompassing experience.

To find out how this music came to be, I spoke to the game's composer, the California-based Inon Zur, who's previously worked on titles including Crysis and Dragon's Dogma, as well as prior Fallouts. We discuss his source of inspiration, "alternate reality" instrumental techniques and the challenge of writing cinematic music only indirectly linked with on-screen action.

VICE: How do you begin the process of creating the score for a game like Fallout 4?
Inon Zur: I started by looking for the thematic material that would be the basis of the soundscape. My job is to build an organic, acoustic world. The Fallout story is reminiscent of the past, but it's also a world that has evolved and developed in ways that are really hard to imagine. So, the music needs to help sort of by describing what's going on there. At the same time, it has to be organic. It has to grow from the background noises and enhance them as well.

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There are certainly similarities to Fallout 3 in terms of how the game feels and sounds. How tied in are you with branding, and connecting the two stories?
The situation is not the same, but there are a lot of connecting lines between Fallout 3 and Fallout 4. Basically, where we're coming from and where we're going are very different things in each game, but the reality is that we're still struggling though the huge aftermath of a global holocaust. That's the connection, so even though it's a different hero, he or she is struggling with familiar problems in different ways. The music has to make some kind of connection, not only because of the brand, but also because of the situation in the game and the way it is evolving. Fallout 3's score was colder, more mechanical, and it enhanced more of the raw sort of elements. Fallout 4 is cultivating more of a human aspect. It's got much warmer sounds, more humane sounds, more intimate sounds. So, in some ways, it is a totally different approach.

More information.

Fallout 4

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

Details

A House of Many Doors - Sound, Shops and Sanity

by Myrthos, 12:25

The first development update for A House of Many Doors talks about sound, shops and sanity. This part is about the (in)sanity in the game.

've also added a bunch of insanity effects to the game, which I'm hoping will seriously mess with your head! 

I don't want to give too much away about these little touches, since their efficacy will depend on you being caught off-guard. When your character loses enough Sanity a lot of things both big and small will start to go very slightly askew. Ideally, I want some of the effects to be so subtle that an unobservant player might not even notice them at first.

A House of Many Doors

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

Details

Exoplanet: First Contact - Music and Animals

by Myrthos, 12:20

In this update for Exoplanet: First Contact we learn more about  the game's composer, Matt (Bison) Steed and some of the animals in the world of K'Tharsis.

Thanks to our artists, the hornhog is almost ready to go grazing in the prairies and scare off travelers. The final version, colored:

Hornhogs are herbivorous, just like rhinos.

Aside from wild animals, K'Tharsis also has livestock. Despite highly developed technology, a frontier planet removed from major trade routes has its own laws (more like lawlessness). A herbivorous arphant that just needs grass can be a better investment than a vehicle that not only consumes expensive fuel, but can also be disassembled and sold off as parts. In case of an arphant you at least have a small chance to find the thief and punish him according to the full extent of a Wild West law. Hardly anyone would transport the offender to a meeting with local representatives of the law across 200 miles, therefore it is as simple as your word against his. Often the thieving criminal is incarcerated inside a prison tree (we're gonna show it in one of our future updates) where he is slowly being digested alive. One might think that it's a very harsh punishment, but for the poor farmers the arphant might be the only source of income that helps make ends meet for a whole family.

Exoplanet: First Contact

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

Details

Dungeon Guardians - Version 1.0b Released

by Aubrielle, 02:01

The Fall of the Dungeon Guardians got its 1.0b release on the 11th.

Thanks, Couch.

I finally found the time & energy to implement the Treasure Hunt within the game !
This is a chained series of riddles, more or less easy, designed mostly to test your memory and your observation skill.
This hunt will bring you a new extra non-combat item, as well as alternate weapons (eg: 2H tank weapon).
Its starting point is in the High Security zone of the prison at the beginning of the game.
Note: it's possible to do it after have reached the last level of the game, but it might be delicate to remember everything needed to solve all the riddles.

There are also other little new GUI features, and small changes & bug fixes.
You can read the details of all updates here : http://steamcommunity.com/app/409450/discussions/0/490123727974362306/ .

More information.

Dungeon Guardians

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

Details

Fallout 4 - Deleted Content

by Aubrielle, 01:58

Some interesting content was deleted from the final release of Fallout 4, and Kotaku takes a look.

Thanks, Couch.

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More information.

Fallout 4

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

Details

Sunday - January 17, 2016

Vampyr - Uses Unreal Engine @ PCGamesN

by Hiddenx, 17:18

Nice article about Vampyr from PCGamesN. This RPG is scheduled for 2017:

Making it in Unreal: Dontnod swap teen trials for Victorian monster fiction in action-RPG Vampyr

Vamp-Y-R. Whether it’s from the Swedish or the 1932 German-French horror film of the same name, there’s a certain flourish and edge to Dontnod’s title not found in the traditional spelling. That’s indicative of the approach the Life is Strange alumni are taking to vampire fiction in their next game, a blood-sucking action-RPG.

 

The Parisian studio behind Life is Strange have made every effort to dodge the stakes and silver bullets of vampiric pop culture. Determined to return the pallid, pouting undead archetype to its roots in gothic literature, but keen to avoid the Victorian era already well-mined in contemporary games and cinema, Dontnod have plumped for 1918 London - a city on its back as Spanish Flu rips through a population weakened by four years of war. Across Europe, the pandemic killed more people than the conflict.

[...]

Vampyr

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

Details