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Aubrielle's Column

2016-07-07

Death By Exposure - Trails of Cold Steel

Aubrielle opens her new semiregular JRPG column with an unofficial review of Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel.
» Continue reading the article...

Torment: Tides of Numenera

2016-06-27

Torment: Tides of Numenera Beta Impressions

Corwin entered the world of Numenera in the beta version of Torment: Tides of Numenera.
» Read the article

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Recently Released

Jul: Phantom Brave PC
Jul: Starbound
Jul: I Am Setsuna
Jul: Necropolis
Jul: Song of the Deep

Expected Releases

Aug: Deus Ex: MD
Aug: Champions of Anteria
Aug: Stellar Tactics
Aug: Tahira
Sep: Earthlock

Thursday - July 28, 2016

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - 2.4.2 Features

by Aubrielle, 11:30

Diablo III's 2.4.2 update hasn't arrived yet, but it will soon, says Blizzard.  New difficulty modes are coming, as well as an option to hide the UI.

Blizzard offered its preliminary patch notes for version 2.4.2 of Diablo over a month ago, and while that still hasn't made its way into the game proper, it's "coming soon", according to a new blog post that goes into the patch in more detail. You'll remember, of course, that 2.4.2 adds a hotkey to hide the UI, letting you better appreciate the environment, and maybe build a photo journal of your adventures through Diablo 3's miserable world. Hey, I'd look at that.

But the meat of the update will surely be the new difficulty levels. Rather than stopping at X, Torment mode will soon go up to XIII, with better loot, and gold and XP bonuses rewarding players ready to take on the greater challenges.

There will naturally also be new treasure and so on across the board, the most substantial change being that Blizzard is "sweetening Adventure Mode rewards, starting with Nephalem Rifts. You’re now guaranteed a Greater Rift Key when completing any Rift, with a chance to get a second (or even a third) key as you increase the game’s difficulty". The developer has "also adjusted drop rates for Infernal Machines, with a 100% drop chance in Torment IV, and an increasing chance for a second machine to drop as you go up in difficulty".

Source: PC Gamer

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

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

Details

Tyranny - Dev Diary #7 - Verse

by Nyx, 04:22

In dev diary #7 we get a look at another potential companion, Verse, a a fierce warrior with ties to the Scarlet Chorus.

Verse represents the bravado of the Scarlet Chorus. She’s constantly proving herself, challenging others, prodding for weaknesses, and delighting in the social power play within Kyros’ more volatile army. Her free spirit and playful sarcasm make her a fitting counterpoint to Barik and his iron walls of emotional repression.

 

Tyranny

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

Details

Witcher 2 - Farewell to the White Wolf

by Silver, 02:24

@GamePressure A fan made mod seeks to say goodbye to Geralt. Farewell to the White Wolf uses the Witcher 2 engine and seeks to be an unofficial epilogue via a wedding of Geralt of Rivia and Yennefer of Vengerberg.

Before you ask why the mod is being developed on The Witcher 2 engine, let us just remind you that CD Projekt RED has yet to release the tool kit for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The works on Farewell of the White Wolf started a year ago and will hopefully be completed before the end of the 2016. Here are some screenshots from the project:

Dawn

hooded figure

Witcher 2

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

Details

Square Enix Collective - Games to Vote on

by Silver, 00:28

The Square Enix Collective has another round of games to vote on, to see if the public will support crowdfunding campaigns for them. One such game is an action rpg called Mayhem In Single Vally.

A manic 4-player kitten pirate game, an educational 2D puzzle platformer, a stunning point-and-click adventure and an action-RPG with a tiger mount… As you can see we have four more completely different games on Collective this month, all are just a click away from your vote. We also have our latest Collective-supported crowdfunding campaign, ‘Nyheim’ a digital board game!

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Square Enix

Details

Glitched - New Kickstarter

by Hiddenx, 00:03

Glitched is a fourth wall breaking RPG currently on Kickstarter.

GLITCHED is a mystery and exploration RPG coming to PC, Mac, and Linux. The game features traditional turn based combat with a little bit of spice but will primarily focus on the story and how you change it. This will be done through the ESSENCE SYSTEM, which will track a player's personality and morality. After a glitch appears in the world of SOREN, our unexpected hero, Gus, will become aware of you- the player. Experience fourth wall breaking shenanigans while making decisions that will shape this world.

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Kickstarter Games

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

Details

Wednesday - July 27, 2016

We Happy Few - Early Access is live

by Hiddenx, 23:52

Pladio spotted that the Early Access version of We Happy Few is live now on Steam:

We Happy Few is the tale of a plucky bunch of moderately terrible people trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial in the city of Wellington Wells. Set in a drug-fuelled, retrofuturistic city in an alternative 1960s England, you’ll have to blend in with its other inhabitants, who don’t take kindly to people who don’t abide by their not-so-normal rules.

"Right out of an Orwellian nightmare"
- IGN

1960s Dystopian England
Set in a retrofuturistic 1960s, you will find a city ravaged by war and rebuilt by delusionally happy people. Everything appears to be happy in Wellington Wells, including the roads, the people, and its omnipresent television personality, Uncle Jack! However, it’s a beautiful world on the brink of collapse. You will discover the history of this world, and how it came to be just so beguilingly happy.

Suspicion and Joy
We Happy Few is about surviving in and escaping from a procedurally generated world, where you must learn to hide in plain sight. If you act out of turn, or you’re not on Joy (the local happy pills), the locals will become suspicious and will rapidly turn your frown upside down! Forcefully. You will need to practice conformity, stealth and combat if you want to survive long enough to escape.

A Mature Story

We Happy Few’s characters are not typical video game heroes. They are flawed and not particularly heroic, warped by the trauma their world has been through. Each character has their own storyline that reacts to the events of the world around them, and their place within it. Our stories are definitely not appropriate for children, but are laced with dark humour, hope, and even a spot of redemption.

"A mad, mad world to explore, made anew every time" - iDigitalTimes

Features

  • In We Happy Few, you will experience:
  • a procedurally generated world, meaning that everyone’s experience will be unique,
  • a range of difficulties for new and experienced players alike,
  • permadeath, if you want to satisfy all your masochistic needs,
  • three modes: sandbox, story and Wellie mode,
  • a unique soundtrack, and
  • a fully voiced, cinematic, first person story.

And you can play it in your own style:

  • fill your basic needs (hunger, thirst, and sleep) to survive,
  • learn how to interact with the other members of your society, and choose stealth, conformity or combat,
  • encounter dozens of in-game unique events,
  • conform to the specific local habits by learning to behave accordingly, and taking your Joy,
  • collect recipes, scavenge items and craft dozens of weapons, tools and devices,
  • fight with your bare hands or the crazy weapons you create,
  • watch out for traps, or learn how to use them to your advantage.


"Visually unmistakable and genuinely amusing" - The Guardian

Note: not all of these features will be available during Early Access! They will become available as we develop them, leading up to the full release of the game.

We Happy Few

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

Details

Legend of Miro - Coming to Steam

by Myrthos, 12:51

In August the story telling RPG, Legend of Miro will come to Steam. What is this game about?

Legend of Miro is a storytelling role-playing game, that will put life into a different perspective. It is a story that will make you reconsider the important things in life.
The main idea of the game was born after a brainstorming session in which we asked ourselves how can we make a different Indie RPG. We wanted to create something that was not done before, with new storytelling and interactivity elements, but remain an Indie game at its core.

We came to the conclusion that what all the Indie RPG games are missing is the interactivity, so we decided to approach the game in a different manner that developers normally do.


THE STORY
The story puts you in James Sullivan’s shoes. A programmer at Red Zone 44 Security Inc. His main job at the company is to develop firewall algorithms to ensure the security of the clients servers. James is fascinated by numerology and has developed an obsession for various numbers and their meaning.
Due to his job, someone decides to change his life forever by forcing him to reconsider his priorities and the important things in his life.

THE BEGINNING

James Sullivan is creative and hard-working but can be aggressive in challenging situations. Is fascinated by numerology and has developed an obsession for various numbers and their meaning. He studied at a local university where he specialized in programming security systems.

His passion for numbers and algorithms is what lead him to a company called Red Zone 44 Security. Being an important player on the security market, James did not hesitate to accept Red Zone’s offer.

Like any other new employee, he worked hard to climb the ladder to a more important position. But with great power, comes great responsibility. This is something that James would find out the hard way.

TROUBLE AHEAD
At this point, things were going pretty well for James, but little did he know that what will happen next will change his life forever.

While working for an important client, James stumbled upon classified information. He should have known better than to open the document and read it. What he did not realize was that the document had a tracking code inside that reported anyone that accessed and read the information inside the document.
James did not understand much from the information that he just read, but realizing the mistake he made, he decided to head home early and think about what to do next.

Later that evening he receives a phone call that worried him. He did not recognize the voice on the phone, all he recognized was the fact that the person on the other end threatened him if he did not follow the instructions he gave James. Fearing for his job and for his life, he decided to follow the exact instructions received over the phone, and left his apartment.

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Steam Games

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

Details

Dex - Launch, Update and Cyberpunk

by Myrthos, 12:39

For the console players amongst us, Dex has been released on Xbox One and PS4. In addition, work on an update for the PC version is ongoing and will be available on the 1st of August.

And on their site, a blog has been made available, explaining what Cyberpunk means in their opinion.

We toss the word cybepunk around a lot in the Dex community, and we all have our own ideas about what it means, but let's take a look at its actual origins.

The term "cyberpunk" was first used by American writer Bruce Bethke in his short story Cyberpunk in 1983. The story describes a group of "cybernetic punks" who presented a subcultural threat to the mainstream society. Bethke's cyberpunks manifested their subversiveness through hacking and cybercrime, which made them significantly more dangerous than their real punk cousins from the 20th century.

Cyberpunk as a name of a literary genre was introduced by Gardner Dozois, the editor of Asimov's Science Fiction magazine. The genre became famous a few years later thanks to William Gibson and his cult-novel Neuromancer (1984), which established many of the defining features later expanded on by other cyberpunk writers.

In cinema, the defining masterpiece was Blade Runner (1982), an adaptation of P.K. Dick's novel Blade Runner: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968).

 

Dex

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PS4
Release: Released

Details

Shroud of the Avatar - Final Wipe

by Silver, 06:23

@PCGamer they announce that Shroud of the Avatar will undergo its final wipe midnight CDT July 27th and the servers will go live again 9:30 at CDT on July 28th.

"When we turn the servers back on July 28, we expect there to be a major land rush. Similar to the Oklahoma land rush of the late 19th century, our players will be able to venture out, plop down their house deeds and claim their property in Shroud of the Avatar for good. This will be the beginning of true persistence in the world," Garriott predicted. "Expect the best properties such as great vistas and overlooks, strategic locales and waterfront real estate to go first. And expect some maneuvering between now and the end of the data wipe as higher level backers will get the first choices."

Shroud of the Avatar has so far pulled in just over $9.2 million in backing, which Portalarium said makes it the second-most crowdfunded game of all time. (We all know who's got first place locked up.) The studio also noted that, over the past 32 months, it has managed to achieve its goal of zero unscheduled downtime, which is a pretty impressive accomplishment in itself.

"While Final Player Data Wipe is NOT 'Launch' of our game, we are super happy to be at such an important milestone with our community of backers," Portalarium said. "We couldn't have built the game nearly this far in its development without the support and feedback of everyone playing. There's a lot more to go yet, but we're about to cross a major hurdle this summer, and can't wait to cross it with you!"

Shroud of the Avatar

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

Details

FTL - Followup Album

by Silver, 03:53

Ben Prunty, the Composer behind FTL, tweeted on an unofficial followup album for the game called Deep Space Deluxe EP.

In September of 2015 I had a lull between projects and, on a whim, decided to make some unofficial FTL music. The result is this EP. Three pieces, complete with Explore and Battle versions, for your deep space listening enjoyment. The three pieces, played in order, imply a story.

The cover art was made by me, with some help from famed indie team Studio Miniboss. The photograph is from NASA's Apollo 9 mission. NASA, of course, had no part in the creation of this EP.

I hope you enjoy this music in your own explorations. Thank you to all of my fans worldwide.

[...]

1.Apollo (Explore) 03:50
2.Dark Flow (Explore) 03:20
3.Black Hole Entity (Explore) 02:58
4.Apollo (Battle) 03:50
5.Dark Flow (Battle) 03:20
6.Black Hole Entity (Battle) 02:58

FTL

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Roguelike
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Underworld Ascendant - July Update

by Silver, 00:35

The latest Stygian Sentinel sees the Underworld Ascendant team focus on the Lizardman and getting their appearance right.

The Evolution of a Lizardman

Fans of Ultima Underworld often remember the Lizardman race pretty fondly. They were spotlighted in one of most signature moments of that game, where the player was able to learn their language.
They were later feared to be wiped out in the cataclysmic events of that game, but in Underworld Ascendant, you'll see they make their return.
In it, a group of Green Lizardmen reside in the neutral city of Marcaul, a central trading point for The Stygian Abyss.
We've explored multiple looks for the Lizardmen over the past year and thought we'd share.

[...]

clay green lizardman1clay green lizardman2

Although just clay, this is the first look at a Green Lizardman, the friendlier of the types you'll encounter.
Of course, there's plenty of room for refinement, which will be handled during the modeling and texturing process over the coming weeks and months.
But, what about Red Lizardmen?

[...]

Another part we use to accent the silhouette is with armor and clothing.
In Nate's draw-over (on the right), he's added some feather attachments making it even more sharp and pointy-looking from a distance.
Now that the overall idea is agreed upon, the Red Lizardman is in the hands of art production and refinements continue to happen daily.
In future installments, we'll dig deeper into detailing how the visual differences between the races translate into telegraphing skills, abilities, and other matters of gameplay.

red lizardman ready for battle

Underworld Ascendant

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

Details

Tuesday - July 26, 2016

Vikings: Wolves of Midgard - Interview

by Hiddenx, 18:54

Gamewatcher has interviewed the lead programmer of the Action RPG Vikings: Wolves of Midgard:

Learn more about Vikings: Wolves of Midgard in this interview with the lead programmer

When you think about action RPGs in the style of Diablo 3, you probably don’t think of a Norse setting. Fortunately, Games Farm are bringing the magic of the Vikings to a video game near you! Vikings: Wolves of Midgard is an action RPG set in a fantastical world based on Viking history and Norse mythology.

We sat down with Jan Turan, Lead Producer at Games Farm to talk about what sets Vikings apart from the other action RPGs out there and what to expect from the game when it launches.


GameWatcher: Could you just introduce yourself for us, please?

Jan Turan: My name is Jan Turan, I am from Kosice, Slovakia. I am the lead programmer at Games Farm Studios.

GameWatcher: Please give us a brief overview of your new game.

Jan Turan: We are working on Vikings - Wolves of Midgard, an action RPG based on Norse mythology. Vikings has been in development for one and a half years, currently. Right now, we are aiming for launch next year, early next year… maybe even a little bit later, but I think early next year for all the major platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, even Steam OS/Linux and so on.

GameWatcher: What’s different about this game compared to other games in the genre?

Jan Turan: That’s one of the reasons why we decided on this Viking setting, it’s a new setting in the genre. Everybody is doing post-apocalyptic, fantasy or sci-fi. We started developing one and a half years ago and now everyone is doing Vikings, everybody is doing Norse mythology. We never expected the Vikings setting to become so mainstream. I think the popularity of the Viking genre is starting to increase because of that TV show.

[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Vikings: Wolves of Midgard

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

Details

Styx: Shards of Darkness - Interview

by Hiddenx, 18:37

GamingBolt has interviewed Julien Desourteaux, Cyanide Studio Game Director and Lead Level Designer of Styx: Shards of Darkness:

[...]

How does Styx: Shards of Darkness improve on the original game, especially in terms of the sequences that players will engage in?

In the level of the signed the major improvements are diversity in the missions. There you have some investigation to do, listen to some dialogue to learn something; sometimes we have missions where you have to be undetected. It’s all about diversity to have a better player experiences during the game.

What can you tell us about the RPG elements in this iteration?

With the RPG mechanics, we still have the skill tree. We have cloning, crafting, assassination, detection, and five or six branches. It’s up to the player to choose what play style you want to have. So by choosing a branch you set up the character. And as well we have some new powers you will have later in the game, because you will have a new material that can give you special abilities.

[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Styx: Shards of Darkness

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

Details

System Shock - Twitch Stream

by Hiddenx, 18:33

You can watch a System Shock livestream today:

We have some exciting news for our final days of the campaign! Tomorrow we’re going to host a livestream on Twitch with some of the original System Shock devs including Warren Spector, Paul Neurath, Robb Waters, Tim Stellmach, and some of our Nightdive folks. Here’s the tentative schedule:

Tuesday, 7/26 (all times are in PDT)

  • 1:00pm - System Shock Pre-Alpha Demo playthrough with NDS folks (Stephen Kick, Jason Fader, Robb Waters, and more)
  • 1:30pm - Otherside Entertainment folks join in for commentary (Warren Spector, Paul Neurath, and Tim Stellmach)
  • 2:00pm - 4:00pm - System Shock 1 playthrough with commentary

Here’s a link to the Nightdive Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/nightdivestudios

On top of that we’ll be doing a 24 hour Twitch stream from Wednesday at noon (PST) to Thursday at noon, right up to the final minutes of the Kickstarter and a bit beyond. We’re still finalizing the schedule and will have an update tomorrow morning with details :-)

Thanks Farflame!

System Shock

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

Details

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem - Character Customization

by Myrthos, 16:10

In a new update for Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem, information is provided on charavter customization and the ammo modifier system. This is the part on character customization.

Hello everyone, I’m Patrick, Lead Character Artist of the project.
Today, I’d like to report our progress on a feature important to us, and I’m sure, very important to you : the character customization.
As expected since the Kickstarter, you’ll soon be able to choose the hairstyle, hair color, eyes color, and skin color of your character.
And, this is a surprise : body types ! So, between four models : medium, heavy, strong and lightweight, you’ll be able to set the character that suits you best ! These settings will also be available for the upcoming female character model.
Please, watch this video to see our progress :

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Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem

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

Details

A House of Many Doors - The Cathedral of Stolen Gods

by Myrthos, 15:56

In A House of Many Doors there are many gods and there are some who try to steal them.

The Cathedral’s pirate-priests roam the House in church-tanks, stealing idols and holy texts, forcing innocent victims to renounce their gods and commit blasphemies. When they have driven all other worshippers away, they return to the main Cathedral and co-opt the god into their swollen pantheon.  

The Cathedral itself is a miles-tall edifice, a jagged cluster of Gothic architecture on tank-treads huge enough to crush a castle. Unfortunately, the Cathedral’s heyday is behind it – the engines are broken, and none of their many gods have the power to make it work again.  

But in the tallest spire, the Omnipope schemes. One day the pirate-priests will reclaim their glory and be feared throughout the House once more. One day.

 

A House of Many Doors

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

Details

Legends of Ellaria - Version 0.5.30

by Myrthos, 15:53

A new update for Legends of Ellaria is coming in a week or two.

After a few weeks of silence, we come back with news and additions to LoE. Since we added bits and parts to LoE's engine, we added enough changes to break the save game, so we took our time adding some features we didn’t plan.  

So here’s what’s coming to version 0.5.30:  

  • We completely overhauled the city life and your citizen’s behaviour. 
  • Your city now generates income depending on your civilians and not as a fixed income 
  • You can now build barracks. When you build it, up to 3 soldiers will follow you and help you. 
  • You can now build the market, which will add a fixed number of resource based on visitors
  • The tavern now adds gold at the end of the day based on your population size
  • The blacksmith is important for generating the refined Iron resource
  • There are more indoors and indoor civilians 
  • Each building now have a meaning and is needed for your progress
  • You can now command following soldiers with the F1, F2, F3, F4 keys by building the barracks
  • Building certain buildings requires Rift Stone, which you’ll need to obtain by exploring your map 
  • Your HUD compass shows you locations of interest whenever you’re near them. 
  • But most important, Greenside now contains caves, goblin villages and places that you need to explore to advance your city. We added Rift Stone cave, which you’ll need to clear to retrieve Rift Stone, so that you'll be able to build the barracks. Other locations contains power ups, gold or just cool places to explore. 
  • Legends of Ellaria

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

    Details

    Path of Exile - Performance Improvements Soon

    by Silver, 15:12

    @DSOGaming they look into the technical improvements coming to Path of Exile with the next patch 2.4.0.

    Grinding Gear Games has released a new video in which Jonathan Rogers, Technical Director at Grinding Gear Games, discusses the performance improvements that are coming in version 2.4.0. Path of Exile is a free-to-play online action RPG and its upcoming 2.4.0 will offer better multi-threading CPU support (that will significantly improve the game's performance). Enjoy!

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    Path of Exile

    SP/MP: Massive
    Setting: Fantasy
    Genre: Hack & Slash
    Platform: PC
    Release: Released

    Details

    Ghost of a Tale - Now Early Access

    by Silver, 11:20

    Ghost of a Tale has released onto early access on both Steam and GOG. It is an action rpg where you play a mouse, who is a minstrel, during medieval times.

    About This Game
    Ghost of a Tale is an action-RPG game in which you play as Tilo, a mouse and minstrel caught up in a perilous adventure. The game takes place in a medieval world populated only by animals, and puts an emphasis on immersion and exploration. It features stealth elements, disguises, conversations with allies and enemies, and quests.

    You'll be able to explore the secrets of Dwindling Heights Keep and navigate its dangers. Tilo is not much of a fighter, so stealth and nimbleness are your allies when confronted with enemies twice your size. Talk to the characters you meet and leave no stone unturned in your quest to find Merra, your true love....
    About the team:
    Ghost of a tale is developed by a very small team. Lionel "Seith" Gallat does 90% of the art, design and coding. Paul Gardner is the game's writer and an experienced game designer. Cyrille Paulhiac does coding and develops tools. Jeremiah Pena is the game's composer, while Nicolas Titeux is responsible for sound design.

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    General News

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

    Details

    Grim Dawn - Misadventure #100

    by Aubrielle, 10:16

    In Grim Dawn's Misadventure #100, we learn more about the Crucible DLC, an "aetherial-infested city" and more.

    It is hard to believe that we are at 100 Grim Misadventures. The first one ever was over 4 years ago with some totally lame World Editor humor and the first level I ever created for Grim Dawn (that wasn’t used in the end). Looking back through the first updates really hammers in just how far the game has come. Of course, there are some things you can never unsee.

    Fast forward to 2016, Grim Dawn has released to resounding approval, with over 500k copies sold and counting. We’ve released one content update and announced the Survival Mode DLC now known as the Crucible. You will likely be pleased to know that the Crucible is coming along smoothly (some sneaky users may have already discovered the recent addition of Crucible achievements on Steam). We expect to have a release date for you in the near future, posthaste if you will. For those that just can’t wait for more details, the Game Guide has been updated with many answers about the mechanics and features of the Crucible.

    But the Crucible isn’t the end of the road for Grim Dawn, not by a long shot. On the horizon, just beyond the Crucible, we are looking to introduce new high-level unique items to spice up your loot hunt. We will also be taking a look at high level Epic sets, which currently don’t quite live up to their intent as stepping stones to Legendary items.

    In addition, we want to round out the rogue-like dungeon offering with the addition of a brand new Aetherial-infested city for you to explore, featuring new lore and new challenges and bosses on the same level of difficulty as the Steps of Torment and the Bastion of Chaos. Rumor is also that the Outcast, Anasteria, has some special interest in that area. Those who chose to befriend her may find a new quest waiting for them at Honored status.

    Grim Dawn

    SP/MP: Single + MP
    Setting: Fantasy
    Genre: Hack & Slash
    Platform: PC
    Release: Released

    Details

    Tim Sweeney - MS Will Make Steam Worse

    by Aubrielle, 10:12

    Epic CEO Tim Sweeney stated in an interview that he believes Microsoft will make Steam "progressively worse" with Windows 10 patches.

    It's well established that Tim Sweeney, co-founder of Epic Games and co-creator of the Unreal Engine, is not a fan of where Microsoft is headed with Windows 10. He's criticised the Universal Windows Platform twice this year, claiming that it's an attempt by Microsoft to monopolise what has traditionally been a happily open platform

    Now, in an interview with Edge Magazine, Sweeney has become even more direct in his criticisms, claiming that future updates to Windows 10 could serve to erode the usefulness of third-party applications and storefronts like Steam. 

    "There are two programming interfaces for Windows and every app has to choose one of them," he said. "Every Steam app – every PC game for the past few decades – has used Win32. It’s been both responsible for the vibrant software market we have now, but also for malware. Any program can be a virus. Universal Windows Platform is seen as an antidote to that. It’s sandboxed – much more locked down."

    "The risk here is that, if Microsoft convinces everybody to use UWP, then they phase out Win32 apps. If they can succeed in doing that then it’s a small leap to forcing all apps and games to be distributed through the Windows Store. Once we reach that point, the PC has become a closed platform. It won’t be that one day they flip a switch that will break your Steam library – what they’re trying to do is a series of sneaky manoeuvres. They make it more and more inconvenient to use the old apps, and, simultaneously, they try to become the only source for the new ones."

    While that could technically be true, how could Microsoft ever hope to bring down something as gargantuan as Steam, either intentionally or inadvertently? Sweeney believes they have a plan for that.

    "Slowly, over the next five years, they will force-patch Windows 10 to make Steam progressively worse and more broken. They’ll never completely break it, but will continue to break it until, in five years, people are so fed up that Steam is buggy that the Windows Store seems like an ideal alternative. That’s exactly what they did to their previous competitors in other areas. Now they’re doing it to Steam. It’s only just starting to become visible. Microsoft might not be competent enough to succeed with their plan, but they’re certainly trying."

    Sweeney has previously said that the PC has remained at the vanguard of graphics innovation because it's an open platform. Microsoft's supposed attempts to turn Windows into a closed platform risks neutering new breakthroughs such as VR before they've had a chance to flourish.

    Source: PC Gamer

    Non-RPG General News

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

    Details

    Deus Ex: MD - Super Difficulty Mode

    by Silver, 10:08

    @Rocket Chainsaw they discuss Deus Ex: Mankind Divided's super difficulty mode.

    Some people like their games soft. Others like them hard. And let's be honest; there's nothing that can beat a good, hard...video game. And Eidos Montreal feel the same way too.

    According to a article over at Gamespot, the upcoming Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will aim to please players from a wide assortment of skill levels, offering heavily tailored down challenge for those who want to cruise through, right up to a new super difficult mode dubbed I Never Asked for This.

    Geared towards the most hardcore of hardcore, I Never Asked for This (recalling the iconic phrase from Deus Ex: Human Revolution) pumps up the difficulty the absolute hardest and nullifies reloads on death. That means you can save, load up your file later, and so on. But if you die your entire save file is flushed and you'll be forced to start again. One life, one run. That's all you get.

    Deus Ex: MD

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

    Details

    Witcher 3 - Enhanced Edition Mod

    by Silver, 07:07

    @PCGamer Ever want Dark Souls difficulty in The Witcher 3? One modder did and has produced the Enhanced Edition Mod. PCGamer got this story from VG24/7.

    While rumours of an official Enhanced Edition were quashed by CD Projekt Red back in January, the developer recently confirmed a Game of the Year iteration is in the works. The Enhanced Edition mod is independent of both, but alters things like the game's default stats and abilities, meditation and alchemy settings, equipment weight and durability, and talent caps and levelling, among a number of other things. The mod also makes significant changes to the game's combat and damage systems and modifiers-a new "Hardcore Enemies" setting, for example, lifts foes 11 levels above the player. Yikes.

    The list of changes the mod makes is pretty exhaustive-full details of which can be found via its Nexus page. If you're interested, you might also fancy checking out YouTube person Origier does Gaming's extensive overview, which details everything from installation instructions to how said changes affect your game.

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    Witcher 3

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

    Details

    Monday - July 25, 2016

    Meridian Shard - July Update

    by Hiddenx, 23:28

    The Meridian Shard is still in development:

    July Update

    In the last update, I mentioned the new semi-mouse support for control options and a much improved encounter system for monsters/foes. I have spent a lot of time ironing these two features out to include a better interface experience and build a randomized system that not only includes monsters, but also regular and really rare loot items

    [...]

    Meridian Shard

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

    Details

    Dungeon Rushers - Early Access Review @ TGG

    by Hiddenx, 20:36

    TGG has reviewed the Early Access tactical RPG Dungeon Rushers:

    Dungeon Rushers PC review – A pretty good heroic-parody tactical RPG

    Have you ever wanted to enjoy those classic table-top RPGs but you don’t really understand the rules? Good news guys, “Dungeon Rushers” has got you covered!

    Taking its cues from the simpler table-tops like “Dungeons and Dragons” or “Heroquest: Dungeon Rushers” is a fast-paced dungeon crawler that has two-stage gameplay; top-down dungeon crawling and classic turn-based battle stages.

    “Dungeon Rushers” plays exactly like you would expect it to as well. The dungeons are made up of singular tiles. And you can choose which direction you move in, uncovering more of the map as you go. And every time you step on to a new (undiscovered) tile the invisible dice is thrown, and you have a random chance of meeting an enemy (or group of), traps or a random event. These events will give you a buff of some description and quickly become your win condition – get lucky with your items, and you will crush all before you. Get unlucky though and you will have to reload due to deaths. The system’s random nature makes every single dungeon really fun, and it adds to the games replayability as no two runs are ever exactly the same.

    [...]

    Verdict: 3/5
    In overall, Dungeon Rushers is a good game that is borderline great. There is a lot of content here to enjoy and characters that are entertaining and funny for all the right reasons. Unfortunately, it is let down by a combat system that is too simplistic to be truly enjoyable – time and development will hopefully alleviate this issue as the game progresses through early-access.

    -> Steam page

    Dungeon Rushers

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

    Details

    RPS - Gen Next #1: Benefits of Procedural Gen

    by Aubrielle, 11:31

    RPS looks at the future of video gaming in their new four part series, Generation Next.  Part one looks at how procedural generation could benefit games, specifically RPGs, in the future.

    Mark Johnson is the developer of Ultima Ratio Regum, an ANSI 4X roguelike in which the use of procedural generation extends beyond the creation of landscapes and dungeons to also dynamically create cultures, practices, social norms, rituals, beliefs, concepts, and myths. This is the first in a four part series examining what generating this kind of social detail can bring to games.

    In Critical Gaming: Interactive History and Virtual Heritage, a 2015 scholarly work by Erik Champion, a very intriguing point is made about the books in the Elder Scrolls series. In considering the interactive options given to the player, and the detail of the “lore” books the player can encounter, Champion argues that the books in the Elder Scrolls series describe a far richer world than the player is actually able to engage with. He proposes that the fiction in these works speaks to a social world with a grander possibility space, and a set of more detailed cultural, social and religious elements, than the fiction the player is able to create through their actions. Elder Scrolls books speak of remarkable unique stories with a tremendous scope of actors, events, cultures, and places; within the play of the games themselves, however, it is difficult to break out of several core gameplay loops of combat, conversation and exploration, to experience or even create the kinds of stories and social worlds we read about in the game’s libraries.

    As well as feeding into this disconnect from gameplay, all this background world detail was hand-written, once, by the game’s developers. As deep and rich as many of the tales these books tell are, they remain the same no matter how many times the player starts the game. Few players will ever return to a previously-read book a second time, making their reading a one-off activity done at the start of the game, and even then something that most players gloss over, fully aware of the lack of immediate relevance to their character’s experience that most books (except for “skill books” that raise your stats) actually have.

    The intersection of these two concerns – their disconnect from the gameplay, and their unchanging nature – severely limits the social detail of the Elder Scrolls world to being only incidental, a backdrop, a player-created side-quest, or something to be considered once and then entirely forgotten. But what if such sociocultural detail could always be new and fresh, and always be actually reflected in the world(s) the player explores? Would players want to engage with this kind of detailed and always-distinctive worldbuilding, and how could worlds with those sorts of elements affect a player’s actual experiences instead of being nothing more than background reading?

    More.

    Rock, Paper, Shotgun

    Details

    Mass Effect - A History

    by Aubrielle, 11:24

    GameSpot has published a video history of Mass Effect, including lots of little details you may not have known.  Says GameBanshee:

    GameSpot has published a new video that charts the history of the Mass Effect franchise, from its beginnings as Project SFX, a pitch from Casey Hudson that included heavy online elements that would end up being dropped, all the way to the ending controversy for Mass Effect 3.

    The video concludes with some speculation on Mass Effect Andromeda and the writer's wish for a title that doesn't include an epic story but only focuses on character relationships. I'm personally in favor of that, but I have the feeling BioWare might be conservative in that department after the reaction to Dragon Age II.

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    Source: GameSpot

    Mass Effect

    SP/MP: Single + MP
    Setting: Sci-Fi
    Genre: Shooter-RPG
    Platform: PC, Xbox 360
    Release: Released

    Details

    Gyre: Maelstrom - Quartet Session

    by Silver, 00:11

    Evodent has revealed some of the audio work going into Gyre: Maelstrom.

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    Evodant is proud to present a behind-the-scenes look at some of the audio we recorded for our game Gyre: Maelstrom. The talented team at Precursor Productions is working closely with us on an amazing game score and sounds effects palette!

    Gyre: Maelstrom

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

    Details

    Sunday - July 24, 2016

    Hideo Kojima - Interview at Comic-Con

    by Silver, 23:13

    @IGN Hideo Kojima is interviewed at San Diego Comic-Con about all things Kojima productions related. The interview starts at 2:36:29.

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    Non-RPG General News

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

    Details

    Matt Chat - Stephen Kick Interview, pt. 2

    by Silver, 23:02

    Matt Chat focuses on System Shock with Stephen Kick of Nightdive Studios which is currently on Kickstarter with 3 days remaining and seeking several stretch goals.

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    Matt Chat

    Details