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What's your favourite Bioware RPG franchise?
Baldur's Gate
40.88%

Neverwinter Nights
15.33%

Star Wars
7.3%

Jade Empire
0%

Mass Effect
16.79%

Dragon Age
7.3%

I can't choose
5.84%

I don't do franchises
0.73%

I don't like Bioware
5.84%

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Tuesday - May 26, 2015

Evoland 2 - Gameplay Trailer

by Myrthos, 23:22

Evoland 2 has been announced last year apparently, but I just noticed it, as over a week ago a press release was sent out (that I missed).

Anyway, if you are into adventure RPGs with a twist, this game might be something. It's predecessor is available on their site and GOG and this game can be pre-ordered DRM free, with a discount of 10%.

Bordeaux, France – 14 May 2015 - French indie developer Shiro Games today provided the first glimpse of Evoland 2, the follow-up to the 2013 indie hit Evoland, with the release of a new gameplay trailer. An RPG adventure on a grand scale, “Evoland 2: A Slight Case of Spacetime Continuum Disorder” takes players on a truly epic journey through time, and across a variety of classic and contemporary video game styles. Filled with homages,all-new types gameplay, and a graphical style that evolves as you progress, Evoland 2 is an RPG adventure bursting with charm and character and set to release in summer 2015 for PC.

"We are very excited to finally show our fans and new players alike what to expect from Evoland 2,” said Nicolas Cannasse, creator of Evoland. “To see Evoland evolve from a game jam demo to a much beloved indie title was an amazing journey,and now we are finally able to expand on our original vision. We have had incredible fun creating this game and hope players feel the same way as they explore Evoland 2.

Evoland 2 revolves around a hero trying to protect the strange world he lives in, to understand events in different timelines and attempt to alter a grim future for the better. With a strange secret buried within the core of this world, affecting the course of time itself, and such powerful forces at play, can he make a difference or the world’s destiny already set in stone?

Players who pre-order Evoland 2, set for release this summer, through the official Shiro Games website will receive a special 10% discount and a digital art book.

 

ABOUT EVOLAND 2
Evoland 2, A Slight Case of Spacetime Continuum Disorder is a full-blown RPG adventure with an epic story, deep combat and customisation options, dozens of characters to interact with and varied locations to visit. Typical for the Evoland series, the graphic style evolves through the course of the game, from 8-bit sprites to full 3D battles, and loosens up the new adventure with a wide variety of gameplay sections parodying different genres. Players can expect beat ‘em up battles in the streets, challenging puzzles, pixel-perfect platforming and a tense shoot’em up - plus more.

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Evoland 2

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

Details

Sword Coast Legends - Inon Zur to Compose the Music

by Myrthos, 22:59

Inon Zur, who is repsonsible for the music in Dragon Age: Origins, Icewind Dale II, Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal, Fallout 3 and many other games is to copse the music also for Sword Coast Legends.

ORLANDO, Fla. - May 26, 2015 - Independent developers n-Space and Digital Extremes announced today that Hollywood Music Award-winning and two-time BAFTA nominated composer Inon Zur is composing the original score for the studios’ upcoming Sword Coast Legends™, a party-based PC RPG set in the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms universe from Wizards of the Coast.  Known for powerful and melodic orchestrations, Zur’s critically acclaimed scores have been heard in some of the most popular and well regarded video games of all time, including Dragon Age: Origins, Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal, Icewind Dale II, Fallout 3, EverQuest and many others.

Recorded in Prague, the Czech Republic by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, the rich orchestral soundtrack for Sword Coast Legends helps bring the game’s numerous, well-known, and highly varied locations, environments and encounters to life from the raw emotion captured in Luskan Streets, to the uneasy anticipation of the Evermoors, and the heroic main theme.   The official orchestral soundtrack for Sword Coast Legends will be available with the game later this year.

“Throughout his career, Inon’s music has been integral to many of the game industry’s most memorable experiences and has raised the bar on what we expect from a video game score today.  His ability to capture the player’s experience through his music is second to none,” said Dan Tudge, President of n-Space and Director of Sword Coast Legends.  “It’s wonderful to see Inon return to Dungeons & Dragons and the Forgotten Realms setting, where I’m confident our deep story, compelling characters, and rich environments will inspire one of Inon’s most memorable works to date.”

Releasing later this year, Sword Coast Legends offers an all-new way to enjoy the time-tested magic of playing Dungeons & Dragons, with a first-of-its-kind real-time Dungeon Master mode, which allows players to play alongside an active DM, whose primary role is to provide a more robust and enriching roleplaying experience.  Active DMs can dramatically alter adventures, challenge players with random encounters, hide treasures, place traps, take direct control of powerful opponents, reward clever adventurers, and even reduce encounter difficulty on-the-fly.  And, much like the player party, DMs earn experience, are rewarded with power-ups, increase in level, and gain new abilities as the adventure progresses.

For the single player, Sword Coast Legends will offer a lengthy campaign mode featuring a deep and engrossing storyline, a host of potential companions with unique personalities, and quest lines that will lead the player through a variety of well-known locations along the Sword Coast.

Sword Coast Legends

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

Details

Grim Dawn - Enter the Sanctums

by Myrthos, 22:54

In the 72nd edition of Grim Misadventures the sanctuaries of two opposing forces in the game are detailed.

Welcome back to Grim Misadventures! Build 26 is now on the horizon and all the pieces of content are steadily falling into place. Act 3: Chapter 3 will take you beyond the northern gates of Homestead and out into the Blood Grove, a once bountiful region now overrun with the Cult of Ch’thon and their vile minions. But there are others out there, fighters pushing back against the corruption. I speak of the Kymon’s Chosen and the Order of Death’s Vigil.

With the release of Build 26, you will be able to enter the sanctuaries of these two opposing factions, depending on the one you side with, and begin your journey as either a Chosen or a Neophyte of the Order. Ulgrim is relying on you to turn these people into valuable allies for the Black Legion. Whichever you choose, they will prove to be a valuable asset in the battles ahead.

The sanctuaries of these factions are located at a ruined fort known as Sorrow’s Bastion. With both groups so close together, tensions run high and casualties are mounting. Before long, there may not be anyone to ally with at all.

Grim Dawn

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

Details

Of Orcs and Men - in Bundle Stars Killer Bundle 3

by Icefire, 22:45

Of Orcs & Men is available in Bundle Stars Killer Bundle 3. Also included is Planetary Annihilation, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Call of Pripyat,  Super Motherload, Merchants Of Kaidan, Original Strife:Veterans Edition, Letter Quest:Grimms Journey, Survivalist, Spark Rising, & It Came From Space & Ate Our Brain. All for a $4.99 price tag.

Of Orcs and Men

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

Details

Chronicles of the Crystal Wars - Demo Available

by Myrthos, 22:35

The developer of Chronicles of Crystal Wars let us know that a demo of his game can now be downloaded.

The demo has been made with RPG Maker VX Ace and lets you play a young soldier in charge of reviving an old device to save his kingdom from an ancient curse; this quest will make him meet people who will change his life forever.

Although the base gameplay is comparable to the average RPGM game, every visual element in the game has been created on 3DS Max: VN-like backgrounds for cutscenes, 3D modeled parallaxes as maps, all custom battlebacks and more. It also has some magical or steampunk mechas in.

 

The project is also on Steam Greenlight.

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Indie RPGs

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

Details

Hero-U - Versus Quest for Glory

by Myrthos, 22:24

The Coles compare the Quest for Glory series with Hero-U to come to Quest for Hero-U.

The biggest strengths of our Quest for Glory games were the storytelling and the balance of serious stories with humorous situations and plentiful puns. Our goal is to continue those traditions in Hero-U with new and exciting stories and plenty of fun moments to help make the serious ones more meaningful.

Each Quest for Glory game had its own story - “coming of age” in the first game, experienced adventurer in the second, peace-maker in the third - all part of the greater story of the hero. In the final game, he could even become a King.

In Hero-U, Shawn O’Conner is again a young man with no real experience, but his coming of age has a difference. All we knew about the player’s character in Quest for Glory is that he wants to become a hero. Shawn doesn’t start out wanting to be a hero; he just wants to survive. But Shawn also has a past cloaked in mystery. In Rogue to Redemption, Shawn will discover his heritage as well as create a new destiny.

The Hero-U stories are in layers. World-changing events occur inside and around the school while the player character is trying to get an education. Each game reveals more of these events, and each character is involved in parts of them. What happens to one character, and how the player has that character act, affects the future games.

Hero-U is our spiritual successor to Quest for Glory. We are using modern technology to create even stronger stories, with more meaningful choices. These games are our response to fans who asked for more games like Quest for Glory. Thank you for being part of this new series.

Hero-U

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

Details

Witcher 3 - The Wolven Storm Localization Video

by Myrthos, 22:18

A new video for The Witcher 3 has been released, named The Wolven Storm. The video is made to showcase the localization into 15 languages. 7 of them with full voice-overs while 8 offer subtitles.

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Witcher 3

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

Details

Technical.ly Brooklyn - What video games owe to tabletop games

by Hiddenx, 19:22

Jon Peterson (author of Playing at the World, A History of Dungeons & Dragons) thinks that computer games owe a lot more to table top role playing and board games than historians have, up to now, given them credit for. Some snippets:

D&D’s computational inspiration

Everyone knows that D&D is about elves, orcs and trolls. Its trappings are the world of fantasy which make it appear distinct from the world of spaceships and the ferment from which cyberpunk would arise.

Peterson thinks this is completely wrong. In fact, he’s building up a case that the creators of D&D, Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, and the creators of other, related games, that approached some of the ideas that would come together in D&D, were all intimately involved with sci-fi and computers. That the superficial veneer of orcs is a distraction from the undergirding logic of D&D and many of its brethren in IRL games. That undergirding logic is, in fact: computing.

Many board games and role playing games are heavily computed. That is, random number generators (dice), paired with modifiers used under different situations to increase the realism of games taking place in the imagination. He charted a complex story of games that have used incredibly sophisticated computation (without computers) going all the way back to the 1800s.

Computers and Sci-Fi were meeting up, Peterson says. It was these fans that would create D&D.  “I keep finding more of these encounters,” Peterson said, referring to those between computers and gaming, in forgotten games that tell the story of tabletop gaming’s evolution into games played on computers.

D&D’s influence on video games

He has a set piece argument about ways D&D influenced video games that he’s been making for a while. Here are his four big points. Video games owe a debt to D&D if they show any of the following:

  • Anything with a health bar
  • Anywhere characters change or levels up (it’s what feeds your addiction to games, he says)
  • Anywhere that you explore the world and learn new features of that world as you poke around, where the map has secrets
  • Anywhere the game tells a story

D&D came out in 1974 and it took a while for those influences to show up. Pong popped up in 1972 and arcade games started coming out in the late 70s. They don’t show many of the D&D influences above, but by the late 70s, games started to show evidence of a narrative, maps and character. Now, it’s everywhere. Diablo, Peterson said, might as well be a D&D campaign.

However, just because computers took a while to reach the public, that doesn’t mean that they weren’t influencing gaming before regular people had access to them. In 1970, Flying Buffalo Games innovated by using computers to run the first computer managed Play-By-Mail games, a pre-video game industry that preceded videogames. Computers ran the computations that figured out what happened based on the players’ decisions, which they sent in by mail on forms.

Peterson says that Flying Buffalo first started off as a war games company, but as D&D completely took over fandom, it adapted. In fact, one contribution it offered to the world of roleplaying gamers was randomly generated dungeons. So, for example, one of the parent companies, TSR, had product lines selling people new and different dungeons they could play through. These dungeons quickly circulated throughout the scene, however, and avid gamers quickly learned all their ins and outs.

Flying Buffalo began selling packages generated by computer, where everyone dungeon in every pack was different.

In 1977, at the University of Illinois, computer scientists took a stab at building a graphics based quest on a mainframe, using the PLATO system.

Source: Technical.ly Brooklyn

RPGWatch

Details

Witcher 3 - News Roundup # 2

by Aries100, 16:05

TechRaptor has done an analysis of the Wicther 3:Wild Hunt's opening, calls it brilliant. There will be some spoilers for the opening, so please read this at your own risk. A quote on how Geralt apparently is a father figure: 

Geralt's position as the father figure is most evident here as he scolds her some over leaving the work and discusses the blade work she had done. Given that a lot of the game centers around searching for Ciri as Geralt (and part of it is playing as Ciri), this is a hugely important relationship to set up. Many games have stiff dialogue here, but the down to earth dialogue along with movement during the tutorial manages to capture the feel perfectly and show you how they regard each other.

Worthplaying has written a PS4 review with a score of 9/10. The review is mostly positive, so here's a quote what the reviewer is not satisfied with in the game:

If I had one complaint about the open-world system, it's that there are a number of tiny nagging flaws that make it less enjoyable. The game does have a fast-travel system, you often end up far from a marker and need to hoof it a while to warp to where you want to go. You can speed this up as the game progresses, and when using a boat, you can warp to a fast-travel boat marker at any time. 

From Eurogamer comes news that Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been the biggest launch of 2015, at least so far:

Open-world role-playing game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has scored the biggest UK release of the year so far, smashing Battlefield Hardline's week one sell through by an impressive 53 per cent. Launch week sales were up 608 per cent on its predecessor The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, which came out in 2011, although only for PC and then later on Xbox 360.

Witcher 3

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

Details

Matt Chat - John Cutter Interview #2

by Hiddenx, 07:27

In Matt Chat #292 Matt Barton talks with John Cutter's about the Cinemaware days. They start with Defender of the Crown and the best computer ever: The Amiga ...

Matt Chat

Details

Monday - May 25, 2015

Umbra - About the Lore

by Myrthos, 22:54

SolarFall Games brings us another Kickstarter update for Umbra, which currently is $50K away from reaching it's $225K goal. The update is about the lore of the game.

Many of you have asked about the story of the game, so today, we are going to give you some extra details about it. We already gave you a look at Lambach, one of the first bosses you will meet in the game, but let us now take a deeper look into the world of Umbra. 

As we described in our Kickstarter page, Umbra’s story is rich, and an important lore has been created for the story. You will discover a large part of the game’s story thanks to the main quest, but a lot of information will be provided by reading a large amount of books found in the game. Each one will provide information about the universe, and might even lead you on to track a secret place full of treasure! 

For this update, we decided to provide you with an extract of the current rough draft of one of the books that you will be able to read in-game. Once funded, we’ll be able to revisit and expand the drafts we have for the lore of Umbra, polishing the story and improving on the writing. We hope you will enjoy the world we are creating with your help!

Umbra

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

Details

Witcher 3 - News Roundup

by Aries100, 21:19

GameRanx brings news that the next two free DLCs for this game will be released on May 27th. A quote:

This DLC includes a new contract for players to take up that is appropriately named "Missing Miners" and sends players on a mission to locate and rescue a group of miners that have gone missing. The second DLC item for this week will be an alternate look for Yennefer, one of the game's primary NPCs. 

VG 24/7 reports that the problem with saving games on Xbox One will be adressed in 
a patch.

According to a post on the official forums, Cd Projekt RED quest designer Philipp Weber said the team is "aware of the issue" and is treating it "very seriously." "We hope to put the fix in a patch as soon as possible," he wrote.

GameTrailers has made a review with a score 9.8/10 for this game.

Shacknews has an editorial about five things to be loved about the The Witcher 3, ranging from Geralt's beard to the Gwent game. A quote then, about bandits fighting in their underwear:

We get that times are tough, but at least put on some pants. The land is full of bandits that love fighting in little more than their skivvies, shoes, and a helmet. This is either an audacious act of intimidation to show that they don't need armor to fight you, or it's a clear sign that there's not much on them worth looting. Either way, naked bandits are abound, and it's up to you to teach them the merits of wearing pants. Then again, there's a scene where Geralt fights wearing just a bath towel, so maybe we shouldn't be so judgmental.

Kotaku's Phil Owen has written an editorial on how the longer he spends time with the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the faster he moves in it:

Once I became absorbed in The Witcher 3's main plot, I started sprinting more and more and now, even with a ways to go, I've irrevocably shifted into fast-and-furious mode. Unfortunately for me, that meant I spent nearly all of my weekend alone in my apartment playing this game, and I'm still not done yet. Hopefully I'm close, or else I'm going to lose tonight and the next couple days to it as well. This is a key reason why I've often harped on game length. It interferes with my life! It's not CD Projekt's fault I am what I am, though. 

Witcher 3

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

Details

Rampant Games - Ten Computer RPGs Youíve Never Heard Of

by Hiddenx, 19:35

Rampant Coyote shows you ten forgotten/obscure RPG-underdogs:

Even so, a lot of these indie games release with nary a splash, sell little or bupkis, abandon the field, leave the website to be devoured by Asian vultures when the registration lapses, and are remembered by almost none. And… admittedly, these games are not usually the diamonds in the rough their creators probably believed. But in many cases, they weren’t bad, and even if they were, sometimes they contained some interesting seeds of good ideas.

 

Rampant Games

Details

Witcher 3 - Patch 1.04 Released

by Aries100, 17:26

Marcin Momot from CD Project RED announced today that Patch 1.04 for PC has been released. and is availble for download. A few quotes from the changelog.

-Rebinding of all keys is now available after switching on the ‘Unlock Bindings' option in the Options\Key Bindings submenu.-Corrects an issue in the dialogue system that might have caused dialogue looping in certain scenes.-Fixes an issue with incorrect behavior of Wild Hunt warriors after they were affected by the Axii Sign.-Corrects a bug that caused spontaneous combustion of gas clouds.-1280 x 720 resolution is now properly displayed as a valid resolution option.-Fixes boat stuttering in cutscenes.-Texture rendering quality for the high and ultra presets has been improved.-Further improvements made in NVIDIA Hairworks performance.

You can read the whole changelog here

According to Gameranx

The patch is out now and will automatically download on GOG and Steam.

Source: CD Projekt

Witcher 3

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

Details

Fallout: NV - 'Dust' Mod

by Hiddenx, 17:22

Christopher Gates(GameRant) made a report about the Fallout: New Vegas mod 'Dust':

With rumors about a potential Fallout 4 reveal flying fast and furious in the lead-up to Bethesda’s first-ever E3 press conference, one mod promises to breathe new life into New Vegas’ aging post-apocalyptic landscape. It’s called DUST Survival Simulator, and it replaces New Vegas’ quest-based structure with a single, seemingly insurmountable goal: just stay alive.

According to naugrim04, DUST’s author, “DUST is a Post-Apocalyptic survival simulator” that “completely overhauls nearly every aspect of the game to better represent an apocalyptic survival-horror atmosphere.” In DUST, supplies are limited, and the environment much harsher. Players will starve to death, or die due to dehydration (“Don’t go to bed thirsty,” naugrim warns. “You will die.”), while food and water are hard to find. Ammo is scare, and combat is incredibly punishing. Don’t worry too much, though: if food becomes too hard to come by, cannibalism is an option.

There is a story in DUST, but players “are not the main character,” and the story will unravel primarily via environmental clues, a la Portal or Left 4 Dead. DUST players can “win” by escaping the desert, but the exit is hidden, and reaching it isn’t easy: naugrim himself can’t finish the game without cheating via the Fallout 4 console. Don’t expect previous New Vegas playthroughs to help, either. Naugrim changed the topography, the NPCs, and some of the graphics. Not everything’s brand new in DUST, but much of it is.

In order to install DUST, players need a copy of Fallout: New Vegas, the game’s three story DLC packs, and a handful of supporting mods. Look for more information at DUST’s official NexusMods page.

Fallout: NV

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

Details

Witcher 3 - Review @ stuff.co.nz

by Hiddenx, 08:20

Lee Henaghan (stuff.co.nz) says: "The Witcher 3 is raising the bar for epic Adventures".
A snippet from the review:

There are plenty of scantily-clad characters, but just as many are intelligent, strong and independent. Sections where you play as Ciri feature a powerful female lead and Geralt is rescued, protected or saved by female allies on several occasions.

In any case, using sexual imagery doesn't make fiction inherently sexist, in the same way that using racial imagery doesn't make it racist. Twelve Years a Slave featured some horrific scenes of racial violence, and was full of disgustingly bigoted characters but nobody would dream of calling it a racist film. Dismissing the Witcher 3 as sexist because of some revealing costumes and relatively tame sex scenes is just as ridiculous - there's so much more to it.

The game's morality, or lack thereof, is in the eye of the beholder. Several moments require you to make a make a judgment call on how to handle a situation, with your decisions having long-lasting effects on how the story plays out.

Score: 9.5/10

Witcher 3

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

Details

CRPG Book Project - Update

by Hiddenx, 07:47

Felipe Pepe tweeted that he has updated the list of pending reviews for his CRPG-Book-Project:

In preparation for the upcoming book preview I updated the list of pending reviews. Take a look if you want to help: -> Spreadsheet

That list is impressive but some promised articles are still missing or are not assigned. So if you ever wanted to be in a book about your favorite hobby and can contribute something interesting contact Felipe.
We have a CRPG-Book-thread here on RPGWatch where you can post questions, suggestions and remarks.

CRPG Book Project

Details

Sunday - May 24, 2015

Umbra - Housing Model

by Myrthos, 23:56

Update #4 for the Umbra Kickstarter brings us more information on the housing model used in the game.

We want players to have their own place of peace, an area of their own thanks to their hard work while fighting in the wild. We want you to showcase your trophies and hard earned items in a unique place that you build yourself! Are you ready? Then come join us to discover Umbra’s housing module!

Umbra’s housing system allows you to build your house from the ground to the walls, adding furniture throughout the place; allowing you to showcase armors, weaponry and trophy kills.

The following video is an early working prototype of the housing module, allowing you to see the possibilities and to give you an idea what it will look like once the game is finished!

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Umbra

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

Details

Witcher 3 - Review @ AttackOfTheFanboy

by Hiddenx, 19:55

AttackOfTheFanboy loves The Witcher 3 - A snippet:

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt expects and rewards preparation above all else. Anybody who plays it like an Assassin’s Creed title or other action game will find themselves reloading frequently — I should know, because that’s how I initially approached it. Mashing attack might kill a few stray dogs, but that’s about it, as I found out. Side quests are all but mandatory, as enemies do not scale to the player’s level. It’s one among many ways that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt makes you feel like one man in a very large world. That’s one of the things I really appreciated about the game. The tutorial, if enabled, will nudge you once or twice, but afterwards will leave you with plenty of rope with which you are free to hang yourself with. Multiple save files are a must for this reason.
(...)

That’s where Gwent, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s amazing minigame, comes in. Gwent has its roots in games like Goofspiel, being a simple game to learn but a complex one to master. Supposedly an analogue for how a battle unfolds, Gwent sees players placing numbered cards across three different zones. The first player to have the highest numbers on their side of the board for two rounds wins. It’s not as crucial a part of the game as Triple Triad was for Final Fantasy VIII, but it was compelling enough that I had to force myself away from it, lest this turn into Gwent: A Review.

Final score: 4.5/5 - "loved"

Witcher 3

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

Details

The Guardian - Does it matter if people donít finish games any more?

by Hiddenx, 15:05

Jonathan Allford (the Guardian) noticed that many gamers don't finish their games anymore - some snippets:

Just 6.4% of players who have bought role-playing adventure Pillars of Eternity have actually completed it, according to the PC gaming service, Steam. This critically acclaimed throwback to genre classics like Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale returns us to a period in which playing games was a much more demanding experience. I finished Pillars of Eternity a few weeks ago and the experience has left me crushed.
(...)

Games spell things out for us now. Even in a title as detailed and character driven as Dragon Age: Inquisition I’ll see a villain doing villainous things as they spout villainous words because they’re a villain and that’s what villains do. I don’t have to use my imagination to see the subtext behind their actions, to gauge why what they’re doing matters to them.
(...)

If you want enjoyment out of the genre classics, you have to commit to the world that the game presents to you; it’s a leap of faith. And given the difficulty of grasping Advanced Dungeons & Dragons mechanics in a game like Baldur’s Gate, for example, you’re not always guaranteed to land in a wagon of hay.
(...)

Maybe knowing and seeing everything are less important these days; maybe we are different now. But I don’t regret chasing Pillars of Eternity to its end – even if it did take forever.

The Guardian

Details

Battle Brothers - Progress Update

by Hiddenx, 12:00

Overhype Studios reveals some great news in their Dev Blog #42:

Progress Update – Going Full Time and A Small Roadmap

Time for some good news!

It’s been more than three weeks now since Battle Brothers released into Early Access and so far it has been pretty successful. The game was well received and we got a lot of helpful feedback from all of you, much of which we’ll incorporate into the game over the course of the next year. There is a lot still left to do, of course, but things are looking bright.

The game has also been a financial success for us. As you may be aware, Battle Brothers was developed by a core team of just 3 people over the course of nearly 2 years in their spare time while also working day jobs. The recent success now allows us to quit our day jobs and start working fulltime on Battle Brothers. That’s right, we’re about to have a lot more time we can put into the game and should be able to make progress much faster than before!

The downside for now is that quitting our day jobs and going full time is not something we can do over night. As you may know from experience yourselves, changing jobs always comes with a lot of organizational hurdles. Getting legal stuff out of the way, setting up new workplaces, doing a clean handover for you former job, existing contractual obligations, and so on. We are looking at a transitional period  that will keep us pretty busy over the next couple of weeks.

During these next weeks we won’t be able to make much progress on the game itself and provide you with updates as frequently as before. It’s all worth it, however, because once things are settled, the game should progress at a much faster pace than in the 2 years before, and we’re already looking forward to really get going!

A big thank you to all of you who made this, our dream of working on our very own game, possible! And an extra big thank you to those of you who supported us even more by getting the Supporter Edition!

A Small Roadmap

To give you a better idea of our immediate plans, once we have settled into working full time on Battle Brothers, we also want to share a small roadmap with you.

1) Event System
As explained in our last blog post, our next immediate goal is the addition of the event system to add interesting encounters and tough decisions outside of combat, as well as laying the foundations for dialog and a future rework of the contract system. Because a lot of events will change depending on what backgrounds or traits your Battle Brothers have, it’ll also add a layer of complexity to character backgrounds beyond just their different stats.

2) Goblins
Next up are Goblins. Those are the green skinned cousins of the orcs that have an entirely different fighting style. While orcs rely on physical prowess and brute-forcing their way through your ranks, goblins lack the physical power to do so. In fact, they’re quite fragile individually, more so than your average Battle Brother. In battle they rely on their wits and dirty tricks instead, preferring to fight at range. Goblins come with their own arsenal of unique weaponry and skills – throwing nets to incapacitate their enemies, arrows with terrible poison and long jagged pikes. Goblins should add an entirely new challenge to combat in Battle Brothers and are also meant to be a missing piece of the puzzle that is game balance by making ranged combat more important. No longer is the nimble swordmaster safe from all danger!

Goblin Concept

3) Rework of the Worldmap
The third and by far largest step on our immediate roadmap is a rework of the worldmap as a whole. It’s quite clear that the world simulation, as it is now, is not satisfactory. With the resources available to us now and the lessons learned so far, we’re going to design new gameplay around commandeering a mercenary company in a low-fantasy medieval world. We already have a solid concept for this, and we’ll update you once things are further along. Yes, there will be multiple human factions working against each other. And yes, we’ll make contracts a lot more interesting and dynamic.

Battle Brothers

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

Details

Dark Future: Blood Red States - Announced

by Hiddenx, 11:24

The website for the Dark Future: Blood Red States is open. The simultaneous turn-based strategy game is announced for winter 2015:

Dark Future was originally released as a board game in 1988, and later expanded into a series of books is is now getting a reboot from Auroch Digital. The gameplay is a furious mix of hammering chain-guns, tactical high-speed manoeuvres and the ripping of metal as vehicles smash into one another. All the action is conducted against a dark background of the decline of humanity; too wild to be true and too close for comfort.

Official Game Trailer:

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In Dark Future: Blood Red States, the once dominant nation has been hollowed out by climate change, pollution, disease and corruption. If you're in the 0.1% then life is pretty good. The major cities are either corporate controlled high-tech gated communities (Patrolled Zones, or PZs) for those who can pay. If you work for the 0.1% then life is so-so as; long as the boss is happy. If you're part of the 99% then the future is bleak. Chances are you live in lawless shanty towns or decayed urban sprawl (knows as the 'NoGos'). Yet life goes on and connecting the east and west coast cities is 'The Big Empty'. What was once the breadbasket of the world is now the polluted, wasted Red States of America where vicious gangs hunt and fight. An atrophied state has all but given up trying to impose law and order here and instead relies on a new breed of bounty hunter-come highway warrior to keep the last roads open. In the big empty the law is the Sanctioned Operative.

Into this fractured new world the player must make their fortune. The player runs a Sanctioned Ops agency; taking on missions for bounty outside the PZs. They must form and run a small team of battle-hardened drivers and a garage of conflict-ready cars. When the money is right, the player's Op team will roar into action, attacking gangcults on the roads of the Big Empty in exchange for bounty. That vital bounty then pays for upgrades from front-mounted HMGs to booking a driver into the clinic for a new set of bionic eyes to give them better aim in combat. As the strength of the Sanctioned Ops team grows, so does the bounty on offer and the danger of the missions.

As if the world of 2023 was not bleak enough; behind the decay and wasting are even darker forces, setting the stage for the grand finale. The beginning of the end is nigh.

 

Dark Future: Blood Red States

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Asguaard - Deluxe Version Released

by Hiddenx, 09:32

Like some other Aldorlea games, Asguaard has been re-released on Steam. This huge RPGMaker game is considered their best so far:

  • "Asguaard is easily Aldorlea's most ambitious commercial title to date" - Neal Chandran, RPG Fan (87%)
  • "Asguaard is most certainly Aldorlea's best game so far" - Robert Stock, Just-RPG (95%)
  • "Asguaard brilliert mit einem grossartigen Umfang, einem flotten Kampfsystem ohne Schnörkel und wird zumindest Retro-Fans überzeugen koennen" - Blicker, Gamecontrast (81%)
  • Official Trailer:

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    -> Metacritic User Reviews.

     

    Asguaard

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

    Details

    Witcher 3 - Video Review @ Worth A Buy

    by Hiddenx, 07:02

    The Witcher 3 is a story-driven, next-generation open world role-playing game, set in a visually stunning fantasy universe, full of meaningful choices and impactful consequences. In The Witcher, you play as Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter tasked with finding a child from an ancient prophecy.

    The Youtube channel Worth A Buy criticizes the game hard:

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    Final rating: Thumbs Down - Not worth a buy!

     

    Witcher 3

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

    Details

    Umbra - Interview @ RPG Codex

    by Hiddenx, 00:24

    Codex veteran Zed interviewed Umbra's Game Director and Lead Programmer Daniel Dolui:

    Umbra is a hack-n-slash action RPG from the frenchies over at SolarFall Games. RPG Codex would normally not bother too much with a game of this sort, but Umbra is an unusually interesting game. At least to me, and that's all that matters (haah!).

    A snippet:

    Aside from the graphics – what sets Umbra apart from the legions of other action RPGs?

    The Apocalyptic Form is the feature I am the most excited about. Apocalyptic Form is a customizable ultimate power every player will get. It allows you to turn into a personalized Avatar of Destruction for some time. It is built from up to three “Apocalyptic Upgrade” options, unlocked by your character according to your play style. Apocalyptic Upgrade can very different, for example, getting horns on your head to rush and knock down every enemies, or getting wings to make huge leap and access unreachable areas, having a third hand to equip with a new weapon and fight, or having an Aura of Death raising undead everywhere you walk. I can’t wait to see the combos that players will find and how they will manage to get the most out of it!

    The freedom of development, allowing you to pick any skill from any specialization will also bring a lot of interest to me. I always wanted to be a barbarian with a huge mace walking in the middle of my zombie horde!

    Our crafting module is also really cool, and quite a bit different from other games. We hope that people who don’t enjoy crafting will actually like ours, since it is a quite addictive and rewarding skill based mini-game.

    Elemental Effect Interaction, managing the effects of Lightning / Fire / Water / Ice is also a very cool addition to the gameplay and will bring tons a great combos to the game.​

    Umbra

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

    Details

    Saturday - May 23, 2015

    Gran Vitreous - Released

    by Hiddenx, 20:38

    Developer Joshua Gump (Heliocentric Studios) informed us that Gran Vitreous has been released on Steam:

    Gran Vitreous is a twin stick shooter in space with the added mechanics of a loot based Action RPG. The areas that players battle through are randomly generated filled with zones containing different encounters like boss type enemies or space debris/asteroids/gravity-wells to avoid. The equipment is all loot based with 3 weapon types, utilities, hull, and shields. The ship also has a passive skill system that allows you to upgrade and add abilities as you level up.

    GenEnemy published a nice gameplay video on Youtube:

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    You can get this game for a fair price on Steam.

    Gran Vitreous

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

    Details

    Witcher 3 - Review @ ActionTrip

    by Hiddenx, 18:12

    Uros "Vader" Pavlovic (ActionTrip) has reviewed The Witcher 3. A snippet:

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt continues the tale of the Witcher, Geralt, goes on a personal quest to find Ciri, a friend and an extraordinarily gifted swordfighter. On his travels to locate Ciri, Geralt stumbles upon on a mysterious force known as the Wild Hunt that had begun to ravage the Northern Kingdoms, laying waste to every town or village. During his journey through perilous lands, the Witcher now must face this formidable new foe as he heads out to search for Ciri.

    So when they said that the map in this game is 20% bigger than Skyrime and both of the previous Witcher games, they weren’t fucking kidding. To put it as briefly as possible, I’ve been playing The Witcher 3 for well over 5 days. My attention was focused on one very large area, where I explored, went on random side-quests, and of course, tried to complete as much story-related quests as possible. After that, I was shocked to find just how insanely large the world in this game is. Initially I was overwhelmed by the kind of experience I haven’t felt since Skyrim, or to be fair, the more recent RPG, Dragon Age: Inquisition. However, The Witcher 3 has more appeal to me – certainly more so than both DAI and Skyrim. So, again when the developers said a few months back that the in-game world is huge, they were serious. It could take you anywhere up to 200 hours of play time to finish it, providing you stick to cleaning up every single quest that comes up.

    Final Score: 9.4 Excellent


    Witcher 3

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

    Details

    Life is Strange - Episode 3 released - Review @ IGN

    by Hiddenx, 14:06

    Episode 3 of the best Adventure released in 2015 so far is out:

    Review by IGN:

    This is the third of five chapters of Life Is Strange, an episodic game that sets out to revolutionize story based choice and consequence games by allowing the player to rewind time and affect the past, present and future.

    (...)

    Life Is Strange’s greatest success is in how grounded its world is, despite Max’s mysterious time-rewinding powers and the imminent end of the world. Episode 3 gives us time to breathe after Episode 2’s intense drama, but it finishes with something similarly bold. By the end of Episode 3, developer Dontnod takes an enormous and ambitious risk that succeeds in not only setting the story on a strong new path that broke my heart, but also left me ecstatic for Episode 4.

    -> Metacritic user reviews.
    -> RPGWatch Steam curation.

    Life is Strange

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

    Details