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Sunday - May 24, 2015
Saturday - May 23, 2015
Friday - May 22, 2015
Thursday - May 21, 2015
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Picture Watch

Dungeon Kingdom
Box Art

Poll Watch

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%

Vote

Sunday - May 24, 2015

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:

    loading...


    -> 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:

    loading...

    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:

    loading...

    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

    One Samurai: Dusk - Announced

    by Hiddenx, 12:17

    The first part of the One Samurai: Dusk was announed at Flaming Eye studios. Trailer:

    loading...

    OneSamurai: Dusk is a turn based tactical RPG set in the Kamakura Era of Feudal Japan. Experience a choice based narrative In the Shogunate of Kamakura, quarrelling clans war against one another and on the silk road the eyes of Kublai Khan and his Mongol Empire turn east.

    Story
    The year is 1274 and the Kamakura Shogunate is celebrating the 82nd year since its establishment by Minamoto no Yoritomo. The current shogun Prince Koreyasu is also celebrating his 10th birthday under the regency of Hojo Tokimune. But all is not as stable as it seems. Only 16 years earlier the ruling Goryeo dynasty of Korea was forced to swear fealty to Kublai Khan the grandson of Genghis Khan and his Mongol Horde. Kublai Khan has aspirations to conquer from the coast of the Atlantic to the coast of the Pacific and his gaze may soon fall east. Inside Japan’s borders itself many different clans vow for land, power and strength and some for the chance to eventually rule the land of the rising sun for themselves. You start as a single man with no clan, land, power or strength but in end may have the potential to divert the course of Japanese history.

    Features
    • Turn based tactical combat.
    • Stats based levelling.
    • Open world with over 50 unique villages, towns, cities and castles.
    • Over 150 quests covering events of Kamakura shogunate and clan quarrels.
    • Over 30 Different Clans who you can both help and oppose.
    • Different classes with different play styles.
    • 3 different companions with different play styles to complement your own or oppose it.
    • Decisions system which can change the outcome of the final game.
    • Ability to import character from this game to next.
    • Chance to help clans in territorial conflict and increase their personal strength.

    You can help the indie studio with a GreenLight vote on Steam.

    One Samurai: Dusk

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

    Details

    Albion - gets a Windows/Linux port

    by Hiddenx, 11:31

    One of the best RPGs of the 90s - Albion - gets a Windows/Linux port. A BIG thanks to Indie Retro News for reporting this:

    What a great start to Friday as we've just come across a fantastic bit of news of which may send a slight tingle down the spines of retro gaming RPG players across the globe! And that news is a fan based release of the Windows/Linux port of Albion; one of my all time favourite RPG's released by Blue Byte Software in 1995!

    From the moment you start the game with the beeps and bops of the ship, to the crash of your shuttle into the supposedly desert world you knew you were in for a treat. The graphics for it's time were incredibly lush with vivid landscapes of intense flora and textured rocks. But what really set the game apart from most RPG's and not just the amazing characters you could talk to, was the interactive 2D top down view and 3D first person dungeon crawling combat. It was as if it was two games moulded into one, and two great games at that.  The immersion of Albion was also top of it's class, with sound effects such as the local wildlife, or from eery cave dwelling beasties.

    I could go on and on about this game and how it's stuck in my mind as one of the best games I ever ever played, but I wont spoil it any more for those of you who haven't played it. It's time for you to enjoy the game as much as I did, especially now as the Windows and Linux port has been released.

    You can download the mod here - click on the English flag (Albion is required).

     

    Albion

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

    Details

    Van Helsing III - Released

    by Hiddenx, 00:24

    The final episode of the hack'n'slash adventure has been released on Steam:

    loading...

     

     

    Van Helsing III

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

    Details

    Friday - May 22, 2015

    Telepath Tactics - New Patch 1.032

    by Gorath, 20:55

    And the second new patch for Telepath Tactics:

    Telepath Tactics v. 1.032 Patch

    Hey folks! I just pushed another quick (but important) update:

    • fixed a bug that I accidentally introduced in version 1.031 where the game would not save changes to your characters–or their equipment–in between battles. (For players starting new games, this manifested in the form of Emma being back to level 1 with 0 experience and not having her swords available at the start of the fight with Zash and Red.)
    • new script action: GetCharsDist. Finds the distance in spaces between two named characters, sets the custom value _Dist to that number. Two parameters: the name of the first character, and the name of the second character.
    • new script action: GetCharSpaceDist. Finds the distance in spaces between a named character and a given space on the battlefield, then sets the custom value _Dist to that number. Three parameters: the name of the character, the space’s y coordinate, and the space’s x coordinate.
    • added a script to the training battle with Emma and Silithis so that if the _Dist between them is 1, it skips the instruction “To attack, move Emma right next to Silithis.”
    • added documentation of all the new array script actions to the manual.

    Sorry for making you update again so soon! Now, it’s back to work on performance improvements and Mac compatibility stuff.

    Telepath Tactics

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

    Details

    Telepath Tactics - Patch 1.031 Released

    by Gorath, 20:53

    Sinister Design released two new patches for Telepath Tactics. The patch log for v1.031 says:

    Telepath Tactics v. 1.031 Patch

    Hey folks! Telepath Tactics was selected for the indie expo in Power of Play this weekend, so I was out there showing off the game. This cut into bug-fixing time somewhat, but I still managed to squeeze in a cluster of bug fixes and improvements for a new update:

    • newly spawned reinforcements can no longer attack on the same turn they spawn (though they can still move around).
    • you can now increase the size of the font that appears in those little pop-up info boxes when mousing over characters, objects and interface buttons.
    • info boxes now dynamically resize vertically (they already did that horizontally) to accommodate the larger supported font sizes.
    • increased the font size in the detailed character screen from 11 to 12.
    • the game now ties changes made to character inventories in the reserve supplies screen to the individual characters’ names rather than saving them numerically by character slot. (This is me taking another stab at killing the inventory swapping bug–hopefully this was of the “fatal backstab” variety.)
    • fixed a bug in which changes made in the reserve supplies during battle would be saved even if were in the middle of a battle, long after you finished deploying characters.
    • fixed some more edge cases where it could end up glitching out the game if an enemy was killed by wandering into a trap.
    • fixed a bug in which Louise could show up in the ending even if she died or left the group earlier on.
    • fixed the scripting in the chat immediately preceding the caravan battle so characters who may have died at Adelbrae don’t show up and talk.
    • you can now right-click the portraits of characters who’ve been recruited but haven’t appeared on the battlefield yet (like Meridian right after you rescue her) during deployment / in the common inventory.
    • pulling the lever on the ground-floor Coria Dogs battle now spawns a chest with special loot inside.
    • expanded the range on psy user buff abilities (blinding cloak, frost armor, etc.) from 1 to 0-2.
    • added a new legendary weapon to the game: the bow Lyrio. Strength 11, Accuracy +100, gives Range +1 to all ranged attacks. Can only be found as a rare spawn in chests / in the crypt mission.
    • added flails to late-game stores.
    • added a sound effect for Hover.
    • the game now supports a new type of custom variable: arrays! This is big news for modders who want to script more complex content.
    • There are a bunch of new script actions relating to the creation, pruning, and general usage of arrays: SetArr, GetArr, DelArr, ShuffleArr and ForArr. More info on how to use those here and here!
    • changed ITEMVAL format from -ITEMVAL:X- to ITEMVAL[X] to make it easier to nest the -STR:- and -ARR:- special characters inside it.
    • created a store with randomized item selection inside it in the Recruitable Chars stub campaign using custom arrays; feel free to steal it!

    That’s all for now. More bug fixes and improvements are in the wings, so stay tuned!

    Telepath Tactics

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

    Details

    Hero-U - Now @Steam Greenlight

    by Gorath, 20:45

    The Quest for Glory inspired Hero-U is on Steam Greenlight now. Here's the description:

    Hero-U is both like and unlike Quest for Glory. If anything, the story is richer because we have had more time to craft it and no restrictions on memory. There is more conversation.

    The new game is less puzzle-intensive than old Sierra games. You can get through Hero-U without very many head-scratching moments... but you will want to play again to experience a different path through the game and do some of the "quests" you bypassed the first time.

    Combat also has a different feel. In Quest for Glory, it was real-time, so you didn't have much opportunity to use tactics. Combat in Hero-U is turn-based, and Shawn has a variety of tricks and traps to help him win.

    We've also cut down on deaths - loss in combat results in a trip to the infirmary and some wasted game time, but not a "restore game". Time is an important resource in Hero-U, so it will still be a fate you will try to avoid.

     Current Kickstarter status is 61.5k out of 100k with 24 days to go.

    Hero-U

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

    Details

    Rampant Games - Speaking @Salt City Steamfest

    by Gorath, 20:41

    Rampant Games' Jay Barnson is giving a presentation at the Salt City Steamfest in July. If you're interested in Steampunk and similar stuff you can meet him there.

    So if you are going to be near Salt Lake City on the weekend of July 17th and wanna come hang out, contribute your $0.02, chat with Nick and myself, or whatever, come see us!

    If you are a game developer working on a steampunk video game (or, even better, a game that will have been released by mid-July), PLEASE contact me and let me know so I can include it in the presentation. We’re trying to include as many as we can, and want to make sure people will leave the panel with a nice potential grocery list of steampunk games they can enjoy. Also, if you are a steampunk game dev who would be willing to do a really super-brief video talking about your game and steampunk (like a couple of sound-bite sized bits), also let us know.

    Rampant Games

    Details

    Might & Magic Heroes VII - Semi-Open Beta Trailer

    by Gorath, 20:34

    Might & Magic: Heroes VII is going into a semi-open beta later this month. Every pre-purchaser will get beta access.

    loading...

    Might & Magic Heroes VII

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

    Details

    TechRaptor - The Etymology of RPGs, Part 2

    by Hiddenx, 19:30

    More RPG history on TechRaptor - part 2. Robert Grosso explains the origins of WRPGs and JRPGs. A snippet:

    During the early 1990s, there were some attempts to innovate the genre further. Quest for Glory incorporated role-playing mechanics into a point-and-click adventure game. Betrayal at Krondor, based on author Raymond Feist’s Midkemia setting, featured a turn-based, semi-tactical system coupled with pre-determined characters and a skill-based experience system. Legends of Valour was the first sandbox style role-playing game without a non-linear plot line and would later be named as one of the primary influences of the Elder Scroll’s series.

    All of the above games were criticized as role-playing games in the West upon release. Notable problems included a poor user interface, unusual gameplay mechanics, bad graphics or lack of depth found in most other CRPGs at the time. Essentially, they deviated too much from the winning formula. Even Quest for Glory was considered more of an adventure-game than a true RPG and much like Times of Lore, was relegated to “novice-level” status rather quickly.

    This stagnation led to the major decline of the CRPG market. As reviewer Mark Walker put it, “During the now-infamous mid-nineties CRPG lull, the toughest dungeons were the bottomless pits of failed designs, and the fiercest beasts the deadly-dull CRPG releases.” Many issues stemmed from ballooning budgets for software development, longer development times, and heavy competition not only from other PC games, such as more fast-paced first-person-shooters and strategy titles. Tastes were also shifting to Japanese role-playing games, leaving many western RPGs with a shrinking audience. By 1997, Western RPGs were at their all time low.

    This would change with a trio of games that would change the landscape once again, this time borrowing from less traditional sources. The first would be Blizzard’s Diablo, an action RPG that was heavily influenced by the roguelike Telengard from 1982. Eschewing the slower pace of a dungeon crawl, Diablo was quick and accessible, heavy on combat and action, and had a vibrant online community when it was released in 1996.

    A year later, Interplay, with a new developer called Black Isle Studios, would release a game called Fallout. Based on a previous Interplay title called Wasteland, Fallout was set in a post-apocalyptic future ravaged by nuclear war. The game would feature an open, non-linear world, heavy emphasis on character interaction, turn-based tactical combat system, and distinct aesthetic presentation. All of this allowed Fallout to stand out and further revitalize the CRPG market with a fresh approach to the genre, both in terms of mechanics and presentation.

    TechRaptor

    Details

    Knights of Pen & Paper 2 - Review @IGN Africa

    by Hiddenx, 18:42

    If you roleplay roleplaying is this called 'meta-roleplaying'?

    upcoming game Knights of Pen & Paper 2:
    A snippet:

    What better way to have some fun with the traditions of fantasy video games and nerd culture than through a game where you role-play as a role-player? That’s the premise of the Knights of Pen & Paper games, which see you gather up a brave party of adventurers… then sit around a table and tell the dungeon master what you want to do. It’s a strong central conceit, adding a meta-commentary to what would otherwise be a solid but familiar RPG backbone, and this sequel expands neatly on the systems and presentation of the original. It’s not quite as tactically deep as it could have been, nor does it have the end-game I would have liked to see, but Knights of Pen & Paper 2 is thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless.

    The PC version is coming soon.

    Knights of Pen & Paper 2

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

    Details

    The Witcher - was almost a Diablo clone

    by Hexprone, 18:01

    No, the gif below is not another Wild Hunt graphics downgrade, it's a prototype version of the original Witcher from 2002. Former project lead Ryszard Chojnowski has taken to YouTube about his time with the franchise in its early days.

    old witcher

    Kotaku reports:

    The demo was a point-and-click action game directly inspired by Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance,which itself was a riff on Diablo. CD Projekt RED was shopping this around to publishers, and hastily built their prototype using the engine for Mortyr, a World War II shooter from 1999.

    The original plan was to have players create their own characters, rather than play as Geralt. Instead, Geralt would show up as an NPC for players to talk to and interact with.

    The Witcher

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

    Details

    Moonrise - early access trailer

    by Hexprone, 17:31

    What? No, of course I'm not playing Pokemon! This game is completely different, it lets me collect hundreds of unique and powerful creatures and evolve them into new and exciting forms!

    Originally announced for iOS, the monster collection game Moonrise is now also headed to  PC through Steam early access. Here's the trailer.

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    Rock Paper Shotgun reports that:

    Battles involve “real-time speed” but, thankfully, appear to be similar to Final Fantasy’s Active Time Battles rather than scrappy clickfests. There’s a full singleplayer campaign, taking place in a world with all kinds of different scenery – forests, deserts, villages clinging to the side of enormous land-spires – and PvP battling.

    Moonrise is Undead Labs' followup to their pretty great 2013 survival horror sim State of Decay, so I wouldn't write this off.

    Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun

    RPGWatch

    Details

    Indie RPGs - Bedlam Bundle

    by Icefire, 17:18

    Indiegalas' latest Bedlam Bundle has a few rpg's for those who may be interested in them. One is a jrpg called "Darkend" & a match 3 puzzle/rpg called "Gunspell." Also included is N.P.P.D. Rush, Pixel Puzzles, Pressured, Gold Rush ( an old DOS game that comes with dosbox to run on newer systems),  Bedlam & an older RTS called "Z", which has some of the funniest cut scenes ever. 

    Indie RPGs

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

    Details

    Witcher 3 - Patch 1.03 Released

    by Gorath, 12:25

    CD Projekt Red released patch 1.03 for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Here's the patch log:

    This update introduces a range of stability and performances ehancements as well as allows users to take advantage of some additional graphics settings. 

    Please find the detailed list of fixes below:
    Improves stability in gameplay and the UI
    Improves performance especially in cutscenes and gameplay
    Fixes grass and foliage popping that could occur after density parameters were changed
    Improves Nvidia Hairworks performance
    Boosted texture anisotropy sampling to 16x on Ultra preset
    Sharpen Post-process settings extended from Off/On to Off/Low/High
    Blood particles will now properly appear after killing enemies on the water
    Corrects a bug where player was able to shoot bolts at friendly NPCs
    Improves menu handling
    Corrects an issue with Stamina regeneration while sprinting
    Fixes a cursor lock issue that sometimes occcured when scrolling the map
    Generally improves world map focus
    Improves input responsiveness when using keyboard
    Corrects some missing translations in the UI
    Corrects an issue in dialogue selections
    Rostan Muggs is back
    Minor SFX improvements

    Witcher 3

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

    Details

    Shadowrun: Hong Kong - Update #32 brings a trailer and a sale

    by Hexprone, 07:12

    Harebrained Schemes has released a teaser trailer for the upcoming third entry in their series of Shadowrun adventures, and the game is also now available for pre-purchase on Steam. To celebrate, the team is offering the previous two games for just a few bucks, and a discount on preorders of the new one as well.

    Company co-founder Mitch Gitelman effuses:

    Shadowrun: Hong Kong is on track for an important milestone at the end of this month: Feature Complete! That’s when the code for all our new features is working in the game. There will still be a little placeholder art remaining for some of the new interfaces we’ve added, but the underlying code works like it’s supposed to and everything will be in the hands of the artists and the designers after that. For the engineers, it’s all bug fixes, tweaks, and polish for the rest of the project!

    The new screenshots actually show more of the game than the brief teaser, so here's a couple of them:

    SR HK1

    SR HK 2

    Source: Kickstarter

    Shadowrun: Hong Kong

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

    Details

    Invisible, Inc - More Reviews

    by Hexprone, 02:58

    It's not getting a lot of attention, but reviews for this little stealth game have remained very good.

    Destructoid: 10/10

    All the systems are at odds with each other and it is exhilarating. You want to find the exit quickly, before things get too difficult to handle, yet the whole point of your infiltration to to quickly prepare for a big standoff, which means it's better to steal all the credits and gear that you can, to explore every room ... But not doing enough, not filching everything, feels like it will do you in in the long run, too. Credits buy you new gear ... It's elegant as hell. A commensurate arms race. 

    Game Planet: 9/10

    By lifting and mixing the best parts of SyndicateSplinter Cell, and XCOM, Klei has managed to create something familiar yet totally unique with this stealth-focused isometric strategy game. 

    As with every Klei game, Invisible Inc. is beautiful. ... The cartoonish cyber-noir aesthetic is some of the art team’s best work to date.

    IGN: 8.5/10

    It’s all tied together by a loose story of rebellion against a corporate-dominated world, but it’s disappointing that the fiction is so static in a game that’s meant to be repeated. ... while I love the sleek cartoon art style, that makes up most of Invisible Inc’s personality. 

    But I did keep replaying, because I know every run through will throw some new combination of obstacles at me, and ask me to overcome them with a different set of tools.

    PC Gamer: 80/100

    It all feels too effortless, at first, as your agents trade off turns with the enemy guards. And then a momentary lapse forces your hand and you kill a guard, which raises the alarm level, which activates a new camera, which catches one of your characters dead to rights, which calls in heavier armored guards right next to your first character, who just used their last bullet to kill that first guard, and you know what? Let’s just hit the rewind button before this gets really out of hand.

    Game Revolution: 3.5/5

    The start of each campaign comes with a warning: “You will fail. Repeatedly.” 

    Even on the most mundane missions I was constantly on edge while guards patrolled surrounding areas. It doesn't feel like a complete experience in some specific areas, but the combination of challenge and stealth gameplay provides a refreshing change of pace for the beloved genre.

    Invisible, Inc

    SP/MP: Single + MP
    Setting: Modern
    Genre: Tactical RPG
    Platform: PC
    Release: Released

    Details

    ToEE - A New Fluent Let's Play!

    by Fluent, 02:31

    Hey everybody!

    In this exciting new video, I start my first ever Fluent Let's Play of the classic Dungeons & Dragons RPG, The Temple of Elemental Evil!

    Check it out and follow along with the fun! I will update it regularly, so feel free to take your time and enjoy. Smile

    loading...

    Hello everybody!

    Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, children of all ages - gather 'round as Uncle Fluent takes you on a wild adventure in the Dungeons & Dragons classic RPG, The Temple of Elemental Evil!

    I have never played this game so it's going to be an exciting and new experience for all of us! Yes! Let's do this!! =)

    Thanks and enjoy! Laughing

    ToEE

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

    Details

    Drakensang: TDE - In latest Bundle Stars bundle

    by Icefire, 01:17

    Drakensang:The Dark Eye is the game of note in a new Bundle Stars Barbaric Bundle. The bundle also includes Grid, Droid Assault, Bardbarian, Hero of Many,Leviathan:Last Day Of The Decade,Battle Of Sol, Another Perspective, Hassleheart, & Helldorado.

    Drakensang: TDE

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

    Details

    Thursday - May 21, 2015

    Hellraid - Development Put on Hold

    by Hiddenx, 21:01

    henriquejr spotted this annoucement on PCGamer:

    Originally announced in April 2013, Hellraid is a first-person action game about battling the forces of Hell, who are raiding the dark fantasy world in which the game is set. Or at least it would be, if it ever actually came out. And right now, that's not looking too likely.

    "We would like to officially announce that our dark fantasy FPP game Hellraid will not be released this year as previously planned, and the development of the game has been put on hold," Techland announced today. "In the recent months we conducted an internal analysis and came to the conclusion that Hellraid, in its current shape and form, is not meeting our own expectations for this project. Therefore, we decided the best course of action would be to send it back to the drawing board and invent our dark fantasy title anew."

    That reinvention isn't going to happen right away, however. Techland said its focus for now will be on the "further expansion of our Dying Light franchise," and there's no indication of a possible future release date. That's not quite the same as an outright cancellation, but it's awfully close.

    Hellraid

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

    Details

    Technobabylon - Review & Interview @ TechRaptor

    by Hiddenx, 20:41

    Cyberpunk comes back. Don Parsons from TechRaptor reviewed the excellent Point&Click Adventure Technobabylon. A snippet:

    I’ve taken my time getting to gameplay because there isn’t a ton to talk about here. It is mostly traditional point and click adventure game play with some time sensitive events (not traditional QTEs as you can just wait and try again for the right pattern spot). The puzzles in Technobabylon are a breath of fresh air. They are challenging at times but logical in almost all instances. There were one or two that had me feeling it stretched logic some, but by and large the puzzles in this game were of very good design, logically proceeding from the story and fitting into it, rather than puzzles for puzzles sake, or puzzles that make no sense. A lot of the puzzles even have multiple solutions to them, which also helps mitigate a  traditional adventure puzzle flaw where if you aren’t thinking exactly the same way as the developer, you can’t solve it.

    The inventory interface is clean and works well, and in more modern traditions it gets rid of items that you won’t need for future puzzles. That makes it easier to know what your options are, which means that even if you get stuck, you can probably eventually brute force your way through the situation. The game wouldn’t hurt with a bit more feedback at times during puzzles, but it does pretty well most of the time with the world around you having hints on occasion.

    He interviewed developer James Dearden, too:

    TechRaptor: Technobabylon was originally released as freeware, what was the hope in revisiting and updating it to release as a commercial product?

    James: Way back in 2010, I’d started making Technobabylon as a practice attempt at making adventure games. Before that, all I’d done were a couple of simple puzzle and strategy games, and I wanted to get better before tackling a longer narrative. However, Technobabylon turned out to be more popular than I’d expected, so as the narrative grew, I thought it might benefit from being all together as one large project, rather than a series of episodes with sharp quality changes.

    I’d seen the success that other commercial projects like Gemini Rue had had with Wadjet Eye, so I thought it’d be worth a chance by showing Dave the demo at AdventureX in 2012. Apparently my pitch succeeded, so this is my opportunity to turn indie games into something more than just a hobby for me!

    There's a demo on Steam to test the game.

    Technobabylon

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

    Details

    RPGWatch - Dex Review

    by Myrthos, 12:14

    Aubrielle checks out Dex, the sidescrolling cyberpunk adventure from Dreadlocks, resulting in a review of the game.

    The leveling system is also simple and straightforward.  Your health bar at the upper left will tell you when you've leveled.  Go back into the pause menu, select 'character', and take a look.  Every level gives you a single point to upgrade something with.  Leveling your charisma will give you more options in dialogue.  Leveling hacking makes you able to stay in cyberspace longer and be more effective there.  Putting points in firearms allows you to shoot more bullets per attack.  One slight problem is that in the beginning of the game, you're not faced with tons of problems requiring different skills.  Early on, the lockpicking skill is really useful, and it's one of the only skills you'll find yourself in need of.  So the game doesn't cause you agony over choosing what to put your points into for a little while.  Soon, though, the game will branch out and you'll find yourself in need of other skills, so this forces you to think ahead a little without necessarily knowing what you need.  Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing depends on what kind of player you are.  Do you like being in the dark, having to think ahead and live with your choices?  Then it's right up your alley.  As of writing this, I haven't been able to find any evidence of items that allow you to refund skill points.  It's possible they'll add it in a later update.

    Dex

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

    Details