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RPGWatch

2016-02-01

Game of the Year Awards 2015 - Most Promising RPG

Like every year, you also got to vote for Most Promising RPG of 2016. Check out the details to find out what games we and our visitors think are most promising.
» Continue reading the article...

RPGWatch

2016-01-28

Game of the Year Awards 2015 - Best RPG

The RPGWatch team and our visitors have cast their votes for the best RPG of 2015. Check out the details to find out what games made it to the top three.
» Read the article

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Friday - February 05, 2016

Shadowrun: Hong Kong - Bonus Campaign released

by Hiddenx, 22:39

Kickstarter can be awesome:

The Shadows of Hong Kong Bonus Campaign Is Here!!

We are pleased to announce that the Shadows of Hong Kong bonus campaign is now available as part of a free update to Shadowrun: Hong Kong.This update also adds the developer audio commentary Kickstarter reward and a variety of small game improvements such as new visual effects, updated dialogue, and editor features for User Generated Content.

So, we’ve rebranded the title asShadowrun: Hong Kong - Extended Edition to reflect all the new content. Hong Kong has never been better!

The Extended Edition update is free for all Backers and existing owners of Shadowrun: Hong Kong - to receive the update, you just need to go to your chosen game store (Steam, GOG, or Humble) and download it as you would any other game update. (On Steam this should be automatic.)

Shadowrun: Hong Kong

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

Details

Black Desert - Beauty More Than Skin Deep

by Aubrielle, 14:36

Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Steven Messner says that Black Desert Online's beauty could be "more than skin deep", and says some intriguing things about the upcoming MMO...

Thanks, Lostforever.

I am bored to death of MMORPGs. Not their potential mind you, but the execution. The seemingly endless chains of quests, the sole focus on murdering everything that doesn’t give you a quest (and some things that do), and, perhaps most of all, the way developers think that shoving more quests into the meat grinder is the solution to prolonging a game’s lifespan.

This is exactly what I was expecting to see when I sat down and hesitantly logged into Black Desert Online for the first time. Here we go again, I thought. But within my first hour of playing, Black Desert Online revealed that it was more than just a pretty face (and some not-so pretty faces). It made me feel something that I haven’t felt while playing an MMORPG in a very long time: I felt lost. The good kind of lost.

More.

Black Desert

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

Details

Age of Decadence - A Bit of Everything

by Aubrielle, 00:14

The Age of Decadence team has produced an update they call "A Bit of Everything", containing plenty of much-requested additions and fixes.

The update contains a lot of things that were requested by the players:

1) A Stash!


As requested, a stash to store your ill-gotten gains. Rent a room at any inn and get a magic chest that will follow you everywhere (i.e. to the inn in the next city).

2) Sneaking & Stealing


As requested, more opportunities to ply your shady crafts. Stealing from sleeping inn patrons and merchant stalls is now a thing.

3) Spearman's Kit


As requested, a one-handed spear with a longer reach. It comes with a fancy buckler, a well-crafted blue steel helmet that doesn't restrict your vision, and its current owner. Enjoy!

To get your hands on that kit you have to bravely enter a tavern in the Arena district and challenge a dreadful pirate currently terrorizing the peaceful patrons. Are you bad enough dude to save the patrons and claim the villain’s spear for yourself?

4) Trading Cards.


As requested, now you can trade cards and craft your very own badge (or two). Steam gave us hard time ensuring that the divine badge is up to the code and meets the highest requirements (shines like the North Star on a dark night), so hope you won't be disappointed.


One of the badges

5) Expanded Endings


If you always wanted to know what the Zamedi demon is up to (and other memorable characters you've met on your journey), well, now you can. As requested.

6) Camera & Interface Resolutions


As requested, the camera's code has been updated and now it's much smoother. Don't expect any miracles but it's better than before. Plus we added higher resolutions support for the interface.

7) Minor things


Several new characters, text descriptions, bug fixes, improved textures and models, minor balance tweaks.

Thanks for playing.

More.

Age of Decadence

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

Details

Skyrim - Skywind 'Envision' Trailer

by Aubrielle, 00:10

The Skywind team has released a new trailer for the long-anticipated mod.

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Skyrim

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

Details

Torment: Tides of Numenera - Beta Patch 1

by Aubrielle, 00:08

InXile released Beta Patch 1 for Torment: Tides of Numanera today.  The changelog is huge, but they've updated almost every aspect of the game.  Some highlights are listed below:

Hello everyone,

Today we are pleased to announce patch 1 for Torment: Tides of Numenera's beta/Steam Early Access release. This patch corrects a number of critical bugs our community reported and also has some feature and gameplay improvements across the board. Enjoy!

Note: This patch may be incompatible with your previous save files due to changes in our save/load system. If you experience bugs as a result of loading up old saves, we recommend starting a new game.

Highlights

  • Heavy optimization pass to Fathom 13 scene.
  • Camera improvements.
  • Large balance passes.
  • Added hotkey support to the interface. Press I for Inventory, C for Character, M for Map, B for Quick Abilities, V for Quick Items, and J for Journal. Escape should close out of these menus, as should pressing their respective keys while the UI is open. Customizable hotkeys are not yet available.
  • Added Autosave functionality with three rotating slots.
  • Added Quicksave/Quickload functionality. Press F5 to quicksave, F6 to quickload.
  • Added a Shins (currency) display to the Inventory screen.
  • The camera should no longer pan while a menu is open.
  • Manifold miscellaneous optimizations to performance.
  • Updates to portrait artwork.
  • Fixed Broken Dome bug that could cause the intro cutscene/conversation to not play correctly. Should also fix misc. bugs that could be caused by user interface inputs falling through the UI.
  • Fixed Cypher Sickness not saving properly.
  • Fixed combat freeze-ups that could occur with repeat save/loads.
  • Cyphers can now be dragged to other characters. Cypher Sickness should no longer multiply in effect after save/load.
  • Issue with movement getting stuck on scene transition should no longer occur.
  • More details.

    Source: InXile Entertainment

    Torment: Tides of Numenera

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

    Details

    Dark Souls III - Thief Class

    by Aubrielle, 00:02

    GameSpot shows off some new video of the thief class from Dark Souls III.

    Thanks to Couch for tonight's news.

    loading...

    Source: GameSpot

    Dark Souls III

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

    Details

    XCOM 2 - Why RPG Fans should play it

    by Hiddenx, 00:01

    RPG Site explains why RPG fans should give XCOM 2 a try:

    Why RPG fans really should give XCOM a try

    Before I push live a review of XCOM 2 to the site, I feel I have to explain myself. The XCOM series isn't really an RPG series, of course - it's a strategy series in the finest tradition of PC classics now coming from the makers of another strategy classic, Civilization.

    There's a catch, though. Where Civilization feels like a more clinical and 'pure' a take on strategy, XCOM is quite different - it asks you to invest in your cast of characters and the narrative deeply, and bolsters this suggestion with a raft of features that are surprisingly RPG-like. The core of XCOM might be absolute strategy, but bubbling beneath the surface is an undercurrent of RPG mechanics that make the game seem a natural fit for fans the genre - especially those who've enjoyed tactical or strategy driven titles. Here, ahead of XCOM 2's launch, I explain why.

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    XCOM 2

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

    Details

    Thursday - February 04, 2016

    City of the Shroud - New Kickstarter

    by Hiddenx, 20:37

    A Kickstarter campaign for City of the Shroud has started:

    We just released the debut trailer for City of the Shroud, along with our first live story campaign, and I was hoping you'd be willing to cover us on your site.

    City of the Shroud is a real-time tactical fighting RPG where every single player influences a live story campaign written by a chart-topping author. It's like D&D, in that you have lots of players making decisions in the game, and a GM who comes up with scenarios based on the players' actions (we're the GM). It's a dynamic stake on interactive fiction because it takes both the players and the developer to tell the story (yes, there is an ending)!

    loading...

     

    Kickstarter Games

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

    Details

    Xenonauts 2 - Confirmed

    by Hiddenx, 20:19

    Goldenhawk Interactive confirmed that Xenonauts 2 is in development and is currently scheduled to be released in 2017.

    A list of what can be expected from the game can be found on their homepage where you can also register for a newsletter:

    Xenonauts 2 will not be a chronological sequel, rather it will cover similar events taking place in an alternate timeline – an alien invasion occurring in a Cold War-era Earth. This means humanity does not start with the advanced alien technology unlocked in the first game, and we also have the freedom to subtly alter the story, setting and enemies in order to make a more interesting sequel.

    We will cover our planned gameplay changes in more detail in our full announcement, but we have these broad areas of focus:

    • Game Engine – using Unity3D will give us a much more capable platform for development than our previous engine, so expect fewer bugs, improved performance, better modding support, etc
    • 3D Graphics – moving from 2D sprites to 3D graphics will improve visual fidelity, but will also be valuable for gameplay – it allows for things like rotating cameras, vastly improved animation, physics objects, accurate projectile tracking, etc
    • Ground Combat – we will be retaining the Time Unit combat system, and will enhance the interface and giving the player additional tactical options: destructible UFOs, better use of terrain verticality, human psionics, etc
    • Geoscape – we want to add a lot more strategic choice for the player with regards to the research tree and how they choose to expand their organisation (there was definitely too much strategic railroading in the first Xenonauts)
    • Air Combat – redesigned to be turn-based and to feature larger numbers of combatants, with the goal of making it a less frequent occurrence but more tactically involved when it does happen
    • Aliens – we are visually and mechanically redesigning all of the enemies, and creating a more intelligent and challenging foe by developing gameplay systems that allow the aliens to respond and adapt to your tactics and technology

    Some of the issues in the original game were caused by our lack of experience / lack of early funding, whereas others were caused by the constraints remaining faithful to the design of a game dating back to 1994. The experience and income we have accumulated from the development of Xenonauts mean that we can make a sequel that significantly improves and expands on the first game – and this time we can be more innovative than before.

    Xenonauts 2

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

    Details

    Project Resurgence - Kickstarter Update

    by Myrthos, 15:50

    With six more days to go and almost $30K short of reaching their goal, the Kickstarter campaign for Project Resurgence has reached its 11th update about, Sound Design, Game Art Overview, Headgear Voting, & Digital Books Add-On.

    Well hi! I am Sean Boyle, one of the sound designers at Nectar Game Studios. Today I’m pretty jazzed to tell you a bit about how we approach the sound design in Project Resurgence.

    If you’re like most people, sound in a game probably doesn’t grab your attention much. Don’t worry though, you are totally normal! I still fall into that same trap sometimes, even after having made my career in audio. Sound is an integral piece of all video games though, and if you think it is unimportant I'm here to convince you otherwise. :)

    First, let’s talk brains. When you hear a sound, it is processed in your temporal lobe. This is also where your memories and emotions are accessed. As a result, what you hear will very likely stir your emotions and memories, even if you are unaware of it. Pretty crazy, huh?

    Here’s an experiment: try turning a game’s sound completely off. Does the game suddenly seem more dull? I think you will likely find it like a poorly cooked steak, dry and lacking flavor. While the game is visually complete, a core aspect of the experience is missing. Your mind is struggling more to process what is happening in game, due to a lack of audio feedback, and turning the sound back on should feel like a breath of fresh air.

    At NGS, our goal is to make a rich and immersive soundscape for Project Resurgence. To do this, we are planning several major audio features, and today I’m going to elaborate more on character movement.

    Thanks Ben.

    Project Resurgence

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

    Details

    Stories of Bethem - On Steam

    by Myrthos, 12:57

    The developer of Stories of Bethem: Full Moon contacted us about his game, which is currently on Steam.

    loading...

    Stories of Bethem: Full Moon is a classic action-RPG adventure that tells the story of Khoma, a young man of the Kingdom of Bethem whose father has been cursed by the Blue Witch when he was investigating about the birth of his world.

    Khoma sets out for a quest that will lead him to the Red Witch, the only person that can break the spell. But he will find himself in an unexpected adventure in search of the oneiric objects needed to save his father. Khoma’s will be a long travel throughout which he will have to learn magic, a real challenge to his strength and skills.

    Be enchanted by a traditional-style action-packed adventure full of secrets, puzzles, unrequited love, exploration and loads of madness.

    Features

    • Explore a vast kingdom full of secrets to discover.
    • Overcome dungeons full of puzzles.
    • Have fun with about 20 hours of game.
    • Be surprised by the characters and the wildest stories you can imagine. Guaranteed fun!
    • Use and get new magic spells to open your way.
    • Collect all the monster auras at the museum.
    • Fight against fearsome monsters.
    • Complete the side-quests and get the Steam achievements to squeeze the game.
    Stories of Bethem: Full Moon is an improved and extended edition of Stories of Bethem. It includes new orbs and puzzles, a more polished story, improved dungeons and new ones, extended kingdom zones and new ones, new items and side quests, a new ending and Steam achievements. All this with a renewed graphic style and a lot of gameplay improvements.

    Steam Games

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

    Details

    General News - SXSW Gaming Awards

    by Myrthos, 12:49

    If you like to vote for games, you can do so by voting for the SXSW Gaming Awards. Some RPGs or RPGish games in there are: The Witcher 3, Fallout 4, Bloodborne and Pillars of Eternity.

    Thanks rjshae.

    General News

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

    Details

    CivCraft - Alpha is Ready

    by Myrthos, 12:43

    In a new backer only Kickstarter update the Civcraft devs tell us that the alpha is ready.

    After some massive coding, pizza and a lot of head–scratching, we’ve finished the Pre-Alpha. Bear in mind that this version (0.5.28) is our first playable version and contains bugs and glitches; it is the first of many versions which will update, fix, optimize and otherwise improve CivCraft - Legends of Ellaria.

    Our next step is to improve our game engine, terrain, playability, animations, combat system and to optimise CivCraft to run faster, as well as to add quests, other kingdoms, inventory system, a manageable army and multiple maps.

    In the meanwhile, any suggestion and bug report will be most accepted and helpful.

    CivCraft

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

    Details

    Umbra - Development Update

    by Myrthos, 12:38

    A new development update for Umbra popped up, which talks about what will be in the alpha release.

    We wanted to share how we’re going to be updating things over the coming weeks and months regarding the release of the Alpha early access on Steam. We have been working very hard on the game to provide you an exciting Hack and slash experience

    A part of open world will be ready to explore; the different areas were meticulously refined in order to offer diversity in terms of gameplay and ambiance. Going from place to place will always have a different feeling depending of the path you choose to take and the time of the day. Enemies with dynamics level will randomly spawn making sure that you always have something to slay at any place. You will have to custom you build with skills depending of the situation.

    The main story will begin right away with the mysterious templars helping you. The system of quests and the story line will be updated every patches to craft the adventure step by step until the final release. Randomly generated dungeons will be present on the open world. You will have to explore the world to unlock the different styles of environments generated.

    Different class of weapon and armor are available at the beginning but expect a lot more to be added along the way. We'll continue to tune the features in terms of quality and quantity each month.

    Craft, housing and dungeon challenge will not be available at first because we wanted to focus more on the core of the game before releasing these features.

    Also, some of us will be present at the GDC in San Francisco at the Crytek booth, the game will be playable so come hang out with us if you are in the area !

    Umbra

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

    Details

    Disgaea - Deluxe Dood Edition Pre-Purchase

    by Aubrielle, 01:16

    Disgaea's Deluxe Dood Edition is up for pre-purchase on Steam right now.  It's going for $20 and will get you the game, soundtrack, and art book.  Disgaea releases Feb. 24.

    Hey dood!

    We're excited to announce that Disgaea PC: Digital Deluxe Dood Edition is now available for pre-purchase on Steam! The Disgaea PC: Digital Deluxe Dood Edition includes:

    • Disgaea PC - Steam Code
    • Disgaea PC - Official Soundtrack
    • Disgaea PC - Digital Art Book

    There's also a new trailer alongside with our pre-purchase launch on Steam, highlighting the whacky dialogue, over-the-top battle animations, as well as the crazy damage output that Disgaea is known for!

    TALK ABOUT DPS, DOOD!

    Join the Netherworld with Laharl, Etna & Flonne this February 24th! And remember, you can pre-purchase the Disgaea PC: Deluxe Dood Edition today and be ready to lift by the release date, dood!

    DOWNLOAD THE DARKNESS, LEVEL UP EVIL!

    Tell your doods and pre-purchase the Disgaea PC: Digital Deluxe Dood Edition here, dood!

    Source.

    Disgaea

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

    Details

    Kingdom Come - Interview

    by Aubrielle, 01:05

    Warhorse Studios' PR campaign continues.  We've been tipped off to their newest interview for Kingdom Come: Deliverance, this time with PC Invasion.

    Martin Ziegler: We’re trying to find a balance between an open-world game and a story-driven game. In the open-world part we want players to be able to immerse themselves in the world in ways which aren’t well explored in games; both in terms of the geographical region and it terms of the historical period. We want players to be able to experience that time and place; we want the world to look like it did at the time and we want people to behave like they did at the time.

    So we researched how the justice system worked at the time and what people did at the time – Where did they get their food? When did they get up? How did the public administration system work? Things like that. We want to simulate that in terms of AI and in terms of gameplay mechanics. If you commit a crime, we want the NPCs in the game to react closely to how they would at the time. So we want them to run to the nearest town with a guard that is able to force you to pay the fine or imprison you and stuff like that.

    Also we want to have the story that will drive you to explore that world, see different locations and see all the stuff we’ve put in place.

    TS-Z: A lot of games are set in medieval times, but no game has ever tried to be realistic and as historically accurate as possible. There’s always this touch of fantasy somewhere; we’ve tried to avoid that completely.

    Since we try to have realistic and historically accurate game, universities, museums, cultural people and living history people and people who are not connected to video games are very interested in this project to reconstruct Bohemia in the year 1403.

    More.

    Kingdom Come

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

    Details

    Final Fantasy XV - May Come to PC

    by Aubrielle, 00:50

    Final Fantasy XV may possibly come to PC after all, according to some discerning onlookers.

    The upcoming Final Fantasy XV is scheduled to come out sometime this year for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. And as a sharp-eyed NeoGAFer noticed, it might be coming to the PC too! Then again, it might not. The truth is, we don't really know. But there's a pretty good reason to think it will.

    The story begins with the discovery of some interesting words in a Javascript file contained within the HTML code of the Final Fantasy XV “Uncovered” website, which makes reference to Steam as well as the Xbox, PlayStation, and Square Enix online stores. On the face of it, that's a fairly obvious sign that a PC release is in the works, and especially so in light of the relatively recent arrival of numerous other Final Fantasy games on Steam. A PC release of Final Fantasy 9, for instance, was announced just a month ago.

    But the excitement was diminished somewhat when another user noticed that the code in question was essentially a copy of code used for the Rise of the Tomb Raider page. That led to the theory that the whistleblowing code was simply copied and pasted to the Final Fantasy XV site for convenience, and that the Steam reference—since Rise of the Tomb Raider was released for the PC—was simply a bit of overlooked detritus.

    As far as I can see, the references to Steam (and other platform stores) have since been removed, which makes the situation even trickier. Personally, I'd assume that FFXV will eventually make it to the PC, sooner or later, but that's based solely on recent history and the fact that there's no good reason to keep it to consoles, rather that anything Square Enix has said, done, or even hinted at. I've emailed them to ask and I'll let you know if I receive a reply; in the meantime, keep your fingers crossed.

    More.

    Source: PC Gamer

    Final Fantasy XV

    SP/MP: Single-player
    Setting: Fantasy
    Genre: J-RPG
    Platform: PS4, Xbox One
    Release: In development

    Details

    Path of Exile - Ascendancy Coming in March

    by Aubrielle, 00:46

    Path of Exile will receive its latest update, Ascendancy, on March 4th.

    Thanks to Couch for tonight's news.

    On March 4, at 12pm PT, the expansive and excellent free-to-play action-RPG Path of Exile will receive its fourth major expansion: Ascendancy.

    The highlight of this xpac is The Lord's Labyrinth, a maze of traps and terrors generated fresh everyday. Die once in the labyrinth's bowels and you'll have to start over, upping the stakes in an already challenging game. Riddling the labyrinth is a series of boss fights with one Emperor Izaro which, intriguingly, promise to evolve based on your actions in previous bouts.

    More.

    Source: PC Gamer

    Path of Exile

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

    Details

    Wednesday - February 03, 2016

    Children of Zodiarcs - Kickstarter Update

    by Hiddenx, 19:51

    The successfully funded J-RPG Children of Zodiarcs is close to reach more stretch goals:

    Hello hello, everyone!  Jason here, once again.

    You have all been so amazing. We are almost at the $135,000 CAD mark for the Underworld Arena. We’re already starting to work out some cool ideas on how to work it into the game’s lore. Fun times!

    Tomorrow (unless something happens), I’ll have nice update for you. Erica has been working hard on concept art for one of the Torus districts. It’s looking really great and I can’t wait to show you some of her process that got her to the final piece :)

    We still have a lot of cool stretch goals, so please help to spread the word about Children of Zodiarcs! The more stretch goals we reach, the more we can put into the game :)

    [...]

    Children of Zodiarcs

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

    Details

    Archmage Rises - A Series of interesting Choices

    by Hiddenx, 19:25

    Developer Thomas Henshell send us some info about his upcoming RPG Archmage Rises:

    loading...

    Our vision is to bring the essence of the pen & paper role playing experience to the modern computer role playing game. Where player freedom, choice, and natural consequence is the core of the game.

    Setting

    Of low birth, sixteen, away from home, and now kicked out of school just prior to Confirmation.  Legally, you are not allowed to practice magic.  What will you do?

    From this tumultuous beginning you are in control of how you make your way in the world of Vaelun.

    • Conform to society or rail against it?  
    • Forgive those who harmed you, or seek vengeance? 
    • Become a famous academic or fearsome battlemage? 

    Character

    You are born and will die of natural causes after a certain number of years (determined by genetics). How you spend your time is the most important decision you will make.  

    • Story driven character creation branches into over 144 beginnings.
    • Permadeath brings gravitas to every decision.   Just as in real life, there are no redos.
    • Dozens of skills allow for broad character diversification.  No two play throughs will be the same.
    • Most every action affects your soul.  The more selfless you are, the more good options become available to you.  The more selfish you are, the more evil options become available.

    Combat

    The innovative turn-based combat is designed from the ground up to be flexible, strategic, and fast.  Combat is just one way of overcoming obstacles.

    • The battlefield is separated into three ranges (Far, Mid, Near).  Enemy weapons and abilities determine their optimal attack distance.  Use your retinue of spells to blast your foes, but also to control the battlefield.  It's like Chess with fireballs!
    • Decide how to best utilize your action points: quick light spells, or slow powerful ones.  (Like Bravely Default)
    • Choose how powerfully to cast a spell.  Like a boxer swinging, the more power you invest the higher chance of missing, and the more of an opening you allow to your opponent, but the more damage you do.  Like boxing, battle is not just a test of power but wits and stamina as well.
    • Craft your own weapons, equipment, and spells.  No class restrictions, specialize in your favorite spells.

    Archmage Rises

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

    Details

    PC Gamer - Playing RPG's Without Combat

    by Aubrielle, 17:20

    PC Gamer discusses avoiding combat in an RPG, and they do it through the lens of Age of Decadence.

    I'm bored of killing people. Not necessarily bored of having people killed, but certainly of doing my own dirty work. After a couple of years of great RPGs—The Witcher 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Pillars of Eternity, Fallout 4, and even South Park: The Stick of Truth—I need a break from fighting. This isn't a hot take: I'm not about to decry RPG combat in its entirety. This is my problem, and it's up to me—not the industry at large—to find a solution.

    The solution, it turns out, is Age of Decadence. Officially released last year after a time in early access, it's still a bit rough and unpolished. Nonetheless, it's a wilfully uncompromising RPG. There is combat, and it's extremely difficult, but, depending on the choices that you make, engaging in it can be optional.

    In Age of Decadence, you're given a choice of professions, each promising a markedly different experience. A mercenary is going to get hilt deep in some jerks—it's a part of the job description. But other builds promise other ways to play. I chose a merchant, partly because it's a non-combat option, but also because, if this is truly an age of decadence, I assume having a lot of money will help.

    It works because the setting favours politics and greed, rather than sword-'n'-board heroism. Because of this, I go for an extremely specific, high-risk build. My combat fatigue manifests in a character with no points in any of the combat skills. Of my dagger ability, the game bluntly states that I should "put it down before you poke an eye out." (Wouldn't poking someone's eye out be an extremely effective use of a dagger? I suppose it depends whose eye.)

    Instead, I'm a master at doing words at people—more so than this sentence would imply. My primary stats are trading, persuasion and 'streetwise,' and it's interesting just how much these skills matter. I've played for a few hours, and, so far, Age of Decadence has mitigated its early linearity through contextual events and dialogue. At multiple points I'm given the option for actions that rely on my (appalling) dexterity, or conversation choices that require my (amazing) persuasion. But these options don't magically solve problems.

    More.

    PC Gamer

    Details

    RPS - Roles We Take, Roles We Choose

    by Aubrielle, 17:03

    In "The RPG Scrollbars: Roles We Take, Roles We Choose", RPS's Richard Cobbett takes a detailed look at roles in RPG's and what they mean.

    Not for the first time, I’ve spent quite a while recently pondering the nature of roles – more specifically, mechanical role versus narrative role. When we think of RPGs, what we’re usually thinking of is the latter. You play the role of the Hero, but in a universe that’s typically designed to let you define that however you like. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but there’s a key difference between that and stepping into the shoes of someone more specific. Geralt in The Witcher 3 for instance is – spoiler alert – a Witcher. Every encounter revolves around that, every system involves it, every decision has, whether it’s by your choice or Geralt bringing it up, a mercenary element that reinforces that asking for money in exchange for your services is expected and not, as is often the case, the first step towards douchery and getting the Evil ending.

    ...

    Keeping this in mind throws a very different light on so many RPGs and the rare feeling of actually BEING somebody in a game. Ultima for instance puts you into the narrative role of the Avatar, paragon of the eight virtues, defeater of yadda yadda, but the running joke of the series is that what you actually do with that authority is treat Britannia like your own personal playground. Only in Ultima IV are you forced not to, with Ultima VII being largely an exercise in how many ways you can bend an open world over your knee and spank it until its bottom is red-raw. Conversely, the Quest for Glory games give you that all important wiggle-room for stealing the occasional thing or making a selfish decision, but at heart are routed in the fact that you are a Hero and it’s your responsibility to live up to that. They’re more linear in design, and notably, designers Lori and Corey Cole spank back hard if you try to do something unbefitting of your role, but everything from the nature of the quests to the skills at your disposal (good for helping people, bad for kicking arse) reinforce that heroic aspect.

    It doesn’t help that most RPGs, rightly or wrongly, don’t have much in the way of balls when it comes to restricting the player character in any way. Compare, say, Baldur’s Gate 2 with Dragon Age 2 – partly because it’s a good comparison, partly because it wouldn’t be a good week if I didn’t annoy someone on the Codex. I’m thinking in terms of magic specifically. Baldur’s Gate 2 largely takes place in the city of Amn, and one of the cardinal rules there is ‘no magic without a license’. Dragon Age 2 takes place in a city controlled by Templars, whose job it is to keep mages under control, and not without some reason. Magic isn’t just whizzy-whizzy-bang-bang, but linked to demonic possession and all kinds of other health hazards.

    More.

    Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun

    Rock, Paper, Shotgun

    Details

    Sorcery! - RPS Review

    by Aubrielle, 16:55

    Rock, Paper, Shotgun gives us the lowdown on Sorcery!.

    Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! [official site] has been showing the mobile world what modern gamebooks can be since 2013, and now they’re following 80 Days onto the PC. The first two chapters come as a bundle, with two more on the way. If you’ve played them on iOS, they’re exactly the same games, only you can finally click on things instead of using your filthy sausage-fingers. If not, here’s Wot I Think.

    ...

    Sorcery! pulls off that most impressive trick, working as both a nostalgia trip and a modern series. It takes a while for it to come into its own, admittedly, and the old-fashioned focus on text won’t necessarily appeal to everyone. Illiterates and fools, for instance. To sink into its world though is to quickly get lost in its invisible pathways of tricks and traps and hidden secrets, the adventure evolving along with both your increasing power and Inkle’s mastery of the gamebook format. Neither part takes long to complete, if completion is all you care about, but that first playthrough will barely scratch the surface of what their maps offer – never mind show you all the best stuff.

    More.

    Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun

    Sorcery!

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

    Details

    Witcher 3 - Blood and Wine "Not Imminent"

    by Aubrielle, 04:18

    According to The Witcher 3's official Twitter, it doesn't look like we'll be seeing Blood and Wine as soon as we'd hoped.

    Thanks, Couch.


    The second expansion for The Witcher 3, titled 'Blood and Wine', does not look likely to be made available any time soon judging by a Tweet posted on the game's official Twitter account.

    Responding to a question regarding the highly anticipated DLC package, The Witcher account revealed that more information on the Blood and Wine expansion would be released 'in the coming months'.

    The first DLC offering for CD Projekt Red's smash hit RPG arrived back in October and the Blood and Wine content was initially expected to be released during the first quarter of 2016. That original time window has since been expanded to the first half of 2016, with most people now expecting it to be released sometime after March.

    To date only a couple of screenshots have been shown off from the Blood and Wine expansion but it has been revealed that the DLC package will include an additional 20 hours of gameplay and take place in a new area which wasn't initially in the game, named Toussaint.

    More.

    Witcher 3

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

    Details

    Tales of Symphonia - Broken Ports Unacceptable

    by Aubrielle, 04:14

    The first opinions are flowing in for the PC port of Tales of Symphonia, and the impressions aren't the best.  Locked 720p resolution is a problem, among other things.  A PCGamer op-ed believes we deserve better.

    Peter "Durante" Thoman is the creator of PC downsampling tool GeDoSaTo and the modder behind Dark Souls' DSfix. He has previously analyzed PC ports of Valkyria ChroniclesThe Witcher 3Tales of Zestiria and more.

    Bandai-Namco, this is unacceptable. You too, Koei-Tecmo.

    Yesterday Bandai-Namco released Tales of Symphonia on Steam. It’s a game with a history of bad porting: the PS3 release which this port is based on—in turn a port of the PS2 version—was in some ways still inferior to the Gamecube original. So no one truly expected anything more than a decently competent barebones affair, with the same assets, framerate limitations and features as the PS3 version. However, what we got rivals the very worst ports in the last decade of PC gaming, and more than that the surrounding circumstances leave little conclusion other than the responsible company (or companies) simply caring little about the quality of their products.

    I don’t enjoy writing negative articles, but sometimes it has to be done. In this one, I’ll explain all the things wrong with Tales of Symphonia on PC, and more than that, how these facts clearly point to an underlying system of priorities for creating this version of the game which simply makes no sense. No technical sense. No sense from the point of view of the customers. Note that there is one positive takeway from this: at least the resolution issues were easy enough to fix. I did it in less than three hours.

    In any case, I want to refrain from descending into hyperbole or painting with too broad a brush—something I often observe when these topics are discussed. So first, let’s start with some perspective.

    ...

    Read more.

    Source: PC Gamer

    Tales of Symphonia

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

    Details

    Tuesday - February 02, 2016

    Shadowrun: Hong Kong - Five Hour Epilogue soon

    by Silver, 21:52

    @Gameinformer announces that Shadowrun Hong Kong will have 5+ hours of new content plus developer commentary free if you already own the game. The content takes place after the main campaign.

    Harebrained Schemes is getting ready to deliver a big expansion to the third installment in its recently rebooted Shadowrun series. Hong Kong is a vibrant cyberpunk city that's about to get bigger.

    The best part is that you won't need to spend a dime on the additional content. In a post on the official Facebook page, Harebrained Schemes shares the details.

    "Almost ready to go back to Hong Kong?" the post says. "We're adding 5+ hours of gameplay and a Dev Audio Commentary! (Same low price, lots more content! And updated free to everyone who already has the game!)"

    Shadowrun: Hong Kong

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

    Details

    Sorcery! - PC Version released on Steam

    by Hiddenx, 19:38

    Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! is back: A PC version was released today on Steam. Here's a review from PCWorld:

    Sorcery! Parts One and Two review: Choose your own adventure in this glorious Steve Jackson adaptation

    I’ve fought an assassin. I’ve saved an orcish princess. I’ve clambered through overflowing sewers. I’ve died from drinking too much river water, and died again from contracting plague. I’ve fought monsters, eaten rations, and rested at more inns than I’d care to recall. I’ve even—don’t tell anyone—thrown rocks at a little girl in exchange for an apple. (It wasn’t one of my prouder moments.)

    This is Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! reimagined for 2016. And it’s also the latest from Inkle, creator of the acclaimed 80 Days.

    [...]

    Bottom line

    Inkle is fast becoming one of my favorite studios. 80 Days was excellent. Sorcery is much the same, forsaking the off-kilter Victorian Age for a more cliched land of swords and spells and knavery—and yet, by some combination of Inkle’s own talents and Steve Jackson’s original source, managing to wring some truly compelling ideas from the game’s thin sword-and-board pretenses.

    And I’ve still got two more adventures ahead before Sorcery wraps up. Fantastic.


    Sorcery!

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

    Details

    InSomnia - New Screenshots

    by Hiddenx, 19:01

    Farflame spotted some nice InSomnia-screenshots on the Kickstarter-page:

    Updated InSomnia demo screenshots and details

    Hello everyone! As we've told you before there's an updated InSomnia demo that's being in works for some time now. And we've got a bunch of juicy screenshots to show you today, click to open in high resolution...

    InSomnia

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

    Details

    Overfall - Closed Beta Started

    by Myrthos, 12:27

    The closed beta for Overfall has started for all Kickstarter backers who mentioned they wanted to receive a Steam key. For those who want a GOG key, they will have to wait until the devs feel they are ready for a DRM free key.

    For those who haven't backed, but still want to play the game: Overfall will be available on Steam Early Access on March 1. They are looking for feedback in the weeks leading up to that date to improve the game further.

    Here is an overview of their plans and notes, which has a reference to Chris Avellone in it.

    • At the moment, the game is mostly stable and polished with the core game completed; and we are working on balancing current features as well as adding more content to deliver even more fun.
    • Note that you may encounter some disembodied voices, teleporting heroes, or paralyzed NPCs. These are perfectly normal breakdowns on the current state of development, and will be resolved shortly. Please start playing the game now if you are OKAY with that. 
    • Visit and follow our test Trello - a tool we use to store and fix known issues. 
    • Before the main release we plan to polish and test our Story Builder - a tool accessible to anyone with Overfall that allows them to create their own stories and upload them to the Steam Workshop. 
    • One of the main strengths of Overfall comes from the stories you encounter during a playthrough, an island-to-island experience where you don’t just sail around trying to save the world - you can just as easily encounter a charming stand-alone story or a self-contained quest progression. The more of these encounters we have, the richer and more fun the overall experience will be. We wanted these encounters to be perfect, and to achieve that, we started searching for ways to improve our storytelling. One day - Yagiz introduced us to (as you see them both in our credits now) one of the most prominent game designers and writers of our era, Chris Avellone himself, who you will remember from Fallout 2, Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale series, Baldur’s Gate, Fallout: New Vegas, FTL and many others. We came up with the idea of having a Game Writing Style Guide, which would explain the basics of creating a story in Overfall, give some ideas on how to write a good story, and outline Overfall’s writing style with a couple of examples. And we already were in touch with the best person for writing this kind of guide, not only because he’s a great writer with worlds of experience, but also because he’s great mentor material. Thankfully Chris was happy to work on it and thought laying out one might be helpful for both Overfall and for any budding game writers out there. Now our plan is to finish and release the story builder along with the game, and to write more stories in the light of the Game Writing Style Guide.

    Overfall

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

    Details

    Stardew Valley - New JRPG/Farm Sim

    by Aubrielle, 02:21

    Couch tipped us off to a new farming simulator in the vein of Starbound and Harvest Moon - Stardew Valley.  It looks like it has some fun sandbox elements, RPG elements, and graphics reminiscent of the PS1.

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    You've inherited your grandfather's old farm plot in Stardew Valley. Armed with hand-me-down tools and a few coins, you set out to begin your new life. Can you learn to live off the land and turn these overgrown fields into a thriving home? It won't be easy. Ever since Joja Corporation came to town, the old ways of life have all but disappeared. The community center, once the town's most vibrant hub of activity, now lies in shambles. But the valley seems full of opportunity. With a little dedication, you might just be the one to restore Stardew Valley to greatness!

    Features

    • Turn your overgrown field into a lively farm! Raise animals, grow crops, start an orchard, craft useful machines, and more! You'll have plenty of space to create the farm of your dreams.
    • Improve your skills over time. As you make your way from a struggling greenhorn to a master farmer, you'll level up in 5 different areas: farming, mining, combat, fishing, and foraging. As you progress, you'll learn new cooking and crafting recipes, unlock new areas to explore, and customize your skills by choosing from a variety of professions.
    • Become part of the local community. With over 30 unique characters living in Stardew Valley, you won't have a problem finding new friends! Each person has their own daily schedule, birthday, unique mini-cutscenes, and new things to say throughout the week and year. As you make friends with them, they will open up to you, ask you for help with their personal troubles, or tell you their secrets! Take part in seasonal festivals such as the luau, haunted maze, and feast of the winter star.
    • Explore a vast, mysterious cave. As you travel deeper underground, you'll encounter new and dangerous monsters, powerful weapons, new environments, valuable gemstones, raw materials for crafting and upgrading tools, and mysteries to be uncovered.
    • Breathe new life into the valley. Since JojaMart opened, the old way of life in Stardew Valley has changed. Much of the town's infrastructure has fallen into disrepair. Help restore Stardew Valley to it's former glory by repairing the old community center, or take the alternate route and join forces with Joja Corporation.
    • Court and marry a partner to share your life on the farm with. There are 10 available bachelors and bachelorettes to woo, each with unique character progression cutscenes. Once married, your partner will live on the farm with you. Who knows, maybe you'll have kids and start a family?
    • Spend a relaxing afternoon at one of the local fishing spots. The waters are teeming with seasonal varieties of delicious fish. Craft bait, bobbers, and crab pots to help you in your journey toward catching every fish and becoming a local legend!
    • Donate artifacts and minerals to the local museum.
    • Cook delicious meals and craft useful items to help you out. With over 100 cooking and crafting recipes, you'll have a wide variety of items to create. Some dishes you cook will even give you temporary boosts to skills, running speed, or combat prowess. Craft useful objects like scarecrows, oil makers, furnaces, or even the rare and expensive crystalarium.
    • Customize the appearance of your character and house. With hundreds of decorative items to choose from, you'll have no trouble creating the home of your dreams!
    • Over two hours of original music.

    Steam page.

    General News

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

    Details

    Black Desert - New Trailer

    by Aubrielle, 02:14

    Daum Games Europe has released a new teaser trailer for Black Desert OnlineBDO will launch on March 3.

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    Black Desert

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

    Details

    Risen - Matt Chat Retrospective

    by Aubrielle, 01:10

    Matt Chat #325 takes a look back at Risen.

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    Source: Matt Chat

    Risen

    SP/MP: Single-player
    Setting: Fantasy
    Genre: Action-RPG
    Platform: PC, Xbox 360
    Release: Released

    Details

    Memory of Eldurim - Beta Update

    by Aubrielle, 01:03

    The Memory of Eldurim devs have a large beta update coming soon.

    Thanks to Couch for tonight's news.

    Hey everyone,

    This update brings controller support (for the Xbox 360/X1 controllers, Steam controller mappings to come soon), balance changes, more options in the video and gameplay settings, and lots of bug fixes.

    We have a bunch of new quests in the works, and though they didn't quite make it into this update, they will be available in a few short weeks. You can now turn off "sticky sprint" in the options, as well as configuring your chromatic aberration and depth of field settings.

    Many bugs have been fixed, but as always, if you encounter any, please post about them in the bug forums, or let us know at help@liminalgames.com

    If you're wondering why the update is so large, that's because we are working on some big things that we'll be showing previews of very shortly.

    You guys are the best! Stay tuned for big things coming soon.

    More.

    Memory of Eldurim

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

    Details

    Underworld Ascendant - Prototype Updated

    by Silver, 00:33

    The prototype for Underworld Ascendant is getting an update. This means a change in the movement and combat system with the visual look getting an update too.

    On Movement:

    When a game has great movement controls, like the old Id games Doom and Quake, they become an extension of the player. No thought is needed for basic navigation, and it opens up for players to become more creative and skilled at getting around the world. In recent memory Mirror's Edge did this especially well. The Parkour skills chain together so beautifully and when you master the game it is like a ballet moving around the game world.

    Tim and Will have put together the bones we can build on for a robust movement system. They have decided - at least for the moment- to have full body awareness. This means that the body of the player can be seen by the player, and it also reacts like any other physical object in the world. Momentum matters. Run faster you jump further. Chain jumps together you keep your momentum going, stop for a second and your momentum is lost. Jumping wall to wall if you pause you start sliding down the side of the wall. Sliding down a slope is fast, running up a slope is slower than on a flat plane.

    Just these motions give us some pretty interesting ways of navigating the environment...

    On Combat:

    Second, we've stood up the beginnings of combat. There are 3 attacks so far: a light swing, an overhead swing and a stab. There is a bad guy wandering about who just wants to be hit.

    ...but with more robust tactics, movement and use of the 3D space than was technically possible in the original games. Enemies with have 'tells' so the player can learn to react to them properly. We are still looking at other complexities like locational damage, status effects, dodging and blocking. How complex we push the AI in combat is being experimented with, but we expect them to have options, not just 'ARRGH kill the player' and 'oh no I'm hurt! Run away'. If they have spells they will use them, if they are carrying a magic weapon it will be equipped.

    The new look:

    statue

    classic underworld staircase

    Underworld Ascendant

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

    Details