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Silverfall
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Forum Watch

Pricewatch! by wolfing
Open World Difficulty Difficulties by ChienAboyeur
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Computer says nooooo....*cough* by Alrik Fassbauer

Tuesday - September 01, 2015

Divinity: Original Sin II - Crowdfunding Ethics

by Myrthos, 17:29

Cliqist asks the question about the Original Sin 2 Kickstarter, if it is ethical for a developer to go to Kickstarter for a sequel of a game that sold well and answers the question themselves.

One could look at the campaign and ask an uncomfortable question though: “Why is this on Kickstarter? Didn’t the original sell well?” Well, to answer the question, yes the game did do well. While I don’t have exact figures on how many units of Divinity: Original Sin were sold, Larian Studios Creative Director Swen Vincke has indicated that the studio already has the budget in place to make the game based on the success of original.

And to answer that with:

At the end of the day, Larian Studios asking fans of the original to pitch in a few bucks to help make Divinity: Original Sin 2 grander isn’t entirely wrong.

Somewhow I feel they could have made more of this article, but it is what it is.

Thanks Couch.

Divinity: Original Sin II

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

Details

Underworld Ascendant - 25 Years

by Myrthos, 17:19

The Underworld Ascendant site commemorates the 25 year anniversary of the original Underworld games by reflecting on 3 things that have changed in this period of time.

PC's Have Come a LONG Way

The original Underworlds were designed to run on 20mhz 386 processor class PC's. The smartphone in your pocket would crush a PC of that era without breaking a sweat.

These PC's also lacked any sort of graphics card. You had to do all the rendering in software. That was a huge hurdle to doing real-time 3D texture mapping. Even with some super clever code running in optimized assembly language, we could barely achieve a playable framerate.

In some ways having these performance constraints was helpful, as it compelled us to find creative work-arounds. For instance, there was no way to render fast enough an over-the-shoulder view that would show the player's character in the foreground and world beyond that. Solution was first-person view, which ended up working well for us, and many games to follow.

Today's PC's are ludicrously powerful in comparison. Graphics cards and modern game engines now provide all the building blocks to do sophisticated 3D rendering. The focus has moved from simply trying to get 3D to run, to tweaking the higher end bits of the rendering pipeline to achieve refinements on advanced visual effects. Like getting the fur on that creature to look even more natural than it did in a game from a couple of years ago.

Another notable evolution in the PC hardware is advanced displays and peripherals. The original Underworlds worked with just a keyboard, optionally a mouse if you had one. And the display was a mere 256 colors 640x480 pixels.

Today we have 4K displays. Then there is VR and AR coming into play, which are paradigm shifts in how players get immersed. Not just with their visuals, but with interfaces such as 'wands' that enable a more tactile experience in how you reach out and interact with the game world.

This level of incredible fidelity and immersion compels us to evolve our thinking on how we build games. For example, we can now consider mimicking the sort of physical manipulations a thief would do to pick a lock, instead of abstracting it as a mini-game.

 

Underworld Ascendant

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

Details

The Dwarves - Kickstarter Campaign Launched

by Hiddenx, 14:36

The Kickstarter campaign for the fantasy RPG The Dwarves has launched:

Trailer:

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The Dwarves

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

Details

PoE: The White March - Review @ NZGamer

by Hiddenx, 12:22

Luke Batt (NZGamer) has reviewed the DLC PoE: The White March Part 1:

It’s always nice to be given new reasons to jump back into games you had lots of fun with, even more-so when they are enjoyable additions. With Pillars of Eternity’s first downloadable content pack, Part One of “The White March”, that’s precisely what Obsidian Entertainment have provided, more of what you enjoyed, but nothing that really blows your mind. [...]

This DLC isn’t meant to only be for people who have maxed their character’s levels, that’s actually one of the beautiful things about it. I started the add-on from the pre-end game save, and the majority of my party were already at level 11, so when I first unlocked and entered the area on the map called “The White March”, I was prompted with a message telling me that I was too high a level to find this content much of a challenge, and asking if I would like the game to increase the difficulty of the enemies. Totally optional, but it was nice to see that they included this. [...]

Truth be told, I enjoyed my time with The White March - Part One. It was a great reason to jump back in, and while it’s not as grand as some of the RPG expansions we’ve had for other games in this genre (see Baldur’s Gate: Throne of Bhaal), it was still a good experience, and one that works almost seamlessly into a new player’s playthrough of the main game. Was there enough to warrant the purchase? I’d say so, but I’m right there with anyone who craves great story, and hopes Part Two ups the ante and brings with it a story to rival the best of them.

Final Score: 7.9/10 - Good

"More of what you loved, but no earth-shattering experiences"

PoE: The White March

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

Details

I Can't Escape: Darkness - Release Date: September 17

by Hiddenx, 10:15

The dungeon horror adventure game I Can't Escape: Darkness will be released on September 17:

Description

I Can't Escape: Darkness is an atmospheric horror adventure game that pulls you into a living dungeon where everything conspires against your escape. It is an immersive journey into the unknown, personified by the Darkness itself. Your odds of escape are slim, and when you fail, the dungeon will change before you can try again. Defend yourself from the Darkness with whatever light you can find; once your light burns out, the Darkness will consume you.

History

I Can't Escape: Darkness is the spiritual successor to our popular 2013 game "I Can't Escape," which we developed in just one month, and which spooked and thrilled over 250,000 players. We decided to take the simple concept of "I Can't Escape" - a creepy, immersive, and expectation-challenging dungeon experience - and flesh it out into a full game while retaining the fundamental spirit of the original. I Can't Escape: Darkness is designed to invoke feelings of being lost and alone, encouraging player's imaginations to run wild while providing subtle hints of terror (rather than in-your-face savagery). What will you see and hear in the Darkness? Unpleasant things which we - the developers - intentionally placed, or terrors from your own imagination?

Features

  • An Infinitely Replayable Living, Breathing Dungeon - Experience dim hallways and caves carved out for unknown purposes and designed to trap all who dare enter. One false step, and you will fall into darkness forever; and when you return, nothing will be exactly as you remembered.
  • The Truth About The Darkness - Discover clues about the tomb and the story of The Darkness as you try to make your escape.
  • A Guaranteed Uneasy Feeling in the Pit of Your Stomach - The very walls want you to stay; they will try everything to keep you trapped in the dark. Your eyes and ears will mislead you - you'll want to get the hell out of the dungeon as fast as you can.
  • The More You Explore, The More You Will Find - Secrets, surprises, and special rooms are hidden on every floor.
  • Tweet Your Escape... Or Your Death - When you die, you can let your Twitter followers know how far you made it and what killed you, or perhaps if you're lucky, how long it took you to escape!

Trailer:

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I Can't Escape: Darkness

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

Details

Satellite Reign - Review @ MDK20

by Hiddenx, 09:34

Watcher Blagoj spotted a Satellite Reign review at MD20:

As is to be expected, cyberpunk cities come packed with top-tier technology. Huge neon billboards shine over grand skyscrapers, towering over the rain-soaked and neglected slums down below. The silent moans of the oppressed are silenced by the distant sounds of futuristic vehicles, hitting from all directions.

In Satellite Reign, every installation, whether above or underground, is under the strict regime and control of the corporate police, led by the mega-corporations. It is under this heavy thumb the general populace is surviving, silently getting through each day, following the corporate rules – not because they want to, but because it is the most beneficial way to get by. Your role is to guide four agents through this neon-lit city, using all the tools at your disposal, to shoot, sneak, steal or sabotage your way up the corporate ladder and wrench control of the biggest monopoly.

[...]

This game is fully committed to its combat system, tactics, strategy and all the different avenues by which you can approach and achieve your objectives. The large repertoire of tools with which you can react to every challenge and the optimized mechanics with which you do it, as well as the design of the world, make Satellite Reign a far more enjoyable and fun affair than the original Syndicate of the distant 1993, and a worthy successor, but yet with dozens of similarities and same premise.

 

Satellite Reign

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

Details

Monday - August 31, 2015

RPGWatch Feature - Serpent in the Staglands Review

by Myrthos, 21:43

After an array of articles with Gamescom stuff about games that haven't been released and two articles on Original Sin 2 that isn't going to be released any time soon either, it is time to get back to an article that covers a game that you can get your hands on. Here is a review of Serpent in the Staglands, made by Lackblogger weeks ago.

The game's primary point of interest is the Open World map with unbarred freedom to explore any nook and cranny you want in any particular order. Your only barrier being your ability to defeat the level of monsters in that area, or rather your desire to keep yourself in safer combat zones. There's a linear plot that unravels as you explore, so it's the usual case of dipping in and out of the main plot mixed with random sidequests and casual wandering for the sake of wandering.

The world is large and full of variety and includes dungeon crawling, town politics, puzzles, small shrine/ruin areas and huge overland monster infested wastelands, varying in landscape with each location, such as snow, marshland, forest, farmland, plains etc etc. Some locations will disappoint you with their seeming lack of relevance and activities while other areas will be knee deep in monsters/puzzles/quests and all sorts of this's and that's.

Serpent in the Staglands

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

Details

CivCraft - Reached the Mid-Campaign

by Hiddenx, 20:35

12 days to go for the CivCraft Kickstarter campaign - nearly 200% of the original funding goal has been reached, but some interesting stretch goals remain:

Thank you for adding so many features to CivCraft! We've reached the middle of the campaign and are closer than ever to our second stretch goal, the Espionage Pack. We prepared a funny video to post when we'll reach the stretch goal, and can't wait to reach the goal.

In the meanwhile, at our backers request , we added a double tier with DLC's and the special edition. Please tell us if you'd like us to add more tiers, as your opinion matters!

CivCraft

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

Details

Gamasutra - CRPG History Abridged III

by Hiddenx, 19:36

Felipe Pepe gives us another lesson in CRPG history:

CRPG History Abridged III - The revenge of more RPGs that brought something new to the table

  • The Phantasie series (1985-1991)
  • Hillsfar (1989)
  • Snatcher SD (1990)
  • Shadowlands (1992)
  • The Maimed God's Saga (2010)

 

Gamasutra

Details

Witcher 3 - Expansion Artwork and Gwent

by Myrthos, 17:00

At Gearnuke, Eye spotted this bit of information on the artwork for the upcoming two expansions for The Witcher 3.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s latest expansion is Hearts of Stone. It is currently planned for a release this October and will take atleast 10 hours of gameplay to finish.

In their financial report detailing the budget and sales of the game, CD Project Red also revealed the official artwork for the two expansions that will be released in the future. You can check out the artwork below.

the-witcher-3-expansion-artwork-1 the-witcher-3-expansion-artwork-2

Here is the official description of each of the expansion.

Hearts of Stone will take Geralt on an all-new 10-hour adventure into the wilds of No Man’s Land and the nooks and alleys of Oxenfurt, where he’ll try to complete a contract from the mysterious Man of Glass. Caught in a thick tangle of deceit, Geralt will need all his cunning and strength to solve the mystery and emerge unscathed.

Blood and Wine, a 20-hour tale that will introduce the all-new in-game region of Toussaint, will take Geralt to a land untainted by war, where an atmosphere of carefree indulgence and knightly ritual masks an ancient, bloody secret.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Expansion  Pass will cost you $25 and contains both of these expansions.

Also Dualshockers suggests that Gwent might become available as a stand-alone game, in case that would be something you like.

Secondly, asked if CD Projekt would ever release a stand-alone version of the in-game collectible card game Gwent, Currit mentioned that he’d pass that request to the development team, but then he teased that there are “good news” coming for those who love Gwent.

Witcher 3

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

Details

Darkest Dungeon - The Cove Preview @ Dorkadia

by Myrthos, 16:47

Dorkadia checked out the latest addition to Darkest Dungeon, The Cove at PAX.

Red Hook’s demo at PAX features the new Cove dungeon, the fourth and penultimate content release before the game is out of early access. The Cove fully embraces their Lovecraftian inspiration: your heroes will sludge through squamous caverns while fighting positively Inssmouthian monsters.

The Cove simply seems better tuned than the other dungeons. The synergies between monsters in just a novice level mission were clear and potent, and new enemies types (like bloated zombies that explode after two turns, or guardian fishpeople that protect their allies with 80% damage reduction) give the area a mechanical signature. The content shows a higher level of polish in an already polished offering, they’re clearly refining their craft over time.

I was able to face the Siren, the Cove’s first boss. Her signature attack was a startling charm attack. Her hideous briny visage melts away for a second, revealing an illusory maiden that sings to your party. If it’s successful, one of your party members will join the enemy team for three turns using their entire arsenal of attacks. It was a wonderfully bullshit surprise! I did manage to strike the Siren down with a few clutch crits, but not before losing half of my party. Rest in peace, doomed demo Vestal and Arbalest.

Thanks Eye.

Darkest Dungeon

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

Details

Grim Dawn - Legendary Items and Q&A

by Myrthos, 16:39

In the latest misadventures of Grim Dawn we are shown some artwork of legendary items and the status of build 27.

Welcome back to Grim Misadventures, the premier source for Grim Dawn development updates. Last time we showed you some of the exciting improvements headed your way with Build 27; and as we get closer to the end of August, anticipation is running high for the addition of the game’s final Mastery. We are nearing the end of the line though as the last few bugs are ironed out and the Shaman is prepared for her live debut. Build 27 is on schedule for its release later this month.

But Build 27 is not the end. There is still more to look forward to beyond. Besides the release of Devotion, Act 4 and another roguelike dungeon, there is still an entire collection of equipment awaiting release. I’m talking, of course, about Legendary items.

Legendary items represent the pinnacle of power, matched only by some perfectly rolled double Rare items. However, unlike Double Rares, Legendary items come with pre-determined bonuses that will often defy convention with powerful bonuses to specific attributes or granted skills that turn over the balance of power (remember the Apocalypse?). Today, we would like to show you a first look at some of the art for Grim Dawn’s upcoming Legendaries. (link)

Also Eye pointesd us to a video interview of Friend and Machine who interviewed Create Entertainment about their game.

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Grim Dawn

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

Details

Deus Ex: MD - Release Date: February 23

by Hiddenx, 16:29

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will be released on February 23rd, 2016 - pre-ordering will give you rewards:

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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will launch on February 23rd, 2016 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC! Pre-order now to choose your own rewards and help release the game early, with Augment your Pre-Order.

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Taking place in Prague, the ‘Desperate Measures’ extra in-game mission has you playing as Adam Jensen, returning to the epicenter of the Ruzicka train station explosion that recently rattled the city to its very core. With tampered security footage hampering the investigation behind the attack, you must rely on both your augmentations, and skills as a covert operative, in order to unveil the true culprit responsible for the bombing.

Deus Ex: MD

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

Details

Divinity: Original Sin II - Twitch TV @ PAX Prime 2015

Divinity: Original Sin II

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

Details

CRPG Addict - Review Roundup (Part Fourteen)

by Arhu, 07:29

Onwards to 1989, continuing with more games played by the CRPG Addict. While compiling these review roundups I really tend to get an urge to try out some of the more well known classics myself, although I'm not sure I could invest ~260 hours in a single game, no matter how replayable it is ...

 

1989

NetHack 3.0 (1989)

I can see how people become addicted to NetHack. Every time you step into the dungeon and start exploring the first level, you wonder, "What am I going to find? What unique challenges will the game throw at me this time?" (..) But ask me if I really "enjoyed" the 262 hours I spent over the past year ascending, and I don't know how to answer. (..)

I note that the final rating of 44 is 2 points higher than I gave the previous version. My understanding is that future versions will develop more in the quest, character development, and encounter categories. (..) Despite ascending, I still don't feel like I "mastered" the game. There are a host of things I didn't experience or didn't think about until after I won. 

  1. Game 71: NetHack 3.0 (1989)
  2. From the Beginning
  3. Documentation
  4. A Guy What Takes His Time
  5. Dos and Don'ts
  6. He Coulda Been a Contender
  7. The Great Heist
  8. The Blurst of Times
  9. Another Milestone
  10. Ascended!
  11. Final Rating

Galdregon's Domain (1989)

Galdregon's Domain was too easy not to win. Clearly designed for novices, the game had a simplicity that I found almost almost endearing, although this didn't make up for some awful gameplay and interface elements. (..)

The final score of 18 is the lowest since Times of Lore almost a year ago, and it earns a place in the "superlatives" in the right status bar. The game just seems half-assed. It's name doesn't even make any sense ("Galdregon" is never referenced in the game or manual), and the dragon promised on the main title screen never appears. It feels like Pandora spent a lot of time on the graphics engine and didn't have time for anything else.

  1. Game 72: Galdregon's Domain (1989)
  2. Won! (with Final Rating)

B.A.T. (1989)

B.A.T. ought to stand for "Bait and Tswitch." The game promises to be a CRPG/adventure hybrid and almost entirely fails to deliver on the CRPG part. (..) This is the first cyberpunk-influenced game that I've played, and while I'll never love the genre, I am grateful for the chance to play something other than the typical sword-and-sorcery CRPG. (..)

The final rating of 29 puts the game slightly above some CRPGs that I didn't like and didn't finish. That feels right; I didn't hate the game, but I was a bit disappointed by it. Its score is notably below Beyond Zork's of 46; the latter game is really the first RPG/adventure hybrid, and even though it was non-graphical, it showed what a hybrid could really be, with statistics and equipment that mattered, complex (but logical) puzzles, and far more interesting encounters.

  1. Game 73: B.A.T. (1989)
  2. High-Tech and Low-Life
  3. Won!* (With Final Rating)

Bloodwych (1989)

The game is at least consistent in its badeness. I ranked 7/10 categories at exactly 3, with a total of 25. However, we have to talk for a second about the [cooperative] multiplayer aspect of the game, which is remarkably innovative and, frankly, belonged in a better game. (..)

Although I didn't have anyone to play with, I have to applaud the innovation that went into this addition to the game, and I'll award 2 bonus points for a true final score of 27. This still puts it in the lower tier of games (35% at the time of this posting).

  1. Game 74: Bloodwych (1989)
  2. We All Have to Take a Bite
  3. Dead Ends
  4. Inexplicably Still Eating
  5. More than I Wanted to Chew (Final Rating)

The Magic Candle (1989)

Playing The Magic Candle, for the first time, I experienced a sort-of déjà-vu nostalgia: the sense that I'd played the game before and remembered it fondly, even though I never had. (..)

We have to award some bonus points something that doesn't fit into the other categories: the party-splitting option. Although Wasteland offered it first, this is the first game that truly makes use of it. I love how you can set a character to working a day job while his compatriots adventure (..)

(..) giving a real final score of 52. That puts it in the top 14% of games and ranks exactly where I would have placed it in my preferences: above most games, but below the last two Ultimas, the two Might & Magics, Starflight, Wasteland, and Pool of Radiance.

  1. Game 75: The Magic Candle (1989)
  2. Burning at Both Ends
  3. Re-Lit
  4. In the Wind
  5. Wax On, Wax Off
  6. Curse the Darkness
  7. Melting
  8. On the Water
  9. Dark Passages
  10. Abra Cadabara
  11. Won!
  12. Final Rating

The Dark Heart of Uukrul (1989)

Uukrul does a great job transcending the traditional "dungeon crawl" with both a solid back story and an innovative dungeon design.

The Dark Heart of Uukrul isn't perfect in any of my 10 GIMLET areas, but it's above average in almost all of them, resulting in a final rating of 61, higher than everything I've played so far except Pool of Radiance and Ultima V. I think that sounds right, and if my postings on the game didn't seem brimming with this kind of joy, it's because of the fragmented way in which I've played it over the past month.

Uukrul deserves to be at least as famous as Dungeon Master. It isn't, and I suspect that's simply because it never achieved much of a following during its first release.

  1. Game 76: The Dark Heart of Uukrul (1989)
  2. Cold, Cold Dark Heart of Uukrul
  3. Take Another Little Piece of My Dark Heart of Uukrul
  4. My Deark Heart of Uukrul Would Know
  5. Angry Dialogue During Clash of Blades
  6. More Puzzles
  7. Magic, Gear, and Combat
  8. Won!

Hero's Quest: So You Want to Be a Hero (1989)

Character Creation and Development. One of the stronger parts of the game, and where it really gets its CRPG credentials. The initial choice between fighter, mage, and thief has more serious consequences than the average game (partly because it's single-player), and you have extensive customization abilities with attributes and skills.

The final score of 53 is a bit lower than what is reflective of my actual enjoyment of the game (a fate that also befell Pirates! with a score of 48), but it's still a good score, tying the game with Ultima IV, Starflight, Wasteland, and several others. If it still seems low, keep inmind that the GIMILET is meant to rank CRPGs specifically and not "enjoyment" in general. (..) Hero's Quest is a near-perfect CRPG-adventure game hybrid, and the beginning of a series that only gets better. If it sounds like you would like this kind of game at all, don't miss out on the chance to play it. (..) You might, however, want to play the VGA remake (..)

  1. Game 77: Hero's Quest: So You Want to Be a Hero
  2. Hero's Quest...Will Start After the Pillaging
  3. Come a Hero from the East
  4. Free the Man from in the Beast
  5. Bring the Child from Out the Band
  6. Drive the Curser from the Land!
  7. Final Rating

Don't Go Alone (1989)

The final rating is 18, tying the game with Galdregon's Domain, and reflecting how little I enjoyed it. The funny thing is, in broad strokes it doesn't appear a lot different than The Dark Heart of Uukrul: both feature dungeon exploration through relatively (graphically) featureless corridors, lots of combat, and a party of four characters with distinct professions. There are a lot of ways that this game "sells" on paper; it was just blundered in execution.

  1. Game 78: Don't Go Alone (1989)
  2. Don't Go Alone...or Even Necessarily at All
  3. Don't Go Alone: Won! (With Final Rating)

Drakkhen (1989)

Like a couple of other recent games, you're forced to play with specific classes: fighter, scout, priest, and mage. They have different capabilities and restrictions, but there's no real "role-playing" associated with the character classes. (..)

The final score of 36 is fairly low but accurately reflects my feelings about the game. It really is too bad; there were some promising things in the game, and in many ways it was ahead of its time. More combat options, a better equipment system, and a slightly lower difficulty might have redeemed the game and make it authentically fun today.

  1. Game 80: Drakkhen (1989)
  2. Baffling, Frustrating, Intriguing
  3. Lots of Tears
  4. Boys Against Girls
  5. Final Rating
  6. As Close as Possible
  7. Won!

 

1978-1979

Beneath Apple Manor (1978)

I'm going to stop short of saying that Beneath Apple Manor is "fun" to play today, with no character creation, back story, combat tactics, or NPCs, limited equipment, and a primitive economy. A quick GIMLET on it returns a score of 17. Nonetheless, I give it credit for the customizable settings and difficulty (making it somewhat replayable), the ability to spend experience points on attributes, and the "buying save slots" feature, which I've never seen in a CRPG before.

  1. Game 79: Beneath Apple Manor (1978)

Space (1978) and Space II (1979)

Space is not really a CRPG in a classic sense. Of my three core criteria, it has only two: character development--and even then, only during training--and statistics-driven combat. But it does represent one direction that CRPGs could have gone. (..)

  1. Game 81: Space (1978) and Space II (1979)

 

Explanation of the the final score: The GIMLET.

CRPG Addict

Details

Sunday - August 30, 2015

Exoplanet: First Contact - Tales from K'Tharsis

by Myrthos, 22:23

In an update for Exoplanet: First Contact we are given a few tales from K'Tharsis.

We often mention that development of Exoplanet brings our team a lot of fun and creates many quite emotional moments. Over the last years this game became not only our hobby, passion, main job but our lifestyle. When you work that much on something, you start to see even relatively simple things differently, from a different angle. You get surprised and shocked by your own creation and you learn a lot from it. You get laughed on and trolled by your teammates. And that is great. Because this shows real friendship and camaraderie. Today we would like to share 2 stories that already became legendary in our team. We hope that these will help our backers and other players to understand what we are as persons, not just producers of game-related content. The tales from K'Tharsis await you. Here we go.

 

The Green Rocket.

by Alexander Pischenko, lead programmer

This story happened with me when I was play-testing our first functional sidequest in the alpha version and taught me that you never know what your own engine and tools can create. Share them with other creative members of the team, like scripters and mission designers, and prepare for the results. They can be sometimes terrifying or harmless and funny, like this little incident, and lead to an interesting idea for a cool feature of just a small but fun addition to the game.

This little guy was augmented with antigravium to break the boundaries of time and space. He never asked for this. 

One of the quests in the current alpha version includes catching a bitebug mutant. This creature feeds on crystals to obtain special powers. To test this quest, I set the bait, a valuable large crystal, outside of the bug-hive and waited for the mutant to come out at night and eat it. To make the waiting easier I increased the speed of time via editors hotkeys (setting the campfire and the waiting mechanics were not implemented yet). Right at midnight the green insect appeared and trotted on its six swift legs to the bait. The bug is supposed to have a preset timer in his behavior script to chew through the crystal. For about five seconds it’s agro radius is supposed to have decreased so it can easily be grabbed, even by a slowpoke player. The mutant was not designed to attack the player, only to escape. But when I walked to the creature to catch it and was ready to press the “E” button, which stands for the Interaction in Exoplanet (e.g. grabbing and picking up things), the bug jumped on my character with a speed of an attacking cobra. It bit poor Jack with a high pitched predatory sound, then left with a tremendous speed leaving a green trail of particles behind.......

More of this story and another one at the Kickstarter page.

 

Exoplanet: First Contact

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

Details

Divinity: Original Sin II - Previews

by Myrthos, 22:15

Here are a few previews of Divinity: Original Sin 2.

Game Revolution

The rest of the demo looked familiar to the first game in the series, and for good reason. Larian crafted a fantastic combat system, and the company doesn't want to change it too much. There are some important tweaks in that area, though, namely the redistribution of action points. Characters have fewer action points in Original Sin 2, but skills typically only cost one point. This allows players to move around and experiment on a more consistent basis, which is when Divinity truly shines. The sequel also introduces skill crafting, which can result in some unusual but powerful abilities.

The Escapist

With this much complexity and depth to a game, one has to wonder how the game will stay together at all. If there is no GM to bring the party back together, wouldn't the game deteriorate into chaos? Swen assured me that Larian invested heavily in the writing team, folks with both screenwriting and tabletop experience, to act as a virtual GM of sorts. There will be missions that naturally bring the party back together as well as difficult consequences when things go too awry. A game of such complexity is ambitious for sure, and, if successful, could really make waves in the RPG genre.

Polygon

Despite launching a second Kickstarter campaign, Vincke is aware that Larian Studios is in a much different place than it was with the first Divinity: Original Sin. For example, despite turning to crowdfunding, the studio already has the money they need to make this sequel.

"The game is funded because of the original's success," Vincke says. "We can already do a lot of things. But we'd like to expand from here. We'd like to create more origin stories. Each origin story means basically hiring an extra writer because of how far they go in affecting the game. We also want to expand the skills and spell systems. An extra race would be cool."

In other words, this will be a crowdfunding game based almost entirely around raising money for stretch goals. The sequel is happening. The pre-alpha build is already running. The game will come out, regardless of whether it reaches its Kickstarter goal. But Larian Studios wants the opportunity to make it bigger and even more ambitious, which is something that the extra funding can make room for.

A video interview/preview on Gamespot.


Divinity: Original Sin II

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

Details

Divinity: Original Sin II - Kickstarter Update #3

by Myrthos, 22:03

The third Kickstarter update for Divinity: Original Sin 2 is here with not a lot of new information, but we get a few words on them crossing the $1M mark, racial skills and a fun video from PAX.

Crossing the seven figure mark means that we will now be introducing Racial Skills to each Origin! Choosing a lizard over a dwarf will no longer be an aesthetic choice: now it will come with a range of skills, talents, and abilities that will reflect each race’s background, strengths, and place in the world. The history of your race will now directly affect how you fight, converse, and move through Rivellon. It’ll change how you deal with NPCs and friends alike, and will add a brand new layer of complexity and tactics to combat and your experience, letting you shape and mould your characters into the people (or lizards) that you want them to be.
Next stop: Undead Origins!

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Divinity: Original Sin II

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

Details

Dark Souls III - 13 Minutes of Gameplay @ IGN - Pax Prime 2015

by Hiddenx, 21:20

IGN captured 13 minutes Dark Souls 3 gameplay off-screen at Pax Prime 2015:

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Dark Souls III

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

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Evoland 2 - Review @ WeGotThisCovered

by Hiddenx, 17:26

Alex Brock (WeGotThisCovered) has reviewed Evoland 2:

Shiro Games’ catchily titled Evoland 2: A Slight Case of Spacetime Continuum Disorder features a story that not only traverses space and time but also almost every video game genre known to man. Everything from intense and frantic shoot ‘em ups to Professor Layton-style brainteasers are featured in this charming, unique and nostalgic indie RPG that explores the history of the medium.

Released in 2013, the first Evoland is a journey that retraced the history of one video game genre in particular – RPGs. As the game progressed, the setting evolved from a retro 2D landscape to one that was rendered in HD. Evoland was well-received by critics for its innovative concept and references to video game history but faced criticism for its lack of variety and short length. There were also concerns that its original concept of journeying through video game history had potential that was not fully realized.

Upon playing Evoland 2, it’s almost immediately clear that Shiro Games have taken this criticism on board for the sequel. The game presents an engaging and fairly complex plot that focuses on a party of characters as they are warped through time, with a devastating war between humans and demons as the backdrop. The past is portrayed through a retro appearance and soundtrack reminiscent of old 2D Legend of Zelda titles. The future, meanwhile, takes on a glorious and wonderful looking 3D cel-shaded art style.

Despite the more extensive narrative, the backstory and the main characters still feel a bit cliché – although, it can be argued this was done purposively to be reminiscent of old-school RPGs, such as Final Fantasy. The time travelling aspect is really well done, however, and the story features all the mind-bending confusion and complexity that messing with time entails. The ability to explore the world of Evoland 2 as it develops through time provides enough of an incentive to keep playing and ties in well with the title’s ambition to journey through the history of gaming. [...]

Score: 4/5 - Great

Evoland 2 is a creative and inventive success which improves on the first in every way and accomplishes its mission to explore the history of gaming.

Trailer:

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Evoland 2

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

Details

Galactic Insomnia - Kickstarter Trailer

by Hiddenx, 17:06

Trailer for the new Kickstarter Galactic Insomnia - a sci-fi turn-based tactical squad game with RPG elements:

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Thank you for the info, Eye!

Kickstarter

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Sword Coast Legends - PAX Prime 2015 Trailer @ PCGamesN

by Hiddenx, 15:53

Watcher Eye spotted the new Sword Coast Legends Trailer at PCGamesN:

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I'm quite excited for the upcoming Sword Coast Legends. It's essentially digital D&D, much like Neverwinter Nights, but designed with the idea of a guiding DM player running a co-op team through adventures. It also has all the single-player RPG goblin looting you'd expect, but D&D that I don't have to clear a big table or put trousers on for is the main draw. There's a playable build at PAX this week and, in concert with that, developers n-Space have released a new trailer.

Sword Coast Legends

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

Details

Skyshine's BEDLAM - Preview @ theEscapist

by Hiddenx, 15:43

Janelle Bonanno (theEscapist) has previewed Skyshine's BEDLAM - the game will be released on September 17th.

"Surprises are not always good..."

    As I stare at the loading screen, waiting for the game to generate my next encounter, I was confronted by these words of wisdom. "No," I say to myself as I think about my empty fuel tank and dwindling supplies even as I prepare for battle. "They aren't." But, surprises can be fantastic as well, and Skyshine's BEDLAM was my first surprise at PAX this year. Finding myself still playing it on the show floor 30 minutes past my appointment, I don't hesitate to say it was a fantastic surprise at that.

    It isn't often that you pick up a new game with no expectations and find it to be everything you've been looking for. The first game to be built on the Banner Sage engine (outside of the Banner Saga franchise, of course), Skyshine's BEDLAM is part FTL, part Oregon Trail, with a dash of XCOM and Banner Saga to boot. Sprinkle that over a storyline and world reminiscent of Mad Max, and you have a recipe for a ridiculously fun and new experience that is refreshing and exciting. [...]

Dossier on Dozers Trailer:

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Skyshine's BEDLAM

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: Roguelike
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

DA:Inquisition - Bioware Answers Questions about Trespasser DLC

by Aries100, 14:09

GameInformer has an interview with Mike Laidlaw who answers questions about this DLC:

A quote about the narrative structure:

In terms of structure, is it like the Jaws of Hakkon DLC, which gives you another large area to explore freely? Or is it more focused?  It's much more narrative in the way it flows. There's clear goals, clear next steps to take, and it's much higher in cinematic presentation than Hakkon was. We look at the feedback, and that's something people have been looking for - something dealing more directly with the followers. We've had this cooking for quite a while; it was coming, and we knew this was there. Hakkon was a chance to refine some of what we learned about exploration, and The Descent was an opportunity for us to work more closely with the Austin team to make more of a dungeon crawl. This one is the more narrative heavy of the three.

A quote on the characters in this DLC:

Can you give any examples of how some of the characters might have changed?For several of the characters, depending on where you took them with their personal plots, they may or may not appear at all. One that leaps to mind: If you didn't really dig into Cole's personality - if he remained a cipher - then he won't appear in this. He won't have that connection that would draw him back to the Inquisitor two years later. It also goes beyond that - it's not just "do they appear or do they not?". One part of Cole's personal arc is whether he's more of a spirit or a human, and that's going to change his circumstances. The more human Cole is going to look and feel quite different than the Cole that was pushed toward spirit. 

Thanks to OdanUrr at the Bioware DA:I forums for finding this.

 

DA:Inquisition

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

Details

Satellite Reign - Review @ Trusted Reviews

by Hiddenx, 12:17

Daniel Griliopoulos (Trusted Reviews) has reviewed the recently released tactical squad game Satellite Reign:

Back in 1993, Bullfrog made a ground-breaking cyberpunk tactical combat game called Syndicate. Its 1996 sequel, Syndicate Wars, was one of gaming’s lost Ur-genres, an even darker game about religion in a fully-destructible cityscape. Both were perfect recreations of grim cyberpunk worlds that you had to take over with your gang of cyborgs, by stealth, hacking or straightforward ultraviolence.

Satellite Reign (named punningly after Satellite Rain, the most indiscriminately-destructive of Syndicate Wars’ weapons) is a spiritual sequel to those games. You take control of a corporation seeking to muscle in another corp that’s dominating your city, using a group of four specialised cyborgs.

Despite the wealth of text in the game (or perhaps because of it), we're somewhat hazy on what the actual storyline is. It appears that the Dracogenics corporation has taken over everything, using a technology that makes people functionally immortal, and you’re a rival corporation trying to break their monopoly – for your own dark purposes rather than human happiness, of course. [...]

Pros

  • Great cyberpunk city to explore
  • Welcome revival of a dead genre
  • Deep, difficult and rewarding

Cons

  • Combat is loose, combat AI buggy
  • Support agent’s view mode damages atmosphere
  • Story is backgrounded compared to the combat

Verdict

These quibbles aside, Satellite Reign has infiltrated our hearts. It’s a handsome tribute to a much-loved game series that also functions as a unique RPG and a tactical combat game. As a revival, it takes its place alongside Shadowrun: Dragonfall and Pillars of Eternity with pride; as a tactical combat game, it runs a close second to XCOM.

Score: 8/10

Satellite Reign

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

Details

Saturday - August 29, 2015

DA:Inquisition - Trespasser DLC video leaked

by Myrthos, 23:17

Just noticed that a new DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition, named Trespasser was accidentally leaked by EA Spain. There are several articles on it, but I spotted it first at Eurogamer.

EA Spain has accidentally published a trailer for Trespasser, a meaty new Dragon Age Inquisition DLC set after the role-playing game's main campaign.

BioWare has yet to officially announce the expansion and the trailer was quickly pulled offline - although not before being reuploaded by other channels.

The big news is that Trespasser will - finally - build upon the main game's shock cliffhanger ending.

If you've beaten Inquisition, you'll know the character that fans have been waiting to see return, and return they do in the trailer's closing seconds.

Trespasser will be set two years after Inquisition's main story and detail the group's fate after it succeeded in saving the world.

The trailer also includes a Qunari army, new developments with the Inquisitor's mark and plenty of appearances from the Eluvian mirror.

Here is the video:

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DA:Inquisition

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

Details

Hard West - PAX Prime Previews

by Myrthos, 22:59

Here are two previews for Hard West from PAX Prime.

The first is from Destructoid:

Hard West is split into two levels. The over world is represented as a map with various points of interest. While you typically have an objective and a place you could go right away to advance the story (typical Western tale of hunting in revenge), you can also explore bits in the map, engage in some light text adventuring, and set yourself up for the turn-based strategy (combat) sections.

t one point in my demo I had to rescue a man held on a cannibal farm because I needed information from him. An elixir vendor further south, when pressed about the cannibalism (information gleaned from earlier adventure), admitted some of that crew come into his shop to buy spices and things. He offered to vouch for me if I drank one of his elixirs. I did, and it was poison, which weakened me a bit.

They also link to this video with developer commentary:

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In addition PC Gamer talked to Brand Manager Blazej Krakowiak while showing some in-game footage.

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Thanks Eye!

Hard West

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

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