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Recently Released

May: Van Helsing III
May: Witcher 3
May: Technobabylon
May: Invisible, Inc
May: Windward

Breaking Newsbits

Drox Operative - Win a Steam Key

by Myrthos

Thanks to Steven Peeler of Soldak Entertainment for providing them and Couchpotato for arranging them, we can give you another set of keys, which this time is for Drox Operative:

Drox Operative is a starship action RPG with warring alien races, fierce space battles, a dynamic, evolving galaxy, and co-op multiplayer for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Eons ago the Drox ruled the galaxy through their mighty Operatives. These elite starship captains were trained to accomplish the impossible at whatever cost necessary. Whether employing stealth or brute force, they were always deadly. Using these Operatives, the Drox built a starlane system for quick travel amongst the stars, colonized and conquered millions of planets, and ruled the galaxy with an iron grip for over 100,000 years. Eventually realizing their Operatives were a threat, they attempted to assassinate all of them. They failed. The following Galactic Civil War was devastating.

Now time for the rules.

  1. New registrations are not eligible to win.
  2. You must have over 30 posts on the Forum.
  3. Just post a comment you are interested in winning the game.

We will randomly pick the winners om Monday, May 25th.

Drox Operative

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

Details

Saturday - May 23, 2015

Van Helsing III - Released

by Hiddenx, 00:24

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

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Van Helsing III

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

Details

Friday - May 22, 2015

Telepath Tactics - New Patch 1.032

by Gorath, 20:55

And the second new patch for Telepath Tactics:

Telepath Tactics v. 1.032 Patch

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

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

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

Telepath Tactics

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

Details

Telepath Tactics - Patch 1.031 Released

by Gorath, 20:53

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

Telepath Tactics v. 1.031 Patch

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

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

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

Telepath Tactics

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

Details

Hero-U - Now @Steam Greenlight

by Gorath, 20:45

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hero-U

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

Details

Rampant Games - Speaking @Salt City Steamfest

by Gorath, 20:41

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

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

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

Rampant Games

Details

Might & Magic Heroes VII - Semi-Open Beta Trailer

by Gorath, 20:34

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

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Might & Magic Heroes VII

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

Details

TechRaptor - The Etymology of RPGs, Part 2

by Hiddenx, 19:30

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

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

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

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

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

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

TechRaptor

Details

Knights of Pen & Paper 2 - Review @IGN Africa

by Hiddenx, 18:42

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

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

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

The PC version is coming soon.

Knights of Pen & Paper 2

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

Details

The Witcher - was almost a Diablo clone

by Hexprone, 18:01

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

old witcher

Kotaku reports:

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

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

The Witcher

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

Details

Moonrise - early access trailer

by Hexprone, 17:31

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

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

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Rock Paper Shotgun reports that:

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

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

Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun

RPGWatch

Details

Indie RPGs - Bedlam Bundle

by Icefire, 17:18

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

Indie RPGs

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

Details

Witcher 3 - Patch 1.03 Released

by Gorath, 12:25

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

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

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

Witcher 3

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

Details

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

by Hexprone, 07:12

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

Company co-founder Mitch Gitelman effuses:

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

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

SR HK1

SR HK 2

Source: Kickstarter

Shadowrun: Hong Kong

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

Details

Invisible, Inc - More Reviews

by Hexprone, 02:58

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

Destructoid: 10/10

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

Game Planet: 9/10

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

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

IGN: 8.5/10

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

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

PC Gamer: 80/100

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

Game Revolution: 3.5/5

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

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

Invisible, Inc

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

Details

ToEE - A New Fluent Let's Play!

by Fluent, 02:31

Hey everybody!

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

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

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Hello everybody!

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

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

Thanks and enjoy! Laughing

ToEE

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

Details

Drakensang: TDE - In latest Bundle Stars bundle

by Icefire, 01:17

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

Drakensang: TDE

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

Details

Thursday - May 21, 2015

Hellraid - Development Put on Hold

by Hiddenx, 21:01

henriquejr spotted this annoucement on PCGamer:

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

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

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

Hellraid

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

Details

Technobabylon - Review & Interview @ TechRaptor

by Hiddenx, 20:41

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

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

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

He interviewed developer James Dearden, too:

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

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

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

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

Technobabylon

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

Details

RPGWatch - Dex Review

by Myrthos, 12:14

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

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

Dex

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

Details

Lords of Xulima - 50% Off On Steam

by Myrthos, 12:10

Lords of Xulima is available at Steam now with a 50% discount.

Lords of Xulima

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

Details

Umbra - Meet the Boss

by Myrthos, 12:07

The Kickstarter page for Umbra is providing an update on one of the bosses in the game.

Today, we are making a special update about an early concept of a boss from Umbra: The mighty and Dreadful Lambach ! It will be a good way for you to discover some of our unrevealed gameplay elements, and learn a bit more about the lore of the game.

Lambach used to be an ambitious human scientist of the Republic, but his limited understanding of the world lead him to explore the land of the occult. His main interest was the secrets of life and the human body. By reading a tome of ancient knowledge and forgotten religion, he slowly discovered forbidden secrets that humans should have never been aware of.

He tried to enter in contact with unearthly entities, but he failed at every try. He pushed his research more and more, visiting the most cursed places in the world, digging into graveyards and exploring forgotten crypts to harness infernal books and artifacts.

Umbra

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

Details

Torment: Tides of Numenera - Indigo Voice, Floors and a Video

by Myrthos, 11:55

In Kickstarter update #41 for Torment: Tides of Numenera, the pending Kickstarter for The Bards Tale IV is plugged and there is news that the second of their From the Depths novellas is released and the technique behind moving floors.

Nathan Fabian here. At my day job I make pretty pictures out of billions of finite elements for one of the Department of Energy labs. At night I dabble in game development, including some consulting through my company, Longshot Studios. I was a backer of Torment and have been working with the team part time for almost a year. Currently, I'm working mostly on our animation system, but I wanted to talk a bit about a recent Torment challenge I worked on. It gets a bit technical, but the final result is pretty cool.

Imagine you are handed a pylon. It is a very ordinary sort of pylon. In fact it’s only a computer model—a few tens of polygons, quite unremarkable for a pylon. But your mission isn’t just to hold this, it is to take it forth and multiply! 100 by 100 pylons to create a dynamic floor where each individual piece can move up and down independently, changing the shape of the floor on the fly. This single pylon must become a mega structure of 10,000.

“No problem,” you say, “I have the power. I have code!” You execute a loop, create 10,000 pillars, and your graphics card (GPU) catches on fire (not literally). This was not the incantation we were looking for.

Modern graphics cards are extraordinarily powerful and can render hundreds of millions of triangles per second. For someone who grew up reading Michael Abrash books and articles, it feels indistinguishable from magic. Back then, we were happy to get resolutions of 320x240 because “Look! Square pixels!”

Where did our incantation go wrong? Why was the devil box not appeased?

In another Kickstarter update we are presented with a new video.

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Torment: Tides of Numenera

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

Details

Witcher 3 - CD Projekt tackles downgrade issue [Update]

by Hexprone, 04:29

Apparently there is some kind of controversy about the graphics in the commercial release of The Witcher 3 not matching a promo video from a couple of years ago. What do the people at CD Projekt have to say for themselves? They've talked with Eurogamer:

Eurogamer: Did the console versions restrict the PC version?

"If the consoles are not involved there is no Witcher 3 as it is," answers company founder Marcin Iwinski. "We can lay it out that simply. We just cannot afford it, because consoles allow us to go higher in terms of the possible or achievable sales; have a higher budget for the game, and invest it all into developing this huge, gigantic world.

"Developing only for the PC: yes, probably we could get more [in terms of graphics] as there would be nothing else [...] But then we cannot afford such a game."

Studio head Adam Badowski confirms that the trailer shown at the VGX tradeshow was captured PC footage of the game as it existed at that time, but that the rendering system was changed after the creation of the trailer, partly to avoid the demands of dynamic lighting in a huge open world.

Also , Eurogamer reminds us that:

a big patch with 600 changes - including improvements to graphics and graphical settings - was sent to certification today (Wednesday 20th May), and will take between five and seven days to clear. 

In addition, CD Projekt Red will patch the game to allow editing of .ini files on PC, to push graphical settings even higher. You will be able to tweak grass and vegetation density, post-processing effects such as sharpening, and draw distances.

"And we think about some other tricks but we need time," Adam Badowski says.

Update: It turned it this was a misunderstanding. Said patch was the day one update.

Witcher 3

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

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Witcher 3 - review @ PC Gamer

by Hexprone, 04:04

Well, PC Gamer also likes it: a 92/100. Shaun Prescott writes

On my way to the witch I stumbled upon a typically destitute Velen village. I didn’t care about the village at all, [...] But something—maybe the sun setting so amber on the horizon, or the children dashing frantically through the muddy streets—made me stop. I was curious.

It probably goes without saying, but if you’re in a hurry, never get off your horse en route in an open world RPG. This is especially true for The Witcher 3. Several hours later, once I’d cleared out some monsters for a desperate peasant in her far-off stable, and made preliminary moves to slay a beast haunting the town, I forced myself to leave.

I didn’t really want to leave, though. It’s not that I liked the town [...] I was just curious about the villagers’ circumstances. [...] How did they get so poor and wretched? [...]

Straight up, this is the most remarkable thing about The Witcher 3. Its writing isn’t perfect—it still bears some of the familiar trappings of being a video game—but it almost always rewards curiosity, big time. [...] The Witcher 3 achieves something very few video games do: when I’m engaged in a peripheral mini-narrative I’m not necessarily thinking about its game aspects. [...] I’m not grinding. I just really want to know, and understand, what’s going on.

In this game, distractions overwhelm you. For mine, the game’s distractions are where its most engaging stories are found.

Source: PC Gamer

Witcher 3

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

Details

Wednesday - May 20, 2015

Battle Brothers - Early Access Impressions @ AttackoftheFanboy

by Hiddenx, 19:25

Emily Speight from AttackoftheFanboy.com gives you some Early Access impressions on the game Battle Brothers:

A word of warning: Battle Brothers is NOT for casual players - like Emily said:

Battle Brothers rewards careful planning. Its AI adapts effectively to changes in battle — even skirmishes that outwardly appear to be easy can result in the loss of life without careful planning. Sometimes, even that is not enough to save your men.

Battle Brothers

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

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Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim - Review at Techraptor

by Myrthos, 18:01

Techraptor reviewed Ys Vi: The Ark of Napishtim awarding it a score of 8/10.

From a standpoint of the story, there really isn’t anything special about it. You’ll enjoy some of the recurring characters, along with the lore drops here and there if you’re a fan of the series, but considering that Ys V hasn’t been officially released in the west and probably never will, it’s safe to say that if you’re planning to play Ys VI for the story, you might want to look elsewhere (in that case, I’d recommend XSEED’s other recently released PC Falcom title, The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky). That’s not to say that the story is horrible, it just doesn’t do much. For the majority of the story you are tracking the pieces of a broken mirror, and it’s only at the very tail-end of the game that anything resembling an earth-shattering event occurs.

Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim

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

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