One of the games I was looking forward to seeing at Gamescom again was ELEX.
» Continue reading the article...
Dontnod is trying to create a vampire game that is different from other games, with their latest game: Vampyr
» Read the article
It is fine as it is
Only SP CRPG games
Also mobile RPG news
Less non-RPG stuff
More JRPG news
Less JRPG news
More console news
News about My Little Pony
Saturday - August 27, 2016
Master of Orion - Released
The 4X game Master of Orion has been released:
Master of Orion has blasted off and is ready for galactic domination today. The legendary 4X game of interstellar conquest is primed for intrepid explorers to eXplore, eXpand, eXterminate, and eXploit. Choose from one of 10 diverse races in your bid to “Conquer the Stars”. Take on real-time tactical battles and explore numerous paths to victory as you work your way across the galaxy to capture Orion.
The first reviews are good - for example the review of Gaming Nexus:
Although it doesn't supply intense space battles like Sins of a Solar Empire or Stellaris it doesn't have to. Instead Master of Orion delivers an exciting universe where every action has a diplomatic action or consequence you can act on. The AI does a fantastic job at staying true to each races individual strengths and weaknesses during a campaign. The game is so well designed. Micromanagement and nitty gritty work is made effortless. Just look at how players control pops on each planet. The screen is never cluttered with useless data and comedic relief is delivered through news highlights of a galactic news network.
Rating: 8.5 Very Good
Non-RPG General NewsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Call of Cthulhu - Can it be a Good Game?
PCGamer asks the question of Call of Cthulhu. Can the game use its source material effectively and make a good videogame?
The part of me doing my job is sitting with developers from Cyanide Studios to talk about their game Call of Cthulhu, to see what's unique about it, if it looks promising. They're friendly, especially lead developer Jean-Marc Gueney. He's lively, and as soon as we start talking about Lovecraft we develop a quick and easy rapport.
The other part of me is on a witch hunt. While prior games emulating Call of Cthulhu have been fun, they haven't captured what makes Lovecraft great. And Cyanide hasn't just set out to emulate Lovecraft. They're making an official adaptation of the Call of Cthulhu tabletop RPG, the best game adaptation of Lovecraft ever. The risk is palpable. The Lovecraft fan in me is ready to crucify these men in the most florid prose should they fail my ideological purity test. I pepper them with hard questions (unfair, even) both in-person and later over email.
"Call of Cthulhu will be an investigation game with strong RPG elements," said Gueney. "The hero, Edward Pierce, will have to find out the truth about the death of a famous artist." Of course, like any Lovecraft story, Cyanide intends for it to get darker from there. The hero will make their way to Dark Water Island, an island off the coast of Lovecraft's favorite New England setting. They'll have to use their character's skills to "discover, explore, and survive" what they find there. Most gameplay will be stealth, investigation, and psychological horror-carefully managing your character's tabletop-faithful Sanity score.
To say that Lovecraft's monsters are "in" right now would be an understatement.
They are flaming hot. Cthulhu, his face-tentacled Great Old One brainchild, has squirmed its way into the permanent pantheon of geekdom. Video gamers are spoiled for tentacular horrors from other dimensions and the accompanying spirals into madness. Every era of World of Warcraft has included at least one section of content themed after Blizzard's own knock-off brand of Lovecraft. Dark Souls creator Miyazaki's Bloodborne is rife with Lovecraftian gods. The monster from popular Netflix series Stranger Things may well be a Dimensional Shambler.
But for all this representation, it's rarely true to Lovecraft's writing. Lovecraft's horror is a difficult literary genre to capture because it's really about a problem with no solution. The desire to explore and rationalize, set against the idea that not everything can be understood or perceived by human beings. In the words of critic Jess Nevins, "What Lovecraft created was a specifically twentieth century idea: the universe as an empty, materialist one, in which there is no spiritual meaning to any actions and in which human existence is not significant in any way." The title of Nevins' piece is, in itself, a perfect summation of Lovecraftian cosmic horror's ethos: "To Understand the World Is To Be Destroyed By It."
Call of CthulhuSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Fallout: NV - Interview on Old World Blues
Fallout New Vegas developers Jason Fader ,Chris Avellone and other Vegas developers get interviewed about the DLC development of Old World Blues.
Chris and Jason talk about FNV's DLC development of Old World Blues with Jessica Johnson and Dan Rubalcaba
Fallout: NVSP/MP: Single-player
Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PS3
VtM: Bloodlines - The Hidden Afterlife
@The Verge they examine Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines and the patching by Werner that has been ongoing for 12 years. They focus mostly on the expansions Werner has made to the original game comparing it to a directors cut without the director.
I'd used the patch before, and largely thought of it as a fixed quantity. But at some point since my last playthrough, it had added, without my involvement, this weird, tiny detail. In fact, over the last 12 years, the patch has reworked the game in all kinds of ways. It's like returning to your hometown, only to discover it changed while you were away - familiar, but different.
The more I played, the bigger the changes got. There were whole areas I'd never seen before, and items I couldn't recall receiving. An addition I did remember, which restored an entire quest line, had a different villain at the end - although I wasn't sure I could trust my memory, until my confused Google searches confirmed the switch.
The patch wasn't originally, and still isn't, like playing a mod that adds all-new material to an old game. But it isn't simply excavating old items, either. It's a window into all the directions the original project could have gone, as interpreted by one man: a German analytical chemist and longtime video game modder named Werner Spahl, or wesp5.
Spahl is far from the only person who's contributed to Bloodlines' unofficial patch. He took it over from the original creator, Dan Upright, in 2005, and he's enlisted help from the game's active modding community, which spots bugs, creates new content, and develops tools for building things like game maps. But Spahl's the project's sole manager, and for over a decade, his vision has shaped what might be the gaming world's ultimate - albeit unofficial - attempt at a Director's Cut sans director.
Take, for example, the extra quest I mentioned above: "Night at the Library," where your character disrupts a ritual held by the monstrous Sabbat vampires. If you were simply looking through the game’s code, you’d never find a hidden map or list of objectives — the only clues that it had ever existed would be some textures and models that resemble the real-world LA Public Library.
Instead, the inspiration was a postmortem interview with Bloodlines designer Brian Mitsoda, where he briefly mentioned a cut quest involving the unused location. Spahl read the interview, spotted the models, and emailed Mitsoda for more information.
"The library design never even made it into an alpha stage," Mitsoda replied, according to the patch notes. "It was discussed, part of the level was built, but there was never any finalized quest plans or layout. There was some idea of it being a side quest connected to one of the major characters and the Sabbat, but it never really got beyond that."
Nearly everything in the library mission, which includes two cavernous areas and strong ties to the larger Vampire: the Masquerade mythos, is improvised around one developer’s vague recollections. The maps were sketched out by Spahl and built with the help of other Bloodlines modders, and an earlier boss was brought back, delivering an unused monologue from his game files. The raw materials were already there, but their arrangement is pure speculation.
VtM: BloodlinesSP/MP: Single-player
Friday - August 26, 2016
Deus Ex: MD - Microtransactions Blindsided
PCInvasion airs its issues with the Microtransactions in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
Yes, this is another videogame article complaining about microtransactions shoving their unwelcome little currency signs where they don't belong. It's pretty much the equivalent of screaming into the void at this point, I know. The fact that this keeps happening means microtransaction bullshit sells well enough for publishers to happily tolerate any backlash. The same is likely to occur with Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
But I feel compelled to write something. Microtransactions (or macrotransactions, since one goes as high as $10) for the main Deus Ex: Mankind Divided story irritate me in so many ways.
I'm pretty pissed off that Square Enix hid their existence in pre-release builds, meaning my review (and all others) had no chance to mention them before launch. It was obvious that Breach mode was getting them (yes, this full priced game has two microtransaction greed-chutes) because it had a suspicious-looking second currency value and in-mode ‘shopping cart' link. But the extra crap in the actual game came as a nasty surprise.
"[Breach is] full of slot machine ‘card pack' rubbish and primed for microtransactions. Still, if that's the way the Eidos Montreal team are able to keep that sort of nonsense out of the main game, then Breach is performing a noble service" I wrote at the time. So much for that.
I'm unlikely to have docked major points for their inclusion, but it's the sort of information readers are owed in a review. By keeping hush-hush about their little sideline, Square Enix prevented me from doing my job properly and helped perpetuate the annoying stereotype of games writers being complicit with publishers. Thanks a bunch Squeenix. As if it isn't already hard enough to dispel that little conspiracy.
But enough about my very important and precious hurt feelings.
Deus Ex: MDSP/MP: Single + MP
RPGWatch @ Gamescom - ELEX
Here is the Gamescom article about Piranha Bytes' latest game: ELEX.
Very early in the game you will get access to a jet-pack, which will allow you to travel in vertical direction and can also be used in combat by flying up and then crashing down with your sword on one of your opponents, which will cause much more damage than a normal blow would. There will be skills in the game that will improve your abilities using the jet-pack. To not overpower the jet-pack too much, it has an amount of energy that will deplete when being used and it will take some time for it to reload again. If you are not on the ground when the jet-pack energy has been drained, you will crash down and loose HP or even die, depending on the height you fall from. The jet-pack is seen as an essential part in the movement of the player. They are thinking about the option to level the jet-pack up by going higher or being able to use it longer, but nothing on that has been decided yet.
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release: In development
A House of Many Doors - Development Update
In a new development update for A House of Many Doors, we learn that there now can be muliple save slots, autosave was added, a memory issue was fixed and the final NPC vehicle was added: The Principate Dirigible
Yes! HOMD now has multiple save files! And autosave whenever you enter a city.
I thought this was important for an RPG – and it turned out to be much easier to code than I expected! Now you don’t need to worry about saving every five seconds, and you can keep multiple save files in case something goes wrong.
A House of Many DoorsSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Release: In development
Diablo - Most Important PC Games
PCGamesN has a feature on the most important PC games. The latest game featured is Diablo.
Full disclosure: Blizzard's Diablo, released in 1996, is a game that has been very good to me.
My first published book was Diablo: Demonsbane, an e-book that launched the entire Blizzard fiction line. My 2000-2002 column, Garwulf's Corner, ran on Diabloii.net, and used Diablo and Diablo II as a jump-off point for almost every topic. So Diablo and Diablo II have a very special place in my heart, and I am admittedly somewhat biased towards them.
They are also two of the most influential multiplayer games ever made.
It's easy to take internet multiplayer for granted today. But in 1996, the internet was uncharted territory. Most multiplayer play took place over local area networks and modems, and whether the internet could be a successful venue for multiplayer games was an open question. A lot of companies thought it could, and were willing make huge gambles on it - both Origin and Verant were working on massively multiplayer games (Ultima Online, released in 1997, and EverQuest, released in 1999, respectively) that would launch over the internet, as opposed to directing players to connect to their own servers via modem.
It also had an often unrecognized level of depth, which the game trusted players to take or leave as they saw fit. Scattered throughout the dungeon were various tomes, telling the backstory to the game and the world. If there was an overriding theme, it was corruption, carried through the backstory, to the dialogue of the NPCs, to the fate of the player character. If anything, the story dramatized the famous quote by Nietzsche: "He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into you." Diablo is not a game with a happy ending - having fought his or her way through the dungeon, the player character is so corrupted by the end that rather than destroying the soulstone through which Diablo has taken over the young prince's body, they drive it into their forehead. Instead of being defeated, the game ends with Diablo freed from the dungeon and in an even stronger body than before.
DiabloSP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Hack & Slash
The Hive - Released from Early Access
The Hive has a launch discount of 20% on Steam. The game is described as a story driven fantasy game where you control the Insectoid Hive mind. Its a strategy rpg type affair with some nice visual flair and a unique premise which promises many different endings.
About This Game
The Hive is story-driven fantasy game. Assume control as the Insectoid Hive mind. Captivating back-story and a beautiful visual design takes the player to a fantasy world, which offers new surprises and challenges as the game progresses.
Through strong storytelling and a broad world, Hive offers the player a diverse exploration ground. Having many different endings and possibilities, the player can create their own unique route, strategy, and story.
The barren and deserted surface of planet Eden hides springs full of life underground. Travel through ancient temple cities, sunken ruins, desert oasis, swamps, volcanoes and underground fountains, facing the dangers of the environment, floods and other species.
The calming serenity of the blooming springs, the aggressive heat of volcanoes and the ruins holding a story of a sad history make up the world of Hive. Filled with exotic animals, plants of varying sizes and little details like colorful fish swimming in the springs and hieroglyphs in the ruins, this game offers a wide and interesting visual look while combining many different styles of environments and eras.
General NewsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Thursday - August 25, 2016
Pathologic - Postponed until Autumn 2017
The release of Pathologic has been delayed:
We have some good news and some news that are less exciting. Would you like to sit down and grab a cup of coffee first?(This is what PR people tell to the attendees if they can’t show them the game straight away, e.g. if the rig is already occupied. We’ve been told that coffee works wonders.)
The release of Pathologic will be postponed until Autumn, 2017.
Is this a fake FAQ now? Okay.
The original plans for the release date were set with the basic scope of the game in mind. It seems a bit immodest to admit, but we did include our first stretch goal, the Town Expanded, into that; but not the rest of them. The game has grown in scope now, so developing it properly requires additional time.
Also, the vision for this version of Pathologic has shifted during the development. What started as a humble rejuvenation of a classic beloved by the studio turned into a full-fledged reimagining rather quickly, but it took us time to realize what that truly entails. The corners that we were planning to cut turned into diamond quickly. However faithful to the original vision, this Pathologic is a new game in many aspects, from the engine to the concept art.
Oh come on. You just bit more than you can chew. Admit it.
While we are—and always will be—vehemently defending our chewing abilities, there’s no denying the fact that we are facing technical challenges. Creating an open-world game in Unity is trying. We are solving the riddles the game’s code throws at us valiantly, but then again, there’s no point in releasing a pretty, but stuttering thing, right? And teaching it proper enunciation turned to require a bit more man-hours than we were hoping.
Release: In development
BattleTech - Q&A Video
Farflame spotted a QA session for BattleTech:
Battletech Q&A | 8/11/16loading...
The Harebrained Schemes crew (Nate Weisman, Mitch Gitelman, Mike McCain, and Jordan Weisman) answers community questions about the upcoming 2017 game, BATTLETECH!
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Crusader Kings II - The Reaper's Due available
The expansion The Reaper's Due is now available for Crusader Kings II:
Few things are more contagious than the stories people tell about Crusader Kings II. Tales of intrigue, piety, conquest and murderous sibling rivalry have circled the internet for over four years. Today, Paradox Development Studio adds the world’s greatest pandemic to the mix in The Reaper’s Due, the latest expansion to its best-selling medieval grand strategy-roleplaying game.
The Reaper’s Due adds a host of new mechanics centered on the Black Death and other world shaping epidemics. Lock your gates to keep the plague from infecting your court, even if it means cutting yourself off from your suffering citizens. Peace and good management will see your provinces reward you with greater wealth and manpower, but rampant disease may depopulate your countryside.loading...
The Reaper’s Due introduces many new systems and features to what is already the richest medieval tapestry in gaming:
- The Black Death: New additions to epidemic system include this super destructive disease and a new map mode that track the expansion of deadly illnesses.
- Court Physicians: This new position for learned courtiers opens up a series of events tied to the diagnosis and treatment of diseases with medieval tech.
- Hospitals: Slow down the spread of epidemics by investing in these outposts that care for the sick and infirm.
- Prosperity and Depopulation: Watch your provinces thrive under your careful attention and degrade under the pressures of diseases run amok.
- Seclusion: Take a page from the Masque of the Red Death and hide yourself away with your court as plagues ravage the countryside.
And even more:
New physical traits, new events chain and a host of smaller changes.
Are you a clever enough ruler to make it through one of humanity’s darkest moments? Invest wisely and avoid the plague, or shut yourself off and take advantage of the destruction later. The choice, as always, is yours.
Crusader Kings IISP/MP: Single + MP
Ghost of a Tale - Big Patch
Ghost of a Tale got a big patch:
More bug fixes and requested features!
Hello all, here’s a new build update (1.93) for Ghost of a Tale. It should take care of the majority of remaining bugs and issues (although we’ll keep publishing updates to fix all the reported bugs of course).
Among other things it’s now possible to ask NPCs for more information about where to find some items (i.e. spider venom) and the camera doesn’t show the inside of Tilo’s head anymore! Yay! :)
Have fun and as always please keep reporting the issues you meet in the Bugs & Issues forum (and support at ghostofatale.com)!
- Camera doesn’t show the inside of Tilo’s head anymore.
- Reloading a game while the chase music is playing causes that music to play forever until you escape successfully from an enemy again.
- Perform song volume can be much too loud sometimes.
- Stairs near Silas (and leading to empty tower) block Tilo when walking with the armor on.
- Main menu’s black background appears slightly transparent.
- Idle stance of rats corresponds to sword & shield instead of halberd.
- Missing sleeping particles (“Zzz”) in some cases.
- Fade planes in final corridor and off the main gallery appear transparent instead of dark.
- Current resolution doesn’t show as selected in visual menu.
- Screen resolutions in the Visuals menu are not properly revealed when scrolling down with gamepad.
- Tilo can push sleeping guards off their chair while wearing the armor.
- Game sometimes crashes when showing the Save/Load UI (fixed in Unity 5.3.6p2).
- Oil lamp intensity weakens too much when depleting below half point.
- Rats can get stuck in front of an opened sliding door after reloading a game.
- It is possible to keep refilling the lantern while running away from an oil jar and maintaining the interact button pressed.
- Parented mouse camera mode can cause the camera to freak out in small spaces.
- Obstacle camera correction setting sometimes reverts to active even though it’s been turned off.
- Mouse-clicking on an empty space in a container UI is interpreted as picking up the last remaining item (or “I didn’t MEAN to take that hornets’ nest!”).
- Grain bag near the broken cart in the courtyard cannot be looted.
- Wrong costume message displayed when swapping costumes.
- Corrupted animation when Tilo throws an item while wearing the armor (salute animation gets triggered).
- Some items (ie. plague doctor hat) can get their scale values out of whack when repeatedly equipping/unequipping them via mouse-click.
- Tilo can climb short walls while carrying a heavy item.
- In some older saves Gusto sleeps in the air.
- The flatulent rat is still floating off his bed in old saves.
- Grease slicks from grease jars remain visible after reloading a save.
- Grease vials thrown directly on rats do not make them slip and fall down.
- V-sync now has more refined settings (off, every 1 v-blank, every other v-blank).
- Alert icons of enemies now have a different frame color when they see Tilo (full white) and when they can only hear him (thin black).
- Items belonging to the same costume now appear next to each other in the inventory, always from head to toes (no more looking for items spread all over).
- NPCs now give out more precise information about the location of the quest items you’re supposed to find.
- The last quest now completes successfully when entering the final corridor.
- Key from rat in barrel room can now be pickpocketed more easily from behind.
- Removed deaths counter in statistics menu since it doesn’t really make sense within the scope of a session.
- Replaced some of the trees with new models and better textures.
- Spider venom location can now be revealed on your map (for a price).
- Added master volume slider in the audio options.
- Added texture resolution setting in visual options.
- Added ambient occlusion setting in visual options.
- Added antialiasing setting in visual options.
- Smoke from torches now automatically adapts to the proper ceiling height (curling along low ceilings, rising under high ceilings).
Ghost of a TaleSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
The Storm Guard - Released
You like A Song of Ice and Fire? You like the Night Watch? Then The Storm Guard: Darkness is Coming could be a game for you:
The Storm Guard is a challenging turn-based roguelike role-playing game inspired by the Night’s Watch in the Game of Thrones.
You assume the role of the Lord Commander of the Storm Guard leading the order during difficult times. An ancient dragon and its minions have returned, threatening the realm of men. While in your base, you must recruit, train and develop a team of heroes in their quest to restore peace. Make smart decisions during the random events you will run into and battle countless different creatures ranging from mere goblins to huge abominable creatures like wyverns, golems, ogres and worse. On the tactical combat map, put the skills you have learned to the test to defeat powerful opponents.
Your chances in battle not only depend on your tactical decisions but also on your preparation. Assemble well-rounded teams and pick from dozens of different skills to creature unique synergies between your team members that work for you and your preferred playstyle.
- Rich turn-based combat with a wide range of interesting mechanics, including numerous conditions (bleeding, burning, weakened, blind, crippled, ...), knockdowns, shouts, buffs, enchantments, and hexes.
- Interesting combat mechanics that allow flanking, tying up, disengaging, and smart combinations of skills.
- Numerous playable hero classes to pick from to add to your team with dozens of unique abilities to specialize in.
- Challenging encounters against close to 40 different creature types each with their own abilities. Ever since the Ancient Dragon returned, Orks, Giants, Undead and Mystic Creatures roam the realm of men causing death and destruction.
- Defeat intelligent monsters that collaborate, heal and buff their allies and have their own strategy on how to put your heroes to the grave.
- Use your gold wisely on the strategy layer to invest into skill development, equipment, consumables or additional heroes.
- Rest in town to recover from injuries that reduce your constitution or gain morale boosts by exceptional performance in battle.
- Classic RPG/roguelike features like permadeath, procedural dungeons, and random events result in high replayability.loading...
The Storm GuardSP/MP: Single-player
Dark Souls III - Ashes of Ariandel Trailer
The official announcement trailer for Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel.
Ashen Ones... Enter this new world covered by snow and defeat the evil that has defiled this land. Grab ahold of the new armor sets, weapons, and magic that are available in Dark SoulsTM III: Ashes of AriandelTM to aid you in discovering the new location. For the veterans of Dark Souls PVP, explore the new features and test your meddle with your fellow players.
Dark SoulsTM III: Ashes of AriandelTM will be available on October 25th, 2016 on the PlayStation 4. Click the link for more info: www.darksouls3.com/preorder
Rated Mature: Violence, Blood
Dark Souls IIISP/MP: Single + MP
Battle Brothers - Beta Update
Battle Brothers continues to be updated. The latest update to the perk system prompted this update to go to the beta branch first to prevent extensive issues.
Update released to Beta Branch!
Here we go - the new update is now live for the beta branch of Battle Brothers!
This update started out with two major goals: reworking the perk system and introducing more complex injury mechanics. Both are included in this update, and while were were at it, we've also included lots of other changes and additions. Here's the shortlist of features.
- A new contract
- 25 new illustrated events
- 18 new and detailed mercenary banners to pick from for your company
- 3 new character traits
- 2 new character backgrounds
- An ironman mode
- A reworked perk system, less constricted and with more perks to choose from
- New injury mechanics with different types of injuries and usable temple buildings
- A talent system whereby more talented characters regardless of their background can reliably reach high skill
- More powerful but also more rare named weapons, armor, helmets and shields of every type hidden across the world
- More tools to use in combat, like bandages and poison
- Changed shield mechanics in combat
- Changes to weapon progression and balance
- New sounds for humans; every character uses one of six different voices now to shout and scream. More sounds for all voices incoming.
- Various bugfixes and smaller improvements, such as to AI
Note that this update is not compatible with older savegames. You will have to start a new campaign!
Battle BrothersSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
RPGWatch @ Gamescom - Vampyr
The current game in development by Dontnod is Vampyr and features, as the name indicates, vampires. It takes place at the end of World War I in London and here is what I was shown at Gamescom.
Each of the districts in London will have a health condition, based on the average health condition of its citizens. Each time they get sick or are killed by you, the health rate of the district will decrease. If a critical status is reached, which means you have been too greedy and killed off to many citizens in that district, you will lose an entire district. The effect of this is that all the people in the district will get sick or be turned into vampires. You can prevent this from happening by not feeding too much in the district or, given that you are a doctor, heal the sick to maintain a certain health balance. If the district is lost, you will lose all the secondary quests, the merchant and anything else that could have been interesting to you. You will however still be able to finish the main storyline, but the ending of the game is likely to be different.
Release: In development
Divinity: Original Sin II - Preview Roundup
Here is a list of previews for Divinity Original Sin 2.
RPGCodex has a preview and an interview.
Instead, let's talk about the new additions and changes to the formula. D:OS 2 seems to have been fine-tuned and expanded in every aspect of its design; it's been massively improved in comparison to the prototype I played last year. Even some of Larian's most outrageous ambitions seem to have been successfully implemented. The tags and origins systems, for example, have transformed character creation into an even more complex experience and brought a staggering amount of reactivity to the game. When you make your character (only one this time), you can choose from a range of races (Human, Elf, Dwarf, Lizard in the Early Access version; Undead will be unlocked later) and pre-written origins (currently four, from exiled prince to vengeful former slave). Each of these selections will add a “tag” to your character, and this tag is then frequently (!) checked during character interactions.
As I was sitting next to another journalist playing the game, I was treated to the rather horrifying image of his party killing my elf when they encountered her half an hour into the session. We were playing singleplayer rather than working together, and almost every time I glanced across at his screen, I saw a different approach to a problem I’d already encountered or an area that I hadn’t discovered. Whether intentional or not, having the two screens side by side was a perfect way to illustrate the ways in which a relatively small area can contain such a diversity of options and experiences.
“More stuff” isn’t the only change. The turn-based combat system has been rebalanced, with the distribution of action points to expenditure being dramatically altered. The practical result of this is being able to do more per turn. It’s a lot more dynamic than the first game’s stop and start combat, and the system now takes terrain into account, meaning that gaining a height advantage over your enemies is possible. The elemental, er, element is preserved, with cold, heat, electrical and poison spells being able to interact, often with spectacular results.
And whether you engage with any of the multiplayer nonsense? That’s up to you. Personally I like having more control over my stories—doing every quest, seeing every story—than multiplayer allows. But it’s a hell of a lot of fun to run on the side, like getting together for tabletop Dungeons & Dragons (or Pathfinder or whatever runs to your specific tastes) and seeing how it all goes wrong. A trainwreck in slow motion.
Just make sure you either play it with your best friends or complete strangers, because you’re bound to get angry when in the midst of mopping up some low-tier enemies your “friend” shoots a massive fireball into a crowd, setting your newly-found AI party member on fire. Then you’ll hear, “Uh...I think you guys are out of resurrection scrolls,” meaning your would’ve-been-pretty-useful party member is left to rot on the dungeon floor.
The embedded video edits my hours-long escape from the prison camp area into a more digestible 33 minutes. What you won't see in the video are the new Curse and Bless abilities that transform surfaces, like fire, into either holy fire that heals you or cursed fire that really roasts you. You also won't see the new super-powered Source abilities that consume Source Points. I played around with these in arena PvP, facing off against Rock, Paper, Shotgun's charming Adam Smith. Who I battered. Just saying. (It was very close really.) Lovely Larian boss Swen Vincke, who waltzed around in socks when I was there, demonstrated Divinity: Original Sin 2 PvP in a recent video (also embedded) if you want to see more.
I’ve heard of these tags before. They’re to do with dialogue, right?
Yeah, they dictate how you interact with the world. ‘Nature’ tags, based on your gender and race, dictate how NPCs react to you (for example, lizards don’t much enjoy the company of elves), while ‘aspiration’ tags take this to a more personal level. When creating your character you can pick two aspiration tags, such as ‘scholar’ and ‘villain’, and these unlock relevant options during conversation. If you take the ‘jester’ tag, for instance, you’ll be able to select unique dialogue that’s based around practical jokes or being a bit daft. There are ten tags, and they really help you build a character that’s unique to the personality you want to role-play.
Divinity: Original Sin IISP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Wednesday - August 24, 2016
Path of Exile - Atlas of Worlds Mechanics
Henriquejr spotted an article about the Path of Exile: Atlas of Worlds game mechanics:
We've designed the new Atlas of Worlds end-game experience to be easy for Path of Exile players to get into. Most things work exactly the same way as before, with the Atlas providing an extra layer of progression tracking and customisation on top. As next week's launch approaches, some players have been asking for more information about how certain aspects work. Today's news post delves into specific detail and features a beginner's guide to using the Atlas by ZiggyD!
Path of ExileSP/MP: Massive
Genre: Hack & Slash
RPGWatch @ Gamescom - Torment: Tides of Numenera
One of the game I was looking forward to a lot was, the spiritual successor to my personal number one game of all times, Torment: Tides of Numenera. InXile's Chris Keenan and Colin McComb gave the presentation and found some time at the end of the presentation to answer some questions as well. Here is the article.
We were taken to the Valley of the Dead Heroes, a millions of years old burial ground, used by countless civilizations. It is filled for hundreds of kilometers with sarcophagi and tombs. Memorialists have come there to study the place and a murderous cult have come up here to follow those memorialists, to open their guts and to use those for their own needs. These guys demand from us that we find their prey for them. They control the area, so we need to deal with this situation. You get different options to choose from in a dialogue. You can accept it, but you can also try to intimidate them. The different members of your party, will have more or less chance for the intimidation to succeed, so you can select the one with the highest chance. Upon succeeding, they will report back to their boss about who you are and what you have done, which will have a big impact at a later stage of the game. Each of the options, will have a different result on how events will play out, both in the short term and in the long term.
Torment: Tides of NumeneraSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
RPGWatch @ Gamescom - The Surge
If you are into action RPGs using exoskeletons, The Surge might be something for you. Here is my writeup on this years presentation at Gamescom.
The Surge is an action RPG, heavily focused on melee combat, set in a dystopian near future version of earth. At that time the world has a lot of environmental and ecological problems. Finding a job isn't too easy either, but our hero did find one at a company that tries to solve some of the environmental problems. At his first day at work he gets an exoskeleton. And as it is fitted to his body, something goes wrong, he blacks out and when he wakes up he finds himself at a no longer used, broken part of the company and he has to find out what has happened.
In the operations center there are several things you can do. There is a med bay, which is used to level up your core power and change the type of implants that you use. The implants is their version of having something similar to attributes and a skill tree. There are implants for your health, your stamina or your energy, but there are also other implants, like an implant that allows you to see the health bar of your enemies. Beside that there are also injectables, which are a way to increase your health in the field.
The SurgeSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
OutWard - PAX West Trailer
OutWard has a new trailer ready for PAX West.
Outward is an open world RPG in development for PC and console.
No announcement on a release date yet.
Music composed by Jean-François Racine
Video by Maestro Filmworks
Voice by Doug Cannon
OutWardSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Dark Souls III - DLC October 26th
PCGamesN reports that word has leaked ahead of an official announcement that Dark Souls III DLC will be released October 26th as well as some details on what to expect. There will be more details tomorrow with the official announcement.
Update 23 August, 2016: With an official announcement due tomorrow, various Japanese magazines have apparently already revealed some details about the much-anticipated upcoming Dark Souls III DLC.
It looks like Japanese magazine Famitsu had the world exclusive on Dark Souls 3 DLC, and is now being reported on various sites and translated by NeoGAF. As you'd expect, there's new weapons, magic, areas and some PvP goodies.
If you are here for Gamescom PC news, our homepage has you covered.
Via GAF, here's what's apparently included:
- New weapons and armours
- New magic spells
- A new area that features snow, apparently
- A PvP "map" - whether that means a small area dedicated to PvP, Dark Souls 2's arenas or its special zones remains to be seen.
It also confirms the existence of a second DLC to be released afterwards, which will come in a pack with the first for 2,000 yen (about £15/$20) or individually for 1,200 yen (about £9/$12).
Inevitably we'll get the full details, and probably a trailer, tomorrow. Hopefully it's as good as DS3's initial surge.
Dark Souls IIISP/MP: Single + MP
Elder Scrolls Online - Interview @Wccftech
Zenimax Online’s President and Elder Scrolls Online Game Director Matt Firor talked about the game with Wccftech.
During Gamescom 2016, we had the chance to meet up with Zenimax Online's President and Elder Scrolls Online Game Director Matt Firor to talk about the game.
The game has been doing very well lately. Update 11 was recently released on all platforms, adding two new dungeons and several improvements such as text chat on consoles and a PvP town capture system in Cyrodiil.
However, much bigger things are coming with One Tamriel (set to allow players to group anywhere in PvE regardless of level and alliance) and player housing coming after that. We've talked about these features and a lot more in our overview of the game's future.
First of all, in the game's community folks got used to big QuakeCon presentations where you would showcase the game's upcoming features, but this time there was no presentation. I'm wondering whether you have something special in store for later this year to make up for this?
No, this year we did E3 which we hadn't done the year before. We didn't have anything new to talk about, so we decided to just wait until Gamescom and PAX. We're going to have a community event on Friday here at Gamescom, and then at PAX we're going to have another series of community events, so we just decided to spread it out a little more.
Now for the big elephant in the room, is there anything at all you can tell us about player housing?
Really the point of Elder Scrolls Online at Gamescom 2016 is to talk about One Tamriel, which is the next big thing. Housing is the thing after that, so we're concentrating more on One Tamriel right now than player housing, but it is going to happen and it is going to be the update after One Tamriel.
Some questions from the community. For PvP players, the gap closers issue is pretty important and they'd like to know when you plan to fix it.
Yeah, we've been looking at that for a long time. It sounds easy to fix but it's not, because of the way the mechanics work behind the scenes and we don't want to make them not work at all. So we've been slowly looking at how it can be done but yes, it will be fixed.
Mark Hamill Makes a Sneaky Appearance in Star Citizen Squadron 42 Trailer
Roleplayers would like to know whether you have something special coming out for them, like sitting at tables and the likes?
Yeah, we're looking at that. We're doing personalities, so we're doing some fun things that roleplayers can do. We're also doing a Witches' Festival event, we're going to do a Midwinter "Christmas" event, so we're going to do more stuff like this. Every few updates we try to slip in some fun things for roleplaying.
Are you looking to add more world events, like Dark Anchors but different ones?
We're doing that more through events, like the Witches Festival. I know what you're saying though, we don't really have plans except in One Tamriel where we're going to change zones a little bit so that they're more like Orsinium and they have world bosses. You're walking through Glenumbra and there'll be a world boss somewhere now.
Do you have any changes coming to crafting?
No, our crafting system is really good, so we're happy with it.
Bethesda as a whole has been kind of championing mods on consoles with Skyrim Definitive Edition and Fallout 4. I'm wondering if this is something you may consider for Elder Scrolls Online?
We can't, because...maybe UI (user interface) mods, but you can't really do UI mods on consoles, because then your controller wouldn't work. Bethesda can do that for its other games because they're single player.
DC Universe Online Coming to Xbox One Really Soon, But It Won't Have Cross-Play
Lately there's been a trend of bringing online communities together through cross-play. Is that something you're evaluating for Elder Scrolls Online?
That is not a technical issue, it's a business issue. We're on different platforms and each partner has its own ideas on which groups they want their players to be with. It's easier for everyone if they're just in separate communities, that's just the way it is for now.
Elder Scrolls OnlineSP/MP: Single + MP
Total War: Warhammer - Grim & Grave
The first Lord Pack for Total War: Warhammer has a trailer and a Steam page to peruse.
The Grim & The Grave brings unholy rivalry to Total War: Warhammer
• Two new Legendary Lords...
• ...with new quest chains, magic items and skill trees
• Two new additional Lord types
• Five all-new battlefield units plus variants
• 18 elite Regiments of Renown
• Free Legendary Lord and five new battle maps for all players
Following the best-selling Call of the Beastmen, the first Lord Pack for Total War: WARHAMMER introduces two new Legendary Lords from Warhammer Fantasy Battles - Volkmar the Grim for the Empire, and Helman Ghorst for the Vampire Counts. Alongside this, The Grim & The Grave also adds two new lord types to the game with the Vampire Counts receiving the fearsome Strigoi Ghoul King, and the Arch Lector, mightiest of all warrior priests, joining the Empire.
Total War: WarhammerSP/MP: Single + MP
Tuesday - August 23, 2016
Duelyst - Available on Steam now
The free-to-play strategy card game Duelyst is available on Steam now:
DUELYST is the ultimate collectible tactics game.
Head-to-head matches last between five and ten minutes, and focus on thoughtful decision-making and strategic positioning. Players are rewarded with new battle units every monthly season.
Assemble your battle deck from over 400 cards across 6 unique Factions and test your mettle against other players online in ranked season ladder and draft mode tournaments.
- Infinite Depth: With a tactical battlefield, positioning of your units truly matters. And with over 400 battle units, no battle will ever be the same!
- Lightning-Fast Matches: Online matches last from five to ten minutes. Get your competitive fix anytime during the day!
- Competitive: Play against players of equal skill on the monthly Season Ranked Ladder. Or compete in the Gauntlet Draft Mode, where the longer you last, the better the rewards!
- Immersive Lore: Expansive codex and history spanning 30,000 years to uncover the mysteries of the denizens of Mythron. Jump down the rabbit hole!
Competitive head-to-head turn-based battles at its best!
DuelystSP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Card-Based RPG
Endless Space 2 - Early Access in September
The space strategy empire building game Endless Space 2 will be available as Early Access game in September:
The sequel to the two-time Unity-award winning Endless Space! Endless Space 2 is turn-based, 4X space-strategy by Amplitude Studios that launches players into the space colonization age of different civilizations within the Endless universe. Your Vision. Their Future.
Non-RPG General NewsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Black Geyser - Gameplay Video
A new gameplay video for Black Geijser has been made available.
As the level of greed increases in Isilmerald, encounters with insane characters occur more frequently. You can, however, slow down this process — or speed it up if you prefer. This is because your decisions also influence the state of the kingdom. Being greedy may be beneficial for your party in many situations (such as taking all gold offered by a knight as a reward for completing his quest), but will eventually result in long-term, systematic consequences caused by the worsening state of Isilmerald. The video below showcases one such example. It's up to you which approach you will prefer.
Black GeyserSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Zombasite - Released
Zombasite has been released today.
Dallas, Texas, August 23, 2016 - Soldak Entertainment today announced the availability of Zombasite.
Zombasite is a zombie apocalypse action RPG set in a dynamic, evolving, fantasy world for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Zombasite can be purchased (25% off the first week) at:
The dark elves have always played god by creating and enhancing underworld slave creatures. As they watched a horde of zombies destroy the huge demon city Kraval, the dark elves were tantalized by the devastating power of uncontrolled zombies, and desired to control and increase it. When they wove their dominating magic into a few captive zombies something went horribly wrong!
They hadn't known the powerful necromancer, Ciglio, had created these zombies. To control his huge armies of undead, Ciglio permanently bound his zombies and their infected victims to him. This binding was so powerful, their loyalty surpassed his untimely death. In the dark elves' pride and lust, their magic twisted into Ciglio's binding, fusing into a new, uncontrollable creation, the Zombasite.
Zombasite is a nasty, voracious, all-consuming Zombie Parasite. It doesn't just reanimate the dead into mindless zombies. It is intelligent, insatiable, and unstoppableinfecting and killing the living, spreading faster and in more ways, helping the dead utilize many of their original skills, and mutating the dead with new powers. Dark elf zombies are terrifying!
So what does this have to do with you? You are the leader of a clan trying to survive the apocalypse. This is easier said than done. When a follower dies, they can't be saved by any means. The Zombasite is highly contagious and zombies are quickly ravaging the world's surface. Food is a critical resource that must be obtained. Vendors are rare and have limited supplies. Some of the stronger monsters have survived and are as dangerous as ever. Clans of humans and monsters are fighting over what few supplies are left. Even within your own clan it isn't safe. Humans living on the edge are even more unstable than usual. So yeah, survival isn't easy.
- Survive the zombie apocalypse in a fantasy world
- Experience uniquely created worlds for every game, with different areas, monsters, items, and quests
- Explore a dynamic, evolving, living world
- Lead a clan of followers who have their own personalities and skills
- Navigate relationships with rival clans using diplomacy, trade, war, and raids
- Many hybrid classes to experience - 8 full classes, 24 specialties, 260 total combinations
- Adventure with your friends with co-op multiplayer
- Your choices truly impact the game!
- Customize your experience with many character and world options including turning off zombies and clans.
RPGWatch @ Gamescom - Tyranny
In our second Gamescom article we take a look at Tyranny. There are several unique elements in this game, such as that all spells in the game need to be created by you and that it starts out with the premise that evil has won.
But before we entered into the hands-on part of the demo, we went into the spell creation system. Spells in the world of Tyranny are not pre-made like in other games. All the spells in the game need to be crafted. While playing the game you will find scrolls and sigils. These are pieces and parts of a spell. By taking different sigils and putting them together you can create different spells and modify them further beyond that. The spell creation system consists of core elements, such as frost, fire, lighting or healing. There are many more in the game.
But before we started with the demo, I also wanted to ask about the changes to the mechanics of the game. I knew that there is no friendly fire, so I asked Nick why that was. One of the reasons is because of the way they have built the abilities for combat. A lot of the tactical decisions are based on what abilities you are using and where you are using them and having friendly fire gets in the way of this. They also have to deal with the AI of the characters that will cast spells regardless of where you are. So when an AOE spell is casted by the AI, friendly fire is very probable. They wanted the characters that were not controlled to freely use all the spells they have. As a result friendly fire has been disabled.
Tyranny - Spell Creation, Artifact Weapons
PCGamesN takes a closer look at Tyranny. In particular they report on what to expect from the spell creation system and artifact weapons.
The big things to look out for in Tyranny are:
- A highly-customisable new magic system
- Smaller, four-person parties that can be fully-controlled or assigned AI
- Special weapons that increase in power as they perform legendary deeds
- A renewed focus on classic-style dungeon crawling
All too frequently mages can feel like one of the more neglected classes in RPGs, but Tyranny is building spellslingers in an interesting new way. "One of the things we're doing differently in Tyranny is that you create your own spells by finding magical sigils in the world," explains Brian Heins, game director on Tyranny. "So you start with a core sigil like fire, frost or lightning, and then decide how that magic type is going to express itself, whether it's a long range bolt or a cone, like a great cone of flames, or a fireball."