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-   -   2007 Indie RPG of the Year (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3461)

Dhruin December 18th, 2007 12:05

2007 Indie RPG of the Year
 
Time to join the popular crowd with some "game of the year" polls. First up is Indie of the Year, which we've separated from the main RPG market so they don't get drowned out. We've selected four games to compete - while there were other indie releases this year, they were either out of our coverage or didn't generate the same "buzz".

So, here's a summary in chronological release order.

Geneforge 4

Spiderweb is the cornerstone of the indie CRPG market - though their iterative approach is often criticised. Geneforge 4 continues the story of the Shapers and the Rebellion, with factions to choose and lots of decisions. The engine improvements are subtle but the animations and lighting are tweaked and there's a simple but effective stealth system. Without doubt, the most complex, dialogue-driven indie released in 2007.

Nethergate: Resurrection

A remake and an older engine than Spiderweb's current lineup might be considered drawbacks but for anyone who didn't play the original, Nethergate: Resurrection offers a large, open gameworld, great dungeons and a different setting. Not as dialogue-driven as Geneforge 4 but there are two entirely separate and interwoven campaigns and plenty of opportunities to make choices in the myriad sidequests. A grand adventure (well, two, actually).

Depths of Peril

It's easy to write this off as a Diablo-clone but Depths of Peril takes the most risks in this batch and is genuinely innovative. Take a competent hack'n'slash action/RPG and add a living gameworld with competing factions. Out-adventure them, take the political route and form alliances or take them out with brute force - there are so many different ways to approach this game while enjoying the basic loot-and-leveling gameplay. In a word, addictive.

Eschalon: Book 1

Eschalon
sets a new standard in indie RPG presentation with lovely graphics, an attractive interface and nice music. The gameplay is unshamedly old-school - the character creation system is nifty (although the balance varies) and there's a mostly open world to explore as well as a cool lighting and stealth system and old-fashioned fare from bashing chests to torch management. The NPC interaction and quests are both simple but the minimal story works quite well. Oozes atmosphere.

Now, make your choice!

Dhruin December 18th, 2007 12:18

Really hard choice for me because I enjoyed all of them and they all have different qualities.

Nethergate, because I really enjoyed all the little stories and encounters while exploring the world.

woges December 18th, 2007 12:57

I haven't played enough to vote. I'm still trying to finish some games from 2000 and before - and my hard drive just totally failed so I'm back to square one on many once again.

dteowner December 18th, 2007 13:33

I really shouldn't vote, either, having only played Eschalon. Depths of Peril looks really interesting. I can safely say that Eschalon would be a deserving champion, though.

Amazadh Kristeopolous December 18th, 2007 14:19

Ouch!! What a horrible choice! Unfortunately, I can't comment on Depths of Peril, because I'm a pre-Intel Mac person, and DoP is Windows only. Shame, it looks interesting.

Sooooo… …well, I've played all three of the others. Geneforge and Nethergate I know well, I've been a fan of Spiderweb Software for some time, and have collected most of their games over the last 5 years.

But, Eschalon 1, I've had that for just three days, and it has entirely taken over my spare time, which is a fairly good sign… I'm impressed. It's not perfect, but what is? It is however, entertaining, nicely conceived and well executed. I've tried out two very different characters, and the magic-user is as difficult to operate solo as a young m-u should be, frantically trying to survive in a hostile environment with few tools of the trade.

abbaon December 18th, 2007 14:47

Talk about jumping the gun. You couldn't wait a week for Grimoire?

magerette December 18th, 2007 15:10

Hard choice, but I went with Depths of Peril. Just more my type of game, with the strategy/arpg fusion. I enjoyed parts of the demos for Nethergate and Eschalon, but DoP has the most playtime for me, and I can see playing it for years to come. I have yet to get the full version of Eschalon, and that may edge it into first place, but not just yet.

skavenhorde December 18th, 2007 15:20

Nethergate, it's the only indie I know of that has two great stories wrapped up in one game. Plus, I liked how he meshed some real Celtic folklore into the game.

BillSeurer December 18th, 2007 16:31

Quote:

Originally Posted by abbaon (Post 58423)
Talk about jumping the gun. You couldn't wait a week for Grimoire?

Grimoire in a week? heh heh heh…

old-school gamer December 18th, 2007 16:40

Quote:

Originally Posted by abbaon (Post 58423)
Talk about jumping the gun. You couldn't wait a week for Grimoire?

We waited 15+ years for Grimoire, *HE* tried our patience long enough…

But I agree it's a bit unfair to Eschalon as there is no competition

Nethergate 2007 has just minimal differences to Nethergate 1999
Geneforge1 and 2 were nice but 3 and 4 were just remakes of the first one
Depths of Peril is no real RPG.

Why isn't Avernum 5 in there? Anyway my vote for Eschalon is well earnt.

rune_74 December 18th, 2007 17:14

Dhruin you knewI would vote for Eschaloin:)

shaf December 18th, 2007 18:07

my vote goes to Eschalon, i played to for 2 week before finishing. I completed the storyline in 22 hrs doing as many side quests as I could.

Better Dev response that most commercial game, very fast bug fixing.

Can't wait for book 2.

Shaf

p.s. I don't believe Grimore will be delivered, it was too quiet for too long.

txa1265 December 18th, 2007 18:46

I am also going with Eschalon … though I thought about Depths of Peril.

Very much a tough choice - all four are excellent games that I think stand along, if not above, almost every commercial release this year.

For me, I voted for new blood - sorry, Jeff, it isn't that I don't love you, I just want to encourage others - and make sure there is a 'book 2'.

crpgnut December 18th, 2007 20:03

Eschalon for the win :) I'm tired of Jeff's games and I haven't got around to Depths of Peril yet.

VPeric December 18th, 2007 20:08

Where'd my post go?

Anyway, it's Eschalon for me. Geneforge has somewhat inferior production values, Nethergate's interface is too archaic for my taste, and DoP… well, DoP just didn't "click" for me.

GothicGothicness December 18th, 2007 21:04

Easy choice for Eschalon, I tried the demo of all the games, but it is the only one I bought, it is superior to the other games in the list IMHO.

Arma December 18th, 2007 22:33

I would say Geneforge 4 is my pick with Eschalon Book I a close second (if only I could pick two games … ) Geneforge 4 was a great improvement over the previous games not in the strictly technical sence that it offered new graphics or otherwise new gameplay into the old formula, but because it offered a completely new approach into the whole Shapers vs Rebellion saga.

Avernum 5 was probably left out since the Windows release is still over 2 months away for the time being..

abbaon December 18th, 2007 22:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by BillSeurer (Post 58446)
Grimoire in a week? heh heh heh…

Yes. But Cleve's a Christian now, so that'll be a biblical week.

realmzmaster December 18th, 2007 22:58

My vote goes to Eschalon I. I was hooked the minute I played the demo. I have played the other crpgs mentioned, but Eschalon has caputured all of my game playing time. Eschalon Book I by Basilisk Games! Two thumbs way up.

Corwin December 19th, 2007 00:55

Quote:

Originally Posted by abbaon (Post 58508)
Yes. But Cleve's a Christian now, so that'll be a biblical week.

Where did you hear that piece of news? I like a link to the source!! :) Oh, I picked with the majority.


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