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Torment: Tides of Numenera

2017-03-15

Torment: Tides of Numenera Review

Corwin reviews the recently released Spiritual Successor to the classic rpg Planescape:Torment. How does it compare to its inspiration? Well, while it's not for everyone, but this could just be another great classic in the making.
» Continue reading the article...

Balrum

2017-02-20

Balrum Review

Balrum was released almost a year ago, so with no further delay, here is our review.
» Read the article

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Expected Releases

Mar: Tanzia
Mar: The Great Whale Road
Apr: Hobo Tough Life
Apr: Kingdom Come
Apr: Niffelheim

Tuesday - March 28, 2017

Fallout: NV - Project Brazil Update

by Hiddenx, 00:17

Rjshae spotted this Project Brazil update on Moddb:

Scripts, Carts, Progress Charts! Completing & renovating the mod Start to Finish.

Development progress has been slow, but some stuff got done!

I took a 10 day vacation to San Fransisco to relax and release some tension. My last real break was in 2015, and I worked practically every day at my job or on FPB 10-12 hours, so I needed a detox week. Of course, the instant I got home I got the flu from hell, enjoyed a 4 day fever and lost my voice. :p BUT! Some progress was made, mostly by Rick.

If you've followed us these past several years, you know that Part 2's storyline is divided in half just like Part 1. In Part 1 your decision to tackle or dodge Johnny Matheson in the opening moments of the game sets you down the Scientist or Warrior path (was once the Nerd / Athlete path, but it's got an update to be less harsh and more balanced.)

You also chose to try to help Save the Vault or Join the Enclave! You also found some or all of your Vault Companions and escaped into the Wasteland.

Those decisions get summed up neatly as Part 2 begins, where you go to Pinehaven and meet up with any survivors from Vault 18.

Not long after, though, you're introduced to the Survivalist Raiders, and their alliance of hostile psychopaths & rebels. You can join them on first contact by getting captured, or fend them off and escape Pinehaven. Further down the road you get another chance to be captured, or you can meet up with a Desert Ranger, who allies with an NCR Captain that needs your help, starting the New California Republic quest.

[...]

Fallout: NV

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Release: Released

Details

Mass Effect: Andromeda - Quick Thoughts

by Hiddenx, 00:06

TechRaptor's Robert Grosso with some quick thoughts on Mass Effect: Andromeda:

Quick Thoughts – Mass Effect: Andromeda

Mass Effect: Andromeda has been out for a week, and our preview of the game’s first ten hours was not positive. The game has gotten a mixed reception overall, but outside of the well-documented issues of bugs and facial animations, there is no real consensus as to the underlying issues Mass Effect: Andromeda has.

It’s a shame too, as the game itself is still quite good, despite it’s own shortcomings. Andromeda feels like a direct sequel in terms of gameplay to the very first Mass Effect, but suffers from the baggage of being a Mass Effect game. It is a legacy that Andromeda struggles to live up to.

It is not all bad for the game though. There is good combat and quest writing here, strong characterizations engulfed in a more lighthearted tone, and the multiplayer is still a top notch aspect that everyone should try. Ultimately though, the biggest problem Mass Effect: Andromeda faces is that it plays it safe with its material. Mass Effect: Andromeda will always have baggage of its name, and perhaps that does more damage to it than what was anticipated.

[...]

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Mass Effect: Andromeda

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

Details

Monday - March 27, 2017

Mages of Mystralia - Already funded

by Hiddenx, 23:59

The Kickstarter campaign for the action adventure Mages of Mystralia is going well:

Four new Runes unlocked; Two all-new Stretch Goals revealed!

Greetings friends and fellow Mystralians,
We sincerely hope you are having an amazing Sunday!

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Four new runes for your spellcrafting pleasure, and two new goals revealed.

In case you've missed Mages of Mystralia's campaign activity in the past few days, we have unlocked four all-new spellcrafting runes!

With yesterday's unlock of the 4th (and very cool) "Trespass" trigger rune, we've also revealed our two next Stretch Goals. These should please all the completionists out there, as well as all players who like a good challenge!

There are still 19 days left to go on the campaign, and we still have LOTS of surprises in store for you. :D

Back tomorrow with another cool content update!

We've been teasing this for a few days now, and it's coming on Monday. Stay tuned, as we'll have some cool visual (and video) treats to reveal for the first time!

Until then, don't hesitate to join the conversation in the Comments section of the campaign page - it's always a true pleasure for us to hear from you.

As usual, our warmest THANK YOU to all our amazing backers, and also to everybody who has been keeping an eye on this campaign. You gals and guys are awesome.

Best regards,
- The Mages of Mystralia Dev Team

Mages of Mystralia

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

Details

Styx: Shards of Darkness - Accolades Trailer

by Hiddenx, 20:35

Another Styx-trailer that is fun to watch:

Styx: Shards of Darkness - Accolades Trailer

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Thanks Farflame!

Styx: Shards of Darkness

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

Details

Endless Space 2 - Riftborn Update

by Hiddenx, 20:29

Farflame spotted this update for the strategy game Endless Space 2:

Hey everyone,

The Riftborn update [0.3.2] is now live! This major update introduces the Riftborn major civilization, an Early Access iteration of Multiplayer mode (we're counting on your feedback to make this optimal for the release!), new visual elements to bring more life to the galaxy, AI ameliorations, Battle improvements, changes to the Technology Tree, and more!

Check out the new features of Update 3 in this gameplay video:

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Non-RPG General News

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

Details

Dark Souls III - The Ringed City Trailer

by Hiddenx, 20:24

Here's the Ringed City DLC trailer for Dark Souls III:

Dark Souls III The Ringed City - PC/PS4/X1 - The Close of the Age of Fire

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Fear not the dark, ashen one. Journey to the world’s end to search for the Ringed City and encounter new lands, new bosses, new enemies with new armor, magic and items. Experience the epic final chapter of a dark world that could only be created by the mind of Hidetaka Miyazaki.

Thanks Farflame!

Dark Souls III

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

Details

Conan Exiles - Update

by Hiddenx, 20:12

Farflame spotted this update for Conan Exiles:

UPDATE 22 - Dye system, ruins system and new weapons out now!

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[...]

Changelog:

  • TL;DR (Patch Highlights)
  • NEW FEATURE: Ruins (decay) system! Cleans up old buildings over time. It is disabled by default on private servers and enabled by default on Official servers
  • NEW FEATURE: Dye System! Gather pigments and make all kinds of dyes in the Firebowl Cauldron to color your armor!
  • Added 8 new weapons and rebalanced all weapons so damage scales with level
  • Changed feat requirements and removed dependencies, added bonus knowledge points every 10 levels
  • Free feat respec when opening the feat GUI for the first time after this patch!
  • You can now craft the Hyena fur armor at the armorers bench if an armorer thrall is present
  • Thralls are now properly animated when working at crafting stations
  • EXPLOIT FIX: You can no longer build inside cliffs or mountains
  • EXPLOIT FIX: Buildings will never spawn outside the curse wall
  • EXPLOIT FIX: You can no longer duplicate equipped armor pieces off of unconscious player bodies
  • EXPLOIT FIX: Fixed a case where you could fall through the landscape and gain access to other parts of the map
  • EXPLOIT FIX: Thralls that have started playing death animations can no longer be picked up and reused

Performance and Tech Fixes

  • Game install now grouped into .pak archives. 1st time loading speed from main menu into game should be improved by a factor of 3x
  • Game database is now backed up before upgrading the database as part of patching

Server Settings

  • Added a serversetting to modify how quickly thralls get converted (thrall crafting time multiplier)
  • Added a serversetting so all containers can be interacted with irrespective of ownership (containers ignore all ownership)
  • Added serversetting to modify NPC health also affects Thralls (NPC damage taken multiplier)
  • Added serversetting to modify the rate at which machines consume fuel (fuel burn time multiplier)
  • Added serversetting PlayerDamageTakenMultiplier

Text and Localization

  • Language choice should now save correctly
  • Added various localized text throughout the game

General Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • EXPLOIT FIX: You can no longer build inside cliffs or mountains
  • EXPLOIT FIX: Buildings will never spawn outside the curse wall
  • EXPLOIT FIX: You can no longer duplicate equipped armor pieces off of unconscious player bodies
  • EXPLOIT FIX: Fixed a case where you could fall through the landscape and gain access to other parts of the map
  • EXPLOIT FIX: Thralls that have started playing death animations can no longer be picked up and reused
  • Fixed a case where some buildings and placeables showed incorrect amount of hitpoints when using the repair hammer on them
  • Server Message of the Day now displayed when a player logs on the server
  • The control tab will no longer revert to default values when clicking on other tabs
  • Unconverted thralls can no longer be put in the hotbar
  • Improved usability of the "exit to main menu" button
  • Crafting stations with artisan thralls now correctly confer crafting speed bonuses to the 2nd item in a crafting queue
  • Replaced the arrow on placeables like chairs and chests with a new visual arrow
  • Keybindings now have a "clear" button
  • Players no longer appear to be wearing armor after being looted while offline
  • When you have a bound thrall, other NPCs no longer show up with the same name as the thrall
  • Large NPCs now push the player away when rotating
  • Clan members should no longer have their armor damaged if FriendlyFireDamageMultiplier is set to 0.0
  • Player no longer becomes stuck if sitting in a throne before/during server restart
  • Players no longer see the Crippling Poison counter when nearby Thralls are attacked by spiders
  • Encumbrance now properly calculates stamina cost to perform certain actions
  • Trophy heads can be placed on walls
  • Bracketed Torch now has a flame when placed out
  • Added 8 new weapons and rebalanced all weapons so damage scales with level

Balance and Gameplay Fixes

  • Equip animation no longer overrides knockdown
  • You can now craft the Hyena fur armor at the armorers bench if an armorer thrall is present
  • Hyena fur armor requires Bone.
  • When last clan member leaves a clan, they take ownership of all clan buildings
  • Clan officers can no longer kick other officers. You can only kick players below you in rank from the clan
  • Harvesting cactus with bare hands now gives plant fiber and cochineal
  • Changed feat requirements and removed dependencies, added bonus knowledge points every 10 levels
  • Free feat respec when opening the feat GUI first time after this patch!

Visual Improvements

  • Players now see name tags of clan members in green text
  • Cleaned up and aligned the settings GUI
  • Thralls are now properly animated when working at crafting stations
  • Name tags stay longer onscreen and have become easier to read

Known issues

  • We are aware that some NPCs do not respawn correctly if players build too close. This will be fixed in the next patch.
  • We are aware of a stamina usage exploit. The fix will be rolled out with the next patch
  • Due to packaging the install files into .pak archives there is a 15-20 min wait once the client is downloaded before you can launch the game as the files unpack. This will only be the case for this patch.
  • When removing buildings that have become abandoned, in rare cases it is not possible to build on the same spot. If you leave and rejoin the server it should be possible to build again.
  • On local play if you use dyes on an equipped armor piece you must re-equip it before the color change becomes visible

Conan Exiles

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

Details

Wasteland 3 - Development Update

by Hiddenx, 20:02

Lear more about the Ruins of Denver in this Wasteland 3 Fig-update:

Travel to the Ruins of Denver

[...]

The Ruins of Denver

Hello all. Gavin here to talk about the Denver zone in Wasteland 3.

Most of Denver is in ruins. During the end of the old world, a nuclear weapon exploded high in the air over the city, killing most of the inhabitants. The skyscrapers that remain are jagged, crooked affairs that lean against each other. In their shadows, the lesser buildings have crumbled, forming ever-shifting mazes and subterranean tunnels of broken concrete and rusted rebar.

These urban wilds are battlefields for the predators prowling the city, unaffiliated treasure hunters, and scavengers. Though the radiation is long gone, Denver is still a deathtrap, but one studded with buried riches from the old world.

The Denver Airport Commune lies to the east of the ruins and is now a colony of artists, hackers, conspiracy nuts, mad scientists, and assorted eccentrics. The Commune is centered around the Space Shuttle Atlantis (which landed here sometime after the bombs fell), and is dedicated to strange experimentation, acts of cyber espionage against the Patriarch, and MANY other things.

In the north is the mighty stronghold of the Gippers.

We shared a glimpse of the Ronald Reagan-worshiping cult in an earlier update. As many of you recall, the Gippers were a faction we originally planned for Wasteland 2, but now they will be appearing in Wasteland 3. The leaders of the Gippers are the priestesses known as Nancies - wives to the divine God-President Reagan, lawmakers, and judges. Above them all is the fierce and formidable Mother Nancy Reliance.

[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Wasteland 3

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

Details

Vigilantes - Version 15 Dev Video

by Silver, 13:28

Vigilantes latest update explores the improvements added to the game with version 15.

Hi again!

We're making good progress on version 15. Feature wise, the biggest additions are 2 new mission types (escort & prevent enemy fleeing), along with player fleeing and enemy spawning during missions, both of which were required for the new mission types.

We'd like to say a big thanks to Helena for sponsoring an encounter in Vigilantes, which has just been added and will be available in version 15. We hope you enjoy it! Other content additions include 1 more encounter, and two new maps. If you'd like to learn more about additions and improvements, you can find out more in the development video below.

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The expectation is that version 15 will be available in around 10 days, so stay tuned, and please let us know what you think of the new additions.

All the best,

Daithi

Vigilantes

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

Details

Sacred Fire - Rethinking Choices & Consequences

by Silver, 13:24

Sacred Fire has reached 50% of its goal on Kickstarter with 16 days remaining. The latest update talks about the games attitude to choices and consequences.

...

So let's dive into what we do differently and let's start with the why: while we love many RPGs, from Fallout to Shadowrun Returns to The Witcher, we think RPGs usually have a pacing problem, where story and gameplay do not support each other, but fight each other.

Either the story is good and you want to flip to the next page, but you need to clear another level of monsters first. Or the combat is fun but you cannot wait to click through the dialogues.

What if the game worked differently?
What if gameplay and story supported each other?

Another issue narrative games have is that they present arbitrary challenges to compensate for the fact, that there is no challenge in clicking on dialogue options. So they use writing that misleads players, obscure the consequences and add time limits, or Quick Time Events.

What if the basic interaction with the story would be tactical? We could write better stories and our players could get satisfaction for succeeding in making a tough choice.

So I've just described 2 typical problems I see in RPGs: disconnect between the story and the combat and arbitrary challenges.

Sacred Fire is using a numeric personality model to connect story choices and combat actions and make them support each other:

In addition, we apply the following 4 principles in the design of choices and consequences to solve the two problems I identified above:

You have to earn the right to make a tough call

If a story choice you want to make is out-of-character for the personality you've developed, you need to pass a probability check. To boost your chances you can use willpower points.

As a reward, making a tough choice develops your personality and helps you level up.

Choices shape your character as much as actions

Story choices shape your character's personality and this way indirectly affect his ability to perform at the peak of his ability.

Furthermore inner monologue gives the player's character the ability to interpret and comment on what's happening in the story. What are your thoughts on failure, injustice, or brutality in a scene?

[...]

Sacred Fire

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

Details

Sunday - March 26, 2017

Mass Effect: Andromeda - Review @ RPG Site

by Hiddenx, 12:50

RPG Site has reviewed Mass Effect: Andromeda:

Mass Effect: Andromeda Review

After the highs of the Mass Effect trilogy, being tasked with taking that universe further is a daunting order. An incredible space opera spanning three games with The Normandy’s crew isn’t something easily uncoupled from expectations into future games - or any Bioware title for that matter. Mass Effect: Andromeda's greatest challenge is surviving the series' towering legacy, and it is here that both its greatest successes and failures are found.

Andromeda's story, characters, environments, and sound are Mass Effect to their very core. Taking Ryder as far away from Shepard as possible gives the game the distance it needs to start somewhat fresh away from some of the minutiae of the trilogy. However, the goodwill built up by the Tempest’s crew and the journey into Andromeda is significantly damaged by struggling performance and a jarring lack of polish in places.

[...]

For all the hyperbole around rough animations online and for all the complaints I've had to raise in this review, it bears saying outright - Mass Effect: Andromeda is a good game.

It needs to be repeated over and over, as with any luck most of the worst offenders to its quality such as crashes can and will hopefully be patched. The facial animations melt into the background as the story immerses you - and it'd be silly to pretend that the trilogy didn't have any of that 'Bioware jank' going on - it's just more immediately noticeable here. Perhaps this console generation shift has moved the quality goalposts further than Bioware were able to reach in this title.

The back half of the game is certainly a drastic improvement on the early parts, and the way it wrapped up certainly boosted my impressions of the game. I'm particularly fond of Andromeda’s tone. It's hopeful, and feels more bright-eyed than the trilogy. Where the trilogy games each wrap up with the feeling that chapter is closed, Andromeda encourages you to return post-game and continue the adventure - because in a new galaxy, there's lots of exploring to do.

Andromeda has a spirit that I don’t want to see squashed by technical failures and a few questionable design decisions. Andromeda is ambitious and above all else it has heart - the deeper I got into the game, the more glued to it I became. Had it been anything less I would’ve sat my controller down and given up, but the journey most certainly made the struggle worth it.

Ryder’s tale feels like a solid beginning to something new. It needs more than a little polish, and probably some extensive work under the hood, but Andromeda has reassured me Mass Effect can exist without the Citadel, Earth, Shepard or even Ryder. This new galaxy left me with more questions than answers, but I’m okay with that. I hope another entry to the series means more exploration into every corner of humanity’s new home.

Score: 7/10

Mass Effect: Andromeda

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

Details

Mount & Blade II - Dev Blog

by Silver, 12:47

Mount & Blade II developer blog has some interesting information on quests and how the relationship system will work.

...
One aspect of Bannerlord that featured in the write-up is quests, which is what we're discussing in this blog entry. As a sandbox game, the essential function of quests in Mount & Blade is different to that of a linear or story-based RPG. Our goal is to use quests as a way to encourage the player to interact with the sandbox, and help form the player's relationships in the world.

As in Warband, completing quests for NPCs will increase your relation with that character. This however, takes on a new dimension in Bannerlord, as that relationship can have a more profound impact on your character, and the decisions you make. As an example, when you go to a town to recruit soldiers, instead of simply receiving a number of local recruits, the town's NPCs act as recruiting agents, or middle men, through whom you receive a supply of troops. The higher your relation with a specific NPC, the greater the number of soldiers they will make available to you.

This places inherent value on your relationship with a specific NPC, giving you a reason to complete quests for them, and enhance your capacity to recruit soldiers quickly, from a single location. Consider, also, the way this invests you in an NPC's safety and well-being; when that NPC is at risk, so too is your supply of soldiers. This link, between quests and the sandbox, is what provides interesting gameplay, as your character's connection to the world grows, making allies and enemies. In this sense, the impact of a quest is often more significant than the reward it offers.

A crucial change, in the nature of the quests themselves, is that the majority of quests, in Bannerlord, have multiple potential outcomes. As an example, when a character in a town tasks you with clearing out some thugs, who are occupying a local alley, upon meeting the gang, you are presented with a counter offer: go back to the quest-giver, extort money out of them for questioning the gang's authority and keep the profits for yourself. You can even clear out the thugs, as requested but instead of handing control back to the townsfolk, install your own men in the alley and begin a new criminal operation.
[...]

Mount & Blade II

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

Details

Pixel Privateers - Review

by Hiddenx, 12:26

Capsule Computers has reviewed the squad based tactical RPG Pixel Privateers:

Pixel Privateers

Overview
Pixel Privateers is a squad based tactical RPG that features a vast universe to explore and plenty of loot to discover. The game emphasizes robust customization options with an interactive ship and deep skill trees. Players can opt to explore the universe alone or invite friends along to fill out their squad.

Story
The plot of Pixel Privateers is a pretty standard sci-fi adventure with plenty of different factions attempting to stake out their little corner of the galaxy. The writing is decent and is rather light hearted for the most part. The story serves as a pleasant backdrop to Pixel Privateers that gives the gameplay a little bit of cohesion, but is no where near the game’s main attraction.

[...]

Overall
Pixel Privateers is a solid little loot grinder that is complex enough to keep a player’s attention. While the mission objectives are a bit predictable, the epic boss fights and co-op support more than make up for it. While the game’s controls has a few quirks that requires a bit too much micromanaging at times, the game presents an enjoyable squad based RTS experience that is easy to learn and scales well to a large variety of skill levels.

Score: 8/10 - Great

Pixel Privateers

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

Details

Monster Slayers - Released

by Hiddenx, 12:04

Monster Slayers - a card based rogue-like - has been released on Steam:

Developed by Nerdook (Reverse Crawl, Vertical Drop Heroes), Monster Slayers is a complete reimagining of the free web-based hit of the same name, which has been played over 4 million times on gaming portal, Kongregate. A rogue-like deck-building RPG adventure, Monster Slayers uses an innovative card-based battle system and lets you customize a deck to suit your play style. Create a new hero to join the Monster Slayers Guild and choose your path through the perilous Northern Valley as you follow your quest to defeat the legendary Harbinger and become a true Monster Slayer.

Video Review by Cosmic Engine:

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Features

  • Battle undead goblins, lion outlaws, mighty dragons and other monstrous foes using a unique card-based combat system
  • Strategically shape your deck as you acquire new cards from merchants, treasure chests, and allies
  • Collect fame from each run to unlock new abilities that can be used by future heroes
  • Every playthrough is different: levels, enemy encounters and loot are randomly generated
  • Choose from six different classes: Rogue, Ranger, Knight, Barbarian, Cleric, Wizard
  • Recruit companions to join you on your quest and make use of their special abilities
  • Equip your hero with stat-boosting loot to improve the chances of victory
  • Fight for your place at the top of the Monster Slayers leaderboards
  • Inspired by the much-loved deck-building RPG, Dream Quest, created by Peter Whalen (Hearthstone)

Thank you for the info Darkheart!

Monster Slayers

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

Details

Saturday - March 25, 2017

Stonekeep - On Steam now

by Hiddenx, 19:33

The dungeon crawler Stonekeep is now available on Steam:

About Stonekeep: Immerse yourself in an epic experience more powerful and realistic than anything you've imagined. Using innovative technology Stonekeep draws you into its dark reaches so completely you'll forget it's just a game. Your feet will walk the ancient corridors. Your hands will wield weapons of metal and magic. You'll battle disembodied foes, rescue your allies from evil, liberate a massive dragon from bondage and discover an experience more realistic than you expected.

Step into the mystery of Stonekeep and begin a quest through dark corridors, treacherous sewers and subterranean realms of faeries, magic and the living dead. You'll discover a world where darkness reigns and where you become part of a detailed story line that unfolds at your command. Defeat evil, reclaim your immortal soul and experience an adventure you will never forget.

  • Reader's Choice Role-Playing Game Of the Year in 1996 (Computer Gaming World)
  • Journey through many fantasy locations like Fairy Land or a goblin-infested castle
  • Created by Christopher Taylor, one of the designers of Fallout and Fallout 2

Stonekeep

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

Details

Witcher 3 - Polish Witcher Trivia #2

by Hiddenx, 09:46

Farflame spotted an interesting article about Witcher lore on Gamepressure:

Polish Witcher Trivia #2 – Hearts of Stone and its plot built around a Polish legend

After last part's Bruniwch and its relation to Polish literature, this week we're taking a look at the plot of Hearts of Stone and how it is built around a classic Polish legend.

Since you enjoyed the first part of our Polish Witcher Trivia series, it’s time for a follow-up. For those of you who don’t know what’s going on, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has certain Easter eggs that are clear for the Polish audience, but players from other countries may have trouble understanding them. Two weeks ago I talked about Brunwich and its relation to Polish literature. This week, we’re looking at the main plot theme of The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone and how it is built around a poem by Adam Mickiewicz – Pani Twardowska (Twardowski’s Wife).

As we progress through the story, we come to a realization that Master Mirror is a powerful person, but we still don’t know his true nature. The mysterious man admits that he signed a certain pact with von Everec and the agreement can be fulfilled only when Gaunter O’Dimm grants three of Olgierd’s wishes and they stand together on the Moon. So let’s take a closer look at Adam Mickiewicz’s poem (as translated into English by Dorothea Prall Radin), which was inspired by a legend of Jan Twardowski and see where it gets us.

[...]

Witcher 3

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

Details

Dishonored 2 - New Patch

by Hiddenx, 09:41

Dishonored 2 got a new patch:

Dishonored 2 - Game Update 3

Please find the patch notes below on what you can expect in this newest beta update.

  • Fixed a bug where AMD 400 Series Crossfire enabled GPUs will have lower auto graphics presets than the single card GPU
  • Fixed a bug where the player can get control-locked in the Keybind menu if they use a mouse and gamepad.
  • Fixed a PC bug where the player will lose in-game sound/audio after alt-tabbing too quickly
  • Added option to hide the quick select dock
  • Fixed a bug where Quick Save / Quick Load is available in Iron Mode
  • UI optimization
  • Fixed a bug where the FPS drops when the player looks at a gravehound's smoke.
  • Fixed a bug where possessing a Gravehound causes their smoke effect to build up.
  • Fixed shadows missing on particles
  • Fixed a bug where normal maps were inverted with negative scaled objects
  • Fixed a bug where using Far Reach on a hanging speaker causes strange physics in subsequent Far Reaches
  • Fixed a bug where aiming Focused Strike or Spyglass at the sky results in poor depth of field masking
  • Fixed a bug where Jindosh still talks to player in lab after death or being rendered unconscious
  • Fixed a bug where the journal may become blurred
  • Fixed a bug in Long Day In Dunwall where screen turns dark a short time after speaking with Meagan
  • Fixed a bug where the player becomes control-locked when attempting to load corrupt mission saves
  • Fixed a bug where overwriting corrupt New Game + save with no free space can cause a crash during or after credits
  • Fixed a bug where Autosave Thumbnails persist after switching Profiles
  • Fixed a bug in "Long Day in Dunwall” where saving as the mission causes the Mission Save to not be created
  • Fixed a bug where canceling a mission selection on the main menu and then starting a New Game + prevents selecting a difficulty setting
  • Fixed a bug where mantling as the elevator hits the ground will cause game to crash
  • Fixed a bug where Doppelgänger doesn't replenish mana with Corvo
  • Fixed a bug where NPCs will rediscover bodies after a save/load and enter search mode a second time
  • Fixed reported issues with some localization text
  • Fixed a bug where Springrazor traps attached to Rats and Bloodflies will not go off if possessed
  • Fixed a crash when Far Reaching to an NPC while killing them with Shadow Kill
  • Fixed a bug where Rats were unable to consume severed limbs
  • Fixed a crash that could occur during a fight with a rewired Clockwork Soldier
  • Bloodthirst post-process is now brighter
  • Fixed a bug where one-handed thrown objects were misaligned to the right of the crosshair
  • Fixed a bug where the Springrazor won’t trigger when it is put on a bolt
  • Added a « Full » option for the « Mana Replenish » setting
  • Fixed a crash when player falls off of platform inside painting while in possession.

Thank you for the info, Farflame!

Dishonored 2

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

Details

Siege of Dragonspear - CE & New Beamdog Client

by Hiddenx, 09:29

Farflame spotted that Beamdog announced a new Beamdog client and a Siege of Dragonspear Collector's Edition:

New Beamdog client

But before we get started, please note that the Beamdog Client is not our "next big thing” we’ve been working on for so long, only part of it. Watch out for more news on that soon!

The new Beamdog Client will run any product made by Beamdog, and we encourage you to try it out with your Enhanced Edition games. Just download, install, log-in, and point the new client at your existing games using the Find Existing Game button.

Why use the new Beamdog Client? Lots of reasons! In addition to easy updates, the new Beamdog Client features DRM-free versions of your purchased games, easy-to-access forum links, quick links to the latest versions of online game manuals, and better connections to support. Plus, buying directly from Beamdog helps us support the games you have and make more of the games you love!

Sharp eyed users will notice the new Beamdog Client supports products on Mac (we’ve specifically designed it to work well with Sierra) and Linux. Though Linux users will see an empty list where games should be, perhaps that’s a sign of things to come in the future. ;)

We’d like for our fans to use the Beamdog Client in the language of their choice. French, Polish, and German are just the start. Watch for more languages in future updates.

Siege of Dragonspear Collector’s Editions Now Available!

Did you miss the Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear Collector’s Edition pre-order? We’re excited to share that a LIMITED number of Collector's Editions are now available for purchase!

 

Siege of Dragonspear

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

Details

Battle Brothers - Review @ AWNT

by Hiddenx, 09:20

A Wargamers Needful Things has reviewed the tactical RPG Battle Brothers:

Battle Brothers

Battle Brothers, from Overhype Studios, is a game which took me by surprise in the best way. The first time I sat down with it and started playing, my only thought was "How has no one made a game like this before?!"  This is one of those occasional titles which reminds you why you started playing video games in the first place. In case you haven't guessed yet, I really enjoyed the game. Read on to find out all the details, or just go buy the game now.

In Battle Brothers, the player takes on the leadership of a small company of mercenaries making their way in a low-fantasy world. The world, and everything in it, is randomly generated each time you start a campaign. Towns, each of different size and containing different amenities, are scattered across a world divided between a few noble houses. There is also a massive area of the world map which is completely shrouded in mystery at the beginning of your campaign. One will immediately be reminded of Mount & Blade when beginning their wanderings through the world, and if you played that classic, you will feel right at home here. Between these towns runs a network of roads cutting through forests, grasslands, deserts, swamps, and mountains. Trade caravans, squads of soldiers, and even other mercenary bands travel the roads. Lurking in the shadows on every side are groups of baddies, waiting to strike the defenseless peasants. This is where your mercenary company steps in to make some coin.

[...]

Even with all the content in he game, it's clearly a candidate for more of everything, you really couldn't have too much variety here. More quests, character backgrounds, events, enemies, world ending disasters, and weapons are always welcome.  Some areas I would love to see expanded in a patch or DLC down the road would include deeper interactions with towns, more options for running the company itself, a more complex perk system, or even introducing more fantastical elements like magic or taking a step forward in tech (why not both?).

If you have read this far and are still interested in the game, I strongly urge you to go buy it. This is easily my favorite game of the year so far. Not because it has flashy graphics or an amazing storyline, but because it ticks so many boxes of what I want a game to be. It is fun through and through, and feels polished from the moment the game begins.

Battle Brothers

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

Details

Shiness - Release Date: April 18

by Hiddenx, 09:15

Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom will be released on April 18:

Release Date & Music Trailer

Our Action-RPG Shiness will arrive to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on 18 April 2017 as revealed in today’s Music Trailer.

The game’s universe was born over 20 years ago from the pen strokes of Samir Rebib, our Artistic Director. In today’s trailer, we invite you discovering the magical lands and characters of the Lightning Kingdom, accompanied by an entrancing, original soundtrack.

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This gives you a first taste of the tracks that will accompany you along your journey. We have pumped all our energy and passion into Shiness, and in less than a month a child's dream finally becomes an indie-RPG with a bold personality… and enchanting music!

Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom comes to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on 18 April 2017.

Pre-orders for PC are open on Steam, and include the Official Shiness Manga, the Original Soundtrack and 15% off the game's price.

Shiness

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

Details

General News - Chris Avellone Interview

by Silver, 06:54

@Glixel they interviewed Chris Avellone about his career and what he thinks about various rpg things.

...
But when I sit down to play Planescape: Torment, I know I'm going to be reading a ton. I don't think that game is any weaker for it.
Well, Planescape's probably an example I'd point to where we never could have done what we wanted to do - like, showing characters' expressions - with the animation budget that we had. Nor could you actually even see it on the scale those characters were [drawn].

Ultimately, we had to describe a lot [using words], and that was a lot of fun. I think Planescape got a little bit of a pass because every NPC you talked to generally knew something about your character. That ended up motivating you to play through it. You're like, "I'll discover something powerful about myself if I keep talking to this person."

So you think the dialogue kept you going by making you feel grand and important?
Yeah. I think Planescape is perhaps one of the most selfish power fantasies I've ever written. Everything revolves around the player character.

Planescape: Torment is often cited as one of the best-written games ever made. How do you feel about the place it occupies in the canon?
Speaking as someone that thought they were going to get fired over that game, I'm extremely gratified by the reception. QA thought it was a very strange game, which is something you really never want to hear from QA. I wasn't sure what the reception was going to be. It was a lot of long hours with a small team. It's really cool that people responded strongly to it.

When did you realize that you would not, in fact, get fired?
Six months later, I'm like, "Oh wow, now I have some breathing room. It seems like I bought some time."

A lot of the games that you've ended up working on as a freelancer are isometric RPGs in that vein.
Actually, very few of the freelance projects I'm on are isometric RPGs. Divinity: Original Sin 2 is the only one that comes close. I don't know how much more I have to add to the genre right now. I spent the last 10, maybe 15 years working on that style of game. What I'd like to do is see what other genres have done with storytelling and then, when I go back to isometric RPGs - which I eventually will - see how can I take the elements those other genres have figured out about story, and bring that into the isometric RPG, to make the experience even stronger.

So you're certain that you'll go back to isometric RPGs? Is that stuff in your bones?
Yeah. I may just go back to the pen-and-paper route. The idea of gazing down at a battle mat and moving your miniatures around - that's something I've always really enjoyed. As long as that's not the only thing I'm ever doing, as long as I'm trying to learn in other ways. That's what makes me happy.

I think the advantage of different genres is that, as a designer, you end up creating mechanics and systems that are designed to enforce that genre.

We as an audience fetishize choice in games - we love being able to choose what our characters are going to say. Do you think that propagating that has come with any negative side effects?

I almost worry it's a technical limitation. Sometimes, it's hard to decide why a player is doing something, and that's why dialogue is important. It gives the player character an opportunity to go, "Here is why I'm doing this." It's otherwise almost impossible to tell.

When we were doing Alpha Protocol, for example - it was an espionage RPG - we didn't focus on a morality meter. We just focused on what the outside world would think of your actions, and then we'd use that as consequences despite why you're really doing it. Because that felt more "secret agent-y." I think that applies to a lot of games. You [as a player] have to make an internal choice. You know why you're doing it. The world may not understand, but that's why you have to make the hard decisions - because you know more than the outside world does.

[...]

General News

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

Details

Planescape: Torment - Countdown to EE?

by Silver, 06:30

A countdown timer on a planescape.com website. It appears Beamdog is behind it.

Planescape: Torment

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

Details

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: - Lost Alpha: April 26

by Hiddenx, 02:30

Three years after the forced beta release, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Lost Alpha will launch on April 26:

LOST ALPHA - DEVELOPER'S CUT

Release Announcement

"If you only knew where I've just been and what I've seen". You remember this one? Well it was a long road up until now, but there is finally a sun shining over us brightly. After almost three years, we can confidently announce the release date of Lost Alpha Director's Cut. Let's talk about some other things first though.

Deadlines. We all love them, right? No, really, they suck. But a deadline has to be set for every project, or else it will never be finished. Setting up the deadline is as critical as meeting it. We have a large team of game enthusiasts with years of experience in development. However everyone is doing this project in his free time, and as the years passing by, the less free time we have. Just wanted to mention that it took us so many years to make this DC because we barely had the time for it. I'ts not a completely new game, it's however the game we had in our mind. Initially, we planned to release the game today, on the 10th anniversary of the release of Shadow of Chernobyl outside of the US. Sadly however, this can't be done, which smoothly brings us over to...

The bugs. Yes, we also love bugs, right? Who doesn't? Well, some people do, but exotic cuisine isn't the scope of this project. Bugs are the bane of software developers, and bugs have plagued us from the beginning of development, and even onto the initial release of LA. We admit that the release version wasn't as stable as we wanted it, but it was a rushed decision after the unexpected leak, and that's precisely why we're giving ourselves just a bit more time - to squish the greatest bugs, so DC will be a more polished game than vanilla Lost Alpha was. But in case some bugs manage to escape unnoticed, we plan to update DC post-release, likely also adding some new content. We have 2 new levels in production, and many new features, which we will uncover later this year. Speaking about stuff we have done so far, here is an updated changes log: click here!

The release date. Yes, what everyone was waiting for. The final release date for Lost Alpha Developer's Cut is the 26th of April 2017, 31 years after the tragic events in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant transpired, which many years later insipred the guys at GSC Game World to create one of the greatest game franchises ever. So that's it for today. See you in slightly over a month! Feel free to contact us via e-mail info@dezowave.com, or on Facebook (search for dezowave page and lost alpha group)! By the way, the last screenshot is from one of our new levels in production.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

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

Details

Friday - March 24, 2017

Lords of Xulima II - About the Sequel

by Hiddenx, 20:39

Numatian Games explains the difficulty level of their Lords of Xulima sequel:

The Sequel: More casual or more hardcore?

Greetings!

Recently, there have been some hot discussions in the forum about if the sequel of Lords of Xulima would be more casual to attract more potential buyers or more hardcore to please the old-school fans. So we would like to talk about this topic and clarify this aspect before the rivers of blood flood the forum. 😉

First, don’t confuse Accessible with Casual

A game can be more casual or more hardcore independently of their accessibility level. Lords of Xulima is big, challenging and deep, with lots of mechanisms and possibilities but, it is very accessible. It is very easy and simple to play (move the avatar, talk with NPCs, disarm traps, level up, combat…). We dedicated a lot of work to achieve that level of simplicity of playing. On contrast, old-school games seemed much more hardcore than they actually were because of their obscure and awkward interfaces.

We will always try to make the games as accessible as possible so any player can play it, but with the same level of challenge and depth as they were originally designed.

[...]

So how will the sequel be?

Let’s just say that in Numantian Games, we will always focus on creating deep and challenging games. It is our seal and always will be. So, of course, it won’t be a casual game and it won’t have casual options to disable mechanisms of the game. We will use the same method for casual players: a low difficulty mode, but they will have to play the same game with the same mechanisms (food, traps, encounters…) as any other player.

Indeed, the game will be even more challenging, more open, with more depth, more options to evolve the party, and many more secrets. There will be a special ending that will be a truly hardcore experience 😉 and more special rewards for the higher difficulties.

Lords of Xulima II

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

Details

Vikings - Wolves of Midgard - Released

by Hiddenx, 20:15

The Action RPG is Vikings - Wolves of Midgard out now:

Rage, Blood and Ragnarok. Vikings – Wolves of Midgard Unleashes Today

Join the Ulfung wolf clan in an epic battle for survival as Kalypso’s brutal combat focused Action RPG launches across Europe
Sharpen your axe, make your blood sacrifice to your deity and prepare to embark on an epic and brutal adventure as you journey to the Shores of Midgard, a world based upon the mythology and bloody history of the Vikings. Take on the endless evil forces by becoming either a Viking warrior or shieldmaiden and master several weapon styles and magical abilities as you battle increasingly challenging enemies and boss encounters. Combat styles include sword and shield, two-handed hammer, staff, bow and dual-wield axes, and by collecting resources and special runes on your adventures you’ll be able to use the game’s in-depth crafting system to upgrade your equipment. Dedicated explorers will also be able to find legendary weapons and armors as well as Artifact weapons tucked away in each of the levels to unlock the most powerful gear in the game. Alongside items and materials, the other key resource you’ll be harvesting is blood, used to level up and earn Gift points, which in turn unlock special powers called ‘Gifts of the Gods’.

To celebrate the launch of Vikings - Wolves of Midgard Kalypso has prepared a short featurette video showing some of the brutal combat and epic boss battles you will encounter on your journey to stop Ragnarok – the end of days.

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Vikings - Wolves of Midgard

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

Details

In Vitra - Release Day

by Hiddenx, 20:05

Today's the release day for the J-RPG In Vitra - that's the second German release today!

In Vitra

Is there any truth to those rumours of a mysterious affliction spreading all over "In Vitra"? The four heroes of this role-playing game with a turn-based combat system embark on an epic quest for a cure – and chance upon a far bigger mystery.

In Vitra

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

Details

Battle Brothers - Released

by Hiddenx, 19:56

Every fan of tactical RPGs can rejoice - the full release of Battle Brothers is now available:

Full Release

It’s here and it’s done! We’re excited to see the finished Battle Brothers graduate from Early Access and be fully released today, on March 24th, 2017.

Creating this game together with you has been a long and rewarding adventure, and we’re very happy with what the game has grown to become. We hope you enjoy playing Battle Brothers as much as we enjoyed developing it – and given a successful launch, this won’t be the end of the road.

With the game’s release, the soundtrack is now also available as a separate DLC. If you’re the owner of the Deluxe or Supporter edition, it’ll be automatically delivered to you via Steam. The Art & Lore book will become available in the coming weeks.

Let’s celebrate this momentous occasion with our new story trailer for launch and final feature list of the Battle Brothers 1.0 release.

About Battle Brothers

Battle Brothers is a turn based tactical RPG which has you leading a mercenary company in a gritty, low-power, medieval fantasy world. You decide where to go, whom to hire or to fight, what contracts to take and how to train and equip your men in a procedurally generated open world campaign. Do you have what it takes to lead them through bloody battles and to victory?

The game consists of a strategic worldmap and a tactical combat layer. On the worldmap you can freely travel in order to take contracts that earn you good coin, find places worth looting, enemies worth pursuing or towns to resupply and hire men at. This is also where you manage, level up and equip your Battle Brothers. Once you engage a hostile party the game will switch to a tactical map where the actual fighting takes place as detailed turn based combat.

  • Manage a medieval mercenary company in a procedurally generated open world.
  • Fight complex turn-based tactical battles with historical equipment and brutal injuries.
  • Permadeath. All characters that die in combat will stay dead – unless they return as the undead.
  • All characters come with their own background stories and traits. Want a stuttering ratcatcher, a greedy witch hunter or a drunkard disowned noble?
  • Character development without a restrictive class-system. Each character gains experience through combat, can level up and acquire powerful perks.
  • Equipment that matters. Different weapons grant unique skills – split shields with axes, stun enemies with maces, form a spearwall with spears or crush armor with a warhammer.
  • Diverse enemy roster. All enemies have unique equipment, skills and AI behavior.
  • A dynamic event system with atmospheric encounters and tough decisions outside of combat.
  • Three late game crises – a war between noble houses, a greenskin invasion and an undead scourge – add a looming threat.
  • Two full hours of orchestral soundtrack.
  • 70 Steam Achievements and Steam Trading Cards.

Overhype Studios is an independent game developer studio from Hamburg, Germany. We are devoted to making great games that we want to play ourselves. With Battle Brothers we thrive to reflect the creativity, complexity and originality from the old days when game developers where passionate gamers, not corporate businessmen. While doing this we took a lot of inspiration from some of best games out there: The original X-Com, Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat, Mount & Blade and Jagged Alliance.

Battle Brothers

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

Details

Thursday - March 23, 2017

InXile Entertainment - Brian Fargo to Retire 2019

by Silver, 21:54

@Eurogamer Brian Fargo has announced his retirement will take place in 2019 with the release of Wasteland 3.

inXile boss Brian Fargo has told Eurogamer he plans to retire after Wasteland 3 ships in 2019.

The industry veteran, who founded influential game company Interplay in 1983, said he wanted to relax after a lengthy career making successful games.

"Wasteland 2 and Torment both came out great," he said. "The Mage's Tale's got a great buzz. The Bard's Tale 4 looks spectacular. Wasteland 3 is building on Wasteland 2. It seems like a good time to drop the mic.

"I love this industry, but I've been at this since 1981. I've been at it with Ken and Roberta Williams [Sierra co-founders], Trip Hawkins [EA founder], the guys from Brøderbund - I look at my friends, they have a lot more spare time than I do. It's a very intense business. It's all encompassing. It seems like I should relax for a little bit."
[...]

InXile Entertainment

Details

GOG - Supports Cloud Saves now

by Hiddenx, 20:49

Pladio spotted that GOG supports cloud saves for classic games now - The Verge reports:

Steam competitor GOG Galaxy now supports cloud saves for classic games

PC gaming client GOG Galaxy — billed as a DRM-free alternative to Steam — is getting a big update that adds cloud-saving functionality to a number of games on the service. The software update, which brings Galaxy up to version 1.2, introduces what the company calls “universal cloud saves.” This is something that developers can add to new games released on the platform, but it also means that a number of classic games — which are big part of the GOG library — will be updated with the ability to sync saves across PCs and back up saves to the cloud.

At present, only a handful of older titles will support the cloud feature, including Planescape: Torment, Dragon Age Origins, Heroes of Might & Magic III, and Vampire: the Masquerade Bloodlines. But GOG says that it will be “constantly working on including this feature in more and more games,” including both new releases and classic titles. Your saves also won’t be tied just to GOG Galaxy. “Cloud saves are not locked behind the gaming platform,” the company explains. “At any moment users can download backup of their saves data and use it as they see fit.”

[...]

GOG

Details