The Aielund Saga Review
Purpleblob dived into one of the many Neverwinter Night mods and wrote us a review.
» Continue reading the article...
Battle Brothers Review
Forgottenlor checked out Battle Brothers and learned that he enjoyed it quite a bit.
» Read the article
This is Skyrim stuff
5 figures easily
somewhere between 10 and 50K
In the low 1000's
3 figures only
Somewhere around 100
Tuesday - June 27, 2017
General News - Interview with Rebecca Heineman
ShanePlays interviewed Rebecca Heineman about Bard's Tale I-III Remastered, gets an update on Dragons of the Rip and talks a bit about Dragon Wars. Burger's interview starts around 16:30. Podcast version here.
Monday - June 26, 2017
Seven - E3 Preview
CogConnected previewed Seven: The Days Long Gone at E3.
The demo begins in the high tech metropolis of ‘Hallard', capital of The Vetrall Empire and headquarters of the tyrannical Emperor Drugan. The world is nonlinear, vast, and brimming with monsters and magic. Player freedom is at the core of Seven. Built from the ground up via the power of Unreal Engine 4, the game features an impressive parkour mechanic that enables players to freely climb up or across any obstacle, regardless of height. As a master of thievery, Teriel can complete a variety of quests and form relationships with a plethora of the city's inhabitants. From scaling massive buildings, breaking and entering, and plundering valuable trinkets, Teriel proudly leads a life of crime. Following a period of loot seeking and pickpocketing, Teriel accepts a challenging job that leads him to the treacherous island of Peh; which serves as a massive prison housing Vetrall's most fearsome criminals, monsters, and enemy factions. Along the way, Teriel crosses paths with a mysterious individual who plants a demon in his head named ‘Artanak.' With a newfound mission in hand and a demonic companion possessing his mind, Teriel sets off for the dreaded island.
Release: In development
Realm Grinder - Released
You can get the Clicker Strategy RPG Realm Grinder for free on Steam now:
About Realm Grinder
Grow your kingdom, build alliances, and explore one of the deepest idle RPG's ever!
Use your money and influence to grow your kingdom from a single farm to a huge realm that earns wealth even while you're not online! In Realm Grinder, the player is given an incredible array of choices in how they build forge their new kingdom.
Choose to align yourself with a dozen different factions, each of which has their own distinct play style. Will you align with the elves, who reward tapping for treasure, or the demons, who give massive bonuses to the most powerful structures?
Further fine tune your strategy by choosing unique upgrades, buildings, and spells to invest in.
Continue to unlock new and exciting systems like new factions, research, reincarnations, excavations, and way more. Months and months of unique content!
Achievement hunters will be delighted with the broad range and depth of the achievement system. And it's not just eye candy! Many strategies rely on collecting trophies in order to boost certain upgrades.
Ash of Gods - Funded
The Ash of Gods Kickstarter campaign managed to get funded in the last 3 days of the campaign and in the process managed to achieve two stretch goals as well, which were at $80K and $85K. These stretch goals are 50+ additional side quests and more epic battle music respectively.
SO WHAT WILL BE IN THE RELEASE?
It will be the story of Thorn Brenin and his circle of people, flavored with a good number of secondary quests (events) that can (and will!) happen to them on their way to the final goal. The quests will reveal more about the heroes and the events taking place in the game world.
Hopper Rouley will follow in Thorn's tracks, allowing the user to see the consequences of the decisions he or she took on behalf of Brenin. In all likelihood, we won't have resources to create the ability to manage Hopper's team or let it participate in battles, although we're going to give it our best try; but only time will tell. At the very least, Hopper will play a large role in the story.
Cutting down on Lo Pheng's storyline is a lot harder for us. We wanted to show the other side of the conflict, but our initial stretch goals proved too ambitious. We want to preserve his influence on the story through the decisions of the players, and not turn him into an ordinary NPC. We'll only know for sure how we're going to handle the Lo Pheng storyline around August. We'll definitely write about it in more detail closer to the time.
As far as localization is concerned, the release will have two official versions—Russian and English. We'd love to get help from the fan community to translate the game into German, French, Polish, Spanish and Portuguese. Unfortunately we won't be able to pay the usual localization rates for all the above-mentioned countries, but we are definitely willing to encourage this process with the help of some nice prizes.
We'll also record an additional battle track for the game, which will help to make the battles slightly more diverse from an audio perspective.
Ash of GodsSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Kingmaker - Spells and Effects
Spells and effects are highlighted in this update for Pathfinder:Kingmaker.
oday we will be talking about spells – lifeblood of more than half of the Pathfinder classes. Since the release of their signature product, Paizo published numerous rulebooks for the Pathfinder RPG, both hardcover giants, like Ultimate Magic and Advanced Player Guide, and innumerable softcover Campaign Settings, Player Companions, Modules, and Adventure Paths. And most of them do contain spells, some of them only one, and some whole packs rivaling the basic assortment provided in the core rulebook. For us, when making a Pathfinder CRPG, this provides a treasury to draw from.
And as we do draw from it, and see the ideas of all these spells come to life on our screens, they blend together to give you a myriad of tactics to solve problems, overcome obstacles and defeat enemies our game will provide you aplenty. For in Pathfinder spells are not just elemental attacks of different shapes and colors, but a diverse set of tools and instruments for enormous amounts of possible situations. And those who love their elemental attacks will also find them in abundance, as some situations require precisely tools like these.
Is one of your companions injured? Poisoned? Dead? There are spells for that. Cannot find a secret door? There is a spell for that too. Found a secret door, but cannot open it? Again, there is a spell for that. Are you feeling the strong urge to set somebody on fire? There are a lot of spells that do exactly that. While setting someone on fire, you mistakenly set your companions on fire too, and now they're dead? We’ve already discussed, spells can fix that. Cannot see your enemy? There is a spell for that. Still cannot see him, because he's behind the wall? There is a spell for that. Still cannot see him? You’ve probably been blinded. Do not worry; there is a spell for that. There is a whole school of spells that allow you to see enemies even where there aren’t any. Got too cold? There’s a spell for that. Are neighbors too loud? There’s a spell for that. Mysterious rash..? There’s probably a spell for that.
After Reset - Pre-Release Test
The prologue for After Reset is going into the pre-release phase. In a backer only update the following was shared:
I can’t even believe I’m saying that but… it looks like we’re ready for your evaluation! Yippie-ki-yay :) The prologue is on Steam and we’ve fixed most of the bugs reports from the relevant bug reports discussion.
Now you can play it completely from the beginning, through various plot branches and some sandbox to final rescue from the Gyes bunker. Please, check the build during the next 2 weeks and pin the bugs you might find.
After fixing them I am going to:
- enable one decent cool twist/quest (hidden for the beta-test to surprise you later);
- add sound effect for the cave blast;
- enable gratz-message when player successfully gets out to the Great Desert;
- switch on the new background scene for the main menu when player competes the prologue (going to make it dependable on player’s progress like it was in KOTOR).
Guys, I need you votes for the following decision after you complete the prologue: are we ready for the official release? That implies we will fix the bugs you report and I’ll enable those minor adding and contact journalists, youtubers, etc.
I would strongly prefer to release it asap but I need your feedback and approval before that important move.
Meanwhile, our lead programmer asks to give him a month to upgrade our engine and rework our GUI from scratch on it as well as interaction code. His offer is to make that work free if he doesn’t meet the month deadline. Though, I wound not rather take his offer because those upgrades are not evident for players and I am afraid it might lead to endless development and his lost of enthusiasm.
So I would prefer the following path:
- 2 weeks of beta test by you, guys;
- 1 week of fixing and tidbits enabling;
- 2 weeks release;
- 1 month of updates/fixes/engine upgrade/gui rework/further content adding;
Guys, please, share your thoughts and vote the next step: are we ready for the release or should we wait?
After ResetSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Sunday - June 25, 2017
Kingmaker - Companion Jubilost
One of the companions that can join your party in Pathfinder: Kingmaker is Jubilost Nartropple.
The name of Jubilost Nartropple is known to each and every educated person in all of Avistan. Or rather Jubilost himself won't accept the idea that someone, who does not know his name, could possibly be called an educated person. A renowned adventurer, who traveled the Inner Sea region back and forth, prolific writer and tireless explorer, Jubilost likes to brag, that every good household is bound to have at least one of his books - whether it's an expensive illustrated atlas or a cheap collection of cooking recipes. He doesn't care that those envious of his many talents call him haughty and rude - after all he can insult them much worse - and in a dozen different languages at that!
Vigilantes - Version 17
Version 17 of Vigilantes is available now. Two new features that are added in this version are rackets and gang strategy AI.
Rackets are bonus providing enemy facilities, which are located in city districts. There are currently eight racket types. Three of these are main bases, of which each gang starts with one, and the remaining five rackets can be purchased and built by the gangs throughout the city. Each racket provides different local (adjacent tile) and global bonuses, and income.
The Gang Strategic AI directs the gang's actions on the strategic, city map level. We wanted to avoid giving each gang a set of rigid orders, (such as acquire upgrade x on day Y) which they would follow regardless of what the player is doing. Instead, we invested some time to build a system which would allow the gang to use their financial resources to react strategically to the player, choosing which upgrades and rackets best suit their current needs.
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
ToEE - The most D&D Game
PC Gamer thinks The Temple of Elemental Evil is a true D&D game:
Why The Temple of Elemental Evil is the most D&D game ever made
It may not be the *best* D&D game, but The Temple of Elemental Evil is the truest representation of the tabletop experience.
There's a drinking competition at the village inn, and I do like to get drunk in video games. My half-orc barbarian has the most hit points and the least intelligence, which probably makes him qualified for entry. Half a dozen locals and guests join in, and every time the innkeeper shouts “Drink!” they knock back an ale and drop a bunch of HP (non-fatally, of course). In the end it comes down to the barbarian and a traveler named Kobort, who eventually topples to join the rest of the competitors sleeping on the floor.
Then I have my rogue go round and loot all their stuff. Even clothes. Nobody seems to mind. It's a fair punishment for getting fall-down drunk. They're lucky I'm not drawing schlongs on their foreheads. For the entire rest of the game I recognize NPCs I beat in this competition because they stand around town in their medieval underpants. That's just how it goes in The Temple of Elemental Evil.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Interview @ E3
Game Watcher interviewed Julien Desourteaux about the Action RPG Werewolf: The Apocalypse:
Werewolf: The Apocalypse - An Interview With Cyanide Studio's Julien Desourteaux [E3 2017]
The World of Darkness series of games and entertainment has always been a rich tapestry of lore and imagination that has allowed gamers to undertake the roles of many mythical creatures of the night in various unique settings. Most people are probably familiar with the popular role-playing games, Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption and Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, but these are just a couple entries in a grand library of great games that have come from White Wolf Publishing. Fortunately, White Wolf has teamed up with Focus Home Interactive and Cyanide Studios to bring another of their grand franchises to PCs and consoles. This time, it’s Werewolf: The Apocalypse.
In a world where various factions are ushering the destruction of nature, werewolves stand as the primal bastions against the end of the world. What began as a pen and paper role-playing experience is now becoming an interactive journey that will have players delving deep into the powers of the werewolf to protect the natural and spiritual world. At E3 2017, we caught up to Cyanide Studio game designer Julien Desourteaux to speak about how he and his team are bringing Werewolf new life as a video game. Desourteaux shared the interesting world of Werewolf with us, as well as how players will take on the role of the Garou to defend the forces of nature, or give into their bestial blood and wreak havoc.
GameWatcher: The original context of Werewolf is that there is cataclysmic event known as The Apocalypse that the werewolves, known previously in the series as the Garou, are fighting against, right?
Desourteaux: Correct. In the original pen and paper game, their mission was to kill those who would move the world towards the Apocalypse either wittingly or unwittingly. It’s always been sort of a fiction that plays at the edge of reality where these mythical creatures are fighting a problem very much inspired by real-world issues. For the purpose of our game, we’re going with an action-RPG to convey that world. It’s based upon a lot of the rules of the pen and paper game, but we’re reworking the gameplay mechanics to make it a far more moving and visceral thing.
GameWatcher: Could you expand upon that? What kind of mechanics will players be using as they step into the fur and claws of the Garou?
Desourteaux: So the main three mechanics behind Werewolf: The Apocalypse are combat, exploration, and interaction, and at the center of all of that is rage management. Rage is a factor that has to be maintained by the player because if the Garou’s rage gets out of control, they will frenzy. There are pros and cons to that. Certainly it’s great for combat, but there could be consequences as well. For example, you won’t be able to tell friend from foe. You will fight all present and that could lead to attacking an ally. You can’t go back until there are no more threats present. Likewise, if you’re in dialogue with a character and you’re overcome by rage, your character might eviscerate an important character.
Werewolf: The ApocalypseSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
General News - Spirit AI
Natural dialogue with NPCs is closer than you think
I mean, dialogue trees are fine, I guess. Your character asks a question, the NPC gives a response, you learn what you need to, and for a moment it almost looks like a conversation. But they’re hardly perfect. Playing through Mass Effect: Andromeda, I was reminded how interrogative they make me feel: “YES BUT WHY ARE YOU OUT HERE STUDYING THE REMNANT?”
They can also make conversations feel like passive lore-dumps. Real people don’t tell you their life story at your first meeting, and thank God, because it can get pretty boring. I wish an NPC would turn around and tell me “the mating rituals of my culture are none of your business. And no, we won’t bang, okay?”
These are among the problems that Spirit AI are trying to fix with their Character Engine. It aims to achieve something that will still feel like a distant dream to many players: natural-seeming conversations with AI characters, in which you use text or even voice chat to speak, and they answer as a real person would, creating their dialogue on the fly.
Endless Space 2 - New free Content
PCGamesN reports that Endless Space 2 got a new questline:
Endless Space 2's new hero is trapped inside a neutron star
As you might infer from its title, the Stellar Prisoner’s new questline concerns a mysterious figure who is literally imprisoned in a neutron star. It also appears that neutron stars will be objectives in a battle arena mode, conferring special bonuses to whomever controls them.
- Neutron Star: a battle arena that provides bonuses to players who control this special node.
- A new quest triggered upon the discovery of the Neutron Star.
- A new Endless Virtual hero.
- A new Cravers Prime hero, unlocked by the community during an ARG.
- Two new, unique planets.
- Modding improvements, including the ability to edit visuals (hero, quests, events) and textures (planets, ships).
- General performance and AI improvements - there's a full set of patch notes here on Steam.
Non-RPG General NewsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Mount & Blade II - Preview @ E3
COG checked out Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord at the E3:
E3 2017: Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Preview – Mount Up and Take Charge Again
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Preview
Let’s start off with some truth; I was not a fan of the first Mount & Blade game. Admittedly, I never played any of the expansions, sequels or spin-offs, maybe one of them would have been more appealing to me. However I do know there is a huge, rabid following for Mount & Blade – so it wasn’t a fault of the game, it just wasn’t a game for me. So, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I was set up for a meeting with TaleWorlds Entertainment to discuss Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. Needless to say, after that hour long meeting, I was pleasantly surprised and honestly can’t wait to get my hands on the full version.loading...
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is a vast action game filled with epic battles and hand-to-hand combat. There isn’t a story, per se, the story is more about the journey you choose to take. One of my criticisms with the first game was the steep learning curve and lack of direction when you first start playing. The developers realized this and have introduced a set of objectives that you’ll work towards completing when you first start the game. Each objective is designed to introduce players to different game mechanics, which should do a better job of easing new players in (and re-introducing returning players).
Mount & Blade IISP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Saturday - June 24, 2017
Kingdom Come - Preview @ E3
New Game Network checked out Kingdome Come Deliverance at the E3:
Kingdom Come: Deliverance Preview - E3 2017
The open world western RPG formula is one that may be on the cusp of growing a bit stale, on account of the heavy amount of titles populating this realm of late. There has been a number of games that seem to be trying to out “Game of Thrones” each other with elaborate magic systems and fantastical, epic environments. But what about a game that completely wipes out the fantasy and stands on the strength and epic nature of authentic medieval history alone?
Warhorse Studios has set out to do just that with its new RPG, Kingdom Come: Deliverance. The extremely short version of the game’s summary might be “Skyrim without the magic and dragons,” but the subtle carvings of complexities within seem to stretch well beyond this simplified description. The game takes place in Medieval Bohemia (modern day Czech Republic). You aren’t a flame-wielding superhero in Middle-earth here, or even an important figure in some crazy alternate history timeline. You’re just an average shmo and blacksmith’s son, trying to survive the gritty everyday life of medieval Eastern Europe - and avenge the death of your family at the hand of a foreign king. The game takes place during the conflict between Bohemia and Hungary in the era of the Holy Roman Empire, 1403. History buffs such as myself are sure to take notice at the historical influence, but that’s not to say fantasy RPG traditionalists wouldn’t find plenty to enjoy as well. After all, the truth is often stranger (and often more entertaining) than fiction, is it not?
It was clear during the E3 2017 presentation I attended that the developers have poured a lot of effort into the gameplay. But perhaps more notably, they’ve conveyed a passion for history, and a desire to provide a rich, authentic scene by gathering countless details about late medieval Europe through intricate means. We’re not just talking looking at Google pics and glossing over old history books here - historians have actually been called upon to assist in creating an accurate backstory involving a German-backed Hungarian rule over Bohemia. Medieval engineers have been consulted to provide blueprints and rundowns for the modelers and artists to design castles, homes, and other structures of the time period more accurately. Works of art from the era have been studied and emulated for the art style of the game’s map system. Real historical figures have been included; and wardrobes, dialects, mannerisms, and daily routines of NPCs are all meant to reflect society at the time as well. Essentially, this seems to be shaping up to be a “medieval adventure simulation” more so than a straight RPG.
Kingdom ComeSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
ELEX - Gameplay Demo
Another gameplay video for ELEX:
ELEX Gameplay Demo (New Open World RPG Game) 2017
Advanced in technology, civilized and with a population of billions, Magalan was a planet looking to the future. Then the meteor hit.
Those who survived are now trapped in a battle to survive, a struggle to decide the fate of a planet. At the center of this fight is the element “Elex”. A precious, limited resource that arrived with the meteor, Elex can power machines, open the door to magic, or re-sculpt life into new, different forms.
But which of these choices should be the future of Magalan? Can technology or magic save this world? Or will this new power destroy all those left alive amongst the ruins?
Thanks to the open world, players have access to all five regions of the game world right from the very start. Go where you want, choose your battles and your allies. The only thing in the world that will stop you are the mutant creatures that live in Magalan’s Elex-polluted landscapes. Walk, run, or punch your jetpack into action. If you can see it, you can reach it. Open world role-playing has never been more open.
Find a companion, choose a faction and influence the world. In Elex there is no traditional class system. Instead you must earn the trust of experienced teachers to develop the skills you select. But, skills alone won’t be enough to survive in this harsh and challenging world. Your attitude towards the people you meet will influence those around you. Will you make an ally or an enemy? Is now the time to show emotion or take the course of logic? Every choice will forge the future of your game.
From swords and axes to bows, crossbows and harpoons, Elex offers one of the widest selection of weaponry in the history of role-playing. Pick up a shotgun, power up a plasma rifle or unleash a flame thrower – there’s a weapon and combat style for every fighter out there. Be it a hammer, a rocket launcher or the power of magic, Elex balances science, fantasy and brute force to let you choose the combat style that fits your role best!
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release: In development
Grim Dawn - Version 22.214.171.124 released
The Action RPG Grim Dawn got a major update:
Grim Dawn Version 126.96.36.199
A wild update approaches! With this major patch, we are bringing you many quality of life changes, bridging some of the tech improvements we have been working on for the upcoming Grim Dawn Expansion.
This is a major step towards getting the expansion in your hands later this year and it is finally here!
With this update, we are also expanding on the awesome collection of Illusions available within the Loyalist Upgrade. Current and new owners of this collection will find two new helms available from Kory the Keeper in Devil's Crossing: the prestigious Helm of the Venerable Warrior and the bloody Pillager's Dread Helm!
We hope you enjoy these latest changes to Grim Dawn and hope to see you in the expansion!
(For GOG Users: the patch is still in the final steps of the release process, but we expect it to go live within the next day or so)
Grim DawnSP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Hack & Slash
Kingmaker - Funded!
Pathfinder: Kingmaker has reached its funding goal and has announced a new stretch goal at 600K.
New stretch goal - Magus
All of us were brought up among countless fantasy novels, shows, games and movies. And when we play Pathfinder at the table we want our character to be close to what inspired us in the heroes and villains from these familiar pages and scenes, to be able to do things like they did, and that's a major part of what RPGs are about. Yet while there is no shortage of traditional fantasy heroes, who fight with both sword and magic with impunity - from Elric of Melnibone to Geralt the Witcher, to even Jedi Knights, it's hard to make such a character in an RPG. Most standard sets of RPG classes either don't give you the possibility to play such a character, or worse, limitations on character development render these builds ineffective. Fret not, for we have great news! Unveiling our latest stretch goal, let us show you the ideal class for you: the Magus.
There are those who spend their lives poring over ancient tomes and texts, unlocking the power of magic, and there are those who spend their time perfecting the use of individual weapons, becoming masters without equal. The Magus is at once a student of both philosophies, blending magical ability and martial prowess into something entirely unique, a discipline in which both spell and steel are used to devastating effect.
Much like his martially adept colleagues, the Magus makes skillful use of melee weapons in combat. He wears his armor without being hindered in his spellcasting abilities like many other magic-users. The Magus prefers one-handed weapons, because of his signature ability, Spell Combat, that allows him to use his other hand to cast spells while simultaneously attacking an opponent with his weapon of choice.
From the secrets of his magical counterparts, he gets a vast array of arcane spells, which both include classics, like Fireball and Haste, and entirely new spells, like Greater Blade Dash - a spell, that allows the Magus to teleport to a designated point and attack anyone unlucky enough to stand in his path. The Magus also gets an arcane pool - a reservoir of magical energy, that can be spent to imbue his weapon with various enchantments or to restore the spells he has already cast that day.
His battle prowess allows him to dauntlessly cast spells, which other arcane casters fear to use, for these spells would require them to approach dangerous melee combat. The Magus excels particularly at using touch spells, like Shocking Grasp and Force Punch, because his Spell Strike feature allows him to discharge them not by touching an opponent, but by hitting them with his weapon of choice, inflicting upon the target both the effects of the spell and full damage from the attack, all as part of casting his spell.
As he grows in power, the Magus unlocks powerful forms of arcana that allow him to merge his talents further, and at the pinnacle of his art, the Magus becomes a blur of steel and magic, a force that few foes would dare to stand against. Available forms of arcana include, for example, new properties to enchant his blade with, getting a familiar (a magical creature that will serve Magus as a pet), acquiring new spells from the Wizard's spell list and the ability to use a wand as a second weapon in pair with his primary one.
Magus is a complex class with different paths of development to choose from. Players who are unsure whether they want to play a spellcaster or a melee combatant will find his access to both quite convenient. If you enjoy having the possibility to just quickly beat up a bunch of weaker enemies with normal attacks, whilst being able to utilize complex spell combinations in difficult fights, you will find the way of the Magus perfect. And for those of you who want the proverbial Jack of all trades, somebody with deadly skills in both melee and magic may find that the Magus fits this description, and in certain situations beats his specialized counterparts.
* All specific names are used only as a reference to original Pathfinder Roleplaying Game (R) entities and could be subject to change in the Pathfinder: Kingmaker CRPG.
Hail to the kings!
Friday - June 23, 2017
General News - The best Sidequests
Henriquejr spotted an article about the best sidequests on PC Gamer:
The best sidequests in PC gaming
Sometimes good things happen when you stray from the beaten path.
Stepping off the beaten path in any given game can open up a whole new world. Main story lines are fine, but side quests often contain better writing, funnier jokes, and more interesting mechanics. Sometimes they’re so good that when the credits roll, the distractions and detours burn brighter in your memory than the central journey itself. With that in mind, here’s a list of the best side quests on PC. Don’t blame me if you suddenly have an urge to reinstall that RPG you sunk 100 hours into five years ago. Oh, and leave your own suggestions in the comments below the story.
Oasis, Fallout 3
“I had you brought in here to ask one simple favour. Would you kill me?” It’s one of my favourite lines from Fallout 3 within arguably its best side quest. Tucked away in the corner of the grey wasteland is Oasis, where flourishing plant life obscures a tragic tale.
At the centre is Harold, a mutant with a tree growing out of his head. It’s grown so large that Harold is rooted in place, and he wants you to end his miserable life. But killing him will destroy this pocket of calm, stopping any chance of it spreading life to the rest of the world, and end the hopes of his followers. So what do you do? It’s a great opportunity to role-play, and the writing is superb whichever option you choose.
The Harper Hold Quests, Baldur's Gate 2
Bioware’s 2000 RPG remains one of the best in the genre, and it’s largely down to its side quests. The Harper Hold quests are a perfect example: complex, fiddly at times, but ultimately rewarding. It’s all about the characters. Two of the best from the first Baldur’s Gate—Xsar and Montaron—return fleetingly (one dies, the other is turned into a bird), and most of the tale centres around Jaheira, and ties in with her excellent romance story.
It’s really, really long but you don’t have to pay too much attention. There’s splices of action—mainly fighting the Harpers—followed by days of downtime, and then suddenly a character will pop up on your travels to move the quest forward. It’s not something games do much nowadays, sadly.
Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem - Update 0.5
Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem got a new update:
Update 0.5 : New world map, new quests, new monsters and more!
Update 0.5 is finally here! It may have taken a few late nights, but the team pulled it off and we are very excited to reveal our new world map and questline!
The new world map is much bigger and denser than the old one, and yet only represent less than a quarter of the final version of map! There’s new environments to explore, new monsters to kill, and other surprises!
3 new randomly generated dungeon architecture have been added, which adds more variety to dungeon layouts. The new questline covers most of Act1 of the game, and will give you a preview of the lore and story of Wolcen. We will periodically add more content to Act 1, including side quests, treasure and optional bosses. You can now listen to the Main Theme of the game while in the main menu. This will give you a glimpse of the new original soundtrack being composed for Wolcen.
A fog-of-war now hides parts of the minimap that haven’t been explored yet. This will further help with orientation in dungeons. All minimap icons have been redone and new icons have been added too.
We are aware that there might be some performance issues, and optimization will be a big focus for the next updates. You can get the game at a discount during the Steam summer sale. Now is the perfect time to jump in!
There’s a lot more detail in the update’s changelog, so peruse at your leisure! Have fun!
Wolcen: Lords of MayhemSP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Hack & Slash
Release: In development
Van Helsing: Final Cut - Review @ TSA
TSA has reviewed The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Extended Edition:
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Extended Edition Review
Vlad tidings we bring.
Every once in a while, review codes turn up at TSA for games that have been around for ages. It’s something that hasn’t been helped by the many releases in the series, with three games coming in staggered releases across PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. In fact, I assumed this was the trilogy encompassing Final Cut, which has been on Steam for over a year, but it soon became apparent that Neocore have decided to release the three games on console as Extended Editions in turn. Given the full trilogy Final Cut is sat in my Steam library I was surprised that a similar release was not forthcoming here
So The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Extended Edition (a name both to conjure with and to artificially pad out a review’s word count) is the first of the three and the sole entry on PS4 right now, as it lags behind the other platforms. It’s also out on Xbox One as of April, where the second game released in October of 2016, and the whole trilogy is already out on PC. Is this making much sense?
- Gothic atmosphere
- Great companion
- Generally well-written
- Compulsive action RPG gameplay
- Attrition replaces difficulty
- Too much useless loot
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Extended Edition is a good action RPG that is a welcome addition to the PS4, but is held back by some uninspiring loot, uneven difficulty and the decision to release the trilogy one game at a time. This version does include all of the enhancements from the Final Cut, but it’s difficult to recommend buying this alone when the full trilogy is so often discounted on PC. Given the likely future releases, I fully expect this to appear on PS+ fairly soon. So unless you have completely rinsed Diablo 3, and are bored of Alienation but desperate for more loot, I’d stake clear of this until the full trilogy is released.
Van Helsing: Final CutSP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Hack & Slash
NieR: Automata - Review
PC Powerplay has reviewed NieR: Automata:
Review: Nier: Automata
Never change Yoko Taro, never change.
The camera in Mass Effect: Andromeda is sometimes a little weird in cutscenes, zooming in too close to see anything, or looking in another direction entirely. Nier: Automata, on the other hand has one of the best, most intelligent and intelligently used cameras we’ve ever seen in a game. A single move from the camera lets the player know what is coming next and prepare for that eventuality, not necessarily by showing the player what is coming, but simply by changing angle. Much like the original Nier, Automata is a deeply strange and melancholy mash of genres roughly placed under the umbrella of JRPG. While it definitely fits that mould, Nier: Automata is so much more. It’s something that could only exist in videogame form, and even then, it's something so idiosyncratic that it could only come from Japan. It’s the story of androids fighting robots on a future Earth. It’s the question of what it really means to be human. It’s a story of betrayal and redemption, hope, evolution and endless cycles of despair. It’s a third-person action game, a side-scrolling action platformer and a twin-stick shooter. It’s bullet hell meets gothic Lolita in the post-post apocalypse.
All in all it’s a hell of a thing.
Sometimes frustrating but always compelling, Nier: Automata is a wondrous and strange experience that could only ever be a game.
NieR: AutomataSP/MP: Single-player
Beyond Good & Evil 2 - In-Engine Demo
Beyond Good & Evil 2SP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
NWN - Revisiting NWN
GOG hosts a guest article which details how to get the most out of Neverwinter Nights today. Thanks Luj1!
Set up your own adventures, look for mods, and become the ultimate DM.
A celebrated classic never truly fades away and Neverwinter Nights Diamond is as deserving of this title as any RPG you will play. Beyond its exciting campaigns and rock-solid rendition of the D&D ruleset, the game's extensive toolset is an open invitation to the community, encouraging them to build and moderate their own adventures.
Bernhard "niv" Stoeckner from the Neverwinter Vault community has prepared a detailed piece where he explains how to go about doing all that.
One of the best things about Neverwinter Nights is the inclusion of a special piece of software, called the DM Client, that allows a player to become the organiser of a Neverwinter Nights module and campaign. This position is called the Dungeon Master (DM) in D&D terms. He or she controls all other aspects of the game except for the other players' characters: the monsters, the encounters, and all the non-player characters in the adventure are under the DM's command, just like in a pen & paper campaign.
The DM client, used in conjunction with the toolset, enables players to experience a dynamic story in a different way than most other single-player or even multiplayer games. It is an entirely different kind of adventure when you find yourself within a story or environment that is being brought to life by another person (not a program) who is moving things behind the scenes in reaction to your character's actions and choices. And if you are the kind of person who likes to create fun for other people, to co-write a narrative with others ‘on the fly' within the parameters set by the module and setting of your choice, you will thrive in the DM-side of the game.
NWNSP/MP: Single + MP
Thursday - June 22, 2017
Divinity: Original Sin II - Swen Vincke Interview
Jarl Frank of the RPG Codex interviewed Swen Vincke about Divinity: Original Sin 2:
Jarl interviews Swen Vincke; Questions about Original Sin 2 and other things are answered.The concept of plane tickets, bitch! has a long tradition on the Codex. In the good old days, it was often issued as a challenge when arguments between two posters got heated. Insults were traded, the other's taste in RPGs was derided, and finally one poster would challenge the other to a real-life duel, offering to pay for plane tickets to make it possible. Regrettably, none of these challenges were ever accepted. In the end, someone always pussied out - either the one being offered the tickets or the one offering.
While this time the context was different, we can finally claim that a plane tickets, bitch! challenge has been accepted and enacted, even though regrettably no physical violence has taken place. The challenge was issued by Larian, and since no-one else was available, I chose to represent the Codex and fly over to Dublin, where Swen would subject himself to a bunch of Codex Community Cwestions and I got to play a D&D adventure with some of the devs from Larian. Yes, a D&D adventure - using Divinity Original Sin 2's Gamemaster Mode as its platform.
Since the results of this were several hours of voice recordings, and I'm both a busy and a lazy man, it's going to take a while until all of those are transcribed. Also, these recordings offer enough material for multiple Codex Content posts that I decided to split this event into three articles: the interview with Swen, Edward's detailed explanation of how the Gamemaster Mode works, and a relation of the actual game that took place between me and the guys from Larian (which was loads of fun and played out pretty much exactly like a pen and paper session, except that we used screen and keyboard as our utensils).
First of these articles shall be the interview I conducted with Swen, where I made sure to ask most of the questions posted by the community in the forum thread - yes, even the embarrassing ones. It was quite a fruitful interview, even though I could've gone for more follow-up questions. Enjoy the inteview!
(Note: if you have posted a question in the thread and don't see it asked here, feel free to complain. I'll make sure to give your complaint the proper attention by not caring at all.)
We got a whole bunch of community questions. Some of them are really stupid but I’m going to ask them all, anyway.
Sure, go ahead.
Felipepepe wants to know if you have changed anything about your design philosophy FUME that you have talked about five years ago.
I think it’s still there, because it’s based on my favourite game, Ultima. Freedom is the first letter of FUME, that’s still there, a universe in which you can develop your character is super important, so we spend a lot of time on developing it. When you see the lorebook that’s shipping with the collector’s edition you’ll find out exactly how much time and effort we’re putting in there. Then, giving you motivation to continue… we’ve spent a lot of effort on the narrative this time, much more than we did in the past. Hopefully we’re succeeding in that. And then we’re giving you interesting enemies, that’s everything related to our combat system, so that’s still all in there. Yeah, I think that’s still all there… you know, freedom also means systemics, right? Rather than scripting everything, like do this then do that, we’re giving you systemics and say here, there’s problems, now solve them. That’s still very much in line with what FUME was.
He also wants to know if things have become better audience-wise, because when you pitched Original Sin you said you had issues making people understand the game, as complex RPGs had been out of style for years. Has that changed now in your opinion after so many other RPGs have been released, that the audience is now ready for such complex games?
I don’t think Original Sin is a complex game. It certainly gives you lots of options and that makes it look complex because you see everything that you can do, but I don’t think it’s a complex game. I see that a lot, right? Original Sin has been very popular and we get a lot of people who never played an RPG before, and they pick it up and play and have fun with it. So in terms of audience acceptance, I think it’s actually harder – because there are so many types of RPGs coming out it’s hard to say to the audience, well I’m that type, and they might not necessarily know that, so that might be a bit of a problem. But in general, the biggest driver of sales is word of mouth. It’s not journalists, it’s not youtubers, it’s just what people tell each other, like hey, try this game out. If you have a game that’s fun regardless of what the genre is, and it’s something that interests you, then people are gonna pick it up. I think that’s the most important thing. You try to make your game good, and if it’s good and it’s fun then people are gonna talk about it and it’s going to sell.
Divinity: Original Sin IISP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Demons AgeSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Elder Scrolls Online - No MMO?
PCGamesN reports that Zenimax don't call The Elder Scrolls Online an MMO anymore:
Why Zenimax don't call The Elder Scrolls Online an MMO anymore
If there was an underlying problem with The Elder Scrolls Online at launch, it was perhaps too online. Along with that anachronistic name, it took on the traditions of the ‘90s MMORPG and muffled some of the best traits of Bethesda games: a sense of place and permanence.
In the years since, however, developers Zenimax Online Studios have worked consistently to shed the strictures of their parent genre.
“We don’t even use the term MMO with The Elder Scrolls Online anymore, because really it’s not,” game director Matt Firor says. “MMO was a term coined in 1997 with Ultima Online, EverQuest, and Dark Age of Camelot – we are not that game.”
Zenimax dedicated their first 12 months after launch to making the game “feel more like The Elder Scrolls.” They wound up with a world more tactile and reactive – where the thing you touch might be an NPC’s purse, and the reaction might be a cold sword through the guts, courtesy of a player enforcer in Zenimax’s justice system.
Elder Scrolls OnlineSP/MP: Single + MP
Non-RPG General News - Before the Storm Q&A
A new Life is Strange game is in the making - some questions and answers:
Before the Storm - E3 2017 Q&A Streamloading...
This stream first aired during E3 on the Square Enix Presents channel and was hosted by Toby Palm (Life is Strange Community Manager) and Chris Floyd (Game Co-Director).
Non-RPG General NewsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Outcast: Second Contact - Preview @ E3
PSLS checked out the Outcast: Second Contact remake at the E3:
E3 2017 – Outcast Second Contact Preview – Other Worlds (PS4)You wouldn’t be alone if you said you’d never heard of Outcast. It was a title I missed in that era. This was a wildly acclaimed game from 1999 that used an engine considered to be revolutionary at the time. It touted some of the most complex world to world interactions, particle effects, and AI. Outcast required a pretty high-end system to even run, so it ended up being a commercial failure. These advanced systems actually fit right in with our modern gaming now though, so a remake of Outcast makes a lot of sense, given the popularity of modern releases of classic games.loading...
Outcast Second Contact is an entirely fresh remake, built on the framework of the original, with a hero that looks like a retro-futuristic version of Nathan Drake. Aside from updating the graphics and tweaking a few things to live in 2017 better than it did in ’99, Outcast Second Contact is the same game that released back then, giving a whole new audience a chance to relive — or live for the first time — the title that received high praise from gaming publications. Check out the trailer above to see the side by side comparisons between the two.[...]
Outcast: Second ContactSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
The Tenth Line - Coming to PS4
Sungazer Software wrote in that The Tenth Line will come to PS4 next week. The game is a 2D RPG made in the Unity engine and was launched on Steam two months ago on the 17th of March. Here is the launch trailer from that time:
The Tenth LineSP/MP: Single-player