ATOM RPG: Post-apocalyptic indie game
RPGWatch Indie Showcase/ ATOM RPG
In our second installment of the Indie Showcase, we take a look at ATOM RPG.
» Continue reading the article...
Forgottenlor dives into Vigilantes and finds some good and bad.
» Read the article
The Watcher's Guild
The Watching Eye
The Watchers' Rest
The Watchers' Place
The Vigilant Watcher
The End-of-Watch Tavern
The House of the Lost Souls
I know a better name
Monday - March 18, 2019
Paradox Interactive - New Images for Vampire Game
PC Gamer reports on Paradox Interactive sharing some new screenshots for its Vampire game.
From the images, posted on Twitter, we think we can pick out the Surfside Diner, The Ocean Hotel in flames, The Ventrue Penthouse, The Malkavian Mansion, the Nosferatu Sewers, and Fat Larry's van.
It's all pointing towards either a remake or a follow-up to Bloodlines, and Paradox promises that "something big" is coming next week during the Game Developers Conference.
Guilds Of Delenar - Releasing 22nd March
A new patch for Guilds of Delenar which releases on the 22nd March.
Patch .13: Rogue Shadow Tree and lots of improvements and fixes.Hi Everyone!
Lots of small things this weekend, and a bit more Rogue stuff... Im pretty sure I forgot to write some stuff down, but more of the small things are stuff I noticed while watching gameplay videos from people... The UI is starting to get more smooth (still has a ways to go, but I am trying to round off the sharp edges the best I can).
- Rogue Shadow Tree is expanded now.
- New Skill Weaving Resource: Conceal, This reduces all damage taken by 2% per stack.
- New Rogue Talented Skill: Blind, Blind causes all abilities with a chance to hit (meaning not heals or buffs), to have a 35% chance to miss or resist.
- New Rogue Talented Skill: Slowing Poison, This skill reduces actions points by 1 (minimum 1), and does moderate damage over 3 seconds. This can stack up to 3 times.
- Fixed a bug where music volume was not adjustable.
- The tavern in Drom will now also attract Rogues and Paladins.
- Fixed a bug with the displayed path in dungeon.
- Fixed a bug with treasure chests gold and fame transfers.
- Fixed a 1080p sizing issue in the party menu.
- Fixed a bug where a defeated dungeon party could becomes dislodged from the draw manager.
- Added some text below the party slots that tell you to click the slots to select party members.
- Changed the tutorial that tells you to go to Cletus' house, to now require that you have a path there before going away... This should prevent users from dismissing the tutorial without reading it, and then having no idea what to do...
- Added a tutorial that describes how to move and use abilities in combat.
- fixed a bug where upon the first load, the Home Town Heroes had incorrect health/mana values.
- Fixed a bug with background music being to quiet.
- Guild members in the barracks are not much easier to select
- The tavern should no longer generate lag when creating new heroes.
- Now if you drag a party over a building it will lock to the node point. This is in direct response to videos of the game being played by others :)
- The screen centering now detects if the active unit is within a range rather than the exact middle, the scroll speed is also much faster.
Anyways I hope you all can see that I am gonna be patching a lot (thats kinda my MO for those that dont know me), and that things will get fixed, improved and expanded pretty rapidly as the days/weeks go by.
Game comes out in under 5 days, I hope to see you all on the 22nd!
Guilds Of DelenarSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Fade to Silence - Releasing April 30th
@DSOGaming Fade to Silence is set to leave Early Access April 30th.
Black Forest Games has announced that Fade to Silence will leave Early Access on the PC on April 30th. Fade to Silence is a survival game in which players take the role of Ash, a natural but tormented leader. In that role players explore a post-apocalyptic, frozen wasteland to gather the resources necessary to establish a refuge for survival.
Fade to SilenceSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Morrowind - The Story of Rebirth
@PCGamesN The modders behind Rebirth for Morrowind tell the story behind the mods creation.
Have you ever looked at an in-game object and thought about its positioning or placement? For Morrowind Rebirth creator Trancemaster_1988 such minor detail has been a fascination for more than a decade as he’s steadily worked on his passion project. This attention to detail seems to explain why Rebirth has been in development since 2010 as even the smallest, most easily overlookable details can take weeks to implement.
This is something that RubberMan – a long-time friend of Trancemaster – who creates dialogue, models, and features such as the banking system in Rebirth, knows well. He recalls how Trancemaster once requested that all the furniture in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind be redesigned so that it’d easier to place flat objects on them.
Platform: PC, Xbox
Editorial - Missions with Meaning
Player2 is in search of missions with meaning.
I’ll bet, if you have read this far, there is one game that is in the forefront of your mind. So I am going to mention it. The Witcher 3. If there is a better example of what I am talking about I am yet to play it. In fact, I think it is fair to say that The Witcher 3 has changed what it means to have a living, breathing, meaningful world in a game. Just mention the Bloody Baron and anyone who has played the game instantly reacts. But the thing is, to complete that quest you did things players had been doing in games for years. You went to point A, looked for an object, killed some baddies, returned to base, went to point b, discovered a truth, killed some baddies, returned home. Questing 101 right? But what made that quest so impactful was how the story intertwined with the gameplay. There were repercussions and consequences to your actions, your choices had an impact in the world, changing it in ways that would remain consistent for your remaining time spent with Geralt. For the rest of the game, every time you visited that area of the world you were reminded of your actions and what became as a result. The Witcher 3 changed the way we look at story, at purpose, in an open world and nothing has even come close since.
Sunday - March 17, 2019
Mass Effect - New Version of ALOT mod
@DSOGaming The latest version of the ALOT mod adds more than 5 gigabytes of new textures for Mass Effect 1 & 2.
Mass Effect fans, here is something for you today. Modder ‘CreeperLava’ has released a major new version of the ALOT, A Lot of Textures, mod for Mass Effect 1 and 2. This new version is 5GB in size and features more than 256 new or improved textures for Bioware’s classic titles.
Mass EffectSP/MP: Single + MP
Platform: PC, Xbox 360
Cyberpunk 2077 - Gaga on Board?
PCGamesN reports that Lady Gaga is possibly attached to Cyberpunk 2077.
While those reports are currently unconfirmed, the suggestion is that Gaga will perform motion-capture (and presumably voice acting) for the game. Sources also state that her involvement with the project will be officially announced during E3 2019, and that we’ll find out the Cyberpunk 2077 release date at the same time.
Cyberpunk 2077SP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Eternity - Review @ Wccftech
Wccftech has reviewed Eternity: The Last Unicorn:
Eternity: The Last Unicorn Review – Deserving of Extinction
Video games have been on a bit of a Viking kick recently. God of War, The Banner Saga, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, and more have tapped into those heavy-metal album cover Nordic vibes, and why not? Who doesn’t enjoy cleaving a frost giant’s head in two with a battle axe? Eternity: The Last Unicorn, a new action-RPG from Brazilian developer Void Studios, is the latest game to go to the Norse mythology well.
Actually, Eternity: The Last Unicorn has a number of influences. Yes, it does the Viking thing, but it’s also inspired by PS1-era fixed-camera classics and modern hardcore action-RPGs like Dark Souls. Needless to say, the game is a bit of a mishmash, but is the combination just crazy enough to work? Is Eternity: The Last Unicorn action-RPG Valhalla or will it pillage your patience? Let’s find out…
Eternity: The Last Unicorn is a less-than-magical mix of misplaced PS1-era nostalgia and shallow Dark Souls mimicry. Nearly everything about the game, from its fixed camera angles, to its clunky combat, to its copious backtracking is broken or irritating in some way. If challenge is all you’re looking for in a game, perhaps Eternity: The Last Unicorn is for you. Everyone else will likely find it as fun as a sharpened horn to the eye.
- You may learn a bit about Norse myths
- Masochists might enjoy themselves
- Fairly lengthy quest
- Bland story and characters
- Dated camera angles and visuals
- Sluggish, shallow, broken combat
- Tons of tedious backtracking
- Worst crafting system ever
- Riddled with bugsScore: 3.5/10
MISTOVER - Announced
The turn-based RPG MISTOVER will be released this summer:
The unexpected appearance of the Vortex, Pillar of Despair, unleashed dreadful creatures that brutally raided the world. Defenseless and vulnerable, mankind was soon on the verge of extinction.
When all hope was lost, a miracle happened and the creatures suddenly vanished. Desperate to prevent the next invasion, the survivors created a group called the 'Corps' that journeys into the Vortex from whence the creatures emerged. You will lead the Corps to reveal the secrets behind the incidents.
Will the human race succeed in changing the course of their destiny?loading...
In the Mist of the Vortex, Pillar of Despair...
- You will be constantly dealing with internal conflicts between 'satisfaction' and 'greed'.
- Limited visibility will hinder your exploration.
- Utilize skills and create effective formations to achieve victory.
- Don't forget, even your best crew members have only one life.
- Upgrading gear is not the only way to win.
- Contains 40-hours of expeditions in 5 distinct regions.
- Turn-based RPG with a twist... It can change based on your actions.
- Maps are always changing… practice different strategies in order to survive.
- Build an invincible Corps by combining and strategizing with 8 different Corps classes.
- Learn new skills and upgrade equipment to enhance Corps Crew members.
- The Mist influences EVERYTHING that happens in the game.
- Your strategy will reshape the fate of mankind.
- Lead the Arta Kingdom's Corps into the Misty expedition!
Release: In development
Ashes of Oahu - Shooter RPG
OnlySP reports that Ashes of Oahu is the redesigned Nightmarchers RPG that was previously on Fig but failed to fund.
One of the key changes to the game is the shrinking of the playspace. Previously, Wyrmbyte had endeavoured to create a 1:1 representation of Oahu, though the new version reduces the island’s area to 25km2.
The move away from recreation extends to the gods in the game, which no longer take their names from those used by Hawaiian natives.
Another major change comes to the art style, which has been adapted from realism to one inspired by comic books. The developer claims that this alteration came from a desire to reflect the fictional nature of the story.
Phantom Brigade - Steam Page Up
Phantom Brigade is a turn-based tactical RPG, focusing on in-depth customization and player driven stories. As the last surviving squad of mech pilots, you must capture enemy equipment and facilities to level the playing field. Outnumbered and out-gunned, lead The Brigade through a desperate campaign to retake their war-torn homeland.
- Cinematic spin on the turn-based genre • Predict enemy movements, orchestrate precisely timed countermeasures and watch the action unfold.
- Strategy • Make high-level tactical decisions on the world map, manage your base, and decide how to apply your limited resources.
- Tactical combat • Take command of your squad in varied missions ranging from sabotage of enemy equipment and infiltration of high tech facilities to convoy ambushes and challenging outpost onslaughts.
- Customization • Featuring a rich customization system, the game enables you to fine-tune performance of your mechs, install a wide selection of equipment and access a wealth of cosmetic options. Make your ready to face any challenge - in style.
- Destructible environments • It's not a proper game about walking tanks without some falling buildings. The game allows every square meter of every scene to be destroyed. Blow up any cover and collapse buildings over your enemies.
Phantom BrigadeSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Saturday - March 16, 2019
Battle Brothers - The Barbarians Part 2
A new update for Battle Brothers provides further details on 'The Barbarians'.
Dev Blog #118: The Barbarians, Part II
Following the introduction of the barbarian faction in part one, this week we’ll take a look at the first three of their unit types and some general combat mechanics. All part of the upcoming ‘Warriors of the North’ DLC, of course. As always, keep in mind that things are still in development and may change. With that said, let’s delve in!
ThrallsNorthern barbarians are not born free, but as thralls in servitude to their elders, and ultimately their tribe. They have no say on tribal matters, and they may possess only what they can carry. On occasion, members of other tribes are also accepted into thralldom, either peacefully or after being captured in battle.
It is expected that a thrall seek the respect of their master, their ancestors, and the tribe as a whole, and ultimately earn their status as a free man or woman. Indeed, young folk are considered to have reached adulthood as they become free, and to have then earned their place and say in the tribe. One way to do so, but not the only one, is to prove their worth in battle.
Thralls are the light and nimble infantry of the barbarian tribes. Clad only in furs, and sometimes with nothing but warpaint on their bare chests, armed either with weapons made from readily available materials like bone, or looted from the battlefield, they rely on ferociously overwhelming the enemy. They’re quick and agile, making ample use of the ‘Adrenaline’ skill. And having both the ‘Anticipation’ and ‘Dodge’ perks makes them harder to hit, at least until they’ve exhausted themselves after a couple of rounds.
Like all barbarian infantry, thralls have a very physical combat style of wrestling with the enemy, throwing their weight against them, and jostling to put their opponent out of balance. Their ‘Barbarian Wrath’ perk makes them fight even harder as they get hit, and the next time they land a hit of their own, they confer a status effect which for one turn knocks their target out of balance to lower their damage and defense until they have regained their footing.
ReaversReavers are the medium infantry of the barbarian tribes. They’re battle-hardened free men, yet not necessarily warriors by trade. Some may be bloodthirsty veterans of many battles that seek immortality through their deeds on the battlefield, and have tattoos on their skin tell the saga of their life. Others are merely hunters or craftsmen that join with the rest of the tribe to raid and ensure their survival in the upcoming winter.
Reavers are often armed with armor and weapons that have been passed down through generations and show signs of wear, but may also have claimed equipment in duels that settled disputes. Like thralls, they have an offensive and nimble combat style, but backed up with experience and skill. Like all barbarians, they don’t fear death the same as southern folk do, and so are not easily broken. They’re roughly comparable to brigand raiders, but may be more or less of a challenge, depending on your approach.
ChampionsWarriors who show exceptional skill on the battlefield are said to be blessed by the ancestors, and those who also have impressive victories to show are said to eventually take a place beside the ancestors in the afterlife to watch over the tribe. These champions of the ancestors are the heavy infantry of the barbarians, and they wear weighty metal armor and heavy two-handed weapons – trophies from vanquished foes and gifts from invested elders.
Unlike thralls and reavers, champions rely on their heavy armor for defense. They can shrug off status effects more easily, and excel even when fighting against several opponents at once. Tougher enemies than any brigand, other than perhaps brigand leaders, they are mid to late game opponents.
Battle BrothersSP/MP: Single-player
Star Traders: Frontiers - Big Update
A big update for Star Traders: Frontiers sees many changes.
Update #138: Light of a Thousand Suns
Captains, after an all-too-long drought, word is finally filtering down through the spice halls that Update #138 has arrived! The extended delay has resulted in an over-sized update, which we will get into detail below. We've improved the ship combat UI, added new animations, sped up play by adding new keybindings and tuning the orbital ops play loop, made balance changes to Rep from ship encounters with Smugglers and Explorers, tweaked 3 RP torps and the Dart Jammer ship, and made a host of small improvements and bug fixes to boot.
We also want to share an important change to the dev roadmap. The 14+ day delay between updates here was in preparation for a big move -- the upcoming release of fighters and carriers. For a number of reasons, we've decided to swap the 6th Era and the launch of Fighters from Carriers. So, while this update does not yet contain the major milestone, it is a huge prep step, especially in the changes to the ship combat UI. When are carriers coming? Soon :D
Once we get past the newly updated v2.4.x, we'll hit v2.5.x and there will be an extended period of adding Eras and vignette story arcs to the game.
But for now, on to the update!Ship Combat Improvements
With Update #138, missiles finally go boom as they deserve! The new animation helps them stand out from the other types of weapons and helps give that split second warning so your officer can shout "missiles incoming!"
Also with Update #138, the ship combat UI is starting to get the needed stream of improvements that will prepare it for carriers and fighters release. In this update, we've made some changes to the main control scheme, added animation and improved player cues.
The biggest change is the shifting of the move and range change orders out of the center lists. These have now been promoted to a constantly available set of buttons on the left side of the combat HUD, giving the option to escape, retreat, advance or board. Their tooltips have been improved to be more dynamic and list RP cost as well as target range.
You can now get to these with fewer clicks as well as using the newly added keyboard shortcuts (default to Q for retreat / escape and A for advance / board). And of course, setup your own customization for the fastest play.
Finally, to match the weapon counter in the HUD tabs, we've added a checkmark to the Talents tab. If you've selected a Talent to run for the turn, the checkmark appears, so that if you return to your weapons tab you can still see that you've picked a Talent for the turn and are ready to go.Ship Builder AI Update
In the last update, the enemy ship builder AI got a little carried away with itself. In the early game, it was gaining accessing to some components that were out of band. We've made another round of improvements to the AI, both softening up its access to more powerful components earlier but also helping it to be more focused in its ship upgrade strategy in the later game. Early game captains will probably see a bit of a reprieve from last update, while late game captains may find their enemies have upped their design game once again.
This update also ties the intelligence of the ship builder to game difficulty more closely which is a trend we'll keep pushing as we continue to make improvements.Orbital Play Loop
In the endless quest to smooth out pace of play and reduce clicks, we've made an important change to how the orbital ops card games play. If you end up in a ship combat due to a card draw, after the encounter and or combat is resolved you now return directly to the orbital ops screen you were on, instead of the system orbit screen. It is a small change, but for those captains who rely on these operations in their career, it is a big one. Combined with the fast speed option, orbital ops now fly!Medium Torps and Dart Jammer
After a great discussion on the Steam boards, we've improved medium slot Torpedos. These heavier torps are still best at softening up and crippling the enemy, but for their 3 RP cost they have gained additional points of Accuracy and more Void Damage.
The Dart Jammer comes out of the starport with one additional Officer Cabin and one less Mass Dampener, making it more ready to fly immediately.
As it seems to be a steady point of confusion, we have removed the languag "Boost Ship Skills" from components that increase ship Skill Pools. We've also fixed the install time on Defense Pattern Matrix 4.Talents Oh Talents
With almost 500 Talents in the game, its a constant drum beat of fixes, rebalances and improvements. With this update, we've improved the rules for Diplomat's "Legal Pressure" Talent which now grants 20% + Intimidate extra when ransoming an enemy ship. The Talent description also warns of the chance to have a small Rep loss for using it.
To avoid too much use of the word "Scavenger" except for the job, we've renamed Mechanic's "Expert Scavenger" Talent to "Orchestrated Salvage". Bounty Hunter's "Red Badge" no longer incorrectly reports affect on xeno rep.
We've fixed a host of issues with Xeno Hunter Talents. "Puncture Points" no longer removes enemy debuffs. "Macabre Harvest" is now correctly counted toward boarding victory Talents. In addition, the Combat Medic "Toxin Terror" no longer remove the buffs from the character using it (what a weird little bug).
Star Traders: FrontiersSP/MP: Single-player
Mage's Initiation - Review
Game On Aus has reviewed the adventure RPG Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements:
Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements Review
“Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements is a fantastic point-and-click hybrid adventure RPG inspired by the Quest for Glory series, with a focus on playing as an elemental mage.”
Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements is a point-and-click hybrid adventure/RPG developed by Himalaya Studios and released on January 31, 2019. Mage’s Initiation took inspiration from Sierra Online’s Quest for Glory (QFG) and King’s Quest series’. I recently reviewed Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption by Lori Ann and Corey Cole, two legends in the adventure game genre who developed the QFG games. Playing Hero-U really hit the nostalgia for me, so when the opportunity came along to review Mage’s Initiation, I jumped at the chance.
In 2001, a not-for-profit company called AGD Interactive, founded by Britney Brimhall and Chris Warren, made a name for themselves by developing remakes of King’s Quest I, II and III, as well as a remake of Quest for Glory II. Britney and Chris later founded Himalaya Studios in 2011 and, similar to the Coles’ path of development for Hero-U, created a kickstarter campaign for Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements in 2013. Over 3000 backers helped Himalaya reach a respectable funding target which almost met all their stretch goals, and fast forward 6 years, the game was finally released on Steam, GOG and the Humble Store.
When I completed my first playthrough with 493 out of a possible 500 xp points (so close!), the game prompted me to create a save game which can then be imported into future games in this series. This, along with a sneaky end-credits scene gives me hope that there’ll be more games to follow. I very much hope Himalaya Studios is supported enough to do so.
Overall, I gave the game a 7.5/10. Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements is a fantastic point-and-click hybrid adventure RPG inspired by the Quest for Glory series, with a focus on playing as an elemental mage. I enjoyed the great storytelling and fully voice-acted and lip-synced characters. The absence of an in-game journal and clunky combat may frustrate modern gamers, but for those of us that grew up with these types of games, there was a good balance of challenge, thinking and fun throughout the game.
Mage's InitiationSP/MP: Single-player
Pathway - Gameplay Preview
The first gameplay preview for Pathway.
Wishlist Pathway now on Steam:
Pathway is a strategy adventure game from Germany-based developers Robotality, featuring turn-based combat and unique story encounters.
Explore temples, tombs and the desert wilderness in a grand pulp adventure! Coming to Windows, Mac & Linux in 2019!
In this gameplay preview you'll see an insight into the game's second campaign adventure, The Wrath of God. There's 5x campaign adventures in total to discover and complete, each with varying difficulty.
Your quest is to track down the Nazis, and foil their plans to get hold of the mysterious and eponymous object the Wrath of God.
The video shows off team party building, a small selection of the 400 hand-crafted story events with choice-based unique encounters, the procedural overworld map, inventory management, mysterious (and rather horrifying) bunker discoveries, as well as turn-based strategic maneuvers against the Nazis, the undead and even some supernatural forces at work!
Release: In development
Colony Ship - Demo update #2, More Screens
The latest update from Colony Ship has more info on the demo and some new screenshots.
We made good progress with things that matter (but hard to show) like programming, balance, and scripting but poor progress with relatively minor but highly visible things like armor models and portraits. As (probably) mentioned previously, the demo is fully playable and has 14 fights, 2 of them optional. We're still playing it on a daily basis, ironman-style as there's no save/load system yet, so the demo has already received 2 balance updates as a result. The engine is great and very stable. I didn't have a single crash yet (despite daily updates); there were some occasional freezes earlier (for example, if one enemy knocks you out and his helpful buddy shoots in the face, scoring a knockdown) but I didn't have any in my last 2-hour long play session.
The feats are now working and two gadgets out of three are done (the energy shield and the distortion field). All gadget parts (each gadget consists of 3 upgradeable parts that increase its properties such as shield's regen rate or damage resistance) are nicely modeled and textured. The main new addition is the targeting info (see the screens below). It gives you a full THC breakdown, which will help the player to understand how it's calculated and helps us make sure that bonuses and penalties are implemented properly. RNG is working great, so far the balance between hits and misses is perfect.
So far the armor thing (the delay) is our biggest problem, which is a good indicator as I can think of worse things to screw up. It's slowly moving forward, so I hope that we'll have it done in 3 weeks. Similar to the weapons, the armor is split into 2 main categories: common Ship-made ballistic armor and rare Earth-made combat and anti-riot armor. You can expect 10 unique models for each category: helmet, body armor, jacket/coat, boots, goggles, mask/respirator. Right now we have about a third (talking about the models).
Anyway, some screens for your amusement:
Here you can how a weapon range affects THC and why having a long gun is always a good idea. While the damage is about the same (because the caliber and craftsmanship are about the same), the rifle is a lot more accurate. While I managed to hit twice, the second hit was merely a graze.
Not a good start, he crippled me before I could run for cover, so by the time I reached it I had no AP left to shoot. This revolver is great at close range, especially when Fanning but it has low range so I can't hit much and the shotgun isn't much help in this situation either. These Looters are armed with better weapons so losing this fight is very easy. I started again, managed to beat them with better planning (I forgot to switch weapons before that fight) and - in the best traditions of AoD - was rewarded with a really challenging fight that starts a series of very unfortunate events (liberty-loving Brotherhood fucking hates when someone kills their assassins):
Colony ShipSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Friday - March 15, 2019
Steam - User Reviews Revisited
Henriquejr spotted the following Steam news:
User Reviews Revisited
Some time ago we made some changes to how we presented the User Reviews for games, and their resulting Review Score. We talked about those changes in this blog post. As we describe in that post, we want to ensure that players who've played a game can voice their opinions about why other people should or shouldn't buy the game, and that our summary of those opinions into a single Review Score should represent the likelihood that a future purchaser will be happy with their purchase.
Since that post, we've continued to listen to feedback from both players and developers. It's clear to us that players value reviews highly, and want us to ensure they're accurate and trustworthy. Developers understand that they're valuable to players, but want to feel like they're being treated fairly. We've also spent a bunch of time building analysis tools to help us better understand what's happening in the reviews across all titles on Steam. With that feedback and data in hand, we think we're ready to make another change.
That change can be described easily: we're going to identify off-topic review bombs, and remove them from the Review Score.
But while easy to say, it raises a bunch of questions, so let's dig into the details. First, what do we mean by an off-topic review bomb? As we defined back in our original post, a review bomb is where players post a large number of reviews in a short period of time, aimed at lowering the Review Score of a game. We define an off-topic review bomb as one where the focus of those reviews is on a topic that we consider unrelated to the likelihood that future purchasers will be happy if they buy the game, and hence not something that should be added to the Review Score.
Obviously, there's a grey area here, because there's a wide range of things that players care about. So how will we identify these off-topic review bombs? The first step is a tool we've built that identifies any anomalous review activity on all games on Steam in as close to real-time as possible. It doesn't know why a given game is receiving anomalous review activity, and it doesn't even try to figure that out. Instead, it notifies a team of people at Valve, who'll then go and investigate. We've already run our tool across the entire history of reviews on Steam, identifying many reasons why games have seen periods of anomalous review activity, and off-topic review bombs appear to only be a small number of them.
Once our team has identified that the anomalous activity is an off-topic review bomb, we'll mark the time period it encompasses and notify the developer. The reviews within that time period will then be removed from the Review Score calculation. As before, the reviews themselves are left untouched - if you want to dig into them to see if they're relevant to you, you'll still be able to do so. To help you do that, we've made it clear when you're looking at a store page where we've removed some reviews by default, and we've further improved the UI around anomalous review periods.
OutwardSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Heretic Operative - Some Gameplay
SplatterCatGaming checked out Heretic Operative:
Heretic Operative - Tabletop Occult Board Game!loading...
Heretic Operative Gameplay with Splat! Let's Play Heretic Operative and check out a board game where you'll resist the forces of chaos and attempt to save the world from their corrupted influence!
Heretic OperativeSP/MP: Single-player
CrossCode - An Action RPG Classic
A Gamingbolt editorial on CrossCode, that they call an action RPG classic.
To say anything more would be to spoil some of CrossCode‘s best moments. Besides, this a story you’re best left to take in at a comfortable pace, spending time with its characters and ironically forgetting yourself in the world of CrossWorlds. The world design is utterly impeccable in this regard, channeling the 2D aesthetic of old-school role-playing games with seemingly little effort at all. CrossWorlds slowly opens up, introducing you to the simplistic tutorial dungeon before venturing into the first major town, Rookie Harbor.
What’s impressive about CrossCode‘s world design is that, for all intents and purposes, it’s acknowledging and yet leveraging the limitation of NPC conversations. Within the context of a video game, seeing all these characters would make for a more immersive experience. The limitations make sense to us – some NPCs have monotone shades in conversation screens or throwaway/cliche dialogue (like the hard-boiled cop not being impressed by Lea’s designation as a Seeker) – because this isn’t a big-budget MMO. However, when you think about it, this is more or less how things are presented in an MMO. There are throwaway NPC characters who simply exist to dole out quests and whose existences are forgotten the second you move away. Their dialogue and characterization usually is cliched. CrossCode nails both world design from a 16-bit action RPG perspective and the perspective of an MMO, becoming a meta-commentary by the simple handling of its premise.
HellSign - Combat Improvements
A new update for HellSign brings combat improvements.
HellSign v188.8.131.52 Update
15 Mar @ 7:03pm - Ballistic
Greetings hunters, the first combat update is upon us!
Surface Bullet Penetration System
Bullets now pierce light surfaces such as chairs, cabinets and the majority of the interior furniture, but stops at hard surfaces such as floor and wall foundations.
This was added to address the issue of furniture ‘consuming’ shots and adding artificial difficulty to target enemies.
Precision aim mode can now be toggled via a single click, and will stay in that mode until you holster/switch that gun.
This allows for smoother play as you can now focus on other things like dodging, reload, etc.
This setting is on by default, and we highly recommend veteran players to give it a few minutes to get used to it, however we’ve included an option in settings to change it back to the old “hold” mode.
The crosshair is now more distinct (previously was hard to see on white surfaces).
It also has its own size options in the settings. (to prevent tiny crosshairs in hardware mode).loading...
Release: In development
The Waylanders - Weapons, Backerkit & PAX East
A new update for The Waylanders looks at Weapons, Backerkit and PAX East!
Weapons, Backerkit and... PAX East!
We have some news and announcements. Here we go!
If you followed the previous updates, you'll know about the three exclusive weapons included in the +$80 reward tiers:
Well, the weapons have gone from concept art to finished 3D models. And this is the result!Werewolf bow
Werewolves represent the traditional way to craft a weapon, as they scavenge and combine present-in-nature materials. In this particular case, the bow is made with antlers.
Werewolf weapons are usually finished with some leather, ropes, and even metallic ornaments. They intentionally paint these weapons with dark colors to give off a rougher vibe.Mourian sword
Mourian weapons provide a counterpoint to the werewolves' style. They use smoother shapes and elegant ornaments to embellish their weapons. Gold and precious metals reflect the power and wealth of this race. They fight with style!Fomorian rod
Intimidation and strength are the best words to describe Fomorian weapons. Given their limited access to quality materials, they mostly use bones as a base for combat-oriented objects.
They’ve perfected the art of bone-carving, and for good reason; animal skulls and feet are a good way to make durable and devastating weapons.
PAX EAST @ BOSTON
We have great news. We are proud to announce that The Waylanders will be one of the featured projects in the Kickstarter booth at PAX East! We are very grateful for their confidence in our Project.
So, we'll be at Boston from March 28th to 31st, 4-6pm in the Kickstarter booth. If you are at PAX East, we invite you to try our playable pre-alpha demo! Don't miss this oportunity to be one of the first people who plays The Waylanders!
The WaylandersSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Star Control: Origins - Second Part Coming
The second part of Star Control: Origins expansion Earth Rising, is to become available soon.
The epic space RPG, Star Control®: Origins, is due to receive the second part of its 4 part expansion, Earth Rising, soon. Return of the Lexites presents the player with their most dangerous challenge yet -- a post-singularity species whose motives are a mystery.
The Lexites are impeding Earth's efforts to expand into known space. But why? Playing as the Captain of Earth's first interstellar starship, you will find yourself visiting new worlds, engaging in combat against strange new ships while trying to unravel the mysterious plans of the post-humans who left Earth.
"Because Star Control is a non-linear RPG, the Earth Rising expansion series doesn't require you to have completed the main story-line," said Brad Wardell, Designer of Star Control: Origins. "As we release each part to the expansion, players get to experience an ever richer sandbox to explore."
Star Control: Origins - Earth Rising is $19.99. Part 1, Aftermath, is available now. Part 2: Return of The Lexites will release this spring. Part 3 arrives this summer with the conclusion due this fall.
Star Control: OriginsSP/MP: Single-player
Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark - Getting Ready for Launch
Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark is currently in early access, but will apparently be launched not too far in the future. For that reason it is now 10% off.
Tactical RPG, Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark, Prepares to Leave Early Access With Massive Update!Fell Seal is available now for 10% off on Steam in anticipation of its upcoming full launch
Prague, Czech Republic, March 14th, 2019 -- It can often be difficult to decide when to jump into a narrative-focused Early Access game for fear of losing the story trail. As far as Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark is concerned, 1C Entertainment and 6 Eyes Studio have the answer for you: now! Not only is this your last chance to pick it up for its reduced Early Access price, but you'll finally be able to play up to its thrilling finale and see why this tactical RPG marvel has garnered such a passionate fanbase, boasting 93% user reviews on Steam!
With the announcement of its full release date looming on the horizon, Fell Seal will receive a massive update tomorrow, adding a huge amount of optional content to further flesh out its world. Aside from its climactic final encounter (and a couple of secret surprises) which will be released at launch, 6 Eyes Studio is excited to confirm that this update officially makes the game nearly feature and content complete, offering up all the missions, classes, gear and optional content planned for release.
As an added incentive for players to jump into Fell Seal before launch, the game is currently available on Steam for 10% off its Early Access price of $19.99 USD (16.99 EUR). This will be the last chance to buy in at this price, before it is raised to $29.99 USD (24.99 EUR) on Monday, March 18 in preparation for its full launch. From the introduction of 32 character classes and over 130 unique battle encounters, to localization in 5 different languages (German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian) and the addition of a Simplified Chinese font to support the game's budding modding scene, the development of Fell Seal has been a long journey, filled with unending passion, both courtesy of 6 Eyes Studio and the game's dedicated fanbase.
In an effort to give back to this community and let them make their (arbiter's) mark on the game world, 6 Eyes Studio will be kicking off a contest to coincide with Fell Seal's launch. Fans will be tasked with designing their dream weapons and armor and sharing them on social media - no prior game development knowledge needed. 6 Eyes Studio will then pick their favorites, translating them into in-game gear as part of a post-launch update. Be sure to follow 6 Eyes Studio and 1C Entertainment on Twitter for more information about how you can participate!
Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark is available now on Steam Early Access, with a full launch planned for Spring 2019 - stay tuned for more info on full launch, coming very soon! Plus, if you're attending PAX East 2019, don't hesitate to stop by Booth #19115 to get your hands on the game! For more information on the game, check it out on Steam and 1C Entertainment's game page!
Key Updates in 2019:
- All English dialogue has been completed. The story is 98% playable from start to finish, with the final couple battles being reserved for final release
- Localization has been completed for all launch languages (German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian)
- All visual effects have been completed and added to the game
- Improved enemy AI has been implemented
- Added 11 new story battles, 7 patrol battles, and 3 optional secret battles with quests to trigger them
- Added the Centina Arena to the game, complete with two colosseum tournaments, and 7 highly-variable Arena battles that scale to the deployed party's level
- Optional story-character events have been added to the game, offering insight into characters' personalities and backstories through short dialogue scenes
- New customization options for non-story characters, like outfits, hats, faces, and portraits, have been added
- Added an optional secret character, and 2 secret enemies that spawn randomly during Patrols and award significant rewards to players who can defeat them
- Added 8 hidden Obelisks throughout the game's battle maps, kicking off a world-spanning side mission to hunt for a special treasure cache
- Added a bunch of new SFX and VFX
Fell Seal: Arbiter's MarkSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Thursday - March 14, 2019
Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Delivering News
In a new blog post for Vagrus: The Riven Realms, more information is provided on how news is being delivered in the world of Vagrus.
This time we would like to introduce a brand new game mechanic to you that you will see quite a lot in Vagrus: the acquiring and delivering of news across vast tracts of wasteland. Carrying news between settlements not only makes sense from a gameplay perspective but has its foundations in-world, too, that is, *comitati *are known to have a vital role in distributing news and taking messages all over the continent of Xeryn.Acquiring News
News are tied to settlements: each settlement, however small, has its own News entry. You will acquire the entry for the given settlement when you enter the mansio in it. Alternatively, if you already have the entry in your Journal, it is reset to the freshest state when you enter the mansio. Sometimes you can also find News entries through Events as well - these often give you entries from faraway places.
You can deliver news by turning them in at the [cur]mansio[/cur] in settlements. Doing so will grant you coins depending on the number of entries, their freshness, and your current distance from their source. Note that News entries are not lost when you turn them in but you can not turn them in at that settlement again for a while. Entries can only disappear from your Journal when they lose all their freshness (but this can be reset by acquiring that same entry again).
Vagrus: The Riven RealmsSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Shenmue 3 - Preview @VG24/7
VG24/7 share their impressions of Shenmue 3.
Despite taking Ryo to a more rustic, countryside-based setting, Shenmue 3 is just as densely packed as its predecessor. When the demo reaches a town, there’s a range of NPCs throughout. Suzuki says that the Choubu region in the game has over 500 NPCs. Talking to them is the same old Shenmue fare – it’s not so much focused on choice as world building, each conversation offering up a little context if not clues as to how to further progress.
One thing that’s changed, Suzuki says, is that shops will now be more plentiful in Shenmue 3 and stock a far wider range of items. He explained that in past games there were fewer stores but you could have longer, in-depth conversations with their owners. In this game, owners aren’t as fleshed out but the shops themselves are.
Shenmue 3SP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Beautiful Desolation - New Screens and Audio
OnlySP reports on some new screens and audio for Beautiful Desolation.
The update begins on a positive note, with the developer stating that the majority of 2D graphics has been completed and implemented into the most recent build of the project. This essentially means all of the scenes, character portraits, and menu graphics are finished.
The developer then showed off some of the menus in-game, which look, much like the rest of the screenshots, lovingly crafted with a degree of post-apocalyptic aestheticism. For those interested, the screenshots are embedded below:
Non-RPG General NewsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Edge Of Eternity - Chapter II Major Patch
A new major patch for Edge of Eternity.
Chapter II Major Patch
Important info about localization: We had very few time to do the localization of the chapter II so there is a few dialogs not translated yet and achievements, their translations is in progress and should be integrated in a few days, our apologies for the delay.
We playtested the new chapter as best as possible with some members of the community and internally but we recommend backuping your save located in steam/userdata/<youraccountid>/269190 before starting the chapter II.
You can now use the action button to make your character sprint in exploration, your character have a stamina bar, if you continue to run when the stamina bar is depleted your energy is consumed instead, the stamina bar refill over time.
A fluffy companion that you will be able to ride, he will increase your running speed and also the nekaroo have multiple abilities like finding hidden chests and tracking npcs, monsters and rewards by following scents.
Available as part of the story and as dynamic events Nekaroo races will make their grand debut, it’s a very early version but it will be improved and expanded over time!
Weathers are now a lot more important than before and also there is new ones and the rendering of them has been improved, weathers now can also change the balance of battles by applying some special effects during battle, for example during acid rain all entities get damaged periodically and the energy is consumed more quickly, during sandstorms physical attacks have high miss rate etc…
New weathers are: Snow, Acid Rain, Sandstorm they are added to the existing Rain and Clear weather.
Weakness Discovery system
A new interface has been added during battles ontop of monsters showing their weaknesses and resistances but you have to find them, by using elemental skills and magics you’ll be able to discover the weaknesses and HPs of your enemies and memorize them for next battles.
Procedural dungeon - The Lighthouse
The lighthouse is a very unique secret and optional dungeon, each floors are procedurally generated and each floor is harder than the previous one, no save inside but you can exit at any time but the dungeon reset when you leave it and you’ll have to break through each floors again, who knows what the ultimate 100th floor contains?
Edge Of EternitySP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Knights of Tartarus - Coming to Steam
“Hello, Imagine if Dragon Quest and Zelda were on one single game. What you’ll get is Knights of Tartarus, an RPG where you go to the underworld to fight against four colossal monster knights.
Knights of Tartarus is a challenging open world game where you will need monsters to teach you their spells, craft items, solve puzzles.
Each monster holds special and unique abilities which can be learned. Monsters also give you crafting materials for making equipment. Additionally, there are skill upgrades that can be gained by leveling up.
These give you special perks like performing combo moves or becoming immune to paralysis, and much more.
I plan to release Knights of Tartarus on April 19, 2019. The game will be available on Steam and Itchio for PC, Mac and Linux.” – Stello Hexis
Knights of Tartarus is a role-playing game where you enter the underworld to fight off a legendary order of knights and save the world. To have a chance, you will need monsters to teach you their spells, craft items, solve puzzles and even compete against your rival.
Explore an open world and travel into the magical monster dimension called Tartarus. You'll find many friends and not so friendly characters along the way.
There are many regions each containing unique puzzles, treasures, and enemies.
Fight against magic beasts to gain spells, crafting materials and gold. Each monster holds special and unique abilities which can be learned. Monsters also give you crafting materials for making equipment. Additionally, there are skill upgrades that can be gained by leveling up. These give you special perks like performing combo moves or becoming immune to paralysis, and much more.
Great and varied soundtrack.
Huge bosses that are difficult but fair.
A cute dog.
General News - 16 Best Sci Fi RPGs
Unleash the Gamer shares their list of the best 16 science fiction RPGs.
HOW WE CHOSE THE BEST Sci-Fi RPGs
Before getting down to listing our favorite sci-fi RPGs , we’ll explain the criteria that we considered when deciding whether or not a game fits into the Sci-Fi RPG category.
What an RPG Is (in our opinion)
For the purposes of the article, we consider an RPG a game that has:
- Character building and progression
- Choices that affect the game world
- An emphasis on exploration
- Combat that is directly influenced by player stat choice
What We Consider to Be Sci-Fi
As for deciding if a game can be included in the Sci-Fi genre, we took into consideration the following factors:
- Set in a near or distant future
- Setting and universe based on imagined future scientific or technological advances
- Science and technology are at the center or the basis of the plot, having either benefited or harmed the societies portrayed
- Portrays aliens or life on other planets.[...]