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Torment: Tides of Numenera

2017-03-15

Torment: Tides of Numenera Review

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

Balrum

2017-02-20

Balrum Review

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

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Expected Releases

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

Sunday - March 26, 2017

Mass Effect: Andromeda - Review @ RPG Site

by Hiddenx, 12:50

RPG Site has reviewed Mass Effect: Andromeda:

Mass Effect: Andromeda Review

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

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

[...]

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

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

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

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

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

Score: 7/10

Mass Effect: Andromeda

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

Details

Mount & Blade II - Dev Blog

by Silver, 12:47

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

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

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

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

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

Mount & Blade II

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

Details

Pixel Privateers - Review

by Hiddenx, 12:26

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

Pixel Privateers

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

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

[...]

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

Score: 8/10 - Great

Pixel Privateers

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

Details

Monster Slayers - Released

by Hiddenx, 12:04

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

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

Video Review by Cosmic Engine:

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Features

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

Thank you for the info Darkheart!

Monster Slayers

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

Details

Saturday - March 25, 2017

Stonekeep - On Steam now

by Hiddenx, 19:33

The dungeon crawler Stonekeep is now available on Steam:

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

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

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

Stonekeep

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

Details

Witcher 3 - Polish Witcher Trivia #2

by Hiddenx, 09:46

Farflame spotted an interesting article about Witcher lore on Gamepressure:

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

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

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

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

[...]

Witcher 3

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

Details

Dishonored 2 - New Patch

by Hiddenx, 09:41

Dishonored 2 got a new patch:

Dishonored 2 - Game Update 3

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

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

Thank you for the info, Farflame!

Dishonored 2

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

Details

Siege of Dragonspear - CE & New Beamdog Client

by Hiddenx, 09:29

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

New Beamdog client

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

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

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

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

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

Siege of Dragonspear Collector’s Editions Now Available!

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

 

Siege of Dragonspear

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

Details

Battle Brothers - Review @ AWNT

by Hiddenx, 09:20

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

Battle Brothers

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

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

[...]

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

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

Battle Brothers

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

Details

Shiness - Release Date: April 18

by Hiddenx, 09:15

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

Release Date & Music Trailer

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

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

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

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

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

Shiness

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

Details

General News - Chris Avellone Interview

by Silver, 06:54

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[...]

General News

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

Details

Planescape: Torment - Countdown to EE?

by Silver, 06:30

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

Planescape: Torment

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

Details

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

by Hiddenx, 02:30

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

LOST ALPHA - DEVELOPER'S CUT

Release Announcement

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

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

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

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

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

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

Details

Friday - March 24, 2017

Lords of Xulima II - About the Sequel

by Hiddenx, 20:39

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

The Sequel: More casual or more hardcore?

Greetings!

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

First, don’t confuse Accessible with Casual

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

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

[...]

So how will the sequel be?

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

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

Lords of Xulima II

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

Details

Vikings - Wolves of Midgard - Released

by Hiddenx, 20:15

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

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

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

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

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Vikings - Wolves of Midgard

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

Details

In Vitra - Release Day

by Hiddenx, 20:05

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

In Vitra

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

In Vitra

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

Details

Battle Brothers - Released

by Hiddenx, 19:56

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

Full Release

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

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

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

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

About Battle Brothers

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

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

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

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

Battle Brothers

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

Details

Thursday - March 23, 2017

InXile Entertainment - Brian Fargo to Retire 2019

by Silver, 21:54

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

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

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

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

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

InXile Entertainment

Details

GOG - Supports Cloud Saves now

by Hiddenx, 20:49

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

Steam competitor GOG Galaxy now supports cloud saves for classic games

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

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

[...]

GOG

Details

Age of Decadence - Final Update

by Hiddenx, 20:44

Age of Decadence gets all improvements that were developed for the spin-off Dungeon Rats:

The Final Update

This update transfers all applicable changes and improvements from Dungeon Rats, our combat-focused, party-based spin-off set the AoD world.

While the changes are too numerous (and in many cases too minor) to list, here is an overview:

  • Overhead combat info
  • New passive for axes
  • Mouse cursor shows enemies' HPs
  • Expanded info on weapon types
  • THC, CS and ADC stats on area of effect attacks.
  • Tweaked CS formula for aimed strikes.
  • Ranged weapons use Perception for aimed: arms and legs attacks
  • Whirldwind effect for daggers, swords and 1h spears is bleeding instead of knockdown; higher chance to score.
  • Bombs: increased damage and vsDR bonus; the center of explosion does more damage and increases critical strike chance by 50% (goes down with every tile). CON is more effective. 25 + Center of Explosion Bonus - (Victim CON-6) x25; better visuals and sound.
  • The Crafting screen now separates schematics by weapon type and armor material and orders them alphabetically.
  • You can now select techniques without the required materials, to preview the bonuses.

No further content or mechanics updates are planned at this point. All translations are now up to-date as well. We'd like to thank you for your support and willingness to try different games.

While our next full-scale RPG is still in the early stages, your feedback will be more than welcome:

-> Design updates, concept art, screen mockups, etc.

Thanks Pladio!

Age of Decadence

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

Details

Vaporum - Now on Steam Greenlight

by Hiddenx, 20:31

You can vote for the dungeon crawler Vaporum on Steam Greenlight now:

Vaporum is a grid-based, single-player & single-character dungeon crawler game seen from the first person perspective in an original steampunk setting. Inspired by old-school games like Dungeon Master I and II, the Eye of the Beholder series, and the most recent Legend of Grimrock I and II.

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Key Features

  • First person real-time combat
  • Puzzles and level-wide objectives
  • Gadget-based RPG system
  • Lots of exploration, loot, and character customization
  • Mysterious storyline filled with secrets
  • Fully voiced main characters
  • Immersive steampunk setting

Combat

Combat in Vaporum takes place in real time. Each enemy type has a distinctive set of strengths and weaknesses, and various kinds of attacks and defense mechanisms, so you have to employ different tactics to beat each one.

Weapons differ from each other not only by damage and icon image, but each weapon type has a certain unique bonus or behavior other weapons don't. This adds more depth and thought when choosing what weapons to equip.

You will find many types of gadgets: direct attacks, area attacks, offensive & defensive buffs... While these gadgets are powerful, they also drain your energy, and some enemies are immune to certain types of attacks. So you will have to figure out the best way to deal with every encounter the game throws at you.

Puzzles

Most mechanics in Vaporum are very simple. However, combining these mechanics creates intriguing puzzles and level-wide objectives where you have to use both your wits and reflexes. While most puzzles and riddles are contained in a single room, progression objectives can span an entire level or even multiple levels.

Character Progression

Instead of increasing the abilities of your human character, you will improve an exo-rig that you find early in the game.

The character progression system combines a "you are what you wear" aspect with a long-term development of your exo-rig. The gadget-based system allows you to equip various gadgets to help you define your own playstyle. Because gadgets are items, you can change your loadout at any time, giving you a great deal of flexibility to deal with various situations.

On the other hand, as your exo-rig becomes more powerful by absorbing energy from destroyed enemies, you get to unlock useful circuits on it, gaining significant permanent attribute bonuses and passive skills.

These two approaches result in a ton of customization, all at your will.

Story and Exploration

Stranded on a small islet in the middle of an ocean, you enter a gigantic mechanical tower. Nothing makes sense to you, but it is all strangely familiar...

If you want to get into the backstory and uncover the mysteries of the tower, you can delve right into it by reading all the notes you can find. Don't worry, though, you can safely ignore all the text. All major story points are told by the main characters and they are fully voiced!

There are many optional areas in the game that you can choose to explore. They usually present some form of additional challenge, but come with a reward too! The tower is riddled with secret passages that contain unique items and notes of its inhabitants, giving you an insight into their lives and events that precede your arrival.

Vaporum

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Steampunk
Genre: Dungeon Crawler
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Ama's Lullaby - Kickstarter Update

by Hiddenx, 20:25

With 39 hours to go Ama's Lullaby is nearly 80% funded on Kickstarter:

Ama's Lullaby is a point-and-click video game taking place in a cyberpunk environment. Playing the role of Ama, a high potential teenager who loves computer sciences, you will explore the colony, meet its human and non-human inhabitants, negociate with the AI and make decisions that will impact directly the course of events. Thanks to Ama’s programming talent, you will be able to hack any network of the city, gather information, steal confidential data to use them for your own purposes, disclose them or even blackmail people. But be careful: every action will have consequences on the story, and Ama will become an easy prey once her identity is unveiled.

Ama's Lullaby

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

Details

Phoenix Point - Julian Gollop AMA

by Silver, 12:46

On Reddit Julian Gollop did an AMA focused on Phoenix Point.

We have been developing the game for 10 months now and I have a lot to talk about - however, I can't talk about everything since we are still in discussion with several parties about potential funding for the project. I will do my best to answer everything though.

JulianGollop

That's a mammoth question-and-a-half! Phoenix Point has several standout features - such as procedurally generated aliens, large scale monsters. However, I think the biggest difference is in how the world works. Phoenix Point is definitely more 4X-like - with exploration, discovery, expansion, diplomacy. The human factions are just as important as the aliens. They have resources, tech - and secrets - which would be valuable to you. I am taking some inspiration from X-COM Apocalypse here - but applied to a world scale. The aliens and human factions would do stuff - events would happen - even if the player doesn't intervene. This is something I have been wanting to implement in a game for a long time. I am also really happy about the modern Lovecraftian vibe the writing team are creating.

JulianGollop

There will be a faction rather similar to the Cult of Sirius in Phoenix Point.

[...]

codadun

Hi Julian, How have you planned to strike a balance between meaningful and diverse variation of mutated forms without creating an overwhelming number of perks and buffs to remember? Forgetting one vertebrae-centipede is immune to fire, or is capable of infrared vision compared to its vanilla cousin, and so on. Best of luck on the project funding!

JulianGollop

Good question. A specific alien does not have a large number of abilities and generally the aliens will retire old versions completely before introducing new mutations. At any time there won't be a lot of different mutations around. The basic evolutionary rule the aliens use is that if a particular alien is not performing well, it will be mutated. If an alien is performing well, then more of them will be deployed - until the player figures out how to deal with them.

JulianGollop

The current system we have is something a bit in between. There is an implicit AP system, but the presentation looks like the modern Firaxis XCOM with an 'action zone' and a 'dash zone'. The action zone may be bigger or smaller depending on the weapon or equipment chosen. Your moves can be interrupted on spotting an enemy or taking a hit - and you can react as you see fit. A major feature of the system that a character's 'willpower' rating gives you will points, which you spend on certain special actions. There is also a hit location system with disabling wounds to different parts of the body having different effects. This is quite cool actually - especially when you shoot an alien's gun or shield of its wounded arm.
[...]

Phoenix Point

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

Details

Underworld Ascendant - A New Look

by Silver, 08:21

The latest Stygian Sentinel newsletter shows us the graphical improvements being made to Underworld Ascendant.

As you know, we've been focusing our efforts on The Challenge of Ishtass, where the player is first introduced to the bevy of choices available to them with Underworld Ascendant‘s player-authored Improvisation Engine gameplay.

We're happy to report that we've progressed into the bug-fixing and polish phase. The team has been feverishly addressing gameplay feedback by Paul and Warren. It's been at times challenging work, but we've been making tangible progress on combat, stealth, magic, AI, and more.

A New Look at Underworld Ascendant

We're deep in the thick of it all, so for this month's update we have a much-requested look at our art director Nate (BioShock, The Last of Us) Wells' latest headway on upping our visual bar.

The areas pictured below are still receiving additional polish, lighting, and VFX passes, but we hope you'll agree that they've come far since we first showed them off.
[...]

Underworld Ascendant

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

Details

Wednesday - March 22, 2017

ME:A - Character Creator Improvements?

by Silver, 22:13

@Eurogamer Mass Effect: Andromeda has some character creator problems and Bioware is mulling over possible improvements but can't confirm anything for now.

We're looking at patching lots of issues and want to strongly support the game moving forward," lead designer Ian S. Frazier wrote on Twitter last night, in response to one fan asking whether facial animations for some characters might improve. "I can't say more just yet."

One of Andromeda's areas actively being investigated for tune-up is its character creator, whose relatively limited options have upset some fans.

"Can't promise anything yet, but we're currently evaluating various options for making it better," Frazier wrote.

Last week's early access trial for the game recieved a mixed response from fans, who flooded the internet with some of the game's worst examples of bugs in GIF form.

"Many of these issues will be patched out, and most are negligible - easily forgiven as you gaze out over a gleaming, windswept icefield studded with kett outposts, or glimpse a gigantic sandworm composed of flickering black shards arching through the skies of a desert world," Edwin wrote in Eurogamer's Mass Effect Andromeda review. "But it's staggering, nonetheless, that the game made it to retail in this state."

Mass Effect: Andromeda

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

Details

Claw Hunter - Now on Kickstarter

by Hiddenx, 21:27

Farflame spotted the Action Adventure Claw Hunter on Kickstarter:

Claw Hunter

 A single player action-adventure game with RPG elements that allows the player to command three distinct characters with special abilities. Taking place in the 17th century and set on an island where prehistoric life of Cretaceous period was perfectly preserved, Claw Hunter allows the players to return to the days of their childhood, where the prehistoric worlds of dinosaurs and cavemen fascinated us all. Game is focused on a strong main story line and features super-realistic visual style and is built in Unreal Engine. Inspired by titles such as Uncharted, Tomb Raider and The Dig, game features a thrilling story in which the player will embark on a journey through the rugged and dangerous landscape of the tropical island to uncover its long-forgotten mystery. Each character has a different set of skills which players can combine to solve problems arising during their travels. On top of that, players can tame and work with dinosaurs to fulfil different tasks where human hands are not enough.

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Kickstarter Games

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

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All Walls Must Fall - Now on Kickstarter

by Hiddenx, 21:24

All Walls Must Fall - a Tech-Noir Tactics Game is now on Kickstarter:

Berlin November 2089

The Cold War never ended. For 150 years both sides have used time manipulation technology to observe and counter each other’s every move. Now this fragile state of affairs is approaching a breaking point, as a rogue nuclear strike will send the world into turmoil. Both sides have scrambled to send agents back in time to find who is behind the attack and how to prevent it. If they fail, the whole world will turn to ash, forever.

All Walls Must Fall is an isometric tactics game where actions happen to the pulsing beat of the music. You control time travelling secret agents as they jump and loop through a single night in the city of Berlin. Using a pausable real-time system, carefully plan your decisions and use powerful time manipulation abilities to your advantage, as you carry out your mission in the shadows or in plain sight. Levels are procedurally recombined using a bespoke system developed by inbetweengames, giving All Walls Must Fall a highly replayable campaign structure, while still offering individually crafted components and set-pieces.

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All Walls Must Fall
takes inspiration from genre classics like X-Com, Syndicate and REZ, as well more recent indie games like The Banner Saga, Braid, SUPERHOT and Crypt of the Necrodancer.

Thanks Farflame!

Kickstarter Games

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

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Pamela - Development Update

by Hiddenx, 21:16

Pamela v0.1.1.6 has been released:

Update: PAMELA v0.1.1.6 is Live!

<Please note! This update will cause existing world save files to be deleted!>

Happy Monday Sleepers!

After some delay fixing last minute issues, we’ve got our first major update ready for showtime.

Why are we calling this a major update, you ask? Well, because there’s a metric ton of fixes, optimizations, and balance tweaking resulting in our by-far largest set of patch notes thus far.

As always, thank you so much to all of you who’ve posted bug reports and in-depth notes here; this is so crucial, and enables us to churn out these updates in a timely manner for everyone’s benefit! Please keep it up, you’re all awesome.

Here are the main highlights of this update:

Saving is significantly more stable and reliable

Due to some unexpected last-minute issues at launch, saving and loading have never quite worked properly. We apologize for all those of you who have lost your epic loot after the save system has hickuped – the underlying issues has now been fixed, and though we’re still working on improvements, you should now be quite safe to build bases, upgrade items, and more without fear of losing everything next time you play.

RAM Usage has been reduced significantly

Through working directly with Unity, we’ve implemented some huge optimizations that have reduced memory usage dramatically (down from roughly 7.5GB to 5.3GB in our testing thus far). These optimizations should reduce crashing for some users, as well as decrease loading times and improve in-game performance. We are still working on some loading time reductions for those of you who experience extreme times (15+ minutes) and will post further updates as we progress.

Hacking Balance 3.0

We’ve been tinkering further with the hacking difficulty systems; at launch, too many objects were locked with too high of difficulty, so we nerfed them quite significantly. Last patch, it seemed that hacking became trivial in most cases, so we’ve played with the way difficulties are calculated. Read the Hacking section of the patch notes for the full info on these changes.

Tons and tons of additional fixes and balance Tweaks

There’s simply too much to describe here, so please read the full patch notes if you’re dying to know every fix. We’ve been replying to threads to notify the OPs if the issue has been fixed, so please check there if you recently posted about a bug.

Phew, time for the patch notes. Please let us know your experience below, hope this update is a solid improvement for every one of you! We should have another patch coming mid-week, depending on how we progress with a few things we have in the works.

[...]

Pamela

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

Details

Conan Exiles - Interview @ Wccftech

by Hiddenx, 21:12

Farflame spotted this Conan Exiles interview at Wccftech:

Conan Exiles – PAX East 2017 Interview with Oscar Lopez

If you build it, they will come…..and break your stuff and put your blacksmith in the Wheel of Pain. That’s Conan Exiles, the new survival multiplayer game by Funcom which recently entered Early Access on Steam.

During Pax East 2017, we learned a little bit more about Conan Exiles’ base building mechanics, PvP, and the upcoming Siege warfare content patch from Lead Designer Oscar Lopez.

Wccftech: First things first, tell me a bit about Conan Exiles and how it differs from your previous Conan game, Age of Conan?
Lopez: Conan Exiles is a survival sandbox MMO. Your main objectives in the game are to survive first, to build an empire, and to thrive against other people. It’s a different setup than what you would get in Age of Conan. Age of Conan is an MMO with a different sense of progression and activates that you do in the game. In this game [Conan Exiles] your activities revolve around food and water and building a base, building better tools to fight. You adventure out to find more material to make even better weapons, castles while taking on other players. The two games are completely different genres and we are making sure we are letting players before jumping that this isn’t a sequel to Age of Conan but its own thing.

[...]

Conan Exiles

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

Details

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - Switch replacing the Wii U version

by Nyx, 04:16

Following the release of the Nintendo Switch, Bloodstained: Rituals of the Night has announced they will switch platforms from the intended Wii U to the latest Nintendo console. While this might be bad news for some, they do offer everyone who backed the game for the Wii U to change their pledge to whatever platform they like (Switch by default) or have a full refund if they so wish. 

 

During our Kickstarter campaign, the Wii U was at the height of its popularity, but the situation has drastically changed after the release of Nintendo Switch. 

This change made it difficult to receive the necessary support from the hardware maker, which has led us to drop the Wii U development and shift the development to Nintendo Switch. 

We are very sorry that it has come to this after all your support, but we hope you will understand. We would like to respond by preparing options for our backers, such as moving your pledge to another version or requesting a refund if you don’t want any other version.

 



 

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

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

Details