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Sunday - March 12, 2017
Saturday - March 11, 2017
Friday - March 10, 2017
Thursday - March 09, 2017
Wednesday - March 08, 2017
Tuesday - March 07, 2017
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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

Recent articles










Picture Watch

Neo Scavenger
Box Art

Poll Watch

When will Grimoire be released
Definitely 2017
10.53%

Next year
5.26%

Just 2 more bugs, so 2020
15.79%

In 10 years perhaps
10.53%

Never
57.89%

Vote

Expected Releases

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

Sunday - March 12, 2017

NieR: Automata - Reviews

by Hiddenx, 09:38

Some reviews for the upcoming Action RPG Nier: Automata:

We Got This Covered:

NieR: Automata Review

[...]

The amount of emotions that NieR‘s story was able to get out of me is particularly impressive when you consider that the entire cast is comprised of androids and robots. It’s strange to type this, but all of the characters are truly humanized by the time the game’s fifth main ending is seen (there’s 22 in total — although the majority are gag endings that are easily missed). It’s hard to speak about a lot of what this title does really well without spoiling it, but Automata fully embraces that it’s a video game. There are certain gameplay moments (including the incredible end credits) that are absolutely mind-blowing, and this isn’t because of a story twist, but rather due to how the game manages to connect players into the overall experience.

NieR: Auotmata isn’t without problems, but it’s also a truly groundbreaking game. It won’t push a single genre forward, but it has the potential to change the entire medium. It takes advantage of player interactivity in ways that I’ve never seen before in order to create an incredibly memorable experience that’s a joy from beginning to end. Anyone who’s interested in what gaming can do that books and movies cannot needs to experience Yoko Taro and PlatinumGames’ masterpiece.

Score: 5/5

Press-Start:

NieR Automata Review – A Truly Unforgettable Story

[...]

Despite its issues, NieR: Automata is a game that we rarely have the privilege of experiencing. Auteur designer Yoko Taro successfully blends his oddball knack for storytelling, defying typical video game conventions in doing so. This leads to a truly unforgettable story, but the way in which it’s told and demands repeat playthroughs is bound to be lost on some part of NieR: Automata’s audience. Regardless, NieR: Automata blends strong action and RPG components into an atmosphere and game that’s well worth experiencing.

Score: 9/10

NieR: Automata

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

Details

State of Decay 2 - Larger World, Coop, Griefing

by Hiddenx, 09:15

Gamespot interviewed Undead Labs CEO Jeff Strain about the survival game State of Decay 2:

State Of Decay 2 Dev Talks Larger World, Co-Op, Griefing, And More

Undead Labs CEO Jeff Strain shares more details on the Xbox One and PC zombie game.

A sequel to the hit zombie game State of Decay was announced last summer for Xbox One and PC. Since then, developer Undead Labs has shared a lot of concept art, but has not said much about what fans can expect from it. Now, CEO Jeff Strain has opened up on the sequel's ambitions and more.

Speaking to GameSpot at PAX East 2017 in Boston this week, Strain talked about what the team learned from the first game and discussed how the sequel will still focus on entropy, the idea that you're up against a monumental task of staying alive in a harsh world.

With the sequel adding four-player co-op, we wondered if there would be any form of competitive multiplayer. Strain confirmed there won't be, though of course players can freely grief each other.

Also in the interview, Strain revealed that the development team is four times as big as the first game and that State of Decay 2's map is larger as well. He also discussed why Undead Labs decided to abandon the State of Decay MMO, Class4, and said you can expect the studio to continue to make zombie games in the future, though he hasn't ruled out projects in other genres as well.

You can read our full interview below.

[...]

State of Decay 2

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

Details

Saturday - March 11, 2017

Styx: Shards of Darkness - Launch Trailer

by Hiddenx, 22:01

Here's the launch trailer for Styx: Shards of Darkness:

Styx: Shards of Darkness Launch Trailer

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The game will be available on March 14.

Styx: Shards of Darkness

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

Details

Thea 2: The Shattering - Day/Night Cycles

by Hiddenx, 21:52

Day/Night cycles will be back in Thea 2: The Shattering:

Day/Night cycles

Today I wanted to share one bit I’ve been working on recently – day/night cycles.

Those of you who have played Thea: The Awakening surely remember that one of the game’s features was a day/night cycle that affected visibility and difficulty. We’ve decided to keep this element in Thea 2: The Shattering as well. An opportunity to work on this bit appeared after Khash has added handling of specular maps into his terrain and water shaders this week. So to test how things work, I played a while with different light setups and thought it would be cool to put together a switchable animation with a set of lights that would show the day/night cycle. After two days of trying to get the light and shadows right (being fairly new to different lighting settings),  here’s a short video showing the progress...

Thanks henriquejr!

Thea 2: The Shattering

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

Details

Dauntless - Hands On @PCGamer

by Silver, 21:36

@PCGamer take a look at Dauntless and share their impressions

There's an open beta for Phoenix Labs' free-to-play action RPG coming late this year, and you can sign up in readiness over on the official site. Unusually, the system requirements have also been released well in advance, and the good news is you won't need a crazy powerful PC in order to run Dauntless comfortably. If you're wondering what PC Gamer's Tom Marks thought of the game after a hands-on, have a watch of his impressions video below.

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Dauntless

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

Details

Steam - Updates Customer Review System

by Hiddenx, 09:50

Steam has updated the customer review system again - freely received games are not counting for the total review score anymore:

[...]

Changes To The Review Score

As a result of this, we are making some changes to how review scores are calculated. As of today, the recent and overall review scores we show at the top of a product page will no longer include reviews written by customers that activated the game through a Steam product key.

Customers that received the game from a source outside of Steam (e.g. via a giveaway site, purchased from another digital or retail store, or received for testing purposes from the developer) will still be able to write a review of the game on Steam to share their experience. These reviews will still be visible on the store page, but they will no longer contribute to the score.

This does mean that the review score category shown for about 14% of games will change; some up and some down. Most changes in the review score category are a result of games being on the edge of review score cut-offs such as 69% positive or 70% positive. A change of 1% in these cases can mean the difference between a review score category of "Mixed" and "Positive". About 200 titles that only had one or two reviews will no longer have a score at all until a review is written by a customer that purchased that item via Steam. In all of these cases, the written reviews still exist and can easily be found in the review section on that store page.

[...]

Steam

Details

Zombasite - Patch 1.009

by Hiddenx, 08:57

Zombasite got a new patch - here's the changelist for version 1.009.

Zombasite

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

Details

Valthirian Arc: Red Covenant - Kickstarter live

by Hiddenx, 08:52

The Action RPG / Sim - Mix Valthirian Arc: Red Covenant is now on Kickstarter:

Have you ever wondered where all the powerful knights and wizards came from?

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No one is born heroes. It is your job, as the principal of The Academy of Might and Magic, to train and bring the best out of your young apprentices. 

This is what Valthirian Arc: Red Covenant is about. Raise your academy to glory, and guide your students to the adventures of their lifetime!

  • The first one, Academy Simulation, is where you build facilities, manage your students, and send them to various missions.
  • When you send a party of students into a hunt mission, you will enter the second part of the gameplay, where you control your students and fight enemies in a Real-Time combat System.

Valthirian Arc: Red Covenant

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

Details

Friday - March 10, 2017

Mass Effect: Andromeda - Launch Trailer

by Silver, 23:02

@PCGamesN Mass Effect: Andromeda has a launch trailer and its everything you would expect. The game will launch March 23rd.

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s it set to current popular music? Yes. Is it edited together like a Hollywood blockbuster? You bet it is. Does it have lots of deep bass warbling? Of course it does. That’s right, Bioware and EA have dropped the suitably triple-A launch trailer for Mass Effect: Andromeda, and it’s so slickly produced you could be forgiven for thinking it’s actually for a new Jerry Bruckheimer film. Give it a watch above. Then maybe another watch. Then maybe one more, and another, and a few more until its March 23 and we’ve got the disc in our hands.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

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

Details

Battle Brothers - Release Date: March 24

by Hiddenx, 18:47

The long wait is over - Battle Brothers will be released on March 24:

Battle Brothers Announcement Trailer

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Battle Brothers

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

Details

System Shock - Modern Level Design

by Hiddenx, 01:09

Farflame spotted this article about the new System Shock on PCGamesN - some things will change:

System Shock remaster will have "modern level design principles" and other changes

Developers Nightdive Studios want the System Shock remake to be as faithful as possible, but they're not planning on ignoring the past two decades of progress in the craft of making videogames. 

The team has been talking to some of the original Looking Glass Studios developers, and one of the biggest takeaways was that, if they made the game now, there are a bunch of things they would do differently.

 

"Whenever we look at the design, or art, or audio even, we ask ourselves “What would LGS do?” say Nightdive in a Kickstarter update. "The answer becomes clear after understanding LGS was about innovation, trying new things and bringing together concepts unheard of in games before them. We see ourselves as maintaining that tradition, and chat with the LGS guys to ensure what we’re doing holds up to their expectations."

Other than plugging plot holes and refining dialogue, the story will remain untouched. The original voice actress for Shodan is returning and they're letting her give input. Gameplay will also see a refresh, with combat given more depth and systems becoming more reactive. 

"Levels will harken back to the original game thematically, but the layout will see a pretty big change to apply modern level design principles for pacing and exploration," say Nightdive. "We’re not going to dumb things down, but we also don’t want to ignore the last 20 years of progress level design has made."

[...]

System Shock

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

Details

Styx: Shards of Darkness - Interview

by Hiddenx, 01:03

WCCFTech has interviewed Cyanide’s  Julien Desourteaux, Lead Level Designer of Styx:

Styx: Shards of Darkness Main Quest Lasts 15 Hours; No PS4 Pro Enhancements Planned

Cyanide’s Styx: Shards of Darkness is due for release in about a week from now. After previewing the stealth game sequel recently, we had the chance to talk to Cyanide’s  Julien Desourteaux, Lead Level Designer.

[...]

What’s the single biggest improvement in the feature set when comparing Shards of Darkness to Master of Shadows?

Styx’s flow of movement has been improved, and animations are much smoother. He can now use ropes, and the crafting skill tree branch offers more freedom for players to experiment.

Having more diversity in missions and their objectives was one of our main intentions for this sequel. The player will almost always have a few objectives active at the same time, so they can choose the order in which they want to achieve them.

This feature is good for replay value, as some objectives have alternative ways to complete them. Additionally, in the co-op multiplayer, players can choose to stick together or split up to achieve the objectives.

[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Styx: Shards of Darkness

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

Details

Thursday - March 09, 2017

Pamela - Now available on Early Access

by Silver, 21:59

P.A.M.E.L.A has been released on Steam Early Access. To read more about what to expect go here.

...
So! What's in the game right now? Read below for info about everything you can experience in P.A.M.E.L.A. today.

Core Survival and Exploration - Within the fallen utopian city of Eden, you'll need to pick through the remains of a civilization to find food, water, and stimulants to keep yourself alive. Explore a huge, interconnected network of sci-fi urban environments, including a residential tower, transit station, security hub, shopping mall, sprawling outdoor courtyard, and more.

Combat and Stealth - Encounter, or avoid, the various stages of Afflicted citizens of Eden; from the heavily deformed "Stage 2", to the fearsome "Reapers" which have been turned into deadly killing machines through bio-chemical bonding with the Affliction

Weaponry, Equipment, and Upgrading - Find powerful Holographic Defense Module Attachments, which can be equipped 2 at a time (along with 3 utility attachments) to customize your personal loadout. Uncover and equip armor, utility attachments, improved flashlights, bio-augments, and much more to improve your survivability and gameplay options.

Base Building - Utilize a flexible building system to place node-base wall barriers, hydroponic farms, defense turrets, and more in order to set up a sustainable safe haven wherever you choose within the city.

Eden's Security Force - Imposing Seekers and the diminutive Observer droids still patrol the halls of Eden, on eternal watch for aberrant citizens; take care, as Seekers can turn their attention to the player, if you're caught while hacking or attacking security droids!

Lore, PAMELA, and the Fall of Eden - Uncover Echo audio logs scattered throughout Eden from PAMELA, Eden's AI overseer, that tell the story of her creation all the way until the Fall of Eden. PAMELA will also convey special abilities to the player, unlocked through special Compute Cell items scattered throughout the world. Datalogs left by Eden's citizens also provide insight into the once-perfect workings of Eden. Stay tuned for some big updates in this area, see below!

Lighting and Power Management - Using Power Breakers and larger Power Stations, toggle power modes from on, to emergency, to off; each mode consumes a different amount of power, but can assist in lighting up the environment and making survival more manageable. Power Stations serve as conduits between Eden's central power reserve and your current district; you must draw power from the reserve before turning the lights on in a given district!

Carry over Genome Points between lives - By surviving and killing enemies, you will collect Genome points, which are received upon death. Before respawning, you'll be able to spend these points on stat upgrades to improve your survivability next time around!

That's quite a bit to experience!

However, we're not stopping there. Over the next few months, and depending on your collective feedback, we'll be rolling out a few major updates. This is definitely subject to change, based on feedback, but here is our current plan for the next major updates:

Bugfixing and Stabilization - We'll be continuously squashing bugs and smoothing out the experience throughout Early Access; this will definitely be our #1 priority for the first few weeks following launch, to make sure your main issues are being addressed.

Performance Optimizations - We've built a huge world, with only a single loading screen at the beginning, and there are a few areas that require further performance optimization. We'll be working on this throughout Early Access.

PAMELA Lore Systems, V2 - We'll be greatly enhancing PAMELA's integration throughout the game world, including her being present more often as you explore the city. We were close to having some of this implemented for launch, but held it back to make sure that it's not rushed in.

New Area and NPC types - You may have noticed a large, red, smoggy area in the Oasis Courtyard... this will be the focus of an upcoming update; stay tuned for more information!
[...]

Pamela

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

Details

Torment:ToN - Beyond the Beyond

by Silver, 21:19

Torment: Tides of Numenera will be receiving some post release patches soon as well as some new content sometime later according to the latest Kickstarter update. Digital and physical rewards for backers are also addressed in the update so be sure to read it if you are a backer.

...
What Comes Next?

Since release, we have been tirelessly reading your feedback, comments, and reports, and using that to plan a few patches for the near future. These will be primarily focused on fixing some pesky bugs that some of our players have encountered, as well as performance and stability optimizations, both on PC as well as on consoles. You can expect to see our first patch coming in the next couple of weeks.

But, we also want to address the longer term. Four years is an extended development timeline for an RPG, and it is a hallmark of our ambition for the game. Torment has the longest script we've ever produced at over 1.2 million words, and provides more nuanced reactivity and more complicated quests and stories than we have ever done before.

Despite that, there were some features we wanted to include in the game that we weren't able to finish in time for release. Companions, in particular, were a big production trade-off. Not only does a single companion take many months of work from writers, scripters, designers, and artists, but because we wanted companions to interact and react to the game world and conversations in a deep way. Their implementation needed to happen later in the development process, when quests and area design were mostly complete. As we were iterating on the companions, we felt the time was best spent building them out deeper as opposed to slamming in a few more on a surface level. These development decisions are never black and white, but we always approach it from a position of what we truly believe is best for the game. As we addressed in a previous update, reducing their number was a necessary trade-off to hit the level of quality we wanted.

But, there's a saying that no work of art is ever truly complete. We certainly know that many of you were looking forward to some of the things we couldn't squeeze into our release build, and it just didn't sit well with us leaving those behind. Now that we have had a time to see your feedback on the game, we also have a better sense of where we can focus our resources to improve.

To that end, we are pleased to announce that we will be working on additional content and updates for Torment post-release. These updates will include:

  • Oom ("The Toy" companion).
  • Voluminous Codex.
  • Crisis system improvements.

Our initial updates to the game will focused on bug fixes, optimizations, and other improvements, while the content additions will come later down the line. Both the patches and content updates will, of course, be completely free for all Torment owners, including backers, PC buyers, and console players. We will have more news on these in the coming weeks and months!
[...]

Torment:ToN

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

Details

NieR: Automata - Review @ Attack of the Fanboy

by Hiddenx, 20:38

Attack of the Fanboy has reviewed NieR: Automata:

NieR: Automata Review

The original NieR was one that seemed impossible to ever get a sequel to, with it’s niche design and lukewarm reception seeming to spell the end for the Drakengard spin-off. However, here we are seven years later with a continuation, with director Yoko Taro teaming up with PlatinumGames to give the series a rebirth. It turned out to be one of the best team-ups imaginable, as the finished product eclipses the original in every way and ends up being a game with substantially higher appeal.

The Verdict

Nier: Automata takes fantastic action and RPG elements and blends them into a game world unlike any other, creating a truly memorable experience. The game continuously pleases and surprises with terrific gameplay that is constantly transforming, and a narrative that keeps you thinking and guessing. It has a lot to offer, and is an experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Score: 4.5/5

NieR: Automata

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

Details

Duelyst - Third Expansion

by Hiddenx, 20:21

PC Gamer shows some of the new cards of the Duelyst expansion Ancient Bonds that will be released next week:

Duelyst is getting its third expansion next week, here's a first look at six new cards

Ancient Bonds will add 39 new cards and a new keyword.

Duelyst's third expansion has been in full tease-mode for a couple of weeks now, but the new set, titled Ancient Bonds, will finally be arriving in less than a week. On March 15, Ancient Bonds will add 39 new cards to the game, a new keyword called Bond, and a whole lot of tribal synergies. We've got the first details on what Bond does, how it will be distributed, and a sneak peek at six new cards from the set.

Ancient Bonds is going to be focused around fleshing out some of the tribal mechanics, specifically for minions that are part the Golem and Arcanyst tribes. The two tribes have been split between the factions, with Lyonar, Magmar, and Vetruvian getting new Golem synergies and Abyssian, Vanar, and Songhai getting Arcanyst synergies. Each faction will get four unique minions from their respective tribe, and developer Counterplay told me it hopes this set will both open up more deck archetypes for each faction and make players look back at their old (and often unplayed) neutral cards in a new light.

[...]

Duelyst

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

Details

Ama's Lullaby - 39% funded

by Hiddenx, 20:05

The point-and-click game Ama's Lullaby is 39% funded on Kickstarter with 15 days to go:

Ama's Lullaby - A point-and-click game in a cyberpunk world by Mercy Ground Creations

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Here we are, we finally have reached 39% of goal on Kickstarter. It was quite tough, but it's nothing compared to what lies ahead: only 15 days left to reach our goal, and we're still falling behind...

Many of you shared the links after my call in the last backer update, and I'm very grateful to you for that! It helped a lot. We still need to continue our efforts if we want to success! Today I suggest to share on our social networks an article about Ama's Lullaby, in our respective language. Here we go:

One could say that Ama's definitely going international :) Don't forget to tag me in your post, so I can see it: @MercyGround on Twitter and @Ama's Lullaby on Facebook. You can tag the media source as well, this way it may share / retweet your post.

This week I'll post some news about the artbook reward.

Have a good day!

Ama's Lullaby

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

Details

Enderal - The Phasmalist

by Hiddenx, 19:50

SureAI presents The Phasmalist - a crafting class for the upcoming addon Enderal - Forgotten Stories:

Enderal - Forgotten Stories Devblog, Episode 2: The Phasmalist

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Enderal

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

Details

Forged of Blood - Now on Kickstarter

by Silver, 11:49

Forged of Blood is on Kickstarter seeking 150K with 56 days still to go and has made a solid start. The game is trying to get on Steam through greenlight so vote here if so inclined.

Forged of Blood is a fantasy turn-based tactical RPG that focuses on creating a deep tactical gameplay experience centered around meaningful choice in a morally ambiguous world. With this game, we are merging a deep turn-based tactical game with an elaborate RPG experience that takes players on a journey to reclaim a lost kingdom.

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Forged of Blood

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

Details

Wednesday - March 08, 2017

The Tenth Line - Release Date: March 17

by Hiddenx, 22:48

The 2d console-style RPG The Tenth Line will be released on March 17:

The Tenth Line is the first commercial game project from Sungazer Software. Explore a colorful world through quick 2D platforming action, hunt for treasure, gain power and train skills, and do battle against dozens of foes at once!

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Feature List:

  • Fast platforming action between three characters, each with his or her own running speed, jumping ability, and ways to interact with the world!
  • High quality background and sprite artwork, and an original soundtrack, with voice acting in battle for all major characters.
  • Turn-based battles with an active timing element against hordes of foes at once!
  • Unique progression/leveling methods. Train up combat moves and set up character-specific specialties by using items, or sacrifice those same items to gain stats on the Power Flow board.
  • Over a dozen hours of gameplay, plus post-game challenges and a New Game Plus mode, as well as an optional story-focused mode.
  • Special bonus: get a full digital artbook and high quality digital soundtrack upon release.

The Tenth Line

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

Details

Matt Chat - David Wesely Interview

by Hiddenx, 22:00

Matt talks with David Wesely about the true origins of D&D:

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RPG and wargaming pioneer Maj. David Wesely's first installment covers the origins of the role-playing game, its influence on society and culture, and much more.

Thanks Farflame!

General News

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

Details

Mount & Blade II - New Screenshots

by Silver, 21:17

PCGamer has showcased some new exclusive screenshots of Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord.

TaleWorlds' Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord may still be without a concrete launch date, but the next issue of PC Gamer magazine goes in deep with the most ambitious open-world RPG since Skyrim.

Due on sale tomorrow, issue #303 (the US edition's issue #291 is on sale later this month) boasts world-exclusive access to the much anticipated Warband prequel, and today we've got a smattering of impressive, as yet unseen screens which showcase the medieval role-player in action.

Mount & Blade II

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

Details

System Shock - Questions/Feedback on Video

by Silver, 20:34

NightDive Studios has addressed some fan concerns following the System Shock pre-alpha video they released recently in their latest update.

...
Q: Things look untextured and bland.

Jason: This was a VERY rapid pass on art stuff and is not final. There's still a lot more work that will be going into art, as well as bringing in the more iconic nuances of Shock 1. We'll post more updates on art once things are further along.

Q: Things now look like a generic scifi shooter

Jason: Keep in mind, this video doesn't really show off the gameplay we're going for. Combat is a thing you'll do, but there will be LOTS of other options to take as you play. We know some players will walk to just run and smash a lot of faces, and they'll be able to do that, but for the thinking player, they'll have a diverse set of gameplay tools to tackle situations in hackery or stealthy ways. Without getting into too much detail, the station is essentially a living character, and the player can learn how to use aspects of the station to their advantage. I'll be sure to share more about the gameplay systems as things get further solidified.

Q: Will there be any hud?

Jason: Definitely! Not sure what the HUD will look like currently, and we're chewing on a few options. We probably won't have a finalized HUD until the end of v slice or early in the production phase.

Q: Will you still be launching on Linux? Mac?

Jason: Yup! That goal has never changed. When we say "PC", we mean Windows, OSX, and Linux.

Q: Do you plan on porting to Nintendo Switch?

Jason: Hard to say right now. It depends on what kind of demand there is for it.

Q: Are you planning to reboot SS2?

Jason: Oh boy, one game at a time. Let's see how this game goes and then board that ship when we get to it ;-)


Audio

Q: Why does Shodan sound that way? (girly, smurf, distorted)

Jonathan: To disclose- I can't speak to the intentions behind the processing, as thus far in the process Terri Brosius has provided her VO with her own processing. But I can speak from an audio direction standpoint, and how we felt that these lines fit in the context of the game...

Terri is unique in that she is SHODAN in a much deeper way than most voiceover artists are their characters. Back in the original Shock days, she wrote her own lines and directed herself. She knows SHODAN's character better than just about anyone. As such, we have been directing her only as much as we need to and she gives her own take, given how close she is to the character of SHODAN.

From an audio direction standpoint, what I can say is that when we received the SHODAN lines for the latest video, we all got chills. My skin crawled, even hearing the voice outside of the context of the rest of the video elements, and that hit my mark. There are some subtle differences for sure, especially in the quality of the processing of the voice. However, none of these differences felt outside the bounds of what SHODAN is or could be. To speak specifically to her voice raising pitch, historically SHODAN's voice has always modulated pitch, both low and high. There may be some new inflections that arise, but nothing that we feel is outside the bounds of what SHODAN means, both technically and emotionally.

[...]

System Shock

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

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Unknown Realm - Interview with GameRaven

by Silver, 11:15

GameRaven interview Bruce and Laura about Unknown Realm.

Sean: What's the story behind how Unknown Realm's concept was formed?

Bruce: The original concept for Unknown Realm came out of some frustrations I had with the direction RPGs were taking during the late 1980's while I was still in high school. They started becoming focused on simulation aspects and less enjoyable to me. I wanted to do more exploring and discovering things, and less combat, simulation, and story grind. I always felt there was huge potential for this type of RPG to tell a story and keep the player's imagination engaged at every step of the journey, but it requires the right balance otherwise, the game can quickly become a monotonous waste of the players time and intelligence.

Bruce: A big test for me as a game designer is whether the player actually finishes your game. Many players I know never finished RPGs they started because the games became too long, tedious, or generally less engaging. In my opinion, this is like an author writing a novel that is so boring or hard to read that the reader puts it down after a few chapters and doesn't feel compelled to finish. A good RPG, like a good story, should be so engaging that the player cannot help but finish it because they are enjoying the experience at every step and can't wait to see what happens next. Scope and pacing are very important for an RPG.

Bruce: A concept I formulated long ago is that games should be an abstraction of reality, not a simulation thereof. I think one game designer who understood this concept well was Sid Meier. His game Pirates! is just one example of what I consider great reality abstraction in a game and it influenced me greatly as a game designer. Better graphics and more realistic physics can never fix a bad game design.

Bruce: A lot the design choices that went into Unknown Realm came out of my D&D tabletop days in the 80's. For instance, I dislike the idea that a role-playing game should have multiple players that you control. All the D&D players I knew only role-played with one character. This is why in Unknown Realm you only control yourself. Any companions in the game are computer-controlled. While I know many will disagree with me on this, I do not consider a game where you control multiple characters in a party to be a true RPG.

[...]

Unknown Realm: The Siege Perilous

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

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Divinity: Original Sin II - Lizards

by Hiddenx, 00:42

You can take a look at the Lizards of Divinity: Original Sin II here:

Meet the Lzards

The Ancient Empire is the oldest, continuously existing empire in Rivellon. Ruled by the ever-proud and often imperious lizards, the empire rests its foundations on a rich, if rigid cultural framework honed in millennia-old traditions. Centuries pass, wars are waged, catastrophes wreak havoc, but the lizards' walls still stand untoppled. Their palaces face the ages undaunted. Incense wafts from eternal flames in elaborately carved temples. It has always been like so, and no single lizard doubts that is how it will always remain.

Three households, all alike in dignity

Lizard society revolves around the three axes of power that are the great houses: The House of War, the House of Law and the House of Dreams.

The most powerful and influential house is the House of War. Within this intricate construct of noble families, all lizard emperors are born. Their main seat is the imposing Forbidden City: a vast complex of palaces and fortresses that lies at the heart of the empire's capital. From here they dominate a continent's worth of empire and direct campaigns of war against any enemy foolish enough to challenge lizard rule. They are also the only house that uses, imports and sells slaves, a practice that began with the conquering of foreign enemies centuries ago, and is very much frowned upon by the rest of Rivellon's peoples (and to some extent the other Houses).

The only force to temper their lofty ambitions is the House of Law, which outranks the House of War on paper, though not quite in practice. Nevertheless, the Assembly of Thousand is in never-ending session at the capital's court, ever passing and amending laws, and judging over every conceivable infraction, no matter how minute, committed anywhere in the empire. It is also the Assembly in its entirety that has to give permission for the House of War to actually to go to war. If it weren't for these more level-headed, and more politically and diplomatically inclined judges, the Ancient Empire might be in a permanent state of war.

The least prominent, but probably most respected house, is the House of Dreams, a semi-religious institution made up of Dreamers: mystics that can travel the dream world at will. It is in this strange realm that they chance upon prophecy, and many prominent Dreamers serve in myriad roadside temples as oracles of fortune. It is said some of them even brave the boundaries of sleep and venture into the dark of nightmares. Such a journey is extremely dangerous and will most likely result in madness or death, but the boons -some claim- can be quite literally otherworldly.

Lastly, there are ever fearful whispers of the clandestine House of Shadows, but these rumours are never substantiated and no one within the Ancient Empire acknowledges the existence of any such organisation.

Divinity: Original Sin II

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

Details

Banner Saga 3 - Eternal Arena added

by Hiddenx, 00:39

With 4 hours to go the Banner Saga 3 Kickstarter campaign has reached the $400k Stretch Goal 'Eternal Arena':

FINAL PUSH - Last Day!

We are in the FINAL HOURS of our Kickstarter for Banner Saga 3! It's the last day to update your pledge and get that cool Saga Swag you’ve always wanted!

[...]

Banner Saga 3

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

Details

Tuesday - March 07, 2017

Kingsway - RPG management sim

by Silver, 23:57

@PCGamesN Kingsway is a unique rpg offering from Adult Swim Games that mixes an operating system with traditional gameplay.

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Mixing standard RPG mechanics with a ‘90s era operating system, Kingsway is a game that likens dungeon crawling to office work. With monster encounters appearing as pop-ups and new quests coming in the form of emails, this perplexing RPG is what Windows 98 would look like if it was designed by Gary Gygax.

All the elements of a '90s era PC GUI have been given an RPG twist in Kingsway, with your Internet browser acting as your world map, your backpack being hidden within your computer's file folders and fetch quests coming up as spam emails in your "Quests" program. You'll have to juggle your inventory and health between multiple windows, with players being able to set out their desktop in any way they like to help aid their daily questing.
[...]

General News

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

Details

BattleTech - Backer Beta Pushed Back

by Silver, 23:48

The Battletech backer beta has been pushed back due to trouble with third party software and a Unity upgrade according to the latest kickstarter update.

Backer Beta Delayed

Greetings MechWarriors! Klimecky back again with important news about our Backer Beta. A series of unfortunate events prevents us from hitting our target release date and, as promised in our last update, we're letting you know as far in advance as we can. This change may come as a surprise, given it's only a few weeks after announcing the target release date but sometimes game development throws us curve balls at just the wrong moment. As a wise man once said, "Shit happens."

Developers are constantly weighing risks vs rewards during a project, often with incomplete information. In this case we made two big decisions in the leadup to Beta and both turned out to have a bigger impact on the project than we planned for. Here's what happened:

Our development infrastructure desperately needed an upgrade but the fixes caused lots of short-term headaches. HBS has a history of "toughing it out" and working with sub-optimal back-end tools because we want as much development time as possible to be spent on game features and fun. Eventually however, a system becomes too painful to use and we bite the bullet and pay the development price. In this case, we had two vital systems that required improvement for the Backer Beta, so we decided to "tear off the bandage", hire a professional IT contractor, and get all the work done at once so our engineers could stay focused on the game.

Unfortunately, the infrastructure upgrade process caused several issues including delays in getting new versions of the game built. This consumed time from our Lead Engineer, our Test Lead, and myself. Without the ability to test our work in new "builds" of the game, progress slowed. It has taken the better part of 3 weeks to get back on track, but we finally feel like we've cleared the hurdle.

An upgrade to the latest version of Unity brought the game editor to its knees. Unity is the game engine we build BATTLETECH on top of and when the company updates its software, game developers need to take a hard look before deciding to take the plunge and install it. In this case, we determined that the update was required for beta because it contained performance optimizations that would greatly improve the gameplay experience for nearly all our participants and for some, make the game playable at all on their machines.

Now, we know from experience that whenever you update major software in the middle of development things WILL break, so we diligently planned time for integration and bug fixing. Unfortunately, while the upgrade succeeded in improving the game's performance, the changes in Unity broke a lot more of our systems than anticipated - with these consequences proving more time-consuming to troubleshoot and address than any other Unity upgrade we've done in the past (including on previous projects). We were relieved to learn that at 2:30am this morning, our engineering and technical art team removed the final productivity sink and were able to start our Monday with a solid infrastructure and performant game editor.

As you can imagine, it's been a frustrating few weeks in the studio. The entire project slowed dramatically just as we were attempting to hit the gas for the final weeks until Beta launch. The team continued to push as hard as they could, refusing to give up on our March 15th target date, but the slowdowns and instability were punishing. The leadership group decided to step back and take a good, hard look at the situation. We decided it was best to stop the crunch and focus on finishing the infrastructure and editor work before reviewing our quality level and reassessing the target date for the Backer Beta.

Now that our technical issues are behind us, the team is focused on quality and on delivering an experience that shows the world why HBS loves BattleTech and why everyone else should, too. As soon as we have a new target date that we can confidently announce, we'll send out another update. We are dedicated to delivering a great Backer Beta, even if that means taking a little longer with it.

Regarding the final release date for BATTLETECH: As noted during our livestreamed dev Q&As and on our forums, once we unlocked all of our Kickstarter stretch goals, our estimated release date of May was no longer valid. Way back then we said things like "Summer 2017." Now that we're further along, we're targeting a Late Summer / Fall release of the game - but we won't be announcing a more exact release date until we're much closer in!

Again, we deeply appreciate your support for the project.

-- Chris Klimecky, Sr. Producer

BattleTech

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

Details

Tales of Berseria - Review @ Niche Gamer

by Hiddenx, 21:03

Niche Gamer has reviewed Tales of Berseria:

Tales of Berseria Review – Sometimes It’s Good To Be Bad

[...]

Which brings us to Tales of Berseria, a prequel to Zestiria that, other than creating a badass female lead, was meant to build upon and improve the changes set forth in its predecessor. Initially – even as a fan – I was highly skeptical that much would change, especially for the better. I loved the first Tales of Xillia, but like its own quickly pumped-out sequel, it lacked the original’s impact.

Systems were unnecessarily dragged out, the new character roleplayed a coma victim through over half the game, and 90% of the world was just copy-pasted from the previous title. Call me pessimistic if you wish, but I was confident the same fate would befall Tales of Berseria. Thankfully, I’m starting to get used to being wrong about a lot of things.

Before I get into the most impressive changes in Berseria, let’s talk about its most shocking: The story.

[...]

With such an outstanding story, great characters, a blistering fast (And addictively fun to exploit) combat system, a “less messy” weapon upgrade mechanic and the best visuals in the entire series, I feel comfortable calling this my new favorite “Tales of” game…or at the very least, tied with Graces f.

What’s great about Berseria is that unlike most Tales of games, it acts as a wonderful jumping-in point for new players. Combine this with its ease-of-use and flashy combat designed to accommodate more tactical, veteran players and you have one of the most complete JRPGs you’re likely to find on the current generation’s systems. Tales of Berseria is a must play for any and all JRPG fans.

The Verdict 9.5

The Good

  • Great visuals/framerate (even on console)
  • Easy to learn systems & combat
  • Engrossing story & characters
  • Lots of new environments, very little copied over from Zestiria
  • Feels like a true “next-gen” Tales game
  • Battles are highly exploitable if you know what you’re doing

The Bad

  • Some mild backtracking, which can get tiring
  • Battles are highly exploitable…which may be a turn off to some

 

Tales of Berseria

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: J-RPG
Platform: PC, PS4
Release: Released

Details

Atelier Firis - Review @ RPG Site

by Hiddenx, 20:46

RPG Site has reviewed the J-RPG Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey (PS4 version):

Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey Review

To me, the Atelier series has been great in turning on the charm and putting me into a much better mood as I play it. It’s almost therapeutic in how it pulls me in close and wraps around me like a warm blanket. The fact the stories never get too serious makes a lot of my cares and stresses melt away the more I play.

Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey does a brilliant job at this thanks in large part to its very likeable cast. Although each character has their own backstory and motivation, they all play off each other so well. Gust has continously managed to do this despite having to introduce a largely new cast of characters, though it's not always seamless. This is easily the biggest game Gust has ever made, both in sheer size and the amount of content to indulge in, but does it stick the landing?

Set shortly after the events of Atelier Sophie, Firis and her sister Liane live in a small, underground mining town located on the outskirts of society. Firis spends most of her time helping the workers mine for ore with her gift of locating the best spots to dig, while Liane head out into the wilderness to hunt for food.

[...]

It is pretty incredible how Atelier Firis is able to take full advantage of the power of the PlayStation 4. Not only is the sense of scale off the charts, but the gameplay itself is commendable for the developer. Gust clearly put a lot of work into this iteration and it really shows, creating what is essentially a modern JRPG for all intents and purposes.

Aside from framerate issues and a lack of truly meaningful exploratory content, the series has never been more impressive from a technical perspective. Any fan of the Atelier games will be captivated with what’s in store, and newcomers may just find something to admire as well.

Score: 8/10

Atelier Firis

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

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