The Nostalgia Files
Autumn: A Meager RPG Harvest
Aubrielle invites us to gather round the fire and talk about what autumn gaming means to us, and why so few RPGs feature cozy harvest time surroundings.
» Continue reading the article...
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain Review
Pessimeister goes in-depth in this Warlock of Firetop Mountain review.
» Read the article
Do a raffle and give away stuff
Tell us again about the good old days
Bring back RPGDot, to see what it was like
I'm still waiting for that My Little Pony site
I have this brilliant idea (elaborate in a reply)
Let's not, I don't like celebrations
Thursday - October 06, 2016
The Metronomicon - Review @ WGTC
We Got This Covered reviewed the Rythm RPG The Metronomicon:
The Metronomicon Review
When you think of rhythm games, you don’t usually think of RPGs. If you did, maybe the rhythm action genre would be in ruder health than it currently is. With The Metronomicon, L.A.-based indie studio Puuba is looking to try something new, bringing the fast action of the music experience together with the more careful and considered approach of an RPG.
The way the game is played is probably the best place to start when considering The Metronomicon, given that it’s a genuinely new concept. On the left of the screen, your four-character party stands below four individual music tracks. Arrows come down the tracks and in traditional rhythm game style, you need to press enough indicated inputs at the right time in order to trigger an attack. Once this is done, a cooldown period comes into play for that specific character so that you can’t just spam the same attack over and over. At this point, you can tap a button to switch to one of your other characters, picking up the beat and performing one of their actions in the same way.
Score: 4/5 - Great
The task of combining rhythm action and RPG gameplay styles is not one that many developers would have been able to pull off as well as Puuba have with The Metronomicon. As well as a stack of great jams and entertaining gameplay, there’s plenty of polish and enough depth here to keep you stepping back to the dance floor.
The MetronomiconSP/MP: Single-player
Heroes of the Monkey Tavern - Review
The French site Game Guide has reviewed the dungeon crawler Heroes of the Monkey Tavern:
Heroes of the Monkey Tavern is an independent game that wanted to approach the classics of the genre. A nice music, a simplistic but effective gameplay, a classic team of choice, but effective too, rose in stages with a lot of surprises. So yes, I agree, many might find the game too "classically old-school" ... but in fact, this game claims to be a homecoming, drawing on gender grounds. And he succeeded in this respect, as in others elsewhere. Thus, neophytes or nostalgic, if you like "dungeon crawler" Heroes of the Monkey Tavern could be worth a visit. For the others, I think you should take a quick look at the gameplay videos to make you a better idea and who knows ... buy it?
Heroes of the Monkey TavernSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Dungeon Crawler
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - New Publisher
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, the promising spiritual successor to the classic Castlevania title for the PS1, is to be published by 505 Games.
Koji Igarashi and ArtPlay Inc. have agreed a publishing deal for their successfully crowdfunded Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.
505 Games, the folks who helped market both Payday 2 and Virginia, will publish the Castlevania spiritual successor—news which follows Igarashi's recent decision to push the game back to 2018.
When Wes went hands-on with Bloodstained at E3 earlier this year, he noted there wasn't an awful lot to pass comment on—even considering its alpha status. That said, it's worth noting that while Bloodstained asked for $500,000 via last year's Kickstarter campaign, it eventually accumulated over $5.5 million. Naturally, the scope of the project in turn had to change, so perhaps the delay and its pacing is expected.
Either way, the latest developer update discusses 505's involvement, and also sneaks in a wee bit of test footage. If you're a backer, you'll likely find talk of backer portraits of particular interest.
Source: PC Gamer
Bloodstained: Ritual of the NightSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Metroidvania RPG
Release: In development
Pillars of Eternity - 3.04 Beta Live
Many of us thought that 3.03 would be the last update for Pillars of Eternity, but Obsidian is releasing at least one more patch, and they're currently looking for beta testers for it.
GameBanshee is curious whether we might also see a crowdfunding effort for a sequel soon...
Major Bug Fixes:
(These fixes will be retroactive)
- Brighthollow upstairs will no longer error on transition
- Hiravias and Durance will no longer break party manager in the base game
- Characters put into the stronghold with the Rod of Wind and Thunder will no longer break party manager in base game
- Fighter, Confident Aim doubling on Save/Load
- Engagement is now broken when characters are knocked back
- Personal 'Total Damage Done' no longer comes up as '-Infinity'
- Multiple issues with Glittering Gauntles
- Fixed the Nav around the adra pillar in Elmshore
- Cape of the Cheat will now be rewarded to base and px1 players
- Charming all enemies in a combat will no longer reset combat
- Audio cutting out in the End Slides following the White March
- Skeleton Wizard 'Necrotic Lance' set up as a ray
- VFX that start from character heads (breath weapons, etc..) misaligned
- Korean Loc issue with text getting cut off during Character Creation
- Barbarian, Bash hitting multiple targets with Carnage
- Chanter, Ancient Memory no longer deactivates after casting an Invocation
- Cipher, Phantom Foes flanked debuff being removed when the enemy is engaged
- Cipher, Psychic Backlash hitting the Cipher at the start of combat
- Druid, Fire Stag *Missing gui* in the combat log
- Druid, Infestation of Maggots now does the intended amount of damage per tic
- Monk, Torment's Reach no longer procs off every enemy hit
- Priest, Seal spells no longer activate twice
- Priest, Iconic Projection no longer bypasses DR
- Ranger, Twinned Arrow + Driving Flight accuracy issues
- Ranger, Powder Burns now works as intended with DR Penetration
- Wizard, Wall of Draining no longer increases beneficial spells permanently
- Sabre base damage will drop from 13-19 to 11-16 and are given a +20% damage mod. They should still take the 'top damage' slot but this change should lower them enough to encourage other options.
Pillars of EternitySP/MP: Single-player
Torment - Polish & UI Plus New Video
A new kickstarter update for Torment: Tides of Numenera brings with it a look at the UI and polish improvements being made to the game. A new beta update will be coming and there is a new video highlighting the ninth world.
The conversation screen in Torment is one of the most important parts of the game, because you will be spending so much time using it. As a result, it was critical to make it as polished and enjoyable to use as possible - a goal we have had throughout development. Without a doubt, our conversation UI has gone through more versions than any other interface element for that same reason.
First up, one of the biggest concerns we saw in the beta was that the text scrolling needed to be improved. In earlier versions, text would always appear at the bottom of the interface, which could lead to a lot of extra scrolling or manually expanding the whole conversation screen to read it. As a result, we re-designed this text behavior and engineer Matthew Davey spent many hours re-writing it.
Our revamp for conversation text scrolling now has text appear at the top of the interface rather than appearing near the bottom, so you don't find yourself scrolling nearly as much. When we need to show lots of text all at once, we also added a "Show More" button and a little down arrow indicating that there is more below. Instead of manually scrolling when there's lots of words on screen, now you can just keep hitting the Enter key, Spacebar, or clicking the button, which means that you can focus more on the contents of the conversation rather than getting pulled out of the narrative.
That said, a text box isn't in and of itself the most interesting thing, and for Torment we wanted to do something a bit more special. So, we decided to include additional notifications, audio cues and special effects while you're in conversations in order to highlight key moments.
A great example of this is the new "Item Gained" prompt. All of our items in the game are hand-designed and often written with lots of detailed lore and story elements, and so we wanted it to make it feel like a great moment when you found something interesting. Since so many of these items are given out during conversations or scripted interactions, it made sense to devote a portion of the conversation interface to them.
Things have been busy with Torment beyond just development as well. First, we've got a brand new trailer for the game introducing the Ninth World, you can see that below.loading...
Torment: Tides of NumeneraSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Wednesday - October 05, 2016
Wasteland 3 - Already over 65% funded
The Wasteland 3 crowdfunding campaign started very well - over 65% of the funding goal has been reached already:
From the creators of Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera comes Wasteland 3! Following the critically acclaimed releases of 2014's Wasteland 2 and 2015's Wasteland 2: Director's Cut, fans have been clamoring for a direct sequel. Now we can bring it to you, with your help!
- A party-based role-playing game, with a renewed focus on our trademark complex story reactivity and strategic combat.
- By including vehicles, environmental dangers, and a revamped, more fluid action system, we are evolving on Wasteland 2's deep tactical turn-based combat and unique encounter design.
- Play by yourself or with a friend in story-driven synchronous or asynchronous multiplayer. Choices open up (or close off) mission opportunities, areas to explore, story arcs, and lots of other content.
- Your Ranger Base is a core part of the experience. As you help the local people and establish a reputation in Colorado, quests and narrative will force you to make decisions on how to lead.
- The game will be set in the savage lands of frozen Colorado, where survival is difficult and a happy outcome is never guaranteed. Players will face difficult moral choices and make sacrifices that will change the game world.
- Wasteland 3 will feature a deep and engaging story utilizing a newly-revamped dialog tree system from the celebrated writers of Torment: Tides of Numenera.
- Simultaneously releasing to Windows, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Wasteland 3SP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Humans and Monsters - On Kickstarter
One of the longest enduring and inhabiting role-playing games - Humans and Monsters is similar to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons RPGs and offers a much, much deeper RPG experience.
- Windows PC Rpg
- Turn-based, strategic combat with over 500 enemies
- Lots of Crafting and jobs
- Huge World to explore
- More than 100 hours of game play
- 100's of Quests
- Buy and sell houses!
- Lots of skills and spells with different domains
- Npcs and Characters have there own story to tell
SO. MUCH. CONTENT. Measured against its production values, this game provides the player with an amount of quality content unmatched, I believe, in any other RPG. The diversity of encounters, spells, quests and, well, just about everything, makes Humans and Monsters a one-of-a-kind complete experience. The combat is turn-based. Humans and Monsters have everything I look for in an RPG: a multitude of quests, an extreme amount of unique and interesting loot, a myriad of monsters to fight (over 500), and a story which, while not exactly Shakespeare material, is quite solid and memorable. In my opinion, this is pretty much the perfect RPG.
Many memorable Characters and Npc's all with there own story to tell. Replay value is very good because recruiting different Characters can change alot of things.
The game is huge, (Play testers have said well over 100 hours) with lots of different areas to explore brimming with content. Especially Bellmonia, the capital of Moryar, it is a joy to explore, and is definitely the best designed city in any computer RPG, with every inch of real estate used to good effect. The combat is turn-based with lots of strategy many magic spells and skills, which is the main reason most people love Humans and Monsters. Compared to the turn-based Gold Box games, there are far more options here when it comes to skills, abilities, spells, items and monster variety, as well as the better AI. Combined with the best encounter design of any RPG.
You will find so many different places to explore, cities, towns, villages, camps, dungeons, caves, towers, lots of hidden areas to find. So many different types of jobs, like fishing, hunting, mining, lumberjacking, alchemy, blacksmithing just to name a few. Buy and sell houses.
Humans and MonstersSP/MP: Single-player
Divinity: Original Sin II - Important Stuff Coming
@Eurogamer they look at the upcoming features of Divinity: Original Sin 2.
Turns out I didn't quite understand - both about competing party members and about other things that either aren't working properly yet, or aren't implemented, in the Divinity: Original Sin 2 Early Access build. I find that out when I speak with the founder and creative director of Larian Studios, Swen Vincke, after my Early Access playthrough. He puts me straight in the hope I can put you straight, too.
"There is something that is missing in Early Access and that is why you're confused," he tells me. "It's party relations and it's scripting for the companions. Currently what you're doing is you're controlling your party members as if you were to control them all in multiplayer - and that will not be the case when you're playing single-player."
Instead, he says, think of them as companions in Dragon Age: Origins or Baldur's Gate; companions with minds of their own.
"Your companions will have their opinions and you will have to influence them," he says. "You will still be able to walk around in the world as [the character] Red Prince if you, for instance, started as Sebille; what you will not be able to do is affect Red Prince's origin's quest. You will also not be able to affect his relationships."
It's an important clarification because it means you won't give the order for conflict in your party, which was the bit I was struggling to understand. The conflict will happen around you in characters with motivations of their own, and it will be up to you to try and manage them. They are designed to clash, and if you handle them badly they may leave and even attack you. But without the party dialogues at the moment, or a relationship gauge affected by it, it's only really half there.
Divinity: Original Sin IISP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Infinite Desolation - Sci-Fi Survival RPG
Here is a press release about the indie game Inifinite Desolation, a top-down Sci-Fi Survival RPG.
San Francisco, CA, October 5th 2016: Infinite Desolation by indie game developer Far-Flung Games offers a unique fusion of high intensity top-down action and deep Sci-fi survival RPG, set on a harsh planet that will test your grit. Your escape pod has crash-landed on a desolate planet and your objective is to survive at any cost, using your strength, agility, cunning and endurance to beat the odds, along with an impressive arsenal of weapons and powerful abilities. Danger lurks everywhere. There are many ways to stay alive, but more ways to die…
Infinite Desolation is not the average run-of-the-mill action game. Recently Greenlit via STEAM™, the game features deep character progression, exploration and looting, crafting, day-night cycles, environmental hazards, classic survival mechanics and world-jumping portals. You can choose to play as a Grunt, Psion, Scout, Engineer or Marine. Each playable option is customizable using the S.P.A.C.E attribute system: Strength, Psi, Agility, Cunning and Endurance. Scavenge for oxygen, water, health packs, ammo and crafting materials to ensure your survival. A wealth of weapons is available, from the basic M7 Plasma Rifle to the devastating R-G Launcher, a combined rocket/grenade launcher. To complement your weapons, you can unlock and upgrade powerful psionic abilities, including Speed, Blink, Repulse and Heal. Craft new items to aid in your survival, including a combat drone to fight by your side. Interact with the environment: trigger defence turrets, deploy bridges, activate bases and portals, or rest in shelters to recover. The world is packed with areas to explore, loot to uncover and enemies to kill.
Infinite Desolation includes a Story Mode, which is an engaging single-player campaign in the form of an action survival RPG. Doomed Mode is a battle for the top of the online leader board where you fight an unrelenting horde with all powers and weapons unlocked. In Co-Op Mode, you can fight alongside a friend in a variation of the Doomed Mode.
Infinite Desolation offers a great gameplay experience to fans of action-packed titles looking for the ultimate thrill of a fun game getting better by the day as continues to add new content and additional features prior to its official release.
Indie RPGsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Dungeons Of Aledorn - Development Update
In the development update for Dungeons of Aledorn some insights are provided on why progress is slower than expected.
Greeting to all the RPG and Dungeons of Aledorn fans. Some time has already passed since our last news. Although we had been working even during the summer it did not go as fast as we wanted. However, now we are able to bring some news regarding both the project and our team.
Unfortunately our main translator Honza Říha has left our team due to personal reasons and we were forced to look for a new one. His work was completely overtaken by Radovan Mikš, the brother of our lead programmer. Radovan should orignally join our team later when the work on AI begins, but now we can also use his experience in translations.
We have also read carefully your opinions and feedbacks after the alpha version and our biggest problem according to you was the poor quality of dialogues. In this matter, we reinforced our team with Johan Justoň who already did a good work on video games before such as Inquisitor. We hope that his help will push Dungeons of Aledorn to higher levels.
The level design has already made a significant progress and we can show you a few screenshots from a brand new village of Condra, the infamous hideout of the pirates in the middle of swamps.
The update also has several screenshots, of which one is shown here.
And it has a video showing the creation of containers, using a Czech interface.
Dungeons Of AledornSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem - State of the Game
Now that Wolcen is half a year in early access an update is provide on the state of development.
It has been a little over six months since Wolcen released in Early Access, so we thought it would be a good time talk about the development of the game, and where things are headed.
When the Kickstarter debuted SolarFall Games was comprised of 4 people, and Umbra (oh, nostalgia) was just a playable prototype. Back then, the goal was to make a cool but smaller hack and slash using CryEngine.
But that had to change when the game was funded with almost twice the goal reached in pledges. It was clear players craved for a Hack and slash with deep character customization and beautiful graphics.
Just as the team grew in size, so did the scope of the project. Wolcen is being made into a bigger, and ambitious game than what we had initially planned. We are working hard to turn old mechanics into innovative features like our new passive skill tree, the resource opposition system or the housing system.
Our goal is to make a really great game that can keep players engaged for years to come, the kind of game that we would like to play.
Because of that, as many of you already guessed, the game will not come out in October as it was announced a year ago. At the time we did not fully realize the sheer volume of work that was to come. Videogames are often delayed, and this time is no exception.
We would also like to address the state of the Linux port. Yes, it is still planned, but at this time, the team has to focus on a single platform in order to improve the current alpha. Our small team does not currently have the manpower to maintain two platforms at the same time and we still have to implement core features, fix bugs and improve the game’s stability on the PC version before we can move to Linux.
We will try our best to release a working Linux version as soon as we possibly can, but we might have to migrate to CryEngine V first.
The team is getting ready for the release the biggest patch to date, which will contain the new passive skill tree among may other cool things!
We want to think our backers for their support, they made this game possible, and we hope to accompany them through the journey ahead of us.
Wolcen: Lords of MayhemSP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Hack & Slash
Release: In development
Witcher 3 - Designing a Crafting Economy
CD Projekt RED's Matthew Steinke discusses the economy of The Witcher 3, and how he attempted to bring it to life by resisting exploitation.
The GDC YouTube channel has published a GDC Europe 2015 talk given by CD Projekt RED's Matthew Steinke, who talked about his work designing the game's economy and crafting systems. Much of the talk focuses on Steinke's "scientific" approach to economy balance and the tricks he used when designing an economy that resisted exploits, and his subsequent work on the crafting systems, which forced him to rebalance the entire economy.
There are some points that I believe are worthy of critique, like Steinke's idea that making crafting components weightless would make the inventory system more confusing, but overall it's an interesting talk, if nothing else because of the insight it gives into the game's production:
Witcher 3SP/MP: Single-player
Beyond Good & Evil 2 - In Pre-Production
Michael Ansel confirmed on Instagram that Beyond Good & Evil 2 is in pre-production. There is also some art of a Mammago rhino.
michelancelEndangered species - now saved - Game in pre-production - Stay tuned !
Beyond Good & EvilSP/MP: Single-player
Kings and Heroes - Dev Chat
Industry Games' Kings and Heroes has had a bumpy reception due to performance. The developers talk about the game and how they are addressing performance issues. Start watching at 7.30 to get to the game chatter.
Warren and John from Industry Games return this week to talk about the Action RPG, Kings and Heroes (www.kingsandheroes.com). John and Warren talk about performance updates making the game run smoother than ever before.
Kings and HeroesSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Tuesday - October 04, 2016
Realm of Darkness - Released
The classic indie RPG Realm of Darkness has been released recently - the feature list looks promising:
Realm of Darkness
Discover an addictive combat system. Over 300 unique types of enemies roam the lands , each capable of posing their own kinds of threats to your adventure. There are hundreds of possible strategies to lead the group to victory, including the use of scrolls and all types of magic.loading...
- Customize your characters anyway you want.
- There are 8 character classes and over 20 useful skills, there are over 100 side quests, crafting skills.
- You will never get bored with Realm of Darkness
- Realm of Darkness is available for Windows based computers.
- Have up to 5 characters in your party at one time.
- Play as a male or female character.
- Customize your characters anyway you want with stat points.
- Improved HD widescreen graphic resolution and details.
- DRM Free! We respect our customers.
- New weather effects: snow, rain, and thunderstorms. Weather isn't just an effect; severe weather effects gameplay stats and skills.
- Additional skills and improved skill balancing.
- Lots of crafting and jobs.
Realm of DarknessSP/MP: Single-player
Dishonored 2 - Focused on Level Design
@Eurogamer they examine how Dishonored 2's levels enable all play styles.
The clockwork level itself is quite impressive. It also seems like a real statement, emphasising that the opulent, Victorian inspired visuals that so characterise Dishonored are more than just set dressing; as you go about the house, you pull levers to reconfigure the environment around you with a satisfying series of clicks, clanks and whirs. Reconfiguring the house, of course, opens up different pathways to your target - in this instance, the renowned inventor Kirin Jindosh. It's a strong reminder that while Dishonored 2 (and the original Dishonored) may not be a puzzle game, it's sure as hell built like one.
I spoke to lead level designer Christophe Carrier at EGX to explore the design ethos behind Dishonored 2 and, indeed, the clockwork mansion. Before we dive into that though, you might want to watch the video first in order to get a good sense for what the level actually is.
As you may have gleaned from our wildly differing approaches to the same level, Dishonored 2 is all about supporting player choice. Players can confront everything head on or sneak around the sides, and then there's also the question of powers to consider; Dishonored 2 allows you to refuse the Outsider's offer of occult magic powers for the first time, allowing you to play the entire game as an ordinary, squishy human.
I asked Christophe how one goes about designing a level with those different approaches in mind - does he start with those people who aren't going to use any powers at all and then layer it up for the people who will? How does one go about building something like that? "Well that's the challenge of course," he began, shifting in one of the NEC's most comfortable plastic chairs, "but to answer your question we don't work with layers. When we make the level, we build the basics first; the main buildings, the balconies and the apartments and then on top of that - well it's kind of a layer [laughs]. While I'm talking I'm realising that it's a layer but we are digging deeper into it and we add or remove things. Entrances, new paths, and of course we had to deal with the no power players to that they have an experience that is as fun as all the other people.
Dishonored 2SP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Daggerfall - Daggerfall Unity - On Quests
Daggerfall Unity has made some good progress and is in the process of developing quests for its latest builds.
Fast forward a couple months: 0.3 stable is now tagged on Live Builds page and I've started work on the quest system in earnest. This post is the first in a series documenting the journey from raw bytes to a working feature.
When adding a big new feature, there's always a technical planning stage before commencement. I need to understand which of Daggerfall's binary files are involved in the feature, learn how much is already known about those files (sometimes a lot, sometimes almost nothing), map out the additional details I need to know before I can re-implement that feature, and finally start cutting some code.
Sometimes it takes a few iterations, as writing code to pull apart the binaries is itself a journey where new information is learned. I don't know what I don't know, and often that new information results in a new iteration with better understanding. There's basically a research-implement-compare loop going at all times throughout development of Daggerfall Unity. It can be a bit draining.
Items for example needed considerable research to bridge the gap between "enough knowledge to make an item editor" and "enough knowledge to fully implement items in a new engine". Believe me, there's a huge amount of work needed between having a file spec with lots of unknowns and building a completely functional equivalent. Most of my time is spent somewhere in that gap.
So when starting quests, I set out to learn everything I could about the binary formats and the work others had done before me. I was pleasantly surprised to learn:
- Quests are among the most well-understood formats, thanks to the work of several early Daggerfall hackers (notably Donald Tipton and Dave Humphrey).
- Tools exist to edit live quests, but more importantly decompile the QRC and QBN files to a human-readable source file (thanks to Template v1.11 by Tipton).
- Early Daggerfall modders already had a good understanding of creating quests for Daggerfall - there's an established process.
- Quest files are one of the few cleanly decoupled things in Daggerfall. Unlike items which have template data hard-coded in the executable, quests are nicely self-contained.
Osiris: New Dawn - A Survival Game Done Differently
@GamePressure Osiris: New Dawn recently arrived on Steam early access and is said to be different from the standard survival game formula.
Osiris: New Dawn, a sci-fi survival game for those bored of classic survivals - or at least that's what the developers at Fenix Fire Entertainment claim. The overall premise seems pretty standard, though: after crash-landing on an alien planet, you get to build a colony together with friends, fight off local fauna at day and survive attacks of aggressive monsters at night. On the other hand, your typical survival mechanics - like eating and drinking - will be limited to venturing far off your base. Besides, you will be able to task droids with tedious work, such as gathering resources, thus letting you focus on what's real fun: combat and exploration.loading...
General NewsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Cyberpunk 2077 - Adds Experienced Personnel
@GamePressure The Quantum Break lead designer and the gameplay producer from Rockstar North joins CD Projekt to work on Cyberpunk 2077.
There's no way you haven't heard that Cyberpunk 2077 is the next big thing from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt creators, Poland-based CD Projekt RED (unless you are a caveman, in which case you're not reading this anyway). How big the project is going to be we can guess not only from the developers' vague comments and leaked info on possible in-game features, but also from the sheer size of the team. CD Projekt RED are hiring even more people, and they won't settle for just about anybody. One of the studio's latest acquisitions is Quantum Break lead designer, Kyle Rowley, of which he himself informed the fans via Twitter. Also, the team has been recently joined by a new gameplay producer from Rockstar North (best known for the Grand Theft Auto series).
Cyberpunk 2077SP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
PC Gamer - Favourite Expansions
PC Gamer has a feature on its favourite expansions.
It's always a bit upsetting when the credits roll on our favourite games. Whether it's those short and sweet adventures that're wrapped up in ten hours or less, or the social life-devouring days-on-end epics-craving more when it's all said and done is sadly part of the process. Of course, that's where expansions come in.
And the best do more than simply extend their base-games' battery life-they develop existing ideas and features, fix what was previously broken, push plot lines in unexpected directions, and add to the original experience in such a way that the expansion stands alone on merit and in its own right. In this list, we've gathered our favourite expansions that've added meaningful mileage to some masterful PC games over the last couple of decades. Enjoy!
Opinion - Steam Should Better Control Early Access
For some titles, early access has been a blessing. Others have made early access look like a disaster...or even a scam. PC Gamer pens their thoughts in an editorial.
It's not surprising that Steam's Early Access program has produced some disappointment. Finished games fall short of our expectations all the time—why would we expect unfinished ones to be less flawed or controversial? But Early Access disappointments have broader consequences: when Early Access games fail, struggle, or their creator does something irresponsible, it harms the integrity of that label for everyone. As a Project Zomboid developer in 2014, "[Early Access] failures tarnish the reputation of the entire model, so a failure (particularly a high-profile failure) is potentially damaging to the very developers who need this model the most."
Two years later, those words of caution remain relevant. An unscientific of PC Gamer Twitter followers suggests, at best, a lack of consensus about the value of Early Access. Early Access' reputation continues to be shaped by its worst participants, and in fact, we're grappling with new and inventive abuses.
Source: PC Gamer
Darkest Dungeon - The Crimson Court DLC
The fiendishly cruel Darkest Dungeon will have its first DLC soon, probably around the beginning of the year. Called The Crimson Court, it will add a new class, and...maybe vampires?
The announcement contains very little information, but what's there—including the creepy-as-hell image below and "The Blood! I must have the Blood!"—would seem to point at the coming of vampires. The DLC will include a new playable class, "but we're keeping the rest of the details close to the chest for now," Red Hook said in an email.
Source: PC Gamer
Darkest DungeonSP/MP: Single-player
Monday - October 03, 2016
Stardew Valley - Version 1.1 Released
ConcernedApe announced that Stardew Valley version 1.1 is now available on Steam on his website. The GOG version is not ready yet but coming soon.
- Shane and Emily are now available to marry. They each have new events, music, and more!
- Spouses now have a unique outdoor area and behavior on the farm.
- You can now choose from 5 different farm maps at character creation. Each map is focused on a different skill area.
- Standard Farm - The original Stardew Valley farm.
- Riverland Farm - Lots of water, good for fishing.
- Forest Farm - Foraging opportunities and a unique weed that always drops mixed seeds.
- Hill-top Farm - Has a small mineral deposit from which ores spawn, including a unique geode-bearing ore.
- Wilderness Farm - Monsters spawn at night.
- "Shed" building... An empty room that can be decorated, filled with kegs, etc.
- "Mill" building... Can be used to turn wheat into flour and beets into sugar overnight.
- A new quest that can be started after the Community Center or JojaMart quest arc is complete. The new quest results in a new "magical construction" feature available from the Wizard's Tower. The new quest is triggered when you enter the Railroad area.
- Added several new locations that are related to the above quest. "Junimo Hut" building (Magical Construction). Junimos will harvest crops within a certain distance of the hut, instantly transporting the harvest back to the hut for you to gather at your convenience.
- "Earth Obelisk" building (Magical Construction). A permanent warp totem to the mountains.
- "Water Obelisk" building (Magical Construction). A permanent warp totem to the beach.
- "Gold Clock" building (Magical Construction). Prevents weeds from spawning and fences from decaying on your farm.
- You can now move your buildings via Robin's construction menu.
- New house upgrade from Robin that adds a cellar to your house and teaches you the "cask" crafting recipe. In the cellar, you can use Casks to age cheese and alcohol, increasing their quality.
- "Iridium-star" level quality is now attainable for aged goods, fruit, forage items (if you have the botanist perk), and animal products. Iridium-star level items have twice the value of normal items.
- NPC's now appreciate quality level in gifts, but it only has an effect on gifts they "like" or "love".
- Added Coffee, a spring/summer crop, and Coffee Bean. The bean acts as the produce and the seed, similar to sunflowers.
Stardew ValleySP/MP: Single-player
Dark Souls III - Ashes of Ariandel Preview
Wccftech have a preview for the Dark Souls III DLC Ashes of Ariandel.
As I ventured further into the Ashes of Ariandel DLC, I discovered more intimidating enemies. After falling through the snow I landed in an icy forest, populated by packs of wolves. Singularly, the wolves are pretty easy to defeat; however, their piercing howls soon attract the rest of the pack and before I knew it, I was completely surrounded by them. As if that wasn't enough to keep me on my toes, exiting the forest also marked my encounter with a huge wolf that actively tried to nudge me off the side of the cliff face. The enemies that followed were even more interesting. At points, I found myself cornered by hefty figures clad in in chainmail and horned helmets. These forest-dwelling foes brandished heavy axes and some even ambled alongside the wolves that I had met earlier. The most interesting enemy that I discovered in the demo were the trees. Adopting the silhouette of a woman, the trees would remain still until disturbed. Once awoken, they would lean forward and grab my character, blowing a gust of cold air that greatly depleted my health bar, before dealing further frost damage.
So far, the area that I've described may sound like your average starting area for Dark Souls and you'd be correct in assuming that. My first few minutes in Ashes of Ariandel almost felt soothing and despite the fact that many of the enemies that I encountered felt familiar, it was not a disappointing experience. There is certainly more to come. Turning a corner away from the wolves and entering a clearing littered with ruins and a dilapidated tower reminded me of the sheer depth of the story, history and secrets that Dark Souls encapsulates. Racing up the spiral staircase in the hopes of discovering a new item filled me with curiosity and excitement; as did sneaking up on the enemy halfway up and landing that oh-so-satisfying backstab. In the tower, I uncovered the ‘Captain's Ashes' which I found will unlock new items from the Handmaiden at the Shrine (unfortunately I do not know what these items are). I also picked up a Millwood Battle Axe and Follower Javelin, although these weapons may be common enemy weapons in this area.
Dark Souls IIISP/MP: Single + MP
Backdrop - Now on Kickstarter
Backdrop tries to be a different RPG - now on Kickstarter:
There are so many new ideas in the game, that it is hard to boil them down to one short description, but here is the overview of what we think are the most exciting ones!
The story starts deceptively familiar: Once upon a time a young Prince and his beloved Princess are set to marry. But right before the altar, she is abducted by demons in league with an envious neighbouring lord. Now our Prince was supposed to play his part in the unfolding familiar tale, but filled with rage he instead denounces the deities that rule the world and doled out his cruel fate. Devastated but defiant, he embarks on a journey to win back his beloved and finally free himself from the destiny the gods have ordained.
In Backdrop, environment and characters are made out of paper, cloth, wood and other materials exactly like props in a theatre. Apart from giving the game that great and unique look, the physics of the world thus follow unusual rules: You can slash holes in the background, blow away your enemies with a gust of wind or be burnt to cinders by a candle toppled over during a heated fight. Finding ways to use the environment to the best possible effect is very important in our game.
In plays emotions are big, drama lurks in every corner and words can speak louder than actions. Much more consequential than a few multiple choice dialogues, in Backdrop words can literally hurt or heal, move mountains and open doors. Words are a very real thing in this world and their power is boundless. So own your words! Here is a short sample of how words work in Backdrop:loading...
Combat is of course not done with words only - swordplay and action-filled fights are an important part of the game. Your thrusts and manoeuvres will be different for each weapon, from a succession of lightning-fast stabs with the dagger to a fatal swing with the massive pole axe (if your mask's personality can wield it).
Kickstarter GamesSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Z'Isle - On Kickstarter
Z'Isle is a tactical RPG that features exploration, zombies and turn-based combat:
- Lead your crew of survivors through the undead-filled streets of Montreal in turn-based tactical combat and exploration
- Customize your main character and recruit new squad members from a diverse cast of survivors ranging in ethnicity, sexual identity, career backgrounds and more
- Battle against undead feeders and hostile survivors with unique combat mechanics that enhance the tension of each encounter
- Execute feeders before they rise again and pump antidote into any character that receives a bite before they start turning
- Perform special combo attacks using multiple characters based on their interpersonal chemistry
- Improve your team’s morale and chemistry as relationships develop dynamically between characters based on their actions during missions
- Explore the environments to collect resources and new crafting materials
- Build your community between missions using a dynamic base-building skill tree
- Craft and discover new weapons and mission items out of upcycled technology
- Manage your community’s resources and manpower by assigning your population to the various buildings
- Maintain your town’s morale and reputation to improve the performance of each building and to attract new survivors to your community
- Choose different paths during story-based and procedurally generated events in your town and when encountering other communities around the city
- Complete random side quests to collect resources, find survivors and build the experience of your squad Review your unique story in the Chronicle, an illustrated journal maintained by your main character that chronicles your actions as you progress
Kickstarter GamesSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Zenith - Review @ GameSpew
GameSpew has reviewed the RPG Zenith:
Zenith is a game that shouldn’t work. In fact, it often doesn’t work. It’s a game that demands you pass it by. Its storefront on Steam looks as generic as it gets. Its myriad of bugs and issues should be turning you off. The shoddy menus and absolutely horrible combat system is so bad it might set your hard drive on fire. However, amid the dire design choices lays a small, tiny golden egg. Among the wreckage of this game is a little thing I like to call heart and soul.
- Charming characters and setting
- Actual jokes!
- Plenty of sarcasm and contextual references
- Awful combat system
- Bugged menus
- Generally rough around the edges
Daily Chthonicle: Editor's Edition - Released
Want to play a supernatural newspaper boss? - Then check this Adventure/RPG/Sim hybrid out: Daily Chthonicle: Editor's Edition
This game lets you try on the role of a Supernatural Newspaper Agency boss and editor. The world it takes place in is a dark and haunted one, with ghosts, zombies, monsters and even shapeshifting murderers, pretending to be human after they have stolen their victims' bodies or infiltrated the humanity. It was inspired heavily by the works of H.P.Lovecraft and it builds on the atmosphere of uncertainty and noir of the 1940s.
Send your sextet of weathered journalists, detectives and occult specialists to investigate murder, affair, and horror in the Town.
Each time, the story will be different. Sometimes, a werewolf is shredding innocent (and less innocent) victims to pieces and it is your task to unmask the creature. Other times, it will be a body stealing alien from outer space, a mummy that some misfortunate archeologist has excavated and is now haunting them. Perhaps it will be Jack the Ripper, still mysteriously alive and lurking in the streets at night.
Or maybe there is a really bad big tentacled monster hidden in the cellar of the University?
It is for you to find out and entertain your readers while bravely standing up against ancient evil.
Daily Chthonicle: Editor's EditionSP/MP: Single-player
Romance of the Three Kingdoms 13 - Free DLCs
Several DLCs for are Romance of the Three Kingdoms 13 are free right now:
Major Update! Now, you can play ROMANCE OF THE THREE KINGDOMS XIII with English interface & subtitles! Also, the three additional scenarios are free to download for limited time only. Don't miss to own these DLCs too!
About This Game
"The ultimate depiction of the Three Kingdom. A heroic drama of a gathering of Legends." Based on this concept for Romance of the Three Kingdoms 13, we have compiled an experience that will immerse the player deep into the historically turbulent world of the Three Kingdoms, with "human drama," seen through daily interactions both on the battlefield and off between the many heroic characters of the time (all playable), "spectacular battles" shown in majestic battle scenes, "dynamism" expressed across the great land of China in full 3D as each character plots and battles to expand their territory, and much more.
Players will become one of the heroes that lived during the time of the Three Kingdoms and through their actions and decisions will forge their own unique history in that turbulent yet period.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms 13SP/MP: Single-player
Sunday - October 02, 2016
Planet Explorers - Beta 0.7 released
Beta 0.7 Released on Steam
We’ve added the final large new feature to the game in this build, which is the adventure single player mainline story addition. Players of course can ignore it and do what they have been doing in Adventure mode all along. Besides the storyline, we’ve also added new sidequests and enemy states to this mode. Now, this isn’t something complicated like in Civilization, but you will be able to destroy enemy towns or make peace with them. Some features are still missing (such as making peace) and will be in in the next build. All replication scripts have been taken out, so players will need to find them by doing missions or hit the dungeons. Also in this build, we’ve tweaked the strength of some of the boss animals, they’re probably a little too hard now. But please try it out and give us some feedback. We’re done adding in any major new features, so what awaits are tweaks (balance, animation, control, UI, player accessibility), bug fixes, and small additions (like more ambient sounds and npc sounds). We’re going through all the suggestions and feedback from players and will try to polish the game as much as possible before release.
Planet ExplorersSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development