The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain Review
Pessimeister goes in-depth in this Warlock of Firetop Mountain review.
» Continue reading the article...
Avadon 3: The Warborne
Avadon: The Warborn Review
Forgottenlor ventured into the third game of the Avadon series to see if he could continue his enjoyment of Spiderweb games.
» 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
Divinity: Original Sin II - Evolves in Early Access by Fluent
The Deep Paths: Labyrinth Of Andokost - Available on October 14 by Fluent
Banner Saga 2 - Review @ Pocket Gamer by Carnifex
Wasteland 3 - Officially Announced by Fluent
Dungeons & Darkness - Released on Steam and Playism by ikbenrichard
Wednesday - September 28, 2016
King's Quest - Episode 4 released
King's QuestSP/MP: Single-player
Divinity: Original Sin II - Evolves in Early Access
PC Gamer asked Swen Vincke how Divinity: Original Sin II will be improved with the help of Early Access players:
How Divinity: Original Sin 2 will evolve in Early Access
Combat balance and system tweaks galore, Game Master mode, and more are on the way.
Something always goes wrong when you launch a game, says Larian Studios founder Swen Vincke. You wouldn’t know it by looking at Divinity: Original Sin 2’s Steam page a week after it launched in Early Access, where it’s sitting at 96 percent positive reviews. But something did go wrong when Larian released Original Sin 2 on September 15: they all forgot to press the launch button.
“For some reason we forgot to push the button, literally,” Vincke said, laughing over Skype. “That’s no joke. In the past you had to ask Steam to release it and they’d release it for you at the appointed time. Now they have a system where you put in the date and time, and so we thought it would just release automatically. But apparently you have to still type in that you want to release. So we were waiting there, together with everybody, waiting for it to release, and nothing was happening. We felt really stupid. [laughs] Goes to show, you should always read the fucking manual!”
How Larian collects feedback
PC Gamer: Let’s start with things that you already had in mind that might need to change, and the feedback that’s influencing you in one direction or another.
Swen Vincke: There’s two parts to the question: What feedback are we looking at, and what do we do with it?
We obviously have the channels like forums and Twitter that we’re reading. Everybody’s reading a lot of it. We’re filtering things that we think are useful out of that. On one side that’s bug reports. Things are going wrong, there’s so much you can do in the game. On the other side there’s opinions and suggestions. Lots of good suggestions. Those go in a database and we go through it and say, ‘that makes sense, that’s actually better than we were planning.’
At the same time we’re also doing qualitative analysis. We have a little tool that’s shipping with the , so people that want to can send data back to us. The data contains, ‘Where did you go in the game, what skills did you pick, what tags did you select, which dialogue options did you do?’ So it gives us more analytical data about what people are doing in the game away from the subjectivity of an opinion. That is dominantly being used for balancing, so we can see that if nobody’s managing a certain fight, then we probably overdid it on that fight. But also, if nobody is using a certain skill, it means we probably should do something about that skill.
Divinity: Original Sin IISP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Wasteland 3 - Officially Announced
What is Wasteland 3?
- 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 tons of other content.
- Your Ranger Base is a core part of the experience. As you help the local people and improve your Ranger Base, 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 ending 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
- Explore a New Frozen Wasteland
- You start the game as the sole survivor of Team November, a Ranger squad dispatched to the icy Colorado wastes. This is a land of buried secrets, lost technology, fearsome lunatics, and deadly factions. No one here has ever heard of the Desert Rangers. Your reputation is yours to build from scratch, and your choices may save this land or doom it. With a renewed focus on macro-reactivity, you'll be picking between warring factions, deciding whether locations are destroyed or saved, and other far reaching decisions that have a marked impact on the shape of your world.
Bring a Friend
For the first time in the history of the Wasteland franchise, you will be able to take a friend with you on your journey into the post-apocalyptic wastes! Wasteland 3 opens up the possibility to play through the campaign with a friend; both of you controlling your own squad of Rangers.
The core of Wasteland 3 will still be a rich single-player experience. If you play with a friend while both online together, you'll be able to share many missions, and join up to hit key story beats, but you can also split up and cover more ground. Once a game is started, you can play Wasteland 3 while your friend is offline, and do a lot of missions without them. Be aware, however, that the actions you take while your friend is off-line are not without consequence!
By making the decision to include multiplayer early on in the process, we will be able to design a game that is true to the core principles of the Wasteland franchise and our studio. Wasteland 3 can be played as an offline, single-player game, and is built from the ground up with a focus on story and reactivity that makes no sacrifices to the multiplayer experience. At the same time, co-op players will enjoy working together to change Wasteland 3's highly reactive world... or finding ways to destroy what their friend has worked to accomplish.
Wasteland 3SP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Legrand Legacy - On Steam Greenlight
You can vote for the Action J-RPG Legrand Legacy on Steam Greenlight now:
LEGRAND LEGACY is an exciting new game that blends classic JRPG components with modern mechanics, hand-drawn visuals, and a twisted storyline.
Steam GamesSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem - Female Character
Last week an update for Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem became available featuring the update for 0.2.8, including the female gender that you can select now as well.
Today we are happy to present you the female character!
It was a stretch goal during our Kickstarter, and one of the most demanded feature, so here is a small video presenting her, and her customization options:
A list of other new and updated features can be found at the link.
Wolcen: Lords of MayhemSP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Hack & Slash
Release: In development
The Surge - New Screenshots
Here are three new screenshots for The Surge.
Sci-fi action RPG The Surge shows off CREO's modular exo-armor.
Deck13's upcoming sci-fi action RPG The Surge today reveals the industrial armor sets of international corporation CREO, a company that set out to save the world. Set on a dying Earth in a not-so-distant future, something went very wrong inside CREO, and you, as a new employee find yourself trapped in a sector of the company overrun by malfunctioning drones, robots, and security personnel.
The LIQUIDATOR, featured in the first screenshot, is fitted with industrial attachments for use in areas prone to hazardous material spillage. Built around the slogan "quality protective gear for the safest workplace", the Liquidator offers super-human resistance to radiation, fire, and toxic spills, with mobility aided by the exo-skeleton.
The second screenshot features CREO's PROTEUS medium physical protection armor set. An experimental set equipping certain of CREO's security personnel, the PROTEUS is an advanced and light-weight armor granting a small health regeneration effect. It also only needs medium core power cost allowing for a little extra juice for implants.
This last screenshot features a mix of armor sets. LYNX was developed for workers requiring speed, flexibility, and precision. Far from standard issue, few CREO workers would benefit from its inherent advancements in hydraulics. It features low core power cost, but this comes at the cost of physical and elemental protection against radiation and other environmental hazards. We also see elements of MG GORGON and BLACK CERBERUS armors, designed for heavy security and riot control actions.
Each item in The Surge serves a purpose for CREO, often originally separate to combat. Be it industrial, manufacturing, for lifting or handling hazardous materials, or on-site security, the player will cut off and equip thousands of combinations of items salvaged in battle.
The Surge will release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in 2017.
The SurgeSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Hero-U - September Update
A new development update for Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption, is about the story of the game and the status of the development.
How do you tell a story in an interactive medium? How do you give players agency while giving them a good story and keeping the game size manageable?
How can a game writer tell a strong story while also making it the player’s story for each and every player?
There isn’t any single answer. Action games minimize the story, and instead provide an experience to players. Most role-playing games focus on combat while telling a bit of story between (and sometimes during) fights.
Lori and I set a higher bar in our Quest for Glory games. We told stories in which the player was the hero, but players also had the freedom to explore. And yes, fight some monsters to prepare them for tougher challenges.
We’re making great progress. Adam immediately started to bring new tools to our development process, such as ways of showing the interaction points for all of the objects in a scene. This is a great way to make sure that every object has a waypoint and that they’re in the right places.
Currently we’re working on mini-games such as trap disarming and puzzles. Joshua is getting back to the combat system after adding many new features to the game and Composer systems.
Our target is Beta at the end of the year, and release once the game is absolutely solid. Due to the complexity of character interactions and the scripts, we expect to have an extended beta of around 3 months.
Release: In development
CRPG Addict - The Economy Sucks: SSI GoldBox
In a guest post at the CRPG Addict there is an in-depth look at why the economy of the SSI Gold Box games was useless.
Unfortunately, as many fans know, there is one glaring flaw in these games: they essentially lack any sort of useful economy. Money, in almost every game in the series, is essentially useless, because of the fact that the party is given copious amounts of it, at every turn, as a reward. Unlike most other games of the era, there is simply nothing worthwhile to spend money on. In an average play-through your party will throw away literal mountains of copper, silver, gold and platinum.
My goal, in this article, is to examine the how's and why's of this situation, and to essentially assign responsibility for this state of affairs as I see it. During the course of this post we will discuss several points about these games. SSI's company line that they were forced to use the rules as written, the changes made by SSI to the written rules, how money sinks were avoided, and how they clearly followed treasure tables, while ignoring written rules in the DMG that were supposed to be used in conjunction with said tables.
1.0 Rule changes
SSI has always stated that their license with TSR required them to follow the AD&D 1st edition rules. Their stance is that any issues with the economy were endemic to the rule set. From the CRPG Addict's discussion with SSI Producer Victor Penman (contained in a posting on Champions of Krynn):
I asked Mr. Penman about [the problems with the in-game economy], and he attributed this problem mostly to the AD&D rules, which gave experience rewards based on both enemy hit dice and the amount of treasure collected.... TSR required SSI to use official rules for both experience and treasure... Penman somewhat brusquely told me that, "Following the rules and providing XP were our concerns, not what people spent money on."
Unfortunately, this statement is heavily inaccurate as SSI modified the AD&D core rules substantially in order to fit them into the paradigm of the game they wanted to make. Changes were made at several levels in order to adapt a table top, human moderated experience, into a computer based, pre-programmed experience. In some cases, rules were changed as their written implementation would not work in actual play. The rest of this article examines the many changes that SSI was not afraid to make to AD&D 1st edition rules.
Diablo 4 - Wishlist @Gameranx
Gameranx list the things they want from a hypothetical Diablo 4.
Intelligent Stash Management
The stash in Diablo III is an unpleasant holdover from the first game in the series. It's has limited space, a hassle to manage, and discourages players from hoarding too many items. It's been derided as "inventory Tetris" for a reason.
Tabs and multiple containers partially solve the problem, but it's still impossible to automatically sort the inventory or find specific items. The addition of filters and a search function would be a godsend.
Weapons Worth Keeping
Weapons and armor in Diablo III are disposable. Players replace their gear at a constant pace-finding new loot and equipping it is what defines the game's itemization treadmill. But what if there was an incentive to keep your weapons and have them level up with you? This would only come into play in the end-game when you have the most powerful weapons.
The system could be similar to the Urshi-type Greater Rift system recently introduced in an update to Reaper of Souls. Instead of gems, you could also upgrade weapons. Items have always been a core component to the Diablo experience and Diablo 4 should bring that back.
Whatever the case, the system would have to complement existing leveling and progression systems and not introduce any degree of complexity to the casual experience, and it's doubtful that Blizzard has any intentions of turning Diablo into Path of Exile.
The Gift of Giving
For many, trading was an unpleasant aspect of Diablo II that forced the most hard-core players to spend time bartering for the best equipment instead of playing the game. The marketplace became the endgame, and players would have to spend countless hours farming-not for the "best in slot" items they wanted, but for the currency they needed to acquire these items from players who already had them. Diablo III took trading in a different direction, encouraging players to spend real money on upgrades. Just as before, the marketplace felt more important than the game itself.
DiabloSP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Hack & Slash
Cyberpunk 2077 - Living City & Seamless Multiplayer
@GamePressure they speculate on the potential features of Cyberpunk 2077. They base this on the list of projects which submitted for grants from the Polish GameINN program. Being speculation nothing is confirmed yet.
CD PROJEKT S.A. - head of the capital group that includes CD PROJEKT RED, developer of Cyberpunk 2077- applied for a grant for something called City Creation, which, according to the official description (as translated from Polish by GamePressure), is "a complex technology for creating a huge living city, playable in real time, which (the technology) is based on rules, AI, and automation, as well as supports innovative processes and tools for making top-notch open-world games."
Another noteworthy feature CD PROJEKT needs extra funds for is Seamless Multiplayer „a complex technology for making unique multiplayer gameplay mechanics, including the ability to search out for opponents, manage game session, replicate objects, as well as support for different game modes along with a unique set of dedicated tools". This type of seamless multiplayer seems similar to what Ubisoft is going to offer in Watch Dogs 2, in which people will be able to join another player's session at any time.
Cyberpunk 2077SP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Spellforce 3 - Preview @GamePressure
GamePressure previews Spellforce 3 and asks if the mix of RTS and RPG will work in this incarnation of the series.
In the upcoming installment of the SpellForce series, the players will revisit the land of Eo, this time uncovering its past. If you had played the previous parts, you will remember that after the tragic ritual of convocation, Eo was divided into small islands, which came out untouched only thanks to the power of the main god of the land. He created great columns, in his honor called the stones of Aonir, thanks to which the chunks of land surrounding these shrines made it through the catastrophe. In SpellForce 3, we will visit Eo before this cataclysm and learn more about the events that led to it.
We know where the action takes place, and we also know who the antagonist is going to be. In the third SpellForce, the players' nemesis will be the mysterious faction of Arcane. But these are about the only things we know about the story. That, plus the fact that finishing the whole thing will take around 30 hours. However, the developers emphasized that this is only counting the time required for finishing the main storyline - additionally, the game will offer, among others, combat against AI or other players online. It's hard to tell what the end result will be - the developers spoke of co-op dungeon raids and complex social mechanics modeled on Battle.net, but their words seem to suggest that they exaggerated a bit announcing this mode with such a flair.
Spellforce 3SP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Tuesday - September 27, 2016
Tale of Wuxia - Review @ CRPG Book
There's a BR article on how modern games are dull circulating online. Not all, you just need to look beyond the hype. Like Tale of Wuxia.
About The Game
Tale of Wuxia is a role-playing and single-player PC game, made by Phoenix Games and Heluo Studio. Added lots of new stories, gameplays and systems, it is a new version of Legends of the Wulin. The game engine used by Tale of Wuxia is U3D.
Tale of Wuxia has been dedicated to providing gameplayers with a player-defined platform, where they can customize their own Wuxia. Instead of being restricted to characters’ basic properties and martial arts, in this new version, gameplayers can also choose the personalities and talents of their own. The new talent system makes characters more distinctive. For example, the hard workers are good at monotonous missions, the slyboots prefer changeable missions, while the jade trees are more popular among girls. Different talents come with different gameplays, greatly increasing the fun in playing.
The current version contains a free DLC - The Return of Devaraja
- Stories on game maps are equipped with many new systems, picturing a more free and real Wuxia world. Furthermore, the ultimate fun lies in character progression.
- There are more interaction between characters, even NPCs have their own emotions.
- Multiple endings.
- Lots of hidden stories needed unlock by special conditions.
- Added lots of new stories.
- The number of girls a character can have relationship with has been increased to more than 10.
Tale of WuxiaSP/MP: Single-player
Rogue Wizards - Release Day
The RPG Rogue Wizards will be released today:
The Council oversees the elam families, aristocrats who are descended from the first humans in Rilfanor, and the banlits, who were originally people born without magical abilities. The Guild has never admitted banlits because of their lack of magical capacity; and they've never admitted women because they believed women were too weak-minded to control such power.
Now, many generations later, the elam magic is weakening, and latent magic talent has reappeared among the banlit population. Many of the elam are in denial, but some of them want to take the radical step of allowing banlits, including women, into the Guild.
In your quest you'll explore randomly generated dungeons, collect treasures, master magic, avoid traps, solve puzzles, and of course cleanse the dungeons of all the evil minions within. Every dungeon is unique, no two locations will ever be the same.
It's not all dungeon-crawl. Feel at home in your very own Wizard Tower where you can enhance and customize the way you play by building a thriving town, brewing your own reagents, crafting or buying your own gear, powering up your magic, and recruiting help.
Rogue WizardsSP/MP: Single-player
Earthlock - Release Day
The Adventure RPG Earthlock: Festival of Magic will be released today:
Snowcastle Games’ four year long passion project and first major title, Earthlock: Festival of Magic arrives on Steam. A tribute to true turn-based RPG fans, Earthlock: Festival of Magic will test even the most strategic of players.
Key Features of Earthlock: Festival of Magic
- Explore the vast and magical world of Umbra
- Highly strategic turn‐based battles
- Harvest magical materials and craft items on your home island
- Talent Table: combining a classic 'skilltree' and equipment to customise your character's progression
- 30+ Hours of gameplay
Desert scavenger Amon soon finds himself in his life's adventure when he crosses paths with a most peculiar creature back home in Zaber. Join Amon and other remarkable heroes in this turn-based fantasy RPG, on an unforgettable journey across the world of Umbra; a mysterious, beautiful but harsh planet that stopped spinning thousands of cycles ago.
Underworld Ascendant - Bestiary
The latest issue of The Stygian Sentinel for Underworld Ascendant looks at the games bestiary and announces some new hires at the developer.
A Look Inside the Underworld Ascendant Bestiary
As mentioned before, we're holding off on showing our work on the Underworld Ascendant Vertical Slice until its far along and polished. In the meantime, we thought you'd be interested in a peek under the hood at the design work involved.
When you interact with a denizen of The Stygian Abyss in Underworld Ascendant, you're encountering many hours of work involved in bringing it to life... Modeling, animation, AI, and -- what we'll cover a bit today -- a core set of underlying design principles that dictate its role in the game.
The inhabitants come in three main forms:
CATALYSTS - Beings who possess robust behaviors, advanced combat tactics, and, if intelligent, can converse, trade, or engage with the player. (Ex: The Lizard Men.)
CONFOUNDERS - Creatures who enhance or detract in combat, like The Wailing Haunt or Lich, or act as environmental hazards, like The Ripper or Lurker.
COLLABORATORS - Inhabitants with useful behaviors that the player can exploit, like the Earth Clot, a bulky, gelatinous mass that can be prodded down hallways to break traps or act as cover.
One of the core design principles of Underworld Ascendant is to educate the player about the rules of the simulated dungeon world without overt hand-holding. The goal of "teaching players to teach themselves" underlies the game's level design, narrative, and even the combat design.
For instance, there are four tiers of CATALYSTS, whose roles in combat...
TIER 1 - Teach the player the basic moves & skills of the CATALYST.
TIER 2 - Make sure the player is paying attention
TIER 3 - Challenge the player.
TIER 4 - Provide a fight to remember.
In the Vertical Slice, the player will not only face creatures from each category, he/she will find that a mix or an entrant from a higher tier can make for a much different encounter.
Underworld AscendantSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Masquerada - Release Date Trailer
Masquerada: Songs and Shadows now has a release date of September 30th and a release trailer to go with it.
COMING TO WINDOWS AND MAC VIA STEAM, GOG & HUMBLE STORE ON SEPT. 30TH!
Navigate the masked deceptions and deadly magic of a vividly Venetian city in this fully voiced pause-for-tactics RPG.
In the turmoil-ridden Citte della Ombre, religion holds no sway. Only the songs sung of one’s deeds will carry an Ombrian’s legacy beyond death. Those who hold even the smallest morsel of power will make every effort to ensure their songs live on. Enter the Mascherines - masks that grant their wielders the power to channel the elements and cast destructive magic.
Sunless Skies - Details on Game @EGX
At EGX the Sunless Seas developer talked about their new game coming to kickstarter 2017 Sunless Skies. They also talked about an expansion to Sunless Seas.
The team behind Sunless Sea and Fallen London will reveal the title and details of their new game. Plus there will be heaps of new information on Zubmariner, the upcoming expansion for Sunless Sea.
Sunless SkiesSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Torment - Colin McCombs EGX Talk
Colin McCombs EGX talk about Torment: Tides of Numenera.
Torment: Tides of Numenera is set in a wonderfully bizarre world filled with incomprehensibly advanced technology. Colin McComb, creative lead for the project, discusses the process for creating believable characters and responsive stories for a game set a billion years in the future.
Torment: Tides of NumeneraSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Monday - September 26, 2016
GOG - 17 new Titles ready for GOG Connect
You can get the following titles on GOG for free if they are already in your Steam library:
- AI War: Fleet Command
- The Last Federation
- Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition
- Shadow Warrior (2013)
- Hotline Miami
- Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut
- Cossacks Anthology
- The Masterplan
- Hot Tin Roof: The Cat That Wore a Fedora
- Two Worlds Epic Edition
- X Rebirth
- X: Gold
- Anno 1404: Gold Edition
Pamela - Abilities, Store Kiosks, and More
In this dev-blog you can learn more about the game Pamela:
Dev Blog 50 – Pamela Abilities, Store Kiosks, and More
Welcome to the 50th P.A.M.E.L.A. dev blog from the team here at NVYVE Studios! It’s been a nice sense of routine for us to put these together each friday, and we do hope that you all enjoy checking in every week!
This has been another solid week, with everyone accomplishing some great work (except for Adam and Alayna, who were super sick and in quarantine most of the week… but are now recovered!). We’ve finished up our huge sprint of mo-cap work, which is kind of a huge relief as there was quite a large list to work through. To provide a highly dynamic combat experience, each NPC has almost 200 unique animations for movement, attacking, dodging, being hurt, retreating, etc. The number of animations we’ve done for these new characters is roughly twice the amount we used to record, which means less repetition and much more organic reactions to the player.
In art news, Mathew finished up a huge batch of awesome high-detail props for the Garrison security area, which will go a long way towards fleshing out the area’s military feel. Patrick finished up a datapad model, which will be scattered throughout the world and contain lore for the player to track down, as well as almost finishing a few new shield models the player will be able to equip. Good stuff!
The programming team made some huge progress this week as well; several Pamela abilities have been implemented, store Kiosks for buying items have been created, and more which you can read through below.
Release: In development
Star Citizen - News @ PCGamesN
Farflame spotted some Star Citizen newsbits at PCGamesN:
Chis Roberts talks about the comparison with Elite Dangerous:
Star Citizen right not to ape "basic, bare minimum" approach of Elite: Dangerous, claims Chris Roberts
More info about single player Squadron 42 and some videos:
In Squadron 42, they plan to turn out a single-player game that tells a story worthy of Wing Commander, and preserves the player freedom of Star Citizen’s space sandbox.
Drama or rather "drama" between ex-devs and Roberts about his demands:
Former Star Citizen devs claim impossible standards wasted months of development, Roberts responds
Star CitizenSP/MP: Massive
Release: In development
Tahira - Review @IndieGames
@IndieGames they review Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire and find it a worthy game following in the footsteps of titles like The Banner Saga.
At first glance, the core game loop of Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire really does seem a lot like that of The Banner Saga. Where the latter puts a lot of emphasis on the toll the journey takes on the people, however, Tahira's emphasis is on its desparate fights. The Astral Empire's soldiers outnumber Tahira's people badly, which means the player absolutely must take advantage of the environment to win.
The first time I lost a battle in Tahira, it was a long, drawn-out affair. This was the second battle in a row with no break. My remaining units were tired, their injuries unhealed and their skill points unrestored. We held up pretty well for a while, but eventually I realized that if I didn't fall back, I'd be overrun. I had to sacrifice some units so the others could flee. My second line, too, fell, leaving me with only my four named heroes, the ones whose deaths would earn me an instant defeat. Clever use of positioning, abilities, and supplies let me hold out until there were only two archers left... when one miscalculation led to my defeat.
It's through such mechanics that the combat of Tahira really supports its story. Your units can get more powerful, but there are still only a limited number of them. The enemies, however, have units upon units to throw at you, which can make it feel like things are exactly as bad as the characters say it is.
Genre: Tactical RPG
NieR: Automata - New Character, Location Details
Square Enix has released new character and location details for the upcoming sci-fi/post-apocalyptic ARPG NieR: Automata. It releases for PC and PS4 sometime in 2017. The cast of characters is fully detailed at the link.
Square Enix has updated the Japanese official website for NieR: Automata with new screenshots and details about the game’s recently announced characters and two of the game’s key locations: the Bunker and Resistance Camp.
Before anything, if you missed it, catch the game’s newly released Tokyo Game Show 2016 trailer here.
NieR: AutomataSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Dark Souls IIISP/MP: Single + MP
Ultima Online - 5 Stories of Murder & Theft
PC Gamer's Ultima Online retrospective takes us back to the brutal age of griefing and murder that, for some, makes it a classic hardcore RPG.
Ultima Online turned 19 today and despite being so outdated, few PC games inspire nostalgia quite like Richard 'Lord British' Garriott's first MMO. Unlike most modern MMOs—ignoring of course—Ultima Online is unique because it's the closest thing to a Dungeons and Dragons campaign gone massively multiplayer. It's sometimes bizarre, always hectic, and wonderfully intimate. Without all the modern luxuries of global chat or automated trade systems, players had to interact with each other in ways that gave rise to friendships, rivalries, and devastating betrayals. Oh yeah, Ultima Online was hardcore as hell too. Griefing and player killing were the laws of the land, and death wasn't just a slap on the wrist—you could lose everything.
Today, few people would probably ever want to spend their time playing in such a ruthless game, and later expansions would try and curb players' appetite for tears by discouraging slaughter. But of all the amazing stories spawned from online games, few are as memorable and hilarious as the ones that come from Ultima Online. To celebrate its birthday and the legacy that would shape an entire genre of MMOs, here are just a few of my favorites. They might not be the most sprawling tales, but the strength of Ultima Online was never how 'epic' it could be. Instead, it was all about those little moments that would happen week to week that made the world of Britannia come alive.
Source: PC Gamer
Ultima OnlineSP/MP: Massive
Earthlock - Review @ GameSpew
GameSpew reviewed the upcoming Adventure RPG Earthlock: Festival of Magic:
Earthlock: Festival of Magic Review
Earthlock: Festival of Magic marks the glorious return of the heartfelt, story-driven, turn-based JRPG; the kind of game we haven’t experienced since the era of Lords of the Rings: The Third Age and Final Fantasy X. Whilst it is certainly less dark and more child-friendly than its predecessors, it nonetheless captures the spirit of danger, adventure and of burgeoning relationships which made those classic titles memorable. Though not perfect in execution, and suffering from the odd minor technical fault, it is still a welcome to return to an old-school style of game-making, and proves that that story-driven, character-centred approach to narrative can still work in video games, and what’s more, when done well, results in something truly engaging.
Earthlock: Festival of Magic will be released tomorrow.
The Huntsman - Review @ 411Mania
411Mania has reviewed the The Huntsman: Winter's Curse:
The Huntsman: Winter's Curse (PS4) Review
Although the game is licensed from The Huntsman film universe, it is not based on any of the two movies. The story is completely original, the events of Winter’s War are just a loose backdrop for the game and the actual Huntsman barely shows up at all. The game’s story follows Elisabeth, a competent fighter who decides to go out into the world in search of her four missing brothers, all of whom left on their own journeys, never to return. As is the case with most RPG’s, her quest takes a turn as she not only uncovers the mystery behind the disappearance of her siblings, but also a larger conspiracy that threatens the region.
Overall, I enjoyed my time with The Huntsman: Winter's Curse. It seems to take elements from several successful indie RPG’s, throws them in a blender and comes up with something mostly good. I enjoyed the character development in this game and the story, in spite of its linearity, was captivating. While it does feature a movie license, it really doesn’t need it and sometimes I wonder if it might have been better off had they gone without a license at all. My biggest concern with the game is the price. At $14.99 it is on the “premium” range of indie titles on PSN and I don’t think it is quite worth that much. Had this been priced five bucks cheaper, I would have gone with an easy recommendation. As it stands, if you like RPG’s and/or card games it is a worthy purchase.
The HuntsmanSP/MP: Single-player
Sunday - September 25, 2016
Ember - Review @ One Angry Gamer
One Angry Gamer has reviewed the RPG Ember:
Review: Ember Rekindles Classic Story-Driven PC RPGs
Ember is developed by N-Fusion Interactive and published by 505 Games. Ember is an isometric story-driven RPG that really takes you back to the good ‘ol days where games like the original Diablo and Baldur’s Gate were at the top of the charts for PC RPGs.
Ember takes that classic concept and way of story telling and has brought it back for modern day RPGs. The story is great and would fit in quite well with other RPG classics. The writing is witty in parts, has humor, can be serious, and most importantly is well paced. The characters have depth and the overall world and history has enough lore to make a trilogy of prequel novels if they wanted to do so. Needless to say, the world the development team has put together is very well thought out and extremely detailed.
Ember isn’t perfect, but I actually haven’t come across any major game breaking glitches since I started playing. The story has a few cliché parts and at times doesn’t do anything mind blowing to advance the genre forward.
The crafting system is nice that it is in the game, but for the most part I don’t bother with it (other than making cheap health potions) because you kind of have to go out of your way to gather all the supplies needed, and since this is a single-player game without a player controlled economy, there really is no point in crafting items to get stronger or to make a profit because the store items or enemy drops are normally good enough to advance through the game.
However, if you grew up playing classic isometric RPGs from the late 90’s, you will probably love the familiar storytelling and world elements that Ember has to offer. So for that, I would highly recommend this for fans looking to play a nostalgic throwback to classic era PC RPGs because it does a great job at sticking to what made those games so fun.
For the low price tag of $9.99 USD, it is hard to find an RPG game that is as solid as Ember and packed with so much content. So if you have nine bucks to spare and you are itching for a classic style RPG, I recommend you pick this one up because I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy it quite a bit.
Final Verdict: Buy it
Diluvion - Preview @ Polygon
Polygon has checked out the upcoming underwater adventure game Diluvion:
Diluvion is a Dark Souls-inspired underwater adventureAlso inspired by classics like Freelancer and steampunk science fictionloading...
At this year’s PAX West, the setup for my first experience withwas perfect. Publisher Gambitious had set up a dark room, muffled by heavy cloth. There was a big computer screen, like a porthole, set in the back wall. They had a keyboard from a steampunk joint out in California and a heavy, solid brass mouse made from two old telegraph keys. Before the game even booted up, I knew I was in for a treat.
Diluvion is an adventure exploration game set in a retro-futuristic world where humans are trapped underwater. Centuries after the great floods, humanity lives inside cobbled-together structures clinging to the bottom of massive glaciers and the remains of sunken high-rises. The most intrepid citizens are the submarine captains, who gather together a crew and seek their fortune among the ancient remains deep below.
Forced into the deep oceans by a Great Flood that occurred countless centuries ago, humanity now lives trapped under a thick layer of unbreakable ice and their survival hangs by a tenuous thread. However, their penchant for perseverance is strong, and a new civilization has emerged with distinct kingdoms, religions and cultures. By a twist of fate you, an aspiring submarine captain, have been given the honor of commanding your first sub. With a brave crew at your command, you now venture into the unknown on a quest to discover humanity’s greatest secret.
Explore the dangers of the depths in this beautifully realized flooded world, and unearth untold riches and glory. Discover the remnants of civilization in numerous unique towns and learn their local lore, trade stories and treasure, and hire crew new members.
Continuously improve each of the game’s 9 unique pilotable submarines using a deep upgrade system, and gain access to new areas and loot. Discover numerous types of cannons and torpedoes to help you overcome the dangers of the deep, and assemble your own unique crew to brave it alongside you. Whether you wish to play as a silent hunter or a guns blazing dreadnought, arrange your crew members and weapons to fit your playstyle.
- A Beautiful Underwater World to Explore: Three massive and beautifully realized open sea zones to explore, each with their own factions, local stories and more
- Innovative Combination of 2D & 3D Graphics: Experience the mysteries of the deep in beautifully rendered 3D graphics as you navigate your submarine, and seamlessly switch to meticulously hand-painted 2D graphics when exploring towns and cities
- Thrilling Real-Time Submarine Combat: Utilize an arsenal of underwater weapons to engage in life-or-death firefights with other submarines and deadly terrifying creatures
- Crew Recruitment: Assemble your own unique crew to fight alongside you by recruiting different Helmsmen, Gunners and Sonar Technicians. Utilize each of their special skills and personalities to change the flow of combat and exploration.
- Upgradable Submarines: Continuously improve your vessel by acquiring new weapons that can dramatically change the tide of battle, and gain access to new areas by increasing its dive depth by collecting hull armour plates
- 9 Pilotable Submarines: Explore the world to uncover 9 unique pilotable submarines, each with their own feel, strengths and weaknesses
- Resource Management: This world is not for the faint of heart, as resources are limited and survival is a constant battle. You’ll have to actively manage your food supplies and oxygen levels should you wish to keep your crew alive and overcome the perils of the sea
- Upgradeable Home Base: Build- and grow your own base of operations under the sea to house all your stand-by crew members and submarines. Upgrade your base to increase your notoriety and wealth, as upgraded bases can also house valuable opportunities, such as rare item merchants and bars with notorious sailors as patrons.
- Loot System: The world is filled with rare loot and hidden quests to discover…. Especially for those who dare to venture off the beaten path
- Terrifying Underwater Foes: Explore the world and test your bravery against giant sea creatures and mysteries undersea anomalies!
Release: In development
Battles of Norghan - September Steam Release
The Strategy/Management/RPG-Mix Battles of Norghan from 2005 will be launched on Steam on September 27:
Battles of Norghan is a unique gladiatorial management and strategy game where you not only must recruit, train, and equip fantasy gladiators, but also control them on a tactical grid in turn-based combat. This game has a lot of depth and replayability.
Imagine a football manager game with fantasy world creatures such as orcs, drakes and minotaurs and turn-based strategy battles instead of football matches.
Recruit mercenaries from 22 different fantasy races and classes and manage dozens of fighters as they battle in a variety of different terrains against easy to highly intelligent AI or other player-controlled clans.
Train and hone each fighter’s skill through monthly training as well as directly in combat. Build secondary skills such as dodging, shield blocking and dual wielding as well as attributes such as strength, intelligence, hit points, and magic points. There are 200 items and 42 spells available to equip your gladiators, including armors, bows, weapons, magical staves, and more! As each combatant grows with your clan they will age as well and eventually retire. Careful planning and management of your clan can ensure you never have an off season.
Original release dates outside Steam: V.1.0 in August 2005. Version 1.11 in July 26 2016.
Battles of NorghanSP/MP: Single-player
Sunless Skies - Kickstarter Announced for 2017
Failbetter Games announced a sequel for the exploration and survival game Sunless Sea called Sunless Skies:
7 facts about Sunless Skies
- As with Sunless Sea, it’ll be rich with stories. The Victorian Empire in space – the High Wilderness – a “blistering, wonderful night” among the thrones and domains of the stars. The Empress has abandoned London and led an exodus to the High Wilderness, to carve out a new British Empire. With the Empire being increasingly authoritarian, bohemians, revolutionaries and outcasts – like you – are trying to make a life for themselves on its fringes.
- It will elaborate on Sunless Sea. We’re enhancing the stuff we liked, and refining the experience. It will be a punishing game, but respectful of your time.
- At full release, it will be available on the same platforms at launch which Sunless Sea is available on now: Windows, Mac and Linux.
- We will use Early Access again, taking on board all of the lessons we learned from Sunless Sea.
- Why the name? The stars are dying. The stars are the Judgements: the inventors, arbiters and enforcers of the universe’s laws – but a revolution has begun, and the stars are being murdered.
- Our influences include: the science fiction of H G Wells and C S Lewis, the planetary romances of Leigh Brackett, Art Nouveau, Event Horizon, trains.
- We are running a Kickstarter for it in February! Stop the clocks, mark your diaries, save your pennies!
Sunless SkiesSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Steam - Changes Coming to the Storefront
@Techraptor Valve has told developers about upcoming changes to the Steam store. Expect these changes to arrive in the next few weeks.
"When we launched the Steam Discovery Update, we introduced a new and smarter Steam store built around personalization and recommendations. In the time since the Discovery Update, we've iterated on the features and made improvements to support the goal of helping each customer find the titles they are most likely to enjoy playing. We think our progress in this direction has been really valuable in supporting a broader variety of gaming experiences big and small, while better serving individual customer tastes. "
In the coming update, we can expect:
- Home Page Visual Refresh: Mixing up how the front page appears, removing some visual clutter.
- Additional Left Column Navigation: The left navigational column will be getting new direct links to main features of the Steam Store, such as New Releases, Top Sellars, Upcoming Titles, etc.
- Friends Activity: A new section to the right of the front page will be dedicated to showing what your friends have been playing lately.
- Top Selling New Releases: A brand new section will be added for when a new release becomes a top selling game.
- Global Customer Preferences: A new feature that will allow customers to customize their Steam Store experience. Allowing them to opt to exclude certain products from being displayed, such as Videos, Early Access titles, Software, VR, etc.
- Targeted Visibility For New Releases: New changes will be made to how new releases will be targeted to the appropriate customers. The goal is to show the specific customer new releases that will most likely appeal to them.
- Targeted Visibility For Game Updates: Changes to how Update rounds will be made to be more direct to the customers who would want to see them. Customers who own the game or have it on their wishlist will be prioritized in showing the update.
- New Steam Curator Options: Noticing that people are using Steam Curator to give information on a title, without necessarily recommending it, there will be new tools that will allow a curator to make a distinction about whether or not they are recommending, not recommending or just giving information about a title. This will also allow Valve to better understand what curated posts should be highlighted on the front page.
- Curators In Main Capsule: The Main Capsule banner will be updated to include curators that the customer personally follows.
- Improved Steam Curator Presence: There will be a new section on the Steam Home Page that is dedicated to recommendations from curators. This space will be for recommending more anything from popular releases to more "niche" titles. Additionally, there will be a new landing page to display many recommended titles from a curator.