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Saturday - March 18, 2017
Friday - March 17, 2017
Thursday - March 16, 2017
Wednesday - March 15, 2017
Tuesday - March 14, 2017
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Torment: Tides of Numenera

2017-03-15

Torment: Tides of Numenera Review

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

Balrum

2017-02-20

Balrum Review

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

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Picture Watch

Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition
Box Art

Poll Watch

What Game to Review Next?
Balrum
40%

The Dwarves
34.29%

Ember
14.29%

Halcyon 6
11.43%

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Expected Releases

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

Saturday - March 18, 2017

Marcin Iwinski - Witcher Boss Interview

by Silver, 10:25

Glixel interview Marcin Iwinski about the origins of CD Projekt Red and about the thinking behind the companies projects.

...
At the very beginning of The Witcher 3, Vesemir says to Geralt: "It used to be simple. Monsters were bad, and humans were good. Now things are all confused." That's the theme of the whole game.
In the literature and in the game, the worst monsters are humans. I really don't want to use the word "mature," because it hasn't got the right flavor, the right color, but we developed these games and wrote the story for adults. We want to entertain them. We want to surprise them. We want to play with their vision of the world. The Bloody Baron quest: It's fantasy, there's this unborn child that turns into a monster, but still it's a real, tragic situation.

I'm not playing as many games as I used to, but I love to consume culture. Whenever I go for a certain form of entertainment, I want to be surprised. I want a certain freshness. I want something new. If I'm going to the cinema, and from the very beginning I know what's going to happen, where is the reward for me? I want the story to play with my intelligence, with my knowledge about the world, and maybe deliver something new. I hope that's what we are delivering in our games.

I was hoping to finally finish The Witcher 3 before we talked, and I just couldn't quite get there in time. Is there a reason you wanted the game to be so long?
The thing is, when a game isn't finished, you have a certain vision of the story. You want to make it rich, you want to make it great, and in our case nonlinear, deep, with very strong personalities and characters. And so you run wild.

And then you put it all together, and, "Wow, boy, it's big." You do a lot of cutting, because that's what development is. It's about thinking what you can sacrifice to get to the launch.

If I count my time, I spent around 200 hours in the game, with the expansions. You can finish the game in, what, 60 hours? That's probably what my 14-year-old daughter did. There's a certain feeling of accomplishment at the end.

I'm really curious how my second playthrough would be, but I don't have another 200 hours. What we are all fighting for as creators is people's time. With family and running a company and traveling a lot, I'm more and more paranoid about allocating my time.

I even started keeping a log last year of what I read, what I watch, the culture I consume. I'm so paranoid that I started rating it, and when I see that I spend a couple days on a book and then I give it 3 out of 10 - I'm asking myself, "Why didn't you throw it away?" Because I could have done something else. The backlog is really long.

Just to be clear, I'm not running development. I'm running the company. Of course, I take part in the key decisions, along with the storytellers and the developers working on it.
[..]

CD Projekt RED

Details

Fictorum - Beta Trailer

by Hiddenx, 10:06

Gabriel spotted the beta trailer for the crowdfunded RPG Fictorum:

Fictorum: Beta Trailer

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Fictorum is an action RPG featuring customizable, dynamic spell-casting. You are a powerful wizard of a forbidden magical order, the Fictorum, with the unique ability to shape and master all schools of magic. Stretching the limits of your power, you have survived your own execution at the hands of the Inquisition, a sprawling theocratic empire bent on eradicating all Fictorum. As the last of your kind, you will shatter the Inquisition as vengeance for your exterminated order, as well as anyone else who dares to stand in your path.

The game will be released in August 2017.

Fictorum

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

Details

Cyberpunk 2077 - Inside the Classic Tabletop

by Silver, 09:44

Glixel have interviewed Mike Pondsmith about the origins behind the classic tabletop Cyberpunk which is the basis for Cyberpunk 2077.

...
There are twelve character classes to choose from in Cyberpunk, and they're a far cry from the druids and bards and barbarians of Dungeons & Dragons. There are mercenaries, corporate raiders, med-techs who can graft machinery onto flesh, Max Headroom-like media manipulators, Netrunners who can jack into computer systems to disrupt or delete or steal data.

Some of the character types sound lame until you read the fine print. Rockerboys, who are essentially glammed-out pop stars, have a Charismatic Leadership skill that allows them to control crowds. At Level 5, you could incite thousands of people at an arena concert to destroy a neighborhood. At level 9, you have "the same sort of mesmeric ability as an Adolph HitIer - you can raise armies, start movements, and destroy nations."

One of the most innovative features in Cyberpunk is something called Lifepath, a system for generating an elaborate backstory for your character. Several rolls of the dice could determine that you're a secretive Bulgarian who is desperately in love with a professional rival that hates your guts. Different die rolls could result in you being an arrogant and aloof Micronesian whose CEO father sold you into bondage when his fortunes crashed, and now you don't trust anyone except for your digitally enhanced doberman.

"I wanted you to be able to sculpt an interesting character," says Pondsmith. "Nowadays, it seems like everybody does that - lifepath is everywhere."

Cyberpunk also had an innovative combat system called Friday Night Firefight. "Most RPGs have really complex combat," says Appelcline. "Like, you'll play for four hours, and spend couple of those hours on a single battle. Pondsmith created a combat system that was really quick and bloody and dirty and gritty - really true to cyberpunk."

"I didn't want people to have to deal with a lot of numbers," says Pondsmith. "And I wanted to make it like a real gunfight. The average one takes place at 12 feet distance, and it's not like movies where every shot connects and guns never run out of ammo - most cops throw 30 rounds down line and hit with two of them." A bullet that actually connects in the game is very likely to be lethal. "In Cyberpunk, you hoped you didn't get into a fight, and when you did, you tried to get out of it as fast as you could," says Appelcline.

Upgrading your body for combat is a core feature of Cyberpunk and a perfect fit for the kind of games CD Projekt Red has been making for years - The Witcher series is known for its deep character development systems - but Pondsmith tried to make sure that every cyborg enhancement was a carefully considered decision for players. "That's not just because of control of play and game balance," he says. "If you wanna maim yourself so you can be Robocop, you're gonna pay the price."
[...]

Cyberpunk 2077

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

Details

Stones of the Ancients - Now on Steam Greenlight

by Hiddenx, 02:25

Mortmal spotted the old school dungeon crawler Stones of the Ancients on Steam Greenlight:

Stones of the Ancients is an old school fantasy role-playing game / dungeon crawler, heavily inspired by classic games like the Bards Tale series.

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Character Creation

Available Races: Human, Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, Hobbit

Available Classes: Warrior, Paladin, Thief, Monk, Bard, Ranger, Magician, Conjurer, Sorcerer*, Wizard*
(* not available at start)

Attributes: Constitution, Strength, Agility, Dexterity, Intelligence, Luck

Skills: 17 different skills which can be learned and trained from Novice to Grandmaster

Magic: 4 Magic User classes with more than 50 different spells

Story

The adventure begins in the city of Briar Glen, which has been cursed by an evil wizard and now is doomed to live in fear and darkness. Most people either have left the city or were slaughtered by the creatures unleashed. Others felt victim to the curse making them an instrument of the evil.
You will proceed by looking for clues, solving puzzles and getting stronger to survive.

World

Your party has to visit several dangerous places and dungeons to find a way to defeat evil and break the curse.
Movement is grid based and there is an Automap for every location. A world map is used for fast traveling, sometimes there are different routes chooseable because the journey may not always be safe.
You will find some merchants in the city to buy basic weapons and armor or to restore your spell points, a temple to heal your wounds for gold, a tavern which is the place to add or dismiss party members and several trainer to improve your skills and to learn new spells once you have earned enough experience.
The gameplay will not be strictly linear, but most places are hidden, locked or guarded by powerful creatures until you find a clue or the strength to proceed.
Most of the buildings in the city are deserted and can be searched for loot and clues but often they are obsessed by evil you have to destroy first.

Combat

The combat system is turned based, the options available for each character are depending on his skills.
Only the first row is able to perform a melee attack. Characters in the second row have to budge up if the frontman dies, revealing themselves to melee attacks. Positions can be changed during combat, but there always has to be someone in the front line for the second row spot.
Every party member has an Auto Combat option, which repeats the last action or looks for a better one.
Encounters are random most of the time and the only place for saving is the tavern.

Magic System

Magic users can choose from two different classes in the beginning and switch to another class, as soon as they have reached the third spell level in at least one class. Once a mage has changed his class, he will start again at the first spell level of the new class and won't be able to return to or advance further in his old class.

Magician: uses magic to affect physical objects like enchanting a weapon or making armor stronger
Conjurer: deals in the physical creation and manifestation of real things like fire, light or healing
Sorcerer: manipulates the mind of enemies in order to create powerful illusions
Wizard: dedicated to the summoning and binding of supernatural creatures. To become a Wizard, a spellcasting character must have reached the third spell level in at least two other classes.

With every new spell level reached, the mage can get the new spells taught by a trainer for gold.
Learned spells are casted by the proper combination of runes. If a casted spell hasn't been learned yet, there is still a small chance to successfully cast and learn it or, if you are unlucky, to wipe out the whole party.

The game is already in a playable state but isn't finished yet, projected release date is Q4/17. Getting it greenlit would be a great step towards releasing it in a timely manner.

Stones of the Ancients

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

Details

Friday - March 17, 2017

ELEX - The Slugbeast and Fueling Stations

by Hiddenx, 19:37

Farflame spotted that Piranha Bytes tweeted about the Slugbeast and fueling stations in ELEX.

ELEX

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release: In development

Details

Pathologic - Marble Nest

by Hiddenx, 19:29

Farflame spotted that you can download the free Pathologic teaser spinoff The Marble Nest now:

Pathologic: The Marble Nest Trailer

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Pathologic is a game about defeating an unvanquishable plague.
The Marble Nest is its free teaser spinoff that plays for ~2 hours -> download.

Pathologic

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

Details

Middle-earth: Shadow of War - Gameplay

by Hiddenx, 19:19

Here's the official gameplay walkthrough for Middle-earth: Shadow of War:

Official Shadow of War Gameplay Walkthrough

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The war for Mordor begins. Watch the official gameplay walkthrough for Middle-earth: Shadow of War.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War

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

Details

The Tenth Line - Released

by Hiddenx, 18:53

The 2D-RPG The Tenth Line has been released. You can get an early adopter edition until March 24:

And We're Live!

Hey, everybody! The Tenth Line is now live and ready for download. I hope that you enjoy it!

Don't forget - be sure to snag the Early Adopter Bundle while you can! It includes the art book and soundtrack DLC for no additional cost along with the full game, but it'll only be around the first week of release (until the evening of March 24th, Eastern/GMT-5 time). View the bundle here.

Lastly, be sure to use the hashtag #TheTenthLine when you make mention of the game in your favorite social media setting. I'd appreciate it!

Thanks for stopping by!

 

The Tenth Line

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

Details

NieR: Automata - Review @ MMORPG

by Hiddenx, 18:45

NieR: Automata will be released today. Here's the review from MMORPG:

The RPG Files: Nier: Automata Review

Nier: Automata may be the strangest game I’ve ever played. One moment, it’s an awe inspiring action game pitting sexy androids against arm flailing robots inspired by the latest trends in round-top garbage bins. In the next, you’re in a 2D side scroller, clashing axes on the back of a moving roller coaster. In another 10, you might just be playing a dual stick shooter against a giant oil-rig with saws for hands. Through it all, the story twists and turns taking you from one off the wall encounter to another, making for a decidedly off-kilter experience made all the better for its RPG elements.

[...]

Score: 7.5/10

Pros:

  • Excellent, deep combat
  • Movement is a joy
  • Deeper, longer story than first appears
  • Utterly compelling strangeness

Cons:

  • Constrained open world
  • Limited character customization/building
  • Limited choices
  • Bland sidequests

NieR: Automata

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

Details

Sacred Fire - On Kickstarter

by Hiddenx, 18:38

Sacred Fire - a psychological RPG about revenge and loyalty is now on Kickstarter:

What is Sacred Fire?

Sacred Fire is a role-playing game where your success and solutions to conflicts lie in the psychology of the characters, not in weapons, attacks, and damage types.

You do not start as a leader – your right to lead must be earned through self-control, willpower, and influence. Will you embrace revenge or fight for a better world? Will you be strong enough to face the consequences of your decisions?

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[...]

Sacred Fire

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

Details

Divinity: Original Sin II - Partying with Polymorphs

by Silver, 09:52

Take a look at the Polymorph school for Divinity: Original Sin II.

The "Polymorph" school consolidates diverse practices focused on reshaping the body of the caster or his or her enemies in strategic, creative combat. Polymorphs draw inspiration from nature, mimicking powerful beasts, growing new and useful body parts, changing their appearance to confuse and overwhelm their opponents, etc.

Although it is impossible to know the true range of abilities within this creative skill, there have been confirmed sightings of polymorphs growing horns to impale enemies, turning foes into harmless chickens, and even morphing their hand into a terrifying tentacle to slap enemies at range and disarm them. Unconfirmed reported sightings include tales of turtle shell defense, polymorphs disappearing completely and of individuals growing wings and flying from battle.

Should you encounter a polymorph, your best bet is to fight creativity with creativity. Or to run.

Divinity: Original Sin II

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

Details

Torment:ToN - The Making of Torment

by Silver, 09:22

Eurogamer interview the key designers behind Torment: Tides of Numenera. The article has heavy spoilers and so does the podcast interview. You have been warned.

The campaign went live on March 6th 2013. Adam Heine was watching the 1996 Tom Hanks film 'That Thing You Do' at the time it all started. "There's a montage scene in that movie where the band is just skyrocketing and they're jumping up the bestseller charts," he says. "And I'm watching the scene, and I'm watching the Kickstarter on the screen right next to me, and the numbers are going up and I was just like, 'Holy crap! What's going on?!'"

Torment: Tides of Numenera was funded in six hours, smashing its $900,000 goal. Money flooded in so quickly the team struggled to keep up. "We didn't even have enough stretch goals ready so we were just scrambling to get stuff put in there," says McComb - a point which came back to bite them in the bum. It was also clear from the record-breaking final take of $4.19m that no way was this suddenly much bigger game coming out in a year.

Torment:ToN

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

Details

Path of Exile - Act 5: Concept Art

by Hiddenx, 00:43

Henriquejr spotted some concept art for the next act of Path of Exile. Look here.

Path of Exile

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Hack & Slash
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Thursday - March 16, 2017

The Great Whale Road - Release Date: March 30

by Hiddenx, 20:59

The Great Whale Road will leave Early Access on March 30:

Release Ahead: March 30th, 2017

The Great Whale Road is getting ready for the next leg of its journey. We have been working on the game's concept since the beginning of 2015, and the first artists and developers joined the team in April that year. We weathered the odd storm or two and entered the Sea of Early Access eight months ago.

It has been an exciting few months and we are super grateful for the community's help and feedback. We are implementing some smaller features which we had postponed until now into the game and are busy polishing the rougher edges.

We have decided to leave Early Access on the 30th of March - this will include the full story of the Danes and all features we have been adding since 0.6.2. Among them a new combat camera, more warcries, development area upgrades, an enhanced ship upgrade system, new journal screen, trade screen enhancements, AI improvements and more. And yes, the game will be steamified, too! Enjoy the new release trailer.

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[...]

The Great Whale Road

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

Details

Phoenix Point - Teaser Trailer

by Hiddenx, 20:35

Mercy spotted this teaser trailer for the strategy game Phoenix Point:

Phoenix Point Teaser Trailer

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Phoenix Point is the new strategy game from the creator of the original X-COM series.

PS:

If you like X-COM you should take a look at this Deep Rising audio-music-comic at StrategyCore.

Phoenix Point

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

Details

General News - Dungeons & Dragons going digital

by Hiddenx, 20:20

Rjshae spotted on The Register that Dungeons & Dragons is going online:

Dungeons & Dragons finally going digital

Character sheets and bits of the rule books look like they're coming to the Web

Seminal role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons looks to be going digital.

The game's publisher, Wizards of the Coast, calls its new effort “D&D Beyond”, describes it as “a digital toolset for use with the Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition rules” and has given the service the tagline “Play with advantage”.

Wizards' canned statement says the service will “take D&D players beyond pen and paper, providing a rules compendium, character builder, digital character sheets, and more—all populated with official D&D content.” We're also told the service “aims to make game management easier for both players and Dungeon Masters by providing high-quality tools available on any device.”

Details of just what's on offer are thin, but the beta signup site for the service says subscribers will get the following features:

  • A “D&D Compendium with Official Content”
  • The ability to “Create, Browse, & Use Homebrew Content”
  • The ability to “Manage Characters - Build, Progress, & Play”
  • D&D News, Articles, Forums, & More
  • Anywhere, anytime, access on any device

That repetition of the “any device” point point suggests this will be a web-based effort, rather than an app.

The promo video below offers a limited look at the service, suggesting it will digitise character sheets and offer some content from the game's famously-detailed rule books.

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[...]

 

General News

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

Details

The Keep - Contest

by Hiddenx, 20:11

The dungeon crawler The Keep has been released and if you're fast enough you can win a unique handcrafted Watrys figure:

The Keep Contest

To celebrate the release of The Keep we are starting a contest. Who will first finish game and collect all 25 achievements will a unique handcrafted Watrys figure. Which has been designed, molded and painted by developers of The Keep. We created only five pieces of those.

-> More information.

The Keep

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

Details

Divinity: Original Sin II - Seeking Summoners

by Silver, 12:02

Take a look at a new class for Divinity: Original Sin II called Summoners.

Seeking Summoners

The "Summoning" school revolves around summoning a personal Incarnate and infusing that Incarnate with elements and powers. Summoners also use strategically placed and totems to turn the tide of battle.

The Summoner's Incarnate resembles a small, hairy devil, and can be a flexible and efficient partner in combat. They seem to absorb the elemental powers of the surface they are summoned on. Some tales tell of Summoners who call upon Familiars or Inner Demons instead of Incarnates.

Like Incarnates, totems also utilize powers that reflect the surface on which they are summoned, and cast automatic attacks and other nasty effects.

The elemental powers of the totems and Incarnates, as well as the added strategy of dealing with multiple and potentially unpredictable foes cause Summoners to be fearful opponents indeed.

It is also said that at full power, Summoners can create portals, form storms and utterly dominate the minds of their enemies. So be sure the nearest Summoner is on your side before your next adventure.

Divinity: Original Sin II

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

Details

Wednesday - March 15, 2017

Expeditions: Viking - Preview @ BigBossBattle

by Hiddenx, 22:05

BigBossBattle has checked out Expeditions: Viking:

Expeditions: Viking – The Old World’s the New New.

I managed, at the recent PC Gamer Weekender, to get some time with Logic Artists’ Expeditions: Viking, the second outing in the series, following on from 2013’s Expeditions: Conquistador.

Expeditions: Conquistador was a strange title, combining a hex-based, turn-based combat system built around small skirmishes with a resource system that tied into an over-world map. Players pushed deeper into the tribal reaches of the pre-conquest new world, trading and making alliances to advance the story, support their travelling party,  and, well, get rich or die trying.

The game featured over thirty companions; named, skilled, and placed on a moral compass that could see you coming to blows with them if your behaviours really irked them. There was also a danger of mutiny, should you fail at the semi luck-based camping sections as you travelled the winding paths of Mexico (following an extended tutorial on the island of Hispaniola). Conversation with your allies felt, somewhat incidental, and although the characters each had their own traits -racists despise natives, religious folk unsure why you’re letting off sinners, etc- the conversation with them felt over-written and disconnected from the game world; taking place in it’s own, heavy interface.

Conquistador’s combat scale, six of your units vs the enemy, was wonderful, a return to halcyon days of tactical games like Jagged Alliance & Fallout: Tactics, albeit trapped on a hex-based grid – very similar to Might and Magic. At the time, actually, M&M was the only major title/series that dabbled with that scale of combat, so Conquistador’s rather simple class system was entirely bearable, even if it did feel a little unfinished and shallow as the game went on. Of course, many more games of the sort came along in the years to follow -Banner Saga, Blackguards, Battle Brothers, and a few that didn’t start with B- and pushed focus moreso onto unique feeling heroes, and have really pushed the subgenre along further while the game was experiencing it’s Autumn years.

[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Expeditions: Viking

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

Details

Pillars of Eternity II - All About Naga!

by Silver, 22:01

The latest Fig update for Pillars of Eternity 2 focuses on Naga. There are some pictures of the creatures at the link provided.

...
Lore

Naga are a species of intelligent, reptilian wilder. They are native to many islands in the Deadfire Archipelago, and their various subspecies have adapted to a variety of conditions present there, including jungles, coral atolls, and volcanic slopes.

Social by nature, they tend to live in large groups, often under the guidance of spiritual leaders. Most are highly religious and consider themselves more sensitive to the will of the gods than kith societies, which has led to violent confrontations between the native naga and the many newcomers to Deadfire. On the other hand, they maintain neutral relationships with most Huana tribes.

Their long-established oral tradition tells of the cataclysmic devastation of the archipelago millennia ago, and of the kith misdeeds that preceded it. Many attribute naga hostilities to these tales and to the mistrust they engender.


As development continues, we will update you with more in-game footage, animations, and information about the naga and other creatures living within Deadfire.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for our Backer Portal update!

Pillars of Eternity II

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

Details

The Witcher - Unresolved Plot Threads

by Silver, 21:19

@GamePressure they know there will be no Witcher 4 so they take some time to look at all the unresolved plot threads from the original trilogy.

...
Alvin a.k.a. Jacques de Aldersberg

Here's another thread from the first installment. This one is not as much open-ended as it is simply forgotten. The story of Alvin, in certain circles known as Jacques de Aldersberg, was a surprising and well-delivered piece of story that stretched throughout the entirety of The Witcher: from the first encounter (at the very beginning of chapter one) with the incredibly powerful Source in the Outskirts of Vizima, after which Geralt decides to take care of the boy, to the climactic duel with the Grand Master of the Order of the Flaming Rose - the last encounter in the game.

Yes, there's not much to return to in this case. Still, it may come as a surprise that the most prominent thread of the first game was discarded so ruthlessly in subsequent installments. Sure, there was the quest (although calling it a "quest" is an example of a hyperbole) in The Witcher 3 called "Message from an Old Friend", but raking Novigrad in search of a single letter from Alvin can hardly be called a treat. The only upside is that the message proved once and for all that Alvin and the Grand Master were indeed one and the same person.
The Witcher - Opening cinematic

How about the witchers reminiscing about the attack of the Salamandras on Kaer Morhen, the one that really wrought havoc in the secluded lives of the monster hunters (one of the witchers, Leo, was even killed). Well, there's not a trace of that either. The gang that almost seized control over the whole kingdom of Temeria went out the window as well, and was only briefly mentioned on a few occasions in The Witcher 2.

Still, we need to remember that the whole idea of the Grand Master is a relic, a product of times when CD Projekt RED didn't think about making an entire series of games or about following up on the story from Sapkowski's book saga. After all, Yennefer and Ciri are practically non-existent in the first game; they were substituted by Triss and Alvin. On one hand, this is understandable: when the developers decided on bringing Ciri back in the third iteration, there was hardly any place in the game for Alvin, who basically was a male version of Ciri in the first game. Nevertheless, this all could have been dealt with more elegantly, with more regard for those who completed the first part.
[...]

The Witcher

Details

Mass Effect: Andromeda - Opening Hours Review

by Silver, 21:00

@RockPaperShotgun John Walker is not impressed by Mass Effect: Andromedas opening hours.

...
Yeah, about that. The first few hours of Andromeda are a gruesome trudge through the most trite bilge of the previous three games, smeared out in a setting that's horribly familiar, burdened with some outstandingly awful writing, buried beneath a UI that appears to have been designed to infuriate in every possible way.

I had gone in assuming this would be more BioWare pleasure. So far - and let's be clear, there's lots of room and time for it to pick up and turn things around - the first few hours have been just awful.

This time out you begin by choosing whether you're a lady or a man called Ryder, daughter or son of a leading figure in an expedition to leave the Milky Way and start new lives in Andromeda. Using magic telescopes the various familiar races of Mass Effect were able to spot "golden planets" in the new galaxy, and setting out in massive ships called arks, each race shipping about 20,000 passengers, they set off on a six hundred year trip in cryo-tanks to reach the new lands. I love this start! It says, "We can be anything, do anything!" If that's the plan, the game isn't showing its hand in this early section.

I'm at a loss. What I expect from BioWare is slightly dodgy combat, but splendid writing and characters. What I've seen so far is some decent enough combat (but nothing beyond what you'd expect in a third person shooter), and some of the most dreadful writing. I cannot emphasise enough how poor it's been.
[...]

Mass Effect: Andromeda

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

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Dishonored 2 - Background Details

by Silver, 20:47

Eurogamer takes a look back at Dishonored 2 and likes the attention to details in the periphery.

In an age of complex 3D environments, though, it's now all about looking up. "Players new to our games are not used to being able to climb everywhere on everything," explains Carrier. "I think it has to do with some sort of unconscious conditioning. In the first [Dishonored], some players were not climbing at all because they assumed that, if it was climbable, there would have been a UI prompt, so we had to add a prompt every time the system was detecting a possible climb. But we didn't do it for Dishonored 2, probably because we assumed that, nowadays, climbing and verticality were more common, with the Deus Ex, Assassin's Creed or Batman series being very popular."

Still, one of my favourite secrets in Dishonored 2 has gone unnoticed by so many players. Even if you haven't played developer Arkane's immersive sim, you'll probably be familiar with the Clockwork Mansion level. Filled with switches and pulleys that transform the construction around you, it's home to unhinged inventor Kirin Jindosh. In thrall to his own brilliance, he refers to his mechanical mansion "a testament to engineering itself". It's ironic, then, that the mansion's real creator, Arkane, presents this shifting maze to its players with no hint of self-importance. If players just glance up as they enter, they will see a skylight - they only need to shoot out the glass and use spectral powers Blink or Far Reach to teleport up into the rafters. From there, they are free to creep through the mansion's inner workings, ignoring the splendour of much of this reshuffling residence, never pulling a single lever to make the clockwork gears whir.

Dishonored 2

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

Details

RPGWatch Feature - Torment: Tides of Numenera Review

by Myrthos, 16:51

Corwin checked out Torment: Tides of Numenera and provides his view on the game in this review.

Unlike most modern RPG's you don't get any choice with your avatar; it's either an ugly male or an ugly female. Gender has almost no impact on the game. As you progress in the game you will, as expected, gain XP which will eventually allow you to 'level up'. In Torment, it is done a little differently than in most RPG's. You begin as a Tier 1 character and every time you gain a level you can improve one of four areas, but you can only improve it once each Tier. These four areas are: Stats, Edge, Effort, and Abilities/Skills. Once you complete each of these four areas, you will rise to next Tier which will open up new skills and abilities. There are only four Tiers in the game, so you have limited choices over what to improve. This is further complicated by the fact that Skills and Abilities are different, but you only get to improve one of them each Tier.

Torment:ToN

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

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Tuesday - March 14, 2017

Torment:ToN - Review @ The Geek Society

by Hiddenx, 20:50

Thanasis of the Geek Society has reviewed Torment: Tides of Numenera:

Torment: Tides of Numenera is the new cRPG of inXile Entertainment

Tides of Numenera is a game that was made through crowdfunding. In the original campaign it managed to raise about $ 4.2 million from 74,405 backers and has been held the record of pledged money for over two years, until it was surpassed by Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Note that one of these supporters was the author of this post.

As the title of the game suggests, it aspired to be the spiritual continuation of the famous cRPG Planscape: Torment, which, although it came out in distant 1999, is considered one of the best (if not the best) cRPG that has been made. If you're curious to see if it manged to do so go directly to the end of the article, otherwise if you have a little patience, read on to find out why and do not worry, we will reveal the least possible spoilers.

[...]

In conclusion:

Overall you can finish the game with all side quests in 30-40 hours, depending on how fast you read the dialogues resolve the quests and Crisis.

Torment: Tides of Numenera is a good cRPG, from which we expected much more, according to what was said in the funding campaign. It certainly is not a spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment, and the omission of the Torment word from the game title in almost all the article is not accidental . It is a pity that such a good writer cast didn't achieve something more memorable, but as it is the first attempt in a relatively new world, perhaps in the future they could create something better, since the background for stories exists.

This problem may result from the introduction to the history of a new world together with the linearity of the plot. Baldur's Gate, when it came out, gave so much freedom of movement and thereby gave the opportunity to learn the history of that part of the Forgotten Realms, whose history had already had 11 years of life. Perhaps such free exploration could have given greater depth to the world of Numenera and make it a worthwhile successor of the Golden Age.

Also, the game pays the price of Crowdfunding early era, where there was an exaggerated euphoria of backers and creators alike, which led to great promises that could not be implemented in the future. Someday we write an article about this issue, because I think it was a great lost opportunity for this industry, albeit I hope temporarily.

On the positive side we have, briefly, the interesting, although new, world, beautiful graphics and a different way of character development.

On the negative side we have Sound, the GUI, dialogues without special depth and purpose , the meager items and not so impressive plot.

All this does not mean that you should skip it and play something else, just do not expect something as impressive as Baldur's Gate, Planescape: Torment or Witcher 3.

Torment:ToN

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

Details

Ama's Lullaby - Developer Interview

by Hiddenx, 20:37

The folks at Push Start have interviewed Marc Chevallereau - the developer of Ama's Lullaby. The cyberpunk point-and-click adventure has reached nearly 50% funding on Kickstarter:

Developer Interview: Ama’s Lullaby

Ama’s Lullaby is an interesting point and click adventure inspired by the likes of Blade Runner which is currently running a campaign on Kickstarter. We managed to pick the brains of the one man team behind the upcoming game, Marc Chevallereau, to find out more about the game.

Push Start: Would you like to briefly introduce yourself to our readers, and perhaps tell us how you got into videogame development?

Marc: Hi! My name is Marc, I am the founder of Mercy Ground Creations, a (very) small indie game development studio, and I am the developer of the cyberpunk game project Ama’s Lullaby. Like many game creators, I started playing games while I was very young, (which led) me to obtain a Master-level degree in 3D computer graphics (animation and special effects oriented). One day, I saw Brian Fargo’s Wasteland 2 on Kickstarter, and I saw that it was made with Unity. Trying the free version of the soft on my computer, it was a revelation, the beginning of several years of learning how to make games.

Push Start: In your words, how would you best describe the experience you are currently crafting for players?

Marc: Ama’s Lullaby is an immersive game taking place in a cyberpunk atmosphere, with a strong cinematographic approach. You play the role of Ama, a young computer-science prodigy living in the 1st outer space colony. This place was built by machines for human beings to protect humanity, after the announcement of a potential impact between Earth and an asteroid. But when Ama finds out the actual reason of her presence in this colony, and notices the strange behaviour of its inhabitants, her world suddenly falls apart. Then she has to explore the colony, meet its human and non-human inhabitants, negotiate with the AI and make decisions that will impact directly the course of events. Thanks to her programming talent, she is able to hack any network of the city, gather information, steal confidential data to use them for her own purposes, disclose them or even blackmail people. But every action has consequences on the story, and Ama will become an easy prey once her identity is unveiled…

[...]

Ama's Lullaby

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

Details

System Shock 3 - Starbreeze to Publish

by Silver, 20:22

@news.cision System Shock 3 will be published by Starbreeze who are investing 12 million dollars. Otherside will retain the IP.

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN ( March 14, 2017 ) Starbreeze AB, an independent creator, publisher and distributor of high quality entertainment products , has signed a publishing agreement with Otherside Entertainment regarding the game System Shock 3 . Starbreeze will invest $12 million to bring the game to PC and other platforms.

System Shock 3 - The latest in the series of landmark, award-winning games from Otherside Entertainment is in development under the direction of industry legend Warren Spector and a dream team behind such ground breaking games including the original System Shock & System Shock 2 , as well as Thief: The Dark Project and Deus Ex .

"System Shock is one of those iconic franchises in the history of games that still gets my blood going and Mr. Spector is one of the founding fathers of the modern action RPG" said Bo Andersson-Klint, Starbreeze CEO. "We're greatly looking forward to bringing System Shock 3 to players world wide in our collaboration with Otherside Entertainment and Warren Spector's team. I'll be first in line to play".

"We are thrilled to be partnering with Starbreeze for System Shock 3," said OtherSide's CEO Paul Neurath. They truly get games and gamers, and have been able to translate that understanding into a robust publishing business, and build thriving gaming communities around their franchises."

Starbreeze will be able to recoup 120% of its full investment including marketing costs. Starbreeze share of revenues will become 50% after the investment is recouped. Otherside Entertainement will retain 100% of the intellectual property relating to System Shock 3.

System Shock 3

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

Details

Styx: Shards of Darkness - Released

by Hiddenx, 20:11

The stealth action adventure Styx: Shards of Darkness has been released:

Styx returns in a new stealth adventure!

Explore and master huge open environments, sneak past or assassinate new enemies and bosses, and experiment with the new array of lethal abilities and weapons in our goblin assassin's arsenal.

Sneak your way alone, or with a friend in coop mode! Climb the dizzying Elven city, traverse the perilous territory of the Dwarfs, and survive vast unexplored lands filled with lethal dangers to fulfill your mission… failure to succeed could have huge consequences for your kin.

Climb, swing, and hang through multi-layered sandbox environments brought to life with Unreal Engine 4. Creep and hide in the darkest corners, or reach heights to avoid detection. Spend experience points in assassination, infiltration, magic, etc. to learn new skills and abilities. Explore the world to recover valuable artifacts, find ingredients to craft deadly traps and useful items, and create clones of yourself to distract and deceive the many types of enemies on your way - the choice is yours!

Styx: Shards of Darkness

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

Details

The Keep - Release Date: March 16

by Hiddenx, 20:04

The old school dungeon crawler The Keep will be released on March 16. The devs of The Keep - Cinemax - are known for Inquisitor:

The Keep is an old-school dungeon crawler with real-time combat.

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The idea behind The Keep is very simple, to bring the essence and dark atmosphere of RPGs from the past for newcomers and fans of the genre alike.

In The Keep you will embark on a quest to explore caves and mines filled with monsters to slain and puzzles to solve underneath and surrounding tower of evil sorcerer. It won’t be easy, you will die. A lot!

Features

  • An old-school first-person dungeon crawler with a modern twist.
  • Exploring and puzzle solving — the caves and dungeons are full of surprises. There will be deadly traps, elaborate mechanisms guarding secret passages, trapdoors and treasures with powerful weapons and supplies.
  • Real-time combat — a battle against enemies with a gesture based combat, but swiping horizontally or diagonally is not enough. Defeating enemies means that you have to break their defences hitting the upper or lower body or focusing on their head.
  • Every enemy requires different strategy and every weapon class offers unique combos.
  • Rune magic — you can rearrange runes on a 5×4 board and then chain them together to cast powerful elemental magic (Fire, Ice or Lightning). Runes are scarce but there are a lot of spells, so be careful to pick the right combinations.
  • 3 difficulties. The Keep will offer something for newbies in the genre, seasoned adventurers and for those who like to tackle with proper challenge—every difficulty level will have a Permadeath option.

The Keep

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

Details

The Dwarves - Update with New Game Modes

by Myrthos, 17:56

A new free update is available for The Dwarves that offer three new game modes and some fixes.

The Dwarves - Free & challenging update adds three new game modes

Vienna/Austria, Bremen/Germany - March 13, 2017 - The Dwarves has received a major update, adding a complete new gameplay experience. With 'Challenges', players are given access to three different game modes. First is Horde Mode where the heroes fight against a vast enemy army that grows in numbers and difficulty from wave to wave. Time Challenge demands players to kill all opponents as fast as possible, whilst in Chase, the goal is to capture a running Orc with his rucksack, while hacking and slashing through his comrades. 

These new modes can be played directly from the main menu. To add a competitive edge, players will earn points and can unlock all of the game's 15 heroes to use them in these modes, with a high score leaderboard showing the results of each attempt.

The patch is now live on PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4TM and Xbox One as a free download.

See full patch notes below:

Patch notes:
- New game modes: 3 different Challenges on 6 maps
- 3 new achievements for the new challenges
- New campaign difficulty mode: Very Easy
- Engine update: performance upgrade in many scenes 
- Divided display language and subtitle option
- Turkish language added (Subtitles / OnScreen-Text) 
- Optimized camera collision

Windows/Mac/Linux only:
- Additional graphics settings
- Free Key Bindings

More info to be found on the Kickstarter page.

The Dwarves

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

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