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Wednesday - September 21, 2016
Tuesday - September 20, 2016
Monday - September 19, 2016
Sunday - September 18, 2016
Saturday - September 17, 2016
Friday - September 16, 2016
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The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

2016-09-28

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

2016-09-22

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

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Wednesday - September 21, 2016

InXile Entertainment - Selling 3D Models

by Silver, 00:38

At gamasutra they report that InXile Entertainment is selling the 3D models from its games to other developers starting with the models from Wasteland 2. The models themselves will be available on game asset marketplace TurboSquid.

It's very rare to see a studio selling game assets it's produced on an open marketplace, and it's a line of business that TurboSquid chief Matt Wisdom (understandably) hopes will become more popular in the game dev community.

"Studios are often sitting on thousands of 3D models that were incredibly expensive to produce," Wisdom stated in a press release laying out the arrangement. "Selling the content helps offset the rising costs of development for the studio, and it allows developers around the world to access amazing, consistent, game-ready models."

The plan seems to be for InXile to start processing and uploading 3D assets from its games to TurboSquid's store in usable formats, starting with assets from its 2014 RPG (pictured) Wasteland 2.

"3D models for AAA titles are often built and used for only a single title," stated InXile founder Brian Fargo in the afore-mentioned release. "It made sense to create additional value out of our existing content by opening it up to other developers."

InXile Entertainment

Details

Tuesday - September 20, 2016

RPGWatch @ Gamescom - Morning Men

by Myrthos, 12:18

The end of the Gamescom articles series is nearing (although there are still a few to cover) and today's article is about Morning Men, a story driven episodic J-RPG.

Morning Men will be released in episodes, with the first episode being planned for the 22nd of November. All episodes will be roughly the same size, but next episode will also include feedback from gamers, so the size might differ depending on that feedback. Currently they are considering at least three episodes. Each of the episodes will be stand-alone, so it can be bought separately from the other ones. Each of the episodes will have a beginning and an end, but there is also an overarching story covering all three of the episodes. If you happen to play episode 1, followed by episode 3, you will get some information, like characters sharing their memories of what happened in episode 2. You can take your character from episode to episode, and your skills will carry over to the new episode. However, you can also opt for starting each episode with a new character, in which case that character will get a stock set of skills and items.

Morning Men

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

Details

Rogue Wizards - To be released Next Week

by Myrthos, 12:11

News reached us that Rogue Wizards will be released next week the 27th of September. Here is its trailer.

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Rogue Wizards is built on dungeon crawling and procedurally generated playthroughs; yet beneath the chasms of these core details are a few fantastic spins on the genre. Combat is turn-based which adds a more clinical thought process to keeping your character alive on a deep run. This is also supplemented by building out your own assets with a town-building mechanic in the Wizard’s Sanctuary of Rogue Wizards. As you rescue lost NPCs in dungeons, they’ll move their shops into town which gives you access to new spells and weapons. Sell off your excess loot to bring shop prices down for a chance to even score sweet stuff for free!

If you are still interested, you might also check out this gameplay video by Evolve.

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Rogue Wizards

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

Details

Bloom - Particles, Design and Planning

by Myrthos, 11:59

In a new development update for Bloom: Memories, some information is given on experiements with particles  (including a video), new creatures, a new dungeon, artwork and a timeline.

First off, like I said last time, we are aiming at getting this prologue done ASAP. I'm talking a month or two..... but that really depends what walls we hit (for example, we need to get in the spawners and the event scripting system to move characters around during "scenes". Waypoints SHOULD work for this, but more likely is we will need to custom build some functionality into that to really get the control we need. For spawners I want to randomize some of the creature stats within a range upon generation...which isn't a crazy task, just another job on the pile. And that isn't even considering the loot tables.). 

After the prologue is done and you all get a chance to play it, it will then be time to plug in our content and work on custom stuff that fell outside of the prologue (for example, some specific abilities will need a little work....like getting moss footsteps to spawn or solving how to handle swimming class creatures ((in water and sand)). 

How long will that take? Really not sure. 6 months? A year? Realistically I expect it actually to go fairly fast to get it playable and all the content in (less than 6 months), BUT then I expect polish and fixing little things to be a huge task (fixing animations, replacing sound effects, scripting out some better movements in events....or even just adding stuff and reworking segments of the story that is confusing). 

Keep in mind I handle all of this scripting and plugging stuff in, along with fixing the animations and basically everything except for the hardcore programming + music....so....only so much one person can do so fast :P

Basically, as I've always said I want to do this right. That "fix little things" stage is a fairly important difference between releasing a game that FEELS good and polished...and one that "falls short, but had so much potential". 

So, to the question of "when will it be done" ....I can only REALLY say "as soon as possible!". :) Everything else is up in the air to how progress goes and how peoples lives fit into development (I don't have sacks of cash laying around to just tell everyone to put down everything they are doing and focus only on Bloom haha).

Bloom

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

Details

Starbound - Hotfix 1.1.1

by Hiddenx, 11:35

The sandbox adventure game Starbound got an hotfix:

v1.1.1 - Changelog

Morning everyone!

We've released a small update this morning that should take care of some collection-related issues introduced in 1.1, plus a few other little things!
Click through to read the patch notes. :)

Starbound v1.1.1 Changelog

  • Make previously captured monsters and previously completed fossils unlock their relevant collectible entries
  • Pets and fossils will need to be dropped and picked back up as item drops in order to register as collectables
  • Better handling of status effects applied by weather, e.g. acid rain
  • Fix bug with Snuffish and Gosmet not being properly added to monster collection
  • Fix swapped collection entries for Avian and Apex skeleton fossils
  • Prevent critters captured in previous versions from also being relocatable
  • Add a few missing recipe unlocks for cooking recipes to relevant items
  • Add missing documentation for a few new Lua functions

Starbound

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

UnReal World - Major Update in October

by Hiddenx, 11:23

The longest living Rogue-like UnReal World gets a major update in October:

Monstrous summary about upcoming quests and spells

Oh yes, we're aiming for a new version release in October with the meat of it being the quests and the new kind of spells. I'll be still wrestling with the final additions until the end of this month, but no longer. Then it's time to wrap things up for You to unfold on some pretty unpredictable October day.

Been writing down the list of new features too and hereby you'll get to read a sneak preview about the big two to expect. Let's have a few screenshot in there too for easier digest. Some of this has been hinted about earlier, but putting it all together is in place now. And there's still September left to write a few more chapters - both the code and the news ;)

This is a list of future features to be released in October:

Quests

There are quests - and that's big. We start with around 15 quests in this version, and more will follow in the future. It's quite impossible to pinpoint it all, but here's a few lines about the most important ideas, features and mechanics regarding the implementation of quests.

The quest system as a whole is an enormous (and laborous) addition. We haven't taken the easiest path, but use verbose dialogue, procedural generation and randomization to maintain replayability and immersion.
Quests don't come in your way in linear or fixed fashion. Not in the the same order, not from the same NPCs, not in the same locations, and so on. Some of the quests may appear several times, some only once.
The plots vary from everyday chores and problems to folklore and mythology based stories and incidents.
We've paid attention to making quests also to fill in the game world and the worldview of the player (character) to good and interesting extent. There are both mundane and otherworldly things to discover, solve and learn.

Quests bring a lot to the game, but open-ended and non-linear roaming, adventuring and surviving remains the essence. You are likely to get involved in quests relatively rarely. Perhaps only once or twice a month or so. And in the end it's completely up to player characters as to what extent, if at all, they want to unfold the quests and stories there now exist.

[...much more...]

UnReal World

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Historical
Genre: Roguelike
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas - Review

by Hiddenx, 09:24

WGTC reviewed the puzzle adventure RPG Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas:

Oceanhorn: Monster Of Uncharted Seas Review

[...]

Taking just one look at Oceanhorn reveals the type of game that it is, and it quickly becomes apparent that this action-RPG contains more Zelda than anything else. It’s obvious that the developers were big fans of both A Link to the Past and The Wind Waker, because those two adventures are emulated closely within. That’s not a bad thing, per se, given that Cornfox & Bros. were able to pay homage to their inspiration by doing its iconic mechanics justice, but their obvious lack of creativity is hard to overlook.

[...]

The good news, though, is that things play out in a mostly solid fashion without anything in the way of major technical problems. The gameplay is solid, and offers the odd interesting dungeon and thought provoking puzzle, but it’s all very much A Link to the Past. Hell, the items you find (outside of a fishing rod for hobby fishing) are almost all borrowed from Zelda, including the familiar bow and arrow, bombs and heart pieces. Spells change things up a bit, but they’re not the most useful things out there and are better served for puzzle solving than general combat.

Despite its lack of creativity, Oceanhorn still manages to be a very solid and enjoyable game. It won’t appease everyone, but those who are willing to check their expectations in favour of playing a Zelda-like quest on a non-Nintendo console will find a campaign worth experiencing.

Score: 3.5/5

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Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas

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

Details

Deus Ex: MD - In Praise of Prague

by Aubrielle, 09:11

YouTube critic Mark Brown breaks the trend of supporting bigger worlds by coming out in favor of smaller, more detailed game worlds, using Deus Ex: MD's Prague as an example.

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Deus Ex: MD

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

Details

Moon Hunters - Replaying Value

by Hiddenx, 09:01

Gamasutra analyzed the replaying value of the adventure RPG Moon Hunters:

Replaying value: A unity of mechanics and theme in Moon Hunters

“We remember something new with each telling. Together, let’s tell the story again and again.”

With those words begins another session of Kitfox Games’ Moon Hunters, a puzzle-box myth that was recently selected as one of the PAX 10. Each playthrough is a variation on the theme of an epochal event that sees moon-worshipping tribes pitted against an ascendant, militaristic sun cult bent on destroying them. A single session in this game--once billed as a “co-op personality test” for its heavy emphasis on taking the measure of your character--will last between 75 and 90 minutes, but it’s not meant to be played once.

This is, more than most RPGs, a truly mythopoeic game from top to bottom. It is about playing through every possible embellished variation on the same mythic story, a ludic rendering of how our own real myths come to be. In this, the repetition serves an expressive purpose. There isn’t much in Moon Hunters’ mechanics or its emphasis on replayability that’s strictly new; what impresses is how they are used to draw the game’s theme into sharp definition. Moon Hunters is a prime example of a game that harmonizes its themes with its “gamey-ness.”

[...]

Moon Hunters is on a -35% discount this week.

Moon Hunters

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

Details

Zenith - Release Day

by Hiddenx, 08:48

The humorous action RPG Zenith will be released today:

Wizards and adventurers have one thing in common: they'll happily start messing with any ominous glowing artifact they find in a ruin if they think they can gain something for it, be it knowledge on the arcane powers that forged the world, some shiny new sword or, god forbid, the power of friendship. No matter how many skulls are engraved on the thing.

Sure, mages may be more prepared and do it for the right reasons... sometimes. But that doesn't change the fact that they're toying with dangerous powers, and when they fail, they fail big. And most times those failures reshape the world around them. Generaly in the form of a smoking crater. Or something with a lot of tentacles.

Well, Argus windell was a pretty good wizard, an Arcanologyst to be precise. He knows everything there is to know about ancient artifacts, but I guess an apocalypse unleashed in the middle of a war has a way to change your views on the whole “unveiling the mysteries of the universe” thing. So he retired, looking for peace and quiet.

But that’s not easy to get in a world full of spike-haired buffoons who drag their giant swords around and mess things up with their chosen one complex. Specially when you’re trying to keep one of those dangerous devices out of the reach of their greasy heroic hands.

Key Features

  • Explore a world of possibilities in a fully-realized fantasy realm. And one of those world map things we used to love.
  • Face huge bosses, dangerous foes, and angsty teenagers.
  • Find tons of parodies and pop culture references. Let's see if you can recognise them all.
  • Save the world. Sorta. Granted, it's a bit of a cliché. But hey, it works.
  • Unlock special abilities and upgrade basic combo movements with an all-powerful "final blow"-type move.
  • Evade the cruel and overrated real world with a long single player campaign. Well, not as long as that one with the guy with the white hair, SURE, but we're an indie studio, dammit!

Zenith

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

Details

The Fallen Kingdom - Update 1.05

by Hiddenx, 08:39

The open world RPG The Fallen Kingdom got an update:

Version 1.0.5

Hello, my friends!
Our team is happy to give you the new update for The Fallen Kingdom. Here is what we've done:

  • Fixed bugs and collider issues
  • Improved environments
  • Level connections ( Now there is no problem with travelling back from The Island )
  • New encounters
  • Fixed "Drastar Outpost" mission ( We saw in a couple of videos that this level was needing some serious work and we've done it. )

I hope you are happy with the new update. The next one is coming very soon!
As always, if you think that you can help us in some way, just contact us on this e-mail - thelostsymbol@mail.bg

Thank you and have a great week! :))

 

 

The Fallen Kingdom

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

Details

Eisenwald: Blood of November - Funded!

by Hiddenx, 08:12

The Kickstarter campaign for Eisenwald: Blood of November reached the funding goal with 11 hours to go:

We are funded! Thank you!

When I was posting our last update I had no idea that we would get to the goal so fast! We were pretty confident that our campaign would get funded but we thought it would more like a last minute thing. But we are so happy it's not the case! Thank you so much, we are so grateful to you all! 

I am not sure we will be able to fall asleep soon (past midnight here) but tomorrow we will continue working on this game with much joy and enthusiasm and this is known to boost development times several hundred percent!

Thank you, your support means a world to us!

Alex and all of us at Aterdux

Eisenwald: Blood of November

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

Details

The Dwarves - Beta 2 Released

by Silver, 03:03

The Dwarves has been updated to Beta 2 according to the latest kickstarter update.

What's in the Beta?

Compared to Beta 1 there are...

Up to 5 new battles with new enemy types
Up to 6 new playable heroes, including the new companion written by Markus Heitz
Tungdil's journey between the kingdoms of the Secondlings and the Firstlings

We also fixed a ton of bugs, added new features and worked on the performance. We're looking forward to your feedback!

The Dwarves

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

Details

Monday - September 19, 2016

Hardland - Just Played

by Hiddenx, 08:48

Gametrailers checked out the Early Access Adventure RPG Hardland:

Just Played Hardland

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Hardland

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

Details

Prisonscape - Alpha 2 Release

by Hiddenx, 08:28

Prisonscape is still in development:

Prisonscape Alpha 2 Release

Only took a year to release.

Anyways, I recently started working part-time so that I can concentrate on finishing Prisonscape.

This release contains mostly bug fixes and code refactoring.

List of completed stuff:

  • add license attributions (LICENSE file)
  • add teleports to level editor
  • add trigger areas (game model + level editor)
  • fix all bugs found from Alpha 1
  • refactor texture atlas creation process
  • update all libraries
  • upgrade to Java 8
  • fix redundant code style issues
  • delete useless libs
  • update lib folder structure
  • update and clean build file

Alpha 3 will contain Consequences and Drug Effects, maybe some improvements to the combat as well.

Prisonscape

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

Details

Rogue Wizards - Impressions

by Hiddenx, 08:09

RPGamer checked out the Indie games Rogue Wizards and A Curious Tale:

A Curious Tale

[...]

The game controls with either keyboard and mouse (with WASD movement) or a controller. Although several types of potions can be crafted — including straight-up offensive and defensive potions, healing draughts, and other versatile potions — these are limited, with up to ten of each being taken on explorations. However, being a crafty young lady, you can pit enemies against each other, helping to reduce direct usage of offensive resources. During my demo I positioned a spider to spit poison on nearby enemies, which defeated them without using up one of my precious cache of potions!

[...]

Rogue Wizards

[...]

As the story progresses, players will be able to rescue NPCs from the dungeons, who will move into town and create buildings with new services. The more quests that the player undertakes, the more they can level up these NPCs and thus their buildings. During the main story, players will be resurrected in town with no penalty. However, for those who desire a more hardcore experience, a gauntlet mode is also available to test those with the mettle to challenge an increasingly dangerous set of dungeons.

The game is strictly keyboard and mouse, with no controller support planned at this time. Launching on September 20, 2016, and clocking in at about ten hours to complete the main story, those who want to continue playing have more ways to challenge themselves.

Rogue Wizards

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

Details

Spiderweb Software - AMA on Reddit

by Hiddenx, 07:05

After releasing Avadon 3 Jeff Vogel answered some interesting questions in an Ask-Me-Anything event on Reddit - here are a few:

Huge fan of your games, especially the Geneforge series as I grew up playing it. My questions is slightly greedy: Are there any plans to remaster some of your earlier games? Especially for example the first 3 Geneforge games that don't have HD resolution options. I know it's a big ask for an indie company and that it doesn't really make business sense, but I'm interested nonetheless.

I am a big, BIG fan of remasters, for many reasons. They end up better games. They let me modernize the engine, making new things possible (like iPad ports). Also, the old games stop working on modern systems.

Yes, I will remaster Geneforge. All of them, absolutely. However, it has to get in line. I'll probably start the Geneforge remasters in 3 years. Avernum 3 is far more due.

I still play the Exile series. Exile 3 is one of my favorite titles from when I was a wee boy.
However, I had issues with Avernum and its isometric viewpoint. Out of curiosity, who made the decision for the change from the "topdown" view?


It was me, because I like it better. And now I'm tired of it. Our next all-new series will have a much more dead-on, Exile type perspective.

I change everything all the time. It's how I keep this fresh for me. Every change makes someone happy and someone sad. It's unfortunate, but it's an integral part of the thing.

How are you funded? You seem to have a steady flow of great RPGs but does each one fund the next? What if a game does poorly than the last does that mean less money goes into the next one? As an indie-game developer in Seattle I've always looked up to you guys. I'm not at a point where I could have a studio setup like yours but I am hoping one day I could just stay at my home and write code between noon to 6 PM and from midnight to 4 AM. (Which is when I am most productive usually)
So what would you recommend the first steps are in doing that? Also what time do you wake up usually if you are up to 4 am? Do you ever feel pressure go to bed early?


I am VERY lucky. My games do well enough and I work cheap enough that each game funds the next. (Part of this is the heavy reuse of graphics that many in this AMA have criticized. It may look rough, but it's a fundamental part of what keeps me in business, so I can't feel too bad about it.)
Part of the reason I do this job is that I can keep weird hours. I try to work 4 hours in the afternoon, 2 late at night after everyone is in bed, and sleep from 3 AM to 11 AM. Sweet!

Spiderweb Software

Details

Battle Chasers: Nightwar - Game Upgrades

by Silver, 00:37

The latest kickstarter update for Battle Chasers: Nightwar gives estimates for Alpha, Beta and final release. Also announced is the game upgrades under way due to the developers partnership with THQ Nordic.

Game Upgrades

Working with THQNordic has given us the time and cash to do a few cool things with the game. Here are a few things we'll be doing with those added resources:

- More Dungeons! We had planned 5, but will now be creating 8.
- More Abilities! Heroes will now have more animations and greater combat depth
- More Creatures! In a nutshell... more creatures.
- Fishing! The originally planned "Tavern Mini Game" stretch goal has blossomed into a fishing mini-game system that will be used throughout the game
- More Polish! We're adding to the game, but also putting time into simply spit-shining many of the features we were already doing.

And those are just a few. We can't wait to get the game in our backers hands first, and in a matter of months!

[...]

Dates

First, we have a few announcements regarding time frames for Alpha, Beta, and ship! Check them out below!

Alpha: 4th Quarter 2016 (Targeting end of November)
Beta: 1st Quarter 2017 (Targeting January)
Full Launch: Mid-2017

We also expect our forums to launch around the same time as Alpha hits so we have a home for discussion and feedback.
Physical Release

Speaking of the above-mentioned full release, we're excited to announce that our partnership with THQNordic has allowed us to do a full physical release of the game to retail! We'll be working with THQNordic to figure out the details of a program that'll allow our backers to upgrade to physical copies if they'd like to.

Battle Chasers: Nightwar

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

Details

Gamasutra - The Past and Future of the Roguelike

by Silver, 00:15

Gamasutra examines the past and the future of the 'roguelike' genre.

The more the formula has been played with, the more it has become clear that these ideas can be applied in incredible ways. FTL sent players in a race against time with one chance to stop a fleet that was hot on their trails, with a whole new experience waiting every new run. Rogue Legacy let players throw themselves against an ever-changing castle full of danger, each death creating a new character to carry on the adventure.

All these games and more have truly stuck with their fans. Communities have built up around the stories of failure and success that have been had - amusing deaths in NetHack, the often inevitable fall of a Dwarf Fortress, unlucky drops in Binding of Isaac still get discussed with great interest, while many fans of NetHack are willing to share their first ascension with others, and the various challenge runs in Spelunky are met with anticipation and excitement.

Rougue also inspired a dedicated fan community, who are now holding an all-day festival that will play host to many of the most notable developers working in this subgenre.

Roguelike Celebration takes place on Saturday the 17th in San Francisco. Rogue creators Glenn Wichman, Ken Arnold and Michael Toy will be in attendance, as will the developers of Dwarf Fortress, Jason Grindblat (Caves of Qud), Nicholas Feinberg (Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup), and Jim Shepard (Dungeonmans). Also slated to speak is the creator of popular web RPG Kingdom of Loathing Zack Johnson, and Alexei Pepers will be discussing her work bringing accessibility to NetHack.

Gamasutra spoke to several of the attendees about what they plan to present, and why Roguelikes are more popular than ever.

"We're giving a talk about the Roguelike inspirations for Dwarf Fortress--mostly about the ones from back in the 80s, including Rogue itself," said Tarn Adams, who developed the elaborate simulation Dwarf Fortress with his brother Zach. "It's cool to share what Roguelikes have meant to us and to meet many people that have shaped and been impacted by them. It's really exciting that the Rogue people will be there!"

Gamasutra

Details

Sunday - September 18, 2016

Deus Ex: MD - Review @ RPGCodex

by Hiddenx, 17:24

The RPGCodex has reviewed Deus Ex: Mankind Divided:

RPG Codex Review: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Mankind Divided is the 'sequel to the prequel', following Adam Jensen after the climax of Human Revolution. Human Revolution was a clever, well-constructed, and worthy sequel to the original Deus Ex - if not quite surpassing it. Is Mankind Divided a further step in the right direction?

Note: as I want to discuss and critique the game, this review will contain some mild spoilers for Mankind Divided (of a similar degree to what you'd get watching some of the trailers and teaser videos released by the developer), and more serious spoilers of Human Revolution and Deus Ex itself. One can scroll to the final heading to see a (wholly spoiler-free) summing up and recommendation whether or not one should buy the game.

[...]

Conclusion: Not enough steps forward, a few steps back

Mankind Divided is so near and yet so far. Its elements mostly build upon the strong foundations of Human Revolution, but occasionally they retreat back from earlier triumphs, and leave some major flaws uncorrected. It is cleverly written but with a few too many mis-steps, and a central lacuna around the player character himself. At its best, the strengths of the game combine harmoniously to produce one of the best opening thirds in computer gaming; the fatal weakness is that it is no more than an opening third, and the game ends on a deeply imperfect cadence with too many themes undeveloped, leave alone resolved.

The game indicates considerable talent, and the writing team know their craft well. My hope is that the impressive story Mankind Divided intimates has been mostly written, and that subsequent additions to the franchise will adroitly fulfill the undoubted promise manifest here. Yet these games do not yet exist, and thus Mankind Divided remains a promissory note for a series of games which in combination may form a masterpiece. Unless and until that happens, this opening act, despite its qualities, cannot justify its own purchase.

Deus Ex: MD

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

Details

Zombasite - New Patch and Reviews

by Hiddenx, 07:40

Zombasite patch 1.003 is now available here.

Some Reviews:

Hardcoregamer - Score: 4/5

Gamingtrend - Score: 80/100

Skewed & Reviewed - Score: 3.5/5

CGR - Score: 8.5/10

 

Zombasite

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

Details

Matt Chat #353 - Elder Scrolls Online

by Hiddenx, 07:37

Part 2 of the Lawrence Schick interview:

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Mr. Schick is back this week to talk about his book, Heroic Worlds, the evolution of MMORPGs, why Tamriel is special, and what open world collaboration is all about.

Elder Scrolls Online

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

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Towards The Pantheon - Announced

by Hiddenx, 07:22

The 2D-RPG Towards The Pantheon has been announced for a summer 2017 release:

Towards The Pantheon is a 2D top down role-playing game in development that centers around four characters who group together to defeat the Terrorforce, a malicious group who is using divide and conquer tactics to conquer the world. Players journey through lush forests, freezing lands of snow, dystopian cyberpunk cities, and barren wastelands fight at the source of the Terrorforce; The Pantheon. Drawing inspiration from a variety of classics ranging from Paper Mario, Silent Hill, and Golden Sun, Towards The Pantheon is a personal game that is currently aiming for a Summer 2017 release.

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Towards The Pantheon

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

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Saturday - September 17, 2016

Divinity: Original Sin II - First Impressions

by Hiddenx, 20:35

PC Gamer checked out the Early Access version of Divinity: Original Sin II:

Divinity: Original Sin 2 improves on the original

[...]

It makes for good roleplay, at least from what I could tell in the mere nine or so hours of story available in Early Access. The opening hours lack the punch and purpose of the first Divinity: Original Sin, but the details benefit from more attention than before. You can create a custom human, elf, or lizard hero with a blank slate as you wish (or a dwarf with a deplorable beard selection), but I found it's so much more fun to follow one of the four preset origin stories with their plentiful customized dialog options. You can recruit the three heroes you didn't choose later, and they often aren't so chummy. It hints at great replay value, as does a new system of ‘tags’ such as ‘scholar’ or ‘noble’ that affect conversation choices.

[...]

It wouldn't exactly be wasted. Original Sin 2 looks better than ever. The visual details here often impress, regardless of whether it's the refracted sunlight on the waters surrounding a shipwreck-prone island, or in the candlelit corridors of a menacing keep. The music, subtle but strong, comes with a nifty option to choose which instrument dominates the rest.

Great stuff. But for my money (and yours), I recommend giving it time, unless you feel compelled to support Larian's work in spite of your own enjoyment. Grand RPGs tend to work best when they're fully featured and served in full. This is a rough draft—a fine one, but a draft nonetheless.

Thanks henriquejr!

Divinity: Original Sin II

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

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Star Citizen

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

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Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor - Released

by Hiddenx, 10:26

The Scifi-Anti-Adventure Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor has been released:

Take in the trash...

Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor is an anti-adventure game about picking up trash in an alien bazaar. Play as the Janitor, an Alaensee girlbeast with a municipally-subsidized trash incineration job and dreams of leaving the planet of Xabran's Rock far behind her.

Explore the Spaceport! Navigate the maze of alleyways, side streets, plazas, and bridges as you search for discarded items to burn. Investigate one of various entrances to the mysterious subterranean sewerdungeon, or climb the ominously symmetrical Ziggurat to get a better view of the urban landscape! If you pay attention and keep track of landmarks, you won't get lost... probably.

Embrace routine! Spend your days cleaning up litter, finding food, and testing your luck at lottoshrines scattered throughout the area. Daily tasks form the backbone of your life as the Janitor, providing structure and monotonous security in an uncertain world! Do not deviate from your routine. Pray, work, eat, sleep. Do not deviate from your routine.

Suffer the Curse! Stick your scentflaps where you shouldn't, and you may just walk away with an ancient cranial entity haunting your every waking moment! Consult local Necresses, pray to the Nine Goddesses, purchase ritual objects, and rub the giant sword to balance your personal luck favorably! Maybe that will make the whispering stop!

Embark on an anti-adventure! Find a middle ground between your life of menial drudgery and a culture of exciting quests and powerful heroes, and you might finally find a way off Xabran's Rock!

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Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor

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

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Eisenwald: Blood of November - Quest System

by Hiddenx, 09:59

Learn more about the sandbox quest system of Eisenwald: Blood of November in Kickstarter update #6:

Quest system in Blood of November

Legends of Eisenwald featured a heavily story driven gameplay. The main campaign, the Masquerade, Road to Iron Forest - these are all examples of a story driven approach. 

In Blood of November we want to try something else. Sandbox gameplay cannot rely too much on the story. Having just a scenario completely without a story though is not very fun either - Cursed Castle is a good example of that. 

In Blood of November the map will be filled with things to do sometimes seemingly unrelated to each other. Due to new handling of the quests majority of player's actions will gradually influence the outcome and make subsequent quests either available or unavailable. The influence will not be immediately seen and we believe that only towards the mid or late game a player will understand what road he/she took. Given the fact that there will be some random quests too, the gameplay each time will differ to a certain degree.

An underlying framework story in Blood of November will have a surprise for you, we would love to say more but even a little detail can become a big spoiler, so please have patience until you start playing.

We are already testing this new game and maybe more things will be added or adjusted. We think that this gameplay might be very interesting both to players who are familiar with Legends of Eisenwald and for those who are not. 

We reached 67% of funding and still have 4 days to go. Please spread the word, we need more recruits to strenthen our Eisenwald army!

 

Eisenwald: Blood of November

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

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Deus Ex: MD - Review @ The Koalition

by Hiddenx, 09:49

The Koalition has reviewed Deus Ex: Mankind Divided:

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Review – Icarus Rising

Though not as strong as its predecessor, Mankind Divided is one of the strongest games of 2016.
One of the best games of last gen was Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Due to the game’s success, a sequel was inevitable. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided takes everything that made the previous game great and ups the stakes with a story that is surprisingly relevant to today’s world. Despite the deeper, more intricate story and new gameplay enhancements, this sequel comes up somewhat short compared to its predecessor.

Mankind Divided takes place roughly two years after the events of Human Revolution. At the end of that game, an incident occurred which has turned the world against those with cybernetic implants. “Augs” are now treated as second class citizens at best, and terrorists at worst. With tensions boiling over between Augs and normal humans, it is up to series protagonist, Adam Jensen, to uncover who is really behind it all and hopefully put a stop to their plans.
[...]
As great as Mankind Divided is, it is held back by the fact that you mostly spend your time in Prague and how the story wraps up. While the game does come to a conclusion, it leaves one with more questions than answers. The worst part is how it feels as though the story will fully be wrapped up in some forthcoming DLC. We don’t yet know if this is the case, but again, that is certainly how most folks will perceive it.
Some issues aside, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is one of the stronger games to be released in 2016. If you are into RPGs that let you play how you want, and are into stories that go deeper than the typical video game does, then this is a title you should check out.

Score: 85%

Deus Ex: MD

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

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BioShock - Collection Review @ Nerdist

by Hiddenx, 09:39

Nerdist has reviewed the remastered Bioshock collection:

Is BIOSHOCK: THE COLLECTION Worth the Sweat of Your Brow? (Review)

I will be the first to admit that remastered games have become an incredibly boring way for publishers to cash in on previous successes. However, BioShock: The Collection is a bit different, especially once you consider that the original masterpiece that is BioShock launched almost 10 years ago. Even then, this collection has to be done correctly and provided enough content to justify the lofty $60 price tag. So how does it fare?

[...]

THE VERDICT

As far as remasters go, BioShock: The Collection is great. Despite some minor glitches, the inclusion of all the downloadable content, gorgeous graphics, and the new Director’s Commentary make this a must own for any BioShock fan. And let’s not forget that the BioShock series is still one of the best collections of games ever made, and should be played by every gamer. If you have yet to play these stellar games, this is the best way to experience the set, even if the price is a bit steep at $60. If you’ve played it, but missed out on the DLC, this is also for you, my friend. Heck, it’s still worth replaying BioShock just to check out the graphical upgrades.

Score: 4/5

BioShock

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: Non-RPG
Platform: PC, Xbox 360
Release: Released

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Ember - Game of the Week @ TouchArcade

by Hiddenx, 09:32

TouchArcade elected Ember as their game of the week:

[...]

One of the coolest aspects of Ember is its combat system, which is a hybrid real-time system that sees you hacking and slashing your heart out but does give you the ability to pause time during a battle and choose a certain spell or item from your inventory without fear of the enemy pummeling you to death while you're distracted. The combat is extremely enjoyable, and this style lends itself very well to a mobile game and especially to a touchscreen device.

Another interesting thing about Ember is that it's also available on the PC, but this isn't a port. In fact it was developed from the ground up for both platforms simultaneously. Seeing as the default control scheme on the PC is almost entirely mouse-based, this translates really well to the touchscreen. The one area I'd probably criticize is that on my current iPhone 6S the text and many of the UI elements are a bit small. Not unplayably so, but enough to be occasionally be annoying. This is likely not an issue on the iPad or even the larger Plus model iPhones.

[...]

Ember

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

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Friday - September 16, 2016

Card Hunter - 3rd Birthday Party

by Hiddenx, 21:41

Henriquejr spotted that Card Hunter is running a birthday party right now:

Card Hunter's 3rd Birthday Party!

Card Hunter is three years old! We’re throwing a party in-game, and you’re invited. Celebrations will include free leagues with special cat costume prizes and daily log-in chests. Additionally, the Loot Fairy—who has maybe eaten one too many cakes—will be spreading their loot-enhancing magic across all of Cardhuntria!

Special promotional leagues will be running all weekend. These leagues will be free to enter and winners will walk off with the hard to collect Kee-Tenh figures. For the first time this year all three are available: the cuddly Marroo, the not-so friendly Growler, and the wise Meowquith. The leagues in which you can win them will be Monkey Magic, Lost City Quick Draw, and Triple Duel. Kee-Tenh figures are not available in the costume store and have only ever been offered in our birthday leagues.

Quick Draw is a great way to try out multiplayer even if you’re not an expert as everyone drafts their cards for each match. You can be competitive without having an item collection or knowing what’s going on in the multiplayer meta-game.

LootfairyThe Loot Fairy has been gracing campaign play with their presence for a long time, handing out rare, epic and legendary items. Tracking the Loot Fairy’s location is a fun activity in itself but you don’t need to be on top of it to benefit this weekend as the Fairy will be waving their wand in just about every adventure!

The fun will start at 12am UTC/GMT on Friday the 16th and wrap up three days later. Some local times:

  • US (PST): Thursday 16 Sep, 5pm
  • US (EST): Thursday 15 Sep, 8pm
  • Europe (CST): Friday 16 Sep, 2am
  • Australia (AEST): Friday 16 Sep, 10am

From all of us at Blue Manchu, we’re really grateful to our players, and we hope you enjoy the festivities as we enter our fourth year!

Card Hunter

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

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