The Nostalgia Files
Autumn: A Meager RPG Harvest
Aubrielle invites us to gather round the fire and talk about what autumn gaming means to us, and why so few RPGs feature cozy harvest time surroundings.
» Continue reading the article...
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain Review
Pessimeister goes in-depth in this Warlock of Firetop Mountain review.
» Read the article
Do a raffle and give away stuff
Tell us again about the good old days
Bring back RPGDot, to see what it was like
I'm still waiting for that My Little Pony site
I have this brilliant idea (elaborate in a reply)
Let's not, I don't like celebrations
RPGWatch Turns 10 - Key Giveaway
Yesterday RPGWatch turned 10. Now that the dust has settled, the hangovers are under control, no traces of any legal (in some countries illegal) substances can be found anymore and the awfull smell that lingered in the in the RPGWatch office this morning is gone, we will spend some time on those who made us stay for 10 years, which is you, and start the first of our giveaways.
We have keys available for a bunch of games, RPGs and non-RPGs and for some games even more than 1 key. This is the list of games:
- Dungeon of Zolthan
- Dungeon Rushers
- Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander
- Hero Quest
- Heroes of the Monkey Tavern
- Mystery Castle
- SMILE game builder
- State of Anarchy
- Trulon: The Shadow Engine
And here are Da Rulez:
- You need to be registered at RPGWatch before the 18th of October 2016, to be able to participate.
- You need to reply to this news posting, stating which of these games you want or don't want, or don't mention that, in which case you will be surprised.
- If you are banned, you cannot participate anymore.
- Everybody fulfilling the first three rules, gets one ticket for the raffle. Nobody is excluded.
- If you have a ticket then for every year that you are registered at RPGWatch you get one additional ticket (we base this on months, so if you registered in October 2006, you get 10 additional tickets, If you registered in November 2006, you get 9 additional tickets).
- If you have a ticket then for every 500 posts you have (at the end of this giveaway), you get one additional ticket.
- We will draw as much tickets as are needed to give away all the keys we have for the games listed above. Once you have won a game, you are excluded from winning another in this giveaway, unless the number of participants is lower than the number of available keys.
- If your name is drawn in the raffle, we will try as much as possible to take your mentioned preferences for games into account and we will sent the key to you via PM.
- All keys are on Steam only.
- The giveaway will last until Monday the 24th of October.
Monday - October 24, 2016
Matt Chat - Don Wilkins' Early Days
Matt has interviewed the Stellar Tactics developer Don Wilkins:
Matt Chat 356: Don Wilkins' Early Daysloading...
This week is the first of three segments with Don Wilkins, the CEO and founder of Maverick and developer of Stellar Tactics. In this part, we delve into Don's amazing history in the industry and his time at Sir-Tech.
Sunday - October 23, 2016
Copper Dreams - Adventures in Design
Whalenought Studios tell us what they have been up to with Copper Dreams in their latest kickstarter update. There is a lot to digest here with some demonstration videos available at the link.
The big change on movement was switching from RTS navigation to a single character, directional movement. That is to say wherever you are clicking to move on the screen, your centralized character will run toward that. As mentioned, any companions selected follow behind either step-by-step or in a gang. You can still select any various groupings of companions and move them, so you still have full party control, whoever is higher in the top in their list is the character leading.
With this system we've removed pathfinding for normal movement to give players complete control with the means of making movement with precision, without stressing your CPM. This also works with WASD, for those that prefer that style. If you want to be even more precise to plan actions, or play completely in a turn-based mode, we have a real neat update to Tactical Mode (and combat movement) that we'll talk about next.
The movement is similar to anything like Ultima 7 or Diablo: click to move in a direction, except in this case you have numerous party members to switch to and the ability to manually rotate your camera. It's really simple to use, and for an isometric 3D game also lets you get precision without having to also wrangle a camera that's spinning around like a turbine. There is still pathfinding behind the scenes, like enemies engaging you or what characters do to re-path around one another if they intersect during combat, but control is largely left up to the player now.
Art Style & Lighting System
While the art is still in alpha, we've been adjusting it to look better from our higher-up perspective. We didn't have a style in mind for Copper Dreams when we started with it, the ruleset began everything, but we knew we needed it to be 3d early on due to how combat functioned within the environment and how we wanted exploration to work.
We originally had 2d models on the 3d background which was neat but caused a visual ordering nightmare and looked out of place as we added more tangible lighting. We opted for what we knew and had a low texture pixel art style for the models. This is what we had shown during the Kickstarter campaign.
As we put more levels together we were finding the distance of the camera and the low-texture sizes wasn't working well together. Due to the nature of the unfiltered textures, the distance caused jittery effects as the camera moved, which was disorienting and obnoxious. As a result we moved toward a slightly more smoothed out style that wouldn't be a distraction on gameplay. The pixel art style was also hampering design decisions like how intricate models could be or how effects should look with it - it was essentially creating problems with where we were trying to take the art.
Copper DreamsSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Sorcery! Part 4 - Little Choices Make It Epic
RPS's latest "The Mechanic" column talks about Sorcery!, how little choices make the adventure truly epic, and how other RPGs can benefit from its lesson.
From Warlock of Firetop Mountain on I was pretty much obsessed with the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks. Of course I was: they presented richly drawn fantasies in which I could play a part, my imagination spinning on their words and illustrations. (My favourite illustrator? Obviously Russ Nicholson.) Inkle’s Sorcery! series, four text-based games adapted from Fighting Fantasy co-creator Steve Jackson’s original gamebooks, capture all that made Fighting Fantasy special and add a magical extra: the dynamism of videogames.
In fact, Sorcery! often feels more dynamic and alive than videogames. As you progress through the books, your adventure keeps getting richer, the world more responsive to your passage. It’s partly down to the increasing freedom you have to explore, but more, it’s because each book is filled with choices that feel like they have consequence; that the game is watching and remembers your every move. Sorcery! is fluid and feels player-directed, and yet it’s strongly authored. It’s like Steve Jackson is writing it for you as you play, reacting to your every action.
There’s no AI here, though. Sorcery!’s magic is down to a system that’s far simpler, but yet results in at least as much intricacy.
Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Sorcery! Part 4SP/MP: Single-player
Divinity: Original Sin II - Q&A Monday
On Monday, the dev team at Larian are making themselves available for an "ask me anything" Q&A session on GOG. If you've been wanting to ask Swen & co. any questions about Divinity: Original Sin II, now's your chance.
Let's take turns, asking all the right questions!
Divinity: Original Sin 2, the sequel to one of the most beloved RPGs in recent years, is coming soon, DRM-free on GOG.com! The good people of Larian Studios will be joining us in person to celebrate the occasion, and they've agreed to answer your most Sin-ful questions regarding the long-awaited epic.
The first Divinity: Original Sin sure made a big splash in the RPG community, with its inventive use of turn-based tactics and impressive attention to detail. Two years later, its sequel is about to raise the bar even further, as Larian Studios are committed to improving and expanding all of the original's celebrated features in meaningful and highly ambitious ways. Aside from the complex origin stories and the rich character creation options, expect even more engaging turn-based combat, smarter NPC A.I., and extended player freedom. And of course, get ready to meet Eithne, the enigmatic, scroll-selling NPC that the GOG community helped design back in April!
Do you want to know more about Divinity: Original Sin 2 and its fast-approaching entry into our Games in Development program? Now is the time to ask! Post your questions below until Monday, October 24th, and Larian Studios will answer the most intriguing ones alongside the game's arrival, coming soon on GOG.com.
Divinity: Original Sin IISP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Killing Room - Released
Killing Room - a FPS/Rogue-like/RPG mix - has been released on Steam:
Rogue-like FPS with strong RPG elements set in a 22nd century reality-show parody. Win a fortune or die, but never disappoint your audience. And audience is virtual or real with revolutionary but optional features for streamers and their fans.
Killing RoomSP/MP: Single-player
ELEX - Preview @ GamePressure
Farflame spotted this ELEX-preview at GamePressure:
Elex hands-on – science-fantasy for the fans of Gothic
After some time spent watching and then playing Elex, an RPG by the German studio Piranha Bytes, it’s hard to believe it will be on par with Gothic. Will a well-developed world make up for technical shortcomings?
When we interviewed Björn Pankratz from Piranha Bytes a year ago, he told us that there would be more Gothic than Risen in their upcoming RPG, and I was really pleased to hear that. During Warsaw Games Week I personally had a chance to talk with the developers, see a considerable portion of gameplay, and – most importantly – take Elex for a spin myself. Indeed, from the very beginning, despite the futuristic tech and the ruins of a highly developed civilization on the horizon, I was half-expecting to bump into Diego or Xardas at any moment. However, it’s too early to fetch a nice bottle of champagne just yet – although every fan of Gothic will find something of interest quicker than you can say “Welcome to the Colony”, we also need to bear in mind that Elex's heritage sadly includes all the characteristic shortcomings of the developer’s games too.
In its current form Elex looks rather mediocre, and it probably won’t be a breakthrough in the genre… but then again, we don’t expect it to be. I hope that the world created by Piranha Bytes will make up for the game’s shortcomings, which are worryingly numerous in the alpha build I’ve seen. However, we have to remember that the games by the German studio have always been more than simply a sum of all their parts. After the presentation, I was disappointed, but then again would you be impressed if someone threw you into the middle of the first Gothic with the best weapon and armor just to kill some monsters? Probably not. There are many things that the players are able to forgive the makers of Gothic should their game have a great mood and a complex, captivating game world. Luckily for us, the German team seems to have a particular knack for this sort of thing.
Ghost of a Tale - Development Update
Ghost of a Tale developer Seith presents a long interesting update:
Feedback, Improvements and Xbox One!
Welcome to this long-due Ghost of a Tale update! :)
As the title says we’ve been extremely busy this month, dealing with a lot of different topics ranging from bug-fixing to improvements and optimization as well as working on what lies beyond early access. It’s been a very pregnant period in terms of ideas, concepts and overall dealing with the feedback from players as well as gameplay suggestions.
After pouring over the feedback Paul, Cyrille and I talked a lot among ourselves about ways to make stealth in Ghost of a Tale more challenging, more realistic, more demanding, but… well, after a while it became quite clear that this wasn’t the proper route to follow.
One day I found myself watching many videos of stealth games and came to the realization that I was basically trying to make Ghost of a Tale behave like other more hardcore stealth games. And that was definitely wrong.
We’ve got a pretty clear idea of what Ghost of a Tale should be and that never entailed consciously mimicking other games’ mechanics. Ghost of a Tale is not a hardcore stealth game (like Styx or MGS 5); it’s a hybrid of action/RPG/stealth. It is about exploring Dwindling Heights, dealing with the enemies (sneaking is one way), talking to well-defined characters and leading Tilo in his quests.
That being said I believe the stealth elements need to blend better with the rest of the game; which is why we’re currently working on a sizeable update. Here are some of the main lines. Please note that NOT all of those will necessarily be included in the next build release!
Ghost of a TaleSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Saturday - October 22, 2016
Wasteland 3 - 3 Million and Beyond
This Wasteland 3 update provides some background on the Colorado Territories and adds a new stretch goal at $3.25M called the Bizarre.
The Colorado Territories
To celebrate the $3M milestone, the narrative team has written an introduction to the Colorado Territories that you'll be exploring in Wasteland 3.
When the bombs fell, the hardy and patriotic survivalists of Colorado Springs were ready. We burrowed deep and rode out the nuclear rage and the burning dark in our bunkers. We were the last bastion of Old America and the seeds of the new, waiting to bloom when the sun returned.
It never quite did, though. The cold never left Colorado, and the storied Hundred Families that survived Armageddon found that their former land of plenty had become an icy, bandit-haunted wasteland. We fought battles over every bite of food. Sickness came then. Starvation. Cannibalism and atrocities uncounted.
No one knows when the Patriarch was born. We only know the stories of his family's rise to power. We know he killed his twin with his own hands, and hung his mother for stealing from him. We know that the Dorsey clan crossed him, and what happened to them after, down to the smallest child. We know he hacked and hammered his nation into place until every family and faction answered to him. Even the savages roaming the frozen plains fear the Patriarch.
No one knows when he was born, but he won't live forever neither. His sons and daughters are fighting, breaking his nation into scheming factions. The warlords and the refugees from the dying east are already clawing at his borders.
At best, a war is coming. At worst?
Next Stretch Goal!
Our next stretch goal at $3.1M is the Customizable Ranger Squad Insignia, a fun gameplay element where your custom insignia which will appear around your Ranger Base and elsewhere in the world.
But what comes after? At $3.25M, we'll be adding the Bizarre!
The Bizarre is a marketplace of the expensive, the dangerous, and the weird. It was built into a half-buried ancient mall, difficult to reach even if you know where it is, and acts as a safe haven for the kind of deals that are best kept from any scrutiny. Once you have access to this place, you'll be able to browse the high-end stock, purchasing your pick of the Bizarre's valuable and dangerous items, or perhaps you'll have more nefarious plans for the place...
Wasteland 3SP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Sky Break - Released
The sci-fi action RPG Sky Break has been released:
loading...Humanity is threatened. A deadly virus is rapidly spreading. The particular flora of Arcania, a planet once used by humans for space colonization, may help in the creation of a cure. But the planet has been abandoned ever since working drones turned against humans.
A group of researchers has been sent to this planet to find a solution.
You are one of them. But as you arrived, your spaceship crashed…
Sky BreakSP/MP: Single-player
Dark Souls III - Ashes of Ariandel Review
RPGSite has reviewed the DLC Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel:
Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel Review
The Dark Souls series has history of producing additional content that often surpasses the base game in the eyes of many. The Artorias of the Abyss expansion for Dark Souls was so important to the games' story and world that it felt like it should have always been a part of the game. Dark Souls 2's 'Crown' DLC trilogy was so rife with quality that it elevated the game as a whole and made it a much better experience.
Now that brings us to Ashes of Ariandel, the first in a series of DLC for Dark Souls 3. The base game was one I believe to be the best overall of the series, so my expectations for this DLC were quite high. While Ashes of Ariandel is not inherently lacking in quality, it did unfortunately leave me wanting much more.
Ashes of Ariandel is by no means a drop in quality from the base game of Dark Souls 3, just one that lacks defining properties to help it stand on its own. If you are in the mood for more of that mechanic fineness and polish found in Dark Souls 3 already, then you will find plenty more here. However the new ideas introduced in this DLC rarely feel like they live up to their potential. Some of the combat encounters are brilliant, others feel more like a clumsy experiment. From Software opted to have Ashes of Ariandel go with the grain rather than against it. A safe bet for sure, but one that will leave players like myself wanting more.
Dark Souls IIISP/MP: Single + MP
Skyrim - Special Edition Trailer
Here's the trailer for the Skyrim Special Edition:
Epic fantasy. Stunning details. Winner of more than 200 Game of the Year Awards. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim returns with Skyrim Special Edition, available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on October 28. Along with the critically acclaimed game and add-ons, Skyrim Special Edition has all-new features like remastered art and effects, dynamic depth of field, screen-space reflections, volumetric god rays, and more. Watch the new trailer to see Skyrim Special Edition in action.
Indivisible - Indiegogo Update
The pre-production phase of Indivisible will be extented until the end of the year:
Franimal here, Indivisible’s producer, to give everyone a production update.
It’s been a while since our last update - between tool development, pipeline adjustments, and heavy concepting, it’s been a hectic couple of months.
Over the past 6 months Lab Zero has been in pre-production, working on a lot of concepts for the environments and characters in the game, as well as setting up as much of the tech and gameplay foundation as we can before building out the game.
Although during our pre-production phase we’ve been concepting new monsters, bosses and Incarnations to introduce into the game, we’ve also been working on a number of execution tasks, such as finalizing Ajna’s moveset. Balancing those two aspects of development, concepting and execution, proved to be less efficient than we’d hoped and there’s still work to be done before we can move into full production.
As such, we’ve decided to extend our pre-production phase until the end of the year in order to give the team more time to complete all of our pre-production goals. This includes things like refining the character designs, concepting moves for all the characters and monsters, implementing new tech to streamline level building, and refining the story.
Release: In development
Xanadu Next - Release Date: November 3
The action RPG Xanadu Next - originally released in Japan in 2005 - will be released on Steam, GOG and Humble Store on November 3:
Whenever mist hangs over the waters of Lake Orwell on Harlech Island, sailors catch sight of a phantom castle just out of reach. As they draw near, it fades into the fog like a mirage, leaving only questions for all who have borne witness to this “Castle Strangerock.”
An up-and-coming scholar named Charlotte L. Wells has had her interest piqued by this local legend and desperately wishes to study it in person—but of course, Harlech Island is no place for an unescorted young lady. To aid her in her investigation, therefore, she enlists the help of an old childhood friend and fallen knight who agrees to accompany her on this adventure.
Arriving in Harlech and catching sight of Castle Strangerock almost immediately, Char dives into researching the mystery head-on, leaving her companion to explore the surrounding environs on his own in search of any artifacts that might help trace the origins of this ephemeral stronghold.
Sadly, this almost immediately leads to his death at the hands of a mysterious swordsman seemingly displaced in time...but death is to be only the beginning of his adventure.
Xanadu Next is an exploration-centric action RPG from Nihon Falcom, the acclaimed creators of the Ys and The Legend of Heroes RPG franchises. A late entry in their immensely popular Dragon Slayer series and a spiritual follow-up to the late ‘80s cult classic Faxanadu, Xanadu Next puts players in the shoes of a gravely injured knight given a new lease on life through ancient magic who must now seek a legendary sword called “Dragon Slayer” to ensure his survival.
Players will fight hordes of monsters in real time while exploring the lush, mysterious and perilous environments of Harlech Island, along with the ruins of an ancient paradise known as Xanadu that was partially inspired by tales of the Mongolian emperor Kublai Khan. Along the way, players will uncover bits and pieces of Xanadu’s past in the form of ancient stone tablets and memorandums, piecing together a complex tale of magic, war, an ancient dragon, and a mysterious figure known only as the “Black Bride.”
An Interconnected World Full of Secrets
- Icy peaks connect with fiery caverns, old waterways, mystical forests and magical ruins, creating one single giant map to explore with countless secret passageways, alternate routes, shortcuts, hidden items, deadly bosses and new techniques to uncover.
Real-Time Combat with Dozens of Unique Abilities
- Fight ruthless enemies in real time, using a wide variety of skills to aid you. As in Ys SEVEN, skills are attached to weapons and can be learned through repeated use of those weapons, adding an element of excitement and promise to every new armament found.
Exploration Rewarded with Rich Backstory
- Stone tablets and old letters are scattered throughout the ruins on Harlech Island, each written in an ancient tongue. Fortunately, your companion is an accomplished scholar who can translate them for you in real time, providing valuable insight into important events and mythologies from the age of Xanadu.
Unique Gameplay Systems that Keep the Experience Fresh
- Players can choose to level-down in order to tweak their stats, fuse themselves with “Guardians” to gain new passive abilities, learn spells, and even carve keys from monster bones to lessen demand for pre-made keys and keep their prices low.
Atmospheric Visuals and Music in Classic Falcom Tradition
- Inspired by hardcore dungeon RPGs of the '80s and created to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Xanadu, one of Japan's action RPG forefathers, Xanadu Next mimics the gritty, medieval look of its ancestor, but in full 3D and with ample amounts of subtle detailing, as well as a foreboding and wholly unique soundtrack composed by Falcom's venerable Sound Team jdk.
Xanadu NextSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Friday - October 21, 2016
Templar Battleforce - Patch v2.4.25
The Trese Brothers continue to enhance Templar Battleforce (55 updates in a year):
Patch List v2.4.25
- Improved Rubic 5 deployment maps
- Added 7 new Secondary Objectives throughout deployment
- Added spawning towers to 5 maps across campaign
- When buying Ordnance, count of currently owned Ordnance is shown
- Total possible Secondary Objectives displayed in Victory screen (2/3)
- Fixed Infiltration Site and Detonation Site preventing Swap at start
Templar BattleforceSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Tactical RPG
Dark Messiah - Retrospective Review
BitGamer looks back at Dark Messiah of Might and Magic:
Ten Years On: Dark Messiah of Might and Magic
It’s fascinating to look back at Dark Messiah through the lens of Dishonored. So much of what made Arkane’s magical murder sim special is built atop of foundations originally laid in this curious chapter in the studio’s history: the multiple ways you can approach combat; the game’s creative relationship with physics and the environment; first-person sword-fighting that actually works. Even Dishonored's in-combat music is a variation of the score used in Dark Messiah.
Despite some ropey production, I think Dark Messiah has aged very well indeed, perhaps even better than the game which eclipsed it when it originally released. Oblivion’s template has been surpassed by Bethesda’s later open-world titles. But Dark Messiah offers a very different experience to Dishonored, and this has helped it endure. At the same time, it shares its most important lasting quality. It offers you a world that you can return to over and over and discover a dozen new ways to play with.
Dark MessiahSP/MP: Single + MP
Dungeon Rats - Release Date: November 4
The dungeon crawler Dungeon Rats will be released on November 4. Here's the trailer:
A turn-based, party-based dungeon crawler set in the Age of Decadence world.
Dungeon Rats will be released on Steam, GOG, and GamersGate on November 4th, 2016
Dungeon RatsSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Dungeon Crawler
Release: In development
Dead Age - Tactical Zombie RPG
Headup Games and Silent Dreams’ tactical zombie horror game, Dead Age, will be leaving Early Access and receiving a full Steam release on November 4th. So far user reviews have been very positive with an 82% approval rating.
You play as a group of survivors during the zombie apocalypse. The only way your people are going to make it is by building and securing a camp. You’ll need to venture out into the world to scavenge for food and supplies. Too bad the undead horde and violent looters won’t make it easy for you.
Dead Age refers to its gameplay as ‘Final Fantasy’-style turn-based combat which means it’s inspired by the combat of classic JRPGs. Expect to use the typical zombie apocalypse arsenal of blunt weapons to firearms to traps. Permanent death adds an element of tension since once you get someone killed they are gone forever, and each new playthrough offers random missions and survivors to meet.
General NewsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Skyrim - Remains in the Shadow of Morrowind
For so many RPG fans, the name "Morrowind" is a holy word, a bar that Bethesda has yet to reach again. VICE examines why Skyrim and other later Elder Scrolls titles remain in Morrowind's shadow.
The differences between Morrowind and its immediate successor are vast. While Oblivion is recognizable as a sequel, it tossed out a lot of what made the series so appealing, much of what connected its predecessor with a passionate audience. The Eastern-inspired, alien world of exotic fauna and giant mushroom trees was cast aside in favor of a distinctly Tolkienian setting, with its European architecture, European wildlife, and European forests. This was a disappointment for many of the preceding game's admirers, and the differences were more than cosmetic. Oblivion's job was to be The Elder Scrolls but accessible, palatable to a wider, more general audience at a time when the big-budget cinematic adaptation of The Lord of the Rings still felt fresh. It didn't matter if some of the old magic was lost—it was all about bringing extra punters to the party. For the first time, Bethesda was genuinely gunning for the console market—however, these guys achieved it, they had to sell The Elder Scrolls to living rooms, not desktops.
And the gambit worked. The accessibility of Oblivion propelled The Elder Scrolls from a niche PC gaming pastime to a sat-on-the-sofa phenomenon. The game sold 1.7 million copies in a month, a figure that's since risen to closer to 10 million, and critical coverage was incredibly positive. Skyrim followed five years later and preserved that accessibility—and yet the fifth Elder Scrolls game proper also attempted to return the series to what made Morrowind special, pulling back where Oblivion had been so keen to push away. Because, despite being the least commercially successful of the 21st-century Elder Scrolls games—the original, Arena, and its sequel, Daggerfall, date from 1994 and 1996 respectively—Morrowind dominates the fanbase's discourse. Skyrim struggles with itself to invoke Morrowind, and emulate it, at every possible opportunity—but it's difficult to understand why unless one examines Bethesda's relationship with its "core" audience.
However, Skyrim would almost allow people to return to Morrowind in its final expansion, Dragonborn. Revisiting the island of Solstheim, the location of Morrowind's Bloodmoon expansion from a decade earlier, it gave fans a tour of old haunts, a chance to wander the ruins of places they once visited and—perhaps most significantly—a front-seat view of the smoldering remains of Vvardenfell.
It's tempting to think, as I do, that this was symbolic. Bethesda wants to move on from Morrowind. It wants its fans to move on from Morrowind. But you can only see the ruins of Vvardenfell from Solstheim. The journey comes full circle. The Elder Scrolls remains locked in a Morrowind-shaped prison, doomed to keep referencing itself for eternity. You can visit Morrowind in The Elder Scrolls Online. You can even run into M'aiq the Liar. For Bethesda, it's impossible to escape, and perilous to ignore.
Maybe it should remaster Morrowind.
Steam - Witcher, Fallout On Sale
If you've been waiting for a big sale to pick up The Witcher 3, Fallout 4, or any other title in their respective series, now's the time.
First, The Witcher: in celebration of the fantasy action-RPG series' ninth birthday, last year's esteemed third main series entry, The Witcher 3, is subject to a 33 percent discount, selling for £16.74/$26.79. Its Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine DLCs—the latter of which is essentially a full game in itself—are also going cheap at £6.79/$8.49 and $13.59/$16.99 respectively. Going back a little further, the Enhanced Editions of both the first and second series entries—The Witcher Adventure Game and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings—are going for just £1.04/$1.49 and £2.24/$2.99 with 85 percent discounts.
The Fallout sale, on the other hand, sees Fallout 4's price tag cut in half, now selling for £19.99/$29.99. The Season Pass edition of the same—which includes the base game and all of its add-ons—costs £26.79/$33.49, while Fallout 3 costs £4.99/$4.99. The original Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics are going for £3.99/$4.99 each, however the Fallout Collection rounds up all three for £6.99/$9.99.
Fallout: New Vegas is easily one of my favourite games of all time and is half price at £4.99/$4.99. If you're yet to play it, I recommend picking it up and, if you can splash out on the Ultimate Edition—now selling for £8.99/$11.99—you'll also net yourself its four add-ons which are totally worth the extra four quid/seven dollars.
Source: PC Gamer
Beyond Good & Evil - Retrospective Review
PC Gamer looks back at the action adventure Beyond Good & Evil:
Revisiting Beyond Good and Evil, Michel Ancel's original Zeldalike
There's a reason fans clamour for a sequel years after release.
Sight is a recurring mechanism in Ubisoft’s open worlds. Assassin’s Creed has its synchronisation towers, from which you gaze out to unlock more of the map. Far Cry has its magic tactical binoculars. And cult favourite Beyond Good & Evil has its reporter’s camera, a chunky old Kodak-style affair.
It may seem a minor part of the whole, compared to hover racing or thwacking aliens with a jo-staff—but it’s both a key plot element and emblematic of how Ubi’s open-world games have gone on to sacrifice sympathy for scope and density.
And then there’s the game’s most obvious triumph, Jade herself. She’s notable in part as an early practitioner of Ubisoft’s now-proven 360 degree, context-sensitive combat, switching gracefully between targets to the front and rear. But more than that, she’s a female protagonist whose right to the starring role is never questioned, the odd avuncular remark from Pey’j aside. A leading lady who is simply allowed to get on with things. For this and for the feelings the act of photography kindles, that much-promised, borderline mythical sequel can’t get here soon enough.
Beyond Good & EvilSP/MP: Single-player
Thursday - October 20, 2016
Civilization 6 - Review @ PC Gamer
PC Gamer has reviewed Civilization 6 and they really like it:
Civilization 6 Review
Civilization 6 is the ultimate digital board game. More than ever in the series, the board—the world—is the soul of every opportunity and challenge. As usual for Civ, I build empires, compete for a set of victory conditions, and fend off warmongering leaders like that scoundrel Peter the Great. But I’m also playing for, with, and against the board. Forests and deserts and resource-rich tundras each influence the flow of my civilization, granting us boons and burdening us with lasting weaknesses. Bands of barbarians put my farms in crisis, but also open up opportunities to speed the development of my military techs. The glorious, challenging dynamics that emerge from Civ 6’s redesigned maps left me with no question that the storied series has crowned a new king.
Sight, sound, and systems harmonize to make Civilization 6 the liveliest, most engrossing, most rewarding, most challenging 4X in any corner of the earth.
Non-RPG General NewsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Tyranny - 1st Hour @ PCGamesN
Release: In development
Vigilantes - Funded and into stretchgoals
Vigilantes has been funded and is now headed toward stretch goals with 17 days still to go
Extra Maps & Environments 1
+10 additional maps for combat encounters
+1-2 additional environment types
Extra Perks 1
+10 additional character perks
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Mount & Blade II - Steam Page is Up
The Steam page for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is up. The release date has yet to be announced but there is a fair bit of material to look over.
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord on Steam
20 October - Captain Lust [TaleWorlds]
Welcome to the official Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Steam group. We'll be posting news and updates here ourselves, from here on, so stay tuned and invite your friends!
The horns sound, the ravens gather. An empire is torn by civil war. Beyond its borders, new kingdoms rise. Gird on your sword, don your armour, summon your followers and ride forth to win glory on the battlefields of Calradia. Establish your hegemony and create a new world out of the ashes of the old.
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is now visible on Steam! What does that mean? Well, you can now follow the game, and get news and announcements delivered directly to PC's most popular gaming platform! You can also add the game to your wishlist, which will make sure you don't miss when the game releases.
We know you're hungry for more Bannerlord news. Right now, we're working hard on the game to put it in your hands as soon as possible, so stay tuned for more updates in the near future!
Mount & Blade IISP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Tahira - Review @ PowerUpGaming
PowerUpGaming has reviewed the tactical turn-based RPG Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire:
Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire Review – The Light is Calling
Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire follows the adventure of a young woman, who’s forced to grow up very quickly and ultimately lead her people against a genocidal force. The story stems from revenge, leadership, and rebellion, slightly hinting at society today. We all know these kinds of conflicts serve as great motivation to do something, and the primary plot line builds off of that foundation. Narrative aside, what you will find in Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire is a polished, complex, and somewhat addicting tactical RPG; however, it lacks incentive to return once completed, and ultimately fails to provide a genuine emotional attachment.
Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire gives players a rich world to investigate, rewarding combat, a great score and wonderful design – yet ultimately falls short with the development of its characters.
Genre: Tactical RPG
Editorial - Long Games: Appealing or Intimidating?
If a game has a long playtime, does it put you off? Or do you invest in games hoping for as much epic storyline and adventure as you can get? RPS examines the subject.
The Witcher 3 [official site] is the longest game I’ve played for years, or at least the longest game that I’ve actually come close to completing. There was a time when I’d be thrilled to hear about a new fifty or sixty hour epic adventure, very much subscribing to the policy “the more the better”, but now I’m more likely to flinch away from the screen when a game’s sprawl is revealed.
I’ve realised that my aversion to enormous games has been growing for a while, but the announcement of Red Dead Redemption 2 brought it into sharp focus. Do I really want yet another massive open world game? I’m not sure that I do.
I’d started to think that shying away from long games had a lot to do with working as a games critic, which does tend to make me hungry to get to the heart of a thing, understand it, and then move on. I’m the same way with books though – ten years ago, I didn’t think a fictional world was worth investing any time into if it didn’t exist across the span of at least six brick-sized volumes. These days, if a story takes more than three hundred pages to tell, I expect a lot from it. If an author or designer is going to make demands on my time, I demand quality and (preferably) variety in return.
Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Wasteland 3 - The Ranger Base
This update is about the Ranger Base and what to expect from it in Wasteland 3.
In Wasteland 3, the Ranger Base is not something we want you to be constantly micromanaging. This isn't going to be a real-time strategy game; you won't be sending peasants to go chop wood or mine coal, or building settlements. How your base changes will be tightly tied in with the game's narrative and will be uniquely Wasteland.
Instead, we are envisioning the Ranger Base as more of a quest hub that you can return to throughout the game, where interesting events and incidents will arise for you to resolve. You can think of our goals as something along the lines of de'Arnise Hold from Baldur's Gate 2. Far from being a game system where you need to look at graphs, charts, and numbers to balance your budget, the HQ in Wasteland 3 will present you with events, ethical dilemmas, and quests based on your choices, and those choices can have world-spanning consequences.
During the game, you might return to the Ranger Base after a long trek, only to find representatives from two different factions - the Servants of the Mushroom Cloud and the Gippers. Both have recently discovered a disused oil refinery which dates from before the apocalypse, and blood has already been shed over control of it. The Servants want to make use of the space to start developing explosives, hoping to entrench themselves in the area, but their fanaticism means they are eager to keep the area free from nonbelievers. The Gippers, on the other hand, are interested in taking over the plant to refine their oil reserves, convinced it will help them provide power and fuel to the people in the area.
In both cases, there might be some common benefits (such as access to an additional source of income or a new ally for the Rangers), but your decision will ultimately depend upon what you value as a leader. Do you want to better keep the people in the area secure by granting control to a heavily armed faction, knowing that it also comes with the risk of the Servants introducing the populace to the Great Glow? Or do you value the improvements to quality of life and trade the Gippers might provide, at the risk of making the refinery a tempting target for savage warlords from the Plains?
You'll have to make decisions and deal with the consequences arising from such situations. These consequences will affect the story, but there may also be considerations that are more material. For example, putting the Servants in charge of the refinery might grant you easier access to explosive weaponry, while the Gippers might give you a discount towards fuel and services for your vehicles. And given the tensions between the two groups, you can safely guess that there might be more violence later - with the Rangers now caught in the crossfire.
The Ranger Base is also a core part of our multiplayer gameplay loop. It will be your common hub for you and your buddy to refill your supplies, and it will also be where companions are managed... but we'll save that topic for another day.
Wasteland 3SP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Wednesday - October 19, 2016
ELEX - Will be released on GOG
THQ Nordic will publish several upcoming games - ELEX included - on GOG:
UPDATE - Coming Soon: ELEX + Spellforce 3 + The Guild 3 + Battle Chasers: NightwarA cool selection of upcoming hits! The cold winds of winter are rising, and with them, a snowstorm of great THQ Nordic games is about to arrive, DRM-free on GOG.com. Put on your coats and let's go meet them!ELEX introduces a unique post-apocalyptic fantasy setting, crafted by the creators of the beloved Gothic series. Control of a mysterious resource that grants people magical powers is being contested between warring factions. Will you allow magic to dominate the planet or will you harness Elex to power machines which will rule over Magalan? Move around the open world with your handy jetpack, fight terrible creatures, and witness the land change based on your decisions.Spellforce 3 blends RTS with RPG, magic with raw swordfighting, and hero development with massive-scale battles. Shape the incredible world of Eo during the volatile years leading up to the events of SpellForce: The Order of Dawn by customizing your character and leading your armies to victory using advanced tactics and spellcraft.The Guild 3 transports us back to the dark middle ages, when our family sets out to build a trading dynasty in a society dominated by the rich, the powerful, and the superstitious. Balance the historical events, the economics, and the politics involved in your dynasty's well-being and consider becoming a member of a secret society because you'll need someone to have your back when the challenges start piling up.Battle Chasers: Nightwar is a story-driven, turn-based RPG, with a diverse cast of comic book characters making their way through randomly generated dungeons. Traps, puzzles, secrets, and plenty of bloodthirsty monsters are waiting to bite, slice, and blast you to bits, so you better pick your heroes' skills and equipment carefully, if you want to survive down there.Wishlist THQ Nordic's upcoming offerings and prepare for some intense and magical adventures -- DRM-free on GOG.com.