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Battle Brothers

2017-05-18

Battle Brothers Review

Forgottenlor checked out Battle Brothers and learned that he enjoyed it quite a bit.
» 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

Baldur's Gate 2: Enhanced Edition
Box Art

Poll Watch

How much will Grimoire sell
This is Skyrim stuff
11.9%

5 figures easily
2.38%

somewhere between 10 and 50K
30.95%

Below 10K
21.43%

In the low 1000's
23.81%

3 figures only
2.38%

Somewhere around 100
7.14%

Vote

June

Ash of Gods - Funded

by Myrthos, Monday - June 26, 2017 15:35

The Ash of Gods Kickstarter campaign managed to get funded in the last 3 days of the campaign and in the process managed to achieve two stretch goals as well, which were at $80K and $85K. These stretch goals are 50+ additional side quests and more epic battle music respectively.

SO WHAT WILL BE IN THE RELEASE?

It will be the story of Thorn Brenin and his circle of people, flavored with a good number of secondary quests (events) that can (and will!) happen to them on their way to the final goal. The quests will reveal more about the heroes and the events taking place in the game world.

Hopper Rouley will follow in Thorn's tracks, allowing the user to see the consequences of the decisions he or she took on behalf of Brenin. In all likelihood, we won't have resources to create the ability to manage Hopper's team or let it participate in battles, although we're going to give it our best try; but only time will tell. At the very least, Hopper will play a large role in the story.

Cutting down on Lo Pheng's storyline is a lot harder for us. We wanted to show the other side of the conflict, but our initial stretch goals proved too ambitious. We want to preserve his influence on the story through the decisions of the players, and not turn him into an ordinary NPC. We'll only know for sure how we're going to handle the Lo Pheng storyline around August. We'll definitely write about it in more detail closer to the time.

As far as localization is concerned, the release will have two official versions—Russian and English. We'd love to get help from the fan community to translate the game into German, French, Polish, Spanish and Portuguese. Unfortunately we won't be able to pay the usual localization rates for all the above-mentioned countries, but we are definitely willing to encourage this process with the help of some nice prizes.

We'll also record an additional battle track for the game, which will help to make the battles slightly more diverse from an audio perspective.

Ash of Gods

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

Details

After Reset - Pre-Release Test

by Myrthos, Monday - June 26, 2017 09:03

The prologue for After Reset is going into the pre-release phase. In a backer only update the following was shared:

I can’t even believe I’m saying that but… it looks like we’re ready for your evaluation! Yippie-ki-yay :) The prologue is on Steam and we’ve fixed most of the bugs reports from the relevant bug reports discussion.

Now you can play it completely from the beginning, through various plot branches and some sandbox to final rescue from the Gyes bunker. Please, check the build during the next 2 weeks and pin the bugs you might find.

After fixing them I am going to:

  • enable one decent cool twist/quest (hidden for the beta-test to surprise you later);
  • add sound effect for the cave blast;
  • enable gratz-message when player successfully gets out to the Great Desert;
  • switch on the new background scene for the main menu when player competes the prologue (going to make it dependable on player’s progress like it was in KOTOR).

Guys, I need you votes for the following decision after you complete the prologue: are we ready for the official release? That implies we will fix the bugs you report and I’ll enable those minor adding and contact journalists, youtubers, etc.

I would strongly prefer to release it asap but I need your feedback and approval before that important move.

Meanwhile, our lead programmer asks to give him a month to upgrade our engine and rework our GUI from scratch on it as well as interaction code. His offer is to make that work free if he doesn’t meet the month deadline. Though, I wound not rather take his offer because those upgrades are not evident for players and I am afraid it might lead to endless development and his lost of enthusiasm.

So I would prefer the following path:

  • 2 weeks of beta test by you, guys;
  • 1 week of fixing and tidbits enabling;
  • 2 weeks release;
  • 1 month of updates/fixes/engine upgrade/gui rework/further content adding;

Guys, please, share your thoughts and vote the next step: are we ready for the release or should we wait?

After Reset

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

Details

Vigilantes - Version 17

by Myrthos, Sunday - June 25, 2017 17:31

Version 17 of Vigilantes is available now. Two new features that are added in this version are rackets and gang strategy AI.

Rackets are bonus providing enemy facilities, which are located in city districts. There are currently eight racket types. Three of these are main bases, of which each gang starts with one, and the remaining five rackets can be purchased and built by the gangs throughout the city. Each racket provides different local (adjacent tile) and global bonuses, and income.

The Gang Strategic AI directs the gang's actions on the strategic, city map level. We wanted to avoid giving each gang a set of rigid orders, (such as acquire upgrade x on day Y) which they would follow regardless of what the player is doing. Instead, we invested some time to build a system which would allow the gang to use their financial resources to react strategically to the player, choosing which upgrades and rackets best suit their current needs.

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Vigilantes

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

Details

Mount & Blade II - Preview @ E3

by Hiddenx, Sunday - June 25, 2017 08:47

COG checked out Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord at the E3:

E3 2017: Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Preview – Mount Up and Take Charge Again

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Preview

Let’s start off with some truth; I was not a fan of the first Mount & Blade game. Admittedly, I never played any of the expansions, sequels or spin-offs, maybe one of them would have been more appealing to me. However I do know there is a huge, rabid following for Mount & Blade – so it wasn’t a fault of the game, it just wasn’t a game for me. So, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I was set up for a meeting with TaleWorlds Entertainment to discuss Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. Needless to say, after that hour long meeting, I was pleasantly surprised and honestly can’t wait to get my hands on the full version.

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Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is a vast action game filled with epic battles and hand-to-hand combat. There isn’t a story, per se, the story is more about the journey you choose to take. One of my criticisms with the first game was the steep learning curve and lack of direction when you first start playing. The developers realized this and have introduced a set of objectives that you’ll work towards completing when you first start the game. Each objective is designed to introduce players to different game mechanics, which should do a better job of easing new players in (and re-introducing returning players).

[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Mount & Blade II

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

Details

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem - Update 0.5

by Hiddenx, Friday - June 23, 2017 20:50

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem got a new update:

Update 0.5 : New world map, new quests, new monsters and more!

Hi everyone!  

Update 0.5 is finally here! It may have taken a few late nights, but the team pulled it off and we are very excited to reveal our new world map and questline!

The new world map is much bigger and denser than the old one, and yet only represent less than a quarter of the final version of map! There’s new environments to explore, new monsters to kill, and other surprises! 

3 new randomly generated dungeon architecture have been added, which adds more variety to dungeon layouts. The new questline covers most of Act1 of the game, and will give you a preview of the lore and story of Wolcen. We will periodically add more content to Act 1, including side quests, treasure and optional bosses. You can now listen to the Main Theme of the game while in the main menu. This will give you a glimpse of the new original soundtrack being composed for Wolcen. 

A fog-of-war now hides parts of the minimap that haven’t been explored yet. This will further help with orientation in dungeons. All minimap icons have been redone and new icons have been added too.

We are aware that there might be some performance issues, and optimization will be a big focus for the next updates. You can get the game at a discount during the Steam summer sale. Now is the perfect time to jump in!  

There’s a lot more detail in the update’s changelog,  so peruse at your leisure! Have fun!

Wolcen Studio

Thanks henriquejr!

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Hack & Slash
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

The Tenth Line - Coming to PS4

by Myrthos, Thursday - June 22, 2017 09:06

Sungazer Software wrote in that The Tenth Line will come to PS4 next week. The game is a 2D RPG made in the Unity engine and was launched on Steam two months ago on the 17th of March. Here is the launch trailer from that time:

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The Tenth Line

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

Details

Ash of Gods - 80% funded

by Hiddenx, Tuesday - June 20, 2017 18:58

The Kickstarter project Ash of Gods is 80% funded with 3 days to go. Update #8 explains the combat system:

The Combat System and Its Features

We'd like to start this update with the state of our campaign — over the last two days we’ve had several larger tiers picked by the backers, which puts us at 80% of our goal. We are very excited about this, but also worried it may turn out to be somebody’s sick joke.

Either way, today we continue our previous update on game design. This time we're going to give you more detail about Ash of Gods' combat system.

 THE PROTOTYPE

As you probably already know, we're devoting a lot of time to the development of the combat system. Initially it was a table-top prototype in which we played hundreds of games with paper tokens in order to understand how the game would work.
The next step was the creation of the web-prototype which we tested with players. We didn't just note down the players' suggestions. We also incorporated some of their comments in the final solution. Currently we’re still actively using the prototype and following the same principles to test new classes. It doesn't have graphics, but if you play the prototype you can already clearly see how the combat system works. The best way of doing this is to look for an opponent on our Discord channel.

Right now we're continuing to work on the fully-fledged combat system, and although it's still buggy, we expect to be able to start testing the real system very soon. For the time being, however, let's tell you a bit more about its capabilities and features.
[...]

Ash of Gods

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

Details

Bloom - Development Update

by Myrthos, Monday - June 19, 2017 10:37

In a new development update for Bloom there is information on the itimization system, polishing, weather and the upcoming demo, for which the following is still left to do:

  • Currently we have some persisting bugs scattered around (stack breaking is still happening, it is has been a low priority since it is cosmetic....but isn't something I would let anyone play). 
  • The fun thing about bugs is after you squash one, you find another here or there. Especially in edge cases, like when you despawn a plant while the plants effect is on you....it won't execute the leave trigger and end the effect. This was pretty rare before, but with the harvesting interactions on plants it became a LOT more common with a certain plant.
  • Our lovely grass clumps also keep getting in the way when you try to interact with creatures / plants. Most maps have them scattered around, so this is something that pops up more than is ideal. In order to fix that we will need to add a special exclusion to keep the auto-targeting from being able to target grass specifically (though an easier / cheaper fix is just to try and sort that in the interaction itself....but it would still cause problems doing that). 
  • Run / knockbacks are also being added soon, which is needed to balance combat. Currently things are just too hard without a way to dodge / push away hostile creatures, players would die before they reach the 3rd screen.... 
  • The other big thing is just flavor events + dialogue need to be looked at more. This doesn't seem like it will be a big task, just more of a polish issue and getting them set up right with portraits or backgrounds and their proper fonts / so on.
  • And finally the bestiary / inventory descriptions needs to be added (so players can look up information). These aren't really critical to game play....but for the demo it is something I want players to have (so they can better understand what they are facing, and how they might be able to deal with it). 

So, overall we don't have a "lot" to get to a playable demo...but still enough to frustratingly hold it back a little longer.

Bloom

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

Details

The Island of Eternal Struggle - EA Release

by Hiddenx, Sunday - June 18, 2017 09:03

The turn-based RPG The Island of Eternal Struggle has been released as Early Access:

No face? No problem.

A soldier flees a secluded island controlled by powerful deities, consumed in an endless war with one another. Ian sets out for a peaceful life, but soon finds out his past can't be escaped so easily. The war catches up with him and threatens the entire planet. With the world's balance at stake, he teams up with others--fighting their past to restore peace at any cost.

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The Game

A faceless soldier, a warrior, a cyborg, and an oracle... while it may sound like an introduction to an awkward bar joke, it's not. It's the cast of The Island of Eternal Struggle--a 2D turn-based RPG developed by Wimbus Studios. The game places heavy emphasis on battle-system interaction, deep character-class customization, and a rich storyline with humor and depth.

  • Classic turn-based RPG gameplay, but with unique and exciting "action commands"--enabling interactive and fast-paced combat sequences.
  • Job class based character growth. Final game will include 24 different jobs such as Templar, Discomancer and Booze Hound and 500 different skills and abilities.
  • A unique "Soul Slot" system, allowing each character to have a different loadout of skills and combat bonuses.
  • 2D visual style inspired by the classics.
  • A lovingly crafted soundtrack with styles as diverse as it's instrumentation.
  • Mini-games? Of course!
  • Unconventional enemies--from adult mutant turtles and balding eagles, to bears on roller-blades wielding switchblades.
  • If you want to save, talk to a hobo.

 

The Island of Eternal Struggle

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

Details

Battle Brothers - Update 1.1 released

by Hiddenx, Saturday - June 17, 2017 11:08

Update 1.1 for Battle Brothers has been released:

The Conclusion: Update 1.1 Released

The 1.1 update to Battle Brothers is here and brings a bunch of additions and changes, as well as various bugfixes – see below for the complete changelog. Also, we’re talking about what we’ll be doing next.

The Conclusion
Making Battle Brothers a reality has been a great ride. Back when we still worked our evenings and weekends on the game, we never imagined quite how many and how much people would fall in love with it, and all the support we’d get from you. Playing the game now ourselves, we’re genuinely happy with how things turned out. For all its flaws, Battle Brothers is fun to play, it’s satisfying to see what we achieved with our means, and we’re happy to say that we’ve learned a lot on game development as we created our first game together.

A part of game development is making tough decisions on where to spend your limited time. In creating Battle Brothers we, too, had to make concessions in order to make the game happen. Unfortunately, this now makes things like translations and mod support unfeasible, as much as we’d like to offer them, and expanding the game beyond its initial concept an increasingly unwieldy endeavour.

We’ve thought long and hard about where we want to go from here. After working on the same game for almost five years now, we’ve come to realize that it is time to move on. Creating Battle Brothers has always been about building the game we want to play ourselves, and furthering ourselves as game developers, and we believe that taking all the lessons learned here to create a new game dear to us is the right next step to take.

Development on Battle Brothers is concluded with today’s update – although we’ll of course continue to provide bugfixes, as necessary. We have a very good idea of the game we want to create next, and we’re enthusiastic to get started. It won’t be Battle Brothers 2, but if you enjoyed playing Battle Brothers, chances are good you’ll really enjoy our next game, too. We look forward to tell you all about it in the future. It’ll even have legs!

Changelog

  • Added 18 new illustrated events.
  • Added 3 new player banners.
  • Added 63 colored variants of most common helmets for more customization options.
  • Added more options to customize campaign difficulty by introducing separate settings for 'Economic Difficulty', 'Combat Difficulty' and 'Starting Funds'. See tooltips for more information.
  • Added optional 'Reset Equipment After Battle' setting to automatically place equipment back into the inventory slot it was in before battle, if possible.
  • Added additional ambient sounds for settlements.
  • Changed combat log to show more detailed information, including hit chances, dice rolls for enemies and damage to shields.
  • Changed 'Bags & Belts' perk to also remove the fatigue penalty for carrying items in any bag slot.
  • Changed fatigue cost of ‘Indomitable’ perk active skill to 20, down from 25.
  • Changed various minor things to improve game balance and pacing.
  • Fixed 'Lone Wolf' perk effect sometimes not updating correctly after movement.
  • Fixed potentially wrong healing time displayed in medical supplies tooltip.
    Fixed specific ambitions not being recorded as fulfilled when engaging two enemy parties in quick succession.
  • Fixed issue with 'Armed Courier' contract during an active late game crisis.
  • Fixed two potential issues with the 'Siege Fortification' contract.
  • Fixed issue when retreating at a specific point during the 'Free Greenskin Prisoners' contract.
  • Fixed game potentially hanging when loading an ambush with a large number of opponents.
  • Fixed auto-loot sometimes granting loot to the player even if not having won the battle.
  • Fixed cultist conversion events also changing daily wages.
  • Fixed situations at settlements sometimes not being resolved correctly.
  • Fixed tavern rumors about famed helmets incorrectly referring to them as weapons.
  • Fixed various minor issues.

Battle Brothers

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

Details

Meridian Shard - Release Date: September 15

by Hiddenx, Friday - June 16, 2017 20:37

The Adventure RPG Meridian Shard will be released on September 15:

Official Release

Well, it's finally happening after years of labor and intense dreams and nightmares. The Meridian Shard™ will go live on Steam as of midnight, September 15th 2017! The digital copies for the kickstarter reward packages will go out at the same time. I will post an update here with the link(s) shortly before midnight, and the physical rewards will be sent out in the following days after I re-confirm all of your addresses for shipping. 

THANK YOU everyone for your patience and kindness. Accomplishing all of this work by myself has been exhausting, and also incredibly rewarding. I can't wait to reveal all to you soon. Have a great summer. The next update will be in August for promo before launch.

Thanks daveyd!

Meridian Shard

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

Details

Expeditions: Viking - New Patch Improves Difficulty

by Silver, Thursday - June 15, 2017 22:36

Expeditions: Vikings has been updated to v1.05. Check out the patch notes here.

Hello, and thanks for checking in with us again. Today we've released update 1.0.5 for Expeditions: Viking. In addition to some bug fixes, this version contains several major changes to game balance that I will outline separately before we get to the change log.

New caps on skill ranks
The most significant change we've made is to introduce caps on all skill ranks based on the total amount of skill points you've spent. Ranks 1 and 2 are freely accessible, but in order to upgrade a skill to rank 3 you must have spent a total of 100 SP. To reach rank 4, you must have spent 175, and to max out a skill at rank 5 you must have spent a total of 250 SP. Recall that you begin the game with 50 SP and that there is a total of just over 300 SP in the campaign. The result is that you'll have no skills above rank 3 when you go to Britain, and you won't be able to level up to rank 5 until quite late in the game.

This update trades away some freedom of choice to enforce a better levelling curve. Previously, we let you max out your weapon skills quite early in the game, with the predictable result that you would outpace the enemies before you even reached Britain, and the enemies wouldn't begin to catch up until near the end of the game. Now, you're forced to distribute your points among the different categories, perhaps buying some Utility and Passive skills for a more well-rounded character. This does have the drawback that characters will be a bit less specialised, but the improvement to the game's difficult curve is profound.

Surprise round on enemy initiative
A new feature is the so-called Surprise Round, which occurs when you trigger an encounter where the enemy acts first. Previously the enemy would get a full turn before you had any chance to position your hirdmen. Since there is no formation system in the game, this felt unfair. From version 1.0.5 and onwards, the player always acts first, but in encounters where the enemy would previously begin, the player will not have any attack action, nor a bonus action in the first turn. In other words you can only move or change your weapons in your first turn because your party was caught by surprise. This has also allowed us to change the initiative back to Enemy-first on all the encounters that were previously set to Player-first to avoid unfairness. The result is a slight but significant increase in difficulty in many encounters throughout the game.

Bear in mind that this update is not the final word on difficulty. These are major changes that will fix our difficulty issues, but they are not intended to increase the upper ends of difficulty on the Hard and Insane settings. The next update will contain more tweaks intended to make the Hard and Insane settings live up to their name, as well as the promised Iron Man mode.

And now for the full change list. As with the 1.0.4 update, I have divided it into two sections: one for changes and additions, and one for fixes. Since this update has a far greater variety of changes than previous patches, I've decided to further subdivide each section into categories based on the type of change or fix.

[...]

Expeditions: Viking

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

Details

Grimoire - Has a Steam Page

by Silver, Thursday - June 15, 2017 11:54

Grimoire has a Steam page. Yes for real. It lists a release date of July 7th.

THE ULTIMATE CLASSIC STYLE TURN-BASED FANTASY ROLEPLAYING GAME!

After more than 20 years of development, the greatest roleplaying game of them all is finally ready for release! Grimoire is an homage to the classic dungeon blobbers and is inspired by Wizardry, Might & Magic, Lands of Lore, Anvil of Dawn, DungeonMaster and the Eye of the Beholder games!

  • 600 hours of play possible in a single game
  • Lush Colorful 2D Hand Drawn Artwork
  • Retro style MIDI music and 8 bit sound effects
  • 244+ Maps in the game to explore!
  • Turn-Based strategic combat
  • Multiple Beginnings, Multiple Endings
  • 144 context sensitive magic spells
  • 14 races, 15 professions, 50 skills
  • 64 intelligent NPCs with 8000+ Words in Vocabulary
  • Full Sentence Communication with NPCs
  • 240+ monsters each with special powers and defenses
  • 1000+ items, Carry Containers, Global Party Inventory
  • 30 conditions, from Confusion to Disease & Lycanthropy
  • Automapping, Autowalking, Autohealing
  • Global Map Atlas With Position Marker
  • Quest Journal, Hint Prompting, Help Facility, Mini-Quests
  • Complex LockPicking Interfaces for Doors & Chests
  • Challenging Puzzles and Rich Interactive Dungeons
  • Browsable Character Library for up to 100 characters
  • Up to 12 Commented Postage Stamped Savegames
  • Multi-themed GUI and customizable screen layouts

Grimoire

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

Details

Stygian - Kickstarter Update

by Hiddenx, Wednesday - June 14, 2017 18:51

Kickstarter update #23 for Stygian explains the rest system:

Rest Activities or How I Learned Getting Ready for the Dark Times Ahead

Greetings fellow Cultists of the Dreaming Sheikh!

In this update, we'd like to share some detailed information about our Rest System. As you probably know, resting in Stygian is not a just a mere tool for refilling your depleted stats in the blink of an eye but a defined side system of preparation, risk assessment and research. We, the folk at Cultic Games tend to do all these before going to sleep, don't you too?

First things first! Let's have a look at our Rest Screen:

[...]

 

Stygian

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

Details

Depth of Extinction - First Access available

by Hiddenx, Wednesday - June 14, 2017 18:44

A limited quantity of Depth of Extinction games is now available:

This First Access game is being sold only in limited quantities. If you are unable to purchase, please sign up for our mailing list to be notified when more copies are available.

Depth of Extinction is a retro style, turn based tactics game with roguelike and RPG elements. 500 years after the waters rose, humanity is dying and only your team of mercs can find out what is trying to bring mankind to extinction. Find cover and attack enemies but be careful because every move is critical if you want to keep your team alive. 

Customize your character with upgrades, skills and weapons as you explore many different environments rendered in beautiful pixel art in this procedurally generated tactical RPG.

Features

  • Turn based, tactical control of a squad of mercenary pirates
  • Procedurally generated undersea habitats to explore
  • Tons of weapons, armor and items to find
  • Many character skills to unlock based on stats and chosen class
  • Recruit unique characters to your team
  • Perma-Death!
  • Mission based gameplay
  • 15+ different enemy types, each with unique AI and attack patterns
  • Beautiful pixel art environments where everything is destructible

Depth of Extinction

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

Details

Mount & Blade II - Combat Videos

by Myrthos, Monday - June 12, 2017 22:41

During E3 two new combat videos for Mount &  Blade: Bannerlord have been made available. One shows a cavalry sergeant:

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And the other a horese archer sergeant:

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KEY BATTLE IMPROVEMENTS

Battles are at the very core of the series and play better than ever in the latest installment.    

  • Advanced Formations - Merge and split forces at your behest, with intuitive but powerful control over the movement, form and behavior of every unit! Order heavy infantry to hold together, shoulder-to-shoulder in a slowly advancing but near impenetrable shield wall; or launch your cavalry in lightning charges using the skein formation.
  • Battlefield AI - AI commanders can execute complex tactics, utilizing the advanced formation options to present a formidable challenge. Their behavior is drawn from actual historical tacticians, for example Alexander the great, who used his superior cavalry forces to rout their counterparts in the opposing army, before delivering a crushing blow to the enemy's main force. This not only creates the feeling of an authentic medieval battle but also proves effective in-game, as in reality.
  • Sergeant System - Commanders now designate units to other lords in battle, including the player! Execute the orders issued by your commander throughout the fight, and use your own instincts to do your part and help secure victory on the field of battle. Lead the horse archers as they skirmish and harass the enemy to disrupt their lines before your allies finish them off, or take control of the cavalry and charge into the fray to devastate entire units at once! 

KEY COMBAT UPDATES

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord also features greatly updated combat, which builds on previous installments in a number of ways while retaining its intuitive, direction-based core that made it so popular among players. 

  • Directional Shield Blocking and Shield Bash - These two features revitalize the sword & board gameplay, making it a more engaging experience than ever before! Blocking in the wrong direction will not necessarily get you killed but it will cause your shield to break faster, leaving you defenseless against missiles and vulnerable against multiple foes. Shield bashing, a highly requested feature, temporarily stuns your opponent and knocks them back, lowering their defenses and giving you room to breathe.
  • Attack Chaining - Swings that complete their motion can now be chained into follow-up attacks which can catch your opponent off-guard after a miss. Unbalanced weapons such as hammers and axes also use the momentum of the first swing for a faster follow-up!
  • Improved Animations and Combat Engine - Huge effort has gone into making Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord's combat as fluid and visually appealing as possible. Damage dealt is now calculated with a great degree of physical depth, factoring in the weight distribution of every individual weapon. This means that whether you are executing a perfectly timed thrust while thundering towards a hapless archer on horseback or shooting an arrow across the battlefield to whittle down your opponent's infantry forces before the melee, the game will understand all of the forces involved and produce consistent, realistic and satisfying results every time.
"It is great to be back at E3 with Bannerlord, demonstrating the best Mount & Blade battles ever. Our team worked very hard on developing all aspects of the battles, which are so central to the game. We are thrilled to showcase our work and looking forward to seeing the response."

Armagan Yavuz - CEO / Founder, TaleWorlds

Mount & Blade II

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

Details

Victor Vran: Overkill Edition - Review

by Hiddenx, Monday - June 12, 2017 19:39

True Achievements reviewed the Victor Vran: Overkill Edition:

Victor Vran Review

Isometric RPGs are somewhat niche. The likes of Diablo and, more recently, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing tailored themselves to this style of play; for them, it worked very well for the most part, at least. Another game that followed this path was Victor Vran back in 2015 on Steam. Players have had to wait an extra couple of years before the title made its way onto Xbox, but it is now ours to play as we wish. The question is, was it worth the wait for us?

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Summary

Victor Vran is a title that initially feels like it's going to be more indie fodder but is much more than that. Despite the voice actors that were used, underneath a relatively bland story lies extremely addictive and highly enjoyable gameplay. Utilising all the weapons and accessories at your disposal regularly yields fantastic results, and unleashing your fury on the hordes of enemies that swarm the screen never gets old. Facing off against the bosses scattered throughout the dungeon also adds an extra layer of challenge. The addition of online play and two expansions provides even more content for the game, so there's an abundance of stuff to enjoy. While the game does suffer from the odd technical problem, it's still worth a look for dungeon crawler and RPG fans alike.

Positives

  •     Plenty of content
  •     Highly enjoyable and addictive gameplay
  •     Lots of variety in weaponry, gear and accessories
  •     Easily accessible online play for those who want it
Negatives
  •     Fairly bland story and characters
  •     Occasional lag
Score: 4/5

Victor Vran: Overkill Edition

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

Details

For the King - Early Access Update

by Myrthos, Monday - June 12, 2017 10:02

A new update for For the King appeared mentioning a few of topics that they have learned from being in Early Access.

The overall response to For The King has been extremely positive, but one thing that keeps coming up is the dreaded Chaos system. While the community is mixed on the Chaos system, our challenge was to improve it for those who disliked it while not alienating those who enjoyed it as is. We've had some ideas for how this could be achieved and finally got some time to implement our plan.

The key to the new system is maintaining some of the pressure that the old timer had, but giving more options to the player for dealing with it. Chaos now increases at a steady rate at all times throughout the game, and in this way behaves more like a food mechanic in a survival game. We've decoupled "lives" with the Chaos so now the two systems must be managed independently from one another which in turn opens the door for more strategies and even more interesting decisions/trade offs.

For the King

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

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Stardew Valley - Top 10 Mods

by Hiddenx, Saturday - June 10, 2017 08:53

Gazette Review has listed some of the best mods for Stardew Valley:

Top 10 Stardew Valley Mods

The breakout hit of 2015 in terms of RPG and Farm Simulators, Stardew Valley really showed that indie games could come in all shapes and colors in incredibly high quality. With elements of many favorites of previous generations such as Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley combines a feel good farming game with an air of mystery and a big sense of community. This is incredible, as the developer ConcernedApe (Eric Barone) was the sole developer for the nearly four years that it took to make this game. While the vanilla game is fantastic, there is one thing that can make any game better or extend its play: mods. Here, we take a look at the top 10 mods for Stardew Valley.

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Stardew Valley

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

Details

Acaratus - Review @ COG

by Hiddenx, Friday - June 09, 2017 18:15

COG has reviewed the tactical RPG Acaratus:

Acaratus Review - Steampunk Tactics Tango

Mech combat laced in Steampunk couture, Acaratus is a tactical RPG whose curious aesthetic belies a compelling set of guts. While there a couple dents in the armour, this game’s overall presentation is a well-burnished blend of addictive and satisfying.

Acaratus takes place in a world lorded over by a confluence of narrative cliches. Shortly after mechs (I mean battle suits) are developed, one nation uses them to seize power and then outlaw the tech immediately after. The story properly begins with a slave trader being sold out by one of her slaves. The empire’s goons reveal their adherence to the “stitches for snitches” justice system, the two flee in an illegal battle suit, and the game begins! I see-sawed between bored and fascinated throughout the whole story. Maybe it’s the text-based delivery system, maybe it’s the genre’s necessary dependence on cliche, but the story was a hard sell for me. There were still moments of levity and heart, however, and they managed to pull me back in from time to time.

[...]

All in all, I enjoyed my time with Acaratus. The story hangs a little thin in spots and the combat gets hard at random times, but I found myself going back repeatedly until a given challenge was finished. Yes, the game gets tough. And yes, it can feel unfair at times. However, I learned that a little patience and a little experimentation was often enough to overcome seemingly impossible hurdles. Whether or not the setting appeals to you, the tactical combat has sufficient hooks to get lodged in your brain with little trouble. If you have an eye for turn-based combat with a heady dose of micromanagement, Acaratus is worth checking out.

Score: 78

The Good

  • Combat is fast-paced and fun
  • Loads of customization options
  • Deep strategies abound

The Bad

  • Story is a little flat
  • Sudden difficulty spikes
  • Why is exhaustion a problem for battle suits

Acaratus

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Steampunk
Genre: Tactical RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Rain of Reflections - New Story Trailer

by Hiddenx, Thursday - June 08, 2017 18:56

Farflame spotted a new story trailer for the narrative driven RPG Rain of Reflections:

Story trailer - Rain of Reflections

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This “story trailer” introduces the three main protagonists - Wilona, Dwennon and Imra - each with a unique perspective on the events that unfold. The player controls each one consecutively, shaping a unique story through choices along their intersecting paths.

More detailed info can be found here.

Rain of Reflections

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

Details

Victor Vran: Overkill Edition - Review

by Hiddenx, Wednesday - June 07, 2017 19:41

Gameractore has reviewed the Victor Vran: Overkill Edition:

Victor Vran: Overkill Edition

A solid alternative to Diablo III, now on consoles

Victor Vran had its original release on PC in 2015, but Haemimont's RPG is only now coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, being adapted for console in a similar manner to Diablo III. It's an action-RPG that plays out from an isometric perspective, where you decimate hordes of enemies as you search for the best loot. As such, it's a good alternative if you like games like Diablo, that said, it's not fantastic.

Victor Vran is essentially an unlicensed Van Helsing, here voiced by Doug Cockle. Who is Doug Cockle, we hear you ask? Well, he's Geralt's voice actor from the Witcher series, and that turns out to be a downside. The tone and rhythm the actor uses for Victor Vran is very similar to the one used for Geralt, and if you've played as many hours of The Witcher as we have, the chances are you'll immediately be taken out of the game as soon as you hear him speak. Each time Victor opens his mouth, all we can think about is "oh, right that's Geralt's voice," which turned out to be a great distraction from what was actually being said.

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This version of the game, the Overkill Edition, also includes the two expansions that have also landed for the already released PC version: Motorhead: Through the Ages, and Fractured Worlds. As the name suggests, Motorhead is heavily inspired by and made in collaboration with the heavy metal band, with suits and cards based on their albums, licensed music, and special appearances all adding to the experience. Fractured Worlds, however, allows you to travel to an alternate dimension, and it has been designed specifically for experienced hunters. Here you will find four randomly created dungeons to play through, and they change every day. You can also discover a new type of item (talismans), new enemies, and evolve your character to level 60.

Despite being a decent game in its own right, Victor Vran is not quite at Diablo III's level (which in our opinion it's still the best game of this kind, especially on consoles). However, for those looking for similar thrills, it is a valid alternative, with a price point suitable for the content it offers. The progression system whereby you're defined by your weapons and gear won't be for everyone, the design isn't always good, and some players may feel it's lacking in terms of customisation options, but at the end of the day, if you're looking for an action RPG to play on console, it's worth taking a look.

Score 7/10

Positive
Fluid gameplay, Lots of content, Unique character progression, Online and local multiplayer.

Negative
Impossible not to hear Geralt from The Witcher as Victor Vran, Design with ups and downs, Not a fan of the suit system.

Victor Vran: Overkill Edition

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

Details

Cosmic Star Heroine - Review @ RPGSite

by Hiddenx, Tuesday - June 06, 2017 19:31

RPGSite has reviewed Cosmic Star Heroine:

Cosmic Star Heroine Review

The tricky thing about nostalgia and paying homage to the past is making sure your work also has enough new ideas to stand on its own. Safe to say I wasn’t quite sure how Cosmic Star Heroine was going to pull off this difficult balancing act. Zeboyd Games billed it as their own take on 16-bit classics such as Phantasy Star and Chrono Trigger, the sort of comparison that brings a hefty set of expectations with it. Thankfully Cosmic Star Heroine does just enough to set itself apart from the pack.

The setting for Cosmic Star Heroine is one of espionage on an intergalactic scale. The game’s protagonist Alyssa L'Salle being an agent for API, an organization poised at fighting crime and dealing with the criminal underworld. Or at least, that’s how it would appear on the surface; as soon Alyssa finds herself at the center of a massive conspiracy in which the fate of the galaxy hangs in the balance.

[...]

When Zeboyd Games initially took the idea of Cosmic Star Heroine to kickstarter, they knew they were in it for the long haul. About 4 years have passed since then and a lot about the games industry has changed. Retro throwbacks are even less novel now than they were in 2013, but all the same, I think the studio has succeeded in all that they set out to do.  The game has a fantastic combat system, feels distinct from its peers, and never leans on nostalgia too much. If you’re looking for a fun space adventure that’ll remind you of the JRPGs of the 16-bit era, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more fitting experience than Cosmic Star Heroine.

Score: 8/10

Cosmic Star Heroine

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

Details

Victor Vran - Fractured Worlds and Motorhead DLC

by Myrthos, Tuesday - June 06, 2017 12:22

The Victor Vran Fractured Worlds and Motörhead DLC are now available separately on both GOG and Steam. The latter also has the Overkill edition (released last week), which combines the two DLCs with the original game. The DLC is available with a 10% discount.

Here are videos of the two DLC.

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Victor Vran

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

Details

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem - Update 0.4.2

by Myrthos, Tuesday - June 06, 2017 10:28

Update 0.4.2 of Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem, sees the addition of a minimap and improved dashing amongst some other changes, that can be found here.

While developing update 0.5, progress has been made on a major feature that many of our players have been requesting for a long time : the minimap !
So here is update 0.4.2, feature a working minimap and overlay in dungeons, improved auto-dashing and more changes !

The new minimap is still work-in-progress and will be refined and improved in update 0.5, but is precise-enough for players to orient themselves within even complex environments.

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Hack & Slash
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Alvora Tactics - Available on Steam now

by Hiddenx, Sunday - June 04, 2017 07:00

The Tactics RPG Alvora Tactics is available on Steam now:

Alvora Tactics is an indie Tactics RPG that combines strategic combat with immersive exploration. Explore and conquer Great Serpent Alvora with your own customizable band of warriors!

Alvora Tactics

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

Details

Wasteland 3 - Production Starting

by Silver, Sunday - June 04, 2017 03:03

Wasteland 3 has a new update and InXile announces that production has officially started. This sees the team focus on producing a vertical slice of the Stanley Hotel. There is also a survey for backers to fill out about what you want to see in Wasteland 3.

...

Building the Stanley: An Introduction to "The Vertical Slice"

Thomas here to wrap up this update!

In the previous update, we introduced you to Stanley Hotel, one of the zones of Wasteland 3. As part of our production schedule, we'll be looking to flesh out Stanley Hotel early, taking it from blockout (a rough level implementation with no art) into a developed zone, with missions, combat, dialogues and art worked out. That way, the Stanley Hotel will work as our vertical slice, allowing us to proof out the entire process from A to Z. In video games, doing a vertical slice early in production allows you to prove out the production process of your level, catching and correcting any mistakes or factors that'd slow us down for later zones, and it'll give us vital information on questions regarding combat density, balance, and the use of vehicles in our game.

In the coming updates, we'll be sharing various facets of the vertical slice with you, highlighting what this process means for us in art, engineering, design, and writing. Part of the reason we chose the Stanley Hotel as a vertical slice is that the location is fairly isolated from the main storyline, so we'll be able to share a lot of details without spoiling the game's overall story.

Wasteland 3

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

Details

Consortium: The Tower - Production Update

by Silver, Saturday - June 03, 2017 00:31

Interdimensional Games has been one year in production on Consortium: The Tower and the game is currently feature complete in an Alpha state.  The update also gives us a casting update and tells us that the demo is coming soon.

After a year of very intense production, iDGi has officially reached a major milestone: all core planned game mechanics for Consortium: The Tower are functional and working well together. In layman's terms, this just means that we now have a fully featured videogame with a hefty chunk of working content.

Here is a video that briefly showcases a chunk of what we have fully working. Please note that the gameplay footage shown here is all from our alpha build and should not be considered indicative of a finished game.

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Casting update

We are proud to announce that with the awesome help of Dave Chan over at Giant Sandbox we have cast the following awesome voice actors for various key characters in The Tower:

Mark Meer as "The Voice"

Matt Alden as "Alvarez Famosa"

Gord Marriott as "Malcolm Thomas"

Belinda Cornish as "Ellon Gibbons"

Also introducing newcomer Eric Fortin as "Elon Stone". Eric is the bassist and lead singer for the local Vancouver rock band Man The Wolf.

Watch for upcoming updates where we'll give you a peek behind the scenes with V.O recording in both Studio X here in Vancouver for the main Consortium characters , and sessions with the new cast members in Edmonton.

Consortium: The Tower

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

Details

Regalia - Review @ HeyPoorPlayer

by Hiddenx, Friday - June 02, 2017 19:52

HeyPoorPlayer has reviewed Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs:

Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs Review

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It has been a while since I’ve played a game that was intentionally funny, and not just ironically funny. Humour is subjective and, in my opinion, insanely hard to pull of in video games. Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs is a surprising little gem that not only succeeds in being funny, but also in being a well-made rpg experience. There is no shortage of content, difficult gameplay, and jokes in this Kickstarter-funded title. So let’s dive into a sea of never ending debt – that is the actual plot of the game.

[...]

Thanks Farflame!


Regalia

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

Details

Hob - The Story of Runic Games

by Hiddenx, Thursday - June 01, 2017 19:08

The following Gameumentary video tells the story of Runic Games - the creators of Torchlight 1 & 2 and HOB:

The Story of Runic Games | A Gameumentary Short Doc

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For the past few months, we've been working hard on this video, from our initial pre-production meetings last year, to our principal photography out in Seattle this past March, to the editing and tweaking that we've done just this past week--we've put everything we have into this short-doc.

Our goal is to continue doing these docs with different developers around the globe, showcasing their stories and their passions for making the video games that you play. Hopefully, with your help, we'll be able to do that.

 

Hob

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

Details