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Editorial RPG Codex Report: Gamescom 2016 - Expeditions: Viking, Tyranny, Space Hulk: Deathwing, Styx and more

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Bubbles

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Tags: Brian Heins; Cyanide; Daedalic Entertainment; Expeditions: Viking; Focus Home Interactive; Gamescom 2016; Logic Artists; Masquerada; Mimimi Productions; Obsidian Entertainment; Shadow Tactics; Silence: The Whispered World 2; Space Hulk: Deathwing; State of Mind; Streum on Studio; Styx: Shards of Darkness; The Long Journey Home; Tyranny; Witching Hour Studios

Our Gamescom coverage continues at its customary breakneck pace. In this instalment we're covering Expeditions: Viking by Logic Artists as well as Obsidian's latest masterpiece Tyranny, the Asian Kickstarter sensation Masquerada by Witching Hour Studios, four games by Daedalic (Silence, State of Mind, The Long Journey Home, and Shadow Tactics), and finally Streum on Studio's Space Hulk: Deathwing and Cyanide's Styx: Shards of Darkness. All in a day's work.

Here are a few appetizers from the full, XXL-sized report:

...Overall, I'm quite happy with the current state of the combat in Expeditions: Viking; it still seems to need a fair bit of balance and AI work, and many of the active combat abilities still have to be implemented, but even in this early state it already feels genuinely fun and tactical to play.

... Unfortunately, our [Tyranny] session didn't feature any dialogue or c&c at all; instead, we spent a few minutes discussing the new spellcrafting mechanics before launching into a short dungeon delve where we got to experience various puzzles, fought lots and lots of mobs, and had a big boss battle... The overall experience reminded me quite strongly of the boss battles in Aarklash: Legacy.

... Remember how I said Masquerada was not my type of game because it's too linear and doesn't have much interactivity? Well, at least Masquerada is still a game. [Silence] is a barely interactive movie, and from the hands-on I played of it, my impression is that it would actually be better off as a movie.

...The auteur was Martin Ganteföhr and the masterpiece-to-be is his new sci-fi adventure game State of Mind. You might be familiar with Ganteföhr from his previous work, which includes beloved classics like The Mystery of the Druids, The Moment of Silence, and Overclocked. Ganteföhr began his presentation with an extensive introduction to the life and work of Ray Kurzweil, the visionary author of “The Singularity Is Near” and “Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever”...

... In short, The Long Journey Home looks to be a fun, if somewhat casual Space RPG/Roguelike with a few interesting mechanics; I'm definitely going to play it.

... Shadow Tactics is being pitched as a “modern take” on the real time tactics genre, in the vein of the old Commandos and Desperados titles...

...At its core, Deathwing is a game where you blast hordes of enemies into tiny pieces with your squad of heavily armoured Space Marines. Your characters have access to a vast range of Warhammer-based weaponry, from heavy flamers to miniguns, as well as an array of powerful psychic abilities. You equip your crew, send them to one of the many derelict “Space Hulk” vessels drifting through space, and then you start blowing up swarms of Tyranid Genestealers. There is some sort of storyline attached to all the killing and maiming, but it doesn't seem particularly important to the gameplay.

...[Styx: Shards of Darkness] is even simpler to describe: it's a direct sequel to Styx: Master of Shadows, featuring the same methodical third person stealth gameplay as the first title.​

The full article includes a variety of hideous selfies, a highly awkward interview centered around an amateur fantasy novelist from Thailand, and a lengthy rant about Tyranny's UI design. In other words, it's a typical Codex piece.
 

markec

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Codex 2012 Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut Dead State Project: Eternity Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath
Great stuff, with every bit of new information Expeditions: Viking more and more looks like a day 1 buy.
 
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Bubbles

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I know someone requested "more funny pictures" last time, and I hope the photos of me and Jarl will take care of that.

I also have a really grainy pic of all the swag we got this time:



The highlight is surely the authentic Ex: Vikings drinking horn (dead center); it has a little plastic badge that was personally glued on by Alex Mint himself (!).

The rest is mostly t-shirts and mouse mats. I'm sure the "Make Space Great Again" hat would also make some Codexers happy; personally, I prefer the GDC Europe cotton bag, since it's something you can actually carry in public.
 

JarlFrank

I like Thief THIS much
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Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
I know someone requested "more funny pictures" last time, and I hope the photos of me and Jarl will take care of that.

I also have a really grainy pic of all the swag we got this time:



The highlight is surely the authentic Ex: Vikings drinking horn (dead center); it has a little plastic badge that was personally glued on by Alex Mint himself (!).

The rest is mostly t-shirts and mouse mats. I'm sure the "Make Space Great Again" hat would also make some Codexers happy; personally, I prefer the GDC Europe cotton bag, since it's something you can actually carry in public.

You forgot the beer, Bubbles. How could you forget the beer?
 

Darth Roxor

Wielder of the Huegpenis
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Budda-budda-budda! Yeah, this looks playable.

The proper term is "dakka dakka dakka", you simpleton :rpgcodex:

First things first: when, after the presentation, we talked to Julien a little, I mentioned that Thief is the best game ever made. The dev agreed. This means he is a man who can be trusted and knows what he is doing.

"Hey man, can I trust you?"

"Of course you can trust me, friend."

"YIPPIEE :happytrollboy:"
 

Atomical

Logic Artists
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I know someone requested "more funny pictures" last time, and I hope the photos of me and Jarl will take care of that.

I also have a really grainy pic of all the swag we got this time:



The highlight is surely the authentic Ex: Vikings drinking horn (dead center); it has a little plastic badge that was personally glued on by Alex Mint himself (!).

The rest is mostly t-shirts and mouse mats. I'm sure the "Make Space Great Again" hat would also make some Codexers happy; personally, I prefer the GDC Europe cotton bag, since it's something you can actually carry in public.

The logo plate i glued on is pewter! Though plastic would have been cheaper and probably easier to manufacture it tends to deform undesirably when being hammered to form with a rubber mallet.
 

HoboForEternity

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Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Daedalic, what ever happened to you? :negative:


Styx is surprisingly one of my most hyped games aside from vikings this time. Still no knock out (had a blast in masters of shadow ghosting everythin, though i abuse clones alot) everything seems to be shaping up really really nicely. I had my doubts at first, but i think it is in good hands.

And for vikings, i played conquistador 1 and half months ago. Totally fell in love and have no doubt vikings will be just as lovely.

Longest journey home looks really promising too. I hope silence and state of mind isnt too expensive and broke them or convert them into full casual feeder
 

Lucky

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The proper term is "dakka dakka dakka", you simpleton :rpgcodex:

First things first: when, after the presentation, we talked to Julien a little, I mentioned that Thief is the best game ever made. The dev agreed. This means he is a man who can be trusted and knows what he is doing.

"Hey man, can I trust you?"

"Of course you can trust me, friend."

"YIPPIEE :happytrollboy:"

Turns out he meant Thief (2014).
 
Weasel
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Another good job :salute:

Jarl's beard appears to be taking on a life of its own
 

JarlFrank

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Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
The proper term is "dakka dakka dakka", you simpleton :rpgcodex:

First things first: when, after the presentation, we talked to Julien a little, I mentioned that Thief is the best game ever made. The dev agreed. This means he is a man who can be trusted and knows what he is doing.

"Hey man, can I trust you?"

"Of course you can trust me, friend."

"YIPPIEE :happytrollboy:"

Turns out he meant Thief (2014).

No, he said the new Thief was disappointing.
 

JarlFrank

I like Thief THIS much
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Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Also, I am very surprised nobody has noticed yet which letter Bubbles is blocking on that picture we took in the Tyranny booth :M
 

Mark Richard

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Good read. It’s always nice to hear more about Viking: Expedition, and get conformation on what precisely Shadow Tactics is (or isn’t). I’m interested in most of the games listed.
 

Sannom

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Also, I am very surprised nobody has noticed yet which letter Bubbles is blocking on that picture we took in the Tyranny booth :M
I think that joke was worn out by the second time someone brought it up. Its not novel anymore!
 

Sannom

Augur
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Well, after actually reading the thing, I can see why nobody mentioned it : the end of the word is cut off. Our tiny little brains can't make the connection without it!
 

Roguey

Codex Staff
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Thanks for asking the Masquerada question.

One type of new enemies are the dwarves, who are heavily armoured and thus immune to backstabbing; if you want to kill them, you have to use environmental tools like chandeliers or poison their food and drink. Dwarves also have a superior sense of smell and can track Styx when he's trying to sneak past them; this ability must be countered with a special potion.

So dwarves are just a reskin of the elves from Styx's endgame. If they were real, I imagine they'd be unhappy at the implication that they're both the same. :M

JarlFrank asked if the game's quest markers could be completely turned off; Julien exclaimed “of course!” I liked his attitude. Styx 2 is also introducing boss fights, which multiple people on the forums had been concerned about. I asked the presenter straight up whether you could beat the bosses without having to fight them directly; again he exclaimed “of course!” in response. He gave an example of a boss who had to be evaded until you found a means to “deal with it”; the challenge was about evading and observing the boss, and not about whittling down its health bar in open combat. Good enough.

I hope this applies to all the bosses.
 

Heretic

Cipher
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Styx has consistently some of my favourite writing, both in Of Orcs and Men as well as in Styx 1. I'm looking forward to the next game. Hopefully the sniffing dwarves won't be as annoying as the sniffing elves.

Thanks for the great report, guys.
 

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