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Editorial RPG Codex Report: Gamescom 2016 - Mount & Blade 2, Kingdom Come, SpellForce 3, South Park 2 and more

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Tags: Gamescom 2016; Grimlore Games; KING Art Games; Kingdom Come: Deliverance; Morning Men; Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord; Pixel Federation; South Park: The Fractured But Whole; Spellforce 3; TaleWorlds; The Dwarves; Ubisoft; Warhorse Studios

Our chronicle of Bubbles and JarlFrank's visit to Gamescom 2016 continues. In this chapter, we discover what JarlFrank was up to during Bubbles' long stay at the Larian booth, when he departed to check out TaleWorlds' Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord and Warhorse's Kingdom Come: Deliverance. We also get a look at various other games that they saw, such as Grimlore's SpellForce 3, Pixel Federation's Morning Men and Ubisoft's South Park: The Fractured But Whole. JarlFrank was pretty happy with what he saw of Mount & Blade and Kingdom Come. Here are his thoughts on the latter:

And thus ends the presentation of Kingdom Come: Deliverance, and it was one of the most impressive presentations at this year's Gamescom. It has come so far from last year's early build, so much more content and gameplay was implemented, and the multiple approaches to the quest we were shown looked really great.

Last year, only the sword combat was implemented. Now, they also have polearms and daggers, and in the enemy camp we've seen a couple of guys doing some unarmed sparring with each other. Unarmed combat is non-lethal, and we were told that you can challenge most NPCs to a friendly duel if you want to.

I really like the disguise mechanic, and the stealth gameplay looked pretty damn good. Coupled with an AI that is aware of changes - such as shunning the food if they discover one of their comrades dead from poison, or sending out some men to look for the missing patrol if you kock out or kill them all - this looks to be a game where dicking around and trying out different approaches is going to be a lot of fun.

I'm really looking forward to the game and hope that most quests will be designed as openly as this one. And, as everyone who remembers Bethesda's pre-release Radiant AI videos knows, gameplay presentations like this can be treacherous. I really hope that all of this was as real and unscripted as we were made to believe. I'm willing to give Warhorse Studios the benefit of the doubt there. The presenter gave the impression that sometimes, he really didn't know what was going to happen, and the player was very cautious in his actions, especially when there was a danger of being detected - and they reloaded the game once, and NPC reactions were different each time.

This made this such an interesting presentation: they actually showed some live gameplay rather than a pre-recorded video, and this showed the dynamic elements of the gameplay, such as AI reactions, much more effectively than a pre-recorded video would've done.

If everything we were shown during this presentation makes it into the game, we'll have a real gem on our hands. Explorefags are going to love this shit.
SpellForce 3, on the other hand, was not what Bubbles had hoped for:

Bubbles: The last time we were here, we heard about a stronghold mechanic. Is that still in the game?

Dev: No. We have…really, the focus is...we have this one giant pillar of bringing these immersive RPG aspects, like character progression, abilities and items, together and merge them with the base building. You can see the dialogue window, and it isn't pausing the game. You really focus on that, that you never pause the game when we have a dialogue, and that will be the main source of the whole experience that brings it together.

Bubbles: So the stronghold is gone, basically?

Dev: Err… in the campaign there will be a hub level.

Bubbles: Like a village? Or a city?

Dev: Yes, something like that, and you can improve that... ...you'll find the master smith, and he will join you, and he will say "okay, I will make much better swords for your human army." And the human army is permanently improved from that point onward.

Bubbles: Are there still dungeon levels with lockpicking, disarming traps, and so forth?

Dev: ...no... ...there are dungeons in the game, but... there will be... ah... locked chests, and there will be a lockpicking ability, but it will be rather simple. If the lock is a certain level, and if your hero has a lockpicking ability, he can open it.

Bubbles: There was talk that the story would have political intrigue and some complex stuff in it.

Dev: We have political intrigue, but it is still a high fantasy story. It's true to the lore of Spellforce. You'll get all the elements you know and hopefully loved from the older Spellforce games in the game.​

Read the full article: RPG Codex Report: Gamescom 2016 - Mount & Blade 2, Kingdom Come, SpellForce 3, South Park 2 and more
 

Ed123

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I'm sure Grimlore will appreciate Bubbles' candour in calling their game total shit.
 
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You can see the dialogue window, and it isn't pausing the game. You really focus on that, that you never pause the game when we have a dialogue, and that will be the main source of the whole experience that brings it together.

What?
 

Ed123

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Why are there no pictures.

Like JarlFrank and Vavras sharing a bagel or something.
 

Fenix

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At least, it was fun once I figured out how to use that controller. Goddamn why couldn't they plug in a mouse and keyboard. I'm glad this game is turn based or I wouldn't have made it past the tutorial with that shitty thing. How can console players play like this?
You are my hero. :lol:
I love sincerity in people.
 
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At least, it was fun once I figured out how to use that controller. Goddamn why couldn't they plug in a mouse and keyboard. I'm glad this game is turn based or I wouldn't have made it past the tutorial with that shitty thing. How can console players play like this?
As someone who played a bunch of the classic point-and-click adventure games back on the C64 using a joystick I can sort of understand how this does not even strike you as awkward unless you have some actual hands-on experience with the alternative.
 
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At least, it was fun once I figured out how to use that controller. Goddamn why couldn't they plug in a mouse and keyboard. I'm glad this game is turn based or I wouldn't have made it past the tutorial with that shitty thing. How can console players play like this?
As someone who played a bunch of the classic point-and-click adventure games back on the C64 using a joystick I can sort of understand how this does not even strike you as awkward unless you have some actual hands-on experience with the alternative.

I actually liked the controller in The Fractured But Whole, since the gameplay seemed to be specifically designed to fit with the limited controlling options; moving was just a matter of holding left/right/up/down, there were exactly four main combat abilities to match the four main buttons, and all environmental interactions were bound to the A button. Compared to the console ports of Risen 3 and Wasteland 2, South Park 2 played very well.

My absolute worst experience with a controller came in Thimbleweed Park this year. Having to manually select each keyword, then having to caaaarefully steer the reticle onto the right sliver of pixels on the screen, realizing that I picked the wrong keyword, then having to maneuver back to another keyword, then having the steer the reticle all the way back again --- that was not fun.
 
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Raghar

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Any news about Guild 3? What about undeads, and wackiness. Also original Guild had great detail. All these floor plans that allowed to add a lot of stuff and improvenments.
 
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Bubbles

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Any news about Guild 3? What about undeads, and wackiness. Also original Guild had great detail. All these floor plans that allowed to add a lot of stuff and improvenments.

We had a 30 minute chat with the Guild 3 guy, but since Jarl's two solo reports already ran at 5,000 words, I couldn't fit it into this article. The guy also asked for a link to the report and didn't seem to know what the Codex was, so that'll be interesting.

I didn't ask about wackiness or floor plans though, because nobody asked about that in the submission thread :M
 

Raghar

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Any news about Guild 3? What about undeads, and wackiness. Also original Guild had great detail. All these floor plans that allowed to add a lot of stuff and improvenments.

We had a 30 minute chat with the Guild 3 guy, but since Jarl's two solo reports already ran at 5,000 words, I couldn't fit it into this article. The guy also asked for a link to the report and didn't seem to know what the Codex was, so that'll be interesting.

I didn't ask about wackiness or floor plans though, because nobody asked about that in the submission thread :M
I was busy and thought it was too late to ask.

(But if you want to torture them, you ask about Guild 1. They can make really long faces.)
 
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I'm sure Grimlore will appreciate Bubbles' candour in calling their game total shit.

Grimore actually seem to be doing quite well at the moment; they're currently hiring for 10 open positions, including Technical Director, Creative Director, and Lead Game Designer. Let's just hope those aren't for Spellforce 3 :M
 

thesheeep

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A shame about Spellforce 3, really.
Oh well, hope the non-shown parts turn out well at least, and I'll have some good-for-what-it-is time ;)

Something truly refreshing in this genre will probably have to come from indies.
 

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I found Mount and Blade a bit dull, but the sequel sounds promising. Kingdom Come looks like it could be very interesting. Shame about Spellforce 3, not that I had very high expectations.

I'm a bit confused by Morning Men. It could join Black Geyser in the most innuendo-laden game name list (currently solely occupied by Black Geyser).
 

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Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
I found Mount and Blade a bit dull, but the sequel sounds promising.

I found Mount and Blade mostly dull, too, which is why this presentation was a positive surprise to me. From what I've seen - and from the answers I received to my questions - it sounds like they're fixing exactly those elements that made the first game dull.

I think the move from being a game made by essentially just a two-people husband and wife team to a game with a larger team also makes a huge difference.
 

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I don't understand how can anyone muster any enthusisasm for the Spellforce seriess. It is among the most boring games I've ever played, and I tried Spellforce 1 and 2 and its standalone expansion. You can turture people with it. I'm not surprised that the 3rd piece is also going down the shitter.

Kingdom Come seems very promising, and I can't help but mention how big of a bro Vavra and his team are for putting hungarians into the game.
 

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Kingdom Come seems very promising, and I can't help but mention how big of a bro Vavra and his team are for putting hungarians into the game.

They're the enemy though and you're supposed to kill them.
We hungarians like to fuck eachother over, so it will be a familiar feeling. :D
 

Berekän

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Really excited for Bannerlord and Kingdom Come, looks like they're shaping up to be great. Also looking forward to the next Codex report.
 

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