Tue 26 September 2023 Thu 21 September 2023
Thu 21 September 2023
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 21 September 2023, 22:00:00Tags: CD Projekt; Cyberpunk 2077; Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty
Attack of the Fanboy 3.5/5, But Why Tho? 9/10
Checkpoint Gaming 8/10, Comicbook.com 4/5
Cultured Vultures 9/10, Destructoid 8.5/10
Dexerto 5/5, Digital Trends 4/5
DualShockers 9/10, Forbes 10/10
Game Informer 8.5/10, Game Rant 4.5/5
GameGrin 9.5/10, Gamepressure 9.5/10
Gamer Escape 8/10, Gamereactor UK 8/10
GamesHub 4/5, GameSkinny 9/10
GameSpew 9/10, GameSpot 10/10
GamesRadar+ 4.5/5, GAMINGbible 9/10
GamingBolt 9/10, GamingTrend 95/100
Gfinity 9/10, GGRecon 4.5/5
GLHF on Sports Illustrated 10/10, God is a Geek 10/10
Hardcore Gamer 4.5/5, Hey Poor Player 4.5/5
IGN 9/10, Impulsegamer 4.5/5
Inverse 9/10, Kotaku
Metro GameCentral 8/10, Noisy Pixel 9/10
PC Gamer 87/100, PC Invasion 3.5/10
PCGamesN 9/10, PlayStation Universe 8/10
Polygon, Press Start Australia 10/10
Pure Xbox 9/10, Push Square 9/10
Rock Paper Shotgun, RPGSite 10/10
Screen Rant 4.5/5, Stevivor 9/10
The Loadout 9/10, The Verge
TheGamer 4/5, TheXboxHub 4/5
TrueAchievements 9/10, Twinfinite 4.5/5
VGC 4/5, VideoGamer 9/10
Wccftech 9.2/10, WellPlayed 10/10
Windows Central 4.5/5, Worth Playing 9/10
Development Info - posted by Infinitron on Thu 21 September 2023, 01:03:00Tags: Paradox Interactive; The Chinese Room; Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2
This is Studio Design Director Alex Skidmore from The Chinese Room; excited to finally be able to say this out loud. I'm writing today to introduce you to our studio, its history and, in the future, the people behind making Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2.
The Chinese Room is the award-winning studio focused on telling grounded, believable and rich stories - these are the traditions behind our ground-breaking games in our portfolio, like Dear Esther and the internationally acclaimed Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. Over 100 talented game developers were all drawn here by a passion for the kind of storytelling we do. We also have a strong history of supporting diversity in our development team and our games.
In early 2020, we moved to our studio in sunny Brighton and built our award-winning mobile game Little Orpheus… a warmup for the ambitious titles ahead. Later the same year, the company moved to two narrative-focused projects, Still Wakes the Deep and V:tM - Bloodlines 2. Still Wakes the Deep builds on The Chinese Room’s heritage, and Bloodlines 2 is about looking to the future for our games, taking a big leap forward into the action role-playing genre while bringing our narrative expertise to bear.
Making Bloodlines 2
A look at TCR's portfolio shows believability is the basis for any of our game worlds, allowing greater immersion. Vampire: The Masquerade’s origins as a TTRPG and broad transmedia portfolio gave us this foundation of believability from the get-go. We love how it lets you express your monster in a world full of supernatural secrets. That just fits our style of storytelling. Bloodlines 2 asks us to believe that blood-sucking monsters could inhabit our world, that you are one of them and how would you deal with that world while navigating the darkness within. Bloodlines 2 is designed with a balance of roleplaying game and adventure story. A compelling and rich plot you’d expect from an adventure game, but with RPG agency allowing you to act out your vampire fantasy.
Throughout development, we’ve been regulars in Stockholm at World of Darkness HQ to discuss and align the opportunities for stories, characters, gameplay and crossovers that this IP gives us as creators and fans. We’re thrilled to bring World of Darkness off the page and character sheets and into an Action-RPG video game.
Feel Like a Vampire
While making decisions about Bloodlines 2, one constant reference is our first game pillar: “Feel like a Vampire”. Everything you do in this game should make you feel like a predator of the night.
In video games, we often get to be a mighty hero fighting against the darkness. Vampires, especially as playable characters, are underrepresented. We’re building the game around the experience of doing things only a Kindred can. With non-combat gameplay, we found early on we were doing the RPG tropes: find a keycard to open a door, turn on a generator to restore power to a lift. We put in a rule that the non-combat gameplay should be about something only a vampire could do; keep it aspirational.
When we were exploring combat, it started off playing like Dishonored (which we love), but that didn’t feel right for a vampire: players were very cautious and afraid of the enemies they encountered. To us, a Kindred should stalk its prey and strike fearlessly like a predator. We want to build an action experience where players feel confident, almost trolling the enemies with their disciplines. Testers use the phrase “playing with your food,” which we love and illustrates how we think a Vampire: The Masquerade ARPG should feel has come up in playthroughs.
Most action games offer a power fantasy; I like to call ours a confidence fantasy. When you have a supernatural edge and immortality to back you up, there should be a sense of “I know what is going on and, I can control this situation.” We want to give you the tools to do that in combat, conversations, or travelling across the city. When they come together, you should be immersed in the feeling of being a Vampire.
We have two more game pillars. “Visceral, Immersive Combat” and “Exploring the World of Darkness”. We’ll explore these in-depth later down the line.
We look forward to telling you more. Until then, good night!
Alex Skidmore, Studio Design Director
We’re all working hard to make this game amazing because we love Vampire: The Masquerade and the chance to tell impactful stories. We know you’ve been waiting a while, so we’re dedicated to honesty and keeping you informed. Together with Paradox, we will give you as much info about the game as we can without spoilers and always tell you when the next update will happen and what it will be about.
Our next Dev Diary will be about the “Narrative Themes and Atmosphere.” You will learn more about our Neo-Noir thriller story and how the World of Darkness threatens to spill over into the mortal world… In just two weeks!
Fri 15 September 2023
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 15 September 2023, 16:04:35Tags: Digital Eclipse; Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord (Digital Eclipse Remake)
Today the studio is thrilled to announce the availability of Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord -- a 3D re-imagining of the classic dungeon-crawler that launched the immortal Wizardry series of role-playing games. This is Digital Eclipse's first early-access game, and that bold step comes with a lot of questions, for both us and our players. Hopefully this FAQ will address most concerns, but by all means, let us know what other questions you might have -- we will answer them as best we can!
What is Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord?
Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord was one of the first computer role-playing games. Released in 1981 for the Apple II, it set a standard for the RPG genre, inspiring many other dungeon-crawlers in the decades that followed. The 2023 edition is an all-new remake by Digital Eclipse, running in the Unreal Engine, but based on the original Apple II code.
Why revisit this game?
While the first game's innovations were huge, those pioneering steps did take place more than 40 years ago. As a result, the first game in the Wizardry series has many barriers to entry. Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord is Digital Eclipse's attempt to preserve the original gameplay (and the original difficulty) but present it with the rich graphics, streamlined controls, and other modern features that today's RPG players have come to expect. It's intended as both a restoration and a reimagining of the original Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord, one that is built for modern gaming hardware and lets players experience a true classic in the most comfortable way possible.
Where can I get the game?
The Early Access version of Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord is downloadable at Good Old Games and Steam.
Why is this being released via Early Access?
After two years in development, we're ready to share what we're working on with the community. We know there are devoted fans of this franchise worldwide, and it means something different to each of them. We want feedback from as many players as we can get, so we can incorporate as many improvements as possible before we bring this ambitious project to completion.
How much of the game will be functional during Early Access?
The entire core game is playable, though there will likely be some bugs. Additionally, some visual elements are not 100 percent complete. The team is still working on additional environment and object textures, audio elements, and character animations; some existing elements will be replaced or upgraded during development. Incomplete assets are marked with a special "yellow tools" icon to let you know they are still in active development.
Some elements may change or stop working during the development process. Save games, for instance, are something that could break between major updates, although we will make every effort to avoid this. During Early Access, Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord should be considered an early build that you can play before it's done, so you should expect and prepare for some inconveniences associated with a work in progress. If you would prefer not to encounter those elements, you may be more comfortable wishlisting the title and waiting until work is completed.
Will the price go up later?
Yes. As the team adds more content to the project, the price will increase. Anyone who has already bought the game during Early Access will receive that additional content at no additional fee; it will simply arrive in title updates and will not be packaged as optional downloadable content.
How long will the Early Access period last? What is the target ship date?
Based on current scope and resources, the dev team anticipates that Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord will be content-complete and leave Early Access before the end of 2024. However, this is far from a guaranteed commitment, as there are often unforeseen factors and various surprises that might lengthen the development process. As we navigate changes and obstacles, we will keep the community informed.
Thu 14 September 2023
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 14 September 2023, 20:32:03Tags: CD Projekt; Cyberpunk 2077; Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty
Wed 13 September 2023
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 13 September 2023, 18:27:31Tags: Owlcat Games; Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader
Tue 12 September 2023
Mon 11 September 2023
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 11 September 2023, 18:58:46Tags: Dustgrave; Innervoid Interactive
Publisher Digital Tribe and indie studio Innervoid Interactive announce today the sandbox RPG Dustgrave, which will be published on Steam in 2024. The crumbling of the Dahlan Empire brought times of struggle, times of war, hunger and plague – but also of opportunity for those strong and brave enough to carve their own path with sword and wits. You can be one of these adventurers and mercenaries who venture into this trouble land and leave a mark – as a criminal or a hero; a wise scholar or a hard worker; a holy man or just a mercenary: the choice is yours!
Dustgrave offers players total freedom in a true sandbox RPG experience, with eye-catching cell-shaded watercolor art and a deep turn-based combat system. You play as a band of adventurers in the ravaged lands of the former Dahlan Empire: you can create and customize your characters with an advanced character editor, and then choose your own way without limits. The world will react accordingly to your deeds and decisions: an advanced record & relationship system that tracks every event in the world, and then every NPC reacts to what they know about you depending on their morality and current allegiances.
Dustgrave features a deep turn-based combat system that allows you many different combinations of skills and items, offering players endless options of great tactical depth. But you will also have an advanced stealth system in your hands, which allows you to approach problems using your wits rather than your steel: you can break into secure places to find clues, steal treasures, or assassinate your mark without leaving a trace.
Thu 7 September 2023
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 7 September 2023, 20:15:38Tags: BEAST; False Prophet
False Prophet Announces BEAST
Delve into the insanity of the plague-ridden dark ages in this turn-based tactical RPG where the player sets the boundary of playing as a hero or a monster. Will you exercise or exorcise your inner beast?
Anton Sabbados, a battle-hardened veteran, returns home after years of captivity, is appointed by the enigmatic king-prophet Lurius to lead a mission against a deadly plague.
Anton and his team embark on a perilous journey through the plague-infested Carpathian Mountains where gathering allies, weapons and equipment will be critical for success in gridless combat against a variety of deadly enemies.
Amidst this chaos, Anton wrestles with inner demons and haunting memories. Reality blurs with nightmares of war in each confrontation. He must make a difficult choice. Embrace unearthly powers but risk a descent into darkness, or choose restraint, preserving his sanity and the wellbeing of his team. In BEAST the player must exercise or exorcise their inner beast!
Elevate Tactical RPG Gameplay with Moral Choices and Gridless Combat
With up to 40 hours of gameplay, BEAST offers a revolutionary take on the tactical RPG genre by introducing moral choices that dynamically influence both combat and narrative outcomes. Engage in fast-paced, gridless turn-based tactical battles. You must choose either to unleash your inner demon for a short-term gain or restrain it, striving for long-term sanity and control.
From the Founder's Desk
"Developing BEAST has been nothing short of a transformational experience for us," says Piotr Pacynko, Founder of False Prophet. "We are pushing the boundaries of tactical RPGs by offering unprecedented gameplay mechanics and a rich, mature narrative. Our team of over 30 dedicated professionals has meticulously crafted this atmospheric experience, and we can't wait for players to step into this complex, morally ambiguous world."
BEAST will be available in multiple languages for PC through Steam (with Steam Deck support as well) in 2024. We invite you to add BEAST to your Steam Wishlist.
Wed 6 September 2023
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 6 September 2023, 19:28:56Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Starfield
Starfield is available now!
Time to jump into Bethesda Game Studios’ first new universe in over 25 years. Create your character and explore the stars with unparalleled freedom as you embark on an epic journey to answer humanity’s greatest mystery.
Starfield is now available on Xbox Series X|S and PC. Play it now with Game Pass.
A letter from Bethesda Game Studios
To all of you who have supported us over the many years and games, a heartfelt THANK YOU for all of your passion and energy for Starfield. We would not have gotten to this moment without it.
It seems like forever ago that we first started talking about making a grand space RPG. It never seemed feasible, and we had been lucky enough to create games we (and all of you fortunately!) loved in The Elder Scrolls and Fallout series. Yet, we couldn’t shake the idea of exploring the galaxy in ways that only video games could do. And so, we took the leap to create not just our first new IP in over 25 years, but our most ambitious.
All of us here at Bethesda poured ourselves into this game, and through the ups and downs of development, you kept us going. Your messages of encouragement or stories of how our games affected you, kept reminding us how important it is.
Thank you for making video games the best community and entertainment form in the world. Thank you for allowing us to chase our dreams and create them. Creating Starfield has been one of the most challenging and thrilling experiences of our careers - a journey we'll never forget. And as we come to the end of this chapter, we pass it along to you, where the real journey can now begin - yours. We hope it’s as rewarding as ours. We can’t wait for you to play.
All our best,
Bethesda Game Studios
Sun 3 September 2023
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sun 3 September 2023, 00:40:14Tags: Paradox Interactive; The Chinese Room; Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2
SEATTLE – September 2, 2023 – Paradox Interactive announced that The Chinese Room, a Sumo Digital studio, is developing the highly-anticipated Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 during today’s PAX West keynote. The Chinese Room brings their award-winning storytelling to Bloodlines 2, creating a high-quality Vampire: The Masquerade action RPG by talented developers with triple-A experience. Fans eager to sink their teeth into Bloodlines 2 can look forward to the gameplay reveal in January 2024 and its launch in Fall 2024.
The Chinese Room is known for creating ground-breaking first-person titles that have won awards from BAFTA, TIGA, and more for their emotionally rich narratives. The studio’s world-class background makes them well-equipped to tell a Vampire story set in modern Seattle reimagined for a World of Darkness action RPG.
“Vampire: The Masquerade holds a special place in our hearts. The story world’s dark setting filled with intricate narratives built on top of modern society perfectly fits our studio’s catalog,” Ed Daly, Studio Director at The Chinese Room, said. “Bloodlines 2 is our most ambitious project to date. Fans of the franchise have been eagerly awaiting this game, and we are up to the challenge. We are bringing more than 15 years of award-winning experience to the project, creating a game that honors the legacy of its predecessor while bringing its gameplay to the modern era.”
“We were immediately impressed when we saw The Chinese Room’s proposal for Bloodlines 2. They have a true passion for the source material, making them ideal partners to develop a story in the Vampire: The Masquerade setting that resonates with players,” Sean Greaney, Vice President of World of Darkness at publisher Paradox Interactive, said. “We are committed to making Bloodlines 2 a success. Bringing on a studio that shares our vision was critical to helping us achieve these goals. Fans of the franchise can rest assured knowing that Bloodlines 2 is in good hands, and we will have more to share with you in January.”
Bloodlines 2 is the successor to the cult-classic Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines. Bloodlines 2 takes players to the dark underbelly of Seattle, where vampires struggle for survival and supremacy. As an Elder vampire, players meet compelling characters, maneuver complex political relationships, stalk the city streets for prey, and engage in intense combat while balancing the need for blood. Throughout the game, players must always be mindful of their surroundings or risk breaking the Masquerade – the absolute law of secrecy that keeps vampire society hidden from humanity.
To learn more about Bloodlines 2, visit the official website, follow #Bloodlines2 on all social media platforms, and join the community on the game’s Discord.
You can find the press kit here.
Sat 2 September 2023
Codex Review - posted by Infinitron on Sat 2 September 2023, 19:53:15Tags: Black Book; Morteshka
Black Book is a "dark RPG adventure" released in 2021 by Russian indie studio Morteshka, in which you play a young village witch in 19th century Russia. We didn't cover the game on the Codex front page at all (card-based combat isn't really our thing) but it did find a handful of fans on the forum. One of these is esteemed user BosanskiSeljak, who decided to contribute a review. He finds Black Book a worthwhile title for fans of setting and atmosphere, although it sounds like its mechanics are pretty basic. Here's an excerpt:
Once the game picks up, you’re given a surprisingly well thought out & fluid core story/gameplay loop. Your main base is your Grandfather’s Izba (traditional country home) which houses your Grandfather, any companions picked up along the way and is the place to manage everything related to your character. To top it off, you get the true Ruskiy roleplaying experience of playing Durak with a bunch of old men. Once the day starts, you will assume the role as the local Koldun, dealing with visiting peasants/villagers asking you to solve their problems.
Each adventure starts with a main goal related to the plot, usually through a visiting NPC at your Izba. It’s not terribly subtle considering your Grandfather will chime in and outright say there’s a chance you’ll run into something you need. However, you never know where the adventure will take you, or what to expect. You’re presented with a map highlighting where you need to go, and the stops along the way, including detours for hidden quests, combat & lore.
However, the pacing really shines here, with the game never letting you get too comfortable. The second any feeling of repetitiveness or boredom starts to creep up, you find yourself stuck somewhere unfamiliar, sometimes for an entire chapter. On top of story pacing, gameplay changes wildly as well. From typical countryside exploration, to solving a village mystery, to escorting caravans, all the way to dungeons. Another point for atmosphere in this regard, because making it back from your journey really emphasizes the feeling of being at home.
No good a time as this to point out this is not an open-world, walking simulator, sandbox exploration. You travel on the map, reach your location, and more often than not deal with your problems through dialogue unless you trigger a combat encounter. Experience gained, items & lore received; you can now go on your merry way.
Final destinations differ slightly from the formula, many times forcing you to deal with pseudo-dungeons. Most commonly you find yourself on a plot of land to navigate and investigate, eventually leading to a dungeon. This was not the main focus of the game, so it’s nothing special in and of itself. No 4-hour dungeon crawling for you! Consequently, their size and narrow focus avoids the sin many games make by keeping you locked in trash encounter hell for hours at a time between the same grey walls. Instead, the dungeon stays true to the exploration you experience on the surface with small side areas providing lore and occasional combat. Even better, the aesthetics vary wildly due to the variety of places you visit. Forests, beneath a lake, villages, underground lairs, even Hell itself all make an appearance. In some cases, these dungeons can last for days of game time, keeping you away from the Izba & your regular compatriots.
With this loop Morteshka nailed the pacing, providing the player with nearly 0 filler content. As a result, nearly 99% of the game time will be dialogue, combat, reading & managing gameplay elements. It’s not the best exploration, its not the most innovative, but it does the job very well for what it’s trying to achieve.
Read the full article: RPG Codex Review: Black Book
Fri 1 September 2023
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 1 September 2023, 22:06:49Tags: Lost Eidolons: Veil of the Witch; Ocean Drive Studio
What kind of game is "Veil of the Witch"?
Veil of the Witch is a turn-based tactical RPG with rogue-lite elements. It takes place in the same world as Lost Eidolons, and is set shortly after the events of the first game. But it's an entirely standalone experience you don't need any prior knowledge to play.
Fans of the first game will find Veil of the Witch to be a tighter, more focused game, that offers more of what they love with less friction in between.
New players will find a rich world and characters, a fast and gritty combat system, and an addictive, looping structure that sets the game apart from the rest of the genre.
I'm confident the game will speak for itself.
What's changed since Lost Eidolons?
In one word: speed.
Lost Eidolons was a linear, story-driven RPG that unfolds gradually. Veil of the Witch, on the other hand, is fast, gameplay-driven, and hits the ground running immediately. One of the most immediate changes is that we've done away with sprawling class trees that take 30 hours to get to the cool stuff.
In Veil of the Witch, things are much more stripped-down. Each character has a single class, with fixed weapons and armor, and a very specific playstyle. There's still progression and choices to be made (skills to unlock, gear to be upgraded, and so on) but generally it's all a lot tighter and more focused now.
We've also made a number of changes to the combat system itself, and the game's overall structure is radically different from Lost Eidolons. I'll save the details for another day, but for now I'll simply say that I'm a huge fan of games like Hades and Slay the Spire, and they've had a huge influence on Veil of the Witch.
The result of all this is a leaner, meaner game with more excitement, greater strategic depth, and the freedom to approach battles how you decide.
But this doesn't mean the story experience isn't important to us. Like much of the rest of the game, our approach to narrative this time around is: "Less is more". We've got a great setting, a tight cast of characters people will love, and a new approach to story presentation that (while sparse) we're hoping will be a lot more effective.
Oh, and we've taken the art direction for characters and UI in a completely new direction. I personally love how this game looks, and I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it soon.
Wed 30 August 2023
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 30 August 2023, 01:20:58Tags: Baldur's Gate 3; Larian Studios
Since launching last month, a lot of tweaks and updates can already be seen in Baldur's Gate 3. Over the past few weeks we've chased down bugs, polished up some cinematics, and used your feedback to help organize our thoughts and inform our plans going forward. The first major patch just launched, solving over 1000 bugs to hopefully make Baldur’s Gate 3 an even better experience. But it was still a patch designed primarily to squash bugs.
We want to go further than that. We now find ourselves at a time where we’re able to properly sit down and consider how to parse feedback beyond bug fixing and UX tweaks. Patch 2 is just around the corner, and while it does include bug fixes, it also includes substantial performance improvements for the first time since launch. Perhaps more notably, we’re adding better closure to the story’s final act in the form of a more fleshed-out ending for Karlach - something many of you have been asking for.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take a moment to focus on a conversation some of you have been having in the background. Many of the points that come out of this conversation are being funneled into the umbrella term of ‘cut content’, so we thought it would be helpful to give you some clarity about that as we think about the future of Baldur’s Gate 3.
We went through many different threads and reviews with our community teams, and we think we’ve managed to truncate the discussion about cut content and Act 3 into three topics: Performance, Bugs, and User Experience.
User Experience. UX covers a lot of things: from how it feels to play the game, to how you feel when you’re playing it. Baldur’s Gate 3 is a game 3 years in Early Access and 6 years in the making. Many of the ‘building blocks’ or ideas, tests, or however you want to refer to the junk data that falls outside of what we shipped with, can and is being datamined. That’s okay, but it’s important to understand that not every building block in the giant box of Lego is needed to create the experience we ultimately envisioned and intended over years of iteration.
We’ve seen three types of complaints that are being referred to as cut content:
The first references content that actually doesn’t properly trigger because of a bug, for instance some of Minthara’s reactivity. We’ve located what’s causing that and are working on it - expect a fix for this soon.
The second is about the epilogue. What’s been datamined is not really cut content but content that we didn’t want to release because we didn’t think it worked. We’re pretty strict with ourselves and our ideas. If it isn’t good - if it isn’t fun to play - it doesn’t make it into the game. One of the reasons why we trimmed the epilogue is because we were afraid the ending cinematics were becoming too long and would detract from the epicness of the experience. But clearly, not everyone agrees with us! So we’re going to do something about it.
We’ve started expanding the epilogues and you’ll see the first results of that in Patch 2 with the addition of a new optional ending with Karlach. It’s fiery, poignant, and gives her the ending she deserves.
The third is about the things we actually didn’t plan for, and those we once considered but ultimately didn’t do.
It was always our intention for the Upper City to be an epic, cinematic epilogue bringing the story of Baldur’s Gate 3 to a close. But we didn’t talk about that in advance because it would have been a major spoiler.
We feel confident that there’s enough content in Baldur’s Gate 3, and the city itself, clocking in weeks-long playthroughs at a time. But that’s not to say Baldur’s Gate 3 didn’t see cuts just as every game. It’s just important to know that what ultimately shipped was planned long ago, in function primarily of making Baldur’s Gate 3 fun to play, not for us to close development quickly.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is a game with many release dates, and despite us moving its launch up by around a month, it’s still a couple years late. It was late because we grew teams, ambition, and ideas in function of it being the best game it could possibly be. Thankfully, not every idea makes it into the final launch. It wouldn’t be the game you enjoy if they did.
We’re happy that Baldur’s Gate 3 has resonated with a great many of you, but we’ll never take that for granted. We’re committed to tying up loose ends, fixing the remaining bugs, and improving things where we see they could - and should - be improved.
Tue 29 August 2023
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 29 August 2023, 23:33:30Tags: Dreamate Games; Fulqrum Publishing; New Arc Line
Ukrainian development studio Dreamate and Fulqrum have announced New Arc Line, a fantasy steampunk CRPG due out in 2024 for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S. Check out the reveal trailer above and the first screenshots in the gallery below.
New Arc Line is set in its fictional world's gilded age of magic and technology. Dreamate says you'll "invent deadly gadgets or master the arcane arts, fight, steal or smooth-talk your way to the top, make foes and allies, fall in love, get involved in a massive conspiracy, and influence the course of history."
Combat is tactical and turn-based, with you commanding your customized character and the party you recruit. You can be as good or as bad as you want to be as you explore New Arc Line's diverse world that spans everything from magical forests to seedy back alleys and everything in between.
Dreamate describes New Arc Line as a "story-rich single-player RPG." We'll have more on this game as development progresses.
Sat 26 August 2023
Codex Review - posted by Infinitron on Sat 26 August 2023, 18:31:32Tags: Haemimont Games; Jagged Alliance 3; THQ Nordic
In retrospect, it's pretty wild that the long-awaited third installments of two different beloved roleplaying series from the 1990s were released within the span of three weeks this year. Haemimont Games' Jagged Alliance 3 has now been completely overshadowed by that other game, but given the franchise's track record over the past two decades, their achievement is no less impressive. A Jagged Alliance sequel received with near-unanimous positivity on our forums (give or take an ArchAngel). Such a feat could not go unrecognized, and so we present our extensive review, written by talented community member Strange Fellow. He finds that despite certain questionable combat mechanics, occasionally overly campy writing, and an overabundance of loot containers, Haemimont's game is a Jagged Alliance title worthy of the name. Here's an excerpt:
You’ll spend a lot of time juggling operations in the strategic view, but the real meat of the game takes place in the tactical view, where you control each individual mercenary in turn-based combat. This is where Jagged Alliance made a name for itself, and where any sequel absolutely needs to deliver.
And what do you know – it does. The game once again copies a number of its systems from Jagged Alliance 2, and since that is probably the pinnacle of the genre, as you’d expect it all works very nicely. The control you have over your mercenaries is very granular, and you can specify everything from whether they should be running, crouching or lying down, to exactly how many action points they should spend zeroing in on an enemy, as well as what part of the body to aim for. Unconventionally (though not for the franchise), chance to hit is not displayed, and you will have to eyeball each shot, while mercs provide helpful comments whenever they think a shot is likely to succeed or fail. It’s a great system, which strikes a good balance between uncertainty and feedback, and it’s nice to see it make its return.
There are other such nuances to the combat as well, which are not new to the series but are rarely seen elsewhere, especially these days. With the option to target body parts comes location-specific damage; so a shot to the leg will decrease movement, a shot to the arms will decrease accuracy, and so on. Guns fire bullets with real trajectories and real penetration, which means that a missed shot might hit something else, or a shot with a high-penetration weapon might travel right through the target and hit something else behind him. Cover can be destroyed, visual contact can be broken with smoke, characters can be suppressed by gunfire and flashbangs, and combatants can get panicked and lose their turn entirely.
Energy and morale are also in, although the energy and morale metres of the previous game have been replaced by a ladder of cumulative status effects. If forced to operate for a long time without a break, mercs will gain the “Tired” status, reducing their maximum action points by 1. If forced to keep going, they will eventually become “Exhausted”, losing another action point. On top of that, exhausted characters are liable to fall unconscious if they’re hit with more energy-draining attacks. Likewise with morale: it can drop to low or very low, decreasing AP, if mercs take significant damage or if someone dies, and rise when mercs score good kills, complete quests or progress in the campaign. Overall, the effect works out to be about the same as in the previous game, if presented in a slightly more cumbersome way.
One aspect of combat that deserves particular praise is the level of environmental destruction the game supports. You can break a lot of scenery in Jagged Alliance 3. Certain things you will not be able to blow up, such as the skeletons of larger buildings as well as bridges and other things essential to the traversability of the map. Still, the level of damage that you can do to most structures is impressive and a delight to play with. Level the second floor of a building with a rocket launcher, and have enemies rain down from above into the waiting arms of your knife-wielding melee specialist on the first floor. Blow the roof off a building with a grenade, then chuck a second one through the hole into the cluster of enemies huddled inside. It is simply great fun, and makes explosives specialists very valuable additions to your team, quite apart from their direct damage potential. There are plenty of sector designs that provide good opportunities to make use of their potential, too. It doesn’t reach the level of mayhem that you can cause in X-COM: Apocalypse or Silent Storm – the kings of the genre if all you want to do is raze the entire map – but it’s miles above most of the competition.
[...] There are other issues as well, and the most serious ones all have to do with how combat is initiated. Firstly, there’s the matter of stealth mode, and more broadly, enemy awareness in general. Enemies in this game are deaf, dumb and blind to a ridiculous degree. The vision range of your own mercs is more than twice as long as that of the enemies, which ensures that you'll always spot them before they spot you. Even in broad daylight you can freely run around in the open without having to be particularly careful. Engage stealth mode as well, which at the cost of movement speed makes your mercs even harder to detect, and you can run rings around enemies without them noticing. Now add the detection system, where enemies have detection bars that need to fill up before they’re considered to have spotted you, and the result is that the only time you won’t get to initiate combat yourself is if a patrol happens to walk right into one of your mercs while you’re busy controlling someone else.
And that’s not all. Alongside the stealth system there is a stealth kill system. Essentially, there is a percentage chance of an attack made from stealth to result in an instant kill. There are mercs who via perks and high stats have a higher chance of achieving stealth kills, and with these you are all but guaranteed that the first attack you make results in a fatality. Did I mention that you can re-enter stealth in the middle of combat? And that silenced weapons are so easy to come by that you can have several after the very first tutorial sector? It is an absurd system, and fundamentally warps balance in favour of long-range weapons – sniper rifles, in other words. The tragedy is that the balance in the utility of different weapon types is quite good otherwise, and every weapon type has its niche. It is a shame that by far the best strategy in terms of preserving the safety of your mercs is to ignore them. Perhaps bring along a single machine gun when things get hairy, but otherwise stick to silenced rifles and pick enemies off from stealth. The game doesn’t have to be played this way, but any other approach is far, far more likely to land your mercs in trouble.
The developers obviously realised that setting up devastating stealth ambushes was inordinately powerful, so they came up with a solution. Unfortunately their solution is, once again, terrible. What they did was allow the enemies a small quasi-turn at the beginning of combat to reposition themselves. In other words, whenever you start combat by shooting a bad guy, all his friends are allowed a moment to scurry for cover without there being anything you can do about it. This destroys any potential of a well-executed ambush – or it would, if you could not set up overwatch over every enemy and watch them get shot as they do their little scramble. In any case, it takes away your control of the situation. It would seem to be a natural thing, in a game about tactical operations with a small squad of elite soldiers who are vastly outnumbered, to reward the player for setting up a good ambush. Clearly, though, in Jagged Alliance 3 this is so absurdly easy to do that the player can’t be allowed to do it, so control must be taken away from him in however arbitrary a fashion. This is a textbook example of how bad design begets bad design.
Read the full article: RPG Codex Review: Jagged Alliance 3
Thu 24 August 2023
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 24 August 2023, 23:00:00Tags: Alexander Mishulin; Owlcat Games; Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 24 August 2023, 22:00:00Tags: Action Squad Studios; Edge of War
Why Early Access?
Edge of War's journey began in spring 2020 with a passionate, small team that has since grown to 15 dedicated members. By 2022, we were elated to secure a publishing deal for a 2024 release. Yet, the tides turned unexpectedly in 2023, when our agreement was cut short due to unforeseen circumstances within the publisher's domain.
Faced with these challenges, our path shifted. While full-time development became untenable, our commitment to Edge of War remained unwavering. A few of us, fueled by passion and a shared vision, have chosen to champion this game during our personal hours, aspiring to realize its full potential.
The road to Early Access was steep, driven by our determination not to let the game fade into obscurity. Now, more than ever, the feedback and camaraderie of our community are paramount. We're unveiling Edge of War to you not just as a game, but as a shared journey. Together, in the fragments of our free time, let's shape its destiny.
Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?
Edge of War will be in Early Access for a while and we are expecting the full release to happen by the end of 2025. We will keep updating the game and its content as much as we can during this period. The reception and popularity of the game will affect the progress of development timeline.
How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?
The heart of Edge of War lies in its emergent storytelling—a dynamic canvas where players craft their individual tales within our expansive world. But like any great tale, our game has its chapters yet to be written.
Upon our unforeseen pivot from traditional publishing, we solidified the game's foundational mechanics: thrilling combat and adventurous explorations. Yet, the depth of our world-building and narrative intricacies are still blossoming.
Imagine Edge of War as a sumptuous feast. We've prepared the appetizers and set the table, but the main course—our rich narrative experience—is still simmering.
Beyond story, other game elements await refinement and introduction. Elements like strategic traps, nuanced character personalities, and a vibrant world that cycles through seasons, affecting visuals and gameplay mechanics. While our Early Access version offers a glimpse into one season, the complete journey spans an entire in-game year. And while characters can currently progress to level 7, the envisioned cap stretches between levels 20 to 30.
We acknowledge that certain features, including polish, tutorials, and user-interface enhancements, might not yet meet player expectations. This translates into a steeper learning curve, with some in-game knowledge possibly requiring external sources.
While our vision for Edge of War is grand, we understand it's currently a work in progress. As you consider joining us in Early Access, recognize both the potential and the present state of the game. While it's an exciting opportunity to co-create, experience, and shape the narrative, it's essential to approach with a clear understanding of the game's current limitations. We cherish our community, and we'd rather you embark on this journey with us fully informed than risk any misplaced expectations. Your decision now will play a vital role in the legacy of Edge of War.
Wed 23 August 2023
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 23 August 2023, 20:14:44Tags: Dark Envoy; Event Horizon