With the wheels turning in earnest on the next Mass Effect, producer Mike Gamble wants to know what fans are really looking for from the game. To that end, he tweeted a link to a brief survey last night that asks about the RPGs you play, how much time you sink into them and what it is about them that you find so darn interesting.
Blood conducts electricity. Of course it does. My supposedly single-target lightning spell arcs from mage to skeleton and on to the ground, where it touches the splattered byproduct of the ongoing melee. From there it reaches my rogue, my warrior, my archer. My entire party is electrocuted in a single moment's miscalculation, and I learn another hard lesson about Divinity: Original Sin's commitment to its own brand of realism.
Obsidian's old-school RPG Pillars of Eternity is slowly but surely coming into the home stretch, and in fact the initial round of beta testing isn't much more than a month away—but only for those who backed the game on Kickstarter.
Hold position troops! Before you go charging towards Mount and Blade: Warband's Steam page, at least finish this paragraph. The mostly excellent, somewhat rough-around-the-edges RPG is now free to try until Sunday, 1pm PDT. And for those intent on conquering its brand of questing, troop-management and tactical battling, the game is 75% off until Monday.
In addition, the game now offers Steam Workshop support—hopefully meaning its wealth of great mods will soon be available for easier install.
Early Access releases on Steam can be a bit dicey, the state of pre-release games always being something of a crapshoot, but there are sometimes big upsides, too. Wasteland 2 is one example of a game that was particularly well-served by its Early Access release late last year: In the most recent Kickstarter update, project lead Chris Keenan wrote that "every penny" earned through pre-release sales was put back into the game, which has helped double its initial Kickstarter budget.
If you played Divinity: Original Sin in its pre-release days, you may have noticed a very active little chat window down in the corner of the screen. You may also have noticed that in the full release edition, it's no longer there. Larian Studios actually revealed on Steam last week that it had switched off the global chat "as there was just a bit too much profanity and insulting," but as studio boss Swen Vincke told Kotaku, the real situation was a bit more than just a bit much.
No matter how tough or Greyspawn-ridden the world gets, most problems can be solved with a good hug. I'm going to stick my neck out and say that 90% of the original Dragon Age's grim fantasy story could have been avoided if the Grey Wardens had just given their age-old foes a lovely embrace, followed by a cosy chat to iron out their differences. That unfortunately wasn't possible in the first of Bioware's series, but you will be able to do some manner of hugging in Inquisition. Not with the Greyspawn - not even with those fluffy, cuddly werewolves - but with some of your companions. That and other titbits have emerged from a recent Q and A on the vowel-phobic Raptr, in which fans asked Bioware questions, and they answered. The juiciest morsels are below.
I've become quite a fan of these narrated game trailers, which show a decent chunk of in-game footage while developer or PR types talk over the top. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel had one for PAX earlier this year, and they've done another one for E3. That video is below. Don't expect too many surprises, but do expect lots of low-gravity silliness, including high jumps, methane ruptures, and bad guys floating off into space.
InSomnia's first go-around with Kickstarter came to an unhappy end in November 2013 when the developer, Studio Mono, pulled the plug after raising a little over $5000 toward a $70,000 goal. Now it's back, with a tweaked campaign, a playable demo and a clear message that it is not an MMO.
Divinity: Original Sin launched a few days ago and so far it seems to be doing very well for itself. It's the fastest-selling game Larian Studios has ever published, and studio boss Swen Vincke told Eurogamer that it's definitely going to break even and might even pull in enough profit to finance Larian's next project. As for what that might be, he said the team still has to figure that out.
When we last caught up with Skywind, it was for its second official development diary. But as interesting as the internal workings of this Skyrim mod team are, I'm more interested in the results—a full recreation of Morrowind in Bethesda's latest engine. You can see how far the team have come in this new trailer, which not only provides long and sweeping shots of its alien locations, but also gives a look at the creatures and clutter that will populate the renewed world.
It's hard to overstate just how good Ultima Underworld was. Its connection to the Ultima continuity was perhaps tenuous, but as a story-driven dungeon crawl it was, and is, unparalleled. For years, it's been my go-to answer to the question, "Which old game should be remade for modern systems?" and so you can imagine just how tickled I am about the news of Ultima Ascension, a new project headed by original Underworld designer Paul Neurath.
Bioware have spent a lot of time showing off the locales of Dragon Age: Inquisition—likely hoping to reassure us it has more areas than just That Cave from Dragon Age 2. But locations are just one aspect of a Bioware RPG. The other aspect is who you'll be romancing. In a recent profile by Bioware's David Gaider, the studio introduced Dorian, their first "fully gay" male party member and the first gay character the lead writer has written.
Never fear, because Cube World is still coming. We know, because after a prolonged and eerie silence Picroma has released a new video detailing what the studio has been busy working on. The studio warns that it is still "adding more variations and content to the quests" and that the footage below is not final.
Written by Angelina Bellebuono. Angelina is a photographer and writer living in rural Georgia. This is a combination personal essay and interview about To the Moon and creator Kan Gao. Because it discusses the story and themes of the game, there will be spoilers.
The opening graphics in Kan Gao’s To the Moon reveal starlight first, then moonbeam, before steadying into a night sky and a lighthouse in the bottom left corner of my laptop screen. The game has been out for almost three years, but it’s new to me. And I know only a morsel more about video games than I did a few months ago when I used my goat-farming experience to review Goat Simulator. I expect To the Moon will transport me farther afield, into much more serious terrain.
But I do not anticipate the deeply layered plot or the complex characters. I do not predict that a video game will hold me spellbound for five hours straight, and I certainly don’t imagine that I will have an equally riveting, two-hour conversation with Kan Gao. But I do know, from the opening lines of dialogue and the first notes of Gao’s mysterious, magical soundtrack, that I will not just be entertained—I sense immediately that spending time in Gao’s world will be an experience worth my time. This will be a different kind of adventure, I think, traveling to the moon and back.
Every few months, I get ambitious; abandoning my modest selection of must-have Skyrim mods, and embarking on a grand plan to build it into something impossibly beautiful. Inevitably, it all goes wrong. The lighting isn't quite right, the distant mountains look a bit off, or whole sections of water have just vanished. But its videos like this—a showcase of what can be achieved with RealVision ENB—that make me want to try all over again.
With hundreds of thousands of Early Access games sprouting every second, it stands to reason that, sooner or later, some of them will eventually bloom into full games. For faux-isometric RPG Divinity: Original Sin, that transformation will take place on June 30th. To prepare, its creators have released a new trailer, additional details on its flexible editor, and—in accordance with prevailing gaming trends—the existence of something called Cow Simulator 2014.
NB: while the leaked files do contain spoilers, this article will not.
The Witcher 3's release was recently pushed back into early next year, drastically reducing 2014's tally of mammoth RPGs. Perhaps it's that unbearable delay that has led to this: the leaking of design documents covering many aspects of the game. The files were taken from a CD Projekt Red employee's hacked Google Drive account, and now various details are being shared among sites such as Reddit.
Beta backers for Wasteland 2 have been touring the early access opening half of the game since December. At this point, they're grizzled, bearded veterans, well versed in a dangerous and deadly landscape. In response, InXile are opening the doors to fresh meat: anyone who pledged for a digital copy of the game will soon have access to this early preview build.
Dragon Age: Inquisition Producer Cameron Lee tweeted last week that the game will offer "40 major endings," each spiced with additional variations depending on the choices the player makes throughout the course of the game. That's a serious cornucopia of endings, and a stark contrast to that other big BioWare RPG franchise that wrapped up on a somewhat less variable note. But BioWare's Mark Darrah stepped in shortly thereafter to clarify that 40 "major" endings does not mean 40 "unique" endings.