Action RPG

Indie RPG Chasm leaps over Kickstarter goal

Tom Sykes at

I couldn't be more delighted with the news that the promising Chasm has met its Kickstarter target - and not just because it gave me an excuse to use that exciting headline. OK, so it's mostly that, but I also like the cut of the action RPG's jib. The Symphony of the Night/Zelda/Diablo-inspired sidescroller has brought in all $150,000 required to make the game happen. It's still a few...hundred thousand dollars shy of achieving all its stretch goals, but there are five days to go before Mr Kickstarter bangs his power-gavel and declares Chasm's funding campaign "OOOOOVEERRRRR". Also: Mr Kickstarter is a robot.

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing shows off Katarina, your ghostly companion

Tom Sykes at

It must be quite handy having a ghost companion, a fact that Jeff Randall - of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) fame - knows only too well. As it turns out, legendary vampire hunter (well, son of a legendary vampire hunter) Van Helsing had a ghost-chum of his own: the magical Lady Katarina. NeoCore Games' latest video, below, shows us what the fancy lady is capable of, proving that death isn't the handicap it used to be. Here's what we thought of the upcoming action RPG when we got our hands on it earlier this month.

Dark Souls II will focus on "freedom" and "accessibility," looks gorgeous

Daniel Starkey at

With the reveal of some gorgeous screenshots of Dark Souls II and a glimpse of its masochistic gameplay yesterday, there's been quite a bit of buzz about From Software's brutal action-RPG. Last week, game's director Yuri Tanimura lead a round table discussion dishing about some of the more ideological goals of the new game.

Gorgeous action RPG Dust: An Elysian Tail heading to PC, sequel may be on the cards too

Tom Sykes at

Anthropomorphic XBLA sidescroller Dust: An Elysian Tail is coming to PC, and to Steam, possibly as early as April. It's an action RPG featuring an all-animal cast, and it's a pretty spectacularly gorgeous one too, with creator Dean Dodrill putting his animation background to good use by giving hero Dust roughly a gajillion fluid frames of animation. As revealed at the Penny Arcade Expo, Dodrill (and writer Alex Kane) are hoping to have the port finished for April, which - checks filofax - is not very far away at all. See how the PC version has dusted up in the Steam announcement trailer, below.

Bastion devs reveal action RPG Transistor - and yes, Logan 'Rucks' Cunningham is back

Tom Sykes at

Supergiant - that's the developers of the fantastic Bastion, and not some sort of king of the giants - have announced their next game. It's called Transistor, it looks fab, and Logan Cunningham (the voice of Rucks) is back "in a vocal capacity". Well, I'm sure he makes a mean omelette, but that's the part of him we wanted - so grand. Read on for more details, plus the exciting reveal trailer.

Diablo 3 patch 1.07 adds brawling, buffer monks, better wizards, new craftable items

Tom Senior at

Diablo 3's PvP mode is finally here. The team deathmatch mode was dropped a while back, and the free for all "duels" are now "brawls," whatever they're called, you can do them now in the Scorched Chapel zone added by patch 1.07. Blizzard have been tweaking Diablo 3's Might Scales of Class Balance as well. Today the winds of fate favour Monks and Wizards, who can look forward to some chunky damage upgrades across a variety of skills.

Chasm is a stunning sidescrolling Action-RPG set, you guessed it, in a mine

Tom Sykes at

You probably think you've maxed out on procedurally generated RPGs set in dank subterranean environments, but boy are you dead wrong. Also: you're dead, because you just stepped on a trap plate, you idiot. Chasm is the procedurally generated dungeon crawler by way of a 16-bit, Metroidvania-style platformer, with added randomised sprite-slicing (those evil floating eyeballs will never know what hit them), oh and random loot drops, an optional permadeath mode, and an absolutely lovely visual style.

Diablo III Director's departure prompts community ire, Blizzard's Rob Pardo responds

Phil Savage at

When Diablo III's director, Jay Wilson, announced he was leaving the game's team to work on another unspecified Blizzard project, the community's reaction was intense. While many expressed gratitude for Wilson's work, wishing him well in his future role, others used the forum thread as a platform for vehement criticism of both the game and of Wilson himself. In response to the vitriol, Blizzard's Chief Creative Officer, Rob Pardo, made a candid reply to the community, saying, "If you still feel the need to dish out blame, then I would prefer you direct it at me."

Legend of Grimrock sells over 600,000 copies, devs tease future content

Phil Savage at

Almost Human, developers of Legend of Grimrock, have shared details on the performance of their Dungeon Master inspired RPG. According to their 2012 recap post, the game racked up over 600,000 sales through the year. To celebrate, they've also released teaser images of some brand new dark, dank dungeons, suggesting that new content is incoming.

Diablo 3 1.0.7 update to add dueling, extra gems, rare crafting recipes and more

Tom Senior at

I wonder how many people there are still playing Diablo 3. And I wonder how many people there are who haven't played it for ages, but fancy getting back into it. As persuading factors go, the ability to drop a meteor on your co-op partners' heads might just tip some over the edge. Player vs. player dueling will be added in patch 1.0.7, detailed in a new post on the Diablo 3 site.

Diablo 3 account bans issued to "several thousand" players using bots

Phil Savage at

It's a bad month to be a bot. First Guild Wars 2's struck a "decisive blow" in the name of humanity, banishing 34,000 bots from Tyria. Now Blizzard are sending the autonomous avatars straight to hell, and banning the players they worked for to boot.

Torchlight 2 patch adds owls and badgers

Tom Senior at

Yesterday's patch for Torchlight 2 has added a couple of new critters to the pet roster. An angry badger and a noble owl can tag along to help you in combat and sell off unwanted loot in town, which must look more like a zoo than a market by now. Free updates are always appreciated, but fans on the Runic forums do note some suspicious similarities between the new Owl pet and the Hawk. Runic's community manager, Brian W, explained the resemblance with this helpful image.

The patch also makes a few balance changes to class skills, adds a new set of pants and fixes a few bugs. Once loving and gullible minion gels have grown cynical in the face of repeated beatings and now "cannot be charmed." On the plus side, "Legendary wand Earth Dies Screaming can no longer crash the game." Thank goodness for that. Grab the full patch notes on the Torchlight 2 forums.

Editorial: How Diablo 3's endgame has failed

Tom Senior at

Diablo 3 is a conflicted beast, like a zebra that thinks it's a unicorn. I love it. I hate it. I've been playing it a lot recently to try and find out why. Is it an action RPG, is it an MMO? What does this stripy horned horse want to be?

It's an action RPG, of course. One burdened with the inconveniences of an MMO and blessed with few of the advantages. It requires a permanent internet connection to play, public matchmaking and an auction house that lets the whole world share their wares. In spite of all that, there's no wider society to Diablo 3. Each session is an insular carnival of violence. There are no guilds. There is no sense of community beyond the cold "buyout" button on the auction house.

I'm okay with that. I don't need that social hit from Diablo 3. At heart it's a very excellent game about hitting things in strange and spectacular ways. Sometimes with a few friends. For sixty levels and three difficulty tiers it delivered, but suddenly its character changed entirely. After a rush of new skills, more powerful enemies and ever more devious randomly generated boss mobs I hit a wall. Progress became difficult and tedious and those long-promised legendary weapons moved further and further out of reach. I felt like Charlie Brown taking a swipe at Lucy's football, only in this strip she didn't just pick the ball up and laugh in my face, she moved it to the top of a mountain and shouted "come and get it!"

Apotheon is an action RPG with a staggering art style, as seen in new gameplay trailer

Tom Sykes at

You might know Alientrap Games for their extra-terrestrial platformer Capsized, which we liked 86% of last year. But did you know that their current project is the ambitious Apotheon, a sidescrolling action RPG set in a "massive open world Mount Olympus", and with plans afoot for multiplayer modes? Oh, you did? Well, thanks for keeping it to yourself. Thankfully, Alientrap have released a new video showing a good chunk of the game in action - and it looks like Greek pottery art come to life.

Diablo 3 update 1.05 lands tomorrow, Infernal Machine and Monster Power mode detailed

Tom Senior at

Patch 1.05 will hit Diablo 3 tomorrow at 3AM PDT / 2AM BST according to an official post on Blizzard's forums. There will be an estimated ten hours of downtime while the patch is deployed, but once it's live we'll get access to the scalable Monster Power difficulty system, the high level Infernal Machine quest and dozens of class and item changes that Blizzard have been teasing for the past few months.

Krater to get free co-op DLC this month

Tom Senior at

Krater is a squad-based action RPG set in post-apocalyptic Sweden. You have to guide your band of mercs into the heart of a cataclysmic scar and loot the hell out of it. But why loot alone? Fatshark today announce that Krater will get a free co-op update on October 23. The DLC will also contain a number of single player fixes based on player feedback.

Crafting and "consequence" are two strong elements that help Krater stand out from the action RPG crowd. Members of your team can be permanently killed if you're not careful. Krater wasn't too well received on launch, but producer Robert Bäckström promises that “The game experience from day one to now is very different." There's plenty more planned for future updates as well, including "new character DLCs." You can follow all the latest on the Krater dev blog.

Torchlight 2 class guide

Phil Savage at

Torchlight 2 was released yesterday. But before you sentence thousands of monsters to death by mouse click, and smash enough urns to embarrass a bull in a china breaking tournament, there's the small matter of which class to select: Embermage, Beserker, Engineer or Outlander. Each offer their own flavour of play and, more importantly, a unique selection of explosive particle effects. To help you make the right choice, here's our guide to each of the four characters. How do they work? What tactics can they use? Which of their early powers unleash the most carnage? Read on to find out.

Torchlight 2 demo out now, Runic explain budget pricing: "we want a bigger community"

Tom Senior at

Torchlight 2 is out! If you're uncertain as to whether you ought to splash $20 on Runic's charming new action RPG, you can download a demo now from the Torchlight 2 site.

But why is Torchlight 2 so much cheaper than your typical new release? Runic took to Reddit to explain their reasoning behind the pricing in a recent AMA session. Here's Blizzard North founder and Runic co-founder Max Schaefer's view:

"We sell for $20 because we want a bigger community, and for people all over the world to enjoy our game. Not everyone has $60 lying around. Plus, digital distribution, like on Steam, makes this more economically viable for a company like us. We couldn't make money selling $20 boxes only, but we'll do fine with this price because of the trend towards digital distribution.

Diablo 3 patch 1.05 notes detail Monster Power, Infernal Machine, class and monster updates

Tom Senior at

Patch notes for the Public Test Realm edition of Diablo 3 patch 1.05 have appeared on the forums, with more details on the big Monster Power and Infernal Machine updates heading our way. Monster Power will "increase the health and damage of monsters according to different 'power levels'" yielding improved experience, gold and magic find for every power hike.

The Infernal Machine is a special challenge for level 60 players. The machine must be assembled from a series of secret objects. Once completed it'll unlock events featuring "not one, but two bosses which have been augmented from their original versions, both in terms of difficulty and appearance." Defeating a duo of uber bosses will drop gold, magic items and - if you're lucky - components for a unique legendary ring.

Diablo 3 Monster Power mode to give players "a lot more control over the difficulty of the game"

Tom Senior at

Monster Power mode was teased in a recent Diablo 3 blog post detailing planned changes to be included in the upcoming 1.05 patch. Blizzard have likened it to Diablo 2's "players 8" setting, which would set monster difficulty to match eight players even if there were only one or two warriors present. The results? More loot, more experience, and a greater challenge. Blizzard have been talking to IGN about Monster Power, Inferno Machine, and where the long awaited PvP mode is at.