Action RPG

Tom Clancy's The Division devs are "not ruling out any platforms for the future"

Tom Senior at

Tom Clancy's The Division developers Massive are keeping their options open for future expansion beyond the announced Xbone and PS4 versions. They're currently "optimizing the experience for next gen consoles" they say on Twitter, but they're "not ruling out any platforms for the future."

The "online open-world action-RPG" enjoyed a very good showing at the Ubisoft press conference on Monday. It's a third person shooter set in a crumbling plague-infested New York city. Squad-based combat against NPCs morphed into a PvP battle towards the end of the video, which raises questions about the size of that online world. Latency still hamstrings precise shooting mechanics on servers above a certain scale. I wonder if games like The Division and Bungie's Destiny will be divided into more manageable 50-100 player servers, a la Day Z.


The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II announced, imports hero from previous game

Tom Sykes at

It's only been out of the cold, dead ground for a few weeks, but The Incredible Adventures of Van Wilder Helsing Party Liaison (monster hunter) has already earned itself a sequel. The follow-up to the "gothic-noir steampunk Action-RPG" - or The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II, to formally name it - will give you the choice to import your character from the first adventure, the one you probably haven't even finished yet. Stick around for the synopsis, or check back tomorrow, when Neocore Games will have probably announced Van Helsings 3, 4 and 5: Requiem.


Diablo 3 gets a new game director

Patrick Carlson at

Diablo 3 's new game director, Josh Mosqueira, got his start at Blizzard working to convert the popular and controversial action-RPG for console play, according to a new blog post. Mosqueira writes that some possible upcoming tweaks include changes to character customization and loot drops, as well as a reduction of the auction house's effect of the game.

Krieg the Psycho is literally on fire in this Borderlands 2 DLC footage

Tom Sykes at

I've never considered 'being on fire' to be a particularly useful skill, but after seeing the following video I'm coming around to the idea that the fire department might be part of some great conspiracy to stop us achieving our full, fiery potential. Borderlands 2's latest DLC character, Krieg the Psycho, certainly seems to benefit from setting himself alight - but then he does have a handy mask to keep one small part of his body safe from harm. He also has a knack for melee weapons, thwacking them and chucking them, making him most unlike the game's current crop of gun-obsessed weirdos. You can see Krieg in action below.


Diablo 3's auction houses back in bidness, gold-duping exploit now fixed

Tom Sykes at

Blizzard announced yesterday that Diablo 3's auction houses had been put back online, after a gold-duplication exploit introduced by a recent patch caused them to temporarily shut up shop. The bug has now been fixed and gold trading is once again possible, according to Production Director John Hight in the accompanying forum post, which goes on to explain exactly what happened with the bug, and how Blizzard have responded over the last few days. Long story short: 85% of the illicit gold has been recovered, and all proceeds from auctions conducted by now-banned or suspended players has been given to charity.


Techland releases teaser trailer for Hellraid, shows off skeletons, explosions, swords

Ian Birnbaum at

Last week, Techland announced its new game, Hellraid, with a few screenshots and some promises. This week, though, they’ve got a teaser trailer full of gameplay that backs up some of those promises, and it’s looking pretty interesting.


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.