Action RPG

Dark Souls 2 4K screenshots

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Wes Fenlon at

Dark Souls II is a gorgeous game. Except when it's an ugly game. It's a little weird that way—some environments are absolutely breathtaking, while others stand out with dated, blocky geometry. This gallery mostly reflects the former, capturing some of Dark Souls II's most breathtaking vistas and immaculate art direction. There are no bosses or secrets in sight, so don't fear spoilers.

The theme of this gallery is "stoic." Or perhaps "pensive." Or "ooh, pretty lighting." Now feast your eyes on 40 screenshots captured at 3840x2160.


Hyper Light Drifter trailer offers two minutes of exploration, combat and bad dudes in tubes

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Tom Sykes at

Ignore the pretext for this 'Hyper Light Drifter is coming to PS4/Vita' trailer and focus on the upcoming indie's game's astonishing world, which is comprised of some of the artiest pixels I ever did see. You're probably already aware that it gives good GIF, but this new video shows that it looks just as good in motions longer than a few frames, in case you were somehow labouring under any doubt. I suggest you pre-slacken your jaw in anticipation of the following trailer.


Diablo 3 patch 2.0.1 impressions: harder, better, faster

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Tom Senior at

After 30 minutes with post-patch Diablo 3, Spyro the wizard is a new man. His new shoulder pads let him teleport back to town from the safety of an impenetrable energy bubble. The crotch slot of his new rare pants, called the "Bone Guard", is occupied by a radiant topaz that increases his intelligence. He'll be happiest with his new wand, though. The "Blackhand Key" boosts his arcane power, feeds him extra XP for every monster he melts, and looks like a glowing green animal spine. A coveted legendary spine, no less. Another juicy chunk of treasure, courtesy of the revamped loot system introduced by update 2.0.1.

The patch is great. This major update revamps the core loot systems on which the entire game runs, rejigs skills for every class, redesigns boss fights and adds new stuff, like cursed shrines and nephalem glory globes. The reams of changes are contained in lengthy patch notes on Battle.net, but the takeaway is simple. Diablo 3 is a much faster and more rewarding game than it was a week ago.


Sacred 3 announced for summer 2014

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Patrick Carlson at

Action RPG series Sacred's third installment will hit PCs this summer, according to a recent announcement from publisher Deep Silver. A suitably cinematic trailer has also surfaced, giving us a glimpse of the hero characters we'll be seeing in the new game. There's also a crumbly bridge, magic wings, and a slobbering armored troll-monster.


Diablo 3 clans and communities explained, coming in patch 2.0.1

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Patrick Carlson at

With patch 2.0.1 now on the horizon, it should soon become easier to find and form parties in Diablo 3 with the addition of clans and communities. The features have been available for testing on the game's Public Test Realm, but Blizzard has now published a handy summary for anyone else curious about the upcoming changes.


Path of Exile "mini-expansion" arriving March 5

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Tom Senior at

Path of Exile is a game about meeting lots of monsters and then punching out all their blood so you can steal their stuff. As action RPGs go, it's great, and I called it things like "compulsive" and "exceptionally generous" in our Path of Exile review. When people say things like "all free-to-play games are poo" I like to materialise, wave an arm in Path of Exile's direction and whisper "look! All the free blood-punching you could ever need!" and then vanish in a puff of smoke.

For those already hooked on Path of Exile, good news. There's going to be more of it according to a post on the Path of Exile site.


New Duke Nukem game from Rise of the Triad dev to be revealed Feb. 25

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Emanuel Maiberg at

A teaser website for a new Duke Nukem game has appeared at alloutofgum.com, referencing one of The King's cheesiest and well-known one-liners. A countdown clock indicates that more information will be revealed on February 25, though just a little bit of online snooping has already uncovered some details.


Hyper Light Drifter closed beta scheduled for June, full game planned for end of the year

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Phil Savage at

As well as being one of our most anticipated games of the year, Hyper Light Drifter is perhaps the prettiest indie action-RPG I've seen in some time. Although, given that the genre also contains the scatalogical pestilence of The Binding of Isaac, that shouldn't come as too much of a surprise.

The strength of its gif-laden Kickstarter page is surely a contributing factor to the $645,158 the team raised - 2,389% of its intended total. Having gone so far over the intended goal, though, the scope of the project has naturally increased. In a new Kickstarter update, the developers have announced what that means for the game's release.


Path of Exile review

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Tom Senior at

Compulsion is a dubious sort of pleasure, but it’s what action-RPGs excel at. With their slow levelling curves, gradually unlocking skills and swelling hordes of foes, Diablo, Titan Quest, Torchlight and now Path of Exile all aim to ensnare rather than instantly delight.

The 15-year-old formula has barely evolved, but is still effective. You must always start in rags, punching zombies with your bare fists in some gloomy town, because any grander beginning would curtail your slow ascent to godhood. A start anywhere more glamorous than a dark field or Path of Exile’s grey beach would lessen the triumphant moment 12 hours later when you annihilate a 20-strong giant spider brood and think back to those first moments. Sometimes you’ll find folk waiting beneath yellow exclamation marks to give you quests and deliver lore points in tiny boxes of text, but mostly you punch, loot, level up, equip your stolen gains, grow strong and slowly mould your bedraggled vagrant into a killing machine.

It’s a character arc of sorts, albeit one plotted to the sound of a thousand repetitive mouse-clicks, but that comes with a quiet satisfaction of its own, a feeling of incremental achievement earned over many hours. If you value that feeling, Path of Exile is the 200-hour time sink you’re looking for.


Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls release date announced

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Tom Senior at

March 25 2014 is Westmarch's day of reckoning. That's when the angel of death, Malthael, unleashes his hideous hordes to overrun the once-secure Paladin haven, adding a new act to Diablo 3 in the process. How nice of him to give us a bit of advance notice. Diablo 3's first expansion pack also adds a new class, The Crusader, and adventure mode, which opens up the whole world map and fills existing zones with new challenges, like Nephalem rifts: combat dimensions swarming with foes that must be defeated to tempt loot-filled boss out of hiding.


Path of Exile hits 250,000 daily users one month after launch

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Emanuel Maiberg at

New Zealand-based developer Grinding Gear Games has reason to celebrate. Only a month after launch, its free-to-play, clicky-click action RPG Path of Exile enjoys more than 250,000 daily users, and over 4 million registered users. 1.5 million unique players logged in following the end of its open beta.


Bloom: Memories heads to Kickstarter to fund a new take on the ARPG formula

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Ian Birnbaum at

Bloom: Memories is an ambitious action RPG that’s going to try to marry the exploration of Zelda, the stealth of Thief, and the living world of Harvest Moon. With a big emphasis on clever solutions beyond violence and a really beautiful batch of concept art, I’m not surprised that Bloom is already halfway to its $40,000 funding goal after only a couple of days on Kickstarter.

Path of Exile gets a post-launch patch, seven more before March expansion

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Patrick Carlson at

Action RPG Path of Exile sees its first post-launch patch go live this Wednesday, the first update of seven planned before Grinding Gears releases an expansion in March 2014. While the 1.0.1 update includes its share of mysterious new items to try out, it's also set to kick off the free-to-play game's fifth season of competitive events, according to lead designer Chris Wilson.


Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls trailers show adventure mode, bounties, clans

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Tom Senior at

The sight of a room full of treasure goblins has certainly done enough to stir up the old loot frenzy, for me, at least, but I'm one of those (possibly crazy) people who put a lot of time into Diablo 3, and have enjoyed it in spite of the auction house and its other well-documented online issues. By this time next year that auction house will be long gone and we'll likely have a new act and class to play with, as well as the adventure mode that randomly generates 15-20 minute dungeons and populates them with denizens from every act.

You can see that very mode teased in one of two new Reaper of Souls videos, fresh out of Blizzcon, which also hint at clan features, bounties and "Nephalem Rifts" full of hordes and bosses to be squished and looted dry. Also featured: SMITING, courtesy of the new Crusader class.


Mod of the Week: Far East Pack, for Torchlight 2

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Christopher Livingston at

While zombies, vampires, and werewolves have had a pop-culture resurgence in the last decade, children of the 1980’s are wondering: “Won't ninja ever make a comeback? If not, that's totally bogus.” See, in the 80’s, ninja were everywhere, in everything, all the time. Clearly, that needs to happen again, and you can help, by playing as a ninja (or six other new classes) in the Far East Pack for Torchlight 2.


Pay what you want for expansive space action shooter RPG Ring Runner

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Tom Sykes at

Trying to describe Ring Runner is a bit like trying to explain Twitter to Wurzel Gummidge. It's an action RPG, kinda, but also a top-down shooter set in space. For all I know it's a rhythm game too, but let's stop before our brains explode too much. Triple.B's game features a ton of procedural generation, hundreds of abilities and dozens of ships - and now you can pay what you want for it on IndieGameStand. You have just under 89 hours left to do so.


Path of Exile gets October 23 release date, new Scion prestige class

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Tom Sykes at

Path of Exile has been in beta for roughly 8,000 years, but its journey is finally about to come to an end. As revealed to Shacknews, the free-to-play action RPG will escape open beta and emerge blinking into the real world on October 23rd, accompanied by a new prestige class.

Diablo 3 auction house closing in March 2014

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Patrick Carlson at

Blizzard has announced a plan to close Diablo 3's real-money and gold auction houses next year, according to an announcement today by game director Josh Mosqueira and production director John Hight. Hight called the auction houses, where players could pick up hard-to-find, in-game items for real money or in-game currency, "a double-edged sword."


Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls announced - expansion adds new class, zone, enemies

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Tom Senior at

Blizzard announced Diablo 3's first expansion today at Gamescom. It's called Reaper of Souls after its new baddie, Maltheal, the fallen angel of wisdom who's launched a late career change and become the angel of death (there he is above). The expansion will add new zones to fight through, a new class called the Crusader and raise the level cap to 70 for all of Diablo 3's current classes, adding dozens of new abilities, runes and passives. What else is new? Find out below.


Lords of the Fallen gets a debut trailer at Gamescom

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Perry Vandell at

City Interactive’s newly announced action RPG, Lords of the Fallen, reared its haggard, tattooed face at Gamescom today, but unfortunately that face was caked with a layer of CGI makeup.