Posts Tagged ‘RPG’

The RPG Scrollbars: A Dip Into… Skyforge

It takes quite a lot to get me to download a new MMO these days. When I hear good rumblings though, I listen, and so yesterday I decided to check out the Skyforge Open Beta. [official site]. This is not a review, so it’s not intended as a sweeping look at all systems. Think of it as dipping a toe into the water – did it catch my attention, and was it at least worth the whopping client download?

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A Bastard In Neverwinter: Part Two – Tipping The Tables

As I replay Neverwinter Nights 2, being as horrid as possible, I’ve noticed how much my year of playing a table-top D&D game is affecting my experience.

In the last year, I’ve begun playing my first ever real-life D&D game. We’ve the mighty Jim Rossignol as our Dungeon Master (DM), and alongside me at my dining room table sits RPS’s own Graham Smith and Marsh Davies. Together we adventurers from Far Lotus explore the lands in search of signs of an old god that Marsh’s bonkers zealot cleric Tiefling worships. And as someone who’s played RPGs since the 80s, it’s been quite an interesting process to finally learn from where it all came. It certainly influences how I’m seeing Neverwinter Nights 2 this time around.

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A Bastard In Neverwinter: Part One – Bastardly Beginnings

When it comes to reeling off the great RPGs, names like Baldur’s Gate, Planescape: Torment and Dragon Age: Origins are likely among the first to come to mind. Ask again and you’ll likely hear Pillars Of Eternity, Diablo II, Knights Of The Old Republic, Mass Effect 2… For some reason it takes far too long before the name Neverwinter Nights 2 gets a mention. But is that right?

Written by Chris Avellone, and created by Obsidian, the hugely ambitious sequel to BioWare’s Neverwinter Nights decided to not only redevelop the tools for allowing players to create their own D&D stories, but to put enormous effort into creating a unique Forgotten Realms tale of their own. I remember it as being a triumph. In fact, it’s one of three games I ever gave 90% in a decade on PC Gamer. But that was 2006, and it seems so forgotten now. How does it fair in 2015? I needed to find out.

Returning to it nearly a decade on, I decided the best approach would be to experience its tale of silver shards and evil invasions from the King Of Shadows in a very different way than before. I’d be evil.

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The RPG Scrollbars: RPG Vs. Adventure

Last week, I casually mentioned how glad I was that the current RPG revivals have been doing so well – so many old franchises getting a new Kickstart, so many classic styles getting a fresh airing. I also muttered something though, about how sad I felt that adventure games hadn’t been so fortunate. Since then, I’ve been pondering that. Why? Why has one genre done so well, creating games like Divinity: Original Sin and a whole line-up of new games to look forward to, while the other has resulted in largely forgettable stuff like Broken Age instead of new modern classics?

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Path of Exile Expansion Launching Next Week

Where fellow action-RPGs Diablo III and Torchlight exulted in bright colors and a brazen use of particle effects, the free-to-play Path of Exile [official site] took a darker turn, wearing its grime like a king’s crown. And it did well that way, honestly. Our very own Adam called it a “smart and content-rich RPG.” And said smart and content-rich RPG will see its newest expansion, titled The Awakening, come July 10th.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Not Being Announced At E3

It’s a great time for RPGs at the moment, with huge AAA successes on one side and just about every classic name getting a shot at new life. Hopefully this E3 will see many cool announcements. There may have been some already. Don’t ask me, I’m writing this on Sunday, and my time-machine only lets me go back and kill Hitler. (58 times so far – he’s like badly moustached bubblewrap!) But what games would it be great to see get a new, dynamic reveal? Here’s a few that come to mind…

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The RPG Scrollbars: The Women Of The Witcher 3

One of the best things about The Witcher III is that it shows how far CD Projekt has come in just a few short years. We see it in world and quest design, in writing, in graphical technology and in scale, and all those speak for themselves. One of the biggest surprises though is how far it’s climbed in terms of female representation over the years – from one of the industry’s biggest targets to a high watermark others would be well advised to treat as the new baseline. It’s not perfect, but it tries hard, and a game willing to do that is well worth taking a moment to praise for its success. There will be spoilers.

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The RPG Scrollbars: A Quest For Heroes

Heroism is at the core of most fantasy stories, but there’s a difference between being a hero and simply a weapon to be pointed at the world’s biggest threat. When heroes happily loot peasants’ houses and murder their way through problems, do they really deserve their title?

If there’s any developer duo that should know a thing about heroes, it’s Lori and Corey Cole, creators of one of my favourite adventure series of all time – Quest for Glory. (The fourth especially is high on my list of best adventures ever, not least for its villain). In addition to those, they ran a dedicated School for Heroes for a while, and are currently working on the spiritual successor to the original games, Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption – currently in a second Kickstarter after the scope moved from a relatively simple Roguelike on a basic engine into a full-on new adventure. I spoke to them about the complex characters in their games, offering real heroism, and returning to crowdfunding.

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Epic Lute: Brian Fargo On Bringing Back The Bard’s Tale

Looks like concept art. Is actually in-game shot. Except the logo in the bottom left. That would be INCREDIBLY distracting.

Having successfully brought Wasteland back to life with the help of 61,920 of its closest friends, Brian Fargo and inXile Entertainment are turning their attentions to another classic RPG – The Bard’s Tale [official site]. Forget the appalling comedy vacuum from a few years ago, this is The Actual Bard’s Tale IV, both a return to and modernisation of dungeon crawling with a few new tricks up its sleeve. The Kickstarter begins June 2nd, but Fargo gave us a quick preview of what to expect.

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The Quests That Got Cancelled

It’s a great time for RPGs at the moment, with just about every name, flavour and celebrity from the old days finding a new lease of life through Kickstarter and a freshly hungry audience. Most series and creators though have had at least one game fall prey to development hell – sometimes with their ideas resurfacing in later titles, sometimes with everything simply lost to time. Their levels of completion vary dramatically, but here are some of the games we never got to play…

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