Posts Tagged ‘Divinity: Original Sin’

2016’s Most Promising RPGs

We’re almost half-way through the year, and it’s not been a bad one. The finale of The Witcher 3. Dark Souls III, for those players who consider it an RPG. A couple of late-arrivals, like Dragon’s Dogma. But as the nights again start to draw darker, what’s up next? Here’s some of the big quests still promised for 2016. As ever, don’t be too surprised to see a few more jump from A to B.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Seeking Mr Eaten’s Name

Full disclosure time. I’m about to talk about Fallen London [official site] by Failbetter Games, a game and company that I’ve now done a fair amount of writing for. Please pause to get the necessary pinch of salt to take with anything that follows, if you wish. However, my love for this crazy Victorian universe goes back a lot further than that, and this week I’m not going to talk about anything I’ve had a hand in. Instead, I thought I’d discuss Seeking the Name. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s one of the most interesting, disturbing quests you’ll ever regret taking on.

Some minor lore spoilers follow, but nothing too deep.

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Love And Games: Long Distance Wizard-Killing

I was in a long distance relationship for over two years and gaming was incredibly useful for keeping in touch with my partner*. But not every game was a good fit, either because of relative game experience or temperament or any number of other things. So here are some of the games which worked and some of the games which didn’t. I’m going to explain them from my point-of-view because I don’t want to presume to know exactly what his experience was!

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Cooperative Competitive Cannibalism: Divinity Original Sin 2’s Systemic Design

Divinity: Original Sin [official site] is an incredibly complex game. It’s a very silly game, which might lead some people to think it isn’t all that clever, but even though it wears a comedy tie to the RPG Christmas party, it’s still the smartest game in the room. That’s because it’s built on intelligent, simulated systems that overlap and feed into one another to make both interesting narrative choices and dynamic situations in both combat and roleplay.

The sequel takes all of the complexities of the first and adds competitive multiplayer for up to four players. At Rezzed, Larian’s creative director and founder, Swen Vincke, explained how it all works.

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Living Worlds: The Joy Of NPC Schedules

Just before the Christmas break I was trying to catch up on all of the interesting games that I hadn’t found time to play earlier in the year. Else Heart.Break() was right near the top of the list, even though I have zero interest in games that expect me to learn how to program in order to have fun. If I learn how to program it’ll be so that I can become a megarich superstar game dev, not so that I can solve puzzles in somebody else’s game.

So why play a game that is quite clearly about IFs, ELSEs and ANDs? The Store page description contains phrases that should have warned me off the game rather than encouraging me to buy it, and yet something appealed. I wanted to play the game because of a single paragraph in Brendan’s review:

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The Joy Of Expansions And Enhanced Editions

As the year draws toward its final frosty furlong, I’m slightly surprised that one of the games I’m most looking forward to playing is also one of my favourite games from 2014. It’s Divinity: Original Sin, a game that I adored when I played it last year and that I expect to lose myself in again when the Enhanced Edition comes out next week. It’s not the only RPG that I’ll have revisited this year – both Pillars of Eternity and The Witcher 3 sucked me in at release and then lost me for a while when I realised they were going to require weeks of attention, but I used their expansions as an excuse to pick up where I’d left off. Here are five reasons to love digital expansions.

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The RPG Scrollbars: The Scrolls of Honour – 2015

As the dragons finally return to their nests to hibernate and the ghosts don their chains to help remind misers of the meaning of the season, we approach the end of another year. As is tradition, that is time for we at the guild-house to award both quests and questers the ceremonial Scrolls of Honourâ„¢. (Chorus of affordable angels)

Scribed upon only the finest vellum in ink taken from a particularly recalcitrant octopus from the Abyssal Depths, they are a testament to skill and imagination and occasional disappointments that mean exactly nothing whatsoever except that I have a column and so I can hand out whatever made-up crap takes my fancy. Lo! We begin!

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