Login | Signup

RPGs

The Elder Scrolls Online Review Journal: Part Four - Crafting Is Bliss

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Bethesda Softworks, MMOs, PC games, RPGs, The Elder Scrolls Online, Zenimax Online

The Elder Scrolls Online Review Journal: Part Four - Crafting Is Bliss

It's often been the case that I've found myself lacking the patience for the seemingly needless convolutions at work in MMOs. Crafting in particular has always been something of a bugbear of mine, with systems often cluttered beyond belief, often only half-explained, and ultimately incredibly offputting.

The Elder Scrolls Online is nothing like that. In fact, it's something of a joy.

The Elder Scrolls Online Review Journal: Part Four - Crafting Is Bliss

As it stands right now, there are six different professions available in The Elder Scrolls Online. Each have their own unique benefits, and what's impressive to see in a number of them has been how they tie into mechanics used previously in the series. As a player, you can start pretty much straight off of the bat once you emerge out into Tamriel -- it's just a matter of finding and obtaining resources and then getting to work. Here's a rundown of the sort of professions you can invest your time in currently:

  • Alchemist: Becoming an Alchemist is all about potion creation. It's a great role to engage in if you're looking to become something of a support character as potions are particularly useful in battle, buffing stats and restoring health, magicka, and stamina.
  • Blacksmith: This one is fairly straightforward. Becoming a smith involves crafting metal weapons -- swords, maces, axes, daggers, hammers etc. -- as well as heavy armour. It's a perfect profession for the Imperial Dragonknight I'm building up to be an utterly beastly tank.
  • Clothier: You won't be strutting the catwalks of Milan as a clothier, but you will be able to craft and improve light and medium armour.
  • Enchanter: Enchanting is all about enhancing items with special powers, for both aesthetic and functional purposes.
  • Provisioner: Much like the alchemist, this is another profession that involves making consumables, in this case food and drink. But before you can do this, you'll need to uncover the various recipes tucked away around the world.
  • Woodworker: Finally, becoming a woodworker gives you the opportunity to craft and improve, yep, you guessed it, wooden items such as staffs and bows.

There are still MMO staples involved here, of course. Running around and gathering resources from nodes is pretty repetitive and time consuming, but the respawn rate is fairly decent and if you're keeping your eyes open, you'll naturally spot plenty of maple, iron, jute and more on your travels. The limited inventory slots come into play when you're juggling lots of different ingredients for the alchemical and provisioning side of things, but you can stash crafting materials in your bank's vaults, so that takes the load off a little.  The real fun begins when you get back to a spot of civilisation and can work upon turning your raw materials into useful items.

Click here to read more...

The Elder Scrolls Online Review Journal: Part Three - Eight Things I Love and Loathe About The Elder Scrolls Online

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Bethesda Softworks, MMOs, PC games, RPGs, The Elder Scrolls Online, Zenimax Online

The Elder Scrolls Online Review Journal: Part Three - Eight Things I Love and Loathe About The Elder Scrolls Online

Things are getting a little more interesting of late in The Elder Scrolls Online, especially now that I've reached Cyrodiil. There'll be a big, fat article PvP and the heartland of Tamriel later this week, but for now here are eight reason why The Elder Scrolls Online is filling me with ambivalence...

I LOVE... Skill Progression

The organic process of getting better by doing something repeatedly has long been a staple of the Elder Scrolls games in the past. But it's not how MMOs have traditionally worked. Thankfully, TESO said bollocks to tradition and stuck to its guns, proving all the better for it. Thanks to the implementation of Skyshards, there's not so much pressure put on levelling, instead giving more weight to exploration. Besides, actually improving your skills works outside of general levelling anyway, meaning that whatever you're doing out in the wide world, you're probably getting better at something.

Reached level 23 and want to turn your Dragonknight into a staff-wielding bringer of rain? Well you can.

The Elder Scrolls Online Review Journal: Part Three - Eight Things I Love and Loathe About The Elder Scrolls Online

I HATE... Level Grinding

The gap between levels becomes interminable pretty quickly. I get that MMO developers want to keep you playing for as long as possible, and that TESO isn't all about the rush to the endgame content, but this is ridiculous. Combat counts for virtually nothing when it comes to rising through the ranks, nor does exploration or crafting or anything, really. It's not long at all before progression slows to a crawl, and that's even when you're doing every quest that you find and battling every creature you come across. Making you work for it is one thing, but too often TESO turns into a bit of an interminable slog.

Click here to read more...

80% off Witcher 1 & 2 as GOG launch Battle of the Games

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Deals
Tags:
CD Projekt, GOG.com, Heroes of Might and Magic, PC games, RPGs, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition, The Witcher: Enhanced Edition

80% off Witcher 1 & 2 as GOG launch Battle of the Games

We love you CD Projekt. We really do. And it's not just about the Witcher series, which is utterly fantastic, but also that DRM-free slice of digital distribution awesomeness called GOG.com.

When both come together in a money-saving initiative of wondrous brilliance, it's hard not to swoon.

GOG have launched a new discount series, kicking off with a bunch of my personal favourite games, including Heroes of Might and Magic 2 and 3, and both Witcher titles. Seriously, The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition for just over £2? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!

You can nab them here for up to 80% off, and while you're there, be sure to vote on what you'd like to see discounted in tomorrow's deal.

Snap up Dragon's Crown on PS Vita for only £19.99 at GAME

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Action RPGs, Beat ‘em ups, Capcom, Dragon's Crown, PS Vita games, RPGs
Snap up Dragon's Crown on PS Vita for only £19.99 at GAME

Dragon's Crown | GAME | £19.99
Price ComparisonReview

We've been waiting for a price drop on Dragon's Crown to take it below the £20 mark as it's been holding its value rather impressively, and now GAME have delivered. We'd go so far as to say that the PS Vita version is probably a bit better than the PS3 equivalent that to the immediacy of the touchscreen and, if you have an original console, that OLED magnificence. Brendan had a blast with this surprisingly deep action RPG, and you should definitely give his review a read.

Thanks to PIMPed at HotUkDeals.

The Elder Scrolls Online Review Journal: Part Two - A Showroom or a Living Breathing World?

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Bethesda Softworks, MMOs, PC games, RPGs, The Elder Scrolls Online, Zenimax Online

The Elder Scrolls Online Review Journal: Part Two - A Showroom or a Living Breathing World?

The more I inspect the world of Tamriel in The Elder Scrolls Online, the more I'm filled with a sense of slight unease. It is as if instead of romping across the mountains of Skyrim or wading through the marshes of Vvardenfell as in previous games, carving out a niche for myself in a living, breathing world, I find myself in a museum or sorts, or a grand theatrical historical experience, surrounded by actors and other tour audience members. Tamriel in TESO is beginning to feel more like a showroom (a very big one) than a world that's actually alive.

The presence of other characters is beginning to grate when it comes to PvE, being out in the big wide world. It just doesn't really fit, and I'm having to suspend an enormous amount of disbelief. Having played WildStar for hours on end, I have to say that NCsoft's game made sense -- you're on a frontier world, scrambling to do everything that you can to carve out a niche. It would follow that certain pillars of the community would be in demand, and I could more easily ignore multiple characters swarming about the place. There are obvious benefits to having fellow adventurers alongside you for certain areas that absolutely require a group, but on a moment to moment level, it's sometimes a little disconcerting.

The Elder Scrolls Online Review Journal: Part Two - A Showroom or a Living Breathing World?

Part of that has to do with the fact that the game seems to not know exactly what it wants to be. Exploring the frozen tundra of Bleakrock, having persevered with the Ebonheart Pact, occasionally feels a lot like playing Skyrim, and there are moments when I've found myself wandering the wastes in relative solitude. But often the constructs are a bit of a lie, with objects and bodies that might otherwise be interactive rendered inert here, like window dressing -- serving the showroom vibe rather than contributing to the world.

That said, I rocked up to an abandoned fishing camp and got out my rod and stayed for ten minutes or so, catching fish to later sell. By the time I left, five more people had arrived, and there we were, angling in snowy serenity. Then we teamed up and went off to deal with the Frozen Man and his riddles, only one member of our group glitched out and couldn't complete the quest and wasted half an hour thanks to a bug.

There's so much I'm enjoying about TESO, but it always seems like there's a caveat just around the corner.

Click here to read more...

Evoland now just £1.74 over on Steam

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Evoland, Indie Games, PC games, RPGs, Shiro Games, Steam

Evoland now just £1.74 over on Steam

Evoland | £1.74 | Steam | Evoland Review

Originally conceived and created by Nicolas Cannasse for a Ludum Dare contest, Evoland is a truly curious little game. It's short, sweet, and through its 5-7 hour running time it takes the player on a journey through the history of role-playing games - from the action-oriented stylings of The Legend of Zelda to the turn-based shenanigans of Final Fantasy.

It's also super cheap on Steam right now, and you can save 75% on the regular price and snaffle it up for under two quid.

The Elder Scrolls Online Review Journal: Part One - Back From The Dead

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Bethesda Softworks, MMOs, PC games, RPGs, The Elder Scrolls Online, Zenimax Online

The Elder Scrolls Online Review Journal: Part One - Back From The Dead

It's nice to be back behind bars. The Elder Scrolls Online brings familiar notes the fore immediately, clasping you in irons and having you awaken in a prison. But it is not the brig of a ship as in Morrowind, nor the Imperial jail in which you find yourself at the start of Oblivion. No, you start your journey in ZeniMax Online's Tamriel-set MMO as one of the many soulless denizens of the ethereal Wailing Prison, being chatted to by a ghost played by an actor with an instantly recognisable voice.

Aside from what has been a deep foray into the wonders of WildStar, I'd still hardly call myself an MMO aficionado, but The Elder Scrolls Online made me feel right at home from the very start.

I adored Morrowind and its expansive DLC, Oblivion took close to 100 hours out of me, and Skyrim was a mainstay in my disc tray for the best part of a year. The point is that I've been a huge fan of The Elder Scrolls series for some time, and I won't be the only one coming into this game from that perspective rather than those of genre fans. But, as I said, ZeniMax have done much to make TESO seem like a familiar adventure from the start, and that begins with a UI that's cribbed almost entirely from the PC version of Skyrim.

The level of customisation just at the start is almost absurd. The detail you can go into when it comes to the appearance of your character is almost insane. If you want to make a stick-thin Khajiit assassin with an arse the size of a houseboat, you can. I spent the best part of an hour concocting weird and wonderful characters with almost impossible physical proportions -- like the pot-bellied Argonian Dragonknight whose neck was almost the length of his forearm and whose eyes were practically in his mouth. No afros, though, ZeniMax? FOR SHAME!

Click here to read more...

Grim Dawn Early Access Preview | In The Footsteps Of Titans

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
ARPGs, Crate Entertainment, Early Access, Games previews, Grim Dawn, PC games, RPGs, Steam

Grim Dawn Early Access Preview | In The Footsteps Of Titans

It feels like we've been spoiled a little bit by loot-oriented action-RPGs of late. Back in 2006, when Titan Quest first appeared, there'd been precious little to speak of, at least not with any real quality, but these days it seems like we're pretty flush with awesome loot-grinders. Not that I'm complaining, of course, it's just that a game has to stand out a little more these days if it wants to get noticed.

Grim Dawn is well on the path towards making that happen. It's got a pretty small dev team behind it, made up of a number of veterans who helped Titan Quest hit the shelves with Iron Lore nearly a decade ago, but its ambitious are large and it's a game that has trodden the crowdfunding-Early Access path rather well.

Iron Lore sadly went bankrupt shortly after Titan Quest's first expansion shipped back in 2007, but members of the original team reunited under the banner of Crate Entertainment, and are currently using a modernised version of the engine upon which Titan Quest was based to bring Grim Dawn to fruition. The game's still in its alpha stages, but it received a big content update a couple of weeks back, adding a second act, new enemies, and a host of other additions, so we thought we'd dive in and check it out.

Grim Dawn Early Access Preview | In The Footsteps Of Titans

Humanity gets a short shrift in Grim Dawn. The game opens with humanity in the middle of an otherworldly sandwich, caught between demonic hordes who want to harvest the living for resources, and another otherworldly faction who just want to eradicate mankind in order to stop that from happening. Grim doesn't even begin to describe it.

Click here to read more...

Opening Scenes | The Elder Scrolls Online Gameplay – First 30 Mins

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Bethesda Softworks, MMOs, Opening Scenes, RPGs, The Elder Scrolls Online, Videos, Zenimax Online

Opening Scenes | The Elder Scrolls Online Gameplay – First 30 Mins

Oh man it feels good to be back in Tamriel.

The Elder Scrolls Online releases today and our coverage of ZeniMax Online's curiously innovative MMO starts here with a big, fat look at the game's Opening Scenes.

There's no commentary to this one, just sit back and enjoy the dulcet tones of Gambon and Cleese and the rest of the star-studded cast. There'll be a first impressions piece up later today, along with plenty of coverage of the game over the next couple of weeks, a regular critical diary of my time in Tamriel, several supplemental videos, with everything culminating in a massive final review a little after launch.

If there's anything you'd like to see in particular, let me know in the comments box.

Final Fantasy X-2 HD Remaster Review | Beautifully, Brilliantly Bonkers

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Final Fantasy X-2, Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster, JRPGs, PS Vita games, RPGs, Square Enix

Final Fantasy X-2 HD Remaster Review | Beautifully, Brilliantly Bonkers

That Final Fantasy X-2 ever existed is frankly fantastic. Back when it emerged on the PS2 as the first true sequel to ever bear the name Final Fantasy, it confused the hell out of people. Picking up two years after the end of its direct predecessor, X-2 can basically be summed up as "What Yuna Did Next", yet it abandoned much of what made FFX a classic and what we ended up with was a strikingly pretty, utterly revamped, female-led, undeniably Japanese, all-singing all-dancing hot mess.

And it was thoroughly entertaining.

The Vita version of Final Fantasy X-2 HD sparkles. It looks absolutely fantastic, and on occasion I had to remind myself that this was made over a decade ago. The main characters look brilliant, the character models approaching current-gen quality at times, though this is offset by NPCs that range from the passable to the downright ugly. The fact that the opening video has been redone in HD, along with all of the other cutscenes, is frankly excellent. There's nothing else to say, really -- FFX-2 HD looks better than quite a few native Vita titles. It's one of the finest HD remasters I've ever witnessed in that respect.

Final Fantasy X-2 HD Remaster Review | Beautifully, Brilliantly Bonkers

Just as important as the changes to the visuals, though, are the lack of changes when it comes to the soundtrack. So much of what makes X-2 such a crazy romp is it's J-Pop soundtrack, and I'm pleased to report that the only thing that seems to have changed is the sound quality. FFX's soundtrack has been noticeably tampered with, and not entirely for the better, but here it seems like guns have most certainly been stuck to, and that'll surely delight long-time fans. Let's face it -- X-2 was always something of a Marmite game, but that was down to the fact that it's one of the most identifiable Final Fantasy title out there, positively oozing with character and personality. It's nice to see that none of that has been lost in the remastering process.

Click here to read more...

Dark Souls II Review | Self-Schadenfreude

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Bandai Namco, Dark Souls II, From Software, Game reviews, PC games, PS3 games, RPGs, Xbox 360 games

Dark Souls II Review | Self-Schadenfreude
Platform: PS3 (Reviewed) | Xbox 360 | PC

Developer: From Software

Publisher: Bandai Namco

Much like when you meet someone you haven’t seen for ten years, there’s a familiar yet oddly different feel for Dark Souls II. You know it’s the same person, but time has changed them and it’s up to you to figure out if their new quirks are worth your time and energy. Of course, in real life your old friend won’t brutally murder you time and time again in an effort to give you the knowledge of how to defeat them, but I think it’s a decent metaphor in the case of From Software’s sequel.

Just about, anyway. But then that’s very Dark Souls in and of itself – just about scraping by to victory. In fact, writing this review has been in keeping with playing it - I scrapped everything I had written twice before getting it right and proclaiming myself the victor. Take that, words and opinion!

If I’m completely honest, I really do not think that, for the most part, Dark Souls II will be changing opinions on From Software’s game design. If you hated Dark Souls, considering it cheap and broken, you’re almost certainly going to remain on that side of the fence, but the new tutorial section that I call Newbie Canyon helps matters in a very Dark Souls manner that, at the very least, is a damn sight better than the Undead Asylum.

Dark Souls II Review | Self-Schadenfreude

Click here to read more...

Dark Souls II PC pre-order only £19.99 via SimplyCDKeys

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PC, PC games, RPGs

Dark Souls II PC pre-order only £19.99 via SimplyCDKeys

Dark Souls II pre-order | SimplyCDKeys (Steam Key) | £19.99
Voucher Code: 5OFFDS2PC price comparison
Dark Souls II Beta Playthroughs

SimplyCDKeys are back with another sub-£20 deal for Dark Souls II, which tops many gamers' 2014 wishlists. The PC port may have been delayed into April, but for twenty quid, Johnny-come-lately ends up laughing all the way to the bank. Remember to use voucher code 5OFFDS2 at checkout. Thanks to Jas10 @ HUKD!

Carl is currently reviewing the PS3 version, in case you're interested. I've barely seen him over the last couple of days, save for a bizarre moment when he emerged into the office and constructed a crude bonfire on my newsdesk, babbling about horrors from beyond the pale. After heavy sedation and being forced to marathon the entire series of Adventure Time to restore his shattered nerves, he's back in action and will deliver our full verdict soon.

South Park: The Stick of Truth Gameplay – Customisation | Dealspwn Playthrough

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Dealspwn Playthrough, Obsidian Entertainment, RPGs, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Ubisoft, Videos, Xbox 360 games

South Park: The Stick of Truth Gameplay – Customisation | Dealspwn Playthrough

Our second Dealspwn Playthrough video for South Park: The Stick of Truth takes a brief look at the ways in which players can go about making friends in the little Colorado mountain town, how your popularity ties into Perks, the sorts of upgrades and strap-ons you can add to your arsenal of weapons, and how the Buddy system works in terms of striding into battle with a friend at your side.

South Park: The Stick of Truth Gameplay - Saving Craig | Dealspwn Playthrough

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Dealspwn Playthrough, Obsidian Entertainment, RPGs, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Ubisoft, Videos, Xbox 360 games

South Park: The Stick of Truth Gameplay - Saving Craig | Dealspwn Playthrough

The dastardly Drow Elves have stolen the Stick of Truth and Cartman the Wizard King needs all hands on deck. Only one problem... his best thief is stuck in detention.

Yup, Craig Feldspar has gotten himself stuck inside a school classroom with Mr. Mackay, and we have to break him out! Join us for a Dealspwn Playthrough that dives into the world of South Park as we beat back hall monitors, bust through barricades with explosive farts, and use Kenny to summon a rat tsunami.

No, really.

Get South Park: The Stick Of Truth for £22.99 on PC, £29.99 on consoles at GAME

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Obsidian Entertainment, RPGs, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Ubisoft

Get South Park: The Stick Of Truth for £22.99 on PC, £29.99 on consoles at GAME
South Park: The Stick Of Truth | GAME ( PC / PS3 / Xbox 360)
£22.99 / 29.99 with code | Voucher Code: COSTUMES
PC / PS3 / Xbox 360 price comparison | South Park: The Stick Of Truth Review

Well, our review went live this morning (which you can find linked above) and if after reading it you've been swayed to pre-order a copy you're in luck - GAME have thrown a voucher code into the mix to provide the cheapest price around for all versions of the RPG. PC owners will save £7, while console owners will save £3.

As Brendan points out in our review, Obsidian Entertainment have managed to create an enjoyable and authentic South Park experience thanks to the involvement of Trey Parker and Matt Stone. With a combat system that is surprisingly deeper than it appears, it would seem that The Stick Of Truth has ended up being worth the wait - despite the hilarious censorship issues.  Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD!

Xbox LIVE sale sees Oblivion price drop to £2.99

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Bethesda Game Studios, PC games, RPGs, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Xbox LIVE sale sees Oblivion price drop to £2.99

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion | £2.99 | Xbox LIVE

Another game price slashed as part of Xbox LIVE's sale today, you can now pick up Oblivion for the price of a pint.

As fantastically amazing as Horse Armour is, the real selling point for Oblivion is Cyrodiil -- the Imperial heart of Tamriel that forms the basis for this, the fourth Elder Scrolls title. The game is massive, filled with things to do, and I think between us, the Dealspwn team have easily sunk over 250 hours into this game. Plus, you know, Sean Bean.

South Park: The Stick of Truth Preview | Farting Fantasy

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Games previews, Obsidian Entertainment, RPGs, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Ubisoft

South Park: The Stick of Truth Preview | Farting Fantasy

Before we begin, there's a simple question that you need to ask yourself: Do you find South Park funny?

If the answer is yes, then all is well. Come on in, kick off those wet shoes, and I''ll regale you with stories from an hour or two spent in the company of an interactive, feature-length South Park episode filled with all of your favourite characters. We'll chuckle about side quests that see you hunting down Man Bear Pig for a super-cereal Al Gore, delight that the game has you trotting about the Colorado town collecting Chinpokomon, and giggle at infiltrating Kenny's garage to pick up some crack from a bunch of addicts for Tweak's dad.

If the answer is no, then we might have a problem, though I'm not entirely sure why you're reading a piece about an RPG based on South Park anyway.

The game opens with a brief character creation screen (The Stick of Truth wins bonus points from allowing me to have an afro -- complete with comb jutting out of the side -- from the start) followed by the arrival of your character in South Park. You're new, a silent amnesiac (a well-worn trope that game takes great pleasure in pointing fun at), you have no friends, and your parents are incredibly insistent that you make some. So off you trot, out onto the streets.

It isn't long before you bump into someone who's also rather eager to make a proper friend or two, dressed up in a tin-foil hat, and stumbling over words in a rather endearing fashion. Butters introduces himself as a Paladin, befriends you on the South Park version of Facebook, and whisks you off to meet his chum who just so happens to be an all-powerful wizard with an affinity for Cheesy Poofs, and protector of the game's eponymous magical totem. Cartman asks you for your name -- a regular feature in RPG games. But the interface doesn't let you, and so after three attempts, and much taunting, Cartman resolves to call you "douchebag" for the entirety of the game.

Click here to read more...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII | Combat Playthrough

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Features
Tags:
Action Games, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, RPGs, Square Enix, Videos

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII | Combat Playthrough

Only a few short weeks to go now before the concluding part of the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy and we're celebrating with a video playthrough to show you the new combat system. The apparently not backwardly-named Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, has ditched the stale combat of the last two games by assigning various attacks and spells to the face buttons of your controller.

Customisation is back in style too as you can enter battle with three different Schema, each with their own set of skills to give you extra combat options. With around 70 Schema to choose from in the final game -each of them customisable too- the depth on offer is looking absolutely huge. For the most part, Lightning will be on her own, but the Schema changes give the game a quasi team-based feel and the slicker combat feels like Square Enix could be onto a winner. Plus, Lightning is easily the best member of the XIII cast.

So take a look at our video to see half an hour of combat, customisation and cutscenes. You can even try out the new combat system for yourself by downloading the demo from PSN or XBL.

Click here to read more...

Settings Orcs on fire and picking fights with NPCs in Divinity: Original Sin's Alpha

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Divinity: Original Sin, Larian Studios, PC games, RPGs, Videros

Settings Orcs on fire and picking fights with NPCs in Divinity: Original Sin's Alpha

You can jump into Larian's latest RPG -- Divinity: Original Sin -- over on Steam right now thanks to Early Access. The game is currently in alpha, meaning that bugs and placeholders and limited options abound, but you can actually get a really good feel for things, and the co-operative roleplaying element of Original Sin is on show for all to see.

There are two main characters in this game -- making it a perfect title to play with a friend (you can team up or split up whenever you want) -- and you have the opportunity to assign them to one of three classes at the start, but little beyond that at this stage of development. However, from then on, everything's pretty much open. You get plonked down in Rivellon, assigned to investigate a recent murder, and that's about it. You can go off and pretty much do whatever you like.

We have a half-hour playthrough complete with some initial impressions and commentary after the jump, in which our heroic duo set some Orcs on fire, beat up an enormous crab, and then pick a fight with a bunch of random NPCs... just because they can.

Click here to read more...

Bound By Flame Preview | A Game Possessed

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Bound By Flame, Focus Home Interactive, Games previews, PC games, PS3 games, PS4 games, RPGs, Spiders Games, Xbox 360 games

Bound By Flame Preview | A Game Possessed

Platforms: PC | PS3 | Xbox 360 | PS4

Developers: Spiders

Publishers: Focus Home Interactive

You have to admire Spiders' ambitions. They're a small team who want to make big games. Really big games. We're not talking shooters that you can rattle through in a matter of hours; we're talking RPGs with branching storylines, loads of customisation options, a decent story, optional companions, and an engaging combat system. These things don't come cheap, and the amount of effort it takes to craft a 20-25 hour RPG is intimidating.

That's what Bound By Flame is: a fully-fledged, high fantasy RPG on a budget that's a mere fraction of the likes enjoyed by Bethesda's and EA's studios. Made by a team more famous for porting The Testament of Sherlock Holmes to consoles than perhaps for their first stab at a truly expansive title in Mars: War Logs.

At least, that's the idea.

But Spiders are building up the time for their game at a good time. There's a dearth of fantastical Western RPGs right now, and if they can get Bound By Flame out ahead of the likes of The Witcher 3 and Dragon Age: Inquisition, it is to be hoped that the gap in the market might do them some favours. With a while yet to wait until the coming big-hitters make their retail appearances, it's not surprising that Bound By Flame is getting a fair bit of attention, and rightly so.

Click here to read more...