2. NeocoreGames has been known for its Action-RPGs recently, why this change in direction?
I think I'm not revealing any big secrets when I say that we're currently working on a bigger Action-RPG as well, but the release of that game is very far away. We felt that we need a little break by developing something different, so we don't become jaded with the Action-RPG genre. Once in a while it's a good thing to do something different, to get some distance from the genre, so we don't just repeat ourselves. Most of us from the concept team love tactical games and RPGs with a tactical approach, so the choice of direction felt natural, and then one decision lead to another. The thinking process was like this: "if we want a tactical game, we should incorporate RPG elements, since we're mostly RPG creators and writers", so this is how this hybrid came to be. As this was decided, we approached it from a rogue-lite angle as well. And as soon as this mixed genre was locked, we looked around to find a setting. We wanted fantasy, and free creative control, so we reached back to our old King Arthur games. The last step was to approach King Arthur from a dark fantasy perspective.
King Arthur: Knight's Tale follows the best traditions of turn-based tactical games and RPGs, but there is a new, innovative addition as well: the Morality Chart. Today we dive deep into this awesome feature which will define your playstyle and the characteristics of your regency!
This unique system will serve as indicator how your subordinates and enemies will judge you during the game. One axis of the chart represents Rightfulness and Tyranny, the other represents Old Faith and Christianity.
As you venture into new missions, you will be facing moral decisions which will move these values on the chart. Everything you do will be reflected here: it will show you exactly what kind of king you are.
Let's say there's a plague! What would you do? Sure, you can burn down every local building to stop its spread... but you can send in a healer as well. Riskier, but more humane! Or, let's say you happen upon a group of bandits harassing a merchant. You can deal with the robbers and let the merchant determine your reward, or... if you're in need, you can just take everything. So how do you decide? Tough questions!
The Morality Chart isn't just a fancy display, it has deeper implications in the game mechanics as well, by unlocking:
New heroes - Morgan le Fay, for example, will only be available in a quest if you meet the criteria of the morality value: push towards Old Faith, have its followers trust you enough to ask for your help.
New abilities - Heroes have a special ability tied to their morality values. Heroes fighting alongside with other heroes who share the same world view might benefit from this in the party, perhaps gaining new skills and bonuses on existing skills!
New management actions - As a Tyrant you might be able demand tribute to solve the problem of an empty treasury, whereas as a Righteous king you might formulate a new law that will bring steady income at a slower, but steadier rate.
Let's continue our hero spotlight, shall we? Today we brought along probably the most famous hero of the Arthurian myths - barring the Once and Future King, of course. His powers have been praised many a time, and his magic knew no bounds. Let's take a look at Merlin himself!
The legendary wizard, an ageless, mysterious presence who has been haunting Britannia since time immemorial. Merlin had been there before young Arthur pulled the sword out of the stone and changed Britannia forever and the wizard's role in that majestic event is still unclear; Merlin was also seen during the Battle of Camlann, and yet, no one seems to know clearly which side he fought on. He is an enigma, a power that cannot be controlled, a wanderer with strong ties to the Lady of the Lake. Presently his whereabouts are unknown.
Sir Mordred was the nemesis of King Arthur, destined to battle the Once and Future King in their final duel. He fulfilled his destiny and they both died - or didn't they?
Sir Mordred has a reputation of a dread knight, a ruthless, grim warrior in pursuit of the throne of Britannia. His slide into Arthur's nemesis was gradual, though, as his growing conflicts with the King eventually made him the leader of the army set out to conquer Camelot, earning him the title of traitor on behalf of his fellow knights who remained faithful to Arthur. It is undeniably true that he never suffered fools easily and his relentless actions were always far from the knightly deeds praised by the troubadours, but he always kept the interests of the realm in sight.
These frightening apparitions once served the Lady of the Lake. They used to be her white-robed enchantresses who protected the sacred springs of Avalon and assisted during the rituals. But when darkness came and madness swept away peace, many of these ladies died, and often they died very violently. When they returned - as most inhabitants of this magical island eventually do, one way or another -, they have turned into shrieking, frothing nightmares, raging over what they had lost.
In the golden age of Avalon, knights were wandering the island seeking glorious adventure. They fought and fell, but eventually they always returned fully healed and in great spirits. But that was before Avalon succumbed to the taint. Knights are still roaming the land and they still fight, although without the joy and the vigor; and when they fall, they will still stand up again, but darkness fills them like an empty vessel, and darkness remains in them until midnight ends.
Chronos is an RPG from Gunfire Games that we liked quite a bit when it was released in 2016. "Gunfire Games knows how to imbue combat with weight and a sense of rhythm," we said in our 84/100 review. "The Chronos team previously worked on Darksiders and Darksiders 2, and like those games, Chronos requires that you master the basic techniques of attacking, dodging and parrying, or even simple enemies will take you down."
Unfortunately, it was released exclusively for the Oculus Rift VR headset, and so despite the positive critical response it didn't get a whole lot of attention from mainstream audiences. So now, THQ Nordic is taking another run at it with Chronos: Before the Ashes, revealed today and set to come out on December 1.
@TheGGFallen Angel is a hack-and-slash game that is available now on Steam.
The indie games studio Matrioshka Games and the video game publisher V Publishing are today very thrilled and happy to announce that their biblical hack-and-slash RPG "Fallen Angel" is now available for PC via Steam.
Inspired by John Milton's "Paradise Lost", players take on the role of Lucifer, the angel that was cast out of Heaven, and now seeks vengeance, but when he returns, not all is as it appears.
Opportunity strikes when civil war erupts. God has departed without reason, and the archangels left behind to fight for dominion to lead. All the while a plot bigger than simple revenge begins to unfold.
"We wanted to provide a twist on the traditional perception of Heaven. Instead of a simple lush utopia, we have created a world that changes vastly depending on the archangel that controls it", said Michael Brown, CEO of V Publishing.
"This not only allows a more visually diverse game, but it's allowed us to create bosses and enemies that are varied in both look and how they fight, keeping things fresh as you play through."
Tactical RPG Stirring Abyss has been released on Steam.
Stirring Abyss is out now. Loosely based on Lovecraft's short novel The Temple, Stirring Abyss is the story of a submarine crew which bogs down at the bottom of the Ocean during the Cold War. They are forced to explore the bottom of a sea where unspeakable horrors and tentacled abominations run rampant.
Stirring Abyss releases with a 15% week-long launch discount: check it out and Cthulhu-up your Halloween weekend.
Stirring Abyss comes with 13 Story missions plus side quests, along with a roguelike Endless Mode. The game features 4 difficulty levels, from Narrative mode, for players who are more interested in story and exploration, to Hard, which will test even the most experienced players.
Todd Howard has addressed the question of exclusivity for their next generation games in an interview with Games Industry.
But it's the potential for the rest of ZeniMax's IP that is perhaps most intriguing. Franchises like Prey and Dishonored are both understood to be on hold having struggled to meet sales expectations -- despite critical acclaim for their most recent outings. But Game Pass is about delivering a variety of content that people want, not just raw sales. Even id Software co-founder John Carmack commented at the time that the deal may lead to the revival of older franchises.
Howard certainly sees an opportunity: "Game Pass and things like it allow titles to be successful where the economics of the business, and having to sell things at retail to sell X amount of copies... That works against some games. Just like in other avenues -- let's take television or movies. Certain types of comedies or big budget dramas went away. TV went to the cheapest thing they could make for a long time, reality television, which I could equate to a free-to-play match-three game. What brings eyeballs? What's cheap? Right, let's get it out.
Despite the many entry points to the Xbox ecosystem, there are still concerns that all future Bethesda titles will be restricted to channels the Microsoft controls. Xbox boss Phil Spencer said at the time that Bethesda's games continuing to be multiformat will be judged "on a case-by-case basis" -- and Howard reiterates that the details of the deal are still being finalised. When it comes to such releases, he says, "We haven't gone through all of that, to be honest."
"We do view it, and always have by ourselves, on a case-by-case basis," he says. "We'll do that as part of Microsoft as well. They've been pretty open on other platforms and not just within Xbox. This is an outside perspective, but if you go back ten years at Microsoft, you wouldn't expect them to have a full Office suite on an iPhone either.
"I can't really project where things will be except to say we've done those sort of exercises ourselves as an independent. If you look at every Elder Scrolls game, there has been some exclusivity on Xbox or with Microsoft. We've partnered with every game. Morrowind was basically a console exclusive, Oblivion was a long timed exclusive, Skyrim's DLC was exclusive for a long period of time. We'll decide what makes the best sense for our audience when the time comes, and I can't really project today what that looks like."
Gameinformerreports that the Cyberpunk 2077 devs didn't know about the delay:
Cyberpunk 2077 Devs Didn't Know About The Delay Until The Day Of, Here's Why
Yesterday, Cyberpunk 2077 was delayed until December (despite already going gold) to ensure that current-gen versions of the game come closer to the high standard that the team has for the PS5 and Xbox Series X iterations. Shortly after the news, an official tweet surfaced from the day before, supposedly confirming no more delays. This mixed messaging set the internet in a frenzy. How could something so important be confirmed one day, and then incorrect the next? The answer is: When that initial response went live a day before, it was true at the time. The wider team at CD Projekt Red didn't find out about the delay until the day it was announced.
When the news broke, I spoke with several CD Projekt Red developers who confirmed they didn't know about the delay until they received an internal email shortly before the announcement went live on Twitter. When that knowledge became public, the online backlash was almost instantaneous, sparking criticism of the studio's internal communication practices and how messages are conveyed to the community. Since then, I've spoken to several more CD Projekt Red developers on both the Polish and U.S. sides; according to them, the news was shocking, but not for the reasons people are assuming.
According to three developers, the decision to delay was a swift one after looking at the quality differences between the current-gen and next-gen versions. CD Projekt Red has said that it wants the launch of Cyberpunk 2077 to be perfect, so any perceived flaws are addressed quickly. According to the team, the decision to delay was not even discussed until Monday (October 26), with a decision being reached on Tuesday (October 27). According to Polish labor laws, leadership was not legally allowed to tell the whole team, due to its size of over 1,000 employees, without each individual signing a non-disclosure agreement. To do so would be considered, in terms of relation to stock equity and insider trading, as "leaked insider information."
Drecom acquires Wizardry copyright and trademark rights, new title to be developed
A new Wizardry cometh.
Japanese company Drecom has acquired the copyrights, as well as the domestic and foreign trademark rights to the "Wizardry" intellectual property and will develop a new title in the series, the company announced.
The acquisitions include the copyrights to "Wizardry 6," "Wizardry 7," "Wizardry 8," and "Wizardry Gold," as well as the domestic and foreign trademark rights to "Wizardry."
The company said it will keep up its commitment to the acquisition of popular intellectual properties, as well as the development and cultivation of its internal properties.
Gamereactor interviewed Phil Spencer about first party games, monetization and game development.
Before the first round of purchasing studios - what made you get up one morning and say; "we need more studios, we need more first-party games"?
If I think back during the early Xbox One years and even late in the 360 years, at this time we as a company didn't invest enough in our creative capabilities with our studios, and it showed. Now, the thing with game production is that it takes a lot of time, so if you underinvest it actually doesn't show up next year or even in the next two years. It's maybe three, four, or five years down the road.
I had this feeling or belief that we were underinvesting and I was head of first-party, so I felt it directly. I wanted to invest more, and we weren't able to. So when I got into this job, I needed to put the business in a good space while getting the support of the company. And then we built a business model that prioritised investing in content knowing that we would have to invest early and wait a while for those investments to pay off.
But there wasn't kind of a "one morning." It was something that I felt, as I said through the late 360 and early Xbox One years, it just took us a little time to get into a position to find the right partners and get the support from the company. But I'm incredibly excited. Now with ZeniMax we're coming up on 23 first-party studios and an amazing line-up. So I'm feeling very good with the support we have.
The same can be said for games with an inherent online focus, or even Live Service titles. Do you have a certain strategy as to how many projects at any given times are strictly single-player, or strictly multiplayer, or is it more fluid than that?
Yeah, it's totally up to each studio, and I know some people that, when they've looked at the model around Game Pass, have assumed that Game Pass is actually a better model, if there's more Games-as-a-Service games in the subscription. I actually argue the opposite and believe the opposite. The last thing I want in Game Pass is that there's one game that everybody is playing forever, that's not a gaming content subscription, that's a one-game subscription, that's WoW, right? So for us, having games in the subscription that have a beginning, middle, and end, and then they go on to play the next game, maybe those are single-player narrative-driven games, I just finished Tell Me Why, an amazing game from DontNod, those games can be really strong for us in the subscription. In many ways, they're actually better than one or two games that are soaking up all the engagement in the subscription. I want a long tail of a lot of games that people are playing, and I think the diversity of online multiplayer versus single-player, we have to support the diversity there, and that's my goal. If anything I'd like to see more single-player games from our first-party, just because that over time we've kind of grown organically to be more multiplayer-driven as an organisation.
Gematsu reports on the release of the launch trailer for Xuan Yuan: Sword VII which will be available October 29th.
Publisher and developer Softstar Entertainment, and developers DOMO Studio and Yooreka Studio have released the launch trailer for Xuan-Yuan Sword VII.
Xuan-Yuan Sword VII is due out for PC via Steam worldwide and PlayStation 4 in Asia (excluding Japan) on October 29. A western release of the PlayStation 4 version will follow "as soon as possible." An Xbox One version is also planned, but a release date has yet to be announced.
Gematsu reports that Action RPG The Ascent has been delayed until 2021.
Publisher Curve Digital and developer Neon Giant have delayed science-fiction action RPG The Ascent from its previously planned 2020 release window to 2021. It will be available for Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and PC via Steam, as well as Xbox Game Pass for Console and PC.
"Xbox Game Pass is an amazing proposition for us as a small indie developer with a team of only 11 people, because it allows more players around the world to experience our game," said Neon Giant art director and co-founder Tor Frick in a press release. "To celebrate this exciting news, we wanted to cement the game's place in 2021's next-gen line-up by casting light on what players can expect to experience at launch."
It's been one week since our Early Access launch and we've been hard at work to bring you a whole bunch of improvements!
DE version available here (thanks Raminblake)
Important: If you are running into infinite loading screens, make sure to verify your games files!
Go to your Steam Library and right click Solasta => Properties => Local Files Tab => Verify Integrity of Game Files.
If this doesn't fix the problem, try loading an older save (such as an auto-save) to go through the problematic area! On rare occasions, save files can get corrupted so the solution is loading another one.
RPG Siteanalyzes the open world RPG Genshin Impact:
Genshin Impact: Encapsulating the Phenomenon One Month Later
Going into 2020, I never would have dreamed that Genshin Impact would have ended up being one of the biggest titles this year. Don't get me wrong, I like it quite a bit. Even at Adventure Rank 37, I still log in everyday to do my dailies and pursue various in-game activities to enhance my characters. For better or worse, I have played a lot of gacha games over the years and this feels like the one that penetrated the mainstream audience in a significant way recently. Yes, long-standing titles like Granblue Fantasy, Fate/Grand Order, the numerous mobile Final Fantasy entries (Record Keeper, Brave Exvius, Opera Omnia, etc.), and even Puzzle & Dragons remain immensely popular in that space, but none of them have occupied the social mainstream mindshare the way Genshin Impact has.
This is not to say that any of these games are better than the other. They all have good and bad aspects about them. I'm not here to judge you if you play any of them... well, unless you're an Epic Seven player.
I kid, I kid.
What distinguishes Genshin Impact from past releases is an amalgamation of several factors: accessibility, scope, and timing. Before we dive into it, let me contextualize this a bit if you aren't aware of the state of the gacha game industry these days.
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