Planescape: Torment Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Planescape: Torment RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network 8 Games You Need to Play Before Cyberpunk 2077 https://www.gameskinny.com/4qqib/8-games-you-need-to-play-before-cyberpunk-2077 https://www.gameskinny.com/4qqib/8-games-you-need-to-play-before-cyberpunk-2077 Tue, 09 Jul 2019 09:00:02 -0400 John Schutt

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/e/a/keanu-4db75.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/e/a/keanu-4db75.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"199433","description":"

We'll have to wait and see if Cyberpunk 2077 lives up to the massive amount of hype it's built for itself, intentionally or not. I'm also curious where it will take its greatest inspirations from, at least when it comes to design and worldbuilding decisions.

\n

The games on this list are just a few of the possibilities CD PROJEKT RED might see as worthy of helping build their game, but I have a feeling there's much more in store for us than we would ever think possible.

\n

Cyberpunk 2077 releases April 16, 2020, on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/n/a/snake-3f231.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/n/a/snake-3f231.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"199607","description":"

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

\n
    \n
  • Developer: Kojima Productions
  • \n
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • \n
  • Release Date: September 1, 2015
  • \n
\n

If ever there was a game that gave players as many options as was humanly possible, it would be MGS 5: The Phantom Pain. While it's not an RPG, it does give players almost complete freedom in how, where, when, and why they overcome challenges.

\n

Headfirst into a firefight or complete stealth. Lethal or nonlethal. Change the weather or drop boxes from on high. If you can think it, MGS 5 probably gives you the option to do it.

\n

Time will tell if Cyberpunk goes as far as Hideo Kojima himself when it comes to player freedom, but from what we've seen so far, they're certainly going to try.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/o/doomguy-1cf2d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/o/doomguy-1cf2d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"199605","description":"

DOOM

\n
    \n
  • Developer: Irrational Games
  • \n
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • \n
  • Release Date: May 13, 2016
  • \n
\n

First of all, do I really need to give any real justification for playing the DOOM reboot? Didn't think so.

\n

If you insist, though, one of the most important aspects of DOOM's appeal is the sheer pace of the gameplay. Once it gets going, your wholesale slaughter of Hell's hordes doesn't stop. All you have are brief moments of looking for more ways to murder more demons.

\n

When it comes to Cyberpunk 2077, you aren't necessarily incentivized to kill everything you see, but that won't stop some players from trying. More to the point, as far as we know, instant action is a viable way of making your way through the game. That makes DOOM a great game to play if you want to master fast-paced, murder-filled play.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/i/o/bioshock-logo-5b451.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/i/o/bioshock-logo-5b451.jpg","type":"slide","id":"199603","description":"

Bioshock

\n
    \n
  • Developer: Irrational Games
  • \n
  • Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
  • \n
  • Release Date: August 21, 2007
  • \n
\n

The original Bioshock is one of the best test cases for how to merge storytelling and mechanics. Its major twist notwithstanding, the player's dependence on plasmids and their use in the decline of Rapture are integral to the overall worldbuilding of the game. 

\n

That and the way the world connects together into a cohesive whole is also something Cyberpunk is attempting to do. Thanks to improvements in technology, Night City won't be constrained by loading screens or individually contained levels, but the way everything connects is classic Bioshock.

\n

The gameplay variety offered by the plasmid system is another idea Cyberpunk is playing off of. Through augmentation and future-tech, players will be able to define not only how they play but also how the world plays around them.

\n

There's nothing more satisfying than turning a Big Daddy against his brethren to save yourself some ammo. Hacking that lumbering, juiced up dude in the corner to pummel his former friends? Same thing, just with tech rather than genetic modification.

\n

Mostly.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/o/r/torment-logo-52284.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/o/r/torment-logo-52284.jpg","type":"slide","id":"199432","description":"

Planescape: Torment

\n
    \n
  • Developer: Black Isle Studios
  • \n
  • Platforms: PC
  • \n
  • Release Date: December 12, 1999 (Original), April 11, 2017 (Enhanced Edition)
  • \n
\n

Storytelling is a hallmark of any CD PROJEKT RED title, from the deep characters and compelling storylines to the difficult choices and player-driven worlds. To that end, the Witcher devs owe much to the likes of Chris Avellone and the developers behind one of the best RPGs ever made: Planescape: Torment.

\n

Though set in a classic Dungeons & Dragons setting, Torment helped to define and innovate on the complexity and depth a game could offer with its narrative. Many of Torment's systems — story-centric or otherwise — would go on to inspire developers across the genre, and there are plenty of gamers out there, our Ty Arthur included, who see this title as one of the pinnacles of gaming achievement.

\n

 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/v/covro-9ea8b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/v/covro-9ea8b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"199431","description":"

Dishonored 1 & 2

\n
    \n
  • Developer: Arkane Studios
  • \n
  • Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC
  • \n
  • Release Date: October 9, 2012, and  November 11, 2016
  • \n
\n

Much in the same vein as Mankind Divided, both Dishonored games present players with complex, sometimes labyrinthine levels contained within a single larger location. In this case, each area has a different aesthetic and gameplay challenges, but the focus — unlike both Deus Ex and Cyberpunk in some cases — is on stealth and subterfuge.

\n

Players can use the Dishonored series as a means to experiment with stealth mechanics and learn how to navigate heavily layered levels. Cyberpunk looks to be offering that kind of level design and more, so understanding how to fight your way through a punk-style world through both lethal and non-lethal means will be critical.

\n

 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/e/u/deus-adam-ecb9b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/e/u/deus-adam-ecb9b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"199420","description":"

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

\n
    \n
  • Developer: Eidos Montreal
  • \n
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • \n
  • Release Date: August 23, 2016
  • \n
\n

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is one of the best examples of a complex, layered, and interconnected world. It might not boast the same sized map as Cyberpunk 2077, but it is a great test case for how a single location can provide hours upon hours of gameplay and story.

\n

Another thing Mankind Divided brings to your Cyberpunk preparation is in its shooting and action mechanics. While what we've seen of CD PROJEKT RED's new title seems to indicate an increased focus on pace and movement, that shouldn't stop you from using the latest Deus Ex as a way to experiment with what's possible in a first-person action RPG.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/e/r/geralt-56323.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/e/r/geralt-56323.jpg","type":"slide","id":"199602","description":"

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

\n
    \n
  • Developer: CD PROJEKT RED
  • \n
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • \n
  • Release Date: May 19, 2015
  • \n
\n

Let's get the other elephant out of the room. You shouldn't go into Cyberpunk 2077 without having at least a working knowledge of CDPR's previous epic. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is widely considered by critics to be one of the best RPGs of the decade (I'm inclined to agree), and plenty of people think it to be the best game ever made.

\n

From its storytelling, deep customization, expansive world — itself enough to encompass several full-priced games — and overall quality, The Witcher 3 will give anyone a 100-hour masterclass in how CD PROJEKT makes games. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/l/o/cloud-city-64d2e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/l/o/cloud-city-64d2e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"199419","description":"

Final Fantasy VII Remake

\n
    \n
  • Developer: Square Enix
  • \n
  • Platforms: PS4
  • \n
  • Release Date: March 30, 2020
  • \n
\n

Let's get the elephant out of the room. The Final Fantasy VII Remake is one of the biggest games we know about in 2020. A total overhaul of both its systems and its world — both legendary in their own right — the Remake has four years of development expectations and more than 20 years of hopes and dreams to live up to.

\n

Coming out almost a full month before Cyberpunk 2077, the Remake will be an excellent primer for how developers build and evolve their worlds to match or exceed what their fans are looking for. 

\n

Plus, if it's anything like its source material, the Remake will offer fans plenty of options with how they want to build and play. Build experimentation and execution is a huge part of any classic Final Fantasy and it will certainly be an integral aspect of Cyberpunk's gameplay.

\n

Most of all, I would put money on the idea that Cyberpunk has at least a little bit to thank Final Fantasy VII for. And even when CD PROJEKT RED's next potential masterpiece has been well and truly conquered, we have more Final Fantasy to look forward to for years to come.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/i/friend-006fd.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/i/friend-006fd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"199417","description":"

Few games coming out in the next year carry a larger profile than Cyberpunk 2077 from The Witcher 3 developer CD PROJEKT RED. Perhaps only the Final Fantasy VII Remake holds the same kind of weight and expectation. 

\n

There's good reason for the hype:

\n
    \n
  • Cyberpunk follows The Witcher 3, one of the most beloved games of this generation. Players are expecting something at least on par with that experience. 

  • \n
  • More than six years of development time with seemingly no compromise between release time and content quality places expectations at a high level. 

  • \n
  • Direct consultation with the creator of the tabletop RPG source material means that the world, characters, and story ought to be very authentic.

  • \n
  • A 45-minute showcase of everything the game has to offer, followed by 26-minutes more recently, tease an intricate world full of complex mechanics. 
  • \n
\n

And while Cyberpunk 2077 releases all the way in April 2020, there are plenty of games new old, and still unreleased you can play and should play to pass the time. We'll be talking about eight of them.

"}]]]>
Enough With the Enhanced Editions Already Beamdog! Just Stop! https://www.gameskinny.com/ti2gb/enough-with-the-enhanced-editions-already-beamdog-just-stop https://www.gameskinny.com/ti2gb/enough-with-the-enhanced-editions-already-beamdog-just-stop Wed, 05 Apr 2017 12:00:01 -0400 Ty Arthur

I maintain to this day that Planescape: Torment is still, bar none, the best RPG to have ever been released.

It's certainly the best written, with the most interesting characters and story this side of the multiverse. More modern quasi-RPGs like Skyrim don't even hold a candle to Black Isle's crowning achievement.

A succubus who runs a brothel where only intellectual lusts are sated, a suit of armor animated through unwavering belief in the force of law, a psychotic wizard who tried to burn down a city and was punished by becoming a human lamp for a dingy bar: Torment always had something unique up its sleeve that made you keep playing hour after hour.

RPGs now, RPGs then, nostalgia gogglesKudos to the particularly on-point memeologist who put this together...

Considering my borderline-worshipful level of adoration for Torment and overall love for the Planescape setting in general, you'd think I'd be stoked about a whole new version of the game arriving... right? Well, maybe not, because we've got to consider who is doing the releasing and just what exactly was changed.

Enhancing or Repackaging?

Torment isn't Beamdog's first enhancement rodeo, having released updated versions of nearly all the Infinity Engine games now, to varying results. The Baldur's Gate saga for instance got some tweaks that actually improved on an aging engine like allowing more arrows to be stacked together than in the original, updating certain AD&D rules to be more clear and less frustrating, and adding new companions.

Not all the changes were welcome, however. Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition swapped out the opening cutscene of Sarevok throwing a fellow Bhaalspawn off a roof, with something that actually looked worse than a 20 year old cinematic (and THAT takes effort).

Many new bugs were added into the engine as well, with a lot more crashes, and the changes overall weren't much better than the huge number of fan mods released throughout the years.

Offering even fewer changes and upgrades this time around than ever before, Torment is is the most blatantly half-baked Enhanced Edition yet with such a minimum of effort applied that it's sort of appalling Beamdog is actually charging money for the end result.

The main difference on display is a suite of visual "enhancements," which if you've played the other Enhanced Editions, you'll know won't actually be upgrades. The entirely unnecessary zoom feature -- rather than allowing for screen resolution changes in the options -- results in a visual experience that's somehow even lower quality than the original 18 year old game.

You'll be endlessly zooming in and out to find the right setting for any given map, when the original areas managed to look just fine without this distracting feature. The black pixels added around sprites further manage to make characters look even more jagged than they did originally.

The new quick looting feature is neat however -- especially when dealing with lots of corpses on the ground all in a small area -- and some of the UI is a little less cluttered, but on the whole there's nothing here that hasn't been done already by fan modders, with the possible exception of now having Torment available on your Android device.

A Startling Lack Of Content

What's truly baffling is what isn't included in this new edition: like the fan-made Unfinished Business mod that restored missing quest lines and re-implemented cut dialog. If you're going to give us a new edition of the game with reams of text re-edited by Chris Avellone, why not add in things we haven't seen or read before?

Nothing legitimately new was included on the character, item, dialog, map, or story fronts. The lack of added content while charging more for the game than normal is difficult to justify, with images like the one below making the rounds across the various gaming forums:

 It's hard to argue with this...

On the other hand, it may actually be better that they didn't add anything new. We weren't exactly thrilled here at Gameskinny with Beamdog's original content in the SIege Of Dragonspear offering, and it seems like the rest of the gaming world wasn't having any of it either.

While nostalgia was on tap by the bucketful and there was fun to be had for Baldur's Gate fanatics, the writing just wasn't up to par. Simply put, Siege Of Dragonspear offered the mechanics of Baldur's Gate without the soul, and it seems unlikely this team could have given us characters or stories up to snuff that would match the oddity and style of Torment.

A Declining IP

The lazy Enhanced Editions, much like the sub-par PC ports of classic Final Fantasy games, is only one symptom of a franchise that feels like it's on its last legs.

A disturbing lack of effort has been a recurring problem of late with Dungeons and Dragons branded games. Frankly, it feels like Wizard of the Coast has just given up and has no interest in creating compelling stories or captivating games anymore, instead giving us shallow drek like Sword Coast Legends and an endless stream of re-releases.

Of particular concern is that these new Enhanced Editions are now replacing the originals rather than being an available option. Seriously, navigate over to Steam or GOG and search for Baldur's Gate. Guess what? You can't buy the superior original versions anymore -- only the Enhanced Editions are up for sale.

Unless you bought the original editions previously on digital platforms or have the discs from way back when, it's now becoming next to impossible to experience the games as they were released.

Neverwinter nights complete, posterSomehow it's been 11 years since the last legitimately worthwhile D&D game!

Time For Something New

Having now artlessly vivisected the corpses of several truly classic games, and having even released an Infinity Engine expansion set between Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II, the question has to be asked: why not create an entirely new game?

Siege Of Dragonspear may not have been well received, but lessons can be learned there to improve on future releases, so why keep making minor tweaks to existing games as a business model rather than actually creating content?

There's gamers out there who want old school titles, and they are willing to pay for them. Plenty of developers are keeping the lights on solely by releasing new material in classic cRPG style and without just making small changes to existing games. Underrail immediately springs to mind, having resurrected the original Fallout style to critical acclaim and with a small indie team on a limited budget.

      If a game that looks like this can make money in 2017, there's really no excuse for always riding on an another developer's coat tails...

Age Of Decadence is as retro as they come and is consistently covered in praise. Divinity: Original Sin met wild success utilizing an exclusively old-school formula. I Am Setsuna was essentially an updated SNES RPG and it was among the most anticipated games of 2016.

Obsidian and inXile figured out crowd funding could result in classic games being profitable, with Pillars Of Eternity and Tyranny directly mimicking the Infinity Engine style and Wasteland 2 updating a 25 year old classic into a modern setting. The Torment name and style itself was resurrected with the recently-released Tides Of Numenera.

With Beamdog running out of Infinity Engine games to mildly mod and re-release, where else is there to go besides trying something original?

Sound off below -- do you feel the Enhanced Edition of Torment is worth $19.99, and have you been satisfied with Beamdog's re-packaging of classic Infinity Engine games?

For me, it's a hard pass on re-buying a game I already own with worse aesthetics and a handful of free mods pre-installed.

]]>
5 Best RPG Moments That Aren't Bullets, Swords, and Mayhem https://www.gameskinny.com/uaebq/5-best-rpg-moments-that-arent-bullets-swords-and-mayhem https://www.gameskinny.com/uaebq/5-best-rpg-moments-that-arent-bullets-swords-and-mayhem Sat, 25 Feb 2017 10:11:42 -0500 Rob Kershaw

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/l/a/planescape-148d7.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/l/a/planescape-148d7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"151319","description":"
Planescape: Torment -- What You Did To Deionarra
\n

[SPOILER WARNING!]

\n

Among a multitude of sad stories and poignant asides, Deionarra remains one of the most tragic figures in Black Isle Studios' masterpiece. She appears as a ghost at the beginning -- a former lover of you, The Nameless One -- but it isn't until the end, in the Fortress of Regrets, that you discover her true fate.

\n

One of your splintered states, the Practical Incarnation, lays out the facts bluntly: Deionarra was manipulated into loving you and then sacrificed. The Practical Incarnation knew that her intense love for The Nameless One would compel her to remain as a ghost awaiting The Nameless One's return, unable to pass to the afterlife. It also knew that her tormented soul would act as a link to the Fortress, just as The Practical Incarnation needed.

\n

Deionarra was nothing more than a tool to be used and discarded, and this devastating reveal was the depressing cherry on the gloomy cake of your time in the Fortress. Arguably the best-written RPG of all time, Planescape: Torment is finally getting a deserved successor in Torment: Tides of Numenera, and if it contains moments anywhere near as heart-wrenching as Deionarra's tale, we'll be ecstatic. And in tears, obviously.

\n

I'd love to hear your choices for best RPG moments -- so leave a comment and let me know which ones had the most significance for you.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/2/me2-2d20c.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/2/me2-2d20c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"151316","description":"
Mass Effect 2 -- The Suicide Mission
\n

Far and away the pinnacle of an altogether stellar series, the ending of yet another BioWare space adventure -- this time its own IP -- proved to be a profound departure from the norm. Faced with the prospect of an overwhelming fight to infiltrate the Collector base and take out the Human Reaper within, you need to select the team who will accompany you, as well as other members who are assigned different tasks.

\n

ME2 pulled no punches, and if the team members you selected in each instance weren't loyal or strong enough, or if you'd failed to make the appropriate modifications to the Normandy, there was every possibility of seeing your comrades fall. The pressure of trying to do the right thing and keep your team safe under impossible circumstances was one of the standout moments from the series, and the devastation you felt if any of them failed to make it to the end was heartbreaking.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/l/fallout3-aafae.JPG","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/l/fallout3-aafae.JPG","type":"slide","id":"151318","description":"
Fallout 3 -- Leaving The Vault
\n

Though the Fallout series has its share of incredible moments, there's nothing quite like the sense of wonder and potential that greets you upon opening the door to the outside world from Vault 101.

\n

The horizon laid out before you, a wasteland of immense scope awaited your exploration and you finally realized that, after the isometric viewpoint of the first two games, this was the perspective you had craved all along -- the sense of total freedom to go and discover -- and to see the world through the eyes of the dweller. It was a momentous feeling.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/o/t/kotor-0b425.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/o/t/kotor-0b425.jpg","type":"slide","id":"151315","description":"
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic -- Darth Revan Revealed
\n

[SPOILER WARNING!]

\n

BioWare's sprawling space opera was the ultimate fan service to Star Wars lovers. It was also a damn good RPG filled with memorable characters. But as anyone who has ever played it knows, the pivotal moment in the game was finding out that Darth Revan -- responsible for all manner of atrocities across the galaxy -- was actually... you.

\n

Since your mind had been wiped and then brainwashed to the Light side by Bastila, the twist came late in the game and ultimately led to a choice of agreeing to help defeat the Sith or ousting the current leader of the Dark side, Malak, and taking his place. The revelation was unlike any that BioWare had offered up before, and it secured KOTOR's place among the greatest RPGs ever made.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/t/m/ttm-92c00.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/t/m/ttm-92c00.png","type":"slide","id":"151313","description":"
To The Moon -- When Johnny Meets River
\n

If I had my way, I'd put pretty much the entirety of To The Moon in this list. It's one of the most beautiful and moving games ever created, and it's filled with dialog that taps into the ordinariness of everyday conversations, while simultaneously making each one feel special. Also.... that music.

\n

But the scene where Johnny and River meet for the first time on a park bench and talk about the origin of their names, the stars, and the carnival prize John won -- which he gifts to River -- is just wonderful. With echoes of the equally lovely Before Sunrise, it's capped off by the pair arranging to meet at the same time, in the same place, the following year. Tissues at the ready.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/e/r/aerith-37b8f.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/e/r/aerith-37b8f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"151321","description":"

Picking the highlights from a vast catalog of RPGs is an almost impossible task. Sure, I could roll out that scene in Final Fantasy VII, or talk about Link obtaining the Master Sword in Ocarina of Time before he was actually ready, but some of the best RPG moments have actually been the simplest ones.

\n

As I'll demonstrate, the act of opening a door, simply sitting on a bench, or discovering the truth about yourself can have as much impact as skewering a character on a sword.

\n

So here are five role-playing scenes that hold a lot of personal meaning to me for very different reasons -- and don't involve bullets, swords, or mayhem.

"}]]]>
New Story Trailer for Torment: Tides of Numenera https://www.gameskinny.com/y3bgo/new-story-trailer-for-torment-tides-of-numenera https://www.gameskinny.com/y3bgo/new-story-trailer-for-torment-tides-of-numenera Thu, 09 Feb 2017 09:31:56 -0500 Rob Kershaw

Techland have just released a story trailer for the forthcoming Torment: Tides of Numenera and it looks very promising indeed.

Whilst the background for your character has been discussed before -- as well as the game's possible antagonist -- the latest trailer summarizes the events leading up to your arrival in Torment succinctly.

From what we can gather, you may not only be fighting against The Sorrow, but The Changing God as well -- the entity who created and possessed the vessels that allowed him to survive through the ages, of which you are one.

But the way in which The Changing God is portrayed suggests that there may possibly be scope for you and The Sorrow to work together, and defeat the entity which has been cheating death for millennia.

It's an intriguing introduction to Monte Cook's world, and given the writing talent behind the game we can expect that the conflict we'll encounter will be tinged with various shades of grey.

The release date is less than three weeks away, so we can expect a ramp up of promotional information as February 28th draws closer.

Does the story trailer make you excited to play Torment? Let us know in the comments!

]]>
My 6 Top Most Anticipated Western RPG's https://www.gameskinny.com/852kl/my-6-top-most-anticipated-western-rpgs https://www.gameskinny.com/852kl/my-6-top-most-anticipated-western-rpgs Mon, 30 Jan 2017 03:00:01 -0500 Michael Llewellyn

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/1a08d8a20d515b9d62fd7d98a57c9df4.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/1a08d8a20d515b9d62fd7d98a57c9df4.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10294","description":"
Mass Effect: Andromeda
\n

Platforms PlayStation 4/Xbox One/PC

\n

Being a huge Mass Effect fan I have high hopes for this game I feel it is one of the best and most intricately developed Sci-Fi universes in any form of media I have seen there's just so much lore and love that's gone into this series, it's ever expanding universe ranks up there the likes of mature Sci-Fi media and literature like Battlestar Galactica and The Expanse.

\n

BioWare brought in a great team of experienced Sci-Fi writers for this game and the developers have promised a more open and expansive galaxy to explore with a more flexible class system that isn't locked into one style of gameplay through progression tree. Now the protagonist Ryder can have combat, tech, and biotic abilities all in one playthrough.

\n

With everything set in place for this new space set adventure which is just weeks away -- at the time of writing -- and with level of talent available at BioWare it really does have the potential to Game of the Year material.

\n

Which western RPGs are you most looking forward to you in 2017? Let me know in the comments below!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/84db4ebf13270b3b63f0e66319b50e2d.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/84db4ebf13270b3b63f0e66319b50e2d.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10291","description":"
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
\n

Platforms: PlayStation 4/Xbox One/PC

\n

Release Date: TBA 2017

\n

Kingdom Come: Deliverance has been in development for a while but now that the developers have signed a publishing deal with Koch Media's publishing division Deep Silver, the release is looking for hopeful for a 2017 release date.

\n

The game is an open world RPG much like Skyrim at first glance but this game is set in Bohemia 1403 with period accurate armor and clothing, it's also going to steeped in historical realism adapting real life events in history -- so no magic, dragons, elves and monsters. As much as I love the Tolkienesque setting in RPG's, being a bit of a history buff I've been hoping for a modern day RPG that was willing to go the historical medieval route.

\n

The game puts you in the shoes of a blacksmith's son in a once peaceful mining town until it is raided and his whole family murdered. This puts the protagonist on a path of vengeance and an epic journey to bring peace to the Kingdom of Bohemia.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/5e089295bf42d16938c158e648606a31.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/5e089295bf42d16938c158e648606a31.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10290","description":"
The Surge 
\n

Platforms: PlayStation 4/Xbox One/PC

\n

Release Date May 2017

\n

The Surge is coming from Deck 13 Interactive, the studios who brought us the flawed but underrated Dark Souls-alike Lords Of The Fallen, and much like its predecessor, it follows a similar gameplay formula and is promising to expand on it.

\n

It's set in a dystopian future in the aftermath of a technological disaster. It's a world populated by robots, non-humans and surviving humans. The protagonist is not a warrior or soldier but is connected to an exoskeleton that you will be able to upgrade and craft to your liking.

\n

If the developers can learn from the flaws of Lords Of The Fallen -- which in my view was a good game with a really solid combat system that had just a few flaws that held it back from being great. With a new setting and a new premise there's an opportunity for Deck 13 to do great things with this new IP.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/8f31c64a009f6c899701e606ea5a31c2.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/8f31c64a009f6c899701e606ea5a31c2.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10289","description":"
Horizon Zero Dawn 
\n

Platform: Playstation 4

\n

Release Date: North America 28th of February EU 1st of March 2017

\n

An open world RPG, and a first of its kind from Guerilla Games -- the developers of the Killzone series -- it's a complete deviation from the first person and mostly linear shooters we've seen in the past from the studio.

\n

It's post-apocalyptic land is ruled and roamed over by robotic, mechanical creatures of varying sizes. You have the ability to take the creatures down in a variety of ways from combat to hacking.

\n

It's looking like brave new direction from the studio, with absolutely stunning visuals -- as expected -- and a really appealing art design, the outlook is looking good for this promising new title.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/321b157726730543527cce8a37a16b9f.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/321b157726730543527cce8a37a16b9f.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10293","description":"
Torment: Tides of Numenera
\n

Platforms: PlayStation 4/Xbox One/PC

\n

Release Date: 28th of February 2017

\n

Torment: Tides of Numenera is considered a spiritual sequel to the critically acclaimed Planescape: Torment. Only licensing issues put a stop to the game being a full sequel but much of the original development team will be returning for this game, including the composer.

\n

The game is using the same classical CRPG stylings of the original title and is looking very promising with a talented team of developers and writers behind the game. With Divinity and now Torment the classical CRPG has seen a lot of new life lately and is successfully finding a new home on consoles too.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/30a5c736a894e25cb00bb64a49d7b20f.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/30a5c736a894e25cb00bb64a49d7b20f.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10292","description":"
Divinity: Original Sin 2 
\n

Platforms: PlayStation 4/Xbox One/PC

\n

Release Date: TBA

\n

I have really enjoyed the Divinity series over the years with underrated DIvinity: Dragon Knight Saga to the modernised CRPG stylings of Divinity: Original Sin. 

\n

Funded by Kickstarter, Original Sin, received high praise for its challenging yet exciting gameplay mechanics, beautiful world and its story. The sequel looks to be following in the same footsteps as its predecessors.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-come-deliverance-95f36.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-come-deliverance-95f36.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148923","description":"

I've already made a list here on Gameskinny about my most anticipated Japanese RPG's for 2017 and I've wanted to follow on from that with another list for the Western RPG, as I enjoy both approaches to the role playing game genre equally.

\n

I have a huge love for Western RPG's from the open worlds, to refining your character's stats in order to perfect your sword wielding warrior or your spell casting wizard.

\n

Much like the JRPG there is are a lot of games to get excited for in terms of quality and variety in 2017 -- so without further ado are my list of of of most anticipated Western RPG's.

"}]]]>
Can Torment: Tides of Numenera Ever Be a Worthy Successor to Planescape: Torment? https://www.gameskinny.com/fgkif/can-torment-tides-of-numenera-ever-be-a-worthy-successor-to-planescape-torment https://www.gameskinny.com/fgkif/can-torment-tides-of-numenera-ever-be-a-worthy-successor-to-planescape-torment Fri, 13 Jan 2017 07:00:01 -0500 Rob Kershaw

Full disclosure to begin with: Planescape: Torment is my all-time favorite game. Invariably, it's also the one that when I'm asked by friends to name the title that tops my list receives blank looks and the occasional "huh?"

It's not surprising. The 1999 role-playing masterpiece (yes, I believe the superlative is absolutely warranted) bombed financially. Less than half a million units were shifted, despite it picking up a slew of accolades. Many gamers didn't know what to make of it, since it turned traditional role-playing on its head. Your character not only couldn't permanently die, but his death was necessary to advance the plot. The combat took a back seat to the story, and the text-heavy aspect of the game would certainly have put many off. The word count was over 800,000 or, to put it into perspective, just under twice as many words as A Storm of Swords, the biggest book in George R. R. Martin's epic series A Song of Ice and Fire.

Yet, Planescape: Torment developed something of a cult following in subsequent years. Players looked for something a bit more cerebral following Icewind Dale's dungeon-fest, and came back to Black Isle Studios' game to see what the fuss was about. Like me, the ones that understood what designers Chris Avellone and Colin McComb were trying to achieve made an effort to spread the word. To this day, I find myself taking every opportunity to promote this overlooked classic to anyone who will listen.

Despite its later success, I didn't think it would ever get a sequel. It was esoteric, massively involved, and far too financially unsuccessful to justify a return to the world of Sigil. But then Kickstarter happened. inXile Entertainment (including writer Colin McComb), were riding a wave of success off the back of Wasteland 2. A sequel to Planescape: Torment was pitched, and although the studio was unable to acquire the Planescape licence and Sigil was off the table they shifted the setting to Monte Cook's world of Numenera. A spiritual successor was born.

Can It Succeed?

Torment: Tides of Numenera took a mere six hours to fully fund on Kickstarter, and then broke records before hitting almost five times its monetary goal. Aside from two of the original designers, a staggering array of talent is on board, including many of the crew that worked on the first game. Much of the music is being handled by Planescape: Torment's Mark Morgan. And it's all headed up by Brian Fargo, who also oversaw a few games you may have heard of: The Bard's TaleFallout, Fallout 2 and Baldur's Gate.

So, on paper, the game has all the makings of an instant hit. Kickstarter removed publisher interference, and let the team ask the fans and let's face it, the game wouldn't exist without them what they most wanted to see in a sequel. The stretch goals speak for themselves.

But what looks good on paper might not manifest itself in the game that I want to play. If it is going to be a true successor, it's got to come out swinging. Every aspect has to click, each line of dialog has to contribute to the game world, and all of the playable characters need to be special.

What Can Change The Nature Of A Game?

In Planescape: Torment you played The Nameless One, an immortal who awakens on a mortuary slab. Each time you died, you returned to that slab to start over, but at the cost of another's life. Your entire quest was to discover what caused your immortality, and how to resolve it. The game threw philosophical questions at the player throughout their journey, and from a personal perspective it challenged me to think not only about the events that lead to The Nameless One's fate, but my actual life goals. There was some pretty deep philosophizing littered amongst the story choices, and given the new game is being marketed as a "philosophical role-playing game," there's plenty for me to be excited about.

In Torment: Tides of Numenera you will play the Last Castoff, one of the remaining avatars that was used and discarded by a man who acquired the ability to cheat death. By moving his consciousness to a new host, he became known as The Changing God, and moved through the ages. As he left each successive Castoff in search of a new body, a fresh consciousness imbued the shell he abandoned, resulting in dozens of Castoffs scattered across the lands. When The Changing God's bitter enemy the Angel of Entropy awakens with the intent of destroying him, you and the rest of the Castoffs are targets for the Angel's wrath.

It's intriguing, but the immortal body-hopping narrative draws from a number of tropes that have been around for decades. What is more important is how these tropes are used, and it's here that Tides of Numenera could stamp its claim as a worthy follow-up. The titular Tides refer to concepts such as Justice, Passion, Insight and Fame, all of which could be skewed towards either good or evil.

The focus this time around is the impact that you have on the game. Your interactions with the denizens of the world will dictate the path your character takes. For instance, Insight may mean being able to recognize how to help someone, but refusing to do so and pleading ignorance. Justice could refer to holding someone to account lawfully, or wreaking your own type of vengeance upon them.

Alongside the Tides are the relics known as the Numenera, left behind by ancient beings. These are what allowed The Changing God to continue living beyond his time, and they are scattered throughout the world. They can be used for good or ill, but regardless of how they are utilized, every action will count towards your legacy.

This is perhaps the most exciting prospect of the game for me. Planescape: Torment offered a host of individual stories, but you were ultimately headed towards a fixed goal -- discovering your true nature. Tides of Numenera is being released under the guidance of people with collective decades of experience in writing, let alone story-branching. If the scope of the potential choices and outcomes is to be believed, then the replayability factor is going to be off the chart.

What Does One Character Matter?

I was spoiled by Planescape: Torment, to the point where playable companions in recent RPGs have simply not measured up. Don't misunderstand me, I loved Pillars of Eternity. But almost two years on I'm struggling to recall a single party character, other than that shouty guy with a staff who liked setting things on fire. Tyranny's cast were even less memorable.

Yet, two decades later after only two playthroughs of Planescape: Torment I can still recall Morte, Fall-From-Grace, Annah, Ignus... The reason? They were not only interesting but well writtenMorte was a sleazy floating skull who could literally swear people to death. Ignus was a levitating man made from fire. Fall-From-Grace was an emotion succubus. All of them had their motivations and arcs. All of them left their mark on me.

Will Tides of Numenera do the same? Possibly. The line-up includes an oracle who speaks through the vessel of a broken-minded man, a priest who can attack people with living tattoos, and a multi-dimensional magician, trapped in time. All of them will need something from you... and all of them can be used for your own selfish ends if you wish. If their personalities are imbued with the same attention to detail as that of their predecessors, then we could be looking at something very special.

"No Wonder My Back Hurts; There's A Damn Novel Written On It"

I enjoy reading, which is just as well since Tides of Numenera's word count is going to trump Planescape: Torment by over 200,000 words. Yep, it looks like there will be over a million words of text crammed into the game. Given the density of the first game's prose is one of the reasons for its underachievement in the market, is an even bigger game likely to impact sales?

You have to factor in a couple of points when considering this.

Firstly, no-one was expecting Planescape: Torment. It came out of left field, dazzled us with its reams of text (some may consider it "verbiage", I call it "world building"), perplexed traditional RPG gamers with its comparatively light focus on combat, then disappeared. This time around, we know exactly what to expect. In fact, fans have demanded more. Kickstarter means that there's no publisher interference, and the team can work to deliver the game that they not only know fans want, but which they themselves want to play. The story and the characters are the key to that process.

Secondly, you won't be exposed to a million words of text on your playthrough. It's unlikely you'll ever read everything that's been written for the game. Conversational branches are so packed with choices, responses and outcomes that it would likely require you to go through the game hundreds of times, trying out every conceivable party configuration, attempting every possible iteration of any given quest, and keeping track of each individual result. There's a reason that the development team had to lock down individual areas in the game, and create a monumental piece of dialogue-tracking software to keep on top of it all.

"Sense Of Closure Imminent"

Like many gamers, I had my doubts about Tides of Numenera. Some still linger. Have the team tried to cram so many ideas into the game to make Something Meaningful that it comes at the cost of the overall product? Will the mooted area lockdowns which Colin McComb has discussed give the game more of a staccato feel? How will the combat work? Most importantly, will the endings not only truly reflect the choices you make, but be as equally meaningful?

These question won't truly be answered for another few weeks, but the more gameplay videos inXile release, the more confident I am that Tides of Numenera is going to be a success. The locales look otherworldly and beautiful; their inhabitants are bizarre and unique. It's taken 18 years, but I'm quietly optimistic that there may finally be the possibility of playing the successor I've been hoping for.

Do you think Torment: Tides of Numenera will be a worthy successor to Planescape: Torment? Are you excited for its release, or do you think it'll never meet expectations? Let me know in the comments!

]]>
EGX 2016: Interview with Colin McComb, the Mind Behind Torment: Tides of Numenera https://www.gameskinny.com/3b00r/egx-2016-interview-with-colin-mccomb-the-mind-behind-torment-tides-of-numenera https://www.gameskinny.com/3b00r/egx-2016-interview-with-colin-mccomb-the-mind-behind-torment-tides-of-numenera Thu, 13 Oct 2016 05:55:18 -0400 ESpalding

While I was at EGX 2016 at the NEC in Birmingham, UK, I got the opportunity to speak to Colin McComb, one of the minds behind the long-awaited RPG game Torment: Tides of Numenera. This upcoming game is the spiritual successor to the award-winning Planescape: Torment that released way back in 1999. Currently in development by inXile Entertainment, Tides of Numenera was crowdfunded on Kickstarter and reached its funding goal after just six hours of the campaign starting!

It went on to set the record for the highest-funded video game on the Kickstarter platform, with over $4 million pledged. Now, the campaign is currently at over $5 million (as shown on the official website). The game's release date has been pushed back due to development issues, but it is nearly ready for release, and there are swathes of fans excited to see it.

I sat down to have a chat to Colin about the game and the meaning behind the game's tagline: 'What does one life matter?'

ESpalding: Hello Colin. Many thanks for talking with to me today. Could you start with introducing Torment: Tides of Numenera to the GameSkinny readers?

Colin McComb: "Sure. What we are is a single player, story driven, science fiction RPG set on Earth, billions of years in the future. We are trying to create a thematic successor to Planescape Torment which asks what can change the nature of a man, and we are trying to explore the question "What does one life matter?". So, questions of legacy, loss, abandonment and mystery."

ES: That's an interesting area to look into. Where does the "what does one life matter" question come from? Is it drawn from personal experiences?

CM: "A little bit, yeah. Now that I am older than I was when I was working on Planescape: Torment, I wanted to explore a little bit more the nature of mortality and about the marks we leave on life.

As one gets older, the question of your impending death becomes more pressing, I guess, and you need to figure out what this life is for, but there's also other questions too. What does it matter if I kill Joe [Colin's RP Rep] here? Does his life matter? Its a question of the emphasis. What does ONE life matter?

If I give my life so that I can save everyone here from a terrorist attack or something, or if I am willing to sacrifice a child to save the World, for instance. What does one life matter? There's so many different ways to ask and answer the question that we felt it was open ended enough to give us enough latitude to create a strong game."

ES: Ok. So that's pretty deep. I suppose it is quite an open ended question. I would be lying if I said that I haven't had thoughts along those lines.

On to the game itself, it's written by Monte Cook?

CM - "No. The Numenera campaign setting is written by Monte Cook but the actual game is written by...well we had a whole bunch of writers. We wound up with a core team of about 4 or 5 but we started off with about 10. So the core is me, Gavin Jurgens-Fyhrie, Adam Heine, George Ziets, Mark Yohalem, Nathan Long. That's the people who were extensively involved."

ES: So, how did you end up picking up Cook's Numenera setting?

CM - "Monte and I have been friends for more than 2 decades now. We worked together at TSR. We worked a lot on the Planescape campaign setting after Zeb Cook wrote it and then left for his computer game stuff. Monte and I picked up the mantle. So we kept in touch over the years and he invited me to be an alpha play tester for the Numenera campaign setting. I had a lot of fun playing that and then when Brian Fargo asked me if I would be interested in writing a new Torment game I was like "I've got just the setting!". It was just the perfect conflicts of timing."

ES: Who do think it is going to appeal to the most? Will it be the fans of Planescape: Torment or have you been trying to direct it at a new audience?

CM: "Our primary goal was to make a game our backers would find entertaining. We took it to Kickstarter and about 80,000 people said "this is the game we want". So because they were the ones who funded us and believed in us from the start -- as opposed to going out and getting, like, EA to sign us or something -- we are making the game for them.

People who are excited about the revival of infinity style engine games or people who were fans of Planescape: Torment or people who wanted to be fans of Planescape: Torment but weren't around when it first came out. We're basically hoping that just about anybody will pick it up, but it is primarily for our backers."

ES: What has been your favorite aspect of working on the game?

CM: "I would say working with the team. I have had such a good time with all these guys. They are extraordinarily creative, professional and giving. Nobody on the team has an ego. Everyone just wants to make this the best possible thing we can make it. I have had an incredible education watching George Zeits do his area design, for instance. Adam and I have been working on this from the very start. Gavin and I have laughed every day over IM. Having the opportunity to build this story from the beginning and shape it all the way through. There are so many good things about this...it is really hard to say."

ES: And in the same vein, what is the favorite aspect of the game itself?

CM: "Probably the Castoffs' Labyrinth. Its a shared psychic mindspace essentially constructed in your mind and it's where you go when you die if you haven't died altogether. You are essentially exploring it and then rebuilding aspects of yourself based on what you find there. I've always been really into that kind of thing. That was a lot of fun. I think my interest in this was shaped extensively by Blue Oyster Cults song "Veteran of the Psychic Wars".

ES: Oh nice! I love Blue Oyster Cult myself!

CM - There is a whole area in the game based on that song. It is called the Fifth Eye.

ES: That sounds really interesting! I look forward to exploring that area!

I'd like to thank Colin for taking the time to chat with me about his upcoming game. For more info about it, you can check out our experience with Tides of Numenera at PAX West earlier this year. I look forward to seeing more about Torment: Tides of Numenera -- and especially getting to play it when it finally releases.

Torment: Tides of Numenera is currently on Steam Early Access and is expected to be enter general release at some point in Q1 of 2017. Make sure you check back with us to find out the latest news as the game gets closer to launch!

]]>
Whatever happened to those classic and offbeat game series? https://www.gameskinny.com/luiqh/whatever-happened-to-those-classic-and-offbeat-game-series https://www.gameskinny.com/luiqh/whatever-happened-to-those-classic-and-offbeat-game-series Wed, 12 Oct 2016 02:00:02 -0400 Ty Arthur

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/w/a/t/wat-04029.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/w/a/t/wat-04029.png","type":"slide","id":"136117","description":"

Thanks for sticking around for our little history lesson on forgotten games, devs who fell off the radar, and mechanics that don't get any play anymore. Which of these series do you think needs a new entry, and what forgotten corners of gaming did we miss that you'd like to see resurrected soon?

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/p/l/splitscreen-233fe.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/p/l/splitscreen-233fe.jpg","type":"slide","id":"136116","description":"

Split Screen Multiplayer

\n

Gaming has changed a lot in a short period of time, and it seems like another era when split screen multiplayer was automatically included with any given game. Sadly the practice is now fading as online multiplayer replaces it in the hearts of a younger generation.

\n

Goldeneye is of course the title that will always be instantly associated with split screen, although it also showed the mechanic's limitations: being able to see what your opponent is currently doing. This very issue was actually made into the basis of Screencheat, a game where everyone is invisible so you have to look at other player's screens to have any idea where to shoot.

\n

While a dying option in newer games, there are still titles worth pulling out to play split screen with your friends, from the Left 4 Dead series (which is overdue for a sequel itself) to Far Cry 3.

\n

Thankfully, split screen isn't entirely dead and just returned with the newly released Gears Of War 4 (which is absurdly awesome by the way). As far as I'm concerned, split screen co-oping with my friends while getting drunk is an integral part of the gaming experience. You lose something when your bud is talking over a microphone across town and not sitting on the couch next to you.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/r/farmville-098e1.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/r/farmville-098e1.png","type":"slide","id":"136115","description":"

Farmville

\n

Once the single most popular Facebook game in existence, Farmville was famous for bugging the hell out of everyone with a computer before people figured out you could turn off notifications for game requests.

\n

Since the game's popularity faded and people moved on to anything with the word "Crush" or "Saga" in the title, there apparently were Farmville 2, Farmville: Tropic Escape, and Farmville: Country Escape all released at some point over the years.

\n

Developer Zynga has definitely had its share of ups and downs since Farmville changed people's perceptions of what you could do on social media. According to Statista, daily active users for all Zynga games has fallen from 72 million in 2012 to 18 million this quarter of 2016 in a nearly MySpace-level drop off.

\n

Zynga currently has 54 discontinued games and 35 active ones – which is kind of nuts for a company started in 2007. Considering how most of them are the same thing with different skins over top, and the company's many shady connections to scam ads, maybe it's for the best that the “discontinued” column continues to grow.

\n

Any of our readers out there still actively playing Farmville at this point?

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/l/a/planescape-ed671.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/l/a/planescape-ed671.jpg","type":"slide","id":"136114","description":"

Planescape

\n

Easily one of the most unique and interesting universes in any medium, Planescape was the high point of the AD&D system and gave us the much-loved CRPG title Planescape: Torment.

\n

Considering that it constantly ranks among the top listings of RPGs, its bizarre that there's never been any other games placed in the same setting. There was in fact a first person title in the works slated to release on the PS1 that would have put you in the role of a member of the Harmonium, policing the wild streets of Sigil.

\n

Sadly (or not, if FPS games aren't your thing), it was scrapped six months into development. It might not necessarily have been in the spirit of the classic Torment, but its not like going first person is an unprecedented style shift, with games like Dark Messiah Of Might And Magic or Fallout 3 making the leap.

\n

With Wizards Of The Coast not letting anyone else use the Planescape license, its unlikely we'll ever get another video game placed in this long lost multiverse. But then again, considering the quality of recent D&D titles, that may be for the best: just take a look at Daggerdale or Sword Coast Legends.

\n

All is not lost though! InXile is gearing up to release Torment: Tides Of Numenera in Q1 2017. While no longer set in Planescape for legal reasons, all the same bizarre oddity and interesting moral choices are slated to set a very similar tone.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/t/u/r/turok-8cae9.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/t/u/r/turok-8cae9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"136113","description":"

Turok

\n

Anybody else ever dust off their N64 and pull out old classic titles like the much-hyped, dinosaur-killing FPS Turok? Despite the interesting premise and nostalgia from gamers of this era, the series never got as many sequels as its shooter contemporaries.

\n

Following Seeds Of Evil, Rage Wars, Shadows Of Oblivion, and Evolution, the series dropped off the map. It wasn't until 2008 that a complete reboot launched for the 360 and PS3.

\n

Since then, fans have been in a barren desert of despair. A sequel to the reboot was planned and then cancelled all behind the scenes. Night Dive Studios has also been teasing remakes of the earlier games for years, but no release dates or any definitive info ever actually arrives. Considering that the developer is now waist-deep in recreating System Shock, it seems like Turok is well and truly dead.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/b/e/abesexodus-62f72.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/b/e/abesexodus-62f72.jpg","type":"slide","id":"136112","description":"

All Those Oddworld Games

\n

1997 was a very good year for the PS1, seeing landmark releases like Final Fantasy 7 to the offbeat Oddworld: Abe's Odysee. With fantastically interesting characters that straddled the line between gross and hilarious, Oddworld was a daringly different game utilizing platformer mechanics.

\n

Of course, everyone wanted more, and all the gaming magazines (remember when there were gaming magazines?) added to the breathless hype of a projected series of five Odysee games. Following Munch's Odysee in 2001, there was supposed to be Squeak's Odysee, Munch's Exoddus, and many more, but they all failed to materialize.

\n

What we did get was a very different experience than expected in the FPS Stranger's Wrath, a real forgotten gem of gaming that offered some crazy unexpected mechanics for the time.

\n

While none of those sequels ever arrived, Oddworld Inhabitants did recently launch New And Tasty - a total remake of the original Abe's Odysee - to revitalize the series. Currently the developer is planning on remaking Abe's Exoddus next under the title Soulstorm, but unfortunately there doesn't appear to be any actual new titles in the series slated for release at this point.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/k/a/t/katamari-b5f14.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/k/a/t/katamari-b5f14.jpg","type":"slide","id":"136111","description":"

Katamari

\n

King of the weird games with massively different mechanics, each iteration of the Katamari series was a bizarrely awesome experience that tasked the little prince with rolling up everything to make new stars.

\n

After only a handful of games, the series essentially ended with Beautiful Katamari on the Xbox 360 back in 2007. While Katamari Forever in 2009 did add in some new concepts, it primarily consisted of maps from the previous games, so it was really more a retrospective than an actual new title.

\n

Sadly, there's been just nothing for this generation of consoles (outside a pointless tap-tap mobile game with a vaguely dirty title). No official info has arrived about any sort of real sequels, but there is hope still: Namco registered a trademark for the title Amazing Katamari Damacy earlier this year and also bought the domain to a similarly named website. We may be getting a new Katamari game sooner rather than later!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/w/o/r/worldofgoo-d0397.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/w/o/r/worldofgoo-d0397.png","type":"slide","id":"136110","description":"

World Of Goo 

\n

With refreshingly different gameplay, iconic and instantly recognizable graphics, and great sound effects, this first game from 2D Boy was destined to receive wild accolades and award after award.

\n

The developer seemed poised to absolutely dominate this niche of the gaming market... only nothing else ever happened. The 2D Boy website still exists, but there's never been another game made and nothing is currently in the works.

\n

Both Kyle Gabler and Ron Caramel went on to create Indie Fund, which helps fund other small time developers and has been involved with everything from Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine to the stand-alone version of Half-Life 2 mod Dear Esther.

\n

Kyle Gabler also worked on the 2012 Wii U title Little Inferno, which was a welcome experience for fans of World Of Goo. At this point that seems to be the extent of it though, and its unlikely we'll ever get a Goo sequel or a new 2D Boy game at all.

\n

Other developers have taken up the torch since then, both on the cute side and the physics side. One of the most recent is the equally odd physics-based game Slime Rancher.

\n

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/w/newcover-cc716.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/w/newcover-cc716.jpg","type":"slide","id":"136109","description":"

You ever have this happen? You're browsing the web and suddenly you notice someone mentions a game you'd completely forgot existed but consumed your life way back when. That happened to me this week when I saw a screenshot from that ground breaking physics-base indie title World Of Goo.

\n

Besides having to load the game up to play again, that reference got me wondering: whatever happened to that series and the developer who gave us such an amazing gaming experience? World Of Goo isn't the only forgotten gem of gaming, as there are tons of series' that arrived to make a big splash, but then faded into obscurity for one reason or another.

\n

Today we're going to look at 7 different developers, game series, and gameplay concepts that just haven't been on anyone's radar in a long time. Some deserve to make a big return, and others... perhaps not so much.

"}]]]>
Torment: Tides of Numenara is Delayed, Backers get Beta Access https://www.gameskinny.com/p33vm/torment-tides-of-numenara-is-delayed-backers-get-beta-access https://www.gameskinny.com/p33vm/torment-tides-of-numenara-is-delayed-backers-get-beta-access Sun, 12 Jun 2016 10:10:26 -0400 Kevin S. Behan

Sorry Planescape: Torment fans, the spiritual successor Torment: Tides of Numenara is being pushed back. While originally they planned to release roughly November 2016, now the new window is early 2017.

In their update for the game's Kickstarter, Brian Fargo states that he wants to give the localization team more time to touch on the game. This way all users can equally enjoy the experience. The game has roughly 1,000,000 words, whereas your standard novel has roughly 50,000. It's going to take a while to get through all of them and make sure it's as polished as possible for all users of all supported languages. This will also give additional time to their art/programming teams to work on the game.

While this is unfortunate if you didn't back the project, it doesn't look like there are going to be delays after this one. If you are a Kickstarter backer though you get to play the beta now. Technically the game is fully complete as they're just waiting on the aforementioned elements before releasing it to the public, so there's little worry of content being added later that will force you to replay the game. Check out the bottom of the Kickstarter update for more details. 

]]>
The least inspiring and most outrageous video game quotes https://www.gameskinny.com/jann9/the-least-inspiring-and-most-outrageous-video-game-quotes https://www.gameskinny.com/jann9/the-least-inspiring-and-most-outrageous-video-game-quotes Thu, 10 Mar 2016 11:20:07 -0500 Ty Arthur

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/c/backcover-4a968.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/c/backcover-4a968.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106731","description":"

That wraps up our analysis of the least inspiring quotes that video games have to offer. Let us know which one you thought was the best and which ones we missed that should have been included! For a look at the opposite side of the coin, don't forget to take a gander at our roundup of the most inspiring quotes in all of gaming.

\n

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/t/o/a/toaster-c26c3.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/t/o/a/toaster-c26c3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106730","description":"
\n

“Soon, pitiful worms! Soon I will rule, and your lives will have their doneness setting turned to... darkest!”

\n

“Have you ever tried to indulge an all-consuming urge to kill when you don't have opposable thumbs? Or hands? Or anything other than a bread slot? You'd have a lot of pent-up anger too!

\n

-- The Toaster from Fallout: New Vegas expansion Old World Blues

\n
\n

This may be the one and only game featuring a genocidal toaster who is genuinely unhappy to learn the world was already destroyed in a nuclear Armageddon before he could get around to annihilating all life.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingofallcomsos-59979.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingofallcomsos-59979.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106728","description":"
\n

“We broke it. Yes, we were naughty. Completely naughty. So, so very sorry. But just between you and us, it felt quite good.”

\n

“We get it, its a slacker thing. What next? Video store clerk? Screenwriter? Whatever it is, we are so not paying for it. Poor, poor, Us, stuck with a L-O-S-E-R like you!”

\n

-- King Of All Cosmos, Katamari Damacy

\n
\n

The King Of All Cosmos destroys the whole universe and nobody says anything, but if The Prince makes one little mistake the string of berating comments arrives. He's really not a very good dad.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/e/t/setzer-3abb0.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/e/t/setzer-3abb0.png","type":"slide","id":"106727","description":"
\n

“How low can you get? I love it! All right, I'll help you. Nothing to lose but my life.”

\n

-- Setzer, Final Fantasy VI

\n
\n

Way to put it all in perspective Setzer. His philosophy here after being swindled and convinced to fight a world spanning empire is what I like to call "optimistic nihilism."

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/c/a/s/cass-ee8d7.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/c/a/s/cass-ee8d7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106777","description":"
\n

Nobody's d*ck's that long. Not even Long Dick Johnson, and he had a f*cking long d*ck. Thus, the name."

\n

-- Cass, Fallout: New Vegas

\n
\n

Even surprassing "your face looks like my butt," there is some truly bizarre dialog in the Fallout series when characters try to explain concepts in ways the Courier or Vault Dweller can understand.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/l/fallfromgrace-31119.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/l/fallfromgrace-31119.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106723","description":"
\n

“I'm afraid that if you were to remove that... I would be naked.”

\n

-- Fall From Grace, Planescape: Torment

\n
\n

When's the last time a succubus gave you a gentle reminder about how clothes work? I'm sure you all heard this little voice acted gem in a totally innocent way when you were trying to give Grace's bodice to another character in need of some armor, right?

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/r/barret-85901.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/r/barret-85901.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106722","description":"
\n

“Sh*t, the hell you so calm about? You bustin' up my rhythm."

\n

-- Barret Wallace, Final Fantasy VII

\n
\n

You always had a way with words Barret, and you have the honor of being the very first video game character I ever saw use a curse word on my television screen. Congratulations!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kinzie-df902.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kinzie-df902.png","type":"slide","id":"106778","description":"
\n

“Hey Kinzie, you wanna f*ck?”

\n

-- The Boss, Saints Row 4

\n
\n

Geeze, Boss, buy a girl a drink first? The Boss doesn't waste any time on romance in this iteration of the series. Guess that's what happens when the earth has been destroyed and you're becoming the new Neo messiah in the Matrix. In Boss's defense though, the line totally works, although Kinzie does punch him first.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/i/e/pierce-b0218.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/i/e/pierce-b0218.png","type":"slide","id":"106720","description":"
\n

“The last time a big naked dude said he could help me, it did not end well.”

\n

-- Pierce Washington, upon meeting naked Oleg, Saints Row The Third 

\n
\n

Pierce is a continuing source of comic relief in the series, but there's a darkness to his need to be funny. Pierce has SEEN THINGS.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/m/p/a/mpayne-030c7.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/m/p/a/mpayne-030c7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106719","description":"
\n

“You'd find that lady luck was actually a hooker, and you were fresh out of cash.”

\n

-- Max Payne

\n
\n

Before wowing us with his quote about needing passion for life to be worth living, our tortured detective was also spinning some low grade noir analogies.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/g/l/a/glados-7a2fa.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/g/l/a/glados-7a2fa.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106718","description":"
\n

“Please note that we have added a consequence for failure. Any contact with the chamber floor will result in an 'unsatisfactory' mark on your official testing record, followed by death. Good luck!”

\n

“Well done. Here are the test results: You are a horrible person. I'm serious, that's what it says: 'A horrible person.' We weren't even testing for that. Don't let that horrible-person thing discourage you. It's just a data point. If it makes you feel any better, science has now validated your birth mother's decision to abandon you on a doorstep.”

\n

-- GLaDOS, Portal and Portal 2

\n
\n

For being an all-seeing AI with total control over your environment, GLaDOS sure is passive aggressive.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/o/r/e/oregontrail-6ff3b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/o/r/e/oregontrail-6ff3b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106717","description":"
\n

“You have died of dysentery” 

\n

-- The Oregon Trail

\n
\n

It doesn't get much more succinct that than, does it? What kid who grew up in the late '80s or early '90s didn't get a screen like this a couple of dozen times in computer lab?

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/e/r/serrano-2094f.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/e/r/serrano-2094f.png","type":"slide","id":"106776","description":"
\n

“Suck the tears off my d*ck, you ugly mud f*ckers!”

\n

-- General Sarrano, Bulletstorm

\n
\n

I know there's somebody out there who desperately wants this profound quote inscribed on their tombstone. This character from the ridiculous Bulletstorm is a foul-mouthed drill sergeant that would put R. Lee Ermey to shame, and this is actually one of his less offensive quotes. He always knows exactly what to say to let people really know how he's feeling.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/t/i/n/tinytina-569fb.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/t/i/n/tinytina-569fb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106714","description":"
\n

“Real bad asses eat chocolate chip cookies. Wait a minute... those aren't chocolate chip cookies... those...are...RAISINS. Why do bad things happen to good people?”

\n

“BURN ALL THE BABIES!”

\n

“That's right. Twin sisters, man. Hhhahhhhhh. Take 'em. Take 'em take 'em take 'em take 'em”

\n

-- Tiny Tina, Borderlands 2

\n
\n

Tina Tina accomplishes the impossible – she is both more psychotic and more entertaining to listen to than Vaas from Far Cry 3. She also makes me genuinely terrified of 13 year old girls. She alternates between disturbing sexuality towards stuffed animals and an intense lust to blow up trains and bandits. There's too many good ones to pick, so just listen to all of them together below!

\n

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/w/h/a/whatawonderfuldowner-955d6.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/w/h/a/whatawonderfuldowner-955d6.png","type":"slide","id":"106716","description":"
\n

“Some trees flourish, others die. Some cattle grow strong, others are taken by wolves. Some men are born rich enough and dumb enough to enjoy their lives. Ain't nothing fair”

\n

-- John Marston, Red Dead Redemption

\n
\n

Talk about a downer! It's like all those "you are in control of your own destiny" quotes from our most-inspiring article, but taken down the bleakest path possible. Maybe John's a nihilist... or just a realist.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/c/facelookslikemybutt-84820.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/c/facelookslikemybutt-84820.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106726","description":"
\n

“You know what? Your face looks like my butt.”

\n

-- The Vault Dweller, Fallout 3

\n
\n

There are a horde of hilarious dialog options to be found in the Fallout series if you try all the different perks and varying stat builds (give either Fallout 3 or Fallout New Vegas a try with no points in intelligence and see what happens). This one, only available with the Child At Heart perk, fell a little flat.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/v/cover-6a3a5.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/v/cover-6a3a5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106713","description":"

After taking a look at some of the most inspiring and unexpectedly thought-provoking quotes across gaming, we'd be remiss if we didn't head the opposite direction. There's plenty of major downers in any given storyline to offset those uplifting moments.

\n

Should it be any surprise that there's some truly cringe-worthy text and hilariously offensive quotes to be found in the zany, outlandish world of gaming? What's interesting is that in quite a few cases, the least inspiring quotes and the most inspiring quotes actually come from the same games.

\n

After trudging through a deluge of horrifying (and OK, frequently quite amusing) lines of dialog, we've found all the best of the worst on display in the following slides. Have fun in the filth, and don't forget to fill out the poll at the end to let us know your favorite!

"}]]]>
The most inspiring and thought-provoking video game quotes https://www.gameskinny.com/oq341/the-most-inspiring-and-thought-provoking-video-game-quotes https://www.gameskinny.com/oq341/the-most-inspiring-and-thought-provoking-video-game-quotes Tue, 08 Mar 2016 16:48:04 -0500 Ty Arthur

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/c/backcover-bc15a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/c/backcover-bc15a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106626","description":"

These were the 15 quotes we found to be most interesting or inspirational from across the gamingverse. What was your favorite, and what quotes did we miss that you'd add in?

\n

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/h/i/shigeru-311e2.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/h/i/shigeru-311e2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106624","description":"
\n

“A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.”

\n

-- Shigeru Miyamoto

\n
\n

Just remember that the next time a game you want gets pushed back and you feel like unleashing all-caps armageddon on a forum. Better to have no game at all than to have a game that wasn't worth playing.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/m/comstock-187fb.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/m/comstock-187fb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106623","description":"
\n

“One man goes into the waters of baptism, a different man comes out, born again. But who is that man who lies submerged? Perhaps that swimmer is both sinner and saint, until he is revealed unto the eyes of man.”

\n

-- Comstock, BioShock Infinite

\n
\n

Another Bioshock quote that's actually sort of horrific within the context of the game (but motivational if considered alone) this is basically Comstock's way of saying your choices are your own, while making you think about fate and whether it was really inevitable that all your experiences lead to one outcome.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/v/y/s/vyse-7a9ad.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/v/y/s/vyse-7a9ad.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106622","description":"
\n

"Even if you run into a storm, there's always a way out, no matter how bleak things seem."

\n

-- Vyse, Skies Of Arcadia

\n
\n

A relentlessly (maybe even annoyingly?) positive character, Vyse is sort of a random inspirational quote generator. I imagine when people need a motivational poster for an office, they just snag Vyse quotes.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/o/r/sora-d78b3.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/o/r/sora-d78b3.png","type":"slide","id":"106621","description":"
\n

“Although my heart may be weak, it's not alone. It's grown with each new experience. And it's found a home with all the friends I've made. I've become a part of their heart, just as they've become a part of mine. And if they think of me now and then, if they don't forget me, then our hearts will be one. I don't need a weapon. My friends are my power!”

\n

-- Sora, Kingdom Hearts

\n
\n

Although more on the kitschy and cutesy side, this is undeniably a powerful moment in the Kingdom Hearts series.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/t/h/o/thomas-951a1.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/t/h/o/thomas-951a1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106620","description":"
\n

“Too many people have opinions on things they know nothing about. And the more ignorant they are, the more opinions they have.”

\n

-- Thomas Hildern, Fallout: New Vegas

\n
\n

This one might seem like more of an insult than an inspirational quote at first, but I see it from the opposite side. This is a valuable reminder, especially in the social networking age of instant communication, that sometimes it's better to remain silent, or at the very least, to be uncertain of your position until all the facts come to light.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/k/h/a/khan-86620.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/k/h/a/khan-86620.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106619","description":"
\n

“You reap what you sow, Artyom: force answers force, war breeds war, and death only brings death. To break this vicious circle one must do more than act without any thought or doubt.”

\n

-- Khan, Metro 2033

\n
\n

In a world devastated by nuclear war and invaded by otherwordly beings, is it any wonder some grow tired of perpetuating an endless cycle of violence?

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/r/a/dracula-f2551.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/r/a/dracula-f2551.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106618","description":"
\n

"I was called here by humans who wished to pay me tribute."

\n

"Tribute?!? You steal men's souls, and make them your slaves!"

\n

"Perhaps the same could be said of all religions..."

\n

-- Dracula, Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night

\n
\n

Oh man, I can't tell you how much this little exchange between Richter and Dracula just blew my mind as a 12 year old who had no idea something like this was even allowed to be said in a video game. Inspiring? Not so much. Thought-provoking? You betcha.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/088ad7a97caddd8cac76f2a7fb70032e.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/088ad7a97caddd8cac76f2a7fb70032e.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7683","description":"
\n

"Nothing is more badass than treating a woman with respect." 

\n

-- Mr. Torgue, Borderlands 2

\n
\n

The Borderlands series is chock full of some of the best quotes in all gaming history, but definitely more of the hilariously offensive variety rather than the actually inspiring kind. Then, out of nowhere, this weapons fanatic whose speech must constantly be bleeped throws out something progressive. Pandora is full of strange wonders, indeed.

\n

 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/m/o/i/moira-a8f40.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/m/o/i/moira-a8f40.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106614","description":"
\n

“Did you ever try to put a broken piece of glass back together? Even if the pieces fit, you can’t make it whole again the way it was. But if you’re clever, you can still use the pieces to make other useful things. Maybe even something wonderful, like a mosaic. Well, the world broke just like glass. And everyone’s trying to put it back together like it was, but it’ll never come together in the same way….”

\n

-- Moira, Fallout 3

\n
\n

Whoever thought you'd get something deep out of Moira, who doesn't seem to be entirely there? In between twisting your DNA like a feline with a ball of yarn or asking you to get into fights with rabid mole rats, she manages to make the end of the world not seem so horrible, without actually lessening the impact in any way of what led to the sad state of the D.C. Wasteland. It's not hard to see the personal applications of such a philosophy if applied to people who are broken as well.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/11e7b8eee81a12b26aa2f357e3cbb3b7.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/11e7b8eee81a12b26aa2f357e3cbb3b7.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7682","description":"
\n

"Nothing is true, everything is permitted."

\n

"That is rather cynical." 

\n

"It would be if it were doctrine. But it is merely an observation on the nature of reality. To say that nothing is true is to realize that the foundations of society are fragile and that we must be the shepherds of our own civilization. To say that everything is permitted is to understand that we are the architects of our actions and that we must live with our consequences, whether glorious or tragic."

\n

-- Ezio, Assassin's Creed: Revelations

\n
\n

The eponymous creed itself is revealed in detail in this entry of the franchise, and it's definitely one to make a gamer take pause and ponder. In a lot of ways its much like the "no gods, no kings" from BioShock, but presented with a little more flair, befitting the assassin giving the explanation.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxpayne-bf977.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxpayne-bf977.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106611","description":"
\n

"Death is inevitable. Our fear of it makes us play safe, blocks out emotion. It's a losing game. Without passion, you are already dead." 

\n

-- Max Payne

\n
\n

Take it from Mr. Misfortune himself: just simply getting up each morning, punching a clock, and ticking all the boxes sure ain't living. If you don't have something you really care about, then it's probably time to call it a day (or at least find a new game to play).

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/b/i/o/bioshock-da652.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/b/i/o/bioshock-da652.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106609","description":"
\n

"No gods or kings. Only man." - Bioshock

\n
\n

In this game series, you can usually bet that if there's a giant statue with a banner or stained glass window quote, it's being said by an absolute mad man who is going to be a villain.

\n

In this instance though, it can really be seen from another point of view, as a reminder that our fates our are own, and we are the masters of our own destiny (even if these games don't always play out that why by the time the credits roll).

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/f/l/e/flemeth-cc6b1.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/f/l/e/flemeth-cc6b1.png","type":"slide","id":"106608","description":"
\n

“We stand upon the precipice of change. The world fears the inevitable plummet into the abyss. Watch for that moment...and when it comes, do not hesitate to leap. It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly.” 

\n

-- Flemeth, Dragon Age II

\n
\n

Sometimes the most morally ambiguous characters have the best lines in gaming, and somehow the witch Flemeth here manages to both be all gloom and doom AND inspirational at the same time.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/k/dakkon-74dae.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/k/dakkon-74dae.png","type":"slide","id":"106607","description":"
\n

“Strength lies in knowing oneself.”

\n

-- Dak'kon, Planescape: Torment

\n
\n

There's endless interesting conversations in this novel-esque game, especially between the night hag Ravel and the amnesiac Nameless One, but Dak'kon frequently takes home the award for strongest proponent of personal development. He may be a downer at times (getting a whole city killed because of his self-doubt tends to do that to a gith), but he's got some great advice.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/g/r/i/grimsley-d88fe.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/g/r/i/grimsley-d88fe.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106598","description":"
\n

“It's more important to master the cards you're holding than to complain about the ones your opponent was dealt.”

\n

-- Grimsley, Pokemon Black And White

\n
\n

Although this is clearly meant quite literally in the context, that's an interesting concept to teach kids through a video game -- expressing the sentiments of personal responsibility and being thankful for what you have.

\n

While explained slightly differently, it also reminds me of the famous Louis C.K. quote:

\n
\n

“The only time you look in your neighbor's bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don't look in your neighbor's bowl to see if you have as much as them.”

\n
"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/v/cover-38c68.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/v/cover-38c68.jpg","type":"slide","id":"106603","description":"

Looking past all the swords and bullets, there's another side to gaming that the general public doesn't always see. Gamers are a passionate lot, and the writers behind our games tend to be even more so, putting a whole lot of heart and soul into characters who easily rival any offered up by literature or film.

\n

There are plenty of game scenes that have resonated with entire generations of players and will never be forgotten – is there a single Final Fantasy fan who can't quote the opera house scene? While there are plenty of mindless tap-tap games or shooters without much in the way of story, even those types of games have hidden gems of dialogue if you look deep enough.

\n

Everything from existentialism to objectivism to moral relativity all get their due in various game series when you head into the likes of Bioshock, Planescape: Torment, and SOMA. After dredging through hundreds of games with interesting themes, we've put together a list of some of the most inspiring or thought-provoking quotes to be found in any console or PC title.

"}]]]>
Ranking the D&D video games from best to worst https://www.gameskinny.com/b62ku/ranking-the-dd-video-games-from-best-to-worst https://www.gameskinny.com/b62ku/ranking-the-dd-video-games-from-best-to-worst Mon, 28 Dec 2015 05:41:50 -0500 Ty Arthur

[{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/9/f/d9ff256bf51f48719550e6fb2d803d35.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/9/f/tiny_d9ff256bf51f48719550e6fb2d803d35.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97221","description":"

If the blessings of Lathander are upon us, the D&D franchise will go in a much, much different direction than it has for the last 10 years.

\n

There's a ton of material to mine for amazing games that don't have to return yet again to the Sword Coast of the Forgotten Realms -- if only the right developer (and a decent amount of money) were assigned the task.

\n

For now though, we'll have to be content with developers giving us better experiences in different worlds.

\n

Obisidan knocked it out of the park with the Infinity Engine style Pillars Of Eternity, and Divinity: Original Sin is an excellent choice for D&D fans. Until Wizards of the Coast finds a way to return the franchise to its former glory, fans will have to go elsewhere for a fantasy fix.

\n

Do you agree with our list and rankings? Share your thoughts on the comments below!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/0/0/9001b4691b97135a16f3fe17f5383adb.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/0/0/tiny_9001b4691b97135a16f3fe17f5383adb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97220","description":"

Worst: Iron & Blood - Warriors Of Ravenloft

\n

Is there seriously a game WORSE than Daggerdale? Yes there is, and it's a fighting game. Yeah, I don't know why they did that either.

\n

A D&D fighting game might not be an awful idea on its own, but why did they pick the gothic horror setting for it? They also apparently didn't bother to playtest it, because as it turns out that your biggest enemy isn't the opponent you are fighting, it's the camera. Prepare to be turned around for no apparent reason a dozen or so times a fight and get hit in the back no matter what you do.

\n

This game is hilariously bad, and anyone who spends the hundreds to pick it up used on Amazon or eBay is wasting a whole lot of money.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/8/2/f82a054a77649efe00b3a1b3edab20b7.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/8/2/tiny_f82a054a77649efe00b3a1b3edab20b7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97219","description":"

Daggerdale

\n

Ye gods, this is the bottom of the barrel for the action RPG front. This isn't just a bad D&D game, it's a bad game, period. There is nothing unique or interesting to be found here. It's dull, boring, unpolished, and features nothing you haven't seen a hundred times before. Seriously – even if you find it on sale for 90% off, don't bother.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/3/f/c3f85271c5ebe3e6132e7a064e27d5a8.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/3/f/tiny_c3f85271c5ebe3e6132e7a064e27d5a8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97218","description":"

Sword Coast Legends

\n

This one's sort of a sore point for a lot of role playing fans, and the wound is still raw since it's been freshly inflicted. The game we got was not the game we were promised, as things changed a whole lot during development.

\n

This was supposed to be the game to challenge the DM toolset and editors from Neverwinter Nights and Neverwinter Nights 2. Instead we got something where you can pick some tilesets that randomly generate a dungeon for you – but hey, you get to place monsters during battles.

\n

It's a very standard hack 'n slash action RPG with only a tenuous connection to the 5th edition D&D ruleset. For a more in-depth analysis of what went wrong with Sword Coast Legends, check out our look at the game here.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/2/b/92b7cad017de71bb918987809e0fb261.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/2/b/tiny_92b7cad017de71bb918987809e0fb261.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97217","description":"

Demon Stone

\n

Although this game had some seriously big name voice actors (Patrick Stewart?!?), it's another lackluster hack 'n slash where they forgot what D&D is all about. There's endless hordes of repetitive combat where you'll do the same combos over and over (and over, and over).

\n

R.A. Salvatore wrote the story, so you can guess who is going to show up and how cliché and uninspired the characters will be. Sadly, this isn't the worst action RPG to be found in the D&D franchise, and is only the start of a dark era that has yet to end.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/f/2/7f25e31443529af4fcdd897a4f3f848f.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/f/2/tiny_7f25e31443529af4fcdd897a4f3f848f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97216","description":"

Dragonstrike

\n

A completely different experience from any of the other games on this list, the NES title Dragonstrike did something you really wouldn't expect from a D&D video game. It's not an RPG of any kind and doesn't reflect the table top rules in any way, but rather is one of the earliest examples of a dragon flight simulator.

\n

While an interesting idea, the fact of the matter is that you could have replaced the dragon with an airplane and you'd just have a less satisfying version of many, many other games from the era. This is another instance where somebody could do something awesome with this concept, but hasn't fully fleshed it out and made it work yet.

\n

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/9/d/f9d37159cde267a8b0cf307eb055b8dc.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/9/d/tiny_f9d37159cde267a8b0cf307eb055b8dc.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97215","description":"

Real Time Strategy Games

\n

Aside from the barely-played Stronghold from the '90s, Dragonshard was really the only serious attempt by a D&D game to try out real time strategy. Needless to say, it didn't do very well.

\n

One of only two games set in Eberron, Dragonshard actually has an interesting premise, mixing typical RPG segments while exploring the underworld and then switching to a Warcraft style RTS when you go above ground. Unfortunately, a lot of the mechanics are clunky and don't work particularly well, and while they are clearly trying to mimic the graphics, the gameplay and story don't hold a candle to Warcraft III.

\n

The previously mentioned Stronghold didn't manage to make a serious mark on the RTS genre either, and developers have avoided this genre altogether with newer games. There's definitely promise in the idea though, since large scale combat is a staple of fantasy. But nobody has managed to make it work particularly well yet with Dungeons and Dragons on PC or consoles.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/a/7/0a7d918ade435f5560c5b7d9b0bd616f.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/a/7/tiny_0a7d918ade435f5560c5b7d9b0bd616f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97214","description":"

Pool Of Radiance: Ruins Of Myth Drannor

\n

Although its not an outright awful game, the newer version of Pool Of Radiance is one that feels a little unfulfilled. They updated the graphics, but the gameplay didn't get enough of a boost to really take this one into the top echelons of D&D games.

\n

It's very slow moving (literally, not figuratively) and quite repetitive, focused entirely on combat and dungeon crawling. Every few years nostalgia gets the best of me and I re-install this, remembering it fondly despite the nagging sensation that there was something I didn't like about it, and I'm always disappointed each time.

\n

If you want a 3D experience based on the 3rd edition rules, pick up Neverwinter Nights 2 instead.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/5/e/45e8ebedd49849f7566d7a74fc93d819.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/5/e/tiny_45e8ebedd49849f7566d7a74fc93d819.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97213","description":"

Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance / D&D Heroes

\n

For all the focus on combat in many titles, the fact of the matter is that Dungeons and Dragons is a role playing game based off tabletop interactions between human beings, and not a hack 'n slash affair. When D&D tries to go action RPG, the results typically fail to impress.

\n

The best of these is easily the Dark Alliance games that hit consoles. If you cull out expectations based on the words “Baldur's Gate” appearing, then these are actually fairly fun Diablo or Sacred style games that offer some action amusement. Unfortunately you can't un-ring a bell though, and fans were expecting one thing while getting another, so for many hardcore fans of the Infinity Engine, there's simply no talking them into even giving these poorly named games a chance.

\n

Dungeons and Dragons Heroes was a very similar idea, but only saw release on the original Xbox. Where Dark Alliance cut down on the story elements, I honestly don't recall Heroes even having a story at all, and it essentially went from Diablo to Guantlet. Is it fun in short bursts? Sure. Did it need to be a D&D game? Not at all.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/1/7/41778ac9322dd20574489e54259d0cc9.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/1/7/tiny_41778ac9322dd20574489e54259d0cc9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97212","description":"

Shadows Over Mystara

\n

Did you know there's a side scrolling beat 'em up D&D game? This news recently spread much farther after it became available on Xbox Live Arcade, but there were a lot of years where only a handful of people knew about this, as it was included in an emulator pack on certain file sharing sites in an era long gone.

\n

Art-wise, this game is amazing and really has a very iconic style, but how does it play? Not bad, actually. There's some mechanics that aren't great (the wizard's spells in particular), but overall it plays well and is a great addition to the library of anyone who liked games along the lines of Magic Sword, Golden Axe, or Final Fight.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/8/0/a80392ef49153f980dc0eecfbacb24f0.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/8/0/tiny_a80392ef49153f980dc0eecfbacb24f0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97211","description":"

Neverwinter Nights

\n

For those not in the know, BioWare's Neverwinter Nights is not actually the first game to bear that name. An online multiplayer game of the same title came out way back in the early '90s for AOL that was basically stick figures battling each other. While that game has been dead for decades, it can still be found on some abandonware sites. If you can get it running (good luck), unfortunately you won't be able to save your game, since the servers that ran it no longer exist.

\n

On to the BioWare game from 2002, this is actually a difficult game to rank, because its dozens of games in one. I'm putting it here at this place based on the base game, which frankly wasn't very good.

\n

The main campaign was an entirely forgettable affair, but where this game shines is in its expansions and the fan-made campaigns made with Neverwinter Nights' extensive editor tools. The two official expansions and a horde of campaigns made by players all went way beyond the throwaway base game and kept Neverwinter Nights relevant, when it should have been thrown into the dust bin of gaming history.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/f/9/bf98a00c9b0a7d3eb420adfe57e4d774.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/f/9/tiny_bf98a00c9b0a7d3eb420adfe57e4d774.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97210","description":"

First-Person Dungeon Crawlers

\n

There was a time when first-person dungeon crawlers were all the rage, from classics like Might And Magic III: Isles Of Terra to the simply titled Dungeon Master.

\n

It shouldn't come as much surprise that D&D got in on this action, and the Eye Of The Beholder series surprisingly still holds up fairly well to this day -- although not without flaws and serious signs of aging.

\n

Going outside the typical Forgotten Realms game, this same idea was presented in the gothic horror titles Ravenloft: Strahd's Possession and Ravenloft: Stone Prophet.

\n

If you dig the first-person style of the Wizardry series, then these are worth playing, and they are an interesting look back at where the genre started for fans of newer titles like Legend Of Grimrock.

Coming out not long before the stellar Baldur's Gate, there was also the first person, real-time entry Descent To Undermountain, which was along the lines of The Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall, but much more poorly received.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/f/3/ef36a17c1717657e3a6d79f3b4891ef6.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/f/3/tiny_ef36a17c1717657e3a6d79f3b4891ef6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97208","description":"

Icewind Dale

\n

Probably the only Infinity Engine game that isn't instantly loved and cherished by all, Icewind Dale did something odd by taking the combat and interface of Baldur's Gate and then culling out nearly everything else. It's not entirely devoid of story, but it very strongly put the focus on building a party of faceless adventurers and having them battle through endless dungeons, rather than on interacting with people and exploring.

\n

Personally I enjoy the game – but only in limited quantities. The beginning is fun, but it doesn't take long for the formula to get very stale, as there's not much driving you on to keep battling more trolls and undead in various locations. The sequel really improved on everything and had more engaging characters, although it too fell prey to repetitive, endless combat.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/b/f/6bfee7f8210da8a0bab7692015cdd6b9.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/b/f/tiny_6bfee7f8210da8a0bab7692015cdd6b9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97206","description":"

Gold Box Games

\n

For many gamers of a previous era, this is what they think about when the words Dungeons and Dragons come up. Focusing primarily on the Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance campaign settings, these gold box games -- from Pool Of Radiance in '88 through Dark Queen of Krynn in '92 and Unlimited Adventures in '93  -- were the heart of D&D on the computer platform.

\n

There's no question that these are classics and there's still fun to be had here, but unfortunately they really haven't aged well. If you didn't grow up with these gameplay mechanics, its easy to get frustrated and lose interest quickly. They are all also intensely similar, as its essentially the exact same mechanics on most of the games, just with different characters and enemies.

\n

Many of these titles are now bundled together through sites like GOG, so if you want to see what came before, you can do so for a reasonable price and without having to try to get some abandonware files to work on your operating system.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/e/e/cee4f3939c5e377c2d810e41670925b4.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/e/e/tiny_cee4f3939c5e377c2d810e41670925b4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97207","description":"

Off-beat Campaign Setting Games

\n

While the standard gold box titles are heralded as classics in gaming history, what doesn't usually get as much love (but absolutely should) are the off-beat titles from the lesser known campaign settings that came out in the same era. While the gameplay of the gold box sets were all very similar, these games shook up the formula a bit and gave you something more unique.

\n

Dark Sun: Shattered Lands took us out of the typical high fantasy setting and instead offered up a dead desert planet where you aren't trying to save the world (it's already destroyed), but instead are just trying to eke out an existence as a gladiator slave. Spelljammer: Pirates Of Realmspace also took D&D to space, where it typically does not go.

\n

Although they aren't actually gold box titles, the Al-Qadim and Birthright settings also got video game adaptations around the same era, to varying levels of success. The Arabian Nights themed Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse played more like a Zelda title, while Birthright: The Gorgon's Alliance was a turned-based strategy game built around the concept of taking control of different territories on a map. Neither were very highly praised, but both at least tried something different.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/b/f/2bfdd4a2df5ed6824a8748b8d30ac9df.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/b/f/tiny_2bfdd4a2df5ed6824a8748b8d30ac9df.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97203","description":"

Temple Of Elemental Evil

\n

The first video game to fully implement the 3.5 rules, in some ways Temple Of Elemental Evil is the black sheep of the D&D franchise. Yes, it was a buggy mess. At one point in my first playthrough, all doors stopped being physical objects and could be walked through without opening (no need for a rogue to pick locks or check for traps after that).

\n

If you looked beyond those issues though, Temple Of Elemental Evil was a genuinely fun experience, and it really took the pen and paper rules and made them come to life on the screen. The intro and ending also changed based on what alignment you chose for your party, which was a new and interesting change. You could be roving band of chaotic evil lunatics out to pillage and rape, or a collection of altruists seeking to protect the innocent, and the game made no judgment calls.

\n

This was also one of the few games in the franchise to add in unexpected consequences to typical adventurer behavior. For instance, if you sold the items taken off one villain you defeated, some of his companions would hear about it and ambush you later while traveling, while if you kept that equipment the scene wouldn't occur.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/e/7/3e7005f87fdcdf22bdf1306eedabf74e.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/e/7/tiny_3e7005f87fdcdf22bdf1306eedabf74e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97202","description":"

Icewind Dale 2

\n

This game put itself in an awkward position, and I'm incredibly glad that it did. When Neverwinter Nights came out in full 3D, Black Isle made the odd choice to release another Infinity Engine game instead based on 2D sprites with 3D effects. For fans of the franchise, the results were stellar, even if people complained that it looked dated.

\n

The first several segments of this game are some of the best in D&D history, and this is easily one of the finest interpretations of the 3rd edition rules to ever hit a PC game. Simply interacting with and learning about the inhabitants of Targos while building up the city's defenses was a ton of fun, and the large-scale combat segments were done incredibly well.

\n

A problem did arise though about halfway throughIcewind Dale 2 gets incredibly repetitive once you leave the Ten Towns behind. While the first half of the game improved on the original Icewind Dale in every conceivable way, by the time you hit the ice palace and battle the Auril priestesses, the formula becomes very stale and all the character interaction is replaced by non-stop combat.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/a/c/eac094867a7352d045f0f31d58cae1c8.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/a/c/tiny_eac094867a7352d045f0f31d58cae1c8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97201","description":"

Neverwinter Nights 2

\n

For awhile, Black Isle Studios was the go-to developer for making stellar D&D games. After its dissolution, several members went on to form Obsidian Entertainment, which became known for producing sequels to much-loved series. They gave us Fallout: New Vegas, Knights of the Old Republic 2, and the excellent Neverwinter Nights 2.

\n

A vast improvement on its predecessor in nearly every way, NWN 2 didn't just look prettier, it improved on the gameplay, the interface, and most importantly, on the story. The characters and main storyline were leagues ahead of the previous game. That continued with the expansions, which offered some truly unique storytelling in parts of the Forgotten Realms that aren't explored nearly as often. In a plus for me personally, the main quest intersected quite a bit with the planes, so some of the oddity of Planescape mode got to shine through.

\n

My only real complaint was that the sound effects and music were largely recycled from the inferior first game, and I'm also not a big fan of voice acting in RPGs, so I wasn't crazy about the focus on full voicing of dialog.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/e/1/6e1f89ce01c20fbd805130ffeb7a8527.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/e/1/tiny_6e1f89ce01c20fbd805130ffeb7a8527.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97200","description":"

Baldur's Gate 2

\n

I know some will wonder how this is rated below its predecessor, as Baldur's Gate 2 added in a host of improvements that took the series to a new level. Updated effects and portraits, more companions, much larger areas, more options to play as an evil character, the addition of romances, and so on were all advances that are absent from the first game.

\n

I'll agree: in most regards, BG 2 improved on the formula. However, there were just a couple of ways in which it didn't, which keeps it from being an outright better game. For starters, there was that annoying opening dungeon that no one wanted to have to replay every time before getting into the real goods of the game (thankfully, mods exist to cull it entirely).

\n

While all the side quests you engage in while exploring Athkatla and the surrounding lands were amazing, its the main story quest and its villain here that fall short. Jon Irenicus may be a tragic figure steeped in Forgotten Realms lore, but nearly everything else about him just isn't particularly interesting, and frankly he doesn't fit the tone of D&D very well.

\n

That all being said, BG 2 is still an amazing game that's leagues ahead of the sub-par D&D titles we've been given in the past decade -- so if you haven't played it, seriously do so at your earliest opportunity.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/6/f/16f04e0605ba9eb94bf699ebf04e3645.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/6/f/tiny_16f04e0605ba9eb94bf699ebf04e3645.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97199","description":"

Baldur's Gate

\n

This is the game that changed everything for Dungeons and Dragons titles. Made by a team of practicing doctors who decided to give video game development a shot, the Infinity Engine began here and produced what was unquestionably the best representation of the AD&D ruleset yet.

\n

Besides the stellar gameplay (now famously referred to as “real time with pause”), Baldur's Gate was no slouch in the character or storytelling department. Who could ever forget Minsc and his companion Boo (the only miniature giant space hamster in the realms)? The morose Xan (“we're all doomed!”) is still a favorite of mine to this day, and listening to the things Xar and Mantaron had to say if the other died was hysterical.

\n

I've got a special place in my heart for this classic that will never get dethroned, and to this day I fondly recall having to smuggle all five discs into my room without the box, as ”that Satanic Dungeons and Dragons” was most definitely not allowed in our home.

\n

There was a great balance here of combat and story, but what really captured people's attention at the time was the exploration. Simply finding new locations on the map and then covering every inch of those locations to discover new stories and new companions was incredibly satisfying.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/e/c/bec126216a99f7e4153bf87183769bbd.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/e/c/tiny_bec126216a99f7e4153bf87183769bbd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97198","description":"

The Best: Planescape Torment

\n

I'm going to get this out of the way right now: Planescape Torment isn't just the best D&D game to ever see release, it's the best RPG to ever see release, even to this day. Your Dragon Ages, your Witchers, your Final Fantasy, they don't even come close.

\n

Since this game, nobody has told a fantasy story of this depth, with insanely interesting characters and fantastic locations. Vhailor is a suit of armor animated by the force of his devotion to law, while Fall-From-Grace is a succubus who wields divine magic and runs a brothel where only intellectual lusts are stimulated. Your main character is a blank slate, remembering nothing of his past or why he can't die, and you get to choose his class and alignment based on your actions.

\n

Planescape is a campaign setting that is criminally underrepresented in video games, and unfortunately it seems like it will never be returned to again. Everything about this game just clicks together – the art style, the music, the bizarre quests and NPCs. This is one of the few RPGs where you want to put ALL your points into intelligence and wisdom and spend dozens of hours talking to your party members and even inventory items. If you played this through as a fighter, you missed more than half the game.

\n

Torment is a game that continuously reveals new secrets the more you play it. I'd probably beaten it 5 separate times before I realized I could use the stories-bones-tell ability on the zombie workers in the Mausoleum. To my great delight, one of the shambling corpses I'd chosen not to kill on that playthrough turned out to be a former companion from a previous life, and he had some choice words for me.

\n

Although there probably won't ever be another Planescape game, we are soon getting a quasi-sequel with Torment: Tides Of Numenera.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/7/6/c769b4e00d2207fef0c8328ae426c768.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/7/6/tiny_c769b4e00d2207fef0c8328ae426c768.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97197","description":"

In what has unquestionably been an even bigger undertaking than ranking the Final Fantasy games, its time to look back now at an astonishing 40 years(!) of history where Dungeons & Dragons was translated into the electronic medium.

\n

To keep this manageable and less than 100 pages long, I'm going to skip the iOS/handheld games, as well as anything that's a MMORPG. Although there were some Intellivision games in the 70's, I'm essentially starting this list with Pool Of Radiance, which is the first title people are likely to have actually played and still have access to today.

\n

When looking back through the many D&D games to hit PCs or consoles, there's an interesting tradition of publishing vastly different games with the same name, which is perhaps sustained by how the same material has to be re-tread repeatedly as new editions of the tabletop game are released over time.

\n

For instance, if you were only born in the last 20 years or so, you probably did a double take when I mentioned Pool Of Radiance as the first real D&D game. That's because I'm referring to the '88 PC title, not the 3D game of the same name that tried out the 3rd edition rules back in 2001. Likewise, the name Neverwinter Nights means very different things to millenials than it does to people who had AOL back in '91.

\n

From the basic D&D rules through five or more major overhauls, each edition of the game has made its mark with computer or console titles, and they all had varying levels of success. The only major exception to that rule was oddly with the 4th edition ruleset, which for reasons no one really understands was entirely skipped on the video game front. Frankly, the move didn't make any sense, as that ruleset was much more suited for an electronic presentation than either AD&D or 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons, which have the bulk of the video game titles.

\n

Lately it seems like the golden age of D&D games is over, ending not too long after the demise of the Infinity Engine. I'm holding out hope though that somewhere down the line, Wizards of the Coast will give the license to a developer with a deep love of the game who is eager to rise to the occasion and give us something as good as Baldur's Gate once again.

"}]]]>
The state of RPGs in 2015 https://www.gameskinny.com/voitg/the-state-of-rpgs-in-2015 https://www.gameskinny.com/voitg/the-state-of-rpgs-in-2015 Fri, 04 Dec 2015 15:31:16 -0500 Ty Arthur

We've reached the end of another year, and it's time to take stock of what's come to pass and what's on the horizon in the world of role playing games. Although several of the biggest names didn't get sequels, 2015 was still a stellar year overall for RPGs – so long as you knew where to look. The best entries frequently weren't the AAA titles.

Recapping a full year's worth of games is a difficult proposition, and its made more challenging when considering just where the boundaries of the genre really sit. Unlike some genres, like first person shooters, RPGs cover a much wider range of play styles and tend to tweak their formulas more often. Take the reboot of King's Quest, for instance -- it might be primarily an adventure game, but there's a compelling argument there that it also lands in RPG territory, especially considering the series' history.

Things get more complicated when you thrown in strategy games. Are Blackguards 2, Sorcerer King, and Age Of Wonders III out of the running entirely, or are they RPGs that happen to use turned-based or real-time strategy as their core mechanic? Let's not forget Bloodborne, which is more an action game than an RPG, but seems to lean into role-playing through its setting and character stats.

RPG, or turn-based strategy in a fantasy setting?

Where to draw the line is an interesting topic on it's own, but for our purposes we're going to stick primarily to titles that are solidly RPGs in the classic sense of the term, with only a few forays into gray territory.

The Biggest RPG Disappointments Of 2015

In a full year's worth of releases there will always be duds, but thankfully this year was filled mostly with worthy entries that are genuinely worth playing. In fact, one of the major letdowns was simply a release that didn't appear when it was originally projected to land. Persona 5 was sadly pushed back (we really should be playing that right now), but is slated to drop in the summer of 2016.

The biggest RPG disappointment of the year took a classic role playing formula and dumbed it down into a hack-and-slash click fest with only minor DM tools: Sword Coast Legends.

D&D has been missing from the single player or co-op arena for a long time, and it's return wasn't groundbreaking by any stretch of the imagination. Garnering mixed reviews at steam and a metacritic score of 61, its clear this isn't Baldur's Gate. Hell, this isn't even Neverwinter Nights.

This is not the 5th edition game you are looking for

The Biggest RPG Releases Of 2015

Welcome home indeed! After years of delays and waiting in silence with no official info dropping until the 11th hour, the biggest RPG of the year (and probably most anticipated game of any genre) arrived in November. There were tweaks to the formula that make it possible to play the game more like a shooter, but Fallout 4 still remains pretty solidly in RPG territory.

Between the settlement building, weapon and armor crafting, side quests, and main story, you could easily sink hundreds of hours into the post apocalyptic wasteland. Granted, there are problems – graphical glitches and bugs abound this close to launch, as is expected from Bethesda at this point – but the Metacritic score of 84 speaks of a game that is remaining competitive even if there were disappointments.

Welcome Home Vault Dweller!

Continuing to bring in heaps of praise and with a whopping 92 metacritic score, The Witcher 3 is the surprise hit of the year. It's been a wild ride for this series, going from a niche PC RPG by a little-known European developer to a huge phenomena that reaches its crescendo in the third installment. The graphics are fabulous, the gameplay is solid, and a steady stream of DLC keeps massively expanding the game so you never have to stop playing.

There's also something to be said about the Witcher series giving us what Bioware's RPG romances have typically been too afraid to provide: actual sex scenes with *gasp* nipples and everything! What has got me most hot and bothered about The Witcher 3 though is what comes next – with this title finally released, CD Projekt Red can finish Cyberpunk 2077!

Classic Gameplay And Crowd Funding In 2015

It can't be overstated: crowd funding has changed the gaming landscape. We're getting a sequel to Planescape: Torment next year, and that's entirely due to crowd funding. Publishers and middle men are getting cut out entirely, and the consumers are putting their money into the projects they actually want to get made.

As it turns out, quite a bit of what RPG fans want involves returning to classic gameplay, as was clearly shown with Pillars of Eternity. While some were disappointed in the end product, it's the vast majority loved seeing the Infinity Engine games get a modern day overhaul, because this title sits at a solid 89 metacritic score. Honestly I couldn't have been more happy when I first booted up Pillars: it was somehow 1998 all over again and I was kid spending a silly amount of time exploring every last inch of Baldur's Gate once more.

Obsidian took us back to a classic era with this one

More importantly, the game brought me back to the oddity of Planescape: Torment's companions. The banter between Durance – a priest who hates his goddess – and Eder – whose god was killed by Durance - are imminently enjoyable. And that's just the beginning. The unexpected themes of atheism versus faith were a welcome change to the typical RPG storyline, and there were much more mature themes than what you'd typically see (due in no small part to cutting out D&D and Wizards of the Coast, who don't want anything even remotely close to passing a PG-13 rating).

There were some complex morality issues to be found in there as well, with unexpected consequences for your actions. I particularly enjoyed how siding against the evil tyrant could result in everyone in the area being slaughtered by undead, while helping to subjugate the peasants actually led to peace and harmony down the road.

On the heels of Pillars came another classic reinterpretation of an old school gem: Shadowrun Hong Kong was just dripping with atmosphere and upped the ante from the already stellar Shadowrun: Dragonfall. Starting out as an Asian cop movie with two siblings on opposite sides of the law, this third iteration in Harebrained Scheme's adaptions of the classic pen-and-paper RPG goes some crazy places. It all gets grounded back in reality at the end though, as your world-saving anti-heroes are reminded that if people can survive the resurgence of magic and dragon attacks, then they wouldn't mind one particular town getting taken over by an evil demon goddess.

Harebrained Schemes will be quite busy for the next couple of years after successfully kickstarting a Battletech game. But honestly, these guys need to do an Earthdawn RPG one day. That's the one FASA pen-and-paper title to never get its just due in the PC realm.

Where man meets magic and machine: and Asian cops and demon gods

While Pillars and Shadowrun were the most visible old school games, there were plenty more than went under the radar and are worth investigating -- like the early access UnderRail, which continues in the style of the original Fallout games. If you dig party-based, isometric RPGs, you will want to take a gander at Serpent In The Staglands. For those who like lots of dialog and turn-based gameplay, don't forget that The Age Of Decadence just dropped back in October.

Earlier Games Updated With New Formats In 2015

It wasn't just entirely new games that generated buzz this year, as plenty of games – both old and relatively recent – got facelifts and saw new editions land in 2015. Two of the biggest came to games created through the power of crowd funding. Wasteland 2 and Divinity: Original Sin (two very different takes on the RPG genre) were both overhauled and re-released in updated versions, with graphical improvements and plenty of gameplay tweaks that changed them to the point of nearly being new games.

Previous owners got the new version for free to boot!

The Final Fantasy series has always lagged behind in terms of PC releases, with consoles getting all the love and the PC master race only getting occasional scraps years after the fact. One of those scraps finally arrived in 2015 ,as the 3D version of Final Fantasy 4: The After Years landed on Steam, letting anyone without a Wii get to experience the direct follow-up to the classic Final Fantasy 4 story.

Beyond just PC or console, the Final Fantasy series likes to toy with North American fans and give Japanese players all the love first. The 2011 title Final Fantasy Type-0 just arrived on North American consoles back in May and on Steam later in the summer. The wait may have been too long though, as reviews are definitely mixed, with a metacritic score of 72 for this HD rendition of the aging game.

Better late than never?

Not to be left out, the much loved creature-raising series Monster Hunter saw a late North American release in 2015, as Monster Hunter 4 arrived in its “Ultimate Edition” for the 3DS early in the year (after being out in Japan since 2013). Handheld fans are clearly digging this one despite the length of time they were required to wait, as reviews are mostly positive and hover around 86%.

The Many RPG Sequels Of 2015

Outside the big name titles, returns to classic gameplay, and re-releases of old games, 2015 was a year heavy on sequels when it came to RPGs. One that's had everyone waiting with baited breath lands this week at the tail end of the year, with a new entry in the Xeno series arriving to prop up the struggling Wii U. There really aren't that many RPGs at all for that particular console, so the launch of Xenoblade Chronicles X stateside is a breath of fresh air for anyone in need of a role playing fix.

The dungeon crawling crowd got not only two sequels in one, but also a surprise crossover on the 3DS in April when Etrian Mystery Dungeon launched. Make sure to stock up on healing items if you plan on delving into ever-deeper levels of dungeoneering in this one, because the addition of rogue-like elements makes it a lot more unforgiving!

The anime-based Sword Art Online: Lost Song also launched this year, taking the series to a different game world and putting a heavier focus on both action combat and hardcore level grinding. Another grinder that show how very different two RPGs can be is Disagea 5, where Sony let gamers play as the bad guys and put them in control of a demon army that seems more focused on slapstick humor than damning any souls.

Who said demon princes can't be comedians?

Significantly beating out Disagea in the longevity department, the Tales franchise got a new entry as the year is closing out with Tales of Zestiria, which again mixes 3D action combat with classic RPG gameplay. As usual this entry is a mixed bag, featuring a lackluster story and humor that sometimes works and sometimes falls flat, but if you liked any of the previous Tales games, this one will keep you hooked on the combat.

The Forecast for 2016

While 2015 was a solid balance of old school charm and slick, next generation games, the coming year is currently slanting more towards the bigger releases with hyper polished effects. Final Fantasy XV will of course dominate, although it remains to be seen if SquareEnix is ready to actually recover from the fiasco that was the FF13 and its spin offs and deliver something worth playing in the single player department again.

Titles in the Mass Effect and Deus Ex franchises will keep sci-fi roleplayers covered, along with Technomancer, an upcoming game set on Mars that is looking very interesting indeed. 

Just because the big name developers and AAA titles are on the rise next year doesn't mean you should discount the indie titles or throwbacks to an earlier generation of RPGs though! There's not a PC RPG fan around who isn't waiting with baited breath to see if Torment: Tides Of Numenera can live up to the hype of its predecessor, while Project Setsuna sees Square Enix returning to its roots and focusing on its strengths with a SNES style offering.

In a move no one expected, there's also an actual Baldur's Gate title coming, as Beamdog studio gives us an expansion/sequel using the exact same engine and assets titled Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear.

Get ready for this one to get weird!

Want a full list of what's coming soon you should be saving your money for? Check out our complete look at the most anticipated RPGs of 2016 here, as well as our examination of the coming year's MMOs, which feature more than a few RPGs in their ranks.

What did you think of the RPG offerings throughout 2015, and what were your favorite games/biggest disappointments? Share with us in the comments! 

]]>