Daedalic Entertainment Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Daedalic Entertainment RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network State of Mind Review https://www.gameskinny.com/xvxrc/state-of-mind-review https://www.gameskinny.com/xvxrc/state-of-mind-review Fri, 17 Aug 2018 10:18:32 -0400 Robert Kazmierczak

State of Mind is a narrative-driven cyberpunk thriller developed by Daedalic Entertainment, who are known for their narrative-driven games. Exploring a world on the brink of change, State of Mind’s dark tone delves into themes revolving around ethics and technology. 

Daedalic Entertainment may be best known for point-and-click adventure games, but State of Mind is a pleasant, if simple, divergence from that concept. Maintaining their focus on narrative, Daedalic created a world whose primary focus is allowing the player to explore as freely as possible. 

Story

The game revolves around two men recovering from dangerous accidents,  Richard Nolan and Adam Newman. Richard is on a search for his wife and son who have mysteriously disappeared, but due to his accident, he can't remember where they went. In an attempt to piece together his memories, you explore various facets of advanced technologies to find them.

As Adam, you face the struggles of fatherhood. With his wife busy working on a large unknown project, Adam spends most of his time taking care of his son, John, all on his own.

Their two stories are related, so you’ll spend a fair bit of time early on swapping back and forth between the two characters. Both characters are able to explore their own homes, the nearby street, and their place of employment, as well as clubs and offices that each character uncovers during their journeys. There are similarities in the locations that both characters visit, but the vast difference in tone makes every location unique. 

As you play with each character, you begin to grasp at the straws of a larger and more sinister plan. Richard, chasing after his family, finds himself embroiled in the beginnings of a war. John, on the other hand, struggling to regain lost memories, uncovers information about a conspiratorial government plot.

Unfortunately, the game doesn't have a ton of replay value. Since there are very few choices that seem to have real weight, the game doesn’t leave you feeling like you’ve missed out just because you didn’t make a certain choice.  

Gameplay

The gameplay follows the Heavy Rain formula, based largely on the exploration of your surroundings. The controls for the game boil down to movement, interaction, and examination. Walking through each area reveals a variety of objects with which you can interact, but oftentimes the interactions don’t hold much value, acting more as minor world building moments or the occasional foreshadowing. 

The exploration style gameplay is punctuated with a variety of interesting mini-games. These mini-games tend to follow the same simple control scheme as the rest of the game, though the variations help to provide an occasional break from exploration.

You’ll move from exploring as Richard or John, to hacking and controlling drones. While the mini-games tend to keep the game from becoming too monotonous, they also end up being very rarely repeated. Controlling a drone is a fun break from the standard gameplay, but since it only happens two or three times, it feels like a concept that wasn’t fully utilized.  

In comparison to other story driven games, State of Mind is a little lackluster. With no real choices to affect the outcome you feel more like a passenger as the story progresses. The ideas on trans-humanism and digital privacy are not new, but they still beg to be explored. In opposition to the physical exploration style of the game, the story leaves no room to explore the possibilities as it holds your hand on its way to the only ending.   

Art

State of Mind does an excellent job of expressing a lot with very little. By using a low-poly art style, especially in this cyberpunk setting, the player is allowed to explore without getting bogged down in the myriad details of an unknown world. Since exploration is a common component of the gameplay, the art lends itself to keeping the player focused.

Interestingly, Richard and Adam seem to exist in entirely different worlds. Richard’s world is dark and cold, while Adam finds himself surrounded by warm light. This stark style difference seems to reflect each characters opinions on the world around them.

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The gameplay for State of Mind is simple and effective, but the biggest draw is the story. State of Mind takes a fantastic look at ideas that have concerned humanity since science fiction’s beginnings. The concepts may not be unique, but they have the potential to be fun ideas for players to explore. 

Overall, State of Mind is a good game and while I may not be playing it again anytime soon, it was a fun time. 

[Note: The developer provided the copy of State of Mind used for this review.]

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Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun - a Stealth Action Game Worthy of Your Steam Library https://www.gameskinny.com/5mqc8/shadow-tactics-blades-of-the-shogun-a-stealth-action-game-worthy-of-your-steam-library https://www.gameskinny.com/5mqc8/shadow-tactics-blades-of-the-shogun-a-stealth-action-game-worthy-of-your-steam-library Fri, 25 Nov 2016 11:00:01 -0500 Justin Michael

In my teenage years, I had an obsession with games that challenged me to think outside of the box. Because of this, I found myself playing a fair bit of Metal Gear: Solid and the Tenchu series of games. I loved the stealth aspect of both games and I mean, come on, who doesn't want to be a ninja?

From time to time, I still enjoy some Metal Gear, mostly in the form of playing The Phantom Pain, but there wasn't ever really a game to quench my thirst for ninja stealth action. This all changed earlier this week with Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun

a shadowy ninja

The Skinny on Shadow Tactics

Before I got a chance to play the game there was an issue that kept me from getting access to the game. Normally, I wouldn't bring that up except, in this case, I want to make known just how passionate the game developer is.

Mimimi Productions, the developers of Shadow Tactics, were incredibly communicative with me throughout the process and did everything in their power to try to help me -- all so that I could review their game, which I may have hated. That level of dedication spoke volumes to me as it showed just how passionate they are about what it is they do. Now let's turn our attention to the game itself.

Characters

Throughout the missions, you'll have access to a mix of the 5 characters that are able to be played. They are as varied in their skills as much as they are in their personalities.

The best description of the characters in Shadow Tactics is directly from the Steam store page:

One of the leaders of this team is Hayato, an agile ninja, who clears the way through his enemies silently, with his sword and shuriken. Samurai Mugen prefers a more powerful approach and can defeat more fiends at one time, but thus also forfeiting flexibility. Aiko is a master of camouflage when she distracts enemies disguised as a Geisha. And the street child Yuki places traps and decoys enemies towards their deadly fate. The mysterious marksman Takuma however, relies on his sniper rifle and takes care of the enemies from a distance.

One of the aspects that I like about having a mix of characters is that it allows you to complete missions in more than one way, giving you a chance to switch up how you approach each mission. It's also fun to listen to the banter between characters when you perform certain tasks.

Gameplay

Shadow Tactics offers a top-down, tactical, stealth action experience. You must watch the enemies to learn their patterns, use deception and distractions to your advantage, and be ready for things to get hectic at a moment's notice.

One of the gameplay aspects I liked is the Shadow mode. It allows you to set up an action for other characters to take, so that you can perform synchronized attacks and maneuvers. There is just something satisfying about clearing an area of enemies with a synchronized assault. 

Visuals

Shadow tactics second mission

The visuals in Shadow Tactics are gorgeous and you can tell that a lot of thought and work went into them. From the flickering lanterns to the flowing water, everything has this beautiful, hand-painted look that just seems to catch your eye. The simple, low-poly style is whimsical but doesn't look cheap or overly cartoonish.

The cutscenes are a particular favorite of mine, as not only are they engaging, helping to progress the story and give the player a moment to relax their mind, but they also showcase the next point -- the great voice acting, music, and sound effects.

Audio

As I just mentioned, the game has great voice acting. You have the option of choosing between English and Japanese for the spoken dialog, which I feel adds a special touch to the game. The music is also very relaxing but can grow in its excitement, based on the tempo of the gameplay.

 Final thoughts

All things considered, this is a title worth adding to your Steam collection. While not without a few, minor flaws, this game delivers on all the important aspects of a good game -- solid mechanics, story, visuals, and audio. While tactical, stealth action games are not a new concept, Shadow Tactics manages to compete with the best the genre has to offer. If that's not convincing enough, I encourage you to download the demo on Steam and try it for yourself. The full release of the game launches on Dec. 6th so be on the lookout.

Played the demo? What was your favorite aspect of the game? Let me know what you thought in the comments below.

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Adventure Between Life and Death with Silence https://www.gameskinny.com/yb9fr/adventure-between-life-and-death-with-silence https://www.gameskinny.com/yb9fr/adventure-between-life-and-death-with-silence Sun, 04 Sep 2016 05:12:14 -0400 Glitchieetv

Daedalic Entertainment announced at PAX West that Silence, their latest title, and sequel to The Whispered World, will be released November 15, 2016. Available on PC, MAC, Linux, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, Silence is the story of siblings Noah and Renie. Living in a country currently ravaged by war, they take shelter during an air raid only to find that they are in Silence, the area between life and death. When Renie gets lost in silence, however, Noah must journey into the strange land to find her.

The whimsical land of Silence is riddled with its own problems. Monsters are attacking the peaceful inhabitants of this world. Noah and Renie must work together in order to save Silence as well as their own lives. Featuring three playable characters, friends new and old, and up to 12 hours of gameplay in a striking 2D world, Silence is sure to grip players hearts.

Will you be exploring Silence with Noah and Renie?

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Deponia Doomsday Reviewed: The End? https://www.gameskinny.com/ffdw5/deponia-doomsday-reviewed-the-end https://www.gameskinny.com/ffdw5/deponia-doomsday-reviewed-the-end Wed, 09 Mar 2016 05:34:14 -0500 Vrothgarr

This is a spoiler-free review.

Formulas exist for a reason. Even though we can clearly see the formula, the specific ingredients put forth in the same way as last time to create the desired effect, it will work every time. But only if the formula works well over time; if it tires out easily, the formula won't work. Cop shows, cooking, mathematics, video games; there’s something comfortable about knowing what you’re getting into. New inventions can be far more exciting, but more often than not they either fail or just become the new formula.

Deponia Doomsday executes the comedic point-and-click adventure game formula to such a genuinely heartfelt level that, while there are some flaws in the execution (likely due to the tight development schedule), the game delivers just what fans wanted: more Deponia.

The Formula Works!

Generally speaking, Deponia Doomsday will fall into a usual category for point-and-click games: a great new installment for fans of the series or the genre as a whole, but not much for anyone else. The gameplay, the style of humor, and most of the characters are all formulaic, familiar although still new. You can take that to be a good thing or a bad thing. At this point, if three makes a pattern, the world itself is a formula: Deponia is an endearing cesspool of tomfoolery that breeds some good laughs, some decent challenges, and a whole lot of classic point-and-click progression gameplay.

A great portion of the success of a point-and-click game relies on good writing and overall worldbuilding; the other half of the formula being the entertaining mini-games, the hand-crafted animation style, and of course the pointing and the clicking. With Lead Writer and general Deponia Overlord Jan “Poki” Müller-Michaelis helming the fourth (and probably final) title, the oddball humor from the previous titles runs throughout, while the story is probably the most compelling of them all as an overarching tie-off of the previous trilogy.

Unfortunately, a good amount of what is framed as humor (the Lotto/Lotti scene) will turn off a lot of people due to its insensitive and very non-PC nature. But, for others, the trainwreck that is Rufus encompasses many things, and it’s a lark to widen your eyes at some of the things he says. It can even be uncomfortable to choose which horrendous perspective to speak from. The humor feels very much in the same vein as Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm, or reality TV: a comedy of tragedies, where the point isn’t to say something awful, but to see how awful someone can be.

Do we need a heroic protagonist?

Rufus has always been a rather refreshing hero, and by that I mean he’s a terrible hero. Rufus is stupid, cowardly, sexist, lazy, and a general muck-up. And not in a cool way either, he’s a seriously frustrating blockhead.

He’s a kind of anti-anti-hero where you don’t wind up cheering for him, you root against him. But he’s still such a goof about it all that it becomes the best part of his character: not hoping for bad things to happen to him, but waiting for him to inflict a comedy of errors on his friends and fellow Deponians.

The junky feel of the world of Deponia always lent a rich setting to the series, presenting a sea of trash that had depth and variety as to what was interactive. Sometimes it was the key to the puzzle, just as often it was just a cheap opportunity for a groaner of a joke (I don’t say that disparagingly). It was easy to get lost in the heaps of garbage. While Deponia Doomsday keeps the aesthetic, the focus on time traveling hones a lot of the content down to very limited objectives.

For much of the time, the usual range of choice is as pleasantly wide as the other Deponia games, without being overwhelming or letting you lose track of your objective. Although Daedalic was unable to bring back Michael Benrad, the background artist for the previous games, the animation style is still one of the strongest elements of Deponia Doomsday (David Hayter’s cameo being a close second). The music charms in the same vein: sung interludes are as catchy as they are funny, and the both the soundtrack and in-game musicality bring out a tone just as weird and compelling as the rest of the design.

While Daedalic Entertainment first conceived Deponia as a trilogy, the addended Deponia Doomsday was thought of as Deponia 4 (you can read more about Deponia Doomsday behind the scenes in our interview with the game’s Producer, Tom Kersten). This installment feels much less like a continuation of the series, but instead serves as a nice little narrative bubble lovingly wrapped around the three previous games as a way of messing with the structure of the world, and messing with the fans who wanted more. Time travel never went wrong in the past, how could Rufus possibly screw this up?


You can check out Deponia Doomsday on Steam or the Humble Store.

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Deponia Doomsday's Producer Tom Kersten talks parallel-quels, dev pressure, and progressing the genre https://www.gameskinny.com/q2oog/deponia-doomsdays-producer-tom-kersten-talks-parallel-quels-dev-pressure-and-progressing-the-genre https://www.gameskinny.com/q2oog/deponia-doomsdays-producer-tom-kersten-talks-parallel-quels-dev-pressure-and-progressing-the-genre Mon, 07 Mar 2016 09:03:47 -0500 Vrothgarr

The fourth entry in the hand-animated point-and-click Deponia series, Deponia Doomsday, was released to much acclaim earlier this month, and indeed sits pretty as another standard for the genre. Many were surprised, given the title and final tone of the last entry in the supposed trilogy, Goodbye Deponia.

We had a chance to sit down with Daedalic Entertainment's Producer for the Deponia series, Tom Kersten (TK), to talk about what happened to bring the series back, the challenges of reviving a series that never really died, and what's next in store for Rufus & Co.

 

GameSkinny: Last time we spoke, both yourself and [Creative Director and Author] Jan "Poki" Muller-Michaelis insisted that Deponia was just a trilogy. What were some of the conversations behind-the-scenes that led to Deponia Doomsday?

TK: It was in February 2015 when [Daedalic CEO] Carsten [Fichtelmann] and I first discussed the idea of doing another Deponia game. I was busy working on Anna’s Quest at the time, and Poki was overseeing creative direction of all studio projects as well as working on a new concept. However, we saw that some people in the community were asking for another Rufus story – and of course the ending of Deponia 3 (Goodbye Deponia) was always a point of controversy.

Poki soon warmed up to making a new Deponia game, and towards mid-March he already had a basic outline of the chapters of the game and how big they would be. Carsten’s requirements for this game were quite simple, actually – the game needs to come out in March 2016. And, of course, there were certain restrictions on scope and money, all that. This gave both Poki and me quite a challenge. We had to go from having absolutely nothing to a finished game within just barely one year. And of course we would have to meet certain expectations when it comes to scope, graphics, writing, and so on. There were already three [Deponia] games out there that have an average of 90% user score on Steam. Talk about pressure.

GS: That is some pressure to step up to! When you guys finally decided to move forward with a fourth installment, what was the initial focus? What was the key that let you know Doomsday was a go?

TK: The decision - as stated above - was pretty much one that Carsten and myself made. We simply challenged Poki with the task of coming up with a new and exciting installment to the series. Poki is a fantastic author and a great artist, and we believed that he will come up with something great. And I was actually really impressed just how fast he and Rene (the other Deponia Game Designer we had on board this time around, former member of the Harvey's New Eyes team back in 2011) were able to create the main story plot that revolved around Rufus travelling through time, making this game more of a "parallel-quel" rather than a prequel or a sequel. The minute he presented that concept to us there was no doubt in my mind that this was the right way to go. This shows you what kind of a fantastic designer Poki really is, being able to create something amazing under that kind of pressure.

GS: Were you guys able to bring back all the voice actors, artists, writers, designers, etc.? How important was this to the team? If not, how did you guys navigate the gaps?

TK: We were fortunate enough to get pretty much everybody we needed and wanted to work on the game, to join our team. One of the biggest changes probably was in terms of background art where we unfortunately weren't able to get Michael Benrad to rejoin the team - he's the main artist concerning the backgrounds for ALL of the previous Deponia games. Due to scheduling conflicts with his own, current company Beardshaker Games (great guys, check them out here: beardshaker.com) he was unable to return.

I had some doubts at first about how we would be able to absorb this loss but were soon going to be pleasantly surprised when all of the artists that delivered work samples for background art came up with fantastic results. This is all thanks to our Art Director Simone Grünewald, who gave us the right hints towards which of our existing staff as well as freelancers she thought would be up for the task. In the end we had Moritz Manhart (who previously worked for my Anna's Quest team as an Animator), Irina Zinner and Fabia Zobel (both former Deponia Animation Artists) on board for the main background work, plus a few other people, all of whom delivered top-notch work. I am almost sorry to say that we didn't miss Michael that much - although it would've been great to work with him again since he is a great guy to have around, professionally and personally.

As for the rest of the team, we had a great mix of seasoned Deponia veterans (like our Graphics & Animations Team Lead Gunnar Bergmann and Game Scripter Simon Nguyen) and new additions to the crew, some of which worked on other Daedalic games before (e.g. Marcel Timm, Lead Game Scripter from Anna's Quest) and some who joined in for the first time but since have found a new home here at the company.

Regarding the voice actors, we were able to get everyone we wanted and needed for the game in terms of recurring parts and - in my opinion - were able to secure some fantastic new talent. A highlight of course has been David Hayter for the part of the Old Rufus right at the beginning of the game or, as we've called this character right from the start here in the company, Solid Rufus.

I think it was very important for all of us Leads who had a responsibility for the overall project to build up a team that had the right mix between Deponia veterans and some fresh blood. Over the course of the development there was never any issue that we were unsatisfied with anyone's work - the biggest problem was, in fact, to build up quite a huge team in a very short amount of time and to find enough new talents that were able to join at the right time.

GS: Outside of the people, old and new, you managed to wrangle in time, were there any other major obstacles during development?

TK: The biggest challenge for a project like this – besides the restrictions in time and money – was the fact that I already had a team of Daedalic 2D artists lined up to start working on the game as early as April 15: that’s Gunnar, Nick, Michael, Tobia and Sina. And a bit later Marcel would follow as the first Game Scripter.

So, we virtually had no real pre-production time and we had to jump right into asset production in April. This means that I had to put a lot of pressure on Poki to come up with a lot of stuff pretty fast because we would have a team of skilled artists waiting for him very soon.

This was a tough situation for both of us that we had to deal with. From that moment on forward until the release of the game, I think that Poki pretty much didn’t sleep at all anymore. It’s hard to tell with him because he always looks kind of tired... maybe it’s because of the beard?

GS: Outside of the 70 new characters, new puzzles, new quips, and new platypuses, what's new for players this time around? 

TK: Well, it's a classic point & click adventure game so that question is a little mean since we really can't talk about super new & hot improved graphics and stuff as you would expect from a 3D game. But still, I think we were able to mix up a little bit of new and exciting gameplay elements into it with some more "action-packed" QTE's (quicktime events) to give the player a wider variety in his/her gaming experience. For us, it was all about the right mix between extensive puzzle sequences and parts of the game during which you would progress a lot faster, parts that would also offer more movie-like sequences that focus on story progression rather than running around between the different scenes examining all the details of the world. In my opinion, Deponia Doomsday is the most cinematic one with a lot more close-up shots than we had in the series before.

But no worries - there's still the good old Deponia experience in it. We wanted to stay true to the style of gameplay that Deponia has always offered to players. But Poki is constantly growing as a Game Designer and is keen on trying out new stuff, some of which I believe can be found in Deponia Doomsday.

GS: The plot has some pretty heavy elements: destruction of the planet, time travelling, the last survivor, mustaches. Does the tone of Doomsday fit in with the Deponia trilogy? How did things shift in general for this new title?

TK: The working title for the game was 'Deponia 4' for us - simply because it's the fourth Deponia game that we did. But the way I see it: Deponia Doomsday rather stands for itself than as an addition to the first three games.

The story that Poki wanted to tell about Deponia, about Rufus & Goal, was the trilogy, Deponia, Chaos on Deponia, and Goodbye Deponia. And we honestly didn't know we would end up doing another Deponia game until February 2015. Deponia Doomsday as a game offers more explanation, more perspective and more background knowledge on the Deponia world as a whole. If you look close enough, you can see that this game is - in a way - a conversation between Poki and the Deponia fan base. It was an outlet for him to offer the fans a deeper understanding on why he had to end things the way he did in Goodbye Deponia, why this was in fact the only outcome that was possible for this story, his story.

I really adore the fact that Poki went to a bit of a darker place right at the start of the game to set a bit of a tone of what I believe many fans must have felt at the end of Goodbye. Deponia Doomsday offers deep thought and a sense of closure about the events in Deponia 1 to 3. Some people might be disappointed again about the way Deponia Doomsday plays out at the end, and that's alright because we are all human beings with different feelings, different states of mind.

I just want to say that - in my opinion - Deponia has always been about the ride, not about the destination (the "Goal"). And to Poki personally I would just like to say: Thanks for the ride! :-)

GS: Not that this couldn't change in the future like it has in the past, but will we see more Rufusian adventures after Doomsday? Can we expect another trilogy?

TK: Well, you should never say never in this business. After all we said 'No more' after the third Deponia...

But honestly I cannot imagine how we could come up with a fifth installment. I think we have told all there is to tell about Rufus and Goal. We certainly don't have any plans to make this a trilogy yet again. As I mentioned earlier, Deponia Doomsday stands for itself.

And I truly hope that we were able to bring joy and happiness and maybe a little bit of self-reflection to our fans with this game. After all, this is why we make these games, this is what we strive for.

Thanks again to Producer Tom Kersten for giving us some insight into Deponia and the creative powerhouse that is Daedalic Entertainment! You can check out Deponia Doomsday for 10% off (until March 8) on Steam, and on the Humble Store. Hit 'em up online @daedalic or facebook.com/daedalic.

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New Horror Game Decay - The Mare Will "Keep Horror Gaming Alive" https://www.gameskinny.com/nb782/new-horror-game-decay-the-mare-will-keep-horror-gaming-alive https://www.gameskinny.com/nb782/new-horror-game-decay-the-mare-will-keep-horror-gaming-alive Tue, 02 Dec 2014 16:14:28 -0500 KieraB

Daedalic Entertainment announced that they have picked up a new "3D psychological horror" game to push for publication titled Decay - The Mare for PC and Mac.

Currently in development by Shining Gate Software, the episodic game puts the player in the shoes of Sam, the main protagonist who battles a drug addiction while checked into the Reaching Dreams Institution, hoping to kick his habits and turn his life around. Something "goes wrong" on his first night, however, and Reaching Dreams suddenly becomes nightmarish -- incessantly so. 

When describing the game's origins, Shining Gate's Creative Director Fredrik Westlund said, "We're huge fans of all classic horror-adventure games, and are creating the Decay series to keep horror gaming alive."

Decay - The Mare is described by Daedalic as paying homage to games such as "the Resident Evil and Silent Hill games, as well as to horror adventure games like Phantasmagoria, The 11th Hour and Gabriel Knight."

With regards to the two companies' partnership, Westlund thanked Daedalic in a statement.

"Thanks to our work with Daedalic Entertainment, we can complete Decay - the Mare now, and bring it to a wide audience of PC players, when Daedalic publishes the game on major digital download platforms, such as Steam."

So far, Shining Gate has already developed the first two episodes, while the third is still in development. The three installments will be available in various languages for players, including English, Spanish, Brazilian-Portuguese, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, French, Italian, and Russian.

The full game will be published upon completion, and is currently scheduled for release in February 2015.

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Why Old School RPG Fans Will Love Blackguards https://www.gameskinny.com/d5wxi/why-old-school-rpg-fans-will-love-blackguards https://www.gameskinny.com/d5wxi/why-old-school-rpg-fans-will-love-blackguards Fri, 14 Jun 2013 06:25:21 -0400 Joseph Rowe

Daedalic Entertainment, a game developer and publisher based out of Germany, is putting out a pretty impressive looking Western turn-based strategy RPG late this year called Blackguards.

Blackguards is not your typical RPG. Instead of playing the knight in shining armor or some pretty JRPG character, you are a man/woman who is accused of murder. The game has a very dark atmosphere without coming off as over-the-top or violent for the sake of it.

I recently sat down with Claas Wolter, the PR director for Daedalic Entertainment. He played through a demo of the game and gave me a pretty in-depth look at how the game will play and who the cast of characters will be.

Party Members and Classes

Your first party member is a Dwarf by the name of Naurim who is in prison with you. While he's not exactly the most stand up guy, you and him make a pact of convenience and try to break out of the prison.

 

In the demo I saw, there were two other party members: a magician and a witch. Both of them had some powerful spell abilities with some beautiful animations.

There are seven party members total from varied class types. Your character and party members can build or break relationships through dialogue and actions taken in the game. There is friendly fire in the game and if you hit a party member too many times, they will not be happy with your character.

At the start of the game, you get to choose your character's class from three different options, as well as gender and appearance.

Gameplay

Blackguards boasts over 40+ hours of gameplay. There is the main quest but there will also be side quests. The game is very story driven and all throughout and it will be filled with twists. Depending on the decisions you make and the you interact with party members, there will be different endings.

The game is based off of the Dark Eye tabletop system. This system is popular in Europe and has been used before in other games. Blackguards is the first game so far that uses the system to attempt to tell a dark and compelling story of this magnitude.

Since the game is based off of a tabletop system, everything is done via dice rolls. Players will be able to view these if they so choose to.

The game has an easy learning curve, but maintains a level of complexity by the way players can interact with their environment. There are more than 100 different interactive elements in the game that can be used by your party to your advantage or by the enemy to theirs.

Certain scenarios in the game will play out differently depending on how the player approaches the combat encounter. At one point, you are given the chance to save a woman from being hanged who will later join your party if you can rescue her.

The difficulty in rescuing this character comes from the time limit and the enemy AI. This scene is not scripted meaning each time you play it, the enemy can behave differently. Players have no chance of rescuing her if they merely try to hack and slash their way through; they must use objects in their environment to save her life.

If you do so choose to hack and slash through the Blackguards, it is still possible to beat it. However, you will have a much more difficult time getting through it.

When characters die, so long as one party member survives a battle, the player can revive their incapacitated allies by visiting a shrine to heal them. This will be a relief for many as some strategy RPGs go by the rule of if your party members die, they die permanently.

The maps in the game are very impressive. They can be as large as up to 4x your screen. There are over 180 unique battlegrounds that are all unique in terms of enemy type, geography, objects present, etc.

Blackguards also boasts over 400 items. The different armor and weapons you equip on characters will be reflected in their model, unlike many games of the genre where characters' looks are static.

Keep a Dark Eye on Blackguards

It is very rare for games like this to be developed nowadays. If you are a fan of older PC RPGs or even some of the newer ones and you want to play a game that has some depth, a wonderful story, and an intricate combat system, check out Blackguards when it's released this year on PC.

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