Rpg Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Rpg RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Gamedec Review: Solving Actual Crimes in Virtual Worlds https://www.gameskinny.com/vt61j/gamedec-review-solving-actual-crimes-in-virtual-worlds https://www.gameskinny.com/vt61j/gamedec-review-solving-actual-crimes-in-virtual-worlds Fri, 17 Sep 2021 16:51:10 -0400 Thomas Wilde

I'm not sure who I'd recommend Gamedec to, but I'm glad something like it exists. Based on a long-running Polish science fiction series by Marcin Przybytek, Gamedec is self-billed as an isometric cyberpunk RPG. It has no combat system and its gameplay is mostly based on gathering clues and making deductions.

I think every gaming webcomic in the 2000s made a joke about this at some point, but Gamedec plays its premise dead straight: you're a freelance investigator who takes cases in and around virtual worlds, to track down runaways and solve in-game crimes.

Gamedec is an ambitious, sprawling project with a lot to say, but it's buggy and the translation still needs a little more time in the oven. More to the point, it's an interactive detective story set in a sprawling science fiction universe, which throws a lot of world-building right at you from the jump. It's a high dive into the deep end, and it's got a few things you'd want to see, but it's a messy trip.

Gamedec Review: Solving Actual Crimes in Virtual Worlds

The key aspect is that Gamedec doesn't really have a hard failure state. You can still bulldog through much of the game as the world's worst detective, who draws the worst possible conclusions in every instance, but the game will still let you get through it.

You'll be treated like a particularly dumb dog by most of the NPCs, and you won't actually understand most of what happens around you, but you can't screw up badly enough to end the game.

It's the late 22nd century in the futuristic city built on top of what used to be Warsaw. Actual reality's degenerated into your typical cyberpunk technocracy, so many people turn to fully immersive life sims for recreation, escape, and occasionally full-time reality replacement. At this point, the difference between virtual and actual life is mostly down to a matter of opinion.

When people are spending this much time inside game worlds, that means eventually, some of them will commit crimes there. Your created character is one of the freelance investigators who're called in to handle that sort of thing.

The official job title is "gamedec," which sounds like "game detective," but it's a slight misnomer. You're closer to a fixer (a "Mr. Wolfe for video games," to quote the head of Gamedec's development studio, Lukasz Hacura), who's paid to solve problems. That might mean doing detective work, but you get paid just the same if you simply make the issue go away.

You begin the game as an experienced gamedec who wakes up to a job offer from a very rich man, who wants you to find out why his son either can't or won't log out from whatever game he's playing. As per cyberpunk rules, you can't just pull his headset off, or it'll do the kid some real damage, so you have to figure this out the hard way.

This is where Gamedec's interactivity comes in, and to its credit, it's much more elaborate than a lot of choice-based narrative games I've seen. Your character's starting outlook generates some points you can use to buy professions with, and you earn more points by selecting appropriately related conversational options over the course of the game.

If you're always threatening and intimidating witnesses like a cyberpunk Mike Hammer, for example, you'll earn the right types of points to buy professions that make you better at both violence and the threat thereof.

I did my usual thing, where I try to be a social engineer, and ended up with an assortment of abilities that let me trade on my personal fame to get information from people. Gamedec is pretty good overall at wrapping itself around you. Imagine Phoenix Wright if you didn't have to be a nice guy.

It's not a perfect system, however. My first couple of attempts at Gamedec met with early disaster because my starting point totals didn't let me buy any professions at all, so the first 30 minutes of the game was nothing but a broad assortment of greyed-out options. You may have a false start or two, as well.

Once I had a character I could work with, though, Gamedec got interesting. It's entirely choice-based and never holds your hand; you're likely to fall for lies, screw up royally, get people killed, and end up with clients angry at you. There's a certain working-without-a-net sensation here, as there's no real "golden path". It's just a question of what kind of mess you're most comfortable with.

Combat can occur, but it's resolved via choices from a menu, the same as anything else. Some of your cases have a certain adventure-game logic to them, where you get an item for one character so you can trade it for a favor for another in order to manipulate a situation that involves a third, but you're still always slowly building a case, then making a deduction and seeing if you were anywhere near right.


The end result ends up as a mixed bag, though. The first two cases are wild and fun, although setting the bulk of Gamedec's first investigation in a virtual world that's basically one big porn set is certainly a choice. It's not explicit in any significant way, but I did end up submitting to (virtual) knifeplay at one point to get information out of somebody. That is a thing that happened to me in Gamedec. So it's got that going for it.

After that, the game feels like more of a drag, with a couple of long periods of tedium interspersed with some interesting story hooks. There's one case that's set inside what's essentially an MMORPG, complete with actual reputation/quest grinding, which can be as boring as that sounds if you don't have the right skills from the start.

Gamedec in general feels like it's heavily weighted towards technician/hacker characters, but it really kicks in once you're faced with some tedious repetition that you could bypass if you had the Cheater or Cracker professions.

Gamedec Review — The Bottom Line


  • There's very little else like it

  • An elaborate story that isn't spoonfed to you

  • It's not using "cyberpunk" as a synonym for "splatterpunk"

  • Really sells its weird premise

  • The virtual-worlds gimmick means its environments are varied and colorful


  • Buggy

  • Interrogations are frequently counterintuitive

  • It's easy to screw yourself over at character creation

  • If you didn't pick the right abilities ahead of time, some parts of the game are a huge drag

  • The translation has a lot of strange word choices

I had more fun with Gamedec than I initially expected I would. The premise sounds goofy when you try to describe it, but it never exactly winks at the camera, and its world feels very lived-in and real.

While some of its big deductions feel like you're making a leap of faith, or worse, randomly selecting a conclusion based on insufficient data, that actually goes a long way towards selling the overall premise. You aren't a genius detective, after all.

Gamedec has a few irritating glitches at the time of writing, including a couple of soft lockups, and its overall translation into English could use another couple of drafts. It often has a navel-gazing quality to the prose, which feels like an attempt at a hardboiled detective's inner monologue that didn't quite land. (If it reminds me of anything, it's Blacksad, which is about half parody.)

Gamedec is trying to do something interesting and mostly pulls it off, but its pace is strange, its tone is all over the place, and it's got a few significant mechanical and pacing issues. I'd argue that what it's doing with narrative design and interactivity is worth checking out, but I can't give it an unqualified recommendation for being fun.

[Note: Anshar Studios provided the copy of Gamedec used for this review.]

Tails of Iron Review: The Rat King Cometh https://www.gameskinny.com/gaum7/tails-of-iron-review-the-rat-king-cometh https://www.gameskinny.com/gaum7/tails-of-iron-review-the-rat-king-cometh Fri, 17 Sep 2021 11:36:50 -0400 Josh Broadwell

The sun’s gentle rays wake the young Prince Redgi on an auspicious morning, as his loyal retainer prepares him for the day ahead in fluting tones. Today, a new king of the rats is crowned. It’s a bright spot amidst the encroaching darkness, but surely, the rats thought, the impending threat is far enough away for everyone to enjoy one more day of peace.

They thought wrong.

So begins Tails of Iron, an animal odyssey from Odd Bug Studios, a tiger of a different stripe. It’s equal parts Redwall, Wind in the Willows, and Dark Souls, an unlikely combination that Odd Bug weaves together in such a way that seems entirely natural.

While there’s plenty of room for expansion and improvement in future Tails games, Tails of Iron is a bold and captivating fantasy with one of the most absorbing combat systems around.

Tails of Iron Review: The Rat King Cometh

Tails of Iron assaults the senses as soon as it begins, but you’ll likely notice one thing in particular before all others: the narrator. Doug Cockle, Geralt of Rivia’s voice in The Witcher games, helps Redgi’s tale unfold. Despite how recognizable his voice is for anyone familiar with The Witcher, this is more than just a nice fantasy cameo.

Cockle immediately sets a strong tone for Tails of Iron, imbuing it with warmth and even gentle humor at times that elevates it from being just another dark fantasy. Tails of Iron is that, and a surprisingly brutal one at times — frog lovers, beware — but it’s also a story with heart.

Even if another voice or only text told of Redgi’s journey, the world Odd Bug has created is a fascinating one on its own. Tails of Iron reveals itself not just through the main narrative but from the relationships between characters and kingdoms and even the world design. That’s in keeping with some of its inspirations, but Odd Bug surpasses its sources in many ways.

You don’t have to hunt for lore scraps to understand the rats’ kingdom, its opulence, or the hatred frogs bear for it. It’s in front of you, in the king’s grand audience chamber, the quiet and orderly servants cleaning the castle — then, later, in the dead rats hanging from the rafters and the ferocity of the frogs’ ransacking.

Tails of Iron’s visual storytelling is one of its strongest points. Odd Bug crammed so much detail in every environment, even the sewers, to say nothing of Tails of Iron’s character design. Every rat has a distinct personality without ever even speaking, and that’s intentional in more ways than one. 

They’re based on the dev team’s pet rats, and instead of having characters speak, Odd Bug wanted to reduce potential accessibility issues and have them communicate through pictures. The fluting tones of Redgi’s retainer are literal, in this case.

Frogs have a tinge of goblin to them, and the less said about some of the enemies Redgi encounters later in his journey, the better. The design might be exquisite, but it doesn’t stop them from being nightmare fuel.

Even the travel screens tell a story, with Redgi’s mode of transportation and the environment changing depending on circumstances and where he is at the time.

Impressive as these travel screens are, it’s the destination that stands out the most. Odd Bug uses parallax features to extraordinary effect throughout Tails of Iron. Saying something feels lifelike or seemingly springs to life sounds like a cliché, but it’s the only way to describe Odd Bug’s creation.

Trees rustle in the foreground as enemies creep in the shadows before jumping you. Rain pours down around Redgi while villages burn in the background and invaders slay innocent civilians.

Hints of what used to be keep Tails of Iron from ever feeling too grim. Some areas are even cozy in their own way. When you're resting in a delicately carved wooden chair in the village hall-meets-clocktower, it's almost easy to forget there's a war on — or it would be if you weren't, ya'know, wearing the skull of your enemy.

Of course, taking his home back from the frog invasion is only part of Redgi’s adventure. The journey takes him across a vast world riddled with dangers and no shortage of wonders, but despite its size, Tails of Iron always feels manageable. It’s an epic for the busy RPG fan, with enough substance and hints of additional stories in the world to feel as grand as a game three times its length.

You can finish the main story in 12 hours or so, though exploring every area and taking on side quests naturally lengthens that time a bit. It’s often worth doing as well.

Redgi has an impressive array of tricks up his sleeve, including multiple weapons, special recipes, and more, and finding that extra item or bit of gear makes a significant difference at times. The quest rewards are standard fare, but any excuse to see more of Redgi’s world and its bizarre, loveable, and lethal inhabitants is fine with me.

Speaking of weapons, Tails of Iron has one of the most unique combat systems I’ve encountered all year that offers so much with so little. Redgi has four basic moves — dodge, attack, block, and parry — and Odd Bug managed to build the entire game around just those four moves. 

Enemies have basic attacks and telegraph special ones, so you know how to respond. Yellow squigglies above their heads mean it’s time to parry, for example, and then lunge in for attacks once they’re vulnerable. Redgi’s combat style varies depending on your preferences.

You can opt for a balanced approach with one-handed weapons and a strong shield or sacrifice speed two-handed weapons for added damage. Equipment weight affects how fast Redgi can move, which is more important than you might think in certain boss fights.

It all sounds basic, but Tails of Iron regularly introduces additional challenges, such as new enemies and bosses with unpredictable attacks or areas of effect. Particularly when two or more enemies engage at once, there’s a sense of choreography to the combat that adds an extra layer of refinement. 

It's also really challenging. Redgi might be a walking arsenal, but he's also just a small, squishy rat. One hit from a massive frog (or worse) or a few pokes with a spear are all it takes to send him back to the nearest resting point (Save often. Your sanity will thank you).

Granted, repetition sometimes sets in between new challenges. The nature of enemy attacks means you can never mindlessly slash your way to victory, but the variety does dip from time to time. There’s much room for expansion in future games, but Tails of Iron is a substantial and well-considered package for a first installment in a new venture.

Tails of Iron Review  The Bottom Line


  • Captivating fantasy narrative
  • Smart storytelling
  • Simple, but gripping combat
  • Splendid character and world design


  • Combat gets a little stale at times
  • Some side content (cooking, questing) feels a bit too basic

Tails of Iron is proof innovation can, and should, come in numerous forms. On paper, it does little new. It’s an action-RPG with fairly standard side quests and what should be a simple combat system. In practice, it’s an enchanting world with a surprisingly dark and gripping story that turns that simplicity into its biggest advantage.

Odd Bug teased it has more in store for Redgi’s world, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

[Note: Odd Bug provided the copy of Tails of Iron used for this review.]

Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous Best Builds Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/4dxiy/pathfinder-wrath-of-the-righteous-best-builds-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/4dxiy/pathfinder-wrath-of-the-righteous-best-builds-guide Mon, 13 Sep 2021 10:04:54 -0400 Sergey_3847

The character creation process in Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous can take up many hours of your time; there are 12 races, 39 classes, and even more subclasses after all. If you just started playing the game and have no clue where to begin, then this guide will provide you with a list of some of the best builds for Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous.

You will learn about the best archetypes, which races to choose, including their backgrounds, how to distribute skill points, which feats and weapons are the best for each particular build, and other additional information for each specific subclass.

Warpriest: Champion of the Faith

Warpriest is a class that plays offense and defense while providing support along the way. It's the most balanced and universally approachable class in the game.

  • Race: Human, Oread, Dhampir
  • Background: Regional Shackles Corsair
Ability Name
Point Allocation
Strength 16
Dexterity 14
Constitution 15
Intelligence 10
Wisdom 15
Charisma 20


  • Skill Points: Athletics, Lore (Religion), Persuasion
  • Best Feats: Toughness, Warrior Priest
  • Best Weapons: Greatsword
  • Best Alignment: Good
  • Best Blessing: Strength
  • Best Diety: Gorum

Magus: Eldritch Scion

Combining melee weapons and magic spells can be deadly. That's why the Magus class is so powerful: they've got access to every dangerous trick in the game.

  • Race: Human, Aasimar, Tiefling, Dhampir
  • Background: Regional Osirion Historian
Ability Name
Point Allocation
Strength 8
Dexterity 15
Constitution 15
Intelligence 8
Wisdom 7
Charisma 20


  • Skill Points: Mobility, Persuasion
  • Best Feats: Weapon Finesse, Evocation
  • Best Class Skill: Knowledge World
  • Best Bloodline: Arcane Bloodline
  • Best Spells: Burning Hands, True Strike
  • Best Diety: Calistria

Inquisitor: Tactical Leader

Among all six Inquisitor subclasses, the Tactical Leader is clearly the best and most balanced.

  • Race: Human, Aasimar, Tiefling
  • Background: Wanderer Hunter
Ability Name
Point Allocation
Strength 15
Dexterity 13
Constitution 15
Intelligence 13
Wisdom 15
Charisma 8


  • Skill Points: Athletics, Lore (Religion), Perception, Persuasion
  • Best Feats: Intimidating Prowess, Persuasive
  • Best Weapons: Longsword
  • Best Spells: Bless, Divine Favor
  • Best Diety: Iomedae

Druid: Blight Druid

Blight Druids are infamous for their special use of bombs that are highly efficient in combat. This is also the only Druid subclass with necromantic spells.

  • Race: Human, Elf, Dwarf
  • Background: Gebian Necromancer
Ability Name
Point Allocation
Strength 10
Dexterity 10
Constitution 12
Intelligence 15
Wisdom 20
Charisma 10


  • Skill Points: Lore (Nature), Perception, Knowledge (Arcana)
  • Best Feats: Necromancy
  • Best Diety: Pharasma (Death Domain)

Rogue: Eldritch Scoundrel

If you want to play as a hybrid ranged and melee class, then this Rogue subclass is perfect.

  • Race: Tiefling, Dhampir, Kitsune
  • Background: Warrior Guard
Ability Name
Point Allocation
Strength 7
Dexterity 18
Constitution 12
Intelligence 18
Wisdom 10
Charisma 10


  • Skill Points: Mobility, Trickery, Stealth, Perception, Persuasion
  • Best Feats: Arcane Strike, Two-Weapon Fighting
  • Best Weapons: Dagger, Kukri
  • Best Spells: Magic Missile, Shield, True Strike
  • Best Diety: Norgorber

Sorcerer: Crossblooded

This build is the only build in the Wrath of the Righteous that allows you to utilize two bloodlines, which means you gain access to a whole slew of various spells.

  • Race: Aaasimar, Human, Dhampir
  • Background: Nexian Scholar
Ability Name
Point Allocation
Strength 8
Dexterity 16
Constitution 10
Intelligence 10
Wisdom 10
Charisma 20


  • Skill Points: Knowledge (Arcana), Persuasion, Use Magic Device
  • Best Feats: Evocation, Spell Penetration, Elemental Focus
  • Bloodlines: Arcane Bloodline, Celestial Bloodline
  • Class Skill: Knowledge (World)
  • Best Spell: Summon Monster
  • Best Diety: Nethys

Slayer: Vanguard

Vanguards are brutal warriors that can turn the tide of combat. They are also highly skilled tacticians.

  • Race: Half-Elf, Half-Orc
  • Background: Varisian Explorer
Ability Name
Point Allocation
Strength 15
Dexterity 20
Constitution 15
Intelligence 10
Wisdom 8
Charisma 8


  • Skill Points: Trickery, Mobility, Stealth
  • Best Feats: Weapon Finesse, Two-Weapon Fighting
  • Best Weapons: Dagger, Kukri
  • Best Diety: Pharasma

Paladin: Warrior of the Holy Light

If you want to deal the most damage to all undead, then pick the Holy Light Paladin.

  • Race: Human, Aasimar, Tiefling
  • Background: Craftsman Smith
Ability Name
Point Allocation
Strength 15
Dexterity 10
Constitution 15
Intelligence 14
Wisdom 9
Charisma 15


  • Skill Points: Athletics, Persuasion, Knowledge (World)
  • Best Feats: Toughness, Heavy Armor Focus
  • Best Weapons: Greatsword, Greataxe
  • Best Diety: Torag

Hopefully, this Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous best builds guide helped you choose the character you want to use for your playthrough. For more, be sure to read our best weapons guide for Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous.

Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous Best Weapons Tier List https://www.gameskinny.com/wnnax/pathfinder-wrath-of-the-righteous-best-weapons-tier-list https://www.gameskinny.com/wnnax/pathfinder-wrath-of-the-righteous-best-weapons-tier-list Fri, 10 Sep 2021 09:36:16 -0400 Sergey_3847

There are 56 types of weapons in Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous, which are grouped into three Proficiency levels: Simple, Martial, and Exotic.

This tier list guide will provide you with the best weapons in Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous, in terms of damage, range, and special abilities. All the weapons listed below are of different types, so it will be easier for you to find the one that fits your particular character build the most.

S-Tier Weapons

Blood Red Cleaver

  • Type: Greatsword
  • Proficiency: Martial
  • Damage: 2d6 (Slashing)

This isn't the heaviest greatsword in the game at only 8lbs, but its damage is unquestionably brutal. On top of that, it deals an extra 6d6 slashing damage to any enemy whose HP drops below 30%, guaranteeing a quick and devastating kill.

This is a perfect weapon for almost any Barbarian, Fighter, or Paladin class build. The other two equally good alternatives are:

  • Remnant
  • Endless War

Terrifying Tremble

  • Type: Earth Breaker
  • Proficiency: Martial
  • Damage: 2d6 (Bludgeoning)

In case you're specifically looking for a really heavy weapon, then this is the right one for you at 14lbs. When this weapon hits, it emits an ultrasound that deals extra damage to all other enemies within its range that is equal to your character's Athletics rank.

This monstrous weapon can only be compared to Obliteration, which is a good alternative for Terrifying Tremble.

A-Tier Weapons

Decay Spreader

  • Type: Sling Staff
  • Proficiency: Exotic
  • Damage: 1d8 (Bludgeoning)

Decay Spreader has the highest range in the game of up to 50 feet. But also consider the damage rolls on this incredible staff that gains +2 bonus for each dead enemy within its range.

That could quickly accumulate to a massive amount of damage, where each enemy gets killed faster than the previous one.

There are only a few other good alternatives to this weapon, such as:

  • Oak of Thunder
  • Flame's Hatred
  • Flame's Cleansing
  • Flame's Will


  • Type: Heavy Crossbow
  • Proficiency: Simple
  • Damage: 1d10 (Piercing)

Although this is a simple crossbow, it has an incredible range of damage bonuses that is applied to enemies with the following traits:

  • Huge or Gargantuan size
  • Dragon or Giant subtype
  • 20 or more HD

If an enemy has one of the these, then they will receive an extra 1d10 piercing damage and -2 penalty on all their attack rolls.

There are a few other crossbows that are quite good, but Mythslayer is still the best one among:

  • Rolling Thunder
  • Rude Stopper
  • Heartbreaker

Hunter's Blessing

  • Type: Longbow
  • Proficiency: Martial
  • Damage: 1d8 (Piercing)

Longbows are primarily made for characters that value Dexterity, and Hunter's Blessing is currently one of the best weapons for ranged Dexterity-based builds in the game due to its +4 Dexterity bonus.

Other exciting choices in the same category are:

  • Elemental Punisher
  • Watchman
  • Mirror Bow
  • Gamekeeper of the First World
  • Longbow of Leeching Strike
  • Killing Pace

B-Tier Weapons


  • Type: Scythe
  • Proficiency: Martial
  • Damage: 2d4 (Slashing)

Scythes are known for their high critical damage and some unique bonuses, but they are not easy to wield.

Riftcarver is an unholy weapon that has the ability to summon a pack of demons to aid your character in a battle. Also, once a day you can use it to create a rift between the worlds that swallows all enemies within a 60ft radius.

If you enjoy weapons like this, then also consider:

  • Annihilator
  • Gluttonous Scythe

Spiteful Mockery

  • Type: Heavy Pick
  • Proficiency: Martial
  • Damage: 1d6 (Piercing)

This is another unholy weapon designed for Witches. It may not have that high of a damage, but if you achieve the 20th level as a Wizard, you'll be able to cast the Prediction of Failure spell once a day with this heavy pick.

Prediction of Failure is one of the most devastating spells in the game. But if you're more interested in higher damage, then choose Dreadful Onslaught instead.

Crushing Burden

  • Type: Gnome Hooked Hammer
  • Proficiency: Exotic
  • Damage: 1d8/1d6 (Piercing)

Besides having a pretty significant critical hit damage, this exotic hammer deals Fatigued and Exhausted status effects on enemies.

In order to achieve this you need to hit en enemy three and six times in a row respectively.

If you're dealing with multiple enemies at a time, you can hit one of them three times, make it Fatigued, and then switch to others achieving the same effect, thus quickly gaining advantage over all of them.

Hopefully, this guide helped you decide which weapons fit your character the best in Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous. For more Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous guides, check out our dedicated hub page.

Project Eve Gets New 4-Minute Gameplay Trailer https://www.gameskinny.com/dlamc/project-eve-gets-new-4-minute-gameplay-trailer https://www.gameskinny.com/dlamc/project-eve-gets-new-4-minute-gameplay-trailer Thu, 09 Sep 2021 18:54:00 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Project Eve, the upcoming action RPG from Korean developer Shift Up Corp., dazzled in a four-minute gameplay trailer during Sony's recent PlayStation showcase. It was revealed back in 2019, but not much has been shared since then outside of a trailer in late 2020. 

There's a lot of Bayonetta meets Devil May Cry here, with touches of NieR and Scarlet Nexus thrown in for good measure. And that all sounds like a good mixture to me. You can see the trailer above. 

Talking about Project Eve over on the PlayStation Blog, Kim Hyung Tae, Director at Shift Up, said that Eve is a special forces soldier of sorts sent to fight back an alien force that's taken over the Earth. 

In the not-too-distant future, mankind is expelled from Earth after losing the battle against the invaders called the NA:tives. To win back Earth, the player becomes Eve, the survivor of the paratrooper squad deployed from the Colony, who must fight through powerful enemies with new comrades.

Combat is combat-focused, with Eve implementing skills and abilities to take down enemies, some of which are seen in the trailer. Of course, the game will take advantage of the PS5's hardware and tech for fast load times and haptic feedback. 

There's no release date for Project Eve yet, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, be sure to check the trailer above to see the game in action. 

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Remake Coming to PS5, PC https://www.gameskinny.com/idl3f/star-wars-knights-of-the-old-republic-remake-coming-to-ps5-pc https://www.gameskinny.com/idl3f/star-wars-knights-of-the-old-republic-remake-coming-to-ps5-pc Thu, 09 Sep 2021 17:54:01 -0400 Jonathan Moore

A remake of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic was revealed during Sony's latest PlayStation showcase. Being developed by Aspyr, who have worked on remakes of Jedi Knight 2, Jedi Academy, and Republic Commando, this is a full-on, from-the-ground-up remake made for PS5 and PC. It's still in early days, and no release date was shared. 

A press release for the announcement said that the Knights of the Old Republic Remake is a "PlayStation 5 console exclusive at launch," so there's a possibility it will appear on other platforms, such as Xbox Series X|S, sometime after launch. The upcoming Deathloop from Bethesda is exclusive to PS5 for a year, as is Ghostwire: Tokyo, which was also shown during the showcase.

The reveal trailer, seen above, is short, but it's enough to get any fan excited for what's to come. Narrated by Jennifer Hale, who's reprising her role as Bastila Shan, it shows Revan walking through the shadows before igniting their lightsaber and revealing their now-iconic helmet covered in a black cloak.

The detail on the helmet gives a small taste of what the remake could look like, though gameplay or any new cinematic trailers are still a ways off. Ryan Treadwell, Lead Producer on the project at Aspyr, said in a PlayStation Blog post

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic – Remake is a tremendous undertaking, encompassing almost every aspect of the original game. We’re still early in development, but we’re happy to finally have announced the remake and hear the PlayStation community’s thoughts on what you’re excited to see. 

The team behind the remake, which is working in collaboration with LucasFilm Games, is comprised of veteran RPG developers, as well as members of the original KOTOR development team who previously worked at Bioware. 

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic tells one of the best stories in all of Star Wars, canon or legends. It was released on PC way back in 2003 for Xbox and PC and was followed up by Knights of the Old Republic 2 in 2004. It consistently ranks in the upper echelons of the best Star Wars games ever made.

It’s an absolute delight that a new generation of players will be able to experience the game in a brand-new way, however that may look. Stay tuned for more Knights of the Old Republic Remake news in the future.

Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous Retrain Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/c72hk/pathfinder-wrath-of-the-righteous-retrain-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/c72hk/pathfinder-wrath-of-the-righteous-retrain-guide Thu, 09 Sep 2021 11:50:55 -0400 Sergey_3847

During the beta stage of Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous, players were not able to retrain / respec their characters, but with the game not fully released you can retrain any character to your liking.

Our guide will show you how to retrain your characters in Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous. You will have to find a specific NPC who will let you respec your party members.

How to Retrain or Respec in Pathfinder: WOTR

In order to retrain your characters you need to find a man named Hilor. He can be seen inside the Defender's Heart inn at Kenabres.

Once you enter the inn, you will see many NPCs, but Hilor stands in the left corner that is hard to see from the entrance.

Approach him and start a conversation. If you want to retrain your characters, you need to pick choice #4: "My friends and I need good training."

Hilor will gladly help you the first time you respec your characters and will do it for free, but every other time he will be asking for gold. In any case, he'll open up the menu and you can change your characters' attributes as you like. Save and close and you're all done.

It is possible that next time Hilor may relocate to somewhere else. If you can't find him in Kenabres, look out for him at the Nameless Inn in Drezen. He'll be waiting for you on the second floor of the building. You should have no trouble finding him there.

Hilor may also give you some quests to complete, should you be up to take them on.

That's everything you need to know on how to retrain in Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous. Check out our other guides on Pathfinder: WotR here on GameSkinny.

Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous Hulrun and Ramien Quest Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/g6rzt/pathfinder-wrath-of-the-righteous-hulrun-and-ramien-quest-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/g6rzt/pathfinder-wrath-of-the-righteous-hulrun-and-ramien-quest-guide Thu, 09 Sep 2021 10:07:33 -0400 Sergey_3847

Hulrun and Ramien are the two arguing parties in the Feud of the Faithful quest in Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous. In this quest Inquisitor Hulrun believes that Ramien, the priest of Desna, must not live. Our guide will go over how to complete the Hulrun and Ramien quest in Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous.

In order to complete this quest you need to find Ramien and decide what to do, and your choices may have lasting consequences on the whole game. Here you will learn about the exact location of Hulrun and Ramien, as well as, the right solution to the quest itself.

Hulrun and Ramien Quest Guide

Hulrun and Ramien can be found in the very center of the Market Square located in Kenabres. You can find them arguing about religious matters. When they break up, you will be asked by Hulrun to kill Ramien.

If your team has Ember, an Elf Witch, then she will want to kill Hulrun, but you can stop her and you should. Otherwise, the quest will fail.

You have two choices to make in this quest:

  • You can choose to kill Ramien
  • You can choose to spare Ramien's life

The best decision is to spare his life. In this way you will successfully complete the quest, and make Ramien join the defense forces that will help you protect the Grey Garrison from attack.

If you decide to kill Ramien,  Hulrun will reward you and then he will join the crusaders and attack your Grey Garrison.

In either case, you need to find Ramien at the Temple of Desna located in the northwestern part of the Market Square, which is indicated by the red-blue banner on the map above.

Regardless of your choice to either help or kill Ramien, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Temple of Desna
  2. Use the Scroll of See Invisibility
  3. Reveal Ramien's presence
  4. Speak to him and make your choice
  5. Go back to Hulrun and explain your choice

You can purchase the Scroll of See Invisibility from Vissaly Rathimus, a vendor who can be found at Defender’s Heart in Kenabres.

Once this is done, the Feud of the Faithful quest in Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous will be completed. If this guide helped you solve this mysterious quest, then be sure to share it with your friends.

Tales of Arise Review: Liberate Thyself https://www.gameskinny.com/4x16j/tales-of-arise-review-liberate-thyself https://www.gameskinny.com/4x16j/tales-of-arise-review-liberate-thyself Wed, 08 Sep 2021 11:14:45 -0400 Josh Broadwell

A fight rages at the top of a misshapen stone fortress, brutally carved from the rocks by slave labor. Suddenly, a beam of living fire blazes up to the sky, and an amnesiac hero cries out his name in triumph as he vanquishes his despicable enemy.

Big battles, pointy-haired and forgetful heroes, nations themed around the elements — sounds like your usual RPG fare, right? Not even close. Tales of Arise is far from your standard RPG, let alone your typical Tales game. It’s a strong, even daring, reimagining of the series and one of the year’s best RPGs.

Tales of Arise Review: Liberate Thyself

The clue is in the name, but Tales of Arise is about rebellion, or more accurately, it’s about several rebellions. Not just the big political kind either, though those certainly play a prominent role.

The twin worlds of Rena and Dahna once lived in harmony — or perhaps the existence wasn’t quite so harmonious, though that’s for you to find out later — until 300 years before Arise takes place. The Renans developed a satellite planet and military base called Lenegis, from where they launched an invasion on Dahna, conquering its people, erasing its past, and bending even the planet’s foundations to their will.

No one can stay oppressed forever, though.

Rebelling against corrupt governments is hardly unique. For most RPGs, however, simply defeating the villain or installing a beneficent ruler is enough. However, Tales of Arise answers the question, “What if a historian, political theorist, and social scientist made a video game?”

It picks up where most RPGs leave off, and the nations of Dahna are essentially anime case studies in slavery theory, revolution, and imperialism, often drawn from evident and uncomfortable real-world parallels.

One region is unmistakably based on Stalin’s U.S.S.R. and the paranoid self-destruction his oppressive regime fostered. Another region seems like a utopia, where benevolent Renans live happily alongside enslaved Dahnans in a world built on Enlightenment-era philosophies of equality.

Yet no amount of idealism can obscure the condescending paternalism inherent in those philosophies and the reluctant lord responsible for implementing them.

Arise doesn’t stop there. It follows through on every theme, with only a few exceptions, and it’s not content to settle for easy, black and white answers to difficult questions either.

It also inverts RPG tropes at points — the reason why a specific element characterizes each region stands out in particular — but more than that, Arise inverts Tales itself.

Tales builds elaborate worlds with more fancy fantasy names, wars, and official occupations than most people can remember, and often does very little with them. And that’s fine! Tales of the Abyss is one of the series’ most egregious examples of that style, but it’s also still one of the strongest narratives, despite the unnecessary complexity. 

Arise strips those layers away and focuses on the core themes it wants to explore, which evolve naturally from this point. 

That more refined focus extends to characters as well. Tales normally has roles to fill, such as the sassy prodigy or the raunchy older man, and almost any character could fill these roles with a few tweaks in writing. And that’s also fine! There’s value in adjusting the familiar, but Arise is proof Bandai took its commitment to a new start for the franchise seriously.

It has people who sometimes fall into types, but who mostly shape the story with their foibles, desires, and experiences. Whether child or adult, they’re quite sad people. Tales of Arise isn’t quite “if Yoko Taro wrote Tales,” but it’s close.

You’ll still find the series’ usual lightheartedness scattered throughout, especially in skits and most things Hootle-related. However, it is primarily a serious story, as it should be considering the themes Arise explores. It dips into melodrama occasionally, as most RPGs do, though Arise earns its sadness.

How much you end up agreeing with this will likely vary. Pacing is one of the biggest risks Bandai took with Arise, and this too is a no-fluff area. That means Arise leaves some key parts of its depth, such as the aftermath of rebellion, to the imagination while Alphen and the party forge ahead on their mission of liberation. 

I can see how some might consider this a more shallow approach to world-building, but it works in the context of Arise’s story. However, Bandai can’t get away with it a second time. Tales of Arise sets a new standard for the series’ storytelling, and, in the absence of DLC expanding on that for Arise, it’s something future Tales installments will need to surpass, including the realm of character development.

Skits further character depth, and the new camping feature opens chances to learn even more about party members at certain times. However, there’s little time for interactions unrelated to the main story.

Some long-time fans might see this as a detriment. One of the series’ unique characteristics is building a strong party dynamic through scenes that often have little relevance to the actual plot. Alphen’s party is a genuine ragtag band, though, and as with most such groups, dedication to their mission unites them more than anything else at first.

It’s a different approach, but one that makes the party’s bonds feel stronger in the end. When Alphen tries convincing one of them that they are genuinely friends, not just comrades working together, you believe him and feel the weight of his convictions. How could you not, after everything they’ve endured up to that point?

RPGs often trade strong production values for good writing and a more thorough approach to storytelling, but Arise is blessed with both. Superb voice acting, fluid and expressive character models, and an epic score enhance Arise’s core strengths, as do its graphics. 

There are a few minor hiccups. Arise suffers from some texture pop-in at times, especially in areas with numerous rock formations, but NPCs and non-voiced dialogue are the only standout issue here.

It also recycles NPC models heavily. Quest dialogue uses sound bytes instead of full voice acting, which leads to some unintentionally amusing and sometimes mildly disturbing situations when the byte doesn’t match the scenario at all. Village Man’s unhinged laughter on hearing Alphen solved his problem may haunt my dreams forevermore.

Every Tales entry intended as a milestone overhauls the combat in some way, and Arise is no different, applying its more thoughtful approach to storytelling here as well. Every party member has their usual set of standard attacks and artes, plus a perk that augments normal attacks. Rinwell the mage, for example, can stop a spell, charge it, then stack it with another one to access high-tier magic well before she learns it.

Each character has a boost gauge as well, special interrupt attacks that deal heavy damage to certain enemy types or help contain specific threats.

Then there’s evade counters, overlimits and unique artes attached to that state, and flashy moves executed with another character if you string together enough hits in a combo.

Enemy variations might be few in Arise, though balancing attacks, boosts, and combos means no encounter is dull. Button mashing won’t get you far, and that goes double for Arise’s spectacular bosses. A new approach to healing makes you think twice about your party's strategies, too. Healing artes are tied to a point system that depletes after every recovery arte, so planning is important.

You’ll learn new artes and passive abilities through the title system, which is a first for the series. Titles are the skill tree in Arise. Earning a new one unlocks five new abilities, and buying each in a title grants a permanent buff of some kind.

The skill tree also tells you what’s needed for unlocking adjacent panels. It’s both a much more convenient approach to title hunting than usual and a powerful incentive to explore as much of Arise as possible.

That’s true for Dahna’s huge, beautiful realms as well. There’s technically not much to do outside of towns, but scouring the land for ingredients, recipes, and equipment makes taking detours worth the time. Between that and the splendid visuals, Bandai finally has its world design back on track after losing its way with Zestiria

One of the pacing’s victims that’s impossible to ignore is farming. Despite featuring prominently in Arise’s marketing, farming is a slightly brutal footnote in your journey. You’ll stuff a barn with animals after acquiring it in the third realm, and… that’s it. Raise, consume, repeat.

You can’t even interact with the animals or just raise them for snuggles or to keep them safe. Maybe Bandai was just preparing for an Animal Farm-style sequel, but it’s a bit of an odd inclusion.

Tales of Arise Review  The Bottom Line

  • Thoughtful story that breaks new ground for how RPGs handle politics
  • Fresh, effective approach to pacing and story delivery
  • Strong and sympathetic cast
  • High production values
  • Engrossing and smart combat
  • Hootle
  • Recycled NPCs and annoying sound bytes
  • Farming

Bandai wanted a new start with Tales of Arise, and the team surpassed itself. The risks of telling a new kind of story — and in a completely new way — paid off. It's not just one of the best Tales games, though it's certainly that. Arise is easily one of the strongest RPGs in recent years.

[Note: Bandai Namco provided the copy of Tales of Arise used for this review.]

Midnight Suns Won't Have Lootboxes But Will Have Cosmetics "For Purchase" https://www.gameskinny.com/8eccp/midnight-suns-wont-have-lootboxes-but-will-have-cosmetics-for-purchase https://www.gameskinny.com/8eccp/midnight-suns-wont-have-lootboxes-but-will-have-cosmetics-for-purchase Wed, 01 Sep 2021 21:00:16 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Marvel's Midnight Suns has received a good amount of attention since it was revealed during Gamescom 2021. Firaxis games tend to do that, especially when coupled with such an iconic brand. But something else that has received a bit of attention is the game's combat system, specifically the battle cards used for attacks and abilities. 

Players are able to take their character, The Hunter, into battle alongside two other Marvel superheroes, ideally, those they've fostered deep relationships with and provide the best combat synergies. They're then dealt a hand of six random ability cards with which they take on Lilith's forces and other enemies. 

In a recent gameplay trailer and deep-dive, Firaxis shed new light on those mechanics, but they did not explain how players obtain those cards. Because minds do wander, that led to some talk about lootboxes.

Fortunately, that won't be the case, as spotted by Comicbook. The official Midnight Suns Twitter account confirmed that there will not be any lootboxes or pay-to-win style microtransactions in the game. Those seem to come from base character offerings, team compositions, "cultivating relationships" with characters, and items gained from battle. 

There will be, however, microtransactions for cosmetics, though just like a lot of the other minutia surrounding the game, details on that are still hazy. 

While Midnight Suns won't be weighed down by lootboxes, there's still a lot about the tactical RPG we still don't know, so stay tuned. Firaxis has teased another upcoming gameplay reveal for September 7 at 11:30 a.m. PDT, where The Hunter and Wolverine take on Sabretooth. 

New Midnight Suns Gameplay Shows Card System, Synergies, and the Abbey https://www.gameskinny.com/0alsm/new-midnight-suns-gameplay-shows-card-system-synergies-and-the-abbey https://www.gameskinny.com/0alsm/new-midnight-suns-gameplay-shows-card-system-synergies-and-the-abbey Wed, 01 Sep 2021 20:46:55 -0400 Jonathan Moore

As promised, the first gameplay for Marvel's Midnight Suns, the upcoming tactical RPG from developer Firaxis (Civilization, XCOM), was revealed today during a 30-minute IGN-exclusive live stream. Not only was even more extensive gameplay shown during the stream after the trailer, but members of the development team also shed new light on the game's systems and story. 

First let's take a look at the shorter trailer, which shows many of the game's 12 heroes — such as Blade, Dr. Strange, Wolverine, and the player character, The Hunter — that will be available at launch in March 2022. Heroes include a combination of "the Avengers, X-Men, The Runaways, and more."

The premise is that Lilith, resurrected by Hydra, has brought forth the forces of the underworld to take over and destroy the world — typical superhero stuff.

In response, the Midnight Suns organization, headquartered in the game's hub, the Abbey, has summoned The Hunter, who just so happens to be Lilith's progeny and the only hero able to best Lilith in the past. The Hunter is fully customizable, from body type to hair, clothes, and more.

Battle plays out in a turn-based fashion, with the player controlling up The Hunter and two other superheroes in the field of play. The game's card-based abilities system deals random "superhero abilities," that players can then choose from and synergize with to create powerful attacks and combined blows. 

But Marvel's Midnight Suns is about more than just battling demonic forces and iconic villains under the control of Lilith, it's also about cultivating relationships with other heroes in the Abbey between missions. Players will be able to have choice-based conversations with other heroes and engage in extracurricular activities, such as training with Ghost Rider and taking a walk with Tony Stark. 

Some cards and abilities are even locked behind the relationships built in the Abbey, and Firaxis says that each character has its own likes and dislikes, which players will need to learn as they play. So this "downtime" will be worth every second. 

There are a number of currencies shown off in a brief snippet, and it appears that those can be used, at least in part, to upgrade the Abbey with items that allow players to bring more skills and buffs into battle.

The gameplay breakdown shows a buildable training dummy that, for example, allows hero moves to be used as a "Shove, or apply Knockback, to enemies on the battlefield." Firaxis later clarified that the game will not have loot boxes.

More Midnight Suns gameplay, simply teased as The Hunter and Wolverine vs. Sabretooth, will be revealed on September 7 at 11:30 a.m. PDT. The game that isn't like XCOM but looks a lot like XCOM in a superhero suit was revealed during Gamecom 2021 and is set to release in 2022. Platforms haven't yet been revealed, but there's still a lot to learn about this one, so stay tuned.

King's Bounty 2: How to Defeat the Tyrant in the Scryer's Trial https://www.gameskinny.com/bpn9c/kings-bounty-2-how-to-defeat-the-tyrant-in-the-scryers-trial https://www.gameskinny.com/bpn9c/kings-bounty-2-how-to-defeat-the-tyrant-in-the-scryers-trial Tue, 31 Aug 2021 12:04:01 -0400 Hayes Madsen

One of the longest questlines in King's Bounty 2 is The Scryer's Trial, which requires you to take on a series of pre-determined battles, one of which being against the Tyrant.

The Tyrant is by far the hardest as you only have two units in your army, a Bone Dragon and a squad of Gargoyles. While it will undoubtedly take you a few tries, here's an explanation of the best way to beat the Tyrant. 

King's Bounty 2: How to Beat The Tyrant Trial

As with every battle in King's Bounty 2, your first choice is to pick where to place your units. With this trial, your best bet is to place both the Bone Dragon and Gargoyles on the right side.

You want the enemy units to group up, and placing your units on the very right should encourage them to all move that way. If there aren't at least three units grouped together, use your first turn to move out of the enemy's range to try and get them to group again. Make sure the Gargoyles can't be hit by any enemies as you'll need them in a second. 

Once three enemies are grouped, one of which should be the Soul Eaters, hit them with the Plague spell at the start of your turn to weaken them.

After that move your Bone Dragon so that it's sitting in a tile between all three enemies you hit with Plague, and use the dragon's Putrid Breath attack. This will cause massive damage to the three enemies, cause poison, and can't be countered. Now grab your Gargoyles and bring them in to attack the Soul Eaters, using their first ability. 

It's important to point out here that no matter what you want to get the Soul Eaters out of the way, as they can bring your entire strategy crashing down with their brutal Scream attack that causes damage and stuns any unit around them. After taking down the Soul Eaters you'll want to focus on the trolls, as they also have a stunning attack. 

Another important point here is that the three Hollow Blades units are immune to counterattacks, so keep that in mind. Try and preserve your Gargoyles as long as you can, and make sure to use their second special attack on at least one enemy, causing Bleeding and Weakness. 

As the enemies group up around your Bone Dragon use your second Plague spell to hit the ones that have the highest hit points, then just keep chipping away with your Bone Dragon and Gargoyles. 

Eventually, you're going to need to use the Bone Dragon's healing ability, which will restore it to full health. If possible make the dragon fly out of all the enemy unit's range and then heal, then keep the dragon away until its Putrid Breath recharges.

As the battle winds down this is a great strategy for finishing things off; hitting remaining enemies with Putrid Breath then flying away until it recharges and doing it again. As stated earlier the Putrid Breath attack can't be countered, so you won't take any extra damage from that.

The Tyrant Trial honestly requires a bit of luck, so don't get discouraged if you don't beat it the first few times. In order to make things easier, however, here's a summary of the key points. 

  1. Group enemy units together to the right side
  2. Hit the group with the Plague spell
  3. Fly the Bone Dragon in and use its Putrid Breath to hit at least three enemies
  4. Use the Gargoyles to take out the Soul Eaters ASAP
  5. Continue attacking enemies with the dragon and Gargoyles, taking out the trolls next
  6. Make sure to hit at least one enemy with the Gargoyle's Bleeding attack
  7. Make sure to heal the Bone Dragon with its ability when its health is low, and if needed fly out of danger
  8. Charge up Putrid Breathe and rinse and repeat until enemies are defeated

That's it for how to defeat the Tyrant in King's Bounty 2. Check out our other King's Bounty 2 guides here on GameSkinny.

Maneater: Truth Quest Review — I Want to Believe https://www.gameskinny.com/q426y/maneater-truth-quest-review-i-want-to-believe https://www.gameskinny.com/q426y/maneater-truth-quest-review-i-want-to-believe Tue, 31 Aug 2021 09:00:01 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Where Maneater is akin to a 10-hour SharkWeek documentary, its Truth Quest DLC seeks to be Ancient Aliens or Monster Quest. While such a comparison isn't exactly in vogue, I know, Truth Quest is so entangled in the net of conspiracy and "What if?" culture that it's an unavoidable comparison, especially for anyone keen on those series. 

But where those shows are mostly docile explorations of the unknown and don't often venture into the dangerous conspiratorial depths, Truth Quest gladly swims mouth first into the tangled web of Q. 

It's hard to argue that Maneater's irreverent and quirky base game is escapist fun and what we called "a sharky good time" when we reviewed it last year, but that sense of a jolly, good time wanes early in Truth Quest. At least narratively, this DLC ultimately flounders because of its unwavering reliance on the most outlandish and minacious real-life conspiracies for its subject matter. 

Maneater: Truth Quest Review — I Want to Believe

I won't dive into the minutia of Truth Quest's story — though you can certainly guess what it's about from the trailer above. That's partly because I've been expressly asked not to. But more importantly, it's because doing so would spoil some of its best parts.

Despite my reservations on the whole, there are some legitimately chuckle-worthy punchlines throughout Truth Quest — even if some derive their comedic value solely from their batshit nature. They are, of course, delivered by Maneater narrator Trip Westhaven, who has gone full Alex Jones since we last heard from him.

The long and short of TQ's message-board-laden narrative is that Westhaven has "seen" things during the filming of Maneater, and he's convinced a satanic cabal is behind it. Somehow aliens are involved, too.

But don't worry: Trip's done his research, and he'll tell you about the evil machinations afoot in Port Clovis, bringing to light what's really causing its fauna to mutate and terrorize the otherwise placid waters surrounding the Gulf of Mexico.

The problem is that while Trip's cheekiness is objectively funny in places, it begins to wear incredibly thin the longer the story goes on. Starting as well-delivered jabs meant to deride the subject matter sardonically, the commentary ultimately morphs into a thread of tiring and stark reminders of current world events.

There's no end-game that ties its threads into a thoughtful resolution, and while I'm not entirely sure that's Maneater's place or goal, we're left with what feels like a missed opportunity at best once the credits roll. But perhaps that's what it all means when we see how thing's have turned out: there never is an "end," and what a dire coda that is. 

Luckily, Truth Quest's gameplay is as good as the base game and acts as its driving, mega-mouthed force. 

There aren't any major changes in the current between Maneater and Truth Quest. You still chomp down on humans and beasties alike, gathering nutrients to help you swim to the top of the Port Clovis food chain. Bounty hunters still abound, and other apex predators vie for dominance. 

There are a few new objectives and collectibles to hunt down, such as your run-of-the-mill time trials and Trip's Viewtube followers, called Questers, who themselves spew a retinue of conspiracy theories that will either have you laughing or rolling your eyes.

It's here that I'll admit these ramblings are perhaps more memorable for their uneasy, self-aware delivery when compared to Trip's overconfident Facebook-group conviction. 

Regardless, chowing down on evil satanist sailors and black-ops-adjacent bounty hunters never ceases to delight even in its simplicity. Hunting down other predators remains adrenaline-filled. And cutting through the beautifully rendered waters of Port Clovis, even in its dingiest spots, can be relaxing if that's what you're looking for. 

Alongside the story, Truth Quest thrashes in the shallows with its new objectives that see you hunt down towers on land and destroy them. 

Guarded by heavily armed sailors, you're tasked with taking these towers down by tail whipping either bombs or bodies at them. Not only does it all but force you into a single organ mutation, but tail whipping objects is inaccurate at best in these land-based sections. All in all, they only seem to serve a single purpose: elongate the DLC's playtime. 

Airborne enemies take a second, but very close, backseat to towers. Sure, taking down a helicopter is cool. Watching your meg launch into the air, chomping rudders and wings, crushing metal in mesmeric dervishes of death, is a sight to behold.

But again, these encounters only seem to elongate the time you spend with Truth Quest, not add any true difficulty or overall substance to the game. You could very well get by without them and never notice their absence. 

That aside, a new evolution introduces compelling ranged combat mechanics and leverages that tail whipping into a fruitful strategy against the terrors of the deep, new and old alike. The evolution is so well conceived alongside Truth Quest's new enemies that it will likely have you trading in your bone set as quickly as you can (especially against those damnable helicopters...). 

Perhaps one of the biggest draws of Truth Quest, though, is the new location. It drips in conspiratorial design, acting as the DLC's most prominent character, even outshining the new Apex that looms large itself. It reminds of a Bond villain's hideout, or something Maxmillian calls home in Evil Genius.

It's exactly the place I imagine such underhanded, shady dealings would take place, where roving bands of military black hats patrol dark waters, moored ships definitely filled with disreputable cargo float in the choppy waves, and a fishy secret laboratory bathed in green lords over the sea.

Maneater: Truth Quest DLC Review — The Bottom Line


  • Being a shark is still fun as hell
  • New evolution add ranged combat options
  • New setting drips with character


  • Jokes become stale by the end
  • Tail-whipping mechanic is hit and miss

Maneater Truth Quest goes a bit overboard with its attempts to parody the current real-world conspiratorial climate, taking an experience that offers a reprieve from the terrifying every day of the COVID-19 pandemic and creating something that reminds us of our divisionary reality at every turn. It's funny, sure, but only for so long. 

It doesn't help that, perhaps ironically, Chris Parnell plays the part of a deep-end Westhaven a little too well, lending a sense of unnerving gravitas to the part. The relentless delivery throughout the roughly 5-hour campaign grates by the end, making even the most outlandish ancient astronaut theory or skunk ape tale a welcome reprieve. 

Good thing, then, that being Jaws is still incredibly fun and strangely compelling. 

[Note: Tripwire Interactive provided the copy of Maneater: Truth Quest used for this review.]

Bravely Default 2 Heads to PC in September https://www.gameskinny.com/61px3/bravely-default-2-heads-to-pc-in-september https://www.gameskinny.com/61px3/bravely-default-2-heads-to-pc-in-september Mon, 30 Aug 2021 14:41:51 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Bravely Default 2 will be making its way to PC later this year on September 2. The RPG will be available through Steam for $59.99, though it's currently 10% off through September 13, putting it at $53.99 until then. The discount will disappear on that date at 1 p.m. EDT, when the Steam Store refreshes for the day. 

The Steam port "features full controller support and various resolution options," according to Square Enix. There's no word on what other little bells and whistles PC players can expect in the game's options. 

Bravely Default 2 is a massive game with 24 jobs, secret endings, and much more for RPG fans to sink their teeth into. The story follows four heroes who, of course, are out to stop an evil force from destroying the world Excillant (yep). We enjoyed Bravely Default 2 on the Switch, saying that "it has a deep combat system, a sunny disposition, and a weirdly positive outlook."

You can read about why it's "the best RPG that never came out of 1998 Japan" in our full review. 

If plan on starting off on the right foot, consider heading over to and bookmarking our Bravely Default 2 guides page, where we have general tips and tricks and help articles on the game's job system (including how to unlock a secret job), endings, rare monster locations and drops, and more.

Salt and Sacrifice PvP Multiplayer Detailed in New Trailer https://www.gameskinny.com/0r15h/salt-and-sacrifice-pvp-multiplayer-detailed-in-new-trailer https://www.gameskinny.com/0r15h/salt-and-sacrifice-pvp-multiplayer-detailed-in-new-trailer Mon, 30 Aug 2021 11:08:18 -0400 Jonathan Moore

We already knew that Salt and Sacrifice would have multiplayer elements when it releases in Q1 2022 for PC, PlayStation 4, and PS5. Developer Ska Studios said that there would be "drop-in, drop-out" online cooperative multiplayer. Details were scant at the time, but the team shared new info about that system, including its PvP elements, during the Future Game Show at Gamescom. 

As a Marked Inquisitor, players are tasked with hunting down corrupt mages to cleanse the land of the Altarstone Kingdom. That much we knew. Now it's clear that other players will be able to either help with that endeavor or stand in its way. 

A trailer that debuted during the Future Game Show gave a look at that system, showcasing two of the factions that will provide aid or "wreak chaos": the Shroud Alliance (PvP) and the Blueheart Runners (PvEvP). It also confirmed that players will be able to play through the entire Salt and Sacrifice campaign with a partner through a password system.

The summoning candle is used to initiate multiplayer, useable by those that have reached atonement by consuming what's called a Guiltless Shard. As Developer James Silva puts it in the video above, atonement allows players to summon allies to fight against AI enemies, but it also opens the door for invasion from the Shroud Alliance. 

Much like in Dark Souls 3, it's possible to auto-summon allies when invaded, pending other players are wearing an "amulet of the Oathbound Watcher." This system of invasion and protection seems more akin to what Soulslike vets are accustomed to, though it's unclear if invaders under the Shroud Alliance will battle AI enemies on their way to an Inquisitor.

Those playing as Blueheart Runners have a slightly different task ahead of them, focusing on PvEvP while taking on other players, as well as collecting something called Ashes of the Hazeburnt. Silva describes the Hazeburnt as a "horde of zombie-like creatures who have succumbed to the Spellmark curse." 

The description is interesting because it's unclear if the Hazeburnt are in any way related to the shades of defeated players (think a take on the bloodstain system in Dark Souls).

Regardless, slaying Hazeburnt summons Hazewraiths that Silva said will "hunt your pursuers" constantly invading and hunting other players. Up to four players (2v2) can fight each other at one time in this mode. 

There's still a lot we don't know about Salt and Sacrifice, the sequel to 2016's Salt and Sanctuary. Stay tuned for more.

Header image credit: GamesRadar

Marvel's Midnight Suns is the Next Game from Civ & XCOM Developer Firaxis https://www.gameskinny.com/n6t49/marvels-midnight-suns-is-the-next-game-from-civ-xcom-developer-firaxis https://www.gameskinny.com/n6t49/marvels-midnight-suns-is-the-next-game-from-civ-xcom-developer-firaxis Fri, 27 Aug 2021 14:00:14 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Firaxis is best-known for Civilization and XCOM, but the development team has been working on something in secret not related to either of those franchises. That something is Marvel's Midnight Suns, which is reportedly mechanically separate from XCOM, despite also being a tactical, turn-based RPG (thanks, Polygon).

Midnight Suns is set to release on every major platform in March 2022, including PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch.

The game was recently revealed at Gamescom with a fantastic cinematic trailer (and an even more fantastic rendition of Enter Sandman by Metallica). The end of the trailer says that we can expect actual gameplay footage on September 1 at 11:30 a.m. PDT. Surely, it will be broadcasting the game's YouTube channel, though it doesn't specify. 

Publisher 2K describes Midnight Suns as "a new tactical RPG set in the darker side of the Marvel Universe, putting you face-to-face against demonic forces of the underworld as you team up with and live among the Midnight Suns, Earth's last line of defense."

Several interviews with Creative Director Jake Solomon (including the one from Polygon linked above and this one from IGN), shed some greater light on what fans can expect, making it sound a lot like a mixture of XCOM and Marvel Ultimate Alliance, though that remains to be seen on September 1. However, there's still not a lot of information about the game swirling around.

It's also not clear if there will be a multiplayer facet to the game at all — there is head-to-head multiplayer in XCOM 2, for example — but IGN said that 2K mentioned "a single-player focused experience." 

The main character is new, called The Hunter, and is customizable. There will be 12 other characters, with nine so far revealed: 

  • Blade
  • Captain America
  • Captain Marvel
  • Dr. Strange
  • Ghost Rider
  • Iron Man
  • Magik
  • Nico Minoru
  • Wolverine

Stay tuned for more on Marvel's Midnight Suns as we learn it, and be sure to tune in for the gameplay reveal on September 1. 

Sega Debuts Dark New Lost Judgment Trailer at Gamescom https://www.gameskinny.com/e15no/sega-debuts-dark-new-lost-judgment-trailer-at-gamescom https://www.gameskinny.com/e15no/sega-debuts-dark-new-lost-judgment-trailer-at-gamescom Thu, 26 Aug 2021 17:45:22 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Sega debuted a new Lost Judgment trailer during Gamescom 2021, and it's a doozy. We know Yagami gets up to all manner of shenanigans, from impersonating a student to fighting alongside a Shiba Inu, but this story trailer peers into Lost Judgment's darker side ahead of its September 24 release date on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

It opens with a trial. A police officer facing judgment for groping women on a train platform surprises the magistrate with a little revelation. Soon, they'll learn of a rotting corpse in a warehouse, he says, and that's when hell breaks loose.

Yagami embarks on a journey into darkness and madness trying to uncover the truth.

His goal is protecting the innocent, but he doesn't quite know what he's getting into. The truth behind the murder involves a shady organization bent on scaring Yagami and his friends off, no matter the cost. And no one is above being tainted by the cruelty, not even Yagami himself.

Lost Judgment is a direct sequel to 2018's Yakuza spinoff Judgment, recently remastered for next-gen consoles and losing none of its shine. It features the arcade-style brawling combat Yakuza was known for prior to Like A Dragon taking it in a different direction, and it sees Yagami exploring areas beyond Kamurocho, including Yokohama.

Garden Story Review: Not Quite Ripe https://www.gameskinny.com/3yypn/garden-story-review-not-quite-ripe https://www.gameskinny.com/3yypn/garden-story-review-not-quite-ripe Mon, 23 Aug 2021 17:49:44 -0400 Josh Broadwell

If I picked a grape from the vine, and it started attacking me with a pickaxe, I’d be a lot of things, including gravely injured. For Concord in Garden Story, though, slinging weapons around and saving the world is just part of the daily chores.

It’s a hefty task placed on their non-existent shoulders, in more ways than one. The fruits of their labor might not be fine wine, but Garden Story’s unique and pleasurable aroma gives it a flavor that stands out even among the finer vintages, if only because of what might have been.

Garden Story Review: Not Quite Ripe

The Kindergarden is where tender plants await the day they can drop off the vine and join the world. There’s a problem in Garden Story, though. No new fruits have blossomed in years, thanks to the ever-expanding Rot that threatens to engulf all life. 

That makes our hero Concord’s job as tender of the Kindergarden a bit redundant. Enter Plum, one of the realm’s guardians, who whisks Concord off to the land of perpetual spring — a real place, not a euphemism — where they learn the principles of guardianship.

What follows is a twee little adventure that’s sort of like The Legend of Zelda with a bit of Harvest Moon grafted on…  well, that's how Garden Story appears on the surface. In reality, it’s a surprisingly melancholy tale in parts. 

Plum and the other guardians muse about the world’s grim fate and how things have withered prior to Concord’s story beginning. These conversations happen nearly every time Concord speaks with the guardians, and it adds an unexpected sense of urgency to their mission and depth to the world. 

Garden Story isn’t just sad. Everyone helps encourage Concord to do their best outside the Kindergarden, and characters such as the lazy-but-endearing Rana the Frog inject some welcome humor whenever they’re on screen.

The bulk of Concord’s mission is a solo one, however. They’ll travel through four season-themed areas and combat the rot in all its forms, but Garden Story adds a nice twist on the usual top-down adventure. 

Once Concord arrives in a new area, they stay as long as they want. Each region has a cute bungalow complete with a leaf rug for sleeping and saving, a Dew well for replenishment, and some other odds and ends.

There’s no shortage of folks who need help either. Every day brings a new round of requests that help Concord level up their stats, such as maintenance, and rewards them with some cash for new tools or upgrades.

That’s where the rot starts to set in, though. Garden Story is ambitious in its design and ideas, but it doesn’t carry through enough on any of it. Daily quests are almost invariably the same, and most of the environmental puzzles follow a similar pattern. You can build and decorate, but only in limited measure.

Concord gets an array of tools for fighting Rot, from the handy pickaxe to a parasol and even a hammer. Combat is stiff and unrewarding, though, hampered further by a stamina bar that seems more like a carryover from farming simulators than a useful feature.

Most enemies have a set attack pattern that’s easy to learn, including bosses, and you’ll quickly settle into a predictable rhythm. Run up, smack smack, run away, buff with modified Dew, repeat. 

Garden Story doesn’t set itself up as the next great action-RPG, but fighting is a core part of Concord’s adventure. More variety would have been the equivalent of a grocery store spritzer keeping the journey from wilting.

Barring that, I’d have been happy just letting Concord put down stronger roots in each village. It’s evident Garden Story wants you to care about its inhabitants, and I do — when they let me.

Despite the world’s depth, it feels surprisingly impersonal. There’s not much interaction you can have with the NPCs, and you rarely, if ever, see the payoff from all the quests you complete to help revitalize each village.

What you’re left with is a slightly sour aftertaste. Garden Story wants very much to do something bold and new, and I appreciate that. Most of its big ideas just fell off the vine before they ripened, unfortunately.

Garden Story Review — The Bottom Line

  • Surprisingly deep story
  • Charming characters
  • Ambitious ideas...
  • ... that never go far
  • Combat wears out fast
  • Repetitive quests
  • Limits its best ideas

Garden Story shows what RPGs and top-down adventures can be like. There's depth in its foliage and a charming world at its foundation. It just seems like the dev team tried getting too much from a plant that couldn't produce enough to meet demand, and the result was a watered-down version of the ideal.

Still, new seasons bring new opportunities for growth, and I very much hope to see Garden Story sprout again in a new form.

[Note: Picogram provided the copy of Garden Story used for this review]

King's Bounty 2 Review: Knight Errant https://www.gameskinny.com/hv762/kings-bounty-2-review-knight-errant https://www.gameskinny.com/hv762/kings-bounty-2-review-knight-errant Mon, 23 Aug 2021 12:00:01 -0400 Hayes Madsen

King's Bounty 2 is a game that feels like it's at war with itself, with disparate ideas that never fully mesh together. It’s an effort to combine open-world RPGs with Might and Magic-style, but the open-world elements end up detracting from the experience more than they help it.

Despite some high points and a combat system that gets better as the game goes on, it unfortunately never melds into a cohesive whole, and little bits of frustration don't help matters. 

King's Bounty 2 Review: Knight Errant

King’s Bounty 2 lets you choose from three distinct characters: a Warrior that focuses on unit strength, a Mage that can learn a wide array of spells, and a Paladin that has support magic.

No matter which character you pick, the story starts out the same way. Your character has been put in prison after being accused of poisoning the King of Nostria, but they’re given a second chance when the now-ruling prince sends you on a special mission.

The story may be the same for all three characters, but there is some variation in how each character responds. Unfortunately, the only interesting character is Katherine the Mage, who consistently throws out witty one-liners and sarcastic comments.

The core structure of King’s Bounty 2 is pretty close to what you find in the genre, as the lone hero strikes out on a series of quests to unravel the core mystery of who’s causing trouble across Nostria. The story doesn’t do much to grab you initially, and it doesn’t get much better even 30 hours in.

As you follow the main story, the formula of King’s Bounty 2 becomes abundantly clear; proceed to an area filled with NPCs and load up your quest journal, complete those quests, and then rinse and repeat in the next area.

The game is filled to the brim with both main quests and side quests, but few of them manage to tell engaging stories. The writing is consistently very dry, and a mish-mash of questionable voice acting only helps drag things down even more.

My biggest issue with the quests in King’s Bounty 2 is how they all kind of blend together, especially in terms of how they’re tracked. You can only track one quest at a time, which will be highlighted on your map, but every other objective is simply a basic exclamation point with nothing to denote which quest it belongs to.

This can lead to a lot of confusion unless you want to consistently dig through your quest journal and reference it to your map.

Getting around the world of Nostria also isn’t as intuitive as it could be. Fast travel points dot the world, but the way quests are designed means it would be better if you could simply fast travel at any time, without having to go to a point.

This problem is coupled with an abysmally slow walking speed, with no option to sprint or anything else. To be fair, you do have a horse that can be summoned at any time, but bafflingly, when you’re in towns, the horse moves slower than you walk.

The good news, however, is that Nostria is an absolutely gorgeous world, with a wealth of particle effects and wildlife dotting the forests and hills. It’s a shame that the world and NPCs end up feeling so lifeless because King’s Bounty 2 consistently wowed me with gorgeous vistas, putrid swamps, and more.

While the actual structure and story of King’s Bounty 2 leave a lot to be desired, the game’s combat system fares a lot better. Combat is an evolution of the grid-based system used in King’s Bounty: The Legend, and it has a lot of strategy built-in. Units take turns based on their initiative stat, and almost every unit in the game has a unique special attack.

There’s a ton of variety in terms of army composition, as units are grouped into four different ideals; Order, Anarchy, Power, and Finesse. These ideals also correspond to moral choices throughout the game, and the more points you have in one ideal the better the moral for those unit types will be.

Layered on top of your units are a host of magic spells, with the ability to use one per round. Past even that you also factor in the equipment on your character, who doesn’t take part in battle, but the equipment will grant certain stat boosts and perks.

King’s Bounty 2 is absolutely unforgiving in its battles, and there’s a definite learning curve to the game, but it still manages to be an engaging system that truly encourages tactical thinking. The combat system does a good job of expanding and becoming even more complex as you unlock additional units.

There’s a bit of frustration in the mix as well, though, as enemies consistently feel like they have a leg up and know every weakness in your army. There were multiple instances where I simply couldn’t find any way to beat a battle until I spent some time grinding to upgrade my character and army.

This leads to one of my other main issues with King’s Bounty 2, and that’s actually restocking your army. If you want to restore a certain unit, you’ll need to remember which recruiter has them, as the map doesn’t denote what kind of units anyone has. It’s absolutely baffling that the map wouldn’t at least note what type of units a recruiter has, and this leads to a few instances of wandering around trying to find the right one.

King's Bounty 2 Review — The Bottom Line


  • The world itself looks lush and gorgeous
  • Tactical combat that deepens as you progress through the game 
  • A wealth of options for building your own army and strategies


  • Boring and forgettable quests that feel tedious
  • Stilted and wooden voice acting and animations
  • Frustrating lack of detail on the map and objectives
  • Crushing difficulty that can bring your progress to a halt

If I had to pick one word to describe King’s Bounty 2 it would tedious, and that applies to every facet of the game. All of the various ideas don’t mesh together in a meaningful way, and the interesting combat simply isn’t enough to prop up King’s Bounty 2 against all of its other flaws.

Fans of the series may still find something to love, but King’s Bounty 2 lacks the special spark that the most memorable RPGs have.

[Note: Deep Silver provided the copy of King's Bounty 2 used for this review.]

Astria Ascending Preview: A Competent RPG That Never Truly Soars https://www.gameskinny.com/29i1q/astria-ascending-preview-a-competent-rpg-that-never-truly-soars https://www.gameskinny.com/29i1q/astria-ascending-preview-a-competent-rpg-that-never-truly-soars Mon, 23 Aug 2021 04:00:01 -0400 Henry Stockdale

Astria Ascending has come a long way since its initial launch. Released on iOS as Zodiac: Orcanon Odyssey in 2015, Artisan Studios is undertaking a full gameplay reconstruction, retaining Zodiac's world but implementing an overhauled story.

With several Final Fantasy veterans onboard like Hitoshi Sakimoto and Kazushige Nojima, that version launches on September 30 for PC and consoles, sporting a lovely visual presentation. Promising 25 dungeons, five explorable cities, and 30-50 hours of gameplay at full release, our hands-on preview only covered 1/10 of that.

Astria Ascending Preview: A Competent RPG That Never Truly Soars

Astria Ascending takes players to Harmonia, an idyllic world split between five cities. Protected by eight Demigods, these mighty individuals serve for three years before ascending to the next plain, replaced by a new group. Having reached the 333rd set of Demigods, this story sees them investigating mysterious creatures called Noises, who’ve begun attacking cities and appearing in unusual locations.

Each character has their own story, and to begin, you’ll play as Ulan Merer, leader of the 333rd. She’s joined by Eko, Dagmar, Kaydin, Alek, Kress, Arpajo, and Alassia, who are all available immediately. In that regard, Astria's quite refreshing compared to other RPGs, as companions often don’t arrive until later on.

Each Demigod is customizable with basic combat gear and accessories, but you can develop them further with Astria's job system. While Demigods hold a base job — the choices of which range between your standard RPG options of captain, soldier, and thief  they can be assigned three additional jobs — main, sub, and support  later on.

Crucially, they offer new combat abilities through the Ascension (skill) Tree, alongside stat boosts like extra HP or defense. To unlock those, you’ll spend skill points (SP), which are earned through completing battles, and each character has a separate SP allowance.

Once you’ve prepared your party, you’ll go exploring across 2D locations.

Much of this preview involved exploring dungeons, jumping across ledges as in an old platformer, finding treasure chests for new items and currency, and taking down Noises.

Upon reaching a Noise, which appear as large bubbles, you can pre-emptively strike by slashing it, increasing your probability of going first when combat begins. However, if a Noise approaches you from behind, they’ll always start first. If you’re not up for fighting, you’ll quickly find a zodiac ring that freezes them, letting you jump straight over them and skip the fight.

Should you battle, you’ll enter a round of turn-based combat, where each combatant holds weaknesses and resistances. Alassia, for example, resists Water attacks but is weak to Lightning, whereas Kress hates Fire but is strong against Ice.

Between choosing a physical attack, MP abilities like elemental magic and healing, guarding, choosing items, retreating, and swapping party members, combat’s very straightforward for an RPG. Later in our demo, Alassia learns how to summon Astraes, too, powerful beings capable of fierce attacks that temporarily replace your party.

If a character proves ineffective, rather than swap them out, you can allocate focus points (FP), earned by exploiting enemy weaknesses or choosing the “focus” command, for increased damage output, meaning characters spend their turn charging the meter. That increases damage by 50% per FP, going up to a maximum of four points, and it’s an interesting system that prevents characters from feeling useless in battle.

For challenge seekers, there are four difficulties to choose from, but there are other options too. You can disable field encounters and enemy respawns in dungeons, turn off XP/ SP Gain/ items/Lum (currency) gains, alongside deciding how much XP backup party members earn, making Astria more accessible.

Outside of dungeons, Astria Ascending features a minigame called J-Ster, where you challenge inhabitants across the game's cities. Using a 7-slot hexagonal grid, you have 5 tokens, and you’ll aim to flip over an opponent’s pieces.

To do that, your token’s value must be higher than the defender’s and depending on your chosen attack angle, tokens can potentially block those moves. It’s not especially deep, but J-Ster is an enjoyable distraction.

There are certainly merits to Astria Ascending, but unfortunately, this preview never truly captivated me. Astria’s story was still finding its feet when things ended for me, combat felt functional if mostly unremarkable, and dungeon exploration teetered on tedium. It was never terrible, but major gameplay systems simply felt uninspired.

Ultimately, I left Astria Ascending’s preview without any strong feelings. Artisan Studios has established foundations for an entertaining RPG, sure, and though Astria never does anything specifically wrong, it never excels, either.

Featuring a good presentation, intriguing FP system, and gameplay customization, there are a few things RPG fans will enjoy, but as it stands, I’d struggle to recommend Astria over other games. I’m hopeful a longer playthrough will convince me otherwise.