After five productive months spent in Early Access, ARPG Victor Vran is set to officially release on July 24. Developed by Tropico devs Haemimont Games, the game has been feature complete since July 2, so I guess you could go buy the Early Access edition right now if you wanted.
The ARPG field is a crowded one, but Victor Vran claims to be bringing a "fresh perspective" to the genre. You'll be playing as the titular Victor Vran, yet deep character customisation appears to be one of the game's strong suites. You'll be able to jump as well, which is always nice, if unusual for an isometric action RPG.
The trailer above provides a bit of context for the ceaseless clicking you'll be doing on the game's many and varied demonic enemies. Check out some earlier gameplay footage if your interest is piqued.
Mighty No. 9 may still be a couple of months away, but studio Comcept has already launched a Kickstarter to help fund another Mega Man-inspired title. This time the studio will draw from the legacy of Mega Man Legends, with Art Director Kazushi Ito and Director Masahiro Yasuma confirmed to be on board in addition to Keiji Inafune, who will lead the project. Dubbed Red Ash, the studio is after $800,000 to create a prologue chapter, which will serve "as a foundation on which to build future content".
"The primary goal with Red Ash is to tell a story on a grand scale," the Kickstarter page reads. "All of the primary concepts are clearly visualized in the minds of the creative team, from the overall plot to historical background."
The prologue chapter is called the KalKanon Incident, and will serve as a "key jumping-on point for the universe". Comcept isn't sure how it will gather the funds for further content though.
"Whether it's through additional funding, revenue from "The KalKanon Incident" sales, or teaming up with a publisher, this is a story we are determined to tell, and we want all of our backers to be on the ground floor for the creation of this new game universe."
Red Ash isn't just a game, but rather two projects "based in separate, yet parallel worlds". Comcept is working on the game, while animation crew Studio 4C is working on an accompanying anime which has its own Kickstarter campaign.
At the time of printing Red Ash has already attracted $220,000 in funding, with nearly a month left to reach its $800,000 goal. Check out the pitch video below:
There's no shortage of games set in New York, but The Division's bleak apocalpytic vision is looking pretty exciting so far, if only because it channels Escape From New York. That impression is bolstered by the trailer above: what starts as a common flu quickly escalates into some deadly contagion, so a wall is erected around Manhattan in order to keep the infected inside. Escape From New York had no such contagion, but it did have a huge wall around Manhattan. If only The Division had Snake Plissken.
The Division won't release until early next year, but Ubisoft has been steadily releasing footage since a major showing at E3 last month. Here's the latest gameplay demonstration of the Dark Zone, and here's what Sam Roberts thought after a hands-on session with the game.
Remember when you used to be able to share PC games with friends, and collect your PC games without worrying that the digital service you bought them on might shut down, and take your purchases with it? DRM-free games are amazing, so it's great to see a whole bunch of them on sale at Humble Bundle.
The week-long DRM-Free Sale actually started yesterday, but yesterday's deals are still available for the next few hours. Today's crop includes the likes of Mark of the Ninja, Luftrausers, Kentucky Route Zero and Volgarr the Viking, and you won't need Steam to be able to play them. (Yes they also come with Steam keys). So far, I reckon this is a better sale than the recent Steam Summer one, so be sure to browse the selection at the above link if you're looking for something new to play. I would particularly recommend Kentucky Route Zero for 7.50, which is the cheapest I've seen the extraordinary, episodic adventure game.
Telltale's Minecraft: Story Mode wasn't the only big reveal at this weekend's Minecon. Microsoft also used the occasion to announce a new version of Minecraft—Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition. It will be free if you already own the game on PC, or $10 if you don't, and it's based on the Pocket version of the game. The beta starts on July 29th.
Windows 10 Edition won't boast every feature of Minecraft, at least to start with, but Mojang say they're "aiming for feature parity" (see above link). Xbox Live and controllers will be supported, but won't be required, and it seems Mojang are aiming for dedicated servers further down the line. The seven-player limit mentioned below is because the game is based on Pocket Edition. Here's the feature list of Windows 10 Edition as it stands now:
- Craft, create, and explore online with up to seven friends playing Windows 10 Edition Beta, through local multiplayer or with your Xbox Live friends online.
- Play online and local multiplayer with other Pocket Edition players thanks to a free update, due to arrive soon after launch.
- Multiple control schemes! Switch between controller, touch, and keyboard controls with little to no effort!
- Record and share gameplay highlights with built-in GameDVR.
- Help shape the future of Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta with our built player feedback mechanisms!
- Chickens, zombies, pigs, boats, armed skeletons, potatoes, zombies, baby squids, enchantment tables, villagers, naked sheep, iron golems, potions, ghasts, pickaxes, carrots, and all the weird and wonderful goodness you ve come to expect from Minecraft.
Mojang say that Windows 10 Edition won't replace the current PC version of Minecraftboth games will be supported equally. (Thanks, Inquisitr.)
For those of us keen to play Fallout 4, November feels so very far away. Modders, however, simply couldn't wait that long to spice up New Vegas with a little flavor from Fallout 4.
The Fallout 4 Garage Home mod might help tide you over during the long months ahead. It adds a replica of the workshop we saw in the Fallout 4 trailer, complete with power armor, two new weapons, a workbench, a bed, and a Nuka-Cola machine outside the front door. You can find it on the map close to Wolfhorn Ranch, east of Nipton. The key to the front gate is under the wheel well of the ruined car parked next to the building.
There's another little treat for you: a dog named Pal will welcome your arrival, and you can make him a companion if you wish. You also may want to dress in a Vault 111 jumpsuit, just to keep the mood going.
No need to stop there. Another mod will replace your Pip-Boy with one more closely resembling the one from the trailer, its screen coated with dust, and featuring a wrist-mounted light bulb.
You can even get a Fallout 4 feel before you've started playing. The Fallout 4 Main Menu Theme mod will replace the New Vegas menu music with the new music from the Fallout 4 footage we've seen. You can choose between the theme from the "Let's go, pal" trailer, or the "Welcome to Boston" theme.
Since you're mucking with the menu anyway, this mod will let you replace the New Vegas menu wallpaper slides with scenes from Fallout 4, like the door to Vault 111 and concept art from the trailers.
And of course, there's the Wasteland Defense mod, the mod that most likely (well, most definitely) inspired Fallout 4's base-building feature. Build a fort, manage supplies and supply lines, recruit guards, set up automated defenses, and protect your base from raids. Wasteland Defense has been around for years and is well worth trying.
No, it's not Fallout 4. We've still got a while to wait. In the meantime, at least we can pretend.
Open world, turn-based, party-based RPG AntharioN is looking absolutely lovely, in an Amiga sort of way. It's an ambitious game, crowdfunded a couple of years ago, and releasing—oooh—in less than two weeks. July 15th, to be exact.
Devs Orphic Software say their game is "an epic old-school fantasy RPG that combines tactical turn-based combat with the freedom of a huge living-breathing open world. You'll create and customize a party of four: choosing from seven races, nine classes and fifteen skills, before setting out to explore the fully interactive continent of Antharion. Explore dungeons, get thrown in jail, discover hidden passageways, burglarize homes, read books, create potions, become an infamous pickpocket, embark on a journey at sea and discover uncharted islands or persuade NPCs to do your bidding".
Baldur s Gate, The Elder Scrolls, Ultima VII and Pool of Radiance are all mentioned as inspirations, but I'm getting of a bit of a Wizardry/Might & Magic feel from the following trailer (only isometric rather than first-person, obviously). The bright, cheery, mid-90s art style won't appeal to everyone, but this could be something pretty special if the team manage to fulfil their sizeable ambitions. (Thanks, Blue's News.)
This diary was originally published back in 2007, when this site was just a cosy corner of CVG. We're republishing it here a few entries at a time, every Saturday. The other entries are here.
Tom has since switched careers to game development, and is now making a space game of his own, Heat Signature.
Day 12: The last bill and testament
I'd been trading technologies with the Altarians—despite their earlier transgressions—so that I could keep up with propulsion advances without diverting research time from developing ridiculously powerful guns. Trading tech in GalCiv doesn't lose you that technology, so you don't have to worry about the cost to you, only how much you're benefitting a potential enemy. I was doing it on the assumption that the Altarians would never be a threat—or at least that the other three threats would kill me first—so I was being fairly generous. Alliances, Fertility Acceleration, Advanced Trade, I even gave them some of the lesser weapon technologies along the tech-tree branch I was climbing.
You're probably familiar with the literary technique of foreshadowing, so you may well be expecting to hear next of my demise at the hands of a now-mighty Altarian Empire. It didn't quite happen like that. In fact, shortly after our trading was complete, they surrendered under the might of a vast Drengin assault. They were out of the game.
But surrendered under, not surrendered to. Generally when a race surrenders, a report pops up informing you that they've given some of their ships to race X, some to race Y, and often quite a few to the race that conquered them. I am never race X or Y. I'd wondered if it was even possible for the player to be the recipient of these legacies, so consistently did I fail to inherit. This time, though, I got something! Two ships.
Slightly chuffed, I went back to tending my colonies, and clicked away a warning that the citizens of my colony on Amber II were becoming restless and thinking of joining the Drengin. Let them, I don't even remember which planet that is. Hang on, I actually don't remember which planet that is. I've never heard of it. Apart from Petroni and Banfield, mine are all named things like Blood, Death and Carnage (we overcompensate for our lovable physical appearance). I zoomed out. I'd inherited two ships, and the entire Altarian empire.
It was hemorrhaging money, full of 150 billion profoundly unhappy people, and about to be invaded by a Drengin force the likes of which I'd never seen. But it was mine. I'd been clicking through three years' worth of turns because I was so screwed that there was nothing really to do. But now, with fifty new planets' worth of problems and an empire around eight times its previous size, I had something to think about. I saved, quit, and thought about it.
Day 13: Learning fast
Okay Altarian empire, let's see what you can do. Apart from sap my money and complain. Or get invaded and lose. I mean the other stuff. Military—can you make ships? Let's see... no, no you can't. One or two planets have enough factories to pump out the odd War Bastard, but I'm researching ships a whole tier bigger than those now, and these factories are simply too low-tech to cope. Planetary structures—got any? Make any? Not really and not really. Plenty there, but again all stone-age compared to my stuff. Really, guys, was your civ built to do anything other than surrender?
Yes, it turns out. Despite the profound lack of it evidenced in their own achievements, their colonies boost my overall Research rate enormously. Wow, enormously. The thing about Research is that every planet doing it is collaborating on the same thing. Everything else is per-planet, so a ship that can't produce ships quickly by itself might as well not be producing ships. But with my entire civ in research mode, every colony with so much as a library is getting me a little closer to HD Spike Drivers; a gun bigger than any I've researched before. In fact, we'll have it cracked in... one week. A single turn.
Scrolling down the list of research possibilities, the next rung up any given tech ladder would be done in one or two weeks. Research was about the only area where we were already competitive: we were a small race devoting all our resources to it, while everyone else was a huge race using only a small fraction of their potential. Now we were huge, and using it all.
There are two ways to catch up with someone: run faster than them, or keep running after they finish. I'd planned to hole up and research until I joined the Drengin at the top of the tech-tree, some time after they reached it themselves. Once we both had Black Hole Generators, I reasoned, their huge military advantage would be undermined. But now I was actually learning faster than them too—there was a decent chance I'd beat them there. All I needed was a little time.
Day 14: The Bongolian Deathcrab
Long story short, I got it. My enormous new hivemind of supergeeks plowed through the whole tech tree in under a year, and for an encore we researched the the hardest possible hulls and Ultimate Logistics, which would let me use the superships I created in fleets.
In the time it had taken to research these components, I'd been invaded a lot. The only three remaining races in the galaxy were all at war with me, and while the Drengin still inexplicably refused to land on my planets, the Yor and the Terrans rained troops down on me. Us Spectres have 12 billion people on every planet, and our nymphomania means we recuperate losses quickly, but the scale of the onslaught was such that we still lost one or two planets. So when it came to the fun part—designing my capital-class super battleship to use all the best technology in the universe—I was angry.
This is how, by the end of the half-hour design process, I ended up with a ship that is too wide to fit on the screen. It is around twelve times the size of the Drengin battleships. It doesn't just have a Black Hole Generator—the most devastating transdimensional weapon conceivable—it has ten. They're spread along its one and a half thousand meter wingspan to make it even more impressive when firing, and two huge blades at either wingtip indicate very clearly that it's not something you want to crash into on a dark space-night.
I took almost as long settling on a name—most of the ones that seemed appropriate would be too obscene to mention on this site—and finally decided it would be related to the Bongolian Ultraprawn, the smallest and cheapest ship in my armada. The Bongolians do things in extremes. One day I'll actually get round to naming one of my planets Bongolia, and this will all make sense. Right now it's just an obtuse Stereolab reference.
None of my colonies had anything like the production capabilities needed to produce a Bongolian Deathcrab before the heat death of the universe, so I'd have to buy one outright. It cost 15 trillion credits. I gulped, and clicked Accept.
It was enormous, and beautiful. It crushed a few local Yor fleets, then ran into a Drengin battleship—and instantly exploded. They already had Black Hole Generators.
Day 15: "Fuck."
We've known that Telltale are making a Minecraft spinoff for a little while now, but until now details have been thin on the ground. We knew that it was an episodic adventure, and that it would be as "Minecrafty as possible", but would it be full of agonising choices, and 'Creeper will remember that'?
Well, Telltale and Mojang have just released a few more details at this weekend's Minecon, along with an exciting first trailer. As the description to the following YouTube video reveals, Minecraft: Story Mode "is an adventure game, by Telltale Games, set in a Minecraft world. It is a five-part episodic series that will take you to the Nether, the Farlands, the End, and beyond! You will drive how the story flows through the decisions you make: what you say to people (and how you say it), and what you choose to do in moments of thrilling action.
"Players will control protagonist Jesse throughout the season, as portrayed by actor Patton Oswalt. Jesse and his group of friends revere the legendary Order of the Stone; four adventurers who slayed an Ender Dragon. The Order is the very best at what they do: Warrior, Redstone Engineer, Griefer, and Architect. While at EnderCon, Jesse and his friends discover that something is wrong... something dreadful. Terror is unleashed, and they must set out on a journey to find The Order of the Stone if they are to save their world from oblivion".
Patton Oswalt! Minecraft: Story Mode will be available to download "soon", and [UPDATE], Cory Feldman is doing one of the voices. Also Futurama's Billy West!