Our resident RPG guru looks through some of the smaller RPGs coming next year.
By Daniel Wilks on November 19, 2012 at 3:08 pm
If, by some outside chance, the world makes it through 21/12/2012 in the same manner we have made it through the untold number of other apocalypses that have been prophesied over the last two thousand years, 2013 is shaping up to be a great year for PC RPGs. We’ve got another Dragon Age on the horizon, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Neverwinter, and successful Kickstarter backed games like Grim Dawn, Shadowrun Returns and Wasteland 2 – but there are a number of smaller, interesting games set to hit shelves and Steam throughout next year. I’ve picked a handful I’m especially interested in.
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of killing monsters and collecting loot. I’m also quite a fan of the silly or ridiculous. These are but two of the reasons that I’m looking forward to taking my frustrations out on the hapless minions of the evil Dungeon Master in Critical Studios’ upcoming action RPG, Dungeonland. Set in a dungeon themed theme-park, players take the role of one of three fantasy stereotypes and turn cuddly looking theme-park staff into gibs and puddles of viscera on huge, randomly generated maps.
The game supports drop-in, drop-out multiplayer for up to four people and will also feature a Dungeon Master mode, in which one player takes the role of the dungeon master and choose the enemies that will face the players, what loot drops, and other various other metrics.
Divinity: Original Sin
I’ve been a fan of the Divinity series for quite some time, having spent way too many hours with the isometric action/exploration RPGs Divine Divinity, Beyond Divinity and the fantastic, full 3D Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga and Flames of Vengeance. With Divinity: Original Sins, Larian Studios has chosen to go back to basics with a top down presentation and turn based combat system.
Whilst the presentation of the next Divinity game definitely appear to be old-school, the mechanics below the surface appear to be anything but, with highly interactive environments, a reputation system that tracks everything you do (no more busting into random houses and stealing their stuff) and a focus on party-based multiplayer that includes a conversation system that allows all players to take part in conversations with NPCs. Larian has apparently wanted to make a turn based RPG for some time now, so it should be very interesting to see what they have come up with when the game is released early next year.
The Dark Eye: Demonicon
OK, the trailer below is a little bit crap, but I’m still pretty hopeful for The Dark Eye: Demonicon. The most popular pen-and-paper RPG in Germany, The Dark Eye has formed the basis of a number of games that have been released in Australia, but up until now none of those games was actually an RPG.
The most recent The Dark Eye game, Chains of Satinav was a point and click adventure with some lovely graphics and an excellent story, but as good as the narrative was, the player had little impact on the story aside from solving a puzzle and prompting the next cutscene. Demonicon will feature actual player agency, a real time implementation of the pen and paper rules set and takes place in the grim fantasy world of Aventuria.
For a game that is supposedly set to be released in 2013 there are few details as yet available about Nuclear Union but those that have so far are more than a little tantalising. Set in an alternate history in which the Cuban Missile Crisis wasn’t peacefully averted, the game takes place in a modern day Soviet Union ravaged by the lasting effects of nuclear war. Though decimated, the remnants of the Soviet empire have gathered together into a new city state called Pobedograd.
I don’t know anything about the actual plot as yet, or the presentation, but a serious RPG about a world ruined by nuclear war sounds right up my alley.
Anything I’ve missed or that you think could be especially interesting? Let us know in the comments below.