We wrap up some of the best-looking Kickstarter RPGs.
By Daniel Wilks on April 8, 2013 at 11:57 am
April is turning out to be quite the slow month for retail releases, RPG and otherwise. It’s not a total dead zone as it has often been in the past, with a few AAA titles being released during the month as well as a few smaller games. The lack of boxed copies isn’t really going to effect how much of an impact gaming has on my wallet, however, as once again a number of interesting projects have made their way to Kickstarter, all but demanding that I give them all of my available cash in anticipation of a finished product somewhere down the line when I will inevitably not have enough time to fully enjoy them.
Unlike the last number of projects I backed, such as Torment: Tides of Numenera or Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues, the new batch of interesting games aren’t asking for huge amounts of money and aren’t set to break any records for the most funded game on Kickstarter. This doesn’t stop them from being every bit as interesting.
The idea behind Consortium fascinates me. It’s a locked box first-person RPG with NPCs that is fully reactive to the player’s actions and dialogue choices. Nothing too out of the ordinary for an ambitious modern RPG, aside from the limited world. What makes the game so interesting to me and forced my funding hand into action is the fact that Consortium is designed to break the fourth wall. Instead of taking the role of a character, players instead physically control a character in a parallel world, Consortium Agent Bishop Six.
The idea is that players play themselves controlling a person in another world, bringing their own knowledge, experience and personality to bear as you interact with the crew of the Consortium Command Vessel C-3800-D “Zenlil”. Making the project even more interesting is the fact that the developers say you can complete the game without firing a single shot if you play your cards right and learn what you can about the NPCs before talking to them.
Planet Explorers isn’t the most innovative or awe-inspiring of names, but the game it’s attached to is shaping up to be massively ambitious and potentially amazing. Bizarrely enough it basically seems to be an amalgam of Monster Hunter and Minecraft, with a little bit of Skyrim, Meccano and tower defence thrown in for good measure.
Players will take the role of one of the first settlers on the planet “Maria” in the Epsilon Indi star system. During the landing sequence, the colony ship crashes, stranding the survivors on a potentially hostile world teeming with potentially deadly plant and animal life. Players are charged with helping to explore this new world, defend the survivors from the hostile native fauna, build habitation, vehicles and weapons, all the while discovering the truth about the planet and why you crashed.
Divinity: Original Sin
I’ve already banged on about Divinity: Original Sin in a previous column so I won’t bang on too much here. Here’s all you need to know in a nutshell – Divinity: Original Sins is the latest in the Divinity series, which includes Divine Divinity and Divinity II: Dragon Knight Saga and goes back to the series roots with an isometric viewpoint and turn based combat. Nearly everything in the world that looks like it should be interactive is actually interactive. Elemental effects react to other elements naturally – lightning will conduct through water, fire melts ice, ice freezes water and all that jazz, making for interesting combat synergy.
It features a massive single player campaign and supports drop in-drop out multiplayer and will ship with the editor used to design the game, allowing for extensive modding and user generated content.
OK, so I lied – this last one isn’t an RPG but it could definitely be a lifesaver. Reload is a save game manager that synchs saves between multiple PCs, backs up saved games, backs up checkpoint saves so you can go back in a game that normally doesn’t allow you to and generally saves you from the frustration of a corrupted save, HDD crash, poor Steam or Origin synching and the like. I’ve lost enough saves, some with hundreds of hours of gameplay in them, to never want to have to face that frustration again.