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1  RPG / RPG Discussion / King Arthur - The Roleplaying Wargame on: November 25, 2009, 06:15:29 pm
King Arthur is an empire-building strategy game set in a medieval, mystical Britain where you will play the role of legendary Arthur, the Once and Future King. You build Camelot, enlist the Knights of the Round Table, unite the country and ultimately challenge the powers threatening the essence of all their previous endeavors. You choose their own path, be it the way of virtuous glory, the might of the Sidhe or your wish to succumb to the dark powers.


* Single player (story-based) campaign with 6 dynamically changing episodes
* Open-ended campaign with opposite factions
* Strong storyline
* Turn-based empire building on a 3D map
* Thousands of soldiers in real-time epic battles
* Dozens of different unit types with unique appearance
* LAN and On-line multiplayer: Tactical fight on various battlemaps

King Arthur's Britannia, though rooted in the actual historical past, is an innovative mixture of medieval chivalry, fantasy and myth. Its background, a mythical Dark Age Britain is an amalgamation of different cultures, tribes and petty kingdoms constantly on the brink of war, when the appearance of Merlin changes the order of nature and his protegée, Arthur upsets the balance and the flow of history with his very presence.

Create your own legend!

King Arthur, unlike similar games that concentrate on empire building, is a game where you can manage the Arthurian mythology itself: incorporating the management of the realm, the legendary Britain, the heroes, the adventures and the morality of the characters into the gameplay. There is no set alignment for the king: the decisions made by you define and shape Arthur's character.

Would you like to fight Mordred in your final battle or will you rather face Lancelot when the time has come?

Conquer Britannia

Lead hundreds of brave warriors on the magnificent battlefields of Britannia! King Arthur incorporates strategy as its most important element and offers such long-term game experience that makes the overall enjoyment similar to that provided by empire building strategies. Arthur's main objective is to conquer all 40 provinces of Britain, build grandiose medieval cities and unite the kingdom with his Knights of the Round Table. These heroes can be assigned to adventures, they participate in battles as unique units and they indirectly influence the life of the provinces.

I had been looking forward to this game for a few months now, and it was released just a few hours back on Steam. My first impressions of the game are pretty favourable. The battles, while having less production values like the Total War games, are pretty fun and interesting to do, with points of interests and magic playing an integral role. The world map is pretty big, and you get to make some moral choices on what sort of ruler you'll be and wether you support the old faith or christianity. And the quests are akin to choose-your-own-adventures, where your hero has to make choices on how to proceed. Finally, every unit, not just heroes, will earn XP and level up as needed.

This game has the potential to be a classic, I think. Unfortunately, I'm currently suffering a bug which has the game crashing after finishing a battle which is bloody annoying. I'll likely wait for the devs to patch before I'll start playing the game more seriously, but my initial impressions are pretty favourable to it.

Finally, Grunker wrote up some pretty good impressions over at the codex:
2  RPG / RPG Discussion / Re: Hammer and Sickle on: November 20, 2009, 03:53:15 am
For me, the biggest problem I had with this game was that, at some point, I simply didn't know what to do. It told me that someone would be somewhere at night, but s/he never showed up, and it was never clear to me if I was doing something wrong or was supposed to do something different.

It's a pity, because I really wanted to like this game. There aren't enough modern-age RPGs, and as Balor mentioned, the amount of C&C in the game is maddening. I've seen a chart of all plot possibilities and choices, and the game can go in many different directions.
3  RPG / RPG Discussion / Re: My Dragon Age impressions on: November 16, 2009, 03:09:32 am
Had the last week off, and the first half of it was pretty much spent playing and finishing Dragon Age in about 35 hours. Was a good experience, definately didn't regret preordering it. The story was pretty good, the party members were solid(there wasn't any that I disliked in particular), there were some fun quests in there, and to my surprise, I had a very good time with the combat. It wasn't too frustrating, but I had to be careful at times as well. The only problem I had was that some of the dungeons of the main quest just seemed to drag on forever and felt like padding.

Bugs-wise, I didn't have too many problems, except for one biggie: All my DLC items dissapeared, which took some time before I noticed that my mage had lost his staff and Alistair was fighting bare-handed. Being a save-aholic, I was able to reload to an earlier save of about 10-20 minutes earlier, but it has royally screwed up my girlfriend's savegame who is now unable to use Shale and lost most of her DLC items. My next playthrough will likely be DLC-free until I read reports about the problem being fixed.

Heading into bullet-pointed spoiler material now...

Basically, Dragon Age is probably my favorite game o' the year, which I seriously hadn't expected after playing Arkham Asylum. Glad to see that the years Bioware worked on this have paid off considerably.
4  RPG / RPG Discussion / Re: Mass Effect on: February 28, 2008, 01:45:31 pm
Well, they recently released a "Making of" on the X-Box Marketplace about Mass Effect. I have to admit that internally, I cheered when a dev said that your choices in the first one will have consequences for the second and even the third.

At the very least, fans on the forum keep on insisting that devs have said that you can import your Shephard into the second one. Although I have yet to see a quotation.

Of course, it may all be hyping by the developers, but if they're actually gonna have those consequencse... then I will really have to applaud Bioware. But for now, I'll wait and see.
5  RPG / RPG Discussion / Re: Mass Effect on: February 28, 2008, 12:52:11 pm
Well, true, they improved on the choices. Let's hope that the consequences follow suit in Mass Effect 2.
6  RPG / The Depository / Re: Non-Combat Gameplay: Myths & Reality on: February 28, 2008, 12:48:53 pm
Although I definately agree on many points that you made there, Vince, I'm afraid that I do not entirely see this as a realistic goal. At least, not for commercial RPGs. I spoke about this with a mate, and he came up with an explanation that elaborates on it...

The biggest problem actually is that noncombat gameplay is generally EXTREMELY badly repeatable. There are exceptions, of course. Stealth, for example, which requires a fairly advanced AI. Plus of course some environment interaction systems that you just don't need in a combat game.

But say you have a level with 5 obstacles to be passed before you reach Treasure™. If you already have a combat system in place (and you will, even in an indie RPG), you just plop in 5 different monsters, either more and more difficult or in increasingly large groups. JOB DONE! If you want the player to be able to bypass them stealthily, and you have a stealth system in place, well you make sure the monsters patrol in set patterns so they can be avoided and that there's something to hide in (bushes, water, darkness, whatever). So that's two solutions! Yay!

Now if you want the player to use diplomacy or trickery... you have to write branching dialogue for that. And you don't get away with writing one piece of dialogue and just making it harder because that makes no sense. You have to write new dialogue for each encounter, and you need to script the outcomes. And if you're as ambitious as the examples in the first post, you need a DAMN LOT OF BRANCHES. And when you're done, because you're working on an AAA game here, you have to record that dialogue. Then implement it. And then test the whole thing. Congratulations: You just multiplied your workload by 20 

7  RPG / RPG Discussion / Re: Hammer & Sickle on: February 20, 2008, 08:22:11 am
In the end, I had to resort to a no-CD crack to get past the Starforce. There doesn't seem to be any other way.
8  RPG / RPG Discussion / Re: Arcanum on: February 18, 2008, 04:55:52 am
A while back, I finally managed to track this game down, and started playing it. Looked really nice, the setting seems interesting, the story setup showed promise, the character creation was extremely fun to make me think about my character(gun-slinging diplomat, in the end), and after getting into the second city, I was looking forward to see how this game was going to develop.

Then some bloody nuisance stole my notebook with my CD and saves.

9  RPG / RPG Discussion / Re: Mass Effect on: February 18, 2008, 04:51:42 am
I agree with Volourn on this one. With Mass Effect, Bioware seems to be moving in a direction that allows for choices that aren't just good/save the galaxy or evil/conquer the galaxy. The choice between team-mates, the bug queen, the final decision... these choices made me think, instead of immediately clicking on the 'good' option.
10  RPG / RPG Design / Re: How do you solve a problem like amnesia? (Possible Spoilers) on: February 12, 2008, 05:13:57 pm
I liked how Mass Effect took care of this, actually.

First off, Shepard himself would sometimes cite trivial information that basically everyone knows, effectively telling the player this, but not sounding as an idiot. For example, at the start when you first hear of the Reapers being involved with an operation, you get an option to ask something about them. Now, instead of Shephard asking "Who are the Reapers?", he states "The Reapers haven't travelled beyond the veil since <???>, why would they possibly do this now?". This way, the player knows that they're a secluded lot whom don't interfere with the Galaxy, and Shephard isn't portrayed as an ignorant fool.

Compare this to Ultima 9's "Who are the Gargoyles?".

Second, there's also the Codex, which is basically a guide to the Mass Effect setting which opens up topics as you explore the universe.
11  RPG / RPG Discussion / Re: A year of gaming in review on: February 12, 2008, 05:02:34 pm
Avoiding the legal/illegal conversation here...

Arcanum: Finally managed to acquire a copy, only to have it snatched away two months later.  Cry The demo fascinated me a few years back, especially with the character creation, and the start of the game managed to draw me in. Took way too much time to think up what sort of character I wanted to play, and then spend too much time with the sidequests. Managed to get past the first town, but unfortunately, my notebook got stolen shortly afterwards, thus losing all my save gamesm as well as my copy of the game, as that one was still in the notebook.

Space Rangers 2: Addictive, a nice return to Elite-like gameplay, extremely beautiful 2D Graphics, and one of the best examples I've ever seen of a living, breathing universe. The way they implemented an actual war going on that slowly evolves the galaxy over time, wether you participate or not, is a feature I'd love to see explored in more games. Unfortunately, this one was also in my notebook once it got stolen. Definately need to repurchase this one.

Mask of the Betrayer: NWN2 was a difficult case for me. I enjoyed it, but unfortunately, the toolset was too difficult for me to set up a new DMed campaign. Granted, my social life wouldn't allow for it anymore either, but that was a dissapointment. The official campaign was... nice, but that was overall it. I didn't have too much interest in MotB at first, until previews started pouring in, and the Spirit Eater-ability really caught my interest. So when it was available a few days before the official release date in Holland, I immediately got myself a copy. This game delivered. Entirely. And beyond the call of duty. It was great to officially end the adventures of my Knight-Captain from NWN2, the storyline drew me in, and the ending deserves points for being Epic, personal and not clearly good/evil. A highlight for 2007, and I hope that Obsidian will get to design more RPGs like this.

Knights of the Old Republic 2 - Sith Lords: Replayed this one. Lovely game, overall, Kreia remains a favorite character of mine, and I do like how they set up the Exile. There are some interesting party members, but also quite a few that could've easily been cut. Biggest dissapointment is, naturally, the ending, especially in light of what they were originally planning.

The Witcher: Unfortunately, only got to play this one for 30 minutes, before deciding that my computer just isn't up to snuff for running it. I'll wait until I upgrade my computer later this year to retry it. First impressions actually weren't all that.. impressive for me, but the p/reviews have shown that it has potential for me.

Geneforge 1: Installed this one on my new notebook to play something on the go. I had only briefly played the demo, being heavily impressed with it, but never took the time to properly explore it. I've now begun to really get into the game, and it has caught my attention. Lovely situation, lovely mystery and lovely gameplay. I hope that it can keep up the same line of quality from the start throughout the game.
12  RPG / RPG Discussion / Hammer & Sickle on: February 12, 2008, 03:25:04 am
Using the established rating guidelines, can you give your opinion on Hammer & Sickle?

Bought the game yesterday, played it for about 2-3 hours and I have to say that I'm intrigued with the concept so far. Story/dialogue-wise, I am somewhat getting into it, even though some of the text feels oddly translated at times. There seems to be a healthy dose of choice/consequence, the Cold War makes for a nice different setting than ye usual fantasy/sci-fi fare, and I'm really enjoying the turn-based combat.

I haven't played enough yet to get a proper 'feel' of the game, but there's definately something interesting hidden in it. The combat is bloody brutal at times, and I've heard that one misstep can doom the campaign 2 hours later into the game. Not sure how I feel about that, but all-in-all... so far, the game has an interesting premise. I hope it manages to keep my interest.

Unfortunately, I can't play it on my notebook running Windows Vista, because of the bloody Starforce driver being incompatible. Is there a patch for this? This is mostly out of curiosity, as I'm gonna try an' install XP on that notebook as soon as I can.
13  RPG / RPG Discussion / Re: Synaesthesia on: January 28, 2008, 04:19:54 pm
Good lord, I'd love to be a part of this.

Honestly, Priapist, since you'd prolly want someone with more experience with building an engine(and I have some, but unfortunately, graphic-wise, I haven't tried anything yet), I would've hopped on.

But good luck with it. Hope things will work out for you.
14  RPG / RPG Discussion / Re: Dweller! on: January 28, 2008, 04:15:59 pm
Found and played it recently myself awhile back. Definately a fun surprise, and a good way to pass the time.

I'd also recommend Doom RPG if you need another RPGish game for the mobile. It's a surprisingly clever dungeon romp.
15  RPG / RPG Discussion / Re: Mass Effect on: January 28, 2008, 04:14:15 pm
A fun experience. An entertaining RPG that I could really appreciate while sitting back in my chair and play on a console. Not certain if I would've appreciated this game as much if I would've played it on the computer.
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