Check out Larian Studios’ Divinity: Original Sin – Kickstarter ending > 13 hours


If there’s a Kickstarter project you should be checking out and backing, it is most certainly Larian Studios’ newest RPG, Divinity: Original Sin. The Belgian developer launched their first Kickstarter in hopes to raise $400K for their upcoming prequel to the 2002 Divine Divinity. At this moment, they have already doubled their initial funding goal and looking to complete their last stretch goal that’s available at $1M. With less than 14 hours to go, they are a little more than $167K away from reaching it. Their last and final goal to integrate NPC schedules is certainly one that would add so much more depth into the game. If $1M of funding is reached, NPCs will go to sleep at night and the weather and moons will influence the NPCs and monsters’ activities as well as the schools of magic.

For those of you who have not played Larian Studios’ former games, their new installment is certainly one game that shouldn’t be overlooked, especially considering how amazing of an effort you can see from the developers’ consistent video updates. In fact with the countdown looming around the corner, many gameplay videos have appeared showing off the isometric cRPG. One earlier today was created with Destructoid’s Jim Sterling and Swen Vincke, founder of Larian Studios and director of Divinity: Original Sin, playing and showing of the unique cooperative dialogue system. Additionally, Total Biscuit and Jessie Cox each both did pre-alpha commentary videos which shows the stunning graphics and the turn-based combat. Also the world is highly explorable which in fact those who go off the beaten path and delve deeper into the game will be rewarded. In the video below, Swen explains a scenario where players are rewarded for exploring. So once I get my hands on the game, I will certainly try to find the city, The Black Cove, as Swen mentioned.

 

Larian Studios’ is even integrating more realistic combat by incorporating the manipulation of elements. As you can see in the screenshot below, the monster is frozen in place and the next spell used is a fire one, which naturally melts the ice and turns it into water. Additionally, if there was a lightning attack against a water doused opponent, the opponent would receive more damage since water can conduct lightning. Therefore if you are playing with a friend, you could freeze your opponent while your partner then burns them to create water and thus allowing your friend to then throw out a lightning spell to incite more damage against your enemy.

Along with a highly reactive world, deep character development, and a plethora of interactive items, the game will include drop-in/drop-out co-op multiplayer. Additionally, you aren’t required to follow your partner around, you may explore freely as well without being limited by your pesky comrade! With the unique dialogue system, you have your own voice and are not required to stick to the party leader’s idea. You can disagree with decisions which will ultimately affects your relation with your party members as well as your personal traits.

Therefore with such a great board of ideas, Larian Studios undoubtedly will be creating an immersive and unforgettable RPG once their funding is deemed successful in 12 hours. But it doesn’t end there with all these ideas. There’s even going to be a complete level editor available due to Larian Studios combined efforts with Valve’s Steam Workshop. Many fans will be able to create their own adventures (single or cooperative) and play them out and share them among their fellow Divinity enthusiasts. So never fear, if you finish the game, you can make your own level or enjoy endless adventures shared by others!

Hopefully some of the ideas, have opened your eyes to the developer, Larian Studios, as well as their great Divinity RPG series. Although the Kickstarter is ending very soon, you can still pledge now. Also if you don’t have a Kickstarter account, you can pledge at Divinity: Original Sin‘s official website using Paypal, which will surely be open for a few weeks after the Kickstarter ends like former Kickstarters have done.

If you are interested in the game, check out Divinity II: Ego Draconis and Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga both available on Steam to hold over your appetite. There is even a demo for Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga for you to try! I know this is a such a small overview of Larian Studios’ great efforts and works, but seriously check out their Kickstarter and peruse their updates, which would leave you in love with the revitalization of RPGs.

Torchlight 2 release date finally announced


Torchlight 2 isn’t coming out in the summer, but it’s certainly a lot closer now with a definitive release date. Torchlight 2 will be hitting PCs on September 20th. A much anticipated sequel to the indie RPG is receiving a lot more content than the original. The RPG, which has been highly compared to Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo, will certainly be an amazing sequel that has undoubtedly taken flaws from the original and its Diablo counterpart and improved them. Check out the chart below to see just how much the developers added into Torchlight 2. Also new features will include: online or LAN co-op multiplayer, four new classes, and Steam Workshop support. A Mac version will be released sometime in the future after the PC release.

Civilization V: Gods & Kings releasing Tuesday, features remade religion and diplomacy systems, Steam Workshop now integrated with Civ. V


This Tuesday, Civilization V‘s expansion pack, Gods & Kings, will release. Firaxis has incorporated these new features list below:

  • Expanded Epic Game: The core game experience has been greatly expanded with the addition of new technologies (like Combined Arms), 27 new units (like the new 1-hex ranged unit Machine Gunner), 13 new buildings (like the Bomb Shelter), and 9 new Wonders (see below). Additionally, there are even more new units and buildings included in the three new Scenarios for modders to use.
  • New Civilizations: The expansion will deliver 9 new civilizations, such as Carthage, Netherlands, the Celts, and the Maya (it is 2012, after all), along with their unique traits, units and buildings. The expansion also includes 9 new leaders including William I, Prince of Orange, Boudicca and Pacal the Great.
  • Religion: A righteous people will seek out Faith to found a Pantheon of the Gods. As your Faith becomes stronger, you can cultivate Great Prophets who build on these simple beliefs to create a religion that you can customize and enhance as desired. Are you tolerant of other religions or is this the one true faith? Are you focused on Gold, Arts or Military? Beliefs can even unlock custom buildings that only people of your religion can construct. Great prophets, missionaries and inquisitors help you spread your beliefs to other lands and gain the alliances of City States, and like-minded civilizations.
  • Enhanced Diplomacy and Espionage: Establish embassies at foreign courts for closer ties (or clandestine operations). As the religions of the world start settling in, and the world moves into the Renaissance, you unlock your first spy (with more to come). Send them out to establish surveillance of foreign cities, steal advanced technologies from your strongest or wisest competitors, or interfere with city-state alliances. All of your actions can have a diplomatic impact if discovered, so always tread carefully.
  • City-States: Two new city-state types have been added (Mercantile and Religious) to bring all new advantages to the table. The city-state quest system has received a complete overhaul to decrease the importance of gold and add a whole range of new quests that further the narrative of the game, as well as make the diplomatic victory a more varied option. Ally with Marrakech to get access to their unique luxury resources! Vatican City and Jerusalem are holy cities that play key roles in the religious struggle.
  • World Domination: The fight for world domination is now more dynamic than ever before. The Gods and Kings expansion features a reworked combat system and AI that puts more emphasis on a balanced army composition. The new system allows your lines to stand longer than they could before, so you, as a player, can make smarter tactical decisions without worrying about a single unlucky roll of the dice.
  • Naval Combat: Your navy is now split into two different ship types, melee and ranged. This means that no coastal city should be considered safe, and can now fall to a surprise naval attack. Additionally, all embarked units now have Defensive Embarkation, and can stack with a naval unit for extra protection. Add to this the new Great Admiral, and the high seas have become a much more dangerous place.
  • New Wonders: There will be 9 new Wonders with all new effects including Neuschwanstein, the Great Mosque of Djenne, the Terracotta Army, the Great Firewall, and the Hubble Space Telescope.
  • Three new Scenarios:
    • Medieval: Grow your medieval kingdom into one of the great nations of Renaissance Europe, fending off outside invasions from Mongols and Ottoman Turks and fighting the religious wars of the Crusades and Reformation!
    • Fall of Rome: Play as either Eastern Rome or Western Rome trying to fend off the barbarians OR as one of the barbarians themselves.
    • Empires of the Smoky Skies: Build flying airships and huge tractor-like tanks from the unique tech tree of this Victorian science-fiction scenario, and use them to spread your empire across the pre-industrial world.

Also check below to see the developers talk about the new integrations to the critically acclaimed 2010 PC game. Pre-purchase it on Steam here for just $26.99, $3 off of the original price due to a pre-order sale. Also Valve has incorporated the Steam Workshop with Civilization V, therefore people can create mods for the strategic turn-based game. However Steam Workshop is not supported with Mac for Civilization V.

Larian Studios’ Divinity: Original Sin scheduled to release in Q1 2013


The Belgian developer, Larian Studios, is producing a new title in the Divinity franchise. Divinity: Original Sin is scheduled to release in 2013 and is in fact set before Divine Divinity (2002). The turn-based RPG is bringing back the hack n’ slash RPGs. Additionally the game is a cooperative game that not only allows players to work together, but also in fact has the players work completely together in battle and quests and even in the dialogue. Therefore, both players will be required to interact with the NPC in a three-way conversation rather than continually have one player hand in a quest and hear the NPC ramble on and on. As well as the innovative co-op dialogue, the Reputation and Attitude system is different and there’s even going to be a complete level editor available due to Larian Studios combined efforts with Valve’s Steam Workshop.

“Despite being turn based, it’s impressively fluid, based heavily around use and manipulation of the elements. Cast a rain spell and you’ll create a puddle that can then be electrified, evaporated or frozen, each with their own appropriate effects. There’s even the threat of slipping up on the ice, knocking yourself over for a turn. Despite being relatively simple with its elements, it’s obvious that there is that breadth of experimentation that made, say, Magicka so successful” (IGN).

If you are interested in the game after viewing the recent E3 trailers below, check out Divinity II: Ego Draconis and Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga both available on Steam. There is even a demo for Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga for you to try!

 

DotA 2 free-to-play, works with Steam Workshop


Valve’s DotA, developed by IceFrog, will indeed be free-to-play. The game has not been release; however the official DotA Store has. The store provides items created both by the developers and  by the community. Valve’s usage of the Steam Workshop allows for complete customization of DotA‘s characters. Therefore, anybody can buy whichever items they wish to make their own unique character or simply spend no money on the game at all and just enjoy it. All the items crafted, which is at least 200 items, have been made available already. In addition, all the items are purely for aesthetic purposes and do not affect the gameplay (we hope).

Originally DotA’s name was in dispute due to a trademark conflict with Blizzard Entertainment, the dispute was settled with Blizzard’s game receiving the title Blizzard All-Stars.
Check out the official blog website for more news.

Perpetual Testing Initiative arrives on Steam, Portal and Alan Wake on sale, Alan Wake’s American Nightmares available for pre-order on Steam


The well-received sequel to the lovable game Portal has now topped four million units sold on PC, Mac and consoles. Coincidentally, the release of Portal 2‘s new Perpetual Testing Initiative DLC falls on the same day as the sales news. To mark the new DLC, Steam has made the Portal series one of its midweek madness sales. You may now purchase Portal 2 and receive the new DLC for free with your order for just $6.79 (66% off). Additionally, you may purchase the original game 66% off as well at $3.39 or you could buy the bundle which includes Portal and Portal 2 for just $8.49.

Perpetual Testing Initiative DLC trailer

In addition to the Portal series being on sale, Alan Wake is also on sale on Steam for its midweek madness. Alan Wake is on sale for 50% off $24.99, thus making it $14.99. The Alan Wake Collector’s Edition is also available for $17.49 which includes the original game plus the full soundtrack, developer commentary videos, and 130 page illustrated PDF book or if you have the game and want the extras, they are $4.99 standalone. To add to the sales news, you may now pre-order Remedy Entertainment’s Alan Wake’s American Nightmare on Steam which is available on May 22nd.You may also pre-purchase the game from Good Old Games.

Alan Wake’s American Nightmare trailer

Portal 2 gets a new DLC


Valve’s Portal 2, the sequel to their critically acclaimed Portal, announced they are releasing a new DLC for PC and Mac users. This DLC is pretty special since gamers will be able to create and share the their own levels. In addition, this DLC will be free and available from Steam. Also Steam users may load their creative levels to Steam Workshop so others may use someone’s level as well as vote on their favorites.

Check out this trailer. I never saw this one when it was released a year ago. Perhaps you haven’t seen it either.

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