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.

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!

 

Mode 7 releases Red DLC for their turn-based tactics game, Frozen Synapse


For $9.99 you can purchase Mode 7‘s brand new Red DLC for the award-winning indie game, Frozen Synapse. You can currently buy the game on Steam at the promotional price of $12.49 which is 50% off. With your purchase, you’ll receive a free copy to gift to a friend as well. In addition, the Frozen Synapse: Soundtrack Edition is just $14.99 and will net you the soundtrack as well as one free giftable copy of the game. Also the Complete Pack is on sale for 33% off at $23.44 and it includes the game, the brand new Red DLC, and the soundtrack. Both promotions for Frozen Synapse and its Soundtrack Edition will end on June 2nd; however you’ll still be able to purchase Frozen Synapse: Complete Pack and the Red DLC at its promotional price until June 5th. Currently, the Red DLC is at $8.49 instead of its original price $9.99.

Frozen Synapse Red DLC features:

  • Full co-op for the single player campaign and all new single player content
  • A new unit (riot shield)
  • A new multiplayer game mode (“Upload”)
  • 15 mission single player campaign
  • 10 single player challenge missions
  • Three mutators (gameplay modifiers for advanced users)
  • 6 additional music tracks by nervous_testpilot (2 previously available in the Humble Indie Bundle)
  • MP3 and FLAC download of all Frozen Synapse: Red music
  • Original music tracks “Deeper” and “Focus” unlocked during gameplay
  • “Impeccable Micro” – a chiptune album from _ensnare_ (MP3 and FLAC)
  • The infamous “Red Mode”…
  • DLC can be activated on Steam, allowing you to play using your Steam version. Steam is not required to run the game.

Join Kickstarter, support vikings and all that hoopla


I have retained very little about my knowledge of vikings. In fact, I only remember Leif Erickson and his father Erik the Red from elementary school days. Besides that, my most recent memory of vikings is from sadly One Tree Hill‘s series finale last week on Wednesday, April 4th. The finale did the series justice by incorporating many old familiar elements from the earliest seasons, including the “Burning Boat Festival”. The idea of the Burning Boat Festival was to set alight a viking boat filled with peoples’ memories as a way to start anew. Centuries ago, vikings would participate in ship burials that placed the deceased in a boat, along with all their earthly possessions and offerings, and set it afire for the sea engulf the remains. With that being said I have no clue if that one idea I have about vikings is placed in the Stoic Studio‘s turn-based strategy game about vikings.

Alex Thomas, Arnie Jorgensen and John Watson teamed up to create their adventure mini-series game called The Banner Saga after spending half a decade working on Star Wars: The Old Republic. Quite frankly this game looks wicked good, so great in fact that it has surpassed its Kickstarter goal for $100,000 five times! Apparently, people really want a turn-based strategy game with role-playing elements about vikings. It seems Kickstarter has been robbing me of my money with all these fantastic indie games (Auditorium 2: Duet and Double Fine Adventure to name a couple) looking to develop into something truly wonderful. The game will provide beautiful cinematics and stunning landscapes viewable DRM-free on PC and Mac. Also if you haven’t heard much about The Banner Saga, then maybe you have heard of the game Journey perhaps? Notable composer Austin Wintory of the PSN game, Journey, is going to create the music for The Banner Saga due to the extra money the Kickstarter fund raised.  If you are unfamiliar with Kickstarter, it’s a wonderful website that allows people to set up “backer rewards” in order to establish funds for their project. These rewards are available when you donate a certain amount of money such as if you donate $25 you’ll receive an rewards mentioned for $25 and below plus specific items (such as soundtracks, wallpapers, etc) that is entitled when you give $25. It could be sold out because of the limits of it, but if you donate a huge chunk of money to a project you’ll receive pretty amazing rewards, such as donating $5000 or more to The Banner Saga will let you get animate into Stoic Studio’s game (pretty awesome right? – but sorry it’s sold out already). Anyway, check out the trailer below, if the above ramblings haven’t already peaked your interest in this gorgeously designed game.

The Banner Saga Announcement Trailer

2K Games release date on Civilization V: Gods and Kings


On June 19, 2012, the much anticipated expansion, Gods & Kings, for Civilization V is coming to North America. A few days later on June 22, 2012, it will also release internationally. The expansion will include new technologies, religions, leaders, and units. There will be 27 new units, 14 new buildings, and 9 new civilizations which includes the Celts, Byzantines, and Carthaginians to name a few. Along with these new additions, there will be a newly build religion system. Players will rather faith as the new resource much like they do for culture and science. Players have the ability to create their own religion or choose from 11 popular real-world religions. Players will be able to spread their influence of their chosen religion and values across other civilizations that will ultimately play a diplomatic role in allegiances within the game. Along with the new religion system integrated by the expansion, Firaxis changed the battle system to be more engaging. As a result, they upped the hit points on units in order to draw out battles; therefore if a player is caught off-guard by an ambush, they have the possibility to call in reinforcements to help against the threat. Another big improvement Firaxis incorporated is the split between the naval units, allowing for both melee and range sea units, which allows for more strategical ideas.

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