Tag Archives: early access

Monstrum 2 Hits Early Access Jan 28th

https://youtube.com/watch?v=LD6KCWIuQEE

I was a big fan of Evolve, one of the first games to take a crack at the ‘4-vs-1’ asymmetrical playstyle, but that gameplay just never really caught on with a wide audience. Since then, however, we’ve seen that audiences are ready for a non-traditional multiplayer experience and games like Among Us, Dead by Daylight, and Friday the 13th have proven asymmetrical play can catch on.

Enter Monstrum 2, which is set to enter Steam’s Early Access program at the end of the month. Following up on the 2015 original, which was a single player game with roguelike elements, the developers at Junkfish have veered off into asymmetrical multiplayer this time around.

Up to five players can take part in the game’s tense ‘prisoners vs monster’ scenario, where the prisoners seek to escape a research facility in the middle of the ocean while the monster tries to…well, do what monsters do.

Scaling difficulty and procedurally generated facility layouts should help keep gamers coming back, the tough part is getting them to try it in the first place. The battle for hearts and minds beings with an open beta that will run January 23-24th, with the game hitting Steam’s Early Access program on January 28th.

Here’s the press release:


Monstrum 2 arises from the watery depths to enter Steam Early Access on January 28th 2021

Brand-new trailer reveals the Malacosm. Open Beta weekend January 23-24

13th January 2021– BAFTA-nominated and Dundee-based developer Junkfish is excited to announce that Monstrum 2, the asymmetric survival-horror game, will enter Steam Early Access on January 28th 2021. 

The multiplayer sequel to the cult-favourite original, Monstrum 2 features new monsters, new puzzles, and new procedurally-generated environments, as up to four prisoners attempt to escape Sparrow Lock, a sea-stranded research facility, from one of its monstrous experiments.

Will you escape Sparrow Lock?

As a prisoner, explore Sparrow Lock to clear obstacles, unlock new areas, and find useful items which can help you outwit the monster. But remember: stay hidden and out of sight. If spotted, you’ll enter an intense game of cat-and-mouse, vaulting and sliding your way to safety if you hope to survive the chase. 

Combining first-person stealth gameplay with a puzzle-first focus on survival horror, players will need to strategise a means of escape together, rather than confronting the monster head-on. With scalable difficulty adjusting to the number of players and procedurally generated layouts, traps, rooms, and puzzles, no playthrough will be the same! 

Or relish the thrill of the hunt?

Master three distinct monsters when Monstrum 2 launches on Steam Early Access, each with their own unique unique abilities and playstyle. Smash through walls, climb on ceilings, leap across distances, or teleport to your prey. Each monster leverages the environment in unique ways to ambush unsuspecting players.

Revealed in the brand-new trailer today, players will be able to terrify their competition with the Malacosm; a molluscan, Lovecraftian nightmare. Place locator traps to damage prisoners and teleport across the map, phase through walls, and take a glimpse through your prey’s eyes with the clairvoyance skill for a hint to where they’re hiding. 

Open Beta Weekend
In anticipation of launch, Monstrum 2 will also receive an Open Beta weekend on January 23-24. Join on Steam to be among the first to scavenge the depths of Sparrow Lock and all the horror contained within…

Photo Mode Coming to The Waylanders In Second Winter Update

The Waylanders started out Early Access in really good shape, but the team at Gato Salvaje Studio continues to follow their pre-release road map with the second of three planned winter updates.

This update will bring with it a photo mode, easily my favourite non-gameplay addition to any game. The mode looks slick, and I’m eager to get my hands on it.

Here’s the press release:


The Waylanders Adds Photo Mode and Expands Character Origins in Early Access Update

New Early Access update adds expanded character origin videos, new photo mode, bug fixes, and more improvements requested by the community.

A Coruña, Spain — Jan 11, 2020 – In the second of their three winter updates, Gato Salvaje Studio has added new origin story videos for each character option to their myth-filled RPG, The Waylanders. Each of the eight new origin videos expands on a character’s background and explores different facets of the world of The Waylanders. 

“The Waylanders has been heavily influenced by many of the best RPGs we’ve played over the last few decades. Part of creating a character shouldn’t just be what they look like, but also where they’re from and how they tie into the story you’re about to jump into.” said Gato Salvaje Studio Creative Director, Serio Prieto. “Assuming your character hasn’t just sprung into existence, they should feel as if they’re part of the world. These new origins give our community deeper insight into not only the world we’re building, but also how history weaves together with myth in The Waylanders.”

Watch the Alpha Wolf Origin: https://youtu.be/A5tYVfA-fb4

Watch the Celtic Soldier Origin: https://youtu.be/Is5a4BffueU

Watch the Celtic Druid Origin: https://youtu.be/khQAixGyWt8

Watch the Dog of Ares Origin: https://youtu.be/2UUXhgOCZeE

Watch the Egyptian Origin: https://youtu.be/khmHYduGdQs

Watch the Mourian Diplomat Origin: https://youtu.be/KcBbgSALX-w

Watch the Mourian Protector Origin: https://youtu.be/XN1oFNNG4yk

Watch the Semi-Fomorian Origin: https://youtu.be/5oDcqt-rCKk

In addition to improved character origins, today’s update includes an all-new photo mode to allow players to capture the sweeping vistas and mythical locations scattered throughout The Waylanders. 

A full update changelog can be found in The Waylanders Steam Community Forum on release.

The Immersion Update is the second of the three planned updates for The Waylanders this winter. Team as shown on the game’s Winter Roadmap. Coming updates planned for January will continue to implement community feedback, and add localization for the game in Spanish, Latin American Spanish, French, German, Simplified Chinese, Russian, and Galician.  

Currently available in Steam Early Access and GOG Games in Development program, The Waylanders is set to release on both platforms in Spring 2021. More information about the game can be found on The Waylanders website.

EVERSPACE 2 Hits Early Access And Games In Development January 18

ROCKFISH Games struck gold with EVERSPACE, a single-player space shooter that used roguelike elements to keep gamers coming back, but they’re not content to just mine the same vein with the sequel.

Instead, the indie developer will be moving to an open-world space shooter design for EVERSPACE 2, and will be using fan feedback to influence the ongoing development via Early Access on Steam and the GOG Games in Development program.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeBXVhuURKI

The Early Access launch will include HOTAS support, for those with flight sticks, allowing even better control over your chosen craft. EVERSPACE 2 might be a year or more out from full release, but the game looks gorgeous and – based on hands-on time with early preview code – plays very smoothly as well.

Here’s the press release:


EVERSPACE 2 Early Access Set for January 18, 2021 

Alongside the upcoming Steam Early Access launch,  EVERSPACE 2 will also arrive on the GOG Games in Development program.

Hamburg, Germany – January 5, 2021 – ROCKFISH Games has announced their highly anticipated upcoming single-player space looter shooter EVERSPACE 2 will arrive in Steam Early Access and the GOG Games in Development program on January 18, 2021. Priced at €37.99 / $39.99 / £31.99, the game will launch in English with professional voice acting for the first 12+ hours of the story campaign and several side missions that take place in the first two star systems of the final game. The initial version will be good for at least 25 hours of gameplay, while introducing pilots to EVERSPACE 2’s core gameplay mechanics of space combat, exploration, mining, puzzle-solving, traveling, trading, itemization, crafting, ship customization, player and companion perks as well as five different player ship subclasses.

The full version for PC, including Mac and native Linux support, will be released at a reasonably increased price in the first half of 2022 and come with UI and text language support for German, French, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Polish, Russian, simplified Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.  

“After multiple rounds of community testing by some 2,000 players, and great feedback from various gaming outlets and content creators on the closed Beta, EVERSPACE 2 is ready for Early Access. We can’t wait to receive feedback on the initial release version from space game enthusiasts on Steam and GOG,” says Michael Schade, CEO & co-founder of ROCKFISH Games. “Of course, the game is far from being finished. On top of the two star systems EVERSPACE 2 pilots will be able to explore in Early Access at launch, we plan to have four to six more as well as several additional player ship subclasses beyond the Interceptor, Sentinel, Striker, Gunship, and Scout at launch, to be gradually added on a quarterly basis. In the final game, players will also be able to enjoy twice as much story content plus lots of worthwhile endgame activities. We look forward to working closely with our community over the course of the next 12 to 18 months to make an outstanding narrative-driven open-world space looter shooter.”

Also, due to high demand from hardcore space simulation fans, the Early Access version of EVERSPACE 2 will offer fully configurable HOTAS support and presets for popular Logitech and Thrustmaster joysticks hardware setups. 

EVERSPACE 2 can be wishlisted on Steam where the initial prototype version of the game is also available as a free demo. On GOG, the game can be wishlisted here.


About ROCKFISH Games GmbH
ROCKFISH Games is a 100% independent game studio specializing in high-quality Unreal Engine 4 action video games for PC and consoles. Industry veterans Michael Schade and Christian Lohr founded ROCKFISH Games to create a new breed of adrenalin-filled adventures for space shooter fans through their acclaimed EVERSPACE IP. After spending over 20 years as joint entrepreneurs in the 3D graphics and mobile gaming space, Schade and Lohr built ROCKFISH Games from the ground up alongside a small team of veteran developers to the current studio of 25 cherry-picked developers and community experts from across the industry.

Using Kickstarter as a platform to build a new community in 2015, ROCKFISH Games reached a runaway success with EVERSPACE, which has sold over two million copies on PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch. Building on this success and propelled by yet another wildly successful Kickstarter campaign in 2019, ROCKFISH Games is dedicated to crafting a true next-gen open-world space shooter experience driven by quality storytelling as an open-development project together with space action aficionado from around the globe in their upcoming title, EVERSPACE 2. 

Baldur’s Gate 3 Hits Early Access

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Baldur’s Gate 3 hit Early Access today, letting gamers get their hands on Larian Studios take on the classic franchise for the first time.

The early access release is available on PC and Mac via Steam and GOG.com, and is also out on Google’s Stadia platform – yes, that’s still a thing.

The Early Access version of the game currently features only the first act of the game, but keep in mind that’s still about 25 hours of content and over 40,000 lines of dialogue.

As a massive fan of both the original Baldur’s Gate games and past Larian Studios titles, most recently Divinity: Original Sin II, I’m looking forward to spending a ton of time in their take on the franchise.

Here’s the press release:


Baldur’s Gate 3 Releases Today into Early Access on PC, Mac & Google Stadia

The fate of the Forgotten Realms is on your party’s shoulders. Will you carry it to salvation, or descend with it to hell?

DUBLIN  Oct. 6, 2020 — Larian Studios is excited to announce that its long-awaited RPG Baldur’s Gate 3 has today released into early access for PC and Mac on Steam and GOG.com, as well as Google Stadia. Players all over the world can now enjoy the first act of the game, which spans roughly 25 hours of content, 46,000 lines of English dialogue, 600 NPCs, and 146 spells and actions. The game’s extensive character creation system lets players pick from 16 races and subraces as well as six different classes, each with their own subclasses.

Today’s release into early access marks the beginning of a long journey toward full launch. Working directly with the community, the team will continuously iterate and improve upon the game, adding new content along the way. RPGs this large, with so many permutations, thrive from feedback as new features and fixes are incrementally added to the game. Early access gives players a chance to participate in development and gives the team an opportunity to explore different game ideas with a live community.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is an expansive, cinematic, player-driven RPG based on 5e D&D. It features a rich character creation system where players can create an avatar based on 16 different D&D races and subraces, select their cantrips, skills and abilities, and enter a world where their actions truly define the story. With a parasite planted in their brains, players wake up aboard a burning Nautiloid ship racing across hell at the center of an epic fight between Mind Flayers and red dragons. And that’s just the very beginning of this journey. Players will encounter many challenges upon their return to the Forgotten Realms in a tale about fellowship and betrayal, sacrifice and survival — and the lure of absolute power.

Baldur’s Gate 3 expands on Larian’s award-winning narrative gameplay through the advent of cinematic storytelling and with dice rolls for key decisions throughout the game, in and out of combat. Dialogue options often have multiple responses, some of which may require a dice roll to succeed, defined by both luck as well as the attributes of the player character, or the circumstances of the situation.

The Forgotten Realms are a vast, detailed and diverse world, and there are secrets to be discovered all around. Verticality is a vital part of exploration. Players can sneak, dip, shove, climb, and jump as they journey from the depths of the Underdark to the glittering rooftops of the Upper City. How you survive, and the mark you leave on the world, is up to you.

Major Features:

  • Online multiplayer for up to four players allows adventurers to join forces in combat and split their party to follow their own quests and agendas. Concoct the perfect plan together… or introduce an element of chaos when your friends least expect it!
  • Evolved, turn-based combat based on the D&D 5e ruleset. Team-based initiative, advantage and disadvantage, and roll modifiers join combat cameras, expanded environmental interactions, and a new fluidity in combat that rewards strategy and foresight.
  • Define the future of the Forgotten Realms through your choices and the roll of the dice. No matter who you play as or what you roll, the world and its inhabitants will react to your story.
  • Player-initiated turn-based mode allows players to pause the world around them at any time, even outside of combat, letting you set up a tactical advantage before combat begins, pull off a heist with pin-point precision, escape a fiendish trap and more. Split your party, prepare ambushes, sneak in the darkness — and create your own luck!

About Larian Studios
Founded in 1996 in Ghent, Belgium, Larian Studios has been creating games for 24 years. In 2014 we released the isometric CRPG Divinity: Original Sin to critical acclaim, establishing a reputation for the development and publication of expansive, player-driven RPG adventures with great depth. 2017 saw the release of Divinity: Original Sin 2, which launched with a 93 Metacritic rating, as well as over 160 awards (Including the BAFTA for Best Multiplayer Game) and counting. Larian launched DOS2 with a team of 120 people. Upon the release of Baldur’s Gate 3 into early access, Larian will have grown to 300 people internationally across five offices all over the world. Since DOS2, Larian has heavily invested in new departments and specialties to bring the isometric camera down and push the boundaries of emotion in an RPG while expanding on depth, player options, permutations and scale. Baldur’s Gate 3 will be the studio’s biggest and most ambitious game yet.

About Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., is an award-winning developer and publisher of tabletop and digital games that ignite a sense of adventure in passionate players around the globe. Best known for publishing groundbreaking fantasy franchises MAGIC: THE GATHERING® and DUNGEONS & DRAGONS®, Wizards is dedicated to bringing together world-class talent to create unforgettable play experiences at its headquarters in Washington and studios in Austin and Montreal. Learn more at www.wizards.com.

Audience Interaction Pushed To New Heights in Baldur’s Gate 3

Audience interaction is a major part of the Twitch experience, and though that’s usually limited to interacting with the streamer Larian Studios is looking to augment that in a major way with Baldur’s Gate 3.

The game, which is slated to hit early access on September 30th, will allow streamers to give the audience the ability to decide what should happen next during conversations. The streamer, if they enable the option for audience interaction, will be presented with chat’s voting results in real-time and can then choose to heed their wishes – or not, if you want to risk the audience’s wrath…

Audience interaction isn’t only limited to the chat, however, as viewers will also be able to see the player’s inventory, skills, and spells – allowing them to see how you’ve built your characters and offer constructive criticism in the chat.

I’m really excited to see Baldur’s Gate 3 hit early access, both as a fan of the classic Baldur’s Gate games and of Larian’s Divinity series. Expect to hear more when it hits launch!

Here’s the press release:


Baldur’s Gate 3 Introduces Crowd Choice on Stadia & Twitch Integration on PC

Larian Studios reveals Baldur’s Gate 3’s launch key art & new video on multiplayer cinematics

DUBLIN  Sept. 10, 2020 — Larian Studio’s newest Baldur’s Gate 3 Community Update video, released today, breaks down the game’s cinematic ambitions for early access, which begins on September 30. It also introduces more interactivity through Stadia Crowd Choice and Twitch integration. A huge leap from Divinity: Original Sin’s rock-paper-scissors multiplayer interactions, Baldur’s Gate 3 features 1.5 million words, with fully cinematic dialogues.

Using a mix of performance capture and bespoke adaptive cameras, the game is able to react to whoever you are and whatever you do, both in multiplayer and single-player. With the addition of streaming integration, even viewers who may not own the game now have a say in the player’s journey.

Larian’s Cinematic Director, Jason Latino, explains, “You’re telling your story, and we’re shooting it for you. We’re taking that camera down from being above the players and down into the drama, right into the action.

“I can’t think of another early access game that’s done cinematics on this level,” he added. “There’s a lot of games where the moment you add cinematics, they have to get smaller. We didn’t want to do that.”

Community Update #6 – Multiplayer & Cinematics goes into detail about how Larian is combining a cinematic, player-driven narrative through early access, with multiplayer interactions both within and outside of the game session. It shows how far the team has come since Divinity: Original Sin, back in 2014.

When enabled by a streamer, Crowd Choice brings the journey to YouTube viewers, where Stadia viewers can vote. The streamer is seamlessly presented with the results in percentages, and can then choose to follow the players, or go their own way.

Twitch integration works by numbering each dialogue option, which corresponds to viewer choices. This feedback is seamlessly integrated into the game, where both streamer and viewer will see each percentage vote next to each dialogue option. What’s more, players will be able to interact with the Twitch overlay to access the player’s inventory, character sheet, skills, and spells.

Both of these features are launching day one of early access, respectively, on PC and Stadia. This not only brings the community closer to the player, but also, due to the amount of permutations in dialogues, enables streamers to “DM” their own adventure for viewers, letting viewers partake in the story regardless of whether they own the game. Players will be able to become a part of their favorite streamer’s own private canon. Or, as a streamer or viewer, hide the feature entirely. It’s up to them. As always, the game reacts appropriately.

Early access is rapidly approaching, and Larian is happy to launch with nearly everything needed to give players a sense of the ambition behind Baldur’s Gate 3. Dialogues have more permutations than ever before, and so too does the game. Not only does the game retain the narration previous Larian titles are so well known for, you’ll often see that action on screen — whether it’s a vampiric bite in the night, or a slip of the tongue on a goblin’s foot. Of course, there are many more for players to discover on their own.

Whether in solo, with friends — or streaming with an audience — no matter how you choose to experience Baldur’s Gate 3, the tools and systems that allow the game to adapt to the story forged by players are ready for early access on September 30.

For more information, turn to Community Update #6 – Multiplayer & Cinematics, which also features a lengthy community Q&A.

Review – Golftopia

MinMax Games, headquartered in British Columbia, has a history of releasing small titles that feature old-school gameplay – about what you expect from a two-man development studio – and their latest title, Golftopia, is now available in Steam Early Access.

It’s a surprisingly ambitious golf simulator for a small studio, allowing players to build the course of their dreams – or nightmares. The game starts small, with a single plot of land that will allow for only a few holes, but it’s enough to learn the ropes of terrain editing and course layout, and start learning what works for the virtual golfers and what doesn’t.

After you’ve got a hole or two done, you can open the course and start getting feedback from golfers. I noticed right away that my opening hole, intended to be a challenging par 3 with a large green that golfers had to cross water to hit, was closer to ‘impossible’ than ‘challenging’ and necessitated some quick editing to make it playable. Fortunately, the terrain editing process is quick to pick up, even if it’s not quite as precise as I would have liked, and the hole was playable in no time.

The rest of my course, including a massive hole 2 that started high on a hill and wound its way down to a small green surrounded by sand. Eventually that hole also included a massive ring of fire for people to try to send their drive through and a bounce pad that added a ton of distance to any drive that managed to hit it – both huge crowd-pleasers.

Yes, while Golftopa CAN be played as a straight up golf course simulator, you can also add in a ton of weird and wild accessories if you choose. Some are less optional, including weed-destroying mortars and robotic drones that will eventually have to be deployed to keep the course clear as it expands.

That initial small plot of land, suitable for three holes, eventually gets outgrown and you’ll have to buy a neighbouring section to continue development. From three holes you grow to six, then nine, eventually completing a sprawling 18-hole course that might just be the envy of the golf world. That will depend on your customer base, which you’ll need to convert into fans that upgrade their memberships, allowing you to expand.

What I Loved:

  • easy large-scale terrain editing and course layout
  • runs well, even when the course starts to sprawl
  • tons of feedback available from golfers

What I Liked:

  • simple but charming graphics that will age well
  • golfers improve their skill over time
  • a lot of replay value for under $25

What I Disliked:

  • not always easy to tell what golfers dislike about a hole
  • information overload is entirely possible

What I Hated:

  • nothing

The Final Word:
Golftopia promises to allow gamers to design, build, and manage their own futuristic golf course, and – like my own golf game – it sometimes hits the mark, but also strays off into the weeds from time to time.

EVERSPACE 2 Closed Alpha Releasing On Steam

With all due respect to Elite: Dangerous, which skews just a little more towards realism than I want in my day to day gaming life, my favourite space game on the Xbox One is EVERSPACE – but it’s about to be dethroned by EVERSPACE 2.

Check out the Alpha Gameplay trailer and the Alpha Planetary Combat trailers, then tell me this game doesn’t look amazing:

Closed Beta for the game is slated for Fall of 2020, with Early Access on Steam targeting December 2020. The full game will hit PC, PS4, and Xbox One in Q1 of 2022, though you’d imagine that’ll change to the next-gen consoles.

Here’s the press release:


Franchise Premiere: EVERSPACE 2 Pilots Visit Planetary Locations in Closed Alpha

For the first time in EVERSPACE history, players will travel from deep space to deep underground and everything in between in the new EVERSPACE 2 Closed Alpha. Containing new ships, equipment, characters, missions, and planetary locations, the Closed Alpha shows off more than 10 hours of never seen before content.

Hamburg, Germany – June 15, 2020 – ROCKFISH Games is releasing the Closed Alpha of EVERSPACE 2 on Steam, giving more than 1,200 Kickstarter supporters an early hands-on experience with content planned for the game’s Steam Early Access release in December. At this time, Closed Alpha keys are only available as prizes on the ROCKFISH Games Friday streams or media partner events such as CohhCarnage’s charity stream on https://www.twitch.tv/GCXEvent, starting today at CEST 2:00 pm / 8:00 am EDT / 5:00 am PDT. 

“Creating large open-world games with skill-based second-to-second gameplay and complex player progression can be a beast as there are so many different ways to play through the story campaign while also free-roaming and doing side missions or mini-jobs in any given order with a myriad of possible loadouts at the players’ disposal,” said Michael Schade, CEO at ROCKFISH Games; “Following the great results of working exclusively with our most committed fans on the predecessor’s pre-release, we very much look forward to daring pilots taking the closed Alpha of EVERSPACE 2 for a spin and sharing their experience to help us nail the core game before we go into Beta and Steam Early Access, later this year.” 

The Closed Alpha gives players access to approximately 10 hours of gameplay including a story beat and free exploration, culminating in the first star system’s boss fight. In addition to new Ship Devices and Ultimate Abilities, players will be able to explore the all-new pilot and companion perk system.

While pilot perks are level-based, companion perks can be unlocked through various resources players gather along their journey.

Through main storyline content, scripted side missions, and various jobs, players will be able to reach the Closed Alpha cap of level 10. New ships, NPCs, and equipment have been added for players to discover as they explore even more regions in space, planetary locations, and cave systems in the game’s first solar system.

There are lots of handcrafted locations to discover in the first solar system; some won’t even be on the players’ radar until they stumble over them.

The Closed Alpha is English-only, with plans to localize in French, Italian, German, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, and Korean at full release. Quality narrative cutscenes and text-to-speech mission dialogues will serve as placeholders until Steam Early Access.

EVERSPACE 2 is planned to reach Closed Beta in Fall 2020. Early Access of EVERSPACE 2 on Steam is currently scheduled for December 2020, with the full version for PC, PlayStation® 4 and Xbox One scheduled for release in Q1 2022. A demo version of EVERSPACE 2 featuring early content from the game is available as a free download on Steam as part of the Steam Game Festival, Summer Edition.  

About ROCKFISH Games GmbH
Based in Hamburg, Germany, ROCKFISH Games is an independent game studio specializing in high-quality Unreal Engine 4 action video games for PC and consoles. Industry veterans Michael Schade and Christian Lohr founded ROCKFISH Games to create new adventures for space shooter fans through their acclaimed EVERSPACE IP. After spending over 25 years as joint entrepreneurs in the 3D graphics space, Schade and Lohr have built the ROCKFISH Games team alongside experienced developers from across the industry.

Using Kickstarter as a platform to build a new community in 2015, ROCKFISH Games reached a runaway success with EVERSPACE, which has sold over 1.5 million copies on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation since release. Building on these successes, ROCKFISH Games is dedicated to crafting fast-paced, open-world experiences driven by quality storytelling to delight space action fans in their upcoming title, EVERSPACE 2.

Baldur's Gate 3 Info Drop – New CGI Intro Trailer and Gameplay Screens, Early Access This Year

The Baldur’s Gate 3 opening cinematic confirms what I learned playing D&D – mind flayers suck.
On the bright side, Baldur’s Gate 3 – a game I never realistically expected to even happen – looks like it WON’T suck…but given that it’s being developed by the minds behind the Divinity: Original Sin series I was already pretty confident that’d be the case.
Based on the D&D 5E ruleset and using the new Divinity 4.0 engine, this is in all likelihood going to be a must-play for RPG fans.

The game is expected to hit early access later this year, so expect to hear a whole lot more about it very soon. With support for up to four players and the ability to split your party and approach problems from different angles, I expect the combat here to be every bit as deep as that in the Divinity: Original Sin franchise.
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Here’s the press release:


First Baldur’s Gate 3 Gameplay Screens & Details Revealed Alongside New CGI Intro

Larian Studios to bring the next entry in the Baldur’s Gate series to early access later this year

DUBLIN — Feb. 27, 2020 — Larian Studios has been on the road alongside Wizards of the Coast showing off Baldur’s Gate 3 for the very first time, and now the team is ready to reveal this next-generation turn-based RPG to the world with the release of the game’s CGI intro and first gameplay screenshots.
Forged with the new Divinity 4.0 engine and coming to early access later this year, Baldur’s Gate 3 gives you unprecedented freedom to explore, experiment, and interact with a world that truly reacts to your choices. A grand, cinematic narrative brings you closer to your characters than ever before as you venture through the Forgotten Realms of Dungeons & Dragons in Larian’s biggest adventure yet.
Gather your party for a tale of fellowship and betrayal, sacrifice and survival, and the lure of absolute power. Abducted, infected, lost… You are turning into a monster, drawn from a Mind Flayer parasite planted in your brain, but as the corruption inside you grows, so too does your power. That power may help you to survive, but there will be a price to pay. More than any ability, the bonds of trust that you build within your party could be your greatest strength. Caught in a conflict between devils, deities, and sinister otherworldly forces, you will determine the fate of the Forgotten Realms together. Resist and turn darkness against itself — or embrace corruption and become the ultimate evil.
Choose from a wide selection of D&D races and classes, or play as an origin character with a hand-crafted background. Play alone, selecting your companions carefully, or as a party of up to four in online multiplayer.
No two adventures will ever be the same. The Forgotten Realms are a vast, detailed and diverse world, and there are secrets to be discovered all around you — even verticality is a vital part of exploration. Adventure, loot, battle, romance… how you survive, and the mark you leave on the world, is up to you.
 
Features

  • Online multiplayer for up to four players allows you to combine your forces in combat and split your party to follow your own quests and agendas. Devise the perfect plan together… or introduce an element of chaos when your friends least expect it.
  • Origin characters offer a hand-crafted experience, each with their own unique traits, agenda, and outlook on the world. Their stories intersect with the wider narrative, and your choices will determine whether those stories end in redemption, salvation, domination or other outcomes.
  • Evolved turn-based combat based on the D&D 5E ruleset. Team-based initiative, advantage and disadvantage, and roll modifiers join combat cameras, expanded environmental interactions, and a new fluidity in combat that rewards strategy and foresight.
  • Define the future of the Forgotten Realms through your choices and the roll of the dice. No matter who you play or what you roll, the world and its inhabitants will react to your story.
  • Player-initiated turn-based mode allows you to pause the world around you at any time even outside of combat. See an opportunity for a tactical advantage before combat begins? Want to pull off a heist with pin-point precision? Need to escape a fiendish trap? Split your party, prepare ambushes, sneak in the darkness — and create your own luck!

 

Live The Space Salvage Life With 'Hardspace: Shipbreaker'

Hardspace: Shipbreaker is kind of an odd name, but it’s wrapped around a totally cool concept – salvaging derelict ships in zero G, with all the inherent dangers to the job. Why would anyone do a job like that, where you can die from a million different things at any given time?
Debt.
You’ve been blasted into space to carve up floating hulks because you owe money, and every time you die the resurrection costs get added to your debt so…be careful.
The concept of corporate debt forcing ordinary people to do miserable jobs has been done in countless movies and games…and real life…but Hardspace: Shipbreaker’s take on the mechanics of destruction make this look like a blast. There’s a reveal stream tomorrow on Twitch, and it’ll be at PAX East as well – but for most people you’re waiting until summer to get your hands on it when it hits Early Access.
Here’s the press release:


Focus Home Interactive & Blackbird Interactive Announce Hardspace: Shipbreaker

Unique sandbox space sim hits Steam Early Access this summer — find out more in tomorrow’s first developer livestream

PARIS  Feb. 19, 2020  Focus Home Interactive and Blackbird Interactive, the studio behind Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak and the upcoming Homeworld 3, have revealed Hardspace: Shipbreaker, a new sandbox space sim coming to Steam Early Access this summer. As a salvager armed with cutting-edge tech, you’ll carve up massive spaceships piece by piece in zero G for cold hard loot. Get your first look at the game’s creative demolition and true-to-life physics:

Early access will launch with a variety of exciting features to discover, including the first act of the story campaign, two classes of spaceship to salvage, and multiple upgradeable tools and perks. Throughout early access, the team plans on releasing new spaceship classes, missions, challenges, leaderboards, modding support and much more based on feedback from the community.
Focus Home Interactive and Blackbird Interactive will host a live Hardspace: Shipbreaker reveal stream on Twitch tomorrow, February 20, at 5 p.m. CET/11 a.m. ET. The game will also be showcased at PAX East, February 27 to March 1, at both Focus Home Interactive’s booth (#29017) and Blackbird Interactive’s booth (#28071).

Review – Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark (updated)

UPDATE – Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark has been released to the public on PC and console, and I’ve played the final code. I still find the game an incredible value and a must-play for fans of Final Fantasy Tactics and games in the genre.


Early Access review:

Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark shouldn’t exist.

There’s no way a two-person team, even with a wealth of contributors, should be able to turn out a game that compares at all – much less favourably – against Final Fantasy Tactics, arguably the pinnacle of 2D isometric RPGs, but they somehow have.

To be fair, Fell Seal is currently in Early Access on Steam so there’s every chance the project will fall apart in the home stretch and what there is could turn out to be all there ever is, but even then this is worth the $34 entry fee.

That $34 Canadian currently get you 25 classes, with a job system that allows access to 200 abilities, allowing you to customize your characters to take on over 40 story maps, with promises of lots of end-game content. If you want more, you can also customize your appearance – including the armour they wear, and with over 240 pieces of equipment there’ll be no shortage of ‘dress up’ opportunities.

Again, this is being made by a two-person team. What they’ve already accomplished is nothing short of incredible.

The combat system is engaging, with bonuses for things like being smart enough to get behind enemies before attacking and for using the terrain to your advantage. The AI doesn’t waste turns, making surprisingly smart decisions, so gamers who aren’t paying attention to what’s going to happen two or three moves ahead will have some issues until they adjust.

Even the story is top-notch, with intrigue and some twists and a ton of dialogue to wade through. There’s not a lot of character development within the story, but that may change as it winds its way to release.