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Action RPG ‘Project Eve’ will finally debut in 2023 as ‘Stellar Blade’

Shift Up’s long-touted Project Eve is finally nearing release. The Korean developer has announced that the action RPG will arrive in 2023 as Stellar Blade. It will be a PS5 exclusive on consoles. Accordingly, the studio used Sony’s State of Play event to share a trailer outlining the game’s apocalyptic premise.

You play Eve, a warrior who returns to a shattered Earth to rebuild the last city (Xion) and protect it against “NA:tives.” Naturally, there will be some intrigue between humans alongside the usual battles against horrific-looking creatures. The action RPG mechanics will sound familiar, but could be intriguing if you thrive on perfecting your gameplay. You’ll need “precise timing” with combos, defensive maneuvers and skills to succeed against regular foes, while boss fights will demand a more “strategic” approach.

Project Eve has garnered increasing buzz since the first teaser trailer appeared in 2019, in no small part due to its eye-catching visuals. Whether or not the finished Stellar Blade lives up to those expectations is another story. This is Shift Up’s first console game, not to mention its first AAA release. While the company has had success with the mobile-oriented Destiny Child, it’ll need to show that its experience translates well to other platforms.

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Game

Nintendo’s Dragalia Lost mobile RPG goes offline on November 30th

Nintendo and Cygames have announced Dragalia Lost’s exact end-of-service date: November 30th, at 1AM Eastern time. The companies started winding down the gacha fantasy RPG back in March and released its last major update by the end of that month. In July, they wrapped up the game’s main story with the intention of shutting down its servers before the year ends. Players can expect more changes before November 30th comes around — in fact, Diamantium, the premium currency in Dragalia Lost, is no longer available for purchase as of August 30th. 

The upgrade essentials and packs players can buy from the in-game shop using their Diamantium stash will no longer be available starting on October 31st at 2AM. If users still have in-game money left by that time, they could spend it on summoning, building facilities at the Halidom castle, recovering stamina and other gameplay-related purposes.

When the companies announced that they were shutting down the game, they didn’t explain the reason behind their decision. This new announcement is no different. Dragalia Lost is Nintendo’s first foray into mobile games and was released back in 2019. While it never quite achieved the popularity of games like Genshin Impact, it wasn’t a flop either: Sensor Tower estimates put its earnings at over $140 million by the end of 2020. That said, Nintendo hasn’t been exactly been putting a lot of energy into mobile gaming — its most recent title is Pikmin Bloom released in 2021 — and was resistant to the idea of making games for phones for the longest time. No matter what the reason is for Dragalia Lost’s demise, anybody who tries to sign in after its servers shut down will only see an end-of-service notification on the screen.

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Game

Cult hit RPG ‘Dragon’s Dogma’ is finally getting a sequel

Dragon’s Dogma didn’t rock the fantasy RPG world when it arrived in 2012, but it gradually developed a loyal fan base. If you’re part of that group, you’ll be glad to hear that Capcom has confirmed work on a sequel as part of a livestream celebrating the original’s 10th anniversary. Not that there are many details, mind you. As Kotaku reports, game director Hideaki Itsuno shared the Dragon’s Dogma II name, a logo and nothing else — don’t expect a release in the near future, then.

The first game was flawed, with an awkward interface and a mediocre open-world experience. However, its wild story, enjoyable combat and extensive customization helped win people over. It was popular enough to warrant an expansion (Dark Arisen), a Japan-exclusive online RPG (Dragon’s Dogma Online) and even a Netflix anime series.

It’s safe to presume Dragon’s Dogma II will target modern consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X. With that said, it’s too soon to say much else. A lot has changed in the past decade, and a sequel will have to compete with action RPG rivals like Elden Ring. Still, this might give Capcom more room to address the original’s flaws and otherwise shake up its game mechanics.

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Game

‘Zenless Zone Zero’ is a new action RPG from the studio behind ‘Genshin Impact’

developer Hoyoverse is working on a new project. On Friday, the studio shared the first trailer for Zenless Zone Zero, an action RPG set in a modern urban setting. Reminiscent of titles like  and Scarlett Nexus, the game pits players against Ethereal, monstrous creatures borne from another dimension. In a nod to , the action takes place in New Eridu, one of the few cities to survive the devastation wrought by the Ethereal.

As a “Proxy,” you’ll need to organize a disparate party of characters to battle the monsters. Hoyoverse hasn’t explicitly said how it plans to monetize Zenless Zone Zero, but it sounds like the game will employ a similar system to the one found in Genshin Impact. In other words, expect to use real-world money to improve your chances at obtaining some of the game’s most powerful party members. Zenless Zone Zero does not have a release date yet, but you can sign up to take part in the game’s closed iOS and PC beta by visiting its .

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Game

Halo Infinite’s Campaign Includes Some RPG Mechanics

Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries has shown off the game’s campaign once again, although this time with a fresh coat of paint. The game’s campaign, which was originally revealed during E3 2020 and received negative feedback for its graphics, seemingly sports a new coat of paint and will arrive with RPG features.

Halo Infinite‘s campaign will still place players in a large open-world area called the Zeta Ring. Naturally, that means it won’t be as linear as other campaigns in the franchise, with players instead being tasked with destroying bases belonging to the Banished, a new enemy faction. These bases, which are scattered around the game’s open world, can be tackled Just Cause-style, with Master Chief throwing fusion coils at certain structures to blow them up.

Along with bases, players can also find seven types of collectibles scattered around the game’s open world. To get around easier, players will be able to call in vehicles at certain points, ranging from a simple mongoose to new aerial vehicles, namely the Wasp.

However, Halo Infinite‘s biggest departure from the rest of the franchise is the inclusion of RPG mechanics. Using Spartan Cores, a new resource that can be collected during their travels, players can upgrade Master Chief’s various abilities. Today’s trailer showed that Master Chief’s grappleshot, shield core, threat sensor, drop wall, and thruster can all be upgraded. Likewise, the game seems to include named enemies that function as mini-bosses, another first for the franchise.

Halo Infinite is still set to launch on December 8 for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. The game will also be available on day one via Xbox Game Pass. However, the game will be missing some key features at launch, including co-op campaign and forge mode.

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Game

Former Elder Scrolls Devs Announce New Grand RPG Title

OnceLost Games announced its first game today, The Wayward Realm. Development on the title is being led by two industry veterans that played a heavy role in the beginning of The Elder Scrolls franchise: Ted Peterson and Julian LeFay.

The studio’s founding was first announced in 2019, but since then, there hasn’t been any news. This is the first peep we’ve heard from OnceLost Games, and for those waiting on a new RPG to sink their teeth into, The Wayward Realms is a promising pitch. According to its Steam page, it’s “a new class of game: The Grand RPG.” The game will be set on a massive archipelago of over 100 “realistically scaled” islands.

While the plot of The Wayward Realms isn’t clear, it seems like it has a lot in common with the Mount & Blade franchise. Players will be able to earn a prominent place in the game’s world by completing quests and defeating legendary enemies. Since this is a game from former Elder Scrolls devs though, the game’s ruling factions and enemies aren’t all humans. Dwarves, Elves, monsters, spirits, and demons can all be found across the game’s world, succinctly called The Archipelago.

Furthering the comparison to Mount & Blade games, The Wayward Realms will also have a virtual game master that keeps the world alive. Player actions will cause NPCs to react, causing endless shifts in power throughout the world with every interaction.

We’ll have to wait a bit longer for the first “Grand RPG” though. OnceLost Games hasn’t announced a release date or window for The Wayward Realms just yet.




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Game

‘Tribes of Midgard’ blends survival, RPG and co-op mechanics for a new kind of Viking game

When Geoff Keighley introduced Tribes of Midgard during the Summer Game Fest kickoff stream on June 10th, he almost stumbled over its description.

“Stave off Ragnarök in this ancient Norse-inspired co-op action survival RPG that you can also fully play solo,” he said, slowing down his speech and smiling when he got to the end, clearly relieved.

The elevator pitch for Tribes of Midgard is a mouthful, but it’s also the only way to really explain what the game is all about. It doesn’t cleanly fit into a single genre: It’s playable solo or with up to 10 people; it twists mechanics made popular by titles like Don’t Starve Together and Diablo, and it offers all of this in a procedurally generated, auto-scaling, giant-infested ancient Norse landscape.

Tribes of Midgard

Norsfell

“It’s a brand new genre,” said Julian Maroda, CEO of Tribes of Midgard studio, Norsfell. “That was really at the starting point of what we wanted to do, was to take a couple of genres and then bring them together to make an experience that’s highly accessible.”

One of the game’s most innovative aspects is its approach to death in the survival genre. In Tribes of Midgard, the goal is to protect the Seed of Yggdrasil, the mystical tree at the center of your village, by feeding it soul seeds and defending it from nightly attacks. If the tree dies, Ragnarök reigns and it’s game over. However, there’s no permadeath on an individual level — when a player dies, they lose all the soul seeds in their possession, but they’re able to rejoin the village and continue the fight.

This is different from games like Don’t Starve Together and other survival titles, which often use permadeath as the main source of tension.

“We thought, hang on, survival is such a thing that everyone understands,” Maroda said. “As a human, survival is almost in our genes, we understand the concept of survivability. And so what we wanted to do is, how can we broaden that concept to make it appeal to a much larger audience, to make it way more accessible, so that other players can also enjoy this type of game?”

Tribes of Midgard scales in real-time, meaning players can jump in and out, and enemies and resources will automatically adjust to fit the number of people online at any given time. As a tribe progresses, enemies — including the monstrous giants — become more difficult to defeat. There are RPG and inventory-management mechanics, streamlined methods of resource gathering, and an ever-changing ancient environment.

“The worlds of Tribes of Midgard are completely procedural,” Maroda said. “We generate those worlds with a seed every time and they’re quite different. That increases replayability, that increases a lot of the sense of exploration, of not seeing the same thing happening over and over again, same with our modifiers slash ruin system. [These] can have drastic effects on you as a character.”

Maroda and his team began building Tribes of Midgard four years ago, when games like Rust and Don’t Starve Together were peaking. Developers identified three trends that they thought would propel the video game industry forward in the coming years — survival mechanics, team-based multiplayer experiences, and Vikings.

Tribes of Midgard

Norsfell

For the most part, Norsfell’s predictions were on point. As demonstrated by recent releases like Assassins Creed Valhalla and Valheim, Norse mythology is once again all the rage in the video game market — so much that Maroda already sounds tired of explaining how Tribes of Midgard is different from Valheim.

“Those three trends in the end, almost four years later, kind of materialized,” Maroda said. “We saw things like Overwatch being PvP but with a lot more collaboration and cooperation. …And then the Vikings, yeah, everywhere. Valhalla even did it, there’s Thor movies, there is the Loki series now. So we kind of converge, which is great. We foresaw that happening. People at Valheim also kind of foresaw that thing happening and took a similar course.”

Norsfell’s motto is, “forge new genres that bring people together,” and Tribes of Midgard is the manifestation of this mission. It’s due to hit PlayStation 4, PS5 and PC via Steam on July 27th, published by Gearbox. It costs $20 for the standard edition, or $30 for a deluxe version with cosmetic items and two adorable pets. There’s no crossplay at launch, but Norsfell is actively working on that feature.

Maroda hopes the $20 price tag will allow some players to pick up a few copies of the game and give them to friends so they can all play together, all for the price of a single AAA title.

“You can absolutely play Tribes on your own, it’s super fun,” Maroda said. “But I think that the sense of scale that we wanted to have, with both that dichotomy between the giants and the players, really takes hold when you’re 10 players.”

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Game

‘Monark’ RPG by former ‘Shin Megami Tensei’ developers launches in October

A group of ex-Atlus developers who previously worked on the Shin Megami Tensei franchise has launched a brand new JRPG IP called Monark. The developers have just premiered its first trailer, showing the “new school RPG’s” characters and a brief view of its gameplay. Like the SMT and the Persona games by Atlus, it looks like Monark will have a nameless (probably also mostly silent) hero and a collection of colorful allies you can fight with. 

According to the latest issue of Weekly Famitsu as reported by Gematsu, Monark’s story follows the True Student Council that was put in charge of solving weird happenings in their school. The Hero, who becomes head of the council, has to choose an ally to solve the mysteries with from four characters. Each character has a different route, and the story itself has multiple endings. 

The battles are command based and uses a free move turn system, which wouldn’t come as a surprise for SMT and Persona fans. Based on the trailer, you’ll be able to control demons during battles — in fact, your demon underlings will be affected by your “Ego” points, and you can also alter their appearances and voices. The game’s “Ego” system scores you for the pride, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony and sloth you exhibit throughout your playthrough, based on the choices you make.

Monark will be available on October 14th, 2021 in Japan for the Nintendo Switch, the PS4 and the PS5. Unfortunately, there’s still no information on a Western release date, or even if there will be one in the future.

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Tech News

Demeo is the tabletop RPG experience VR gamers have been waiting for

My Mercurial romance with virtual reality just got a dungeon‘s worth of kindling to relight the flame.

The game’s called Demeo and it was developed and published by Resolution Games. It’s a dungeon crawler that’s played from a first-person perspective. The player oversees the movement of miniatures (think: 3D models made to look like the physical figurines people use to play tabletop roleplaying games) in digital dungeon that sits on top of a virtual table.

That might sound complex, but the best thing about Demeo is that the only thing you need to know how to do to dive right in is how to pick up a toy with your hands and play with it.

The premise is simple: pick from one of four characters and move your token around the dungeon. You’ll encounter treasures with items and spells you can equip. And when it’s time for combat, you’ll fling out card-based magics by hand and roll virtual dice to resolve conflict yourself.

In essence, it’s a VR game that tries to emulate the experience of playing a tabletop roleplaying game (TTRPG) with a few of your buddies. You take turns, roll dice, laugh, and try to win.

Credit: Resolution Games