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Tom Clancy's The Division

Dxdcbp 8 / 10

Tom Clancy's The Division Review

An excellent foundation that is hopefully built on, this is a solid RPG-shooter hybrid that lacks in variety but somehow keeps you well invested all the same.

Upcoming RPGs of 2015: Day Five

We are in our final day of coverage of the Upcoming RPGs of 2015. We are covering 200 different upcoming titles that you should be excited about for one reason or another. Now, since I have been basically doing this a little bit on the fly, I wanted to bring up a few games that I forgot to cover from before right at the start of this article since they deserve mentioning. Then, we will go straight into the remaining titles in alphabetical order.

Thank you very much for being a part of this journey, and I hope some of these games caught your eye.

Day One | Day Two | Day Three | Day Four

 

Age of Decadence (PC)

Developed by: Iron Tower Studio

Release Date: TBA

The Age of Decadence is a pseudo-isometric turn-based RPG by Iron Tower Studio. Set in a low-magic post-apocalyptic world inspired by the fall of the Roman Empire, The Age of Decadence wants to return to the roots of the genre by focusing on the choices and consequences players make during their journey. Expect a depth of skills, branching quests, and a comprehensive dialogue tree to enjoy.

 

Airship Q (PS4/Vita)

Developed by: Miracle Positive

Release Date: TBA

Described as being a Japanese version of the smash indie hit Terraria, you are a human that has been turned into a cat after getting lost on an alien planet. The only person that can turn you back into a human is the mysterious Empress who you don't right know where she ran off to. On your adventure to find her whereabouts, you must craft and upgrade weapons and items while dealing with monsters inside a procedurally-generated world. Where this game differs from others of its kind is the focus on air combat, allowing you to build and upgrade your airship. Airship Q will be a narrative-driven sandbox game that allows up to four players via online multiplayer.

 

Evoland 2: A Slight Case of Spacetime Continuum Disorder (PC/Mac)

Developed by: Shiro Games

Release Date: Q2

I wasn't aware of this game until someone brought it to my attention a couple days into publishing these articles, but I wanted to mention it on here since the original was enjoyed by fans of the genre for how it let you play through the history of JRPG visuals - from 8-bit all the way to three-dimensional characters. The developers are planning a more complex story, new gameplay mechanics, varying art styles, new puzzles and challenges, and more.

 

Might & Magic Heroes 7 (PC)

Developed by: Limbic Entertainment

Release Date: TBA

The latest entry in the turn-based strategy series, the game is set during a bloody civil war that erupted after the Empress of the Holy Empire was murdered, and the council of six advisors are doing whatever they can to find an heir to fill the throne and stop the fighting from happening. Expect many of the enjoyable fantasy RPG elements you'd come to expect from the series including the ability to recruit various monsters to join their army in order to fight other armies. 

 

Tales of Zestiria (PS3)

Developed by: Bandai Namco

Release Date: Summer

Bandai Namco and Producer Hideo Baba made waves when they announced that the latest mothership title in their coveted Tales series would be seeing a release in the West the same year it would be out in Japan, a total 180 from how things have been up until this point especially with the Xillia games. They have said that the localization would be out “no more than six months” after it was out in Japan, which was just last week, so expect to play this one come early summertime.

 

The Awakened Fate Ultimatum (PS3)

Developed by: Nippon Ichi Software

Release Date: March

The sequel to The Guided Fate Paradox, this roguelike dungeon crawler that seemingly sets a tone much darker than the original. Celestia is on the brink of collapse, so in order to survive against the devils, they have created the "Fate Awakening Crystal" that can turn a destined human into God. While walking home from school, a boy is stabbed in the heart by a group of devils, but saved by a mysterious girl and brought to Celestia. He awakens to discover he is the Awakening Crystal's chosen one, and must help Celestia fight against the devils using his newly-obtained powers.

 

The Banner Saga 2 (PC/PS4/XBO)

Developed by: Stoic

Release Date: TBA

Not much is known about the upcoming sequel to last year's critically acclaimed strategy title as it was only announced last month during The Game Awards in Las Vegas, but we can only hope the game is still able to deliver that same emotional reverence and beautiful art that the first one did. Hopefully they also did some work on the combat to make it more interesting.

 

Tom Clancy's The Division (PC/PS4/XBO)

Developed by: Ubisoft Massive

Release Date: TBA

Blending third-person tactical shooter and RPG elements together, the story of The Division tells of a fragile society where the United States has collapsed due to a deadly disease, and in order to survive in the aftermath, people band together in squads to take on different tasks such as gathering items from supply drops, all inside a realistic backdrop where players must play things strategically since a single wrong move can make a huge difference. The RPG elements come in with giving players a large variety of equipment to find and use; experience points to earn and level up off of; weapon and armor customization made available; and generally a progression-focused structure to help driver the game’s persistence forward. Let's hope this one actually comes out this year.

 

The Fruit of Grisaia (PC)

Developed by: Frontwing

Release Date: October

One of the most popular visual novels, the Grisaia trilogy has been stuck in Japan up until Sekai Project decided to throw up a Kickstarter to localize the entire trilogy. Each game has a substantial length to them with each character the protagonist can court having a pretty lengthy arc to follow in this first outing. The version Sekai is promising is a PC port of the Vita version which includes new scenes and CG not included with the original.

 

The Hero Trap (PS4/Vita)

Developed by: Smashworx

Release Date: Spring

The Hero Trap plays in a top-down isometric perspective where you defeat monsters inside randomized levels in order to earn gold that can be used to purchase upgrades or even the souls of dead warriors who you can recruit up to two of into your group as followers that you can switch between at the push of a button.

 

The Iconoclasts (PC)

Developed by: Konjak

Release Date: 2015

This pixelated 2D adventure RPG is very pretty indeed, standing up there with Cave Story with its incredible art design. A young female mechanic Robin ventures out into a world where hobbies like hers are considered illegal, uncovering the exact reasoning behind this. The Iconoclasts has been in development hell for a pretty long time as the creator has left and come back to it, so I am not entirely sure if it will find its way into our hands this year, but I found it necessary to give it the attention it deserved to hopefully give it that push.

 

The Legend of Zelda (Wii U)

Developed by: Nintendo

Release Date: TBA

After Link Between Worlds experimented with the open world concept by making available tools at the beginning and letting you go wherever you want afterwards (which I guess also harkened back to the roots of the franchise and its nonlinear presentation), the first original Zelda title for the Wii U is looking to go big on the company's first HD platform by rethinking the conventions of the series like its narrow story progression and gameplay designs. The developers have talked about giving the player multiple ways to find and enter a dungeon, and the possibility that action could be occurring around the world map at any time. It's an exciting prospect for one of my favorite properties and could be a strong system seller.

 

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask HD (3DS)

Developed by: Nintendo

Release Date: February 13th

Majora's Mask is a hell of a beast. Perhaps the most polarizing Zelda game to ever get released, especially considering what came before it, people lauded Nintendo for willing to go a little nuts with their normally safe handling of their properties, while others couldn't get over the fact that there was this time mechanic that always made you feel like you were in a hurry to get things done. 

I personally am a huge fan of Majora's Mask, so I was excited to find out that Nintendo would be giving it the enhanced remake treatment like it did with Ocarina of Time. Changes include a time bar in place of the ornamental clock; the ability to use the Song of Double Time to jump to any time in the future in hour increments rather than 12 hour spans; a far more clear and concise Bomber's Notebook; and even redesigned boss fights meant to relieve some of the frustrations.

 

The Repopulation (PC)

Developed by: Above and Beyond Technologies

Release Date: Second Half

An upcoming sci-fi MMORPG that has high ambitions. Features such as city building, vehicle combat, and an open sandbox world are just some of the things that this title is promising. Players will be able to band together to create their own thriving civilizations complete with workshops, homes, wall defenses, and more. There will be a multitude of ways to advance in the game whether politically, militarily, or economically, with a clearly heavy focus on player-made content such as custom ranks that nations can bestow on their citizens.

 

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PC/PS4/XBO)

Developed by: CD Projekt RED

Release Date: May 19th

This one saw a little bit of a delay after originally being slated for 2014 all the way to May of this year. Announced as the final chapter in the saga, the game looks absolutely stunning. Not only did the rich, hand-crafted world look completely immersive, but every facet of the game is non-linear. Main storyline missions and side quests went together so cohesively you could barely tell the difference between the two. 

Boasted by the developers to include over 100 hours of normal gameplay and over 80 different monsters to encounter, The Witcher 3 is already shaping up to be the next great Western RPG. It was the winner of our “One to Watch” award of the RPG Site Awards 2014 for good reason.

 

Timespinner (PC/Mac/Linux/PS4/Vita/3DS)

Developed by: Lunar Ray Games

Release Date: Q4

A 2D Metroidvania title whose main gameplay mechanic is the ability to traverse through time, our protagonist Lunais attempts escape through time in order to elude the robotic beasts of different sizes and intricate designs that pursue her. Lunais will be able to manipulate the flow of time itself in order to defeat the mechanized enemies. The developers are promising a rich story in the vein of Star Ocean with the deep exploration of a game like Castlevania. 

 

Titan Souls (PC/Mac/Linux/PS4/Vita)

Developed by: Acid Nerve

Release Date: Q1

Titan Souls was another one of those games that I had the pleasure of getting my hands on at the indie section during Playstation Experience, and I came away with a proper understanding that I am terrible at video games. The game is set in a sprawling world full of these gigantic beasts of which there are over a couple dozen to slay. Like in the vein of Shadow of the Colossus, these foes are a puzzle unto themselves, but is presented with steep difficulty where reading moves and timing your attacks is of the utmost. You will also learn to embrace the notion of death in a video game as I have. Over. And over. And over. And then you will learn from your mistakes as I have and ultimately defeat the monster and feel the same strong sense of rewarding satisfaction that I did.

 

Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters (PS3/Vita)

Developed by: Arc System Works

Release Date: March 10th (NA), TBA (EU)

Part visual novel, part turn-based RPG, players take on a high school student who transfers to Kurenai High School in Shinjuku. After being attacked by an evil spirit while visiting the school, you join a group called the Gate Keeprs, a magazine company that is actually a front for a ghost hunting society. The only way to take down these spiritual beings is relying on your five senses and your wits in order to defeat them.

 

Torment: Tides of Numenera (PC/Mac/Linux)

Developed by: inXile Entertainment 

Release Date: Q4

A spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment, one of the most revered role-playing games of all time. The focus on character development and world interaction were placed in higher importance than the gameplay itself, though the combat here will work to complement the storytelling. The complex character dialogue tree will also make a welcome return.

 

Toukiden: Kiwami (PS4/Vita)

Developed by: Omega Force

Release Date: March 31st (NA), March 27th (EU)

rather enjoyed the original Toukiden: The Age of Demons when it came to the Vita last year, and had a lot of good things to say about its storytelling and interesting characters, but felt it could have done a lot more with its quest design and provide some alleviation from its repetitiveness (which is admittedly inherent to the style of game). While it may not be the sequel I was hoping for, Kiwami expands upon the original by providing more monsters and equipment, along with additional story chapters that explain the origin of the Slayers.

 

TowerClimb (PC)

Developed by: Davioware

Release Date: TBA

An absolutely charming new indie title where the purpose is to do exactly like its namesake tells you to do - climb a tower by any means possible, including jumping, swimming, and even flying. Said towers are procedurally generated and stocked full of dangerous monsters and crazy traps that will require split-second thinking to survive this brutal roguelike platformer. The game weaves in RPG-style progression by allowing you to increase stats like your climbing speed and hand grip like while also letting you pick up items that can help you on your journey upwards. It also has one of the most amazing Super Nintendo-inspired soundtracks I have heard in a while, so definitely check this one out.

 

Tree of Savior (PC)

Developed by: IMC Games

Release Date: TBA

Originally titled Project R1 for the longest time, the long-in-development title is most known for being helmed by the "father of Ragnarok Online" Hakkyu Kim, who only played a small part in developing Ragnarok Online 2 for Gravity Interactive before parting ways with the developer before it was released.

Featuring over 80 different classes and more than 200 monster types, Tree of Savior will take place in a large and expansive world with that same 2.5D look of its predecessor. It technically hasn’t been confirmed for the West, but last year the developers did put out a survey gauging interest for a Western localization, and based on the excitement around the recent beta tests, fans should cross their fingers

 

UnderTale (PC/Mac)

Developed by: Toby Fox

Release Date: TBA

Taking place in an underground world teeming with monsters, everything is one big unknown in this mysterious land. Trying to make out who is hostile and who is friendly is part of the challenge in this game that features beautiful hand-drawn cutscenes, fascinating puzzles, and solid writing. In every encounter, players will be given the opportunity to fight, show mercy, or perform different acts to sway their inclination and negotiate your way out of a bad situation. 

 

Upside-Down Dimensions (PC/Mac/Vita)

Developed by: Hydra Interactive

Release Date: Q2

With a pretty color paper-crafted and origami design, this action RPG is takes after titles like Paper Mario and Zelda but weaves in stealth elements. You take control of a boy named Ryuu and girl named Keiko who are separated by different dimensions. The gameplay is centered around changing between these two dimensions in order to defeat the evil Dark Shogun who threatens to overthrow the kingdom and consume it in darkness. I'm totally a fan of the paper-based look, especially how the enemies burst into confetti after they're killed.

 

VA-11 HALL-A (PC/Vita)

Developed by: Sukeban Games

Release Date: Early

In VA-11 HALL-A, you play as a young female bartender who decides to forego an offer to work at a research institute and instead thought she would be better suited in the field of alchemy by mixing drinks for customers inside this unsuspecting dive bar, listening to different stories they would tell no matter how belligerent they became. I really enjoyed what I have played for it so far, and you can check out my impressions of an early build here

 

Vagante (PC/Mac/Linux)

Developed by: Nuke Nine

Release Date: Middle

An action RPG that resembles Spelunky, this platformer RPG mixes roguelike elements such as permanent death and procedurally-generated levels with the ability to learn and cast magic and the ability to choose a character class with certain affinities that can be enhanced when leveling up. There is a ton of loot to obtain and equip or use, but some of it can be cursed when means it will forever be equipped until you find a scroll to remove it from your person. It's neat a neat little twist on a genre that's been pretty popular nowadays.

 

War for the Overworld (PC/Mac/Linux)

Developed by: Subterranean Games

Release Date: February

A dungeon management game inspired by games like Dungeon Keeper that mixes RPG, RTS, and god game elements, you play as a malevolent lord looking to build the ultimate underground lair made up of various rooms, and it's your role to protect it from invading heroes with obstacles such as traps and other defenses with those rooms. Players will be able to train minions to do their bidding by mining for resources. The developers will be releasing a mod tool called the "Dungeoneer" that will allow people to create their own maps, game modes, and campaigns.

 

Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade (PC/PS4/XBO)

Developed by: Behaviour Interactive

Release Date: Early

Partnering with Games Workshop, Eternal Crusade is a free-to-play science fiction MMORPG that will have players choose from four different factions: Orks, Space Marines, Eldar, and Chaos Space Marine. Not only will each faction have its own unique play style, but will even make changes to the user interface itself. The story will be written by bestselling author Graham McNeill who has written several popular Warhammer novelizations in the past.

Gameplay is set in third-person with skill-based combat that focuses on twitch reactions, allowing you to quickly move and roll around to evade enemies or to get a better angle. The world is practically the size of an entire planet made up of several continents that are each up to 400km in size, taking about an hour for a person to cross one of these massive continents.

 

Warlocks (PC/Mac/Linux)

Developed by: One More Level

Release Date: April

A multiplayer action RPG set in a fantasy world from the creators of the brilliant Risk of Rain, Warlocks focuses on wave-based gameplay and some real pretty pixel art to set its presentation apart. With local multiplayer support for cooperative play where the focus is playing your damn class from a bunch of different character types, working together is important in order to manage all the chaos around your group.

 

Warside (PC)

Developed by: Kraken Games

Release Date: TBA

An online 2D shooter where you fight with a group of soldiers who are on the hunt for resources in order to survive. Looking a little bit like Awesomenauts with its MOBA-style gameplay but done a bit more realistically, you'll be able to create your own customizable soldier that can be upgraded with a deep skill tree along with choosing from different class types and specializations.

 

Wayward Terran Frontier: Zero Falls (PC)

Developed by: Splad

Release Date: July

Bouncing back from a failed Kickstarter with a rather successful one, Zero Falls emphasis exploration and nonlinear strategizing, giving you multiple options to tackle any given mission. Aside from that there is also the ability to upgrade your very own space station all the while trying to create the best warship you possibly can in order to invade a heavily guarded planet. Splad is putting the effort into making a game with hundreds of hours of content with more being added after the game is released.

 

Wild Season (PC/Mac/Linux/Mobile/PS4/Vita/XBO/Ouya)

Developed by: Quickfire Games

Release Date: TBA

A farming simulation game influenced by Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing that also shares many of the same core game mechanics, allowing players to build their own farms and build their own relationships. You will be able to choose between a male or female character with over eight different bachelors or bachelorettes to romance all the way into marriage. Where this game differs is that how dynamic the relationships can be: friends, lovers, wives/husbands, and even creepy stalkers.

By providing a more mature tone to the experience, players will discover that every single person in town has their own unique history that they have to work through. However, there will also be plenty of opportunities to relax by doing things like attending fairs and festivals, participate in horse racing events, and much more. This game is far more robust than your average farm game. 

 

Witchmarsh (PC/Mac)

Developed by: Lou Sgarbi and Joe Conway

Release Date: December

An investigative RPG set during 1920’s Massachusetts, you and a group of characters set out into the dangerous wilderness to try and solve the mystery around a string of mass murders (I can already taste the Lovecraft in the air). The game will feature a blend of platforming and real-time elements inspired by games like Dark Souls and structured like Baldur’s Gate.

 

Xanadu Next (PC)

Developed by: Nihon Falcom

Release Date: TBA

You just have to mention the name Nihon Falcom and I'm totally there. As a company I have deeply respected for the longest time, it's great to see so many of their games get localized even despite how some of their titles have scripts larger than the Lord of the Rings books. Xanadu Next was released ten years ago in Japan, and is an action RPG that plays like a cross between Zelda and Falcom's other popular series, Ys, with a bigger focus on adventuring. I will buy this for the excellent soundtrack alone.

 

Xenoblade Chronicles (New3DS)

Developed by: Monster Games

Release Date: April (NA), April 2nd (EU)

A port of the Nintendo Wii RPG that will be exclusive to the New 3DS system set to launch next month in North America and Europe, utilizing the upgraded platform's stronger CPU to handle  From what I have seen from impressions, the port job will be a rather barebones, but for those looking for a large-scale RPG that you can carry in your bag, this will certainly be a solid choice.

 

Xenoblade Chronicles X (WiiU)

Developed by: Monolith Soft

Release Date: TBA

Monolith Soft's next epic RPG is set to finally be released later this year. Taking place in an enormous world, players will be able to control giant mechs known as Dolls in order to traverse this highly explorable landscape with a seamless map that will be five times the size of Xenoblade Chronicle's with a story that will unfold in a multitude of directions. Players will be able to join one of eight different unions all with their specializations and set of quests to tackle.  Parties will also consist of up to four different characters with you controlling the leader and the rest controlled by AI. All in all, Monolith Soft has said that players can expect over 300 hours of content to enjoy.

 

Y2K (PC/PS4/Vita/WiiU)

Developed by: Ackk Studios

Release Date: Late

I was immediately struck by how beautiful Y2K looked when I got to play it in December. While it does take some cues from Earthbound, there are plenty of interesting things it does on its own that helps it become its own fun experience. For one thing, there are plenty of puzzles to solve that range from the simple to the rather complex (though in my case, even simple puzzles can become difficult as the developers got to witness).

The surreal visuals are amazing, playing with all sorts of color schemes all set to a high contrast. The characters themselves are intentionally out of place in these abstract environments they found themselves in. I enjoyed Two Brothers, so I'm looking forward to Ackk Studios' follow-up title. 

 

Yakuza 5 (PS3)

Developed by: Sega

Release Date: Q3

Sony made waves during their press conference at the Playstation Experience event by announcing that they would be bringing over Yakuza 5 to the West later this year. Set directly after the events of Yakuza 4, players will have five different playable protagonists to choose from including main man Kazuma Kiryu, all rendered in a new graphics engine along with a wider selection of mini-games to participate in, more places to visit, and more side stories to partake in.

For a series that seemed destined to remain in Japan (thanks in no small part to the lackluster sales here), it appears that the company likely invested some of their own money to make it happen. Will this mean a chance that we may also get to see Yakuza Zero in our neck of the woods? Time (and money) will tell.

 

Yes, Your Grace (PC/Mac/Linux)

Developed by: Brave At Night

Release Date: August

A title that blends text-based adventure with strategy elements. You play as Grey King Eryk whose role it is to listen to the please made by the procession of visitors who visit through throne room on a daily basis. As a king, your decisions obviously have repercussions - like Fable 3 but not disappointing - thanks to the Dynamic Perception System where every action affects peoples' judgment towards you. These choices range from whether to feed a village or order your troops to a certain region, but everything is limited to the amount of resources the king has been allocated, making decisions all the more vital as time goes on.

You can earn resources by doing a whole host of things including engaging with trade with other kings and merchants; pillage enemy farms and villages; and more. It is important to strike a healthy balance as morale plays a key role. Skew too much towards an evil dictator, and you may find yourself on the chopping block to be replaced by a new ruler.

 

Zodiac (Vita/Mobile)

Developed by: Kobojo

Release Date: TBA

A persistent online RPG for the small screen, Zodiac has a whole host of top-level Japanese game developers working on this class-based RPG with French studio Kobojo, including composer Hitoshi Sakimoto whose previous works included Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy XII; Kazushige Nojima who has been the Scenario Writer for most of the Final Fantasy series installments. Aside from that, the game will also feature asynchronous multiplayer that will either have a live player filling the boots of a party member or can be replaced by an AI if they leave. The next time they log back in, they will be able to obtain any experience points earned during the battles. 

 

That's it for our coverage of the Upcoming RPGs of 2015! Let us know what games you are excited for.

Day One | Day Two | Day Three | Day Four

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