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Kingdom Under Fire II

Upcoming RPGs of 2015: Day Three

We are three days into our coverage of the Upcoming RPGs of 2015 (Hump Day!) and we are really starting to get things rolling. It's been heartening to read comments about how this list has opened your eyes to a lot of games you weren't aware about before. On to even more relatively obscure titles!

Day One | Day Two | Day Four | Day Five

 

Graywalkers (PC/Mac/Linux)

Developed by: Dreamlords Digital

Release Date: Summer

A turn-based strategy RPG that takes influenced from pioneers like Jagged Alliance and XCOM where you will venture out and recruit up to 36 different characters in to your party with even more available. The point of the game is to unite your party under a single banner and fight the forces of evil.

 

Grim Dawn (PC)

Developed by: Crate Entertainment

Release Date: Q1

Some of the key members of the development team behind the excellent Titan Quest series have been working on this Action RPG over the past few years shortly after Iron Lore were shut down. Grim Dawn is set in the Victorian era where the human race is at the edge of extinction. Taking on the role of one of the denizens of this new reality, the world can no longer be saved, but players must instead learn to adapt in order to survive. The end result is to take back the world that has been overrun with demons and other nasties. The Steam Early Access title will see a proper release this year. This one’s been in Steam Early Access for a while but will see a proper release soon.

 

Grim Fandango Remastered (PC/Mac/Linux/PS4/Vita)

Developed by: Double Fine Productions

Release Date: January 27th

Grim Fandango was one of the best adventure games from the mind of Tim Schafer. Imagine everyone's surprise when during last E3, Double Fine announced that they would be remastering the game and release it this year? Aside from the usual upgrades in terms of high-definition graphics, the new edition features a fully orchestrated soundtrack and insightful developer commentary (the selling point in my opinion).

 

Guild of Dungeoneering (PC/Mac/Mobile)

Developed by: Gambrinous

Release Date: TBA

Putting a spin on the dungeon crawler genre, your role is not to venture through these maps but rather to make them yourself. You are dealt a number of Guild cards to lay down rooms, traps, monsters, and loot around the AI-controlled hero. As you build your dungeon, new adventurers will show up to test their mettle while you expand the deck of cards at your disposal with more powerful tools.

 

Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns (PC/Mac)

Developed by: ArenaNet

Release Date: TBA

Heart of Thorns, the first expansion for the crazy popular Guild Wars 2, will boast the fullest and most detailed maps of the game divided into three distinct zone types: the jungle floor, roots, and canopy. A new PvE Mastery progression system is in place and by exploring through the zones, overcoming challenges and defeating bosses, players can get mastery points to perform new tasks - like hang gliding or riding gusts of wind to traverse the jungle. Specializations will be added, allowing players to expand their chosen classes into a more focused role. Guild Halls make a return, acting as a social hub for your group.

 

Heart Forth, Alicia (PC)

Developed by: Alonso Martin

Release Date: Q4

A platformer RPG, players control a young sorceress named Alicia who must venture through the Void that she is trapped in after her friend, possessed by an evil spirit that laid waste to their world, banished her to this realm. The game looks remarkable, featuring a beautifully-detailed pixelated world, along with plenty of towns to visit and NPCs to talk to and obtain quests from.

 

Hollow Knight (PC/Mac/Linux/WiiU)

Developed by: Team Cherry

Release Date: Summer

A beautiful action adventure game featuring fluid 2D animation and RPG elements, Hollow Knight puts the focus on challenging skill-based gameplay and exploration. Players will unlock new skills and abilities, and even head into town to talk to different people, buy new items and equipment, and get some help if need be. I was happy to see this game get funded on Kickstarted, and hope to give it a try once it's out.

 

Homeworld Remastered

Developed by: Gearbox Software

Release Date: February 25th

One of the most renowned space sims ever made, Gearbox announced last year that they would be remastering Homeworld and with it bringing a large amount of upgrades to the games. We're talking upgraded textures, models, recreated audio and video, and a centralized multiplayer mode to allow players of either game to interact with one another. Homeworld Classic and Homeworld 2 Classic will also be included for those who like their games to remain in their purest form.

 

HuniePop (PC/Mac/Linux)

Developed by: HuniePot

Release Date: January 26th

Taking a dating sim, throw in a match-three puzzle game, mix in some rather... suspect writing, and you have HuniePop! The protagonist is a pathetic dude looking for a little love in his life, so he must woo one of the eight different women by using the puzzle system to raise points of affection and collect energy by matching talent, romance, flirtation, and sexuality tokens. Things like daily routines also come into play that will affect a girl's schedule and thus your relationship with the girls. This one is definitely for a very specific audience.

 

Hyper Light Drifter (PC/Mac/Linux/PS4/Vita/XBO/WiiU/Ouya)

Developed by: Heart Machine

Release Date: TBA

When this title first popped up on Kickstarter, everyone I knew was blown away by how incredible the 2D graphics looked on this indie game. Not only did the graphics look fluid, but the gameplay itself was awe-inspiring. Needless to say, the game earned a ridiculous amount of financial support from backers. The locales range from dangerous ruins to dark forests, with a multitude of baddies all dripping with murderous intent. This is easily one of my most anticipated titles for the year.

 

Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart (Vita)

Developed by: Compile Heart, Sting

Release Date: February 24th (NA), February 27th (EU)

A strategy RPG spin-off of the Hyperdimension Neptunia series, players will lead an army to fight against hordes of enemies on dynamic maps filled with traps, moving platforms, and other dangerous tiles. Characters themselves will be highly customizable. When not in battle, there is a "Sim Noire" mode that will let you customize Noire's abode with different furniture and accessories that can be unlocked with in-game points. As a fan of the series and big on SRPGs, I am definitely looking forward to this one.

 

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2: Sisters Generation (Vita)

Developed by: Compile Heart

Release Date: January 27th (NA), February 6th (EU)

I have already posted my review for Re;Birth 2, but the bottom line of this remake for Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 follows the same template as Re;Birth 1 - namely using Neptunia Victory's battle system and having a streamlined look to everything. The inclusion of the fun dungeon crawling mini-game, Stella's Dungeon, is a welcome addition.

 

Infinite Legacy (PC)

Developed by: Alex Connowell

Release Date: Q2

A throwback to the RPGs of yesteryear, Infinite Legacy follows the plight of four different characters as they venture through an open world in a nonlinear story where player choice has consequences. These characters all start off with a certain class that can be evolved info different specialization. There are different quests to take on that each may make a difference by upsetting the balance on the rest of the story.

 

Inner City Kids (PC/Mac/Vita)

Developed by: Jamo Games

Release Date: Spring

A street culture-themed strategy RPG, a group of friends find out that all of the adults in the city have been kidnapped and replaced by robots. To help stop their city from being overrun, they team up to take these metal beasts down. The biggest pull here is the ability to create weapons from thousands of different combinations to suit one's play style. 

 

InSomnia (PC/Mac/Linux)

Developed by: Studio MONO

Release Date: Q4

You don't see this too often - a game set in a dieselpunk universe, complete with open-world sandbox gameplay, real-time tactical combat and Noir storytelling. There are many different roles to choose from such as becoming a leader of the masses or a bounty hunter that takes on contract killings. The main character will be customizable from a wide variety of options with a broad range of progression with hundreds of skills and abilities to unlock. Events and missions will be randomly generated with a system that encourages an unorthodox approach.

 

Kingdom Come: Deliverance (PC/Mac/Linux/PS4/XBO)

Developed by: Warhorse Studios

Release Date: Q4

Set in the 15th century Kingdom of Bohemia in Europe, the brilliant Kingdom Come: Deliverance is set in a medieval period without any of the fantasy. There will be plenty in the way of character development and customization such as stats, conditions (like stamina, health, hunger, and sleep), skills, and different perks to unlock. If you're injured or exhausted, your ability to travel or fight will be impacted. Player reputation plays a big role as word will spread of your deeds (or misdeeds) causing NPCs to adjust your attitude when they're around you. Time will tell whether the developers will be able to balance historical accuracy and enjoyable gameplay.

 

Kingdom Under Fire II (PC/PS4)

Developed by: Blueside

Release Date: TBA

Under development since 2008, I let out a cheer when I saw that Kingdom Under Fire II would be seeing a localization at E3 last year. Sure, we knew since 2013 that it was an aim by the developers at Blueside, but there’s something that can be said when you have something tangible to prove it. Much like the other titles in the series, the game mixes RPG and RTS elements, only this time taking place in a persistent online world.

 

Kitaru (PC/Mac/Linux/Mobile)

Developed by: Aoineko Studios

Release Date: TBA

A fascinating-looking game that has some incredible CGI for a small independent studio, the story alone makes it sound epic in scope and the inclusion of celebrity talents like Yuri Lowenthal (Yosuke from Persona 4) and Tara Platt (Mitsuru Kirijo from Persona 3) means that this game will have the pedigree to support it. It will include a turn-based active-time battle system and a plethora of mini games to hopefully keep the action fresh and intriguing.

 

Kyn (PC/Mac/Linux)

Developed by: Tangrin

Release Date: Summer

A tactical RPG inspired by Syndicate Wars where players control up to six specialized units over 18 different individualized levels where morality plays a role and the enemies grow intelligent, learning your play style and adapting for future encounters.

 

Landmark (PC)

Developed by: Sony Online Entertainment

Release Date: TBA

What was once a tied product is now standalone. While Everquest Next is the next big step in the series, this one looks to be more like an open sandbox MMO for players to get really creative. Containing a gigantic, persistent world that will allow players to create their own content. While initially only allowing the ability to create simple structures, eventually the developers want to see players make their own dungeons, quests, towns, and really their own game.

 

Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC (PC/Vita/PSP)

Developed by: Nihon Falcom

Release Date: TBA

It has been a long time coming. Four years after the first chapter in the Sora no Kiseki series landed here in the West as Trails in the Sky, I have been dying to continue the adventures of Joshua and Estelle, especially considering the first left off on such an important cliffhanger. Argh, just typing about it makes me so restless!

 

Let It Die (PS4)

Developed by: Grasshopper Manufacture

Release Date: TBA

News came out from E3 last year that famed game creator Suda51 was working on a new title exclusive for the Playstation 4 that will see a proper release later this year. The first thing I wondered was, whatever happened to Lily Bergamo? I had fallen in love with that amazing-looking, cel-shaded art palette. It turns out that Suda had scrapped that project, taking the resources and injecting them into his new "extreme action" free-to-play title. While not much is known at this time, the designer did explain that the theme of death would be prevalent throughout the experience, and it's clear that the presence of player levels above the heads of characters from the trailer means we'll be seeing RPG-style progression at the very least.

 

Liege (PC/Mac/Linux/PS4/Vita/Mobile)

Developed by: Coda Games

Release Date: TBA

A party-based tactical RPG that looks to take the elements  of what made JRPGs great and put a modern twist on them with a more mature story and a focus on hand-drawn visuals. Planned as a trilogy, the core of the plot revolves around a political power struggle after a Kingdom finds itself in a civil war after its royalty mysteriously dies. Battles happen seamlessly - there is no break between roaming the map and getting into battle, which features a grid-based combat system.

 

Life is Strange (PC/PS4/PS3/XBO/X360)

Developed by: DONTNOD

Release Date: January 30th

Our site took a look at Life is Strange last year at Gamescom and came away wonderfully surprised for the direction that DONTNOD is taking with this episodic adventure game. By using a time manipulation mechanic that the developers used in their previous title, Remember Me, they are able to inject a fascinating concept into a genre that could use more original mechanics. 

 

Lithic (PC)

Developed by: Flintlock Studios

Release Date: TBA

After Peter Molyneux's failed attempt at the same concept with "B.C.", it will be fun to see what a team of independent developers are able to do by creating a strategy RPG that takes place in the Stone Age. The whole idea of Lithic is to take a primitive group of homosapians and help them evolve from mindless apes into intelligent beings capable of speech and making their own tools in an expansive single player story where you'll actually be able to see these beings grow over time right in front of you.

 

Lost Ark (PC)

Developed by: Smilegate

Release Date: TBA

When I first saw a trailer for Lost Ark, my jaw dropped to the ground. Here we have an Action RPG made my a team in South Korea who is able to make a game look a heck of a lot more impressive than what Blizzard can accomplish with Diablo III, all the while producing something that feels over the top in terms of making the player feel like a tool of absolute destruction. There are mounts to obtain, spectacular spells and abilities to learn, all set in highly detailed environments. Time will tell whether this game sees a localization, but you can bet I will be trying my damndest to play it regardless.

 

Lost Sea (PC/PS4/XBO)

Developed by: Eastasiasoft

Release Date: TBA

A 3D strategy action game that takes place in a procedurally generated archipelago after your plane crash lands on the group of islands, and it's the player objective to pull the crew of survivors together to find resources, upgrade your ship, and find a way to escape their predicament. 

 

Magicka 2 (PC/PS4)

Developed by: Pieces Interactive

Release Date: TBA

Take one of the most impressive isometric Action RPGs in a while with a robust magic system and make a sequel. Boom - money. The newest entry in the series will add thousands mores spell combinations using five different elements with full co-op support for all levels and game modes. Sure to be just as fun as the original.

 

Massive Chalice (PC/Mac/Linux/XBO)

Developed by: Double Fine Productions

Release Date: TBA

A love letter to the tactical RPGs of old from the creative mind of Brad Muir, Massive Chalice's main draw is its bloodline system where you can marry other heroes and produce offspring who, using a randomized genetic code, take after the best and worst traits of their parents. It is because of this feature that players will have to think several moves ahead in order to plan out a war that lasts for 300 years, which also means having to do their best with a party that faces permadeath.

 

Midora (PC)

Developed by: Epic Minds

Release Date: TBA

A “love letter to the classic 2D action-adventure games”, the game reminds me a lot of The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap (my favorite Zelda game) with its pixel art and detailed character sprites - it looks brilliant. The developers are promising an Early Access version on Steam soon for those looking to give this one a try as quickly as possible.

 

Miko Gakkou Monogatari: Kaede Episode (PC/Vita/Mobile)

Developed by: Xinoro

Release Date: Winter

An adventure RPG doujin title, you play as the young girl Kaede who finds love in the winter time (don't we all?) while staying at her school campus on holiday. Through a series of dialogue trees, you can advance the storyline in a multitutde of directions The developers are promising 30-40 hours worth of content.

 

miniFlake (PC/Mac/Linux/Vita)

Developed by: Wolfgame

Release Date: TBA

Also known as SilverQuest: Gaiden, miniFlake is a unique 1-bit dungeon crawler with a style that resembles the original Rogue. Attempting to evoke the look of player handbooks and rulebooks, it's certainly an eye-catching design. The developers are attempting to create the largest object  library of any game in its genre, allowing players to add custom content to the game as easily as possible.

 

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (3DS)

Developed by: Capcom

Release Date: February 13th (NA and EU)

In what is being billed as the penultimate Monster Hunter game in the series, this one will have it all - tons of monsters, environments, quests, and a great variety of equipment to obtain. It will also be the first time the series has fully integrated online multiplayer, a feature I’m sure a lot of people will appreciate.

 

Moon Hunters (PC/Mac/PS4/Vita)

Developed by: Kitfox Games

Release Date: Q4

Successfully funded last year on Kickstarter and a part of the Square Enix Collective initiative will see a proper release this year. A pretty cool-looking, procedurally-generated game is all about building your player’s reputation and even building your own village to establish a presence.

 

Moonman (PC/Mac/Linux)

Developed by: Ben Porter

Release Date: Q4

Moonman is a 2D procedurally-generated adventure game set on a nocturnal planet orbited by many moons. Our hero Moonman explores different regions and biomes looking for fragments of moons in order to build a sun. The gameplay mixes of platforming, resource collecting, crafting, trading, combat and puzzle solving, with a new unique generated planet ready to explore with populated towns, dungeons, forests, caves, tombs, and castles.

 

Moonrise (Mobile)

Developed by: Undead Labs

Release Date: TBA

A monster-collecting MMO for mobile platforms that takes some of the best elements from the genre and places its own unique spin on it. Much like Pokemon, you engage in battle with other trainers, or "wardens" as they're called here, or fight against other monsters, called "Solari" which you can recruit (not capture) to join your side. Also, not only will the monsters fight, but you can join the battle as well with a selection of spells and protect your party. You'll be able to do things like swap skills around between your Solari as you see fit to change movesets. With a persistent online connection, while venturing out to different areas and dungeons, players may come across one another and decide to chat or challenge one another to a duel. It's a fun little twist on a genre that could use some wider appeal.

 

Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord (PC)

Developed by: TaleWorlds Entertainment

Release Date: TBA

I soaked a ton of hours into the original Mount & Blade, building my army from a scant few soldiers into a giant mass of bodies storming towns and castles in an overwhelming fashion. The sequel to the military-building simulation RPG will put a heavier emphasis on the campaign, with bigger and bloodier battles, a focus on the drama around these skirmishes, and a lot more exploration.

 

NEBULA (PC)

Developed by: gruberdearujo

Release Date: Q4

A sidescroller action game that has all the features you'd want from the progression side of things: with exploration, puzzles, and item and weapon upgrades to keep people engaged, all set inside a non-linear story.

 

Nova-111 (PC/Mac/Linux/PS4/Vita)

Developed by: Funktronic Labs

Release Date: Early

A turn-based real-time puzzle game, the first I have ever heard being made, Nova-111 tells the story of a group of 111 scientists that are trapped in space so a crew of astronauts are sent out to try and rescue them. With a wide variety of enemy types and environments to come across, the gameplay is always frenetic in a good sense. The ship you'll be able to use is upgradable that chanes the way it functions. With a depth to the strategy and methodical combat, this one looks to be plenty of fun.

 

Nuclear Throne (PC/Mac/Linux/PS4/PS3/Vita)

Developed by: Vlambeer

Release Date: 2015

A brutal roguelike about mutants fighting their way through a post-apocalyptic world, all with a ton of weaponry at ones disposal and RPG progression. One of the great things about Nuclear Throne is how the developers have ran a clinic in how to treat a game in Early Access - constant updates, streaming content, plenty of player feedback, and a willingness to be as transparent as possible. 

 

Check back tomorrow for Day Four of our coverage!

Day One | Day Two | Day Four | Day Five

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