I admit – since we (me and my friends) started our board games sessions I have been obsessed with extending this experience even when I am away from them and could play such games alone or with them over the internet. If you’ve checked my blog you probably have noticed some of the articles in which I claimed such experience is non-existent for a PC or a console (to some extend). And pretty much it was the case in reality – the only tactical RPGs (or CRPGs) were either old classical RPG titles (since the dawn of the PC games) or JRPGs of which I am not much found of (grinding gameplay, spiky hear styles, melodramatic quests and mincing wanna-be heroes). As I wrote in my previous articles – one of the games (Chaos Chronicles) I found in early 2013 (and which should have been long time ago released) has been sadly cancelled.
However, as it seems, not everything on this front is so “grim” as it seems – the universe has heard my pleas. I have found two (still unreleased however) games, which might also attract your attention and hopefully they won’t share Chaos Chronicles’ fate. Behold – Blackguards and Divinity – Original Sin! I must admit – both look really stunning and interesting. And not the least – I have a really good feeling that they will make it and will be published.
Divinity – Original Sin is a game by Larian Studios, which was successfully funded via Kickstarter. It should have been already released as of November, but they’ve decided to hold it and polish it further, so it could sell better as a finished product as per polygon.com. Release date is now set for February 2014. As eager I am, I could only agree with the developers – better wait couple of months and work on it instead of having a product which might leave us disappointed. Good thing is the game is in the hands of a serious studio famous with their games and has been backed up by fans, so no doubt it will be out and it will be good. And it will even support multiplayer and fan-made missions/scenarios.
Just couple of days ago, when I was browsing Steam for anything I missed tagged as a tactical RPG I found Blackguards by Daedalic Entertainment.
For the really impatient – game is already out as early access and you could get it on Steam – http://store.steampowered.com/app/249650/: The Early Access Version includes:
– First chapter at start
– Second chapter end of November
– Third chapter mid of December
– Fourth chapter end of December
– Fifth chapter end of January
It looks really good and polished, although it is still in a kind of a beta state and its first chapter is available.
As it seems both games will be released more or less in the same time. However, although I am sure Blackguards will be an amazing game, I am afraid to risk it right now. I still remember reading about Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny – a really disappointing and unfinished product (more at Metacritic – http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/realms-of-arkania-blade-of-destiny). If anyone has already tried Blackguards – I will be happy you to share some thoughts with me in the comments if it is good or bad and if the 10% off now is good enough reason for the risk of receiving a game in a beta stage.
Meanwhile if you are really eager to play a tactical game (despite setting is far away from fantasy) I suggest you to have a look at Ace patrol (Ace patrol is about WW1 and Ace Patrol: Pacific Skies covers the Pacific theatre of WW2) from Sid Meier.
I am personally a WW2 theme enthusiast (still playing War thunder) and found it to be a really good little game for couple of turns before sleep.
So at the end I must say – it seems there are still developers found of the idea of making good CRPGs and the genre might not be dead after all. Future will show for sure, but I am really positive that good days are to come for every fan of the genre.