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The RPG Files: The Week in RPG News - May 16th 2014

Column By Christopher Coke on May 16, 2014

Welcome to the first edition of the RPG Files: Week in Review! Each week we round up the biggest RPG stories from around the web, making it our mission to catch you up on all that's happening in the world of roleplaying games. With our own brand of color commentary, of course. Ready to gather your party and venture forth? Then check your inventory, grab a potion or two, and let's dungeon crawl our way through the week's news!

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Get your wallets ready Dragon Age: Inquisition fans, Bioware is poised, ready to dip their little finger in. Then their full fist. Revealed this week, the upcoming game's Inquisitor's Edition will sell for $170. It's kind of like a Collector's Edition but with a reptile-skin box. Also, a journal, quill and ink pot, some lockpicks that I'm sure are totally legal, tarot cards, and an artbook. There is more, like the SteelBook Case and a handful or Orlesian coins, but for now can we just agree that $170 is a whole lot for a game whose last entry was less than impressive? This is a diehard box for diehards, so let's hope the game is as good as it looks.

We previewed the upcoming outer space sandbox RPG, Void Expanse, and, hey, it actually looks pretty good. I'm not a big fan of 2D space games but Atomic Torch is pushing all the right buttons. Six classes, including two that focus specifically on trade and commerce? A joinable pirate faction? I'm like Michael Douglas in Romancing the Stone except I'm... romancing the spaceship? Something like that.

Next generation console owners rejoice! Diablo 3 Ultimate Evil Edition is hitting stores August 19th. This version will come pre-packaged with Reaper of Souls and a pair of pauldrons that would make any orc proud. The Ultimate Evil Edition also features an Avenger Kills system, allowing any monster that slays you to hop through your friends list leaving havoc in its wake. Also, dodging. When are we going to get that, Blizzard?

Speaking of Diablo 3, the game's Lead Producer has left Blizzard to work on Star Citizen. Losing Alex Mayberry is a sad loss for Blizzard but, happily, Alex has echoed the thoughts of many an EVE player when he tweeted, “After a decade of swords and shields and orcs, it's awesome to be working in space!” We at MMORPG wish him and Cloud Imperium the best. Also, please pull an Oprah and give everyone reading this column a free copy of the game. It's the only option in a situation like this, really.

The NES classic, Shadowgate, is getting another shot at life this summer. I never played the original so maybe someone can enlighten me on how this is different from the excellent, Legend of Grimrock. Either way, Grimrock was exceptional and hooked me deep with its grid-based movement, so if this is half the game, I'll be happy. It looks like a faithful update to the original, too, so series fans can now begin raising the roof.

CD Projekt Red, makers of the highly anticipated The Witcher 3, co-founder Marcin Iwinski spoke to Eurogamer about the touchy topic of console resolutions. As has been the case for some time, PS4 seems to have the upper hand but Iwinski cautions that the difference between 720p and 1080p is “really more of a PR differentiation.” Meanwhile, PC gamers shake their heads and look forward to 4k.

Borderlands 2 came to the vita this Tuesday and things don't look good. In their review, IGN  cited “constant performance issues,” reduced visuals, and poor touch controls as reasons for a 5.4/10 review score.  Too bad, since it seems ever more likely that the Vita is just going to be a port machine. But can we reflect for a moment that we have Borderlands 2 on a handheld? If you're a fan of the franchise, we also have three behind the scenes videos digging into the art and animation of the series.

Bound by Flame also released and, shockingly, was also bad. If you're catching sarcasm there, it's not just you. I know, this was technically last week, but I had to bring it up. Now that the cards are on the table can we all just admit that the hype surrounding this game had a lot to do with the lack of RPGs on this generation of consoles? It's almost like we forgot that Spiders also developed Mars: War Logs, the similarly flawed, let's-swear-to-be-mature action-RPG from 2013. I admire Spiders. They're a talented developer but developing triple-A games on a double-A budget just compromises what they're capable of doing.

DOTA 2 has more subscribers than World of Warcraft! At least according to the International Business Times. Except they're wrong. Being a free-to-play game, no one is actually “subscribing” to play. And even if they did, they probably still wouldn't have that 7.86 million since, as well all know, free-to-play games are a lot better at convincing players to try their games rather than actually stick around. Still, congratulations to the DOTA team for having one of, if not the, consistently highest played game on Steam.

Quick Hits:

And that's your week in review! Let us know what you think of the new feature in the comments below!

Christopher Coke / Chris has been an MMO player since the days of MUDs and an RPG player before that. Maybe it's the stats. Read his RIFT column, listen to him on the official podcast, subscribe to his blog, or follow him on twitter: @GameByNight 

Christopher Coke / Chris has been a fan of MMOs since the mid-1990s when he cut his teeth on MUDs. These days he scours the internet for the latest and greatest multiplayer gaming experiences.

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