Welcome to the RPG Files. Every Friday, we break down the week’s biggest news in the world of roleplaying games and serve it up fresh, all in one place. This week we have our Lion of Lannister meeting Moon Wizards in Destiny, the forty endings of Bioware’s Dragon Age: Inquisition culled down to “only a few,” and Elite: Dangerous putting Star Citizen to shame, plus more stories than you can shake a Lichdom at. Is that a thing? Well it is now, so let’s get started.
The big story this week is once again Destiny’s alpha test but perhaps not for the reason you might expect. Instead, the buzz is around the voice work of Mr. Peter Dinklage, who you might recognize as Tyrion “King of HBO” Lannister from the network’s Game of Thrones series. Dinklage voices your AI companion and, in brief snippets, we were able to hear his talents at work. Unfortunately, many players are walking away less than impressed, complaining that his delivery was one-note and monotone. One line in particular has risen to meme status, the titular “that wizard came from the moon” causing the number of moon wizard memes to rise to unprecedented levels.
Now, having experienced the test first-hand, I can tell you that it’s bad. Really bad, and I love Peter Dinklage. His ability to dig deep into his characters and improvise during some of Game of Throne’s most memorable moments has given me a newfound respect for the man. When I played Destiny, however, I naturally assumed that the voice work was temporary. It was flat and uninspired, every bit of it. It was, in fact, one of the biggest reasons why I said the game lacked personality. The line about the wizard, silly as it was, didn’t even faze me. It was just more of the same.
Lots of criticisms are popping up but I’m withholding judgment. It was obvious that there was no post-processing being done, which is something we’ve seen in trailers and can surely expect. It’s also something that could completely change how these lines come across in the live game. Other players are using the wizard line as proof positive that Bungie is incapable of writing a good story, and I’m not so sure of that either. I haven’t played a Halo campaign since Combat Evolved but politics has taught us that using quotes out of context is a dirty game. It’s also hard to take anyone seriously throwing out an entire game’s story after only hearing the five or so lines in the alpha.
In more positive Destiny news, the game may make its way to PC after all. According to Activision CEO Erik Hirshberg, it is a “heavy point of discussion” within the company. Like myself, our own David Jagneaux came away impressed after his hands-on, so let’s hope so.
While we’re talking sweeping roleplaying games, Bioware’s Dragon Age: Inquisition is a little less sweeping than we were lead to believe. Last week, Inquistion’s producer, Cameron Lee, tweeted that the game would feature a staggering “40 major endings with additional variations.” Well, cull that 40 down to “only a few,” according to executive producer Mark Darrah. It appears that the major endings Lee was referring to were actually the “additional variations” on the main conclusions. A little odd that the producer would be unclear on this point, no? Still, I could care less. We’ll leave the multi-dozen endings to The Witcher 3. As long as this is the Dragon Age we’ve waited for, I’ll be happy.
Moving to the sci-fi genre, Elite: Dangerous made waves at E3, blowing the minds of every reporter I’ve read covering it. Terry O’Brien made me sufficiently jealous describing his experience with the game. What I appreciate here is that the game seems incredibly immersive while also keeping flight relatively accessible. This stands in contrast to Star Citizen whose dogfighting module underwent heavy criticism this week for being overtly difficult for newcomers to pick up and play. Still, I have to wonder how much the Oculus Rift is coloring the writer’s perceptions on this one. Every report I’ve read featured the writers experiencing Elite as a VR demo, which you and I are unlikely to experience for some time.
If you’re a fan of free-form spellcrafting, you’re in for a good time to come. Terry got some hands-on time with Lichdom, a game that throws the idea of glass cannon mages out the window. And you know what? It’s about damn time. I don’t know about you, but in every book I’ve read, mages aren’t people to be trifled with. Sure, they might need to rest or drink teas or meditate, but when they’re ready for action, you’re pretty burnt toast. Hear that Blizzard fans? MY MAGE IS BETTER THAN YOUR ROGUE. In other news, Magicka is getting a sequel, so get ready to mash those WASDs.
While we’re on the topic of Blizzard, get your left-clicks ready because Diablo 3 is getting a patch! Reaper of Souls 2.1 will bring “Seasons” to the game, not unlike Diablo 2’s ladders. Players will start from level 1 and compete across leaderboards, earn special achievements, rewards, and new legendary items. The patch will also introduce Greater Rifts which challenge players to kill enemies against a timer. A new area dubbed “The Cesspool” is also planned – because after all that killing, you probably need a bath. The Cesspool environment will be accessible through Nephalem and Greater Rifts.
- Trine Enchanted Edition Coming as a Free Update on Steam: This separate version ports the original game to the Trine 2 engine and adds “missing features” such as online multiplayer.
- Classic Fallout Games are Available on Steam: After a long absence following their removal from GOG.com, the games have returned at 35% off.
- Torment: Tides of Numenera slips to Q4 2015: Wasteland 2 still on track for August release.
- Xenoblade Chronicles X is Coming: Nintendo fans rejoice! Thanks to Inktomi for the tip!
- Preview: HUNT: Horrors of the Gilded Age: I’m still unsure whether this will meet most people’s definition of an RPG our own Robert Lashley thinks so and says it’s pretty great.
That’s all from us, folks. Did we miss anything? Have a thought about moon wizards? Let us know in the comments below!
Christopher Coke / Chris has been an MMO player since the days of MUDs. He first began writing about them in 2008 with the blog MMO Madness. He hasn’t been able to stop since. Read his work here, listen to him on the official podcast, and follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight
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