As is appropriate for a convention with the name “Game Developers Conference,” GDC seems to be becoming more and more developer-centric and less a space for press reveals and previews. At GDC 2015 this past week, there was a noticeable trend towards showing off new tech, such as Nvidia’s Shield and Valve’s SteamVR, along with a host of new (or new versions of) indie games. We did get our fair share of MMO and RPG previews, however, so here’s a quick rundown of what we got to see and play this week.
At our Blizzard preview, Garrett and I got to play some StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void stuff that we can’t talk about just yet, but suffice it to say that there will be much gloating from yours truly when the embargo is lifted. We also took a look at Diablo III: Reaper of Souls’ Patch 2.2, which seeks to expand on the existing playstyles in the game with new armor sets and legendaries, while also implementing a bunch of quality of life improvements like a variation of vacuum loot.
As I mentioned, GDC 2015 featured a whole lot of indie games, and we had a great time looking at and chatting about a bunch of the MMOs and RPGs on display. Check out my previews for Eisenhorn: Xenos, Revival, and Sword Coast Legends for more on those games, but know that the first will tickle your Warhammer 40K Inquisitor fancies, the second will make you think about a potential counterpoint to traditional MMORPGs, and the third quite simply blew us away due to its comprehensive single-player campaign and DM modes.
We got to try our hands at a pretty sweet HOTAS setup of Elite: Dangerous, which was announced at the show as coming to Xbox One this year. There were playable Mac and VR build available as well as the released PC version, and the main takeaway we had from our brief preview is that this game is insanely detailed. We also had a great chat with Richard Garriott and Starr Long about Shroud of the Avatar, which is sounding more and more enticing every time we hear about it, particularly when we can draw direct comparisons to foundational RPGs like Ultima VII. I came away from our meeting with Portalarium very excited for the game’s potential, and look forward to getting my grubby hands on it as it evolves.
Overall, GDC 2015 was a great show for smaller but very well-conceived titles, and has us excited for what’s going to be on display at PAX East 2015 this weekend. Garrett has an interview with Frontier’s CEO David Braben about Elite: Dangerous here and our chat with Gazillion’s CEO David Brevik about Marvel Heroes here, so be sure to check those out along with our GDC 2015 - Day One News and Impressions. And stay tuned for more convention news and impressions from PAX East!