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PC Early Access Preview:- Encased

Encased is a tribute to “Roadside Picnic” and the original Fallout games. Fight enemies, explore anomalous wasteland, level up your character, join one of the forces in the ruined world in this new apocalyptic turn-based RPG.

 

 

Greetings inmates and true believers, this is Darsch again, and this time I bring you Encased: A Sci-Fi Post-Apocalyptic RPG developed by Dark Crystal Games and published by Black Tower Entertainment and currently in early access on steam. Encased is a tribute to “Roadside Picnic” and the original Fallout games and it shows from the turn based combat system similar to  the original fallout to the abundant dialogue options with npcs and event dialogue choices, some of which can kill you.

 

 

The very first thing you will notice in Encased is the deep character creation from choosing your color coded faction, tag skills, attributes all the way to your appearance. It’s deep, robust, and a real treat if you liked the character creation and level up systems of Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Fallouts 1 through 3 and New Vegas. Make no mistake, this is a very customizable build heavy rpg and that is always a good thing. For my first play through I decided to join the white, a scientific faction and focus on high tech weapons like lasers, the tutorial if you go white gives you a laser pistol for your troubles that does decent damage.

 

 

I dumped my muscle to 3, which is physical strength which affects carry weight and melee damage, guts to a 2, which is your health, brains is a 9, which is, as you might guess intelligence, luck is a 6 and works like you would expect with a small effect on everything in the game, Perception is 9 which is your character’s awareness of their surroundings, charisma is a 2 and is pretty self explanatory, it’s how well people like you, deftness is 9, which is a measure of your dexterity and reaction time, and psyche is a 1 which is your ability with psionics and resistance to psionics which currently are not implemented in game. There are too many skills for me to list off the rest of the build but I focused on all the science and tech gun savvy stuff with The idea being a big brainy laser gun hero. What I got was that but he dies in one hit,  so my next build won’t skimp on the guts or the muscle to be sure.

 

 

The art lends itself well to a late 70’s era futuristic post apocalyptic setting, similar to how Fallout’s art was inspired by the 50’s and 60’s. The story is pretty interesting, it’s the late 70’s and a mysterious dome has showed up, and you are a member of cronus the group investigating the dome for scientific gain. your choice of white, black, silver, orange, or blue determines just where in the hierarchical ladder you sit within cronus. There are plenty of social interactions with npcs and events like an elevator breaking down for you to explore through well written dialogue choices.

 

 

Actual combat is a nice fun turn-based affair with you spending action points to move or attack or take cover, or you can bank them to save some for the next turn, its is satisfying and there are special abilities you can unlock through attribute point allocation, skillpoint allocation, and ability points based on your chosen weapon or play style.

 

 

Encased is going to be a title to watch, so far every second of it has been a blast, just the rpg i been hoping to get for sometime now and the game is still a good ways off from being finished, about half the abilities are not implemented yet but I expect great things, If I had to rate this I would give it an 8 out of 10.

 

Encased is available now on STEAM Early Access, available here


October 11th, 2019 by Darsch
Posted in Game Review, Gaming, General, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Real Time Strategy, Xbox | No Comments »

PC Game Early Access First Look :- Phoenix Point (Backer Build 5)

Phoenix Point is a turn-based tactics and 4X grand-strategy game that puts you in command of a global battle against a terrifying alien menace able to mutate and evolve to adapt to your choices and actions. Phoenix Point gives players a huge variety of challenges on its procedural battlefield, as well as endless surprises in the strategic game. Research and develop new technologies and techniques, plan operations, build alliances to unite the planet or destroy your rivals, and deploy your customizable, upgradeable squad into conflict zones, featuring dynamic objectives and destructible environments.

 

 

Greetings, true believers! Darsch Pugs here with a sneak peek at Phoenix Point by Snapshot Games. Phoenix point is a strategy game with a tactical turn-based combat system from the creator of the original XCOM series. Everything I am about to discuss is subject to change.

 

 

The game features many of the same mechanics and concepts as XCOM, some of which have been expanded upon. Units all have specific armour unique to them for quick identification. You target enemy body parts through the scope of your units’ weapons in a first-person camera now to shoot off an alien arm holding a weapon to disable it. Your units have an inventory and loadout that can be set up before a mission and you can then modify equipped items like grenades during the mission from the unit’s inventory, adding an extra layer of strategy to your choices.

 

 

The overworld map is where you choose your missions, select your base and build it and its upgrades, build your gear and conduct research and perform diplomacy with the various factions of the game, and there are a few to choose from to ally yourself with to get their research shared with you, or you could just steal it.

 

 

Missions can be challenging if you do not think critically and plan ahead, sometimes they can be impossible without the right mix of units and loadouts, you need to experiment with your tactics and plan your moves as a team and not individual units to be successful.

 

 

Phoenix Point looks good, plays good, sounds good, and is just great fun if you like this style of game, and is a good jumping-on point for the genre if you have never played a game like this before. The best way to describe phoenix point is a more refined version of XCOM.

 

 

Phoenix Point will release in December 2019 on PC (Epic Games) and XBox One, for more info and to preorder the game, head over to the games website now!


September 30th, 2019 by Darsch
Posted in Gaming, General, Multiplatform, PC, Real Time Strategy, Xbox | No Comments »

#GameOfTheMonth Multiplatform Game Review:- Age of Wonders: Planetfall

Age of Wonders: Planetfall is the new strategy game from Triumph Studios, creators of the critically acclaimed Age of Wonders series, bringing all the exciting tactical turn-based combat and in-depth empire building of its predecessors to space in an all-new, sci-fi setting.

 

 

Planetfall is another 4 X game like civilization, where you explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate your way to victory, either peacefully or through war. This entry in the genre though mixes things up by giving you tactical turn based battles like X-Com. You can fit your units with special mods and weapons, and level up heroes and commanders with special skills.

 

 

The core gameplay loop is the same as most 4x titles, you set your production, move units, set your research, and then end your turn, ad nauseam, until you reach victory or defeat, and while that might seem like a slow paced snooze fest, I found myself losing track of time and having a blast with each and every time I played the game. Thanks to the ability to customize the look and skills of my commander I found myself more invested in the fate of my faction and its colonies.

 

 

The single player campaign is your typical generic fair, and an entirely forgettable experience. The story is bland at best most times and I found myself not really caring about it, and wound up ultimately abandoning it and just focusing on the free for all skirmish/scenario mode where you just go head to head against AI or other players. honestly 4x games excel when it comes to the multiplayer experience and Planetfall is no exception. Strategy and planning are key to victory in multiplayer and it’s a blast to see all your hard work pay off when you eliminate a rival.

 

 

The factions of Age of wonders can be broken down into various sub races of humans, and one alien insectoid race, which was my favorite. Each faction has its own gimmick and special units, the amazons are all female and ride alien dinosaurs and are one with nature, the Syndicate is a shadowy criminal nobility like faction, with lots of cloak and dagger style abilities and gameplay.

 

 

The vanguard are your baseline typical humans and one of two factions that can enter overwatch, they will be the most familiar and recognized as they feel the most like units from xcom, The kir’Ko are my favorite, they are psionic insect people that vomit acid and use psionic guns and are the second faction that can enter overwatch.The assembly are basically undead cyborg people out to get everyone else’s organs, and then finally we have the Dvar, the russian space dwarves of industrial steamrolling inevitability, these guys are all about softening the enemy up them ramming into them for the kill.

 

 

If you love 4X titles you will love Age of Wonders Planetfall, but if you find them to not be your thing then I’d avoid this title like the plague. while it is a great entry in the genre, it does not stray far from the typical 4x formulae which is both to its benefit and its detriment.

 

 

Age of Wonders: Planetfall is available now from Triumph Studios & Paradox Interactive, on PC, XBox One and Playstation 4, for more info or to buy, head over to their website here!

 

I give Age of Wonders: Planetfall a strong 8 out of 10 for great visuals, a great soundtrack, and being a great 4x title I could completely lose myself in.

~Darsch

 


September 18th, 2019 by Darsch
Posted in Gaming, General, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Real Time Strategy, Xbox | No Comments »

PC Game Review :- Swag and Sorcery from  Lazy Bear Games & Uroboros Games

Grind for resources, manage your own fantasy village, create and equip your heroes and send them to collect swag in Swag and Sorcery – a new streamlined RPG from the creators of Punch Club and Graveyard Keeper.

 

 

Swag and Sorcery is touted as a streamlined RPG developed by Lazy Bear Games and Uroboros Games, and published by tinyBuild. The latest game from the creators of Punch Club and Graveyard Keeper has received mixed reviews on STEAM, which seems to be a fair reflection based on my experience.

 

Your skills are required to track down the Emperor’s stolen suit which will fix all the Kingdom’s problems. (Damn, that must be a nice suit.) You hire adventurers and send them on dangerous quests. The intrepid travellers will complete the quest on their own, but this is far from an idle game. If their health runs out, the quest is failed and you lose any precious loot you picked up along the way. You can call them home alive and “supervise” by casting spells you research as the game develops.

 

 

Your hired heroes are far from just monster snacks, they are needed to craft items in the village, helping to unlock and improve more crafting buildings which in turn, allows you to craft bigger and better armour and weapons. You keep your workers healthy and happy by paying for time at the Church and Spa. Although I found the Church to be less essential as I discovered more craftable items, because your heroes regenerate health over time whilst in the village.

 

There is plenty to keep you busy in the game; between levelling up at the training camp, collecting loot on adventures, upgrading the village and competing in fashion competitions. Yes, you read that correctly. Periodically, fashion competitions crop up which you can enter for a fee. Judges have different preferences for colours and styles, and can be bribed with items. Bribing is a bit of a gamble though, as a liked item will help your cause, but a disliked item could ruin you. I think I found a bug in this part of the game though. The list of unlocked ‘Likes’ and ‘Dislikes’ for each judge seemed to reset before every competition, so unless I kept track it was a guessing game each time.

 

 

Gold is the main currency in the game, but recipes for more outfits and accessories are acquired with raw and crafted materials, so you can soon find yourself running low on essentials. While Reputation with the kingdom is earned by winning fashion competitions and working on improving the village.

 

As well as set goals to complete for rewards and advance the game, random encounters can occur at any time. This can be a travelling merchant offering an unknown item for payment up front, or a suspected thief captured by villagers who require you to pass judgement. These encounters are a gamble. The merchant could be offering a bargain or be ripping you off. Your reputation could suffer by releasing the thief, or you could be sued for wrongful execution. Either way, the random outcome definitely makes the game more interesting.

 

 

The game can be grindy and due to lack of information on some screens, you can end up screen-hopping and mumbling stats to yourself as you try to equip your heroes correctly for the upcoming adventure, or to remember who is the most efficient crafter for a certain building. Having loved Graveyard Keeper, I have no doubt that quality of life fixes will be plentiful from the developers, and at the time of writing this article, have already begun.

 

The story dialogue is witty, but forgettable and the gameplay can become frustrating. For example, you have to complete a quest level several times to even get a chance to face the boss. If you forget to equip a health potion on the boss quest, and fail horribly, you have to keep replaying the same quest over again to be able to fill the boss battle opportunity bar. That said, the game is saved by it’s cute cartoon styling and massive range of activities. You will not be lost for something to do in this game.

 

 

I am definitely looking forward to more updates and bug fixes, and this is not a game I will be giving up on just yet. I can’t wait to see Swag and Sorcery reach its full potential.

 

Swag and Sorcery is available now on STEAM. and at only £9.99, not a bad investment

 

 

As it stands at review, a solid 6 out of 10 from me and at only £9.99, not a bad investment with regular updates still coming.

~ScarletDragon


May 23rd, 2019 by Scarlet_Dragon
Posted in Game Review, Gaming, General, PC, Real Time Strategy | No Comments »

PC Indie Game Review: AVARIAvs from Juncture Media

In AVARIAvs, players choose a party of 3 heroes to battle against an opponent’s party. During battle, opposing players choose their actions simultaneously and then witness the mayhem of their decisions. Combat rages on until one winner reigns victorious by decimating their opponent’s HP to zero.

Be warned however, matches that do not conclude promptly may be subject to JUDGEMENT…

 

 

AVARIAvs Is a turn based pvp game, where you make a team of three characters and battle it out online or side by side from your couch. Think of it as using a JRPG like Final Fantasy 7’s classic turn based combat to fight pvp matches, but both sides turns take place at the same time based on which character has the highest speed and plays out in real time!

 

 

In Avaria the players can select premade teams of 3 characters or build two custom teams from the 16 characters offered in the game. However you currently can only have a single character from each faction. As the match progresses a judgement system is activated to kill off characters to keep the match from dragging on, I have only ever seen the judgement affect the losing team.

 

 

The graphics and art for the game are amazing, while the sound track is a perfect fit for the game. Combat animations are spot on and a pleasure to watch while the match speed and turns have the perfect pacing. AVARIAvs hits all the bells and whistles I was hoping for from a competitive pvp game that is not a another moba or battle royale. This is something new, refreshing, fun, tactical, and awesome. I can see this game easily becoming the next League of Legends in popularity and Esports.

 

 

AVARIAvs is available now on STEAM. For more info, check out the links in the description below and remember to check out Sanitarium.FM and join our discord for more gaming news, info and community chat, over on Discord

 

Check out the video version of this review here –

 

AVARIAvs is an easy 10 out of 10 as a truly unique, and fun, experience that gets the competitive juices flowing and never fails to deliver on a good time. Get out there, represent your favorite characters, and fight to the death in AVARIAvs folks.

~Darsch


May 22nd, 2019 by Darsch
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, MOBA, PC, Real Time Strategy | No Comments »

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