Torchlight Frontiers: An Eyebrow is Raised – Hopefully, a Banner Will Follow

This one came as a surprise because I thought the Torchlight games were dead and gone. But it seems Perfect World Entertainment, Arc, developer Ectra Inc. (which includes some of the team behind a few classic ARPGs including the Torchlight and Diablo games) are going to be dropping an all-new online centered experience in 2019. Here’s the promo trailer for Torchlight Frontiers (which isn’t gameplay, sadly):

(Thanks, Play Torchlight!)

Here’s the official word so far:

Introducing the next iteration of the award-winning Torchlight series: Torchlight Frontiers!

Set in the same beloved universe as Torchlight I and II, this shared-world action-RPG brings back many of the franchise’s signature features and mechanics that captured the hearts of ARPG fans around the world. Led by former Runic Games and Blizzard North co-founder, Max Schaefer, the team developing Torchlight Frontiers is comprised of veteran developers who were responsible for the games that defined the ARPG genre, including the original Diablo and Torchlight franchises.

Torchlight Frontiers combines the heart of the beloved Torchlight series with a shared, persistent and dynamically generated world. In true Torchlight style, players will team up with friends and devoted pets to hack and slash their way through a vibrant world, discover ancient ruins of lost civilizations and brave dungeons filled with riches and dangerous creatures. Additional details about Torchlight Frontiers will be revealed at a later date.

The good news is the pedigree along with Perfect World’s generally solid track record in the MMO scene. The shared, persistent world business means this will likely be an online only game with solo play as an option similar to what’s found in Neverwinter (a game I’m currently playing and enjoying). I’ll gather this will also be free to play with paid content, but we’ll see where that all goes. I like the art style in the trailer, although I’m hoping the game goes for a look closer to Torchlight II and/or won’t require a super-powerful PC to run. The console plans mean it should look similar across the board, which is a good thing in my book.

Torchlight Frontiers will be available on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 at some point in 2019, but we’ll need to definitely get some hands-on time with a build at some point to see what’s what. Fingers crossed (and yes, cross-platform play would be keen, Sony).

-GW

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TERA Online Headed to PS4/Xbox One April 3

After dabbling in a few too many online games on the PS4 for about a year plus, I’ve narrowed down my focus to the upcoming free TERA Online, developer Bluehole Inc. and publisher En Masse‘s successful PC MMO that’s finally headed to consoles on April 3, 2018. I had the great fortune to try the game on three occasions when it was in beta over the past few months and while the test phase was sometimes a bit wonky, as things were tweaked and polished based on user feedback, the experience became a great deal more enjoyable to the point it was hard to put down.

Key to the overall experience is the game’s real-time combat system that’s quite responsive using the PS4 controller and allows for plenty of creative offensive and defensive moves. Given the ferociousness of the enemies here, you’ll need to have fast reflexes as well as sufficient healing and buffs at the ready. The game won’t hesitate to hit back hard with creatures that just won’t quit until you’ve beaten them or vice versa, and if the beta is any indication, both solo and group players should feel quite at home.

Yours truly ended up recording way too many videos during the betas on my YouTube channel (go sign up and feel free to send me a friend request on PSN – my handle there is GeeLW), but my body is ready for the full game when it lands on PSN shortly. Those of you interested in playing TERA on consoles can go all in for free or snap up one of a fewFounder’s Pack options that will give you some cool gear, in game money and other fun stuff along with the ability to start playing a week early.

Alrighty, then. Guess I’ll (hopefully) see some of you online at some point. I’ll likely be soloing this for the most part (I’m liking that Mystic class a lot, but the Archer is solid as well), but I’ll certainly need assistance with the 5-player boss maps.

-GW

VOODOO: Stepping Into Man’s Past To Create A Great MMO For The Future

voodoo_logo-a

Italy-based developer Brain in a Box is on a mission to create an online world you’ve never seen, but will be strangely familiar. Welcome to VOODOO:

The game’s official site notes:

Voodoo is a Survival game set in a primal Africa, where godly and earthly are not yet clearly defined, and humankind is on the brink of civilization. Build your village with your friends or other people that you will find around the island, by gathering resources and crafting.

 
And, when the time is right, you will have to vanish your primal fears by fighting giant Izimus scattered around the map, that will make your little civilization advance by discovering new technologies. But Izimus aren’t your only enemy, you will find wild animals from the prehistoric era and other villages, because with civilization comes the lust for power.

 
Will you bring your village to power by being a fearsome warrior, a relentless farmer, or a powerful shaman?

 

Well, challenge accepted! Guess who signed up for the closed beta? No, not that guy over there, you! grrrr. Me! The game does look intriguing and while I’m not usually into MMO’s, the chance to poke around in a work in progress and offer feedback into making the experience better for all is a challenging endeavor as well as a fine adventure to tackle. Well, as a “relentless farmer” for me. AGGRESSIVE CROPPING WILL BE ACCOMPLISHED! Grrrr!

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Defiance Ark Hunter Chronicles “Director’s Cut”: Turning The Pages Before A New Chapter Begins…

Of course, with two days to go, the Defiance YouTube page is absolutely *exploding!* with all sorts of neat character profiles from the show and more, which I’ll run in a bit. But I wanted to finish up this digital comic mini-series by running the “Director’s Cut” version. I’m usually not much of a fan of this style of animation (hey, I grew up watching those awful Marvel cartoons from the 60’s, so seeing not much has changed other than the talent is a lot better is kind of grimly depressing. Or really funny – I can’t decide). Anyway, Defiance premieres on Monday, April 15 at 9PM EST of syfy.

The Women Of Defiance: All The Ladies In The House Say (Whatever The Hell They Want To)…

Not just eyeball candy for the guys, these special ladies are a going to be a big part of what makes the upcoming show guaranteed to reel in viewers of both sexes who like strong female characters who get to go toe to toe on a few levels with the men in their brave new world. It should be quite intriguing to see how well this cast does over time across the viewership, as there are a lot of interesting personalities the cast has to work with and I’m sure the writing team will have a hard time if they need to get rid of any of these characters in an upcoming storyline. As always, we shall see…

Defiance: Preaching to the Converted Always Works Pretty Well…

So, next Monday is the “Big One” (Part Two) for Trion Worlds, syfy and any fans of the game as well as soon to be fans of this show. All signs point to it doing well, but it’s the ridiculously fickle nature of how viewership naturally swells and dips that can spell doom for any show, no matter how well done. Personally, I say ANY show should get at least a season the breath and find a fan base, but TV, movies and games work under the most unrealistic of expectations all too often. For my money (and I’m a cheap bastard), Defiance really does look like it’s got longevity going for it as far as the dedication to the project from its creators, cast and crew. Let’s see if the viewers agree and keep those ratings up, as it would be a shame to see all that time and money go down the drain after a single season…

Defiance “Great Place” Trailer+: Brave New Perspective…

So, DEFIANCE is up and running mostly fine on multiple platforms (and with some of the usual MMO launch issues that settle out after a patch or two) and people seem to be playing and enjoying it, but it still looks as if many are waiting for the show to start up before taking that plunge.

I’d gather that there’s still some confusion about this being a “license” when in fact, the game and show were created simultaneously and meant to bounce off of each other in a way that’s new to both mediums. That’s not hard at all to wrap your head around, but we’re in the age of absolute skepticism about the wrong things, especially when there’s no big explanations necessary other than what you “get” once you open your eyes and look and/or pick up a controller and play.

Between the game, show and additional content such as the Ark Hunter Chronicles that add to the lore, it’s clear that DEFIANCE has been well planned and so far, executed to break new ground across the board in the TV and game space. Now, it only needs MORE people willing to see what it’s all about and hop into both the show and game with equal relish and respect for the team’s brave new worlds…

Defiance Launch Trailer: A “New Age” Begins (Crazy Cat Ladies Holding Mice To Come)…


 

It’s here and launch day bumpiness aside when you get too many people playing your MMO at the same time, it seems that DEFIANCE is taking the MMO world by storm as far as a triple platform launch goes. I’m still seeing a bit of confusion from a few people who expected this online-only game to have an offline mode, but it’s good that they’re at least asking about it FIRST and not plunking down sixty bucks because they liked the TV commercials. Of course, having an offline more would have meant MORE people would be playing this on day one, but as I’ve noted previously, that’s up to Trion Worlds if this MMO takes off and users want more of the new world they’ve created (and not as a stupid simple mobile phone or device app). As always, we shall see, but so far, day one looks like the start of something big for both Trion and syfy. 13 days until the show premieres…

Defiance “This Place” Trailer: “The First Rule of Fight Club Is…”

 

Well, you most likely KNOW that part already (if you’ve actually seen Fight Club, that is). I think there’s some other unwritten rule later on about NEVER fighting the blue alien who looks like he’s going to break you into five pieces, but whatever. Besides, who reads the manual to anything these days? It’s obviously much worse in the future (and I can only wonder HOW new furniture and bicycles will get put together then – it’ll be kids and wives falling down everywhere thanks to lazier dads not figuring stuff out even more!). Anyway, contrary to what I’ve been posting previously (Oops!), DEFIANCE actually premieres on April 15, 2013 (9pm/8 Central Time) on syfy. That’s Tax day for many here in the US (whee!), so you can cry when you send out those forms and your check for what you owe Uncle Sam (who must be doing a LOT of shopping at QVC or something with all that money he gets) and come home later to feel better in front of a cool-looking new TV show. AND game (which hits stores on April 2), if you’re connected and want to dive into more of the lore in a more interactive manner…

Making of Defiance: Tarrs vs McCawleys (Or: Meanwhile, Back @ The Space Ranch)…

 

Saddle up, pardners and get ready to hit the trail! (or something like that). OK, so syfy’s upcoming show/video game extravaganza DEFIANCE has that whole space western thing going for it, but this is actually a good thing at the end of the day. It should get the show some appeal to those sci-fi fans who prefer their shows a bit tumbleweedy and familiar and cranky old goats like me who have the occasional Bonanza or original Battlestar Galactica flashback (or Battlestar Ponderosa, if I recall what Harlan Ellison rightly called the show back in the day).

Snark aside, I really like what they’ve done with the show so far and will give it a season to do its thing on the parts of my brain that click with the genre. Hopefully, the show and game will do well in this still stupid economy and current ratings format that see shows get axed if viewership only dips a TINY amount after the usually highly watched pilot episode. That’s a stupidly expensive way to do business, particularly with fickle audiences that often come BACK to a show later on in the first season to catch up. As always, we shall see…