• 94% 56 Faery: Legends of Avalon »

    Publisher: Focus Home Interactive | Developer: Spider Studio

    Genre: RPG | Platforms: PS3, XBox 360

    Summary: Turn-based battles? Check. Dodgy translation? Oui. Androgynous male leads and girls with belt-sized skirts? Strike three! It’s Faery: Legends of Avalon, a French developed budget RPG for XBLA and PSN. While it offers zilch in terms of originality and won't keep you gripped like a game of poker http://www.poker.dk/ this charming, colourful adventure is definitely worth looking into if you’re after a low-budget alternative to Don Final Fantasy and co. Plus it features some very cute cel-shaded graphics, and the ability to fly everywhere instead of having to trek on foot – marvellous. Or as the French would say – petit dejeuner.

    Related games: Rift, Torchlight, The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, Diablo 3, Core Blaze, Kingdom Hearts 3D, Two Worlds 2, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Final Fantasy XIV Online, Fable III

  • 90% Mass Effect 3 »

    Publisher: BioWare | Developer: BioWare

    Genre: RPG

    Summary: BioWare's space opera trilogy comes to its conclusion in late 2011 and from the first teaser trailer it looks like the action will mainly be taking place on Earth. The trailer shows London town under attack from giant walking space ship things, while a lone sniper hiding at the top of Big Ben ponders whether Commander Shepherd will be along soon to save the day. We can't see too many changes in the game mechanics - and it doesn't need it - but we do know that the graphics engine has been updated. Yet another action RPG for 2011 that we can't wait to play.

  • 86% The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim »

    Publisher: Bethesda Softworks | Developer: Bethesda Game Studios

    Genre: RPG | Platforms: PC, PS3, XBox 360

    Summary: The Elders Scroll IV: Oblivion is a contender for one of the finest fantasy action RPGs of all time so it's no small wonder that the next instalment is fast becoming one of the most hotly-anticipated RPGs of the year. Skyrim's story takes place in the Kingdom of Nirn after the events of Oblivion, with evil once more abroad. We can expect another epic tale with multiple branching storylines and a zillion side quests (rough estimate). There's a new game engine under the hood, too, which has been developed in-house by Bethesda. The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is due to arrive at the end of 2011. Can't wait.

    Related games: The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings, Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning, Dungeon Siege 3, The Lord of the Rings: War in the North, Dragon Age 2, Brink, Fallout: New Vegas

  • 92% 94 Diablo 3 »

    Developer: Blizzard

    Genre: RPG | Platform: PC

    Summary: Diablo 3 is 'being developed as the definitive action RPG.' Blizzard are certainly taking their time about it, the game having been announced back in mid-2008. Diablo 3 arrives some ten years after its much-loved predecessor and combat once again features a mix of tactics and action in a fantastical setting full of nightmarish creatures. According to Blizzard, the main aim, for combat is to make scraps more tactically interesting while retaining the “accessibility, speed and forward momentum that the series is known for.” We're hoping for a late 2011 release for this. Pleeeeease.

  • 86% Kingdom Hearts 3D »

    Publisher: Square-Enix | Developer: Square-Enix

    Genre: RPG | Platform: 3DS

    Summary: If we’re honest, we find Kingdom Hearts’ whole ‘Final Fantasy meets Disney’ concept pretty baffling. But hey, that’s just us and the series has built up a huge following over the past few years and Kingdom Hearts 3D is bound to be a big hit. Who are we to argue with millions of gamers? And it’s not like the game isn’t a solid RPG experience, albeit one where Winnie-The-Pooh can rub furry shoulders with Moogles. This installment is pitched as a full entry to the story canon rather than an aside, as the three previous handheld titles have been (Birth By Sleep, 358/2 Days and Re:coded), and will take place after the events of Kingdom Hearts 2. Details are scarce, but creator Tetsuya Nomura says that the 3D of the title doesn’t relate directly to the, er, 3D of the 3DS, rather that it’s a subtitle. Yeah right. The stars of the show will be Sora (of course) and Riku, with a key theme of trust running throughout the adventure. Does that sound like two-player online play? Yes, we think it does. As with nearly every other 3DS game, there’s no confirmed release date for Kingdom Hearts 3D.

  • 5% Fantasy Life »

    Publisher: Level-5/Nintendo | Developer: Brownie Brown

    Genre: RPG | Platform: 3DS

    Summary: First announced back in 2009 as a plain old DS game, Fantasy Life boasts Mother 3 creators Brownie Brown as its developer, Level-5 as its publisher and a score composed by Final Fantasy veteran Nobuo Uematsu. What’s not to get excited about? Level-5 announced the RPG’s jump to 3DS a few months back but aside from the visuals, it’s not known how the platform change will affect the game. Unlike the grinding and battling of most JRPGs, Fantasy Life has you leading your life you see fit in a small town. The core part of the game involves taking one of 20 available jobs and building your life around it through story quests, which vary depending on the job you take. It all sounds very laid back and not unlike Animal Crossing. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there’s no confirmation of a Western release for Fantasy Life but given Level-5’s burgeoning popularity over here, we’d imagine a full localisation will appear in late 2011.

  • 3% Darkspore »

    Publisher: EA | Developer: Maxis

    Genre: RPG | Platform: PC

    Summary: Darkspore is the follow up to Spore, Will Wright’s monster-creating, universe-spanning evolve ‘em up (we just invented a new genre!). It’s a little more focused than the original game, being an online multiplayer affair where you can team up with three mates and take the fight to otherwordly enemies. As in Spore, you’ll get to create your own character from what we imagine to be a near-infinite number of possible body parts. The emphasis here is very much on combat capability, though, so it’s all about making sure your creation has plenty of offensive and defensive parts rather than designing it to look like a giant sexual organ (as about five million people did in Spore). Darkspore is played from an isometric viewpoint and looks, dare we say it, something akin to the Marvel Ultimate Alliance games. Also like MUA, you can team up to unleash combined attacks and specials when you’re facing down tough monsters. It does look like a great deal of fun, mind you, as you’ll see when you watch the trailer below. Darkspore hits some time in 2011.

  • 68% The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings »

    Publisher: Namco Bandai | Developer: CD Projekt

    Genre: RPG | Platform: PC

    Summary: Built from the ground up with a new engine, The Witcher 2 aims to improve in every area over the original RPG, from graphics and dialogue options to NPC reactions to your character's behaviour. The Witcher, while flawed, did show considerable potential and sold by the barrow load and the sequel is certainly looking tasty. You once again fill the shoes of the bad-ass Witcher Geralt of Rivia, who roams a traditional fantasy land kicking the faces off men and monsters alike. The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings has a release date of 17 May and is currently slated for a PC-only release, although we wouldn't be surprised to see the game appear on 360 before the end of 2011.

  • 26% Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning »

    Publisher: EA | Developer: 38 Studios

    Genre: RPG | Platforms: PC, PS3, XBox 360

    Summary: Although on the face of it Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning is very much in the traditional RPG mould, nothing has been seen of the game aside from a ‘bloody big sword cleaves skeletons and beasts’ CGI trailer. However, there’s an eclectic mix of people involved in its development. Developer 38 Studios is run by one Curt Schilling, a former baseball pitcher with the Boston Red Sox, while the lead designer is Ken Rolston, whose credits include Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind and Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion. Factor in a story written by the prolific fantasy author R.A. Salvatore (he of the Icewind Dale books, among many others) and Todd ‘Spawn’ McFarlane working on the art style and it sounds like a recipe for success. Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning’s release date is currently a vague 2011.

  • 0% Divinity 2: The Dragon Knight Saga »

    Publisher: Focus Interactive | Developer: Larian Studios

    Genre: RPG | Platforms: PC, XBox 360

    Summary: A strange one is this. Divinity 2: The Dragon Knight Saga combines a remastered version of Divinity 2: Eco Draconis and an additional adventure that continues the story, called Flames Of Vengeance. Eco Draconis originally appeared in November 2009 and while in most respects it was a very decent, traditional fantasy RPG with some neat ideas, the game was plagued by technical issues, especially on 360. With the issues ironed out, such as a frame rate that won’t make you barf out of your eyes, this is a far more compelling prospect for fantasy RPG fans. PC gamers who have already played Eco Draconis can download the new adventure via Steam but 360 gamers will have to wait for the DLC to appear on Xbox Live. If you’ve already sampled Eco Draconis on 360 then Divinity 2: The Dragon Knight Saga offers no value for money. For everyone else, jump on in.

    Related games: Divinity 2: The Dragon Knight Saga

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