RPGs in 2019, Part VI

Even more RPGs in 2019! This batch covers RPGs that I’ve spotted in the wild that range from Victorian goth to mutants inheriting what may or may not be what is left of the Earth.


Sand is the Soul

Release date: 2019
Platforms: PC
Developer: MGP Studios

MGP Studios was co-founded by three people, but Sand is the Soul is a solo project by only one of those three — Michal Neugarten — who says that players will need to read the thirty-page manual for his game. Without it, the game would be “challenging” as if it already doesn’t hint at being challenging enough.

Time to beat and slash your way through Crosshill towards your destiny. Or maybe become a mythic junkie of the alleys instead.

Mixing together beat ’em ups, a few RPG elements, a gritty and gothic aesthetic set in the “Victorian post-punk autonomy of Crosshill”, and a lot of choices in the story that can lead to one of thirty outcomes, Sand is the Soul sounds like it will offer a welcome tweak to the action RPG genre. Players sound as if they’re going to be free to do what they want whether it’s to participate in a coup or become a Sand addict instead.

It’s also using morality and sanity gauges, presumably to give you an idea of where you stand as a decent fellow or a depraved lunar baby, which will likely affect how your story may play out. Sounds like a vicious sort of Choose Your Own Adventure.


Zoroastra

Release date: 2019
Platforms: PC
Developer: Kyrus

Zoroastra is something of a mystery. There’s an entry for it up on Moddb, a Steam page, and scant little else on the game or the developer. But from the videos and other available media, it resembles an open world RPG adventure with some interesting twists.

From the Moddb page, Zoroastra’s world is described as one where the gods finally “ended” the world by visiting devastation on humanity. There are still survivors, but apparently quite a few of them banded together as brutal survivalists from which everyone else is simply trying to get away from. Here you come, down from the heavens, as a demigod made flesh and making it your job to rebuild this world inspired by “Mediterranean antiquity”.

Even as a demigod, you don’t start out as all powerful. On the other hand, you really can’t die, either, but you’ll have to train up your new shell.

Dying in the game doesn’t destroy what you’ve learned, but any stats that you had with that body are just going to be part of the meat pile. You’ll also need to fortify where you live as a base and your choices will be part of how the world reacts to your actions. Crafting is also included along with collecting materials, making sure you’re fed, and essentially just trying to survive in what sounds to be a single-player “survival” RPG. Hopefully we’ll learn more as it gets closer to Early Access — whenever that might be.


Age of Grit

Release date: February 19, 2019
Platforms: PC
Developer: IQ Soup

Age of Grit takes place in a world simply called “the West” and you play as the captain of a flying steamship that has seen much better days. But a little thing like rust isn’t going to stop you or your crew from having a little adventure as they travel across the Wild West, visiting towns, meeting people, digging up stories, and eventually, beefing up your vessel so it doesn’t end up like scrap.

Battle between steamships is handled in turn-based fashion and it sounds like you’ll be able to deck your vessel out with a variety of options — or craft your own solutions. Quests also sound as if they’ll involve everything from bounties to “running guns”.

Two ships enter, one ship leaves…

There are more details about the world itself in its Kickstarter, a world described by the creators as the Wild West, only with flying steamships and fortresses, clockwork inventions, with elements from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and the film, Master and Commander. In their pitch, they also dropped in a Firefly reference, but instead of other worlds, players will be visiting cowboy towns across the West instead in their flying steamship.

It made its funding goal in late 2014 and it looks like it’s about to cross the finish line in February. Vyse would be proud.


Alaloth – Champions of The Four Kingdoms

Release date: 2019
Platforms: PC, XBO
Developer: Gamera Interactive

Alaloth is an isometric ARPG that boasts being “the very first isometric souls-like game ever made” which sounds like another way of saying that the action will be challenging enough not to button mash your way to victory.

The grimdark setting takes place thousands of years after “Men, Elves, Orcs and Dwarves banded together in The Battle of Eternal Night” where they defeated an ancient evil. Since then, countless kingdoms have risen and fallen before an age of peace has finally descended on the world. Now a new, dark power, is rising and the player sets off to stop it.

Alaloth tickles that isometric itch from ye olde Diablo and Titan’s Quest days, but apparently will be beefing the formula up with a big world filled with a deeper combat system, factions, crafting, and a lot more storytelling.

The detail of the world also goes much further with a laundry list of features such as “40+ houses and clans” that player scan fight for with their own agendas, memorable companions, crafting and reputation, and a heap of lore on which RPG scribe, Chris Avellone, collaborated on. I’m all for another isometric ARPG, especially when a world has plenty of juicy lore behind it. Hoping we’ll hear more on this one sometime this year.


BIOMUTANT

Release date: 2019
Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO
Developer: Experiment 101

This ARPG sounds pretty unique in a lot of ways. Imagine a world inhabited by anthropomorphic animals that practice a form of Wushu (kung-fu) and where they can mix and match martial arts with firearms and genetic powers. Push that idea further with genetic manipulation allowing these new inhabitants that live atop the overgrown ruins of an “Old World” to change the way they look and fight. Now you’ve got BIOMUTANT. On the surface, it also sounds like it might be a much more action-oriented version of New World’s old classic, Inherit the Earth.

In this world that holds some hint of having survived some kind of apocalyptic endgame aeons ago, the Tree of Life is now “bleeding death from its roots” and the Tribes of this world are divided on what to do. As for you, it’s up to you on how you choose to survive. Will you unite the Tribes or ultimately destroy them as the “End” nears for everyone?

Swords, shotguns, martial arts, and genetic engineering hope to upend the usual upgrades found in other ARPGs with a wide variety of options to dramatically impact the way the game plays out.

In addition to the amazing visuals, the game will also feature crafting (starting to sense a theme here with a lot of these RPGs) across a wide variety of firearms from chainsaws to shotguns. You’ll even have an “Automaton” which is some kind of “scrap-toy sidekick” that you can modify along with everything else along with your cells. The world also sounds as ambitious as its combat system, promising itself to be open to exploration with plenty of secrets hidden away in underground tunnels and bunkers to the wilderness on distant shores.

Could be very awesome. Hope to hear, and see, more about this one this year.

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