I decided to post my yearly overview of released and upcoming RPGs and tactics in English this time. Some explanations before I proceed further.
This list will only included games released, or announced for 2018, and only those games that I consider to be of interest to me. This means it mostly consist of turn-based and/or isometric RPGs and tactics, though sometimes I make exceptions for high-profile games or titles I consider to be interesting because of something else. However, there will be almost no mentions of non-tactical JRPGs, as I’m completely uninterested in the genre and can’t provide any comments on it, as well as most action-RPGs, including AAA titles. Oh, yeah, and the list is text-only, but with links to game’s site, for the sake of brevity.
Projects that I consider to be the most interesting are marked with ☆ sign.
With that in mind, let’s recount what titles have already been released in 2018 at this point.
☆ Avernum 3: Ruined World:
The last instalment of the first Avernum trilogy’s remake. An almost typical Spiderweb Software game: simple, but clean graphics, challenging party-based combats, interesting, if somewhat passion-less story, lots of exploration. However, this game has a bigger world with more towns than a typical Avernum title, which, unfortunately, means that every town is a little less fleshed-out. Still, it worth playing if you’re into isometric turn-based RPGs. On the other hand, if you’re in the target audience for the Spiderweb Software games, you probably have already bought and completed it, and if you’re not, you’re not going to like it just because I heartily recommend it, do you?
A dungeon crawling game with nice looking visuals and a choice between perma-death and adventure mode. The game claims to have 12 classes with more than 100 possible skills, and also a system for capturing and raising monsters as your pets. It also features Item Dreams, a way to upgrade your items similar, from the description, to Disgaea series’ Item World. Whether this is a good idea, is hard to say without playing: in Disgaea, this lead to a lot more grind than I personally liked. Still, this game is certainly worth a try if you do not require a deep story.
One of the most awaited games of 2018, it has been reviewed to hell and back, so I don’t have much to add. It doesn’t look like a game I’m going to like, because of first-person view, action combat and lack of free quick-saves, but I still going to try it some time later this year (or the next one), after more patches come out, just to broaden my experience.
“Tactical rogue-like”, also widely discussed on the Internet, from the developers of FTL. Despite its rogue-like nature, I’m interested in trying it, but so far, I just don’t have time.
A very good-looking dungeon crawl with turn-based combat. It seems like you travel between “rooms”, rather than larger locations. The game also features a village where you can upgrade your heroes and equipment as a central hub, and some kind of last-ditch feature called Skull of Fate which can help you to get out of dead-end situations (which means there are dead-end situations?). It reminds me a lot of Rogue Wizards, which was a pretty average game better described as turn-based Diablo, but I still think it worth a try.
Pretty much everyone and their grandmother accused the game of cloning The Banner Saga, which is understandable: it certainly looks a lot like Storic’s title, and it features tactical turn-based combats. However, this is not a bad thing: the world certainly could do with a few good The Banner Saga clones (so far, only Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire came close). The game brings some additional randomness into the combat with a deck of cards, which does not make me hopeful: a few games tried that already, and most of them failed miserably (Acaratus, for example).
Still, it certainly looks interesting, and I’m going to give it a try, probably after Battletech, and maybe you should, too.
For fans of turn-based story-heave RPGs, the year started slowly, with only Avernum to play.