The coming year looks interesting in terms of RPGs, but almost all releases that really look promising were already mentioned in my last year’s post, they just didn’t came out in 2022. The new additions to RPGWatch’s upcoming releases list are less impressive, especially among “real” RPGs (tactical games are maybe more interesting).
Let’s begin with the obvious: b>Baldur’s Gate 3 and Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader are THE top dogs in this year’s “RPG of the Year” battle, and everyone already knows about both, so there is no point mentioning them further or speculating on the true release dates. With that in mind, let’s move on to less shiny releases. As always, I only write about games which I might find interesting – which mostly means isometric turn-based RPGs and tactics, or at least something with promising mechanics or non-standard setting.
Release dates are from RPGWatch, and can be unaccurate.
A Bavarian Tale – Totgeschwiegen (02.02.2023)
3rd-person RPG about murder investigation, set in 19th century Bavaria. In general, I don’t like 3rd-person games, but this one seems to be more focused on role-playing and investigation than combat, so I think I’ll check it out. At the very least, it would be interesting to see if the authors managed to create a good or novel investigation mechanics.
Aledorn (15.02.2023, looks unlikely)
Last year, I mentioned Archaelund – a gamed that lets you explore the world in first-person view, but fights combats in isometric turn-based mode, like Betryal at Krondor. Aledorn seems to be taking the same route. I think BAK influence might be even noticeable in character sheet UI, though maybe I’m reading too much into it.
Anyway, this one worths a look, though the developer’s description does not inspire confidence. It seems like it was written by a programmer, or maybe UI designer.
Vendir: Plague of Lies (15.03.2023)
You can’t get more generic in describing your game than this one’s page. And the screenshots also aren’t really selling it to me. Then again, the authors promise deep combat system, so maybe it will be at least somewhat interesting?
SKALD: Against the Black Priory (01.04.2023)
8-bit RPG, but not in the usual sense. Instead of going for the tired NES aesthetics, this game tries to emulate Commodore 64 graphics. The game’s description makes a lot of noises about being old-school, but one have to wander whether it means “mechanically simple, but super difficult because of hordes of enemies and random” or something else. Then again, it at least look refreshing.
Pixel Noir (15.04.2023, the game’s news mention they’re committed to “Q2 release”)
Looks JRP, but at leasy it does not feature wide-eyed teenagers. You play as a policeman, investigate crimes and battle gangsters in turn-based combat (RPGWatch lists combat as Real-Time, but game’s page on Steam begs to differ).
Dragon Age: Dreadwolf (01.05.2023, but who really knows)
After boring Dragon Age 2 and horrible Dragon Age: Inquisition, I lost all faith in BioWare, and I think I will not play this game. Yes, Origins was good, but since then, combat mechanics grown worse and worse with each release, exploration became more boring, and, well, as for the game’s world I never liked it too much in the first place – I have an allergy to all kinds of Absolute Evil. There is a small chance that Dreadwolf might redeem BioWare in my eyes, but I bet it will be the same MMORPG-like combat and a lot of content for those who love romances in RPGs and nothing much else.
Crimson Tactics: The Rise of The White Banner (01.02.2023)
Looks a typical Japanese Tactical RPG in style of Disgaea/Tactical Ogre/Joan D’Arc. I’ll check it out on the off-chance it does not suffer from the usual problems of the genre – boring grind, teenage emo characters and save-the-world plot full of tropes that should be retired 20 years ago.
The Way of Wrath (15.02.2023, doubtful)
Very ugly tactical RPG about survival of a prehistoric tribe. The setting, at least, is interesting, but I’m not sure I can stand the looks – I really hate this low-poly aesthetics.
Redemption Reapers (23.02.2023)
Looks high-budget, with cutscenes and everything! But there is very little other information about this tactical game where you leas a band of rebels in a battle against Ancient Evil of the Day.
Void Marauders (15.03.2023, I’m not sure)
X-Com-like about a band of space pirates. Points for originality, though the screenshots do not inspire much confidence. But Pirates! IN SPACE is a good enough concept that I’d like to check it out.
Wartales (15.03.2023, the game’s page says “Q2 2023”)
I think I saw this game on Steam for many years already, and it never goes to full release. Looks like a tactical sandbox, and according to reviews, is STILL far from release quality.
Mars Tactics (18.05.2023)
Tactical RPG in the style of old UFO games about a struggle between Capital and Labout on Mars? OK, this, at least, sounds intriguing. The graphics are less impressive than I like, but the developers promise destructible environment, which is a plus (though it’s still not Silent Storm – nothing is like Silent Storm, which is a pity).
Miasma Chronicles (01.06.2023, but I think not)
The game from the creators of Mutant Year: Zero. From the looks of it, inherits a lot of qualities from the first studio’s game: good graphics, real-time exploration and tactical combat. Here’s the catch: Mutant Year: Zero was waaaay too stealth-focused (or maybe way too long for such a one-trick pony). If the manage to make combat better – the game might worth your time, but if it’s “Mutant Year: Zero: Even More Stealth Kills”, then I think I might pass.
Untamed Tactics (01.06.2023, Steam says April 2023)
Tactical game about rabbits and other animals, plus some kind of card game. Somewhat interesting setting, so may worth a look.
Xenonauts 2 (01.06.2023)
The first Xenonauts faded for me in the shine of Firaxis X-Com, because I liked the simplified and streamlined gameplay of the later. Still, I’m glad the second branch of the genre’s development is getting a continuation, and I’d like to check it out if I have time, to see what’s changed since the first game.
A game for those, who couldn’t afford Marvel’s Midnight Suns? Another X-Com-like with super-heroes. Still, why not check it out?
Dreadful River (28.02.2023, looks dubious)
Usually, I avoid roguelikes, but this one has interesting conception: you float on a raft on the river, with a king and his men, trying to cross a hostile country and save the crown. The graphics also look good, though I couldn’t get a good feeling for the gameplay.
4. Last year’s entries.
Games from the last year’s post that got a new release date:
VED – new date 01.02.2023 (I don’t think so)
Sacred Fire – new date 15.02.2023 (Almost certainly not)
Urban Strife – new date 01.03.2023
Broken Roads – new date 31.03.2023
Colony Ship – A Post-Earth Role Playing Game – new date 01.04.2023 (one can hope, but I’m not sure about it)
Cyber Knights: Flashpoint – new date 01.04.2023 (officially – “Q2 2023”)
Project Haven – new date 01.04.2023 (I don’t think so; with luck, we’ll see the release by the end of the year, but even that is not guaranteed)
Archaelund – new date 01.06.2023 (Highly unlikely, according to developer’s news)