When Apex Legends released last year, my friends and I were overjoyed. Here was a battle royale we could get into. Crisp shooting with lots of guns, fun characters with unique powers, and a helpful ping system left us hungry to jump into this explosive multiplayer genre.
Then we died. A lot. And died some more. Meeting an enemy team was near-instant death, every time.
At the risk of further humiliation and demoralizing evenings, we ultimately shelved Apex Legends. I continued to watch the genre from afar, my hands pressed against the glass of the battle royale sweet shop, not daring to venture inside. Until Spellbreak appeared in the window.
Poor Iratus was struck down on the eve of world conquest, his undead horde scattered to the earth. But a good villain never stays dead, least of all a master of necromancy. Starting from the deepest bowels, Iratus must raise a new army of undead monsters to scour dungeons in this compelling tactical-strategy roguelike RPG, Iratus: Lord of the Dead.
Iratus plays like a reverse Darkest Dungeon. Instead of grim heroes delving into dungeons and braving increasing horrors, Iratus is hell-bent on bringing those horrors to the surface.
Playing Good Company taught me that I do not have what it takes to run an electronics manufacturing business, even when the employees are little more than autonomous drones. When production is stalled due to a missing component in my increasingly complex logistical chain, I’m more likely found hiding in a corner hugging my knees than addressing the problem.
Good Company is a sim management game currently available via Steam Early Access, putting the player in charge of a burgeoning tech company making everything from calculators to advanced drones and robots.
In late 2013, InXile Entertainment ran a backer-only poll for its then-upcoming crowdfunded tactical RPG, Torment: Tides of Numenera. The poll addressed whether the combat system should be turn-based, like the original Fallout games, or real-time with pause, like Baldur’s Gate.
The final result was a nearly even split — 48% turn-based to 47% RTwP — with over 14,000 voters, along with some heated discussions and commentary. Ultimately InXile decided to go with a turn-based combat system, and half the fanbase wasn’t happy.
At the time, both systems offered benefits. But after years of playing Pillars of Eternity 1 and 2, the Shadowrun trilogy, and the Divinity: Original Sin series, the advantages of turn-based combat for tactical RPGs have become more pronounced, and it’s a good thing that Baldur’s Gate 3 is following suit.