Styx: Shards of Darkness

Styx: Shards of Darkness Box Art

Styx: Shards of Darkness is a fantasy-themed action RPG with a focus on stealth. Like its predecessors Of Orcs And Men and Styx: Master of Shadows, it is developed by Cyanide and published by Focus Home Interactive, both French companies. The game runs on a new engine (Unreal 4) and offers many improvements thanks to its bigger budget, according to the publisher.

Shards of Darkness picks up where Master of Shadows left off. After the fall of the Akenash tower, the eponymous goblin assassin, Styx, is forced out of hiding to infiltrate Körangar. While this city of the Dark Elves is supposedly impregnable, a diplomatic summit offers Styx a chance to slip in unnoticed. There, he learns that elves and dwarves, who are enemies of old, are joining forces against the goblins.

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Torment: Tides of Numenera

Torment: Tides of Numenera Box Art

Torment: Tides of Numenera is an old-school RPG developed by inXile Entertainment and published by Techland Publishing. Having raised over $5 million through Kickstarter, it holds the honor of being one of the highest-funded games on the platform. Along with titles like Pillars of Eternity and Wasteland 2, it is considered a part of the classic RPG renaissance seen in the recent years.

Like its title suggests, Tides of Numenera is a thematic successor to the 1999 cult-classic Planescape: Torment. The new game adheres to the “four pillars” which made Torment so great: a deep, thematically satisfying story, an original setting, a rich, personal narrative, and meaningful consequences of the player’s choices. Taking place one billion years in the Earth’s future, in the science-fantasy setting of Numenera, the game aims to provide all that and more.

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Sniper Elite 4

Sniper Elite 4 Box Art

Sniper Elite 4 is a tactical shooter from English studio Rebellion Developments. It plays much like its predecessors, with a third-person, over-the-shoulder perspective except when sniping. The series’ signature X-Ray Kill Cam has been expanded to also include Shrapnel and Melee kills. Tagging enemies through the binoculars now provide short biographies, making the kills more personal. The AI is also improved, and killing an officer, for example, will have a larger effect on the enemy army.

The game takes place in 1943 Italy, with protagonist Karl Fairburne once again returning to fight the Axis forces. The maps are larger and have more verticality, including diverse locations like coastal towns and mountainous forests.

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Diluvion

Diluvion Box Art

According to its developer Arachnid Games, the Kickstarter-funded Diluvion is a Jules Verne inspired undersea adventure, where you play as a captain of your own submarine. Besides exploring the beautiful flooded world, the player’s duties include growing their crew and keeping them happy, as well as upgrading their vessel to overcome the dangers of the deep. Diluvion is set in a post-apocalyptic future, where most of the planet and the leftovers of the old civilizations are underwater.

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Syberia 3

Syberia 3 Box Art

Syberia 3 is an upcoming adventure game developed by French studio Microïds, with story and design by Benoît Sokal. Like the previous installments, it follows American lawyer Kate Walker on her journey throughout fictionalized versions of Europe and Russia.

Syberia 3 begins with Kate being found on the edge of a river by the Youkole tribe, a nomadic people migrating with their snow ostriches. Stuck in Valsembor village, they must find a way to continue their journey together. The game features a brand new adventure, and is said to be “completely different” from the previous two Syberia titles.

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Birthdays the Beginning

Birthdays the Beginning Box Art

From Yasuhiro Wada, the creator of the Harvest Moon series, comes a new sandbox title called Birthdays the Beginning. The game allows the players to create cube-shaped worlds and fill them with mountains, forests, and seas. Altering the world’s geography and temperature gives rise to life forms, which continue to evolve and adapt to the environment, eventually resulting in the birth of an entire ecosystem.

In addition to sandbox gameplay, Birthdays the Beginning also has a challenge mode, which adds various success conditions to the game. The ultimate goals in the game include unlocking every creature in the library, and creating an environment suitable for a civilization, according to this interview.

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NieR: Automata

NieR: Automata Box Art

NieR: Automata is an action RPG developed by Japanese studio PlatinumGames and published by Square Enix. It is set in an open world and contains three playable characters, which are unlocked after clearing the previous protagonist’s story route.

Plot-wise, the game takes place an unknown number of years after the events in the original Nier. In an ongoing war between the remnants of humanity and machine invaders from another world, the players control humanity’s strongest weapons, combat androids called YoRHa. NieR: Automata retains the series’ traditional branching storylines and dark atmosphere.

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