Let’s take a look at … – Cross of the Dutchman

Cross of the Dutchman is based on the true story of Pier Gerlofs Donia, a legend in the medieval province of Frisna in Western Europe. When his land is threatened by invading Saxon troops, Pier takes the lead on gathering a small force to back them out of their land.

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Originally classified as an RPG, this new release from Triangle Studios has been re-labeled as action/ adventure. There are very light RPG elements- leveling up a limited number of health, stamina, and attack options and stats using gold collected in the game. Dialogue with other characters you encounter gives a basic story in between missions and combat. The mini map identifies the direction of your next objective, as well as enemy locations and direction. Gameplay is very straight forward- you attack with your fists or your sword, and each attack style has a “boosted” style that is part of your RPG decision making.

My feelings about this game are conflicted, so I will just list the pros and cons and let you decide!

PROS:

  • Gorgeous colorful graphics
  • Likeable characters
  • Artistic cut-scenes
  • Straightforward combat/easy to learn system
  • Useful mini-map
  • Low price
  • Nice soundtrack and sound effects
  • Good for achievement-hunters

CONS:

  • Very short game (estimated 4-8 hours depending on your style)- probably not much replay value
  • Attack direction is often difficult to get right- end up punching or swinging at air a lot
  • Stealth mode sections can be incredibly frustrating, especially when the save point is several minutes back
  • Some lag experienced during character dialogue and one fight
  • Little depth to the characters or story
  • Not too many areas- spend a lot of time running back and forth between already-explored areas

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I think this game has a lot of potential, but as it stands, it doesn’t contain much depth. I’d like to see the attack issue cleared up. I saw others on the forums mentioning this issue as well, so maybe this developer, who has been very kind and receptive to reviews and comments, will find a way to get that fixed. However, for the price and despite its limitations, this game is worth picking up to have some casual fighting fun.

Tl;dr –  Cross of the Dutchman is an action adventure game with light RPG elements that is worth checking out for its colorful graphics and simple play style. The game is light on story line and character development, but fans of medieval history should pick up this casual based-on-a-true-story game.

Rating – 7.5/10

Purchase – Steam £5.99/$8.99 (15% discount until September 17th £5.09/$7.64)

Trailer –

Let’s talk about … – StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void closed beta is live!

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Great news for fans of the StarCraft series, invites for the StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Closed Beta are going out today!

As well as ongoing changes to previously-announced multiplayer units, the first phase of Closed Beta will bring a new Protoss Unit, the Adept, and a few new maps:

A New Protoss Unit: The Adept

  • The Adept is a core gateway unit with a ground-only ranged attack and normal movement speed.
  • The Adept has an ability that sends out a mirror image of itself, and after a fixed duration, the unit teleports to the location of its duplicate – The duplicate can independently move around, but cannot attack or be attacked, and does not impede upon the actions of the main unit.

New Maps

  • Ruins of Seras – Seras is an ancient temple in a mountainous region of Aiur, the Protoss homeworld. It currently stands in ruins, surrounded by an encroaching jungle.
  • Lerilak Crest – Named after the Dark Templar who discovered it, this is an area on a Dark Templar world, embedded by xel’naga ruins.
  • Orbital Shipyard – Floating high above Korhal IV, this is a Terran starship repair platform.

Players with Closed Beta access will also get access to PvP multiplayer action as well as Archon Mode, a cooperative mode where 2 players come together, controlling a single army to defeat another opponent or team.

Once you receive your beta invite, simply download and install the game to begin testing Legacy of the Void. At the start of beta test, access will be granted by Blizzard directly flagging Battle.net accounts, so make sure to check in-case you miss the email! Beta keys will not be sent until later in the cycle.

The complete list of changes and features are available in the patch notes and a general Closed Beta FAQ can be found here.

Let’s talk about … – RIFT Echoes of Madness 3.2 Update

We received a press release late last week covering a new wardrobe system coming in an up-coming update to RIFT. I wasn’t sure if RIFT counts as Indie, or whether our reader-base plays rift etc. so I’ve been in 2 minds as to whether to cover the changes. Well, I figured what the hell. Post the article, gauge the reaction and see if it’s something we’ll continue to cover. So here’s some news on the up-coming 3.2 update to RIFT.

RIFTs next update, Echoes of Madness (3.2) is bringing a whole new wardrobe system to the game that will let you collect appearances, dyes and customize your look my mixing and matching the two.

Appearances

When you collect a weapon, equipment or costume the appearance of the item is automatically ‘collected’ and unlocked for future use. This applies to all items, even those you can’t use. For example if, as a mage, you acquired a shield you couldn’t use, then the appearance of the shield would be unlocked for all alts.

Each item slot to the left of your character now acts as a button that allows you to select one of your unlocked appearances. If the helmet icon is coloured in then it’s an appearance that you’ve unlocked and can use. A greyed out helmet means you’re yet to unlock that appearance. This system will allow you to create awesome looking armour with great ease. Epic!

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Dyes

The second major component to the wardrobe update is dyes. Once you have chosen an awesome appearance for your armour, you can customize it further by dyeing it 2 colours; primary and secondary. On release of the update a few of the dyes will be unlocked, but most will be purchased via credits. Once a dye is unlocked it has unlimited uses, and is available account-wide.

Dyes apply to the item slot and not just the item. For example, if you dyed your head slot red and gold, ANY helmet you equip will use that colour scheme. Once you’re done you hit save and your appearance/dye combination will be saved in a preset for future use meaning you can create multiple look sand switch between them easily.

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Weapon Wardrobe

Last but not least is the wardrobe system. For each possible weapon slot for your character you can assign an appearance. Then, depending on what type of weapon you have equip, you will see the corresponding appearance. For example, if you’re acting as a DPS and you have a 2-hand weapon equip, then you’ll see whatever appearance you set in the 2-hand weapon slot. If you then switched to a tank with a shield, then you’ll see whatever appearance was set in your shield slot. You set all weapons at one in your set and the game will automatically show the correct one.

When the update goes live, the system will automatically run through your inventory, bank and wardrobe and automatically unlock all those appearances. It will also unlock appearances for all items that you would have earned but have discarded.

So what do you think of the new update? How many of you play RIFT? Is it something you’d like IGUK to continue covering? Let us know in the comments.

You can read TRIONs full blog post on this here.

Let’s take a look at … – Glorkian Warrior: The Trials of Glork

Glorkian Warrior:The Trials of Glork is a vertical shooter/platformer* hybrid from the team over at Pixel Jam. Originally Kickstarted back in 2010, a rough journey, details of which you can read here, saw the game take 4 years to arrive on IOS. Now, ~1 year later, the game has arrived on Steam. Let’s a take a look.

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Glorkian Warrior is an undeniably charming game. The art was created by Eisner-award-winning cartoonist James Kochalka and gives the game a very warm and friendly feel. It takes you back to those cartoons you’d watch as a child (or as an adult in my case :D), making everything feel incredibly familiar; it’s playful and innocent.

Then we have the soundtrack and sound effects which are a vintage synth/techno blend that compliments the graphics amazingly. The underlying music of the game is sort of synthy and upbeat which enhances the charm of the overall aesthetic. Then we have the games sound effects which are very classic-arcade sounding which brings those memories and associations back to the cartoony world. It creates a really nice familiarity, like your favourite cartoon character has jumped into an old space invaders game.

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You play as The Glorkian Warrior, a recruit of the Glorkian Academy, and it is your job to protect your asteroid from the invading alien forces from above. To do this you fire (autofire) bullets from your trusty talking backpack and move around the level to hit the enemies above in typical vertical shooter style.

At the beginning of the article I put an asterisk after platformer. The game is described as a vertical shooter/platformer hybrid, but I didn’t find any major platforming mechanics! The extent of the platforming, from what I can gather, is the ability to jump. I’ve looked at screenshots online, and the trailer, and haven’t seen any real platforming there either. If this comes later in the game I’ll recant my statement, but if that’s the case it needs to come much earlier.

As you fight off the invaders they will drop power-ups that make your backpack more powerful. Drops such as double laser, triple laser and fireballs give your weapon some variety. These power-ups also stack so you can end up with some really unique combinations that are really fun to play with. The enemies also come in quite a few shapes and sizes, each having different looking attacks, but which ultimately function quite similarly.

After a certain number of waves a boss will appear who has some mechanics not seen in standard enemies and a short boss battle ensues. You repeat these waves and boss fights until you inevitably become overwhelmed, at which point you recount on your spoils of war, unlock any items you may have unlocked and see if your rank in the Gloria Academy has increased. The whole cycle then begins anew.

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I don’t really have anything bad to say about Glorkian Warrior. It is a perfectly pleasant and charming implementation of a well-loved genre. My problem with it is that it feels like it’s in shoes it can’t fill on PC. It feels too small, and the casual gameplay feels it would suite a mobile device better. Something you can pick up, spend 10 minutes in, and then put it down. I did a first impressions of this game (at which point I didn’t know it was available for IOS first) and my conclusion was that it was perfectly suited to IOS. When I’d finished recording I did some more research on the game found indeed that it is originally an IOS game and I feel that’s where it belongs.

Glorkian Warrior is a good game, and I’ll most likely play it in the future. On my iPad. If you’re into your vertical shooters, or enjoyed the game on IOS, then you’ll most likely enjoy the PC version. Especially since it costs only £2.79! There’s nothing wrong with the PC version, it just feels a touch out of place for me.

Rating – 7/10
Closing Summary – Glorkian Warrior is a pleasant and charming vertical shooter, but one which I ultimately feel belongs on a mobile device.
Purchase – Steam, £2.79 (or your regional equivalent)