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Alien RPG Announced

SEGA Signs Obsidian Entertainment To Develop Alien Title For Next-Generation Systems follows up on recent word on new Alien games (story) with the announcement of the promised role-playing game, confirming the subsequent report of Obsidian's involvement (story). No release date is offered, but the announcement does state the game will appear on the PC as well as consoles. here's the deal:

SAN FRANCISCO & LONDON (December 11, 2006) – SEGA® of America Inc. and SEGA® Europe Ltd. today announced that Obsidian Entertainment will create a role-playing game based on the Alien film franchise with license from Twentieth Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising. This title will be developed for the next-generation systems and the PC.

Obsidian Entertainment draws upon their wealth of design knowledge creating successful games such as the best-selling Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: Sith Lords and the award-winning Neverwinter Nights 2 to bring the Alien franchise to role-playing gamers for the first time. The role playing game will build upon the distinctive look and feel of the original films while utilizing next-generation technology to create an entirely different and unique Alien experience.

"With Obsidian Entertainment's development pedigree, they were our first choice to bring the Alien franchise to the RPG universe," said Simon Jeffery, President and COO, SEGA of America, Inc. "They are the only developer for us that could effectively combine the Alien mythology with compelling RPG gameplay to create the ultimate Alien experience."

"We are thrilled to be working with the great production and publishing teams at SEGA to deliver the ultimate in-depth Alien experience to gamers worldwide," said Feargus Urquhart, CEO of Obsidian Entertainment. "Building an epic RPG with a license as heralded as the Alien franchise is truly a great honor."

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60. Re: Grab bag of thoughts Dec 15, 2006, 00:34 Jerykk
 

And hell with you, Commandos > Commandos 2 > Commandos 3

C3 was only hard because of the respawning enemies and time limits. That was a load of crap. C2 wasn't hard, it just was just extremely time consuming since you had to take out enemies one by one. I'd say the original Commandos was the hardest, though C2 is the best, since it introduced more characters, indoor environments, etc. It also looked much prettier.

 
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59. RPGs? Dec 14, 2006, 23:44 Shataan
 
Who needs em? Now, if they got a new next gen Unreal 3 engined AVP... based more on Rebellions PC version, I`d be very interested in that.

 
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58. Re: Grab bag of thoughts Dec 14, 2006, 16:11 PHJF
 
The only complaint I've heard people mutter about Commandos 3 is that it's so fucking hard, and that means a lot compared to how fucking hard Commandos 2 is. Yes, maps were smaller, but they were more vibrant.

And hell with you, Commandos > Commandos 2 > Commandos 3

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57. Re: Grab bag of thoughts Dec 14, 2006, 14:22 Jerykk
 
Commandos was fun, a bit limited but fun. A bit of a clickfest at times, but fun.


It wasn't really tactical, though.

Uh, how was Commandos a clickfest? Diablo is a clickfest. Commandos is not. Commandos couldn't be a clickfest, considering how badly outnumbered you are in every level and how easily you die. Hell, one level took me ten hours to clear (and by clear, I mean, neutralize every single Nazi on the map). On average, each level took at least 4 hours to clear. Actually, that was in Commandos 2 (the best in the series), to be exact.

And as an owner of Commandos 1-3, how was Commandos 3 dumbed down?

Commandos 3 had smaller, less interactive levels (fewer places to hide, most cabinets and closets no longer contained items, etc). It had fewer characters and the characters that remained could do a lot more (for example, the Thief could carry bodies now). There was also a decided emphasis on action, meaning that levels often had contrived pace-setters, like time limits and respawning enemies (ala train level). This ruined the whole slow, methodical nature of the previous games. Finally, the interface was horribly maimed to be console-friendly. The vast majority of hotkeys were removed, making the controls far more cumbersome than they should have been. Oh, and the max resolution was 1024x768, wasn't it? Don't remember exactly, but I know for sure you couldn't have as high a res as in Commandos 2.

Uh, by actually creating an AI.

Yes, but how do you actually program AI? I'm assuming you have to use an existing programming language, which would also mean that you have to rely on conditionals, just like everything else.

i dont really understand why you cant be satisfied with the simple fact that you dont like TBS games.. instead you must argue that they are "worthless" etc. etc.

open your eyes, welcome to the real world - it doesnt revolve around you

Hmm, I think it's pretty well-established that I don't like turn-based games (turn-based combat in RPGs, to be specific). As such, I provide my reasons for having this opinion. I think this is much better than stating an opinion without any basis.

This comment was edited on Dec 14, 14:38.
 
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56. No subject Dec 14, 2006, 13:10 space captain
 
i dont really understand why you cant be satisfied with the simple fact that you dont like TBS games.. instead you must argue that they are "worthless" etc. etc.

open your eyes, welcome to the real world - it doesnt revolve around you

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55. Re: Grab bag of thoughts Dec 14, 2006, 11:27 Beamer
 
Commandos was fun, a bit limited but fun. A bit of a clickfest at times, but fun.


It wasn't really tactical, though.

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54. Re: Grab bag of thoughts Dec 14, 2006, 07:44 PHJF
 
I don't think I've ever seen an RPG that forces you to fight 10 or more enemies at the same time. When you have that many enemies, your tactical options become greatly reduced, regardless of real-time or turn-based combat. In my hypothetical game, you could do the following:

1) Assume the sniper role and plop her at a good vantage point overlooking the enemy position (given the large number of enemies, I'm assuming that it's an enemy base). Set to Defense mode so that she doesn't fire until told to.

2) Assume the explosives guy role and place lots of remote mines in chokepoints around the perimeter of the base (gates, entrances, etc).

3) Assume the melee guy role, run into the base, punch a few enemies and get them to chase you. Lead them through the mined areas.

4) When the enemies are over the mines, detonate them. Switch the sniper to Offensive mode so she starts firing away at survivors. In order to get to her, they'll have to pass through one of the mined areas and get blown up.

Actually, now that I think about it, this sounds a lot like Commandos. Now that was a good, real-time tactical strategy game. It's too bad they dumbed it down for the third and fourth iterations.

Again, you're asking for a perfect game whose merits far exceed both the willingness of developers to develop and the publishers to publish.

And as an owner of Commandos 1-3, how was Commandos 3 dumbed down? Commandos Strike Force I regarded as a leper.

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53. Re: Grab bag of thoughts Dec 14, 2006, 07:40 PHJF
 
Now, you say that "AI" in games is basically just elaborate scripting. Duh. How else can programmers create AI?

Uh, by actually creating an AI. The term AI in reference to games is a complete and total misnomer. Intelligence is defined as the ability to learn or adapt to new situations. Scripts are counter to intelligence. The technology and knowhow is there to create a full-function AI. Unfortunately there doesn't exist a strong enough desire to pursue it. Why spend countless resources on creating something that you already have billions of scattered across the planet? To recall what I said earlier, as well, game developers tend to ignore "AI" as much as possible. It simply isn't a priority, especially given the rising requirements for the rest of the technology in a modern game. Gamers are complacent with NPCs that are not scripted to behave remotely intelligently.

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52. Re: Grab bag of thoughts Dec 14, 2006, 06:14 Jerykk
 
Imagine how much harder it will be to keep track of everything thats going on when you have three enemies, a squad (10) worth of enemies, a whole platoon (35ish) worth of enemies. Your theoretical example only has a hope of working if the combat is kept at a very small scale level; if you expand it you introduce too many moving parts for a player to keep track of during real time.

I don't think I've ever seen an RPG that forces you to fight 10 or more enemies at the same time. When you have that many enemies, your tactical options become greatly reduced, regardless of real-time or turn-based combat. In my hypothetical game, you could do the following:

1) Assume the sniper role and plop her at a good vantage point overlooking the enemy position (given the large number of enemies, I'm assuming that it's an enemy base). Set to Defense mode so that she doesn't fire until told to.

2) Assume the explosives guy role and place lots of remote mines in chokepoints around the perimeter of the base (gates, entrances, etc).

3) Assume the melee guy role, run into the base, punch a few enemies and get them to chase you. Lead them through the mined areas.

4) When the enemies are over the mines, detonate them. Switch the sniper to Offensive mode so she starts firing away at survivors. In order to get to her, they'll have to pass through one of the mined areas and get blown up.

Actually, now that I think about it, this sounds a lot like Commandos. Now that was a good, real-time tactical strategy game. It's too bad they dumbed it down for the third and fourth iterations.

Well, when you openly say you're going to steal a game in a much beloved series, then you will receive the title of "Fucktard" from those here.

When did I ever state I was going to download Fallout 3? I said that if the game is completely turn-based, I won't even download it, implying that the game wouldn't even be worth pirating, letalone buying.

Don't you think there's room in this world for intellectual, strategic and tactical games? Or should every single game just be you firing a gun through the eyes of Duke Nukem?

Actually, my hypothetical example was that of a party-based action RPG which would involve real-time combat, actual player skill and tactical depth. Obviously, certain elements of gameplay are better suited to turn-based gameplay. Combat is just not one of them.

Think about those "immersive" shooters like Half-Life 2, Call of Duty. Remember anything specific? I'm sure you do.

You assume incorrectly. HL2 and CoD are forgettable because of their highly scripted nature. The most memorable moments I remember are those that emerged from good AI. I remember in Gothic, the first time I tried to sneak into somebody's house (or rather, hut), they ran up and yelled at me to get out. I remember when I climbed up onto a ledge and an Orc actually jumped and climbed up after me. These are basic things now (except for platforming AI, which I haven't seen since) but back then, they really impressed me and made the experience all the more immersive.

Your argument is that turn-based games are necessary because AI is too retarded. My argument is that developers should actually strive to improve AI so that turn-based gameplay is unnecessary.

Immersion in games is limited to A) graphics B) audio C) scripted sequences.

I disagree. As mentioned earlier, I was highly immersed in the Gothic world and certainly not because of graphics and audio. I was immersed by how NPCs and enemies would actually react to what I was doing. Whether it be the pack mentality of the little goblins, the stalking of the Snappers or just the general behavior of the NPCs, AI is what made the game. Now, you say that "AI" in games is basically just elaborate scripting. Duh. How else can programmers create AI? Everything is a set of conditionals. Something happens, the AI reacts to it. Not sure how else you can implement AI.

And yes, I am relatively young. 22, to be specific. Did I grow up on Halo? Not exactly, I grew up on Commander Keen, Secret Agent, Crystal Caves and all those lovely EGA and CGA games on my 286. The difference between you and I is that I seek to maximize the gaming potential of the computer medium, whereas you seek to merely recreate traditional experiences of older mediums. I think this was firmly established when you excused (ironically) the horrible AI of NWN2 simply because it was D&D, as if that lets the game ignore the established standards of modern games.

This comment was edited on Dec 14, 06:35.
 
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51. Re: Grab bag of thoughts Dec 14, 2006, 05:21 Masa
 

But you're not even mentioning real-time strategy, here. You're comparing games like X-Com and Fallout to FPS games. Weird.
Don't you think there's room in this world for intellectual, strategic and tactical games? Or should every single game just be you firing a gun through the eyes of Duke Nukem?

You know, I accused you several times of your gaming vision being obscured by rose-colored goggles. I owe you an apology. I thought you were a sort of curmudgeon who thought a little too kindly of the past, but I do rather agree with your past couple of statements.

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50. Re: Grab bag of thoughts Dec 14, 2006, 04:05 Beamer
 
How anyone can speak ill about X-Com...


Turn-based games allow you time to parse information and make decisions. It is like being a general.

Real-time games are just clickfests. Very few of them, namely Sid Meier's Gettysburg, give you combat-based tactics. Most are simply building strategies. You win not by fighting better, but by building the better army. And clicking really, really quickly.


But you're not even mentioning real-time strategy, here. You're comparing games like X-Com and Fallout to FPS games. Weird.
Don't you think there's room in this world for intellectual, strategic and tactical games? Or should every single game just be you firing a gun through the eyes of Duke Nukem?

Don't get me wrong, I love FPS games, but I'll take a slow-paced, tense game of Civ of JA2 over them at least half the time.

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49. Re: Grab bag of thoughts Dec 14, 2006, 03:52 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Anyway, here's an example of how good, tactical combat can still be done in real-time:

Did you ever play Fallout Tactics? It had both a real time mode and a turn based mode. The Real Time mode was basically unplayable. Why? Shit happened too damn fast. The game was pretty challenging so the various encounters required thought and planning to get through successfully, and in real time mode stuff happened too fast for you to apply the tactics necessary to win. You might respond that this is more realistic. Maybe, but a real commander: 1) doesn't have to deal with an interface, he just issues orders, and 2) doesn't have soldiers with crappy AI but instead real people who have effective training and are capable of thinking for themselves.

Your example sounds great but how about you go implement that in a game and see how far you get. I have never, never seen a real time game that allows you to make use of tactics like you have described, at the very least there needs to be a pause function. Doesn't mean it's impossible, but I suspect interface and AI limitations are going to keep such a game from being made for quite a while. Also, your example only has one enemy in it. Imagine how much harder it will be to keep track of everything thats going on when you have three enemies, a squad (10) worth of enemies, a whole platoon (35ish) worth of enemies. Your theoretical example only has a hope of working if the combat is kept at a very small scale level; if you expand it you introduce too many moving parts for a player to keep track of during real time.

In every real time game, compromises have to made to it's tactical complexity in comparison to it's turn based counterparts. Baldur's Gate vs. Fallout for example. Fallout had much more tactically complex combat, period. If Baldur's Gate presented the options available in Fallout, the game would simply have been unplayable in real time. Even with the reduced options they still had to introduce a pause function to keep it playable.

My point with all of this is that there hasn't been a tactically complex real time game. I'm not opposed to their being one, in fact I'd like for there to be one, but the reality is that it's next to impossible to design such a game with out creating a combat system that is simply overwhelming for the player. If you can point to a game that has successfully done this, but again I've never seen a real time game that has had tactical complexity approaching what was seen in games like X-COm and Jagged Alliance 2.

 
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48. Re: Grab bag of thoughts Dec 14, 2006, 03:44 Masa
 
And from your stance on turn based atmospheres I'll wager that you are quite young (read: still with parents)... I grew up on methodical board games with my siblings and parents.

Dude, that even stung me

 
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47. Re: Grab bag of thoughts Dec 14, 2006, 03:39 PHJF
 
Except your entire argument is nullfied because AI in games *doesn't fucking exist*. Do you have and idea much work goes into creating, of all things, a computer which can play competent, humanistic chess? Chess, a turn based game centuries old. A game based on simple rules.

And now you want somebody to jump up and make a real-time, first person shooter to do that. Sorry, it isn't happening. Developers barely give a thought to NPC actions as it is. They are scripted to do simple procedures under well-defined circumstances. It's not AI. It's not remotely close. Turn based games leave much less room for the scripts to make stupid mistakes because turn based games are heavily controlled. Think about a shooter; there are infinite points on a map for any NPC to be standing (in theory). At every single point, every single "decision" its scripts make will be different. One pixel to the left and it could do something "smart" and take cover. One to the right and it could just stand there while you shoot it in the head, failing to react.

Think about those "immersive" shooters like Half-Life 2, Call of Duty. Remember anything specific? I'm sure you do. You remember deliberately scripted sequences programmed to happen at exactly one moment with exactly one outcome. Notice how Oblivion had little scripting, and how horribly *dull* the world came off as? That's what happens when the "AI" is left to its own devices. Immersion in games is limited to A) graphics B) audio C) scripted sequences. While certainly better than many past attempts, even the mighty enemies of FEAR failed to compare to the rational, intelligent nature of a human player. Notice how many people play Counter-Strike, Battlefield, Quake. You think they are playing singleplayer? They play because AI isn't even an issue. You're playing a real being.

Bottom line. Turn based games have FAR less variables and room for error. The enemy makes simple calculations to decide what to do. Same as the player. It's a heavily controlled environment where little can go wrong. Computers are made to perform calculations, not "think".

And from your stance on turn based atmospheres I'll wager that you are quite young (read: still with parents) or you had a poor childhood. You kids these days grow up playing Halo instead of Monopoly. I grew up on methodical board games with my siblings and parents.


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46. Re: Grab bag of thoughts Dec 14, 2006, 03:28 Masa
 
And I have played X-Com

No, you didn't. You simply manipulated the controls and thought you were playing. I'm obviously being sarcastic, but if you didn't or couldn't get immersed in the the game then you weren't playing it.

You keep doing that because those series bore me to tears. For me, immersion is a key factor in games. Turn-based combat isn't immersive.

Hmm, to each his own, but don't say turn-based aren't immersing because you find them boring. A lot of people with more patience do find them entertaining.

the "tactics" involved in turn-based RPG combat aren't exactly deep and certainly not on par with games like Civ.

Jeez, the Civ games are also fully bloated macro-level strategy games. Of course the system's going to be different.

You don't need to have turn-based gameplay in order to pull them off. You just need more skill.

Skill or timing, take your pick. The thing is, you typically don't have as much control over your minions in a real time fight as you would in a term based environment. I loved that about X-COM, you controlled every little function your soldiers did, from kneeling, lying prone, firing, etc.

Ah, that's funny, I thought you earned that title when you described Interplay as being "very much alive."

Well, when you openly say you're going to steal a game in a much beloved series, then you will receive the title of "Fucktard" from those here. Don't you read what you type?


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45. Re: Grab bag of thoughts Dec 14, 2006, 03:03 Jerykk
 
It's true that turn-based gameplay gives you more time to reflect upon the action but I wouldn't say that it is necessarily more intense. I'd argue that real-time is far more intense because you have no time to sit back and watch and you also have a chance to make a difference. In a turn-based game, once you make a choice, it's done and you can't change it. Make a bad choice and you sit there thinking, "Damn," until your next turn. In real-time, if you make a bad choice, you think "Arg! Okay, how am I going to survive this?" as you try to salvage the situation.

And I have played X-Com, albeit not for long because the combination of turn-based gameplay and isometric perspective made it impossible for me to be immersed in the game.

Anyway, here's an example of how good, tactical combat can still be done in real-time:

You are facing off against a large, heavily armored and heavily armed enemy with a ballistic shield that deflects any physical projectiles. He also has a nasty flamethrower, fueled by a large tank on his back. On his back is a large Your squad consists of three members: an explosives guy, a melee guy and a sniper chick. You can control any one character directly while placing other characters in "modes": defensive, neutral, aggressive. Your squadmates will automatically take cover, engage the enemy, etc, depending on their mode. Any action that you perform while controlling a character will continue to be performed by the AI once you switch to another character, unless you change their mode.

Starting off, none of your squadmates can hurt the enemy, since his ballistic shield deflects all projectiles and your melee character gets burned to a crisp before he can get close. So, you take control of your explosives guy and toss an EMP grenade to temporarily disable the enemy's shields. Now, you instantly switch over to the sniper and shoot the tube connecting the flamethrower to the fuel tank, effectively rendering the weapon useless. The enemy realizes this, tosses away the weapon, then charges at your squad. At this point, you switch to your melee character and charge right back, exchanging blows with the enemy. Now, since the enemy is considerably larger and stronger than your melee character, you probably won't win that battle, but it will provide a good distraction. Switch to your explosives guy and while the enemy is busy trading fists with your melee character, you can run up behind him and toss a demo pack onto the enemy's fuel tank. Now, take cover and switch your squadmates to Defensive mode and once they are in the clear, detonate the pack, which blows up the tank and the enemy along with it. If the enemy is still standing after that, you can finish him off in whatever manner you like.

The aforementioned example is all in real-time but captures all of the tactics involved in turn-based gameplay. It is also far more intense and immersive, since you are always at risk and have to think on your feet. You also have direct control over all your squadmates, meaning you can aim, duck, roll, block, etc, depending on what character you are controlling. In addition, you have fully utilized AI that is self-sufficient and adapts to the situation accordingly, though not to the degree of doing everything perfectly and letting you sit back and watch.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Mass Effect seems to be heading in this direction and looks to be a marked improvement over the antiquated, pure turn-based gameplay of past.

 
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44. Re: Grab bag of thoughts Dec 14, 2006, 02:04 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Turn-based combat isn't immersive.

You never played Jagged Alliance 2 did you? X-Com (quite possibly the most immersive game that is over a decade old)? Or the Combat Mission series? Combat Mission was probably the most intense strategy game I have ever played, bar none. And not only was it turn-based, it would not have been any where near as intense had they tried to make it a real time game.

edit: I wanted to add that turn based combat allows for something that real time combat does not. Namely it gives you time to process the stuff that is happening. In a shooter, if something bad happens you either die or you quickly overcome what ever the bad thing is. In a turn based game control is taken away from you for a moment and you are helpless as you watch something bad happen, and then you are right back in control. It creates this kind of tension which simply can't exist in a real time game because by the time you can react emotionally to something the fight is already over. When you get back in control after some major setback during the enemies turn, your left saying "SHIT, what do I do now? How can I still win this?" Then you study the situation and try to come up with a solution. It's an entirely different dynamic, where you have time to be impacted by and process the stuff that is happening. This can create a far bigger emotional impact than what exists in a real time game.
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43. Re: Grab bag of thoughts Dec 14, 2006, 01:21 Jerykk
 
thats understandable - you have to possess the ability to think before you can enjoy it

As opposed to the ability to aim, dodge, hide, take cover, sneak up behind enemies, use physics against your opponents, have enemies that react to their environment, etc?

I think I'll take real-time combat, thank you very much.

I'll keep enjoying Civilization 4. Or the Final Fantasy games.

You keep doing that because those series bore me to tears. For me, immersion is a key factor in games. Turn-based combat isn't immersive. Far from it. Nothing quite like running up to an enemy, then getting popped into a turn-based arena (even worse when the encounters are random, ala many JRPGs) where you take turns attacking each other.

You speak of tactics as if they can't be done in real-time. Look at Mass Effect. Everything is real-time, but you still have tactics. Use one guy to disable an enemy's shield, another guy to buff up the main attacker, etc.

Let's be frank, the "tactics" involved in turn-based RPG combat aren't exactly deep and certainly not on par with games like Civ. You don't need to have turn-based gameplay in order to pull them off. You just need more skill.

Congratulations on acquiring venomhead's previous title of "biggest fucktard on Bluesnews"

You've most certainly earned it.

Ah, that's funny, I thought you earned that title when you described Interplay as being "very much alive."

This comment was edited on Dec 14, 01:35.
 
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42. Re: Grab bag of thoughts Dec 13, 2006, 23:51 space captain
 
Turn-based combat has no place in a modern RPG (or any modern single-player game, for that matter).

thats understandable - you have to possess the ability to think before you can enjoy it



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41. Re: Grab bag of thoughts Dec 13, 2006, 23:07 PHJF
 
If Fallout 3 is completely turn-based, I won't even bother downloading it. Last time I checked, it was 2006, not 1997. We now have the technology to enable such wonderful things as AI, location-based damage, physics, etc. If I want a turn-based game, I'll play chess. Or Worms. Turn-based combat has no place in a modern RPG (or any modern single-player game, for that matter).

Congratulations on acquiring venomhead's previous title of "biggest fucktard on Bluesnews"

You've most certainly earned it.

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