We’re looking at a massive new DLC release for the excellent Cloudpunk today, called City of Ghosts. We’re also highlighting Solasta: Crown of the Magister and Imagine Earth, both which are leaving Early Access this week!
Cloudpunk – City of Ghosts DLC
We enjoyed and reviewed Cloudpunk when it launched last year, and were excited to see it was getting a DLC campaign. Unfortunately it’s not available for consoles (though the original game is), but PC owners can now explore the City of Ghosts in a narrative campaign that’s just as big as the base game was!
In the new campaign, you can play as returning character Rania, but City of Ghosts also adds a new character in the form of Hayse. This new cyberpunk story is once again full of evil corporations, but also introduces a cult-like group of people who actually worship the power of technology and AI. Rania’s story also ties into the base game through the Debt Corps, so it helps if you’re played Cloudpunk already. Hayse is a different type of character than Rania, with his addiction to alcohol and gambling, but faces familiar problems – and his story will ultimately cross paths with Rania’s as well.
It’s being released as a DLC add-on, but with its length and amount of content City of Ghosts feels more like a true sequel to the game – which is amazing value for money because it’s being sold at a DLC price point. It’s slightly more action-oriented than Cloudpunk was, but the gameplay will still feel familiar to those who played it. And if you haven’t, then definitely check it out now – it’s one of our favorite cyberpunk titles of the past year.
Developed and published by Serious Bros, Imagine Earth certainly managed to put the “early” in Early Access – having spent seven (!) years there. It’s finally been released into its 1.0 form though, and it is heading to the Xbox One soon as well.
A city builder/economic sim at heart, Imagine Earth has you assuming control of a space colony that’s faced with the adverse effects of climate change. With this comes a need for resources and trade, while trying to make your colony sustainable in the long run as well. With definite echoes of games like Civilization, you’ll perform research and engage with other settlements as well.
The nods to present-day challenges on Earth are clear, and are what makes Imagine Earth interesting as well. How will you keep your emissions low enough, and at what price? Creating a sustainable colony isn’t just a case of building and managing a human civilization on another planet though – you’ll also have invading aliens to cope with, and interstellar trade doesn’t come without the danger of space pirates either.
If you’re interested in city builders like SimCity and the classic Civ experience of the first games in the series, then Imagine Earth is worth a look if the thematic approach of blending those classic gameplay styles with climate change intrigues you.
Solasta: Crown of the Magister
Those who enjoy videogame conversions of tabletop games will no doubt have taken note of Solasta: Crown of the Magister, and this week the game launches out of Early Access! Developed and published by Tactical Adventures, it’s a PC-exclusive title based on the Dungeons & Dragons SRD 5.1 Ruleset.
The love for the classic tabletop experience really shines through in Solasta, so if you’re not familiar with “dice rolling” mechanics then you might feel like a fish out of water here, even though on the outside Solasta looks like a fairly typical RPG game with a party of four protagonists with unique skills and attributes. You’ll notice the tabletop influences early on though, as even the character creation portion of the game features dice rolls.
Narratively, Solasta paints a fantasy tale about ancient artifacts, dark omens and vicious monsters. Combat is of the turn-based variety, and makes excellent use of the game’s scenery. This translates to using height advantages through clever positioning, but you can also change the tide of battle by destroying aspects of the environment. Cut off an attack by destroying the bridge in front of your enemy (of even better, destroy it when they’re on there), or have part of the scenery collapse on top of them. With some imagination you can have these experiences in a tabletop environment, but it’s great to see them come to life on the screen.
Based on our initial impressions Solasta feels like a great adaptation of the Dungeons & Dragons ruleset, so if you don’t feel like waiting for Baldur’s Gate 3 to come out of Early Access then this is a great chance to jump into a digital D&D experience right now.