Paradox’s Project Posted: War Of The Roses

By Dan Grill on August 17th, 2011 at 3:37 pm.


Apparently, Paradox CEO Fred Wester’s dream game is set…in Staffordshire, England. Or so you’d think from the very limited CGI trailer we’ve just been shown at GamesCom, which intones “Staffordshire, 1471″ at its beginning and shows a Very Serious armour-clad Lord scowling as his horse climbs through a wood, scowling when he sees a castle under siege, and scowling as he raises his sword and rides away. He probably scowled when his first child was born. Formerly “Project Postman”, this is Paradox’s big mystery game: a roaming medieval melee combat game, now revealed as War Of The Roses.

Apparently, the game is going to look very similar to the trailer, when completed, so it’s not entirely misleading. Unusually for Paradox, it’s a fairly pure combat-oriented game set in Medieval times. Gordon Van Dyke, the Paradox Producer in charge of managing developer Fatshark, creators of Lead & Gold, described it as being based on an “accessible melee combat system”, and implied that it was going to be very similar to Mount & Blade, if slightly more arcadey.

The impression is that your character will be involved in monstrous medieval battles where the sides are beating each other with lumps of metal, pincushioning the landscape with arrows, and generating carrion to keep those crows oh-so happy. “Frederick, when he played the first prototype of this game”, said Van Dyke “it was just a bleak surroundings with two guys with swords and shields. We just practised and looked at the combat, and we’ve gone back and iterated on it… we’re trying to approach it in the same way (as first person shooters). It’s an area that’s kind of missing in the market, right now.”


There will be a single-player story-driven campaign designed to help players get into the multiplayer part of the game. Given the era and title, that’s fairly likely to involve you taking the part of one of the houses of Lancaster or York (White or Red Roses), as they butcher and intrigue their through 30 years of English history. The era saw the first introduction of gunpowder technology, meaning the once-impregnable castles of the Lords and Barons began to fall in short order.

Despite the potential strength of the story, Martin Wahlund, Fatshark’s CEO and internal producer, pointed out that the focus of the game is very much on multiplayer, as they try to capture the feel of the era’s combat. “The goal is to allow as many people as possible… (in) a really medieval battle”. The game will support dedicated servers (to allow players to customise their gameplay and the map set-ups) and will track players’ ranks in various weaponry systems across all games; if you invest a lot of time into broadsword skills, you’ll be reward for that. Performing unique actions in single or multiplayer will also unlock unique items for multiplayer use, implying the multiplayer will be something like a huge scale Modern Warfare. “dedication to playing the game should have some intrinsic value” says Van Dyke.

The game is being built with the proprietary and multiplatform BitSquid engine, which means, sadly, it might not be a PC exclusive. It’s due in 2012.

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79 Comments »

    • Askeladd says:

      And here the trailer for anyone interested:

    • Mad Hamish says:

      Is that another Ulver fan I see before me? I’ve heard bad things about War of the Roses so far. Haven’t heard anything off it yet, but Shadows of the Sun is one of my fav albums of the last few years and everything Garm touches is gold.

      But this game sounds great. Medieval combat, similar to M&B. That’s all I need. Also I really hope it’s historically accurate. Maybe it’s odd for an Irishman, but I love English history.

    • Kaira- says:

      I gave a quick spin to Wars of the Roses – sounds interesting, have to listen it more some day. I haven’t really gotten into Ulver after their folk/black metal-season and Perdition City/Lyckantropen Themes.

    • Eukatheude says:

      Actually i’ve listened to the whole album live on their only italian gig some months ago, and for some reason i haven’t laid my hands on the record yet.

    • Sirbolt says:

      Have Ulver actually done anything good since “Nattens Madrigal”? I tried to get into the William Blake one, back in the day, but it never really clicked with me.

    • Kaira- says:

      @SirBolt

      I’d really recommend Perdition City and Lyckantropen Themes, also Blood Inside. If you can handle… don’t know what they are called, experimental electronic music?

    • Eukatheude says:

      Sort of an umbrella term, but i guess it’s hard to find something that fits them perfectly.
      Anyway, rather than Blood Inside i’d give Shadows Of The Sun a go, personally i like it much more. And of course i agree on Perditon City, their best album to my taste.

      On a side note, on how many other gaming sites you can have some decent music discussion? Man, i love RPS.

  1. razgon says:

    Interesting – I’ve always wondered by the bigger publishers never took notice of some of the more wildly successful indie titles out there, and tried to emulate what they did, just in an AAA game.

    Color me interested!

  2. skurmedel says:

    Paradox have my babies.

  3. eroticfishcake says:

    A sort of Mount & Blade but prettier? I can get behind that if it’s done right.

    • UncleLou says:

      I was just about to say something similar. The M&B formula needs to be ripped off shamelessly and used in a bigger budget game.

      I am almost a bit excited.

    • Jockie says:

      Pretty much what I was thinking as I read through the article, do we know if Taleworlds are involved at all?

      Also, a game set in Northern England, woo!

    • Kent says:

      Considering Paradox published Mount & Blade, it’s strange that they wouldn’t put those guys on it. I think Fatshark also was mentioned in the article and if they have any relation to this product then you can just as well forget about this title.

    • Gar says:

      I wish the new Heroes of Might and Magic was a blatant M&B ripoff :/

    • Kadayi says:

      M&B:WB is a fantastic game, but it does beg for a remake with a much larger budget for sure (better graphics, smoother movement, smarter AI, better GUI & a lot more variety in the sounds). I’m always recommending it to friends, but the opening proviso is ‘ignore the look, it’s all about the game play’.

    • Oak says:

      I eventually grew fond of M&B’s crappy looks. It’s a charming breed of ugly.

    • D3xter says:

      I’ve always skipped Mount&Blade because of the looks, but I’m sooo in for this.

  4. Abundant_Suede says:

    They’re totally ripping off A Game of Thrones!

    (ironic winky emoticon goes here)

    • Mattressi says:

      Worse; it’s clearly infringing on the ‘Call of Duty: World at War’ trademark – it blatantly contains the word ‘War’ in it. Hopefully Actiblizzion will be onto this quick smart.

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      lasikbear says:

      Worse than that, it also shamelessly rips of “Men of War” by including ‘men’ and ‘war’ in the actual game!

      I don’t see this going well for them at all.

    • Tei says:

      I often confuse this game with Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena, Yu-Gi-Oh/duelist of the Roses, Rumble Roses, Glass Rose and LA FEE LILY ROSE 2.

    • Sassenach says:

      It’s ripping of world of warcraft, because it’s set in a ‘world’. No originality there.

    • JackShandy says:

      Look at those fucking horses! I’ve had it with games ripping off The Saddle Club.

  5. JohnnyMaverik says:

    Sounds intriguing if not entirely convincing.

  6. Creeping Death says:

    I’m already sold. Can I preorder now Paradox? :P

  7. matnym says:

    I’ve always wanted more games like this; a medieval setting without elves or stupid magic.

    • Creeping Death says:

      It is something that has been surprisingly underused.

      I would be perfectly fine if it were to become the new WWII in video games for the next few years :P

    • skyturnedred says:

      Pre-order bonus: Elven Wizard class.

    • vecordae says:

      I’d like to see a WWII game with elves and wizards at some point.

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      BathroomCitizen says:

      What about dwarves? No dwarves?

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      bear912 says:

      CHAINSAWS.

  8. Echo Black says:

    Fuck. Amazing news! M&B with a better budget sounds great to me.

  9. Renfield says:

    “The game is being built with the proprietary and multiplatform BitSquid engine, which means, sadly, it might not be a PC exclusive.” Burn the heathens, etc.

    I for one am glad for the widest possible dissemination of medieval carnage. As a result, perhaps a publisher with a real budget (sorry, Paradox :( ) might give it a shot too.

    • Bob_Bobson says:

      Games that are badly ported to the PC are a shame for PC gaming. Games that are written for multi-platforms, including PC, by a company with a good PC pedegree is a perfectly fine thing. I don’t much care if a game is available to our console cousins or not, it’s PC gaming I’m interested in.

    • xian says:

      “PC only to start with.”

      According to some Paradox dude on their forums.

    • Bart Stewart says:

      The game is being built with the proprietary and multiplatform BitSquid engine, which means, sadly, it might not be a PC exclusive.

      I would revise “might not be” to “almost certainly will not be” — they used the magic word “accessible.”

      Designing a game so that lots of people can enjoy it is fine; it’s just gotten to the point where “accessible” has become code for “the money people told us we had to design it to run on a consoletoy.”

      I could be wrong, but I don’t think this is what the voices are telling me through my tinfoil hat. You’re free to search for uses of the word “accessible” by game developers and decide for yourself whether such uses have or have not led inexorably to dumbed-downification.

  10. Valvarexart says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOn8a0RNOO0

    Trailer is indeed “very limited”.

    • Rii says:

      Thanks for that. Talking about a trailer without linking to said trailer makes for /sadface.

    • Simas says:

      M’lord, that guy at the end of the trailer jumped down the hill!

  11. Nikolaj says:

    Somebody needs to tell Paradox that it’s Wars of the Roses, not War of the Roses (which is a bad Hollywood movie). Also, I don’t like it when single player campaigns are included mainly as an introduction to multiplayer.

    Still, I must admit I’m a bit excited. I’ve been wanting a game on this subject for a while.

  12. Teddy Leach says:

    As a Yorkshire lad, I will happily slaughter some Lancastrians.

    • Duke of Chutney says:

      i have the white rose flag hung on my wall. I wrap my self in it every morning, this strengthens my opinions throughout the whole day

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      BathroomCitizen says:

      edit: Whoops, wrong reply!

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      I’m hoping for accurately modelled 15th century Yorkshire dales to ride around in. And also something that shows how much we’ve moved that border stone on the M62.

  13. Unaco says:

    I was so excited when I started reading this… Roaming Medieval Melee combat! War of the Roses! Paradox! Horses! Sieges! Pauldrons!

    “very similar to Mount & Blade, if slightly more arcadey” and focus on Multiplayer are dampening the fires of my loins a little though. I’d rather see combat similar to M&B but with more to it, more simulation, rather than it being more accessible and ‘arcadey’. I’d also like to see a hefty Single Player focus… as people have been saying, a M&B with a bigger budget, more polish, better campaign etc.

    Am very interested though, considering my ‘dream game’ is along the lines of a cross between Crusader Kings/EU, Mount and Blade and Total War… with a Fechtbuch as a design document.

    • Mattressi says:

      I agree. I was extremely excited when I read that it was medieval melee combat and was published by paradox. I thought it’d be a more extensive and simmy M&B, but was disappointed to see it described as being more arcadey. Still, I’m excited for it – just so long as there’s at least some kind of blocking and timing involved in the combat. I wish there’d be more medieval FPS/TPS games with no magic and more simulation. Then again, I wish there’d be realistic FPS/TPS US Revolutionary War games, and I’ve been told that that means my opinion slightly differs from what may be profitable…

    • AlonePlusEasyTarget says:

      As it seems it will be going to be released on consoles too going arcadey is the only way to entice them.

    • frenz0rz says:

      Gotta admit that this was my first thought as well. A game like this made as a simulation, albeit with the ability to rise through the ranks and actually command armies, has been my dream game concept for years. To rise from the ranks as a lowlly man-at-arms in charge of a small warrior band, to a knight commanding a small company, and eventually to a noble leading an entire army into battle. That – in a very historically accurate environment and as few ‘arcadey’ features as possible – would be my dream game. I’m hoping this one at least brushes close.

      Oh, also, a medieval Silent Hunter 3. That’d be rad.

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    Stijn says:

    Right.

  15. fenriz says:

    amidst all the combat melee arcade medieval roaming sausage junk, will i ever get just 2 fricking minutes of picking up objects to combine them someplace? Every action fan gets his gameplay bit in every game, why can’t i get a chunk of puzzle adventuring?

    • ShowMeTheMonkey says:

      STAFFORDSHIRE.

      Wow, I’ve been hoping for a game set in my area for a long time. (Though I secretly wanted a post-apocalyptic shooter so I can shoot mutant chavs from Cannock).

  16. ShowMeTheMonkey says:

    STAFFORDSHIRE.

    Wow, I’ve been hoping for a game set in my area for a long time. (Though I secretly wanted a post-apocalyptic shooter so I can shoot mutant chavs from Cannock).

    Also why did that reply to Fenriz?

  17. UnravThreads says:

    Oh look, a historical title published by Paradox.

  18. Jesse L says:

    Maybe some footage of the combat would be nice if they want people to get excited?

  19. X_kot says:

    This + Stronghold 3 = Medieval Merriment Simulator

  20. Khemm says:

    Make the single player good please, because I’m sure as hell not buying this game if the campaign proves to be a pathetic two-hour tutorial for MP.

  21. Vinraith says:

    Despite the potential strength of the story, Martin Wahlund, Fatshark’s CEO and internal producer, pointed out that the focus of the game is very much on multiplayer

    Now there’s a massive waste of potential. Poor show, Paradox, I expect better of you.

    Edit: the Paradox Producer in charge of managing developer Fatshark, creators of Lead & Gold

    Oh, so really just Paradox produced. Nevermind then, carry on.

    • D3xter says:

      Why? Because it promises more than a few dozen hour of SinglePlayer campaigning till it gets repetitive and you get to measure yourself against (more or less) thinking opponents instead of dumb AI?

      Being Multiplayer-focused is actually one of the main reasons that I really want to buy this.

    • Prime says:

      @D3xter – because to some people multiplayer gaming is like dipping yourself into an acid bath. I should know: I’m one of them. A world on a disc, please, game developers, not a shiny overlay for the real world’s idiots.

      Also, it more often than not means that the AI in single-player won’t be all it can be, with coding effort being ploughed into making the game support real people instead, meaning there’s very little reason to buy into these games if you don’t intend to socialise. A shame.

    • steveh11 says:

      I’m another who finds Multiplayer gaming anathema. People don’t act as they would in ‘real life’, even in a medieval real life – because the consequences of their actions “don’t matter”.

      Add to that the fact that this game is deliberately set to be “more arcadey” than Mount & Blade according to Fatshark/Paradox, and my interest – which began as considerable – simply turned off.

      A missed opportunity, I think.

  22. kuran says:

    The tonality of the coloration doth remind me of Demon’s Souls.

  23. Premium User Badge

    BathroomCitizen says:

    Maybe I’ll be a different voice in the crowd, but I’m really happy that it will be a multiplayer-centric medieval game.

    I hope it will have some kind of depth, because as far as multiplayer action games are going now, we haven’t got much of it.

    Anyway, I don’t like the sound of that unlocking-system.
    The reward of playing a game a lot should be increasing your own playing skills.

  24. Aspongeinmauve says:

    I didn’t know the rest of the world acknowledged our existence here in Northern England. So as a person from Northern England (who enjoyed Mount & Blade very much), I am supportive of this.

  25. wodin says:

    Why does nearly every game have a mulitplayer mode aswell? In something like this surely just concentrating on a fantastic single player experience is better than having development time poured into Multi player…I mean we have Mount and Blade….

    I think games should either be Multi player only or SP only…

  26. Megadyptes says:

    So not a Paradox game then, just a published one, or ‘produced’ whatever. The only Paradox games are the top down grand strategy games, and Airfix Dogfighter I suppose.

    • Megadyptes says:

      ‘The only Paradox games’ meant to say the only games ‘by’ Paradox are; etc.

    • Shadowcat says:

      Airfix Dogfighter was SO awesome.

  27. mr48 says:

    I just want a prettier Mount and Blade. As in, an exact copy of mount and blade but with better graphics (no, the mod isnt good enough). Give me that TaleWorlds and I will pay you exuberant amounts of money.

  28. buttocks. says:

    Google

    “Mount and Blade : Warband cRPG”

    If this game is “similar to Mount and Blade, then cRPG is it.”

    War of the Roses : A cRPG graphics update.

  29. coffeetable says:

    Staffordshire would be a great setting, were this Fallout 4.

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    Worldbeing says:

    Squee.

  31. BoZo says:

    THIS COULD BE FUCKING AWESOME

  32. kazooka says:

    So do I get to play as Danny Devito, or is that like an unlockable or DLC or something?