Posts Tagged ‘Paradox Interactive’

Eternal Sonata: The Music Of Pillars Of Eternity

By Nathan Grayson on April 16th, 2014.

Writing music for an RPG must be such a tricky thing. Especially when you’re working with a project as potentially massive as Obsidian Kickstarter darling Pillars of Eternity, you’ve got to breathe life into lilting melodies that rise and crash at the perfect moments, but drift and meander gently throughout. I mean, these songs are going to be on loop for upwards of 50-60 hours. If one is too loud or too fast or too insistent on taking center stage in an area where the player’s just doing their thing, it can easily break the whole illusion. Fortunately, Obsidian’s got plenty of experience with this conundrum, and it’s debuted a region’s entire song as a proof-of-concept.

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Hut, Hut, Vike: War Of The Vikings Out Now

By Nathan Grayson on April 16th, 2014.

If only there were a mode where they removed the pointy tips and just hit each other with sticks until one side was like, 'OK yeah, I've got too many bruises. War is dumb. Let's go home.' Huh, what game? I'm talking about real life.

If history has taught me anything, it’s that Vikings were a complex, multifaceted people splintered into an incredible number of micro-cultures spread far and wide across Europe thanks to extremely versatile wooden longboats. If videogames have taught me anything, it’s that Vikings loved WAAAAAAAAAAAR. War of the Vikings, then, represents the culmination of all my scholarly studies, what with its “historically inspired” Viking Age setting and also maybe an ever-so-slight thumb-and-pinky pinch of WAAAAAAAAAAAAR. It’s already taken its share of licks on Steam Early Access, and now it’s “done,” whatever that actually means anymore.

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Looking Raja Fine: Crusader Kings 2: Rajas Of India Out Now

By Graham Smith on March 27th, 2014.

A logo, yesterday.

I really appreciate the efforts of the voiceover man in this launch trailer for the new Crusader Kings expansion, Rajas of India. He’s doing his very best to make the game sound exciting and dramatic, even as the camera pans slowly across colourful cartography and static menu screens.

Except, as we players of Paradox’s medieval soap opera know, this is exciting. You don’t need to say it in a dramatic voice: Rajas of India adds the Indian subcontinent, three new religions, and a lot of new ways to commit lusty barbarism.

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Early Impressions: Warlock 2 – The Exiled

By Adam Smith on March 20th, 2014.

Warlock II is everything I wanted from a sequel to Masters of the Arcane, which, as I’ve implied before, felt like the decent gig before a killer afterparty. Taking place across the fragments of a broken world, it’s 4X strategy in a compact form, as dense as a spoonful of iridium and seemingly built from the ground-up to avoid the cycle of ‘End Turn’ clicking that is a hallmark of the genre. I’ve spent a few days with a near-complete build and have many thoughts to share.

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Stone Cold Dead: Paradox Cancel East Vs. West

By Graham Smith on March 7th, 2014.

This is a shame. In a joint statement with developers DB Logic, publisher Paradox have announced that East vs. West: A Hearts of Iron Game has been cancelled. EvW was a grand strategy game set during the cold war, in which you made decisions about the fate of the world under the constant threat of a doomsday clock counting down to nuclear oblivion. The idea was that you could play out alternate histories like delaying the foundation of Israel, or maintaining the Berlin wall, but your every aggressive action might move you closer to mutually assured destruction.

Alas, it wasn’t to be.
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Cat And Mouse: A Tale Of Magicka – Wizard Wars

By Adam Smith on February 27th, 2014.

Pride comes before a fall. Worse, actually. In this game, pride comes before a meteor shower to the face, an icy blast to the particulars and a death ray to the heart. Magicka: Wizard Wars continues to entertain me on a daily basis but it has been cruel to me these past weeks and I can’t help but feel that I brought some of the suffering on myself. The tale I have to tell is one of ice and fire, and of cruelty and claws. It is a tale of cat and mouse.

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Element-Hell: Magicka Wizard Wars Adds Duel Mode

By Adam Smith on February 4th, 2014.

Magicka: Wizard Wars may well be my favourite competitive multiplayer game since the original Unreal Tournament. I was startled when I realised that might be the caese, but the rattle of fingers across keys, weaving deadly magicks, accompanies an enormous chunk of my free time. It’s a game that requires quick reflexes and the ability to switch between various forms of attack and defence without a second’s hesitation. I often find turn-based games a bit too fast-paced for my sleep-deprived mind to handle so I shouldn’t stand a chance in a team-based Wizard War, but the rhythms this game are in tune with the beat of my blood. The new Duel Mode, which is a one-on-one arena face-off, sounds more intimidating than team-based shenanigans, but with a built-in spectator mode it’s as much a learning experience as a series of brutal bouts.

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Plane Sailing: Warlock II – The Exiled

By Adam Smith on February 3rd, 2014.

Warlock II is shaping up to be one of the most efficient sequels of all time. After a brief play and a prolonged chat with the producer, I’m confident that the developers have at least tried to address most of the complaints aimed at the original game and the shattered world structure adds a layer of management and strategic planning that I hadn’t expected. It’s also a fine game for people interested in exploring weird realms and the trailer below shows some of the different world types on offer. There’s also a refreshing alternative to the usual earnest fantasy voiceover. This video is narrated by A D Ventureman, Adventureman.

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World At War: Hearts Of Iron IV

By Adam Smith on January 31st, 2014.

My internet connection during the Paradox Convention was about as spotty as Superted’s best chum, forcing me to return with a satchel full of hand-written notes. There’s still plenty to write about, not least my dangerous new Wizard Wars obsession, but buried at the bottom of my inky papers are six pages of scribbles about Hearts of Iron IV. As the latest representative of the one Paradox grand strategy series that I’ve consistently failed to penetrate, HOI IV is an exciting prospect for several reasons. EU IV and CK II are the friendliest incarnations of their respective series to date, and while HOI IV isn’t due until 2015, early signs are promising. At the heart of the Hearts is the most attractive map Paradox have ever produced and a new battle plan system that allows players to evade micromanagement if they so choose.

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Hands-On: Warlock II – The Exiled

By Adam Smith on January 30th, 2014.

Warlock: Master of the Arcane was a solid game that promised a great sequel. The interface and map had similarities to Civ V, some of which were slightly more than skin-deep, but the game had ideas of its own, bolstered by a sense of the ridiculous that was bizarre and humorous but avoided the lure of wackiness. The Exiled expands upon its precursor’s strongest elements and brings the turn-based exploration and conquest to a fascinating multiverse. I played for a little over an hour and didn’t want to walk away.

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Impressions: War Of The Vikings

By Adam Smith on January 29th, 2014.

I’d never seen a shield quite so fancy. It belongs to Fraser Brown, a Scotsman in the guise of a Viking, and he’s extremely proud of the design. He should be. It’s a beautiful thing and a brave one too. Brightly marking him out on the battlefield, the shield makes him a target, like an officer wearing a medal as big as a walrus. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lady Gaga wearing the shield as a kneepad the next time she nips to the shops for a packet of evaporated milk. War of the Vikings is a game about shiny shields. And beards. Lots of beards.

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