Posts Tagged ‘Paradox Interactive’

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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Opening The Passage: CK II – Rajas Of India

By Adam Smith on January 28th, 2014.

I don’t think anyone at Paradox expected Crusader Kings II to spread into India with quite as much gusto as it will this March. The next expansion adds around 50% to the world map, with almost 400 new provinces, three new religions and a continent’s worth of new events, including the possibility of chained ‘reincarnation’ plotlines. As always with these generous chunks of DLC, a free patch will be released alongside the expansion and it will contain a surprisingly hefty amount of content, including the entirety of the expanded map, and Steam matchmaking and Workshop support. While it may not have the immediate appeal of the Old Gods to many (Vikings vs Buddhists anyone?), Rajas is the biggest expansion since. More details below.

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The Great Unknown: EU IV – Conquest Of Paradise

By Adam Smith on January 13th, 2014.

As several commenters pointed out, all of the screenshots that accompanied my Conquest of Paradise interview showed either Europe or usual Americas. The ones that you can see on any map. A few images of the randomly generated New Worlds had been released in developer diaries on the EU IV forums but I was expecting a video before release and, my spyglass confirms that we’re about to make a grand discovery. Land ho! See footage of the random continents and archipelagos awaiting your colonists below.

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Colonial, Colloquial: EU IV Conquest Of Paradise Interview

By Adam Smith on January 10th, 2014.

Ahead of the release of Conquest of Paradise on January 14th, I spoke to Paradox Development Studio Lead Johann Andersson about the changes that the America-centric expansion will bring to Europa Universalis IV. As well as discussing the randomisation of the Americas, a first for the series, we talked about changes to the mechanics that govern Native American and colonial nations. Beyond the meaty mechanical conversation there are some thoughts on cultural representation in historical strategy. Perfect Friday evening reading, I say.

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2013’s Grandest Strategy Game: Crusader Kings 2

By Adam Smith on January 6th, 2014.

Crusader Kings 2 is one of my personal favourites of 2013, as it was in 2012, but it didn’t have a place in our calendar. It could been included using the Trojan Horse of DLC, as XCOM did thanks to Enemy Within, but it’s hard to pick out the stand-out expansion for CK II. Even The Old Gods, which expanded the timeframe, felt like part of the whole rather than a distinct item. That is part of the brilliance of the design, but it also makes it much harder to say ‘Crusader Kings II: Old Gods’ is one of the games of 2013 rather than simply saying, ‘Crusader Kings II is one of the games of the year. Again.” Here’s why I think that argument is valid.

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Go Native: Europa Universalis IV Introduces New World

By Graham Smith on December 14th, 2013.

This is a weirdly terrible drawing.

I haven’t returned to the fields of European conquest since the weeks immediately after Europa Universalis IV‘s release, because my Austrian struggles seemed like a personal canonical history I couldn’t repeat or replace. The Conquest of Paradise expansion might lure me back with a new world of promise, however. It’s due for release on January 14th, and a new developer diary video below explains the mechanics you’ll play with if you want to take control of the Native American tribes.
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Norsey Weekend: War Of The Vikings Free Weekend

By Craig Pearson on December 6th, 2013.


What are you doing this weekend, readers? That’s just a general question you should feel free to answer in the comments, btw. I like hearing about your plans. If you feel the need to acquire something to do, then you might want to think about dropping into War Of The Vikings. Fatshark’s beard-and-beating sim is still a Steam Early Access title, but they’ve decided to allow people pile-in this weekend: it’ll be all yours to try from Dec 5th to December 8th.
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Fun And Prophet: Crusader Kings 2 Expansion Out Now

By Graham Smith on November 18th, 2013.

If you enter in to Crusader Kings 2 with a plan to win, you’re going to be frustrated. It’s a complex turn-based strategy game set during the Middle Ages in Europe, with an overwhelming array of options available whether you start as a mighty King or a lowly Count. If you approach it as a role-playing game though, with an interest only in being interesting, then it’s an accessible, surprising delight to muddle your way through and craft your own stories.

That’s why any new expansion to the game is so exciting; every added layer of detail gives you a new role to perform. Sons of Abraham focuses on expanding the Jewish and Muslim faiths. It’s out now and there’s a new developer diary below.
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