Posts Tagged ‘Paradox’

Hands On: Hearts Of Iron IV

By Adam Smith on February 24th, 2015.

Hearts of Iron [official site] is my Moby Dick. I’ve spent an inordinate portion of my adult life playing grand strategy games, particularly those of the Paradox variety. I’m slightly unusual in that Europa Universalis wasn’t my gateway game – I entered the fold by means of the first Crusader Kings, which swiftly became one of my favourite games, despite its problems. From there I moved to Europa Universalis II and struggled to infiltrate the colonial powers of Victoria. It wasn’t until the sequel that I learned to enjoy the nineteenth century.

Hearts of Iron IV might finally bring me into the heart of the twentieth century.

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Cult Development: A Paradox Profile

By Adam Smith on February 19th, 2015.

“We don’t want to be a cult.” Shams Jorjani is VP of Acquisition and Portfolio Strategy at Paradox Interactive. He’s the guy who reads through and listens to a thousand MOBA pitches and occasionally finds a Teleglitch hidden behind them. He laughs at the cult line as soon as its out there. This, after all, is a company that frequently dresses its employees in coloured wizard robes, faces concealed.

Cultish maybe. Cult adjective rather than cult noun. Bruce Campbell’s career rather than Tom Cruise’s alternate career.

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Old World, New World: EU IV – El Dorado

By Adam Smith on February 19th, 2015.

Europa Universalis IV’s [official site] fifth expansion will be released on February 26th. It adds automated land and sea exploration, with chained story events involving expeditions to the New World, as well as increased depth for Aztec, Mesoamerican and Incan cultures. Separate to those thematic expansions, there will also be a custom nation building tool, with RPG-style point allocation for national traits, leader stats and territorial possessions. There is also an option to begin with a randomised world, reminiscent of the Shattered World mod for CK II.

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Crusader Kings II Is Three Years Old And Free For A Week

By Adam Smith on February 17th, 2015.

Crusader Kings II [official site] is three years old, which means we’ve delayed too long. The little blighter should have been married off to its own cousin at least a year ago and is probably plotting to have us all killed even as I write this.

To celebrate the occasion, Paradox are allowing people to play the base game for free on Steam, from now until February 23rd. It’ll also be discounted by 75% throughout that period, so if you finally decide to take the plunge, you can buy in for £7.49. It’s my favourite game of the last five years and quite possibly my favourite game of all time. Here’s my review. Thoughts on its growth over the last three years below.

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Hands On: Cities – Skylines

By Adam Smith on February 17th, 2015.

With release less than a month away, Cities: Skylines [official site] could well be creaking under the weight of expectations. 2013’s SimCity left citybuilding fans hungry. Cities XXL didn’t satisfy the pangs, leaving Skylines in the unenviable position of having a ravenous audience in waiting, the majority of whom have already sent a couple of lackluster meals back to the kitchen.

It could be worse, of course. Everyone could have eaten the first dish that was set in front of them and headed for home. Skylines has a captive audience and at the ParadoxCon last week, I had my first chance to take a close look at what it’ll be serving up for them. I played for over an hour, long enough to purchase two extra plots of land and fill them with great looping roads, beachfront residential properties and a couple of graveyards. The signs are very good indeed.

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A Family Affair: Crusader Kings II – Way Of Life

By Adam Smith on November 24th, 2014.

Crusader Kings II is almost fully grown. As a kid, it didn’t have the breadth of thought to explore more than one belief system and certainly didn’t know how a Republic operated. With age came wisdom and the youngster was soon travelling all over the world to learn about different cultures and faiths. As part of the MA in Early Medieval History that it completed recently, CK II wrote a biography of Charlemagne and now it has left the cloisters of academia and is ready to enter the real world. The school of life. I give it two weeks before it’s bedding its own father in law and having its brothers chopped into messes.

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Grander Strategies: EU IV And CK II Expansions

By Adam Smith on October 13th, 2014.

I haven’t checked in on Europa Universalis IV or Crusader Kings II for a while, but both games continue to expand in my absence. For Crusader Kings II, the Charlemagne expansion pushes back further into the early medieval period, with another hundred years added to the timeline and enough features to make the DLC equivalent in size to the gargantuan Old Gods expansion. EU IV’s Art of War expansion might be even larger and is certainly the grandest piece of DLC for Europa Universalis to date. As the name suggests, the focus is on military campaigns, but every system in these games is linked, so it’ll affect far more than the fracas. Videos below.

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Wot I Think: Ancient Space

By Jim Rossignol on September 26th, 2014.

Space games are having something of a renaissance of late, but it’s only in the fly-and-shoot genres that we’re seeing much concrete promise (specifically with the rise and rise of Elite: Dangerous). The RTS meanwhile still pines for Homeworld, and while there are a number of games on our space-radar, nothing has yet to really spool up our jump drive and push into the next sector.

Could Ancient Space take up this critical astro-gauntlet?

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A Tale Of Two: Cities – Skylines

By Adam Smith on September 25th, 2014.

The announcement trailer for Cities; Skylines showed the scale of the settlements and proudly proclaimed that the game could be played without an internet connection. The latter statement was the more obvious jab at SimCity but the size of the cities in Colossal Order’s upcoming project is probably more important. Even if I were playing SimCity in a hut at the end of the world, with not a whiff of wifi, I would have found myself clawing at the limits of the simulation sooner rather than later. A new trailer for Skylines shows two sides of citybuilding – one is the perfect endpoint and the other is the likely starting point.

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Ancient Space Shows Star-Studded Campaign

By Ben Barrett on September 3rd, 2014.

I feel like I’ve written about quite a few space RTSs in recent times, but none of them are releasing quite as soon or look quite as promising as Ancient Space. The latest trailer thankfully does more than show up Adam’s lack of sci-fi TV knowledge with its voice cast. It’s actual game footage, UI and all, and interspersed with comments from the developers about how the ship customisation and campaign systems will work. It also brings word of a September 23rd release date, a welcome surprise since I’d assumed that, like everything I ever want to play, it wasn’t due for months.

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Giving Voice To The Void: Ancient Space

By Adam Smith on August 21st, 2014.

Earlier today, I exposed one gaping hole in my nerd-knowledge – I didn’t watch a single episode of Star Trek until 2011. I knew that Kirk ladied his way around the galaxy and that Patrick Stewart made things just so, like a spacefaring Kiping, but I hadn’t actually seen them in action. Picard was nothing but a facepalm to me. A press release from Paradox threatens to tear my remaining nerd cred to bits. It contains an announcement for an RTS, Ancient Space, made by CreativeForge, who you may remember as creators of the intriguing Hard West, currently Kickstarting. Ancient Space is the studio’s previous game and it’s due out later this year. Details and sci-fi actor studded voice cast below.

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Hands-On: Pillars Of Eternity

By Adam Smith on August 20th, 2014.

After publishing my thorough conversation with Pillars of Eternity lead designer Josh Sawyer, I realised that I hadn’t actually expressed an opinion about the game. I was curious and hopeful but hadn’t had a chance to play it, and see how well all of the elements came together. The backer beta, which launched yesterday, is a huge relief. Pillars is shaping up to be worthy of its inspirations, and intelligent and bold enough not to be bound to them.

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Monty’s Icons: Hearts Of Iron IV

By Adam Smith on August 20th, 2014.

In the distant year of January 2014, I saw an early version of Hearts of Iron IV at the annual Paradox convention. It was one of the games that I was most interested to see because of the four Paradox grand strategy series (Europa, Crusader Kings and Victoria being the others), the World War II simulation HOI is the one I’ve never quite managed to get to grips with. In fact, I have about as strong a grip on it as I do on a family of eels in a bucket of caviar. Or a MOBA. The military emphasis doesn’t fit with my usual strategic styles of play and I fear the micromanagement. How pleasing, then, that the latest entry combines streamlined production and an equisite battle planning system, which you can glimpse in the trailer below.

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