Posts Tagged ‘Paradox’

Mega-City One: Skylines Breaks Paradox Sale Records

Cities: Skylines [official site] has sold 250,000 copies in the 24 hours since launch, including preorders as day one sales. That’s more than any other Paradox game in the same period – Europa Universalis IV surpassed 300,000 sales around six months after release – and around a quarter of SimCity 2013’s first fortnight of sales.

Paradox are understandably pleased by the reception but they’re already looking to the future of the game. When I played it before release, Colossal Order CEO Mariina Hallikainen told me that the team already had free content lined up – features that weren’t quite ready for release, including tunnels. Support should continue for years though, as with Paradox’s grand strategy mainstays, and will come in the form of paid expansions and free patch updates.

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Wot I Think: Cities: Skylines

Cities: Skylines [official site] feels like the response to a question. That question is “what, exactly, do people want?” By contrast, 2013’s SimCity felt like the response to an order: “make them do this.” I don’t wish to get caught up in criticising the controversial EA city-builder, especially in light of the all-but-closure of its longstanding developer Maxis this week, but the ethos of these two games is so very different, even though they’re both in theory offering the same scenario: design a city from the ground up, keep it running, make it richer, make it grander.
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Subverting The Nazis: Alternative Hearts Of Iron Playstyles

Hearts of Iron [official site] is the one Paradox grand strategy series that I’ve been unable to befriend. Partly that’s because it’s a more guided experience, a game about a specific war rather than a historical sandbox and it’s partly because of the micromanagement involved in production and resource chains. Hearts of Iron IV might change that, with its cleverly streamlined factory operations and improved minor nations. More on that later this week.

First of all, I wanted to discuss the difficulty of playing the bad guys.

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Making Things To Build – Cities: Skylines Mod Trailer

I suppose we do post about Cities: Skylines [official site] a fair bit, but that’s partly because it’s a big chunk of (current) future hopes for a whole genre. Me, I’m well catered-for as I mostly play games in thriving genres like ‘shooting men’s faces’ and ‘dreamy wandering around surreal landscapes’. But with Cities XXL a wash, a minor update spun off into a so-called sequel, what else is coming soon for people who dream of building grand cities? So here, have a trailer going over Skylines’ mod support, which’ll let you make things to build.

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Hands On: Hearts Of Iron IV

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

“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

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

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

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

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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