Posts Tagged ‘Paradox’

Grander Strategies: EU IV And CK II Expansions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Simulated Urban Area – Cities: Skylines Announced

A city but inside a computer, created from calculations.

The Cities in Motion games provided a very specific challenge: some chuffing great fool has built a city all higgledy-piggledy and now you need to somehow smoosh a functional public transportation network between their many mistakes. Cities are big, sprawling, ancient, and wonderful messes that we must somehow wrangle, we uneasily negotiate with, and we try to make work. Building a city from scratch, getting to plan for efficiency, almost seems like cheating.

That’s what Cities in Motion creator Colossal Order will offer in their next game, Cities: Skylines. It’ll have players build entire urban areas from the ground-up, like some sort of simulated city.

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Expert Speech Skill: Pillars Of Eternity Interview Part 2

In the second and final part of a conversation with Josh Sawyer of Obsidian (part one), we discuss how the design of Pillars of Eternity differs from Fallout: New Vegas. That involves a discussion of New Vegas’ post-release support, official and otherwise, and the pros and cons of traditional RPG systems. Of particular note – why Pillars of Eternity does not have a Speech skill, or any other skill of that sort.

With contributions from executive producer Brandon Adler, we also discuss the role of Paradox as publisher and the benefits of digital distribution, and end with a tribute to nineties RPG, Darklands.

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Freedom And Fantasy: Pillars Of Eternity Interview

Pillars of Eternity was, briefly, gaming’s most successful Kickstarter, at least in terms of funds raised. Like many crowdfunded games, particularly in the early days, it’s a project driven partly by nostalgia. A party-based fantasy RPG in the style of Baldur’s Gate and the other Infinity Engine D&D games, it has a strong heritage to live up to. Obsidian’s Josh Sawyer is the director of the game and I spoke to him late last week about theology, flagellant monks, freedom from licensing and respecting player’s choices. We also talked about his desire to make a historical RPG and his previous work, particularly the design of Fallout: New Vegas.

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