A Look Sea: Arctic Circle Detailed, Video

You'll use aircraft for scouting, I reckon. It's plane to see.

Paradox has officially announced Naval War: Arctic Circle, the contemporary and atmospheric wargame I saw and briefly mentioned in my Preview Blowout following the Paradox Convention in New York last month. We’ve got hot’n’fresh details, another screenshot and a developer interview video after the jump. Won’t you join me for a little “naval” gazing? Aha, ha.

Man. I just realised I failed to give the Ship Simulator Extremes impressions I wrote five months ago the headline of “Water Shame”. Never mind. I’ll make up by giving the Wot I Think of this the headline of “You Thunk My Battleship”.

Here are the features list and the press release.

About Naval War: Arctic Circle:
Naval War: Arctic Circle is a first in a series of Real Time Strategy (RTS) games where the player battle enemy naval and aerial forces questing for power and ultimate world domination. The game play takes place along the Norwegian and British coast, through Iceland and Greenland all the way to the North Americas and the North West Passage. In the Naval War game series the player will, in addition to the game campaigns, be able to play in skirmish, LAN and on-line modes, controlling a selected fraction from the original campaigns. In Arctic Circle, the fractions includes the United States, the Russian federation, the Nordic countries and NATO. Ultimately, Naval War: Arctic Circle tells a story about a power struggle for control of the world’s resources and supply lines in the Polar Regions.

– Two campaign modes, telling a narrative from Russian and NATO sides
– On-line play through LAN as well as over the Internet
– Enormous area of game play space, with over 35 million square km of open sea and coast line
– Extreme long range guided and self-guided weaponry; if you can detect the enemy, it will be possible to strike
– Vertical game play, from orbit aerial units to the bottom of the ocean floor through a seamless zoom-able map of the entire North Atlantic Ocean
– Detection and evasion focus with realistic sensory measures and countermeasures yielding a strategic game experience based on stealth rater than head on tactical battle
– Great detail in unit management with fewer but more powerful units making selection and management more distinguishable and less cluttered with an unparalleled level of individual detail
– Realistic weather model, with real world implications for tactical and strategic deployment of resources at hand
– Real world units, with all major powers.

Yeah! Sounds excellently unique, doesn’t it? And here’s the video.

I wonder if they named the game what they did because this guy already owned a t-shirt that had “Naval War: Arctic Circle” on it. That would make sense to me.


  1. Ian says:

    After those puns I’m all at sea.

    • Quintin Smith says:

      I will admit to laughing quite a lot while writing this post.

    • Vadermath says:

      I, however, can’t admit to laughing a lot while reading it.

    • Ian says:

      Poor Quinns. D:

      Don’t worry about Vadermath. I sea your talent for ocean-based jokes.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hodge says:

      Yeah, me too. Some people might think puns are a bit dated, but to me they’re totally still current.

    • Ian says:

      Maybe one day we’ll see a new wave of pun popularity.

    • The Innocent says:

      When you think up a good pun, it’s hard not to seas the opportunity, even if the pier pressure makes you harbour some doubts.

    • Sarlix says:

      It’s about high tide puns make a comeback. Although thats no excuse to go overboard. Also you must be shore it’s a good one.

      I’ll get my life jacket…

    • Noc says:


      And for shame! These puns are tacky, and I am appalled that we would all sink to such depths.

    • stahlwerk says:

      Looks interesting, but I think I’ll wait for a steam sail.

  2. jackflash says:

    This looks potentially very, very exciting. Can’t wait to hear more.

    • Commisar says:

      Paradox has a proven track record of making quirky, but good games

  3. HHPP says:

    “excellently unique”?


    That is all.

  4. Nemon says:

    Very well, we’ll sea just how cool it is when it’s done.

  5. rivalin says:

    I wonder if it will be realistic enough that we can deploy our ultra high tech, most advanced in the world aircraft carriers without any aircraft on them? Thanks again Gordon!

  6. Dood says:

    So it’s like Fleet Command, only better? I’d play that! Well, not in MP I guess, since I would be annihilated by people being several categories better than me. But a new single-player fleet simulation? Bring it on!

  7. Megadyptes says:

    So it’s like a modern Harpoon with 3D graphics? Or er, the old EA Fleet Command game. Hope it’s good as the naval command genre of strategy games is either dead or way too heavily grognard for my likes.

    Edit; heh beaten with the Harpoon/Fleet Command references.

  8. Wilson says:

    Sounds pretty cool. If it isn’t super complex to learn, colour me interested.

  9. TV-PressPass says:

    I’m worried about all these dangerous fractions fighting each other.

    • Wilson says:

      There is the possibility for a fantastic maths based grand strategy game somewhere in there.

    • Gap Gen says:

      I don’t think it’s likely to kick off or anything. It sounds like they have the Icelandic Navy keeping order and stopping lightweights like the US and NATO squaring off.

    • Stranglove says:

      Isn’t the U.S part of NATO?

    • Torgen says:

      “I’m worried about all these dangerous fractions fighting each other.”

      It’s totally irrational. I only hope the game isn’t simply a derivative, and actual naval tactics are integral to success.

    • Dozer says:

      Didn’t the US leave Nato in 1966? Something to do with protesting the special relationship between the UK and France, which was leading the organisation…

    • Zenicetus says:

      The USA is a current member of NATO, and the description of the game says you can play the campaign from the NATO or Russian side. That suggests that all the NATO members are in the same force structure.

  10. Porkolt says:

    Something I really liked about Star Wars: Empire at War were the space battles in which you got to pit Mon Calamari cruisers and Imperial Class Star Destroyers against each other, running bomber squadrons in between them trying to take out the vital systems. The variety of the scale just made it awesome.

    I expect a similar effect from this game. Looking forward to it.

  11. crainey92 says:

    Whilst I play RTS games and enjoy them but I can’t say im a massive sim fan, this looks more like a simulation game to me. If it’s good I’ll buy it, if not, well I won’t.

  12. Stranglove says:

    It would be awesome if this game could support massive numbers of players online. I do hope that it is just one massive ‘map’ area, rather than regions of the sea.

    Anyway, RPS Armada?

  13. Nallen says:

    Naval ///AR? is that emphasising the AR? You know as in ARRRRRR.


    Like Pirates?

    You know because it boats.

    In the sea?

    Oh never mind.

  14. BSG11 says:

    Sounds much closer to Fleet Command than Harpoon.

    Funny how the guy talks about the North West Passage and manages to fail to mention Canada. Contrary to popular belief, we do have a navy, as limited as its capabilities might be.

    • Commisar says:

      wel, since Canada is in NATO, they will probably be in the game in some aspect

  15. stahlwerk says:

    Cold war naval units make me happy. Especially those of russian design.
    (Cue Music) Show me a submarine more majestic than the Projekt 941 Akula (Typhoon), where the engineers simply took the pressure hulls from two lesser submarines and fused them together with Soviet Magic: just look at that fucker.
    It’s a shame that their main mission profile nowadays is rust collection and irradiating its crew members and the Murmansk bay.

  16. The_Great_Skratsby says:



  17. Quine says:

    When does it, er, launch, so the wanting can end?

  18. Zenicetus says:

    I enjoyed Harpoon, but I wonder how they’re going to make this work as a modern-day scenario, without massively gimping the NATO side?

    The current situation would pit the USA’s 11 active carrier strike groups, plus 2 for the UK, against a single Russian carrier? Really? Maybe they’re trying to make it a subs vs. surface ships game, but carriers still have advantages in anti-sub warfare, by controlling the airspace of the battle area.

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    Oh well, I give anyone credit for trying to do serious modern military sims and strategy games, so I’m looking forward to seeing how this game turns out.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      I was going to post how the uk carriers will be pretty nerfed with no harriers, but then we’re getting dangerously close to politics.
      No politics on RPS please, we’re gamers ;)

    • Zenicetus says:

      oblig.: — “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here, this is the War Room!”

    • Kevin says:

      Yes, the United States does have the world’s largest and most capable navy, but the Russians have a few things going for them that can even the fight.

      For one thing, a projected naval war between NATO and the Russian Federation will in all likelihood be fought on Russia’s terms. If Russia can maintain the initiative for the first few days, a lot of their fast-attack subs can break out from the GIUK (Greenland, Iceland, UK) gap and into the open Atlantic and wreak havoc on shipping convoys, supply lines, and allied SAG (Surface Action Groups) and CVBG (Carrier Battle Groups) transiting to the area of operations.

      But, probably the one thing NATO is going to be most concerned with are TU-22M Backfire bombers that can pump out an invariable Macross Missile Massacre with their super-sonic “Kitchen” sea-skimming anti-ship missiles. Though hopefully, the Aegis-capable Ticonderoga cruisers and Arleigh-Burke destroyers can mitigate the damage of those.

      Even if NATO was to wage an offensive war, they have Kilo class diesel-electric subs to worry about, which, although have vastly shorter range and are much slower than nuclear subs, are much harder to detect.

      If I recall, however, the Brits are trying to build their own full-on aircraft carrier (not one designed for STOL like the Invincible, mind you) in the vein of the American Nimitz Class and the French DeGaulle, I think they’re having some difficulty finding an aircraft that can use it.

    • Zenicetus says:

      The TU-22 bombers could be interesting in the North Sea around Europe, but the description of the game above suggests that it’s a power struggle about resources in the entire Arctic Circle. TU-22’s have a range that only gets them to about Greenland, and I’m not sure it’s been demonstrated that they can refuel in mid-air. And you need air superiority to refuel mid-air with vulnerable tankers.

      As boring as it is for modern war games, there is really only one country right now that can project force and control the airspace over wide areas of the world’s oceans. So I’m guessing this will be mostly subs vs. ships. That could still be interesting… but it does seem kinda lopsided, unless some assumptions are made about modern missile tech that haven’t been proved (yet), in practice.

  19. Dances to Podcasts says:

    Random sea fact: The German word for sea is Meer and the Dutch word for sea is zee. The German word for lake is See and the Dutch word for lake is meer.

    • Dozer says:

      Shame that Alec didn’t write this report then!

    • stahlwerk says:

      additional facts:
      Moor is the german word for marsh which is similar/related to the german word Marsch which means march, but not the month, which is called März.

  20. Dozer says:

    Can we fight the Cod Wars then?