Posts Tagged ‘4X’

The 4X Genre Has Grown Stagnant, Here’s How To Fix It

When Civilization II came out, I spent an entire summer playing it for several hours a day. The only check on my binging was the fact that my parents would eventually come home and force me to pretend, for a few hours at least, that I cared about things other than Civilization II.

I was a senior in college when Civilization IV arrived. I’d barely played strategy games at all for the previous four years, and “senioritis” brought with it a case of intense nostalgia. I bought it in the spring before graduation. It was still consuming my days and nights when the leaves fell later that year.

That was probably the last time my enjoyment of a 4X game was pure and uncomplicated. Lately, I’ve been wondering where that joy has gone, and why so few games seem to add anything essential to those old experiences.

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Master of Orion Trailer Gives First Look At Combat

Master of Orion [official site], a remake of the 4X game which came out in 1993, was announced by World of Tanks developers at this year’s E3 with a very short teaser. Now they’ve released the first video of the game in action. If you’d like to see two very awkward robots talk you through what’s coming in the new game, the video’s below.

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4X Argy-Bargy: Run A Thieves Guild In Antihero

Sorry for the weird cropping!

Space war, fantasy war, and history war – those are your three standard settings for a 4X game. You can fight aliens, fight elves, or fight Kaiser Wilhelm II. Pssh.

Treat your exploring, expanding, exploiting, and exterminating eyes to another peek at Antihero [official site], an upcoming 4X strategy game about running a thieves guild in Dickensian Notlondon (I’d forgotten it exists, so maybe you did too). Before I pulled the thistle crown of RPS Senior Scottish Correspondent from Cara’s QUITTER fingers, I served as RPS East End Guvnah, and I can confirm it’s awfully accurate to a life of dodging, weaving, ducking, and diving.

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Galactic Inheritors: A Space 4X From HoI 3 & CK2 Designer

Petting ambassadors is consider a terrible faux pas.

Declaring war is rarely as simple as pressing a big red WAR button. You’ll want your citizens on your side, ideally, though of course propagating a few choice lies can build and exploit prejudice. Space 4X strategy Galactic Inheritors [official site] makes the media an important part of warfare. It’s made by Crispon Games, a studio founded by Chris King, a designer on games including Crusader Kings II and Hearts of Iron III, and fellow former Paradox chap Pontus Åberg. While the only 4X I’ve spent real time with is Castlemaine, I like the sound of some of its ideas.

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4X 4 Real: AI War Devs Announce Stars Beyond Reach

Hexes mandatory.

If you’ve pressed your ear to Arcen Games’ door, read their lips through their window, rummaged through their bins and taped together shredded documents, planted microphones to record their nocturnal mutterings, or browsed their forums, you might know that the AI War and The Last Federation developers have been working on a 4X strategy game. They’ve super-properly formally announced the game now, ditching its working title for the super-definitely final name of Stars Beyond Reach (it’s set planetside, see). As well as regular 4X stuff, it has a few interesting ideas about language and combat. The game doesn’t have units, for starters.

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Sorcerer King: Stardock’s Surprise New 4X Strategy

'Things are heating up around here,' says the fire demon. No one likes that guy.

Oh, those Stardock scamps! Skipping the post-announcement, pre-release build-up of people muttering how they hope new Stardock games are less buggy than Elemental’s initial release, they’ve jumped straight to release with their latest. Or Early Access release, anyway. Yesterday Stardock both announced and released Sorcerer King. It’s a 4X strategy, as you might expect and hope from Stardock, with the twist of pitting players against a Left 4 Dead-ish AI director. Rather than fighting similar AI civilisations doing similar things, it’s an asymmetric war against the mighty Sorcerer King.

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Freeware Garden: Star Commander

Starry-eyed pilots killing each other in outer space in traditional turn-based battles.

Having distilled the core elements of 4X strategizing into a sleek and easy to get into game, and thus having done away with lengthy tutorials and hefty pdf manuals, I am happy to declare that Star Commander has achieved an uncommon straightforwardness.

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