Posts Tagged ‘Firaxis Games’

Losing My Religion: Civilization VI Diary, Part One

In this first part of a Civilization VI [official site] diary series, which will follow my glorious nation from its birth to eventual victory (or abject failure), we trace Japan’s steps from the ancient to the classical era. Along the way, I’ll be explaining the rules of this new entry in the series as well as telling the story of my people.

Rome is bristling with spears and its leader, Trajan, is not very happy. Not very happy at all. It’s 1160 BC and I’ve already sworn off wonders, stabbed my only friend in the back, and found myself caught between faiths. Let’s rewind almost three thousand years though, to the founding of Kyoto and a time of great promise. Let’s go back to the start.

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Civilization VI Brings The Series Back To Its Best

A month ahead of its release, I’ve spent a week with Civilization VI [official site]. The build of the game is near-complete, though only ten of the twenty civs are playable and there are some limits on startup settings. When I heard that I’d be able to play so much of the game so long before release, I hoped that was evidence of 2K’s confidence in what they had to show.

Whether that’s true or not, they should be brimming with confidence. Civ VI is excellent.

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Have You Played… Sid Meier’s SimGolf?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

A collaboration between Maxis and Firaxis, Sid Meier’s SimGolf oddly plays at times more like a Bullfrog ‘Theme’ game than like the other games from its two prestigious developers. You build a golf course, earning money with which to expand, and occasionally play a few holes yourself.

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Civilization VI: Four Hours Of Wars And Wonders

Last month I spent four hours playing Civilization VI on a very hot day in central London. I came away wishing I could play for another four hundred hours, and also wishing that I had an ice cream. Mint and choc chip preferably.

Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what Civ VI is doing and how its many systems create a brilliant competitive race through history while also producing some weird tensions around the idea of what a civilization actually is in the context of the game. Are cultures defined by the choices they make, by their surroundings, their neighbours, by determination or by chance? Whatever the answer might be, one thing is sure: Cleopatra hates me.

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Long War Studios Release New XCOM 2 Mods

The Long War is one of the great mods, expanding Firaxis’ XCOM reboot in ways that called back to the campaign of the original game while also building on what was brilliant in the new version. The team behind it formed a studio and are now working on their own aliens vs Earth game, Terra Invicta, as well as Firaxis-approved mods for XCOM 2 [official site]. The first set of mods arrived on launch day and two more appeared a couple of days ago. One of them is good, the other is spectacular.

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Civilization VI Egypt Vid Is Comin’ Atcha

Cleopatra can't even

I made a silent promise to myself that I wouldn’t post every single new leader/civ reveal for Civilization VI [official site] because, really, do you need a video to tell you that France is likely to have some big cultural advantages based around museums, and that Japan might have its own warrior code, and cities that enjoy the benefits that come from island life and seafood? The Egyptian video is a good one though, teasing out some details of the new adjacency bonuses for improvements, and the ways that early game strengths might change through the course of a campaign.

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Five Months Later, How Has XCOM 2 Changed?

Five months and one day, in fact. XCOM 2 was a big huge hit at release, and mostly very well-received – although, variously, there were complaints about performance, difficulty, time-wasting and the opacity of its complicated systems. The picture’s a little different now we’re here in July. There have been three DLC packs, a bunch of patches, a mod community and most of all, plenty of time for repeat visits to see how it feels now we know how all the pieces fit together. I’ve just emerged from the requisite sleepless nights to wage the main part of another campaign, and I have indeed found a significantly changed game – for reasons both good and bad.

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XCOM 2 Adds Robotic Buddies In Shen’s Last Gift DLC

Mechanical men have arrived in XCOM 2 [official site] with today’s release of the DLC pack Shen’s Last Gift. I’d expected the DLC would add cyborg MEC Troopers like those in XCOM: Enemy Within but nope, the potential new squadmates are proper robits. That’s paid DLC but everyone can benefit from the new patch which also launched tonight. It brings performance improvements, bug fixes, and balance tweaks including buffing the sword-swinging side of the Ranger skill tree.

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Civilization VI Vid Introduces Queen Victoria’s English Civ

“The English can be an aggressive and expansionist civilisation,” explains a new Civilization VI [official site] trailer introducing the English civ’s unique units and buildings, “but they can also switch towards a cultural victory if they set up their museums and send their archaeologists aboard.”

Yes indeed ladies and gentleman, a little bit of politics.

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Sean Bean Narrates The Entire History Of A Civ VI Nation

Civilization VI’s [official site] E3 demo will not only teach you a lot about the game, it also happens to be a fascinating cultural object. Narrated by Sean Bean, it follows a tribe from their first settlement through barbaric battles, early diplomacy and trade, technological development, and into the terror of modern warfare. Then they jump in a rocket and set off into space. The erstwhile Ned Stark/Richard Sharpe provides commentary throughout. It’s as if Sean Bean has transitioned into a career making Let’s Play videos and, by god, I had never known how much I wanted such a thing until now.

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Civilization VI Trailer Demonstrates Unstacked Cities

So you’ve read all four thousand of Adam’s Civilization VI [official site] words, his overview and his hands-on preview, but that’s only, what, four pictures’ worth? I’m not sure how well the idiom applies to video frames – though of course none deny its power and universal truth – but surely two minutes of video at 30 frames per second holds at least a little descriptive power. Here, check out this new trailer explaining how Civilization VI has unstacked cities, sending them sprawling into outlying districts:

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Hands On: Civilization VI Is Exciting, Complex & Aggressive

The barbarians are at the gates. They’re not here to kick the gates down and storm the city though; instead, they retreat, in the direction of the camp that spawned them.

“You might want to send a warrior after those barbarian scouts,” Firaxis’ Pete Murray advises, watching the screen over my shoulder. “They’ll fetch a raiding party if they manage to get home.”

That’s new. It’s the tip of the iceberg as far as changes go, but it’s an illustrative example of what the early stages of this game are all about. Civilization VI [official site], at this stage of its development, is host to the most reactive AI that I can remember in the series’ long history. Lead designer Ed Beach and his team are building a Civ game that they hope will pry long-time players out of their established comfort zones, and a too-brief 60 turns with the game last week showed plenty of evidence that they’ll achieve that goal.

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Have You Played… Sid Meier’s Civilization V?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Sid Meier is famous for his line that games are “a series of interesting decisions.” Which makes it interesting that Sid Meier’s Civilization V is a game about telling people to stand still over and over again.

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XCOM 2 Alien Hunters DLC Slips On Snakeskin Boots

Alien bosses beamed down into XCOM 2 [official site] today with the release of the Alien Hunters DLC pack. These ‘Rulers’ are nasty variants of alien species who can turn up in missions unannounced, duff you up good, then scamper off to return in later missions. Which sounds great/horrible. They also bring new weapons and, if you’re feeling bold, you can hollow the Rulers out and casually wear their skins.

A patch is also out today with improvements for all players, DLC or no.

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Civilization VI Releases October: Here’s Every Detail

As if 2016 didn’t already contain a rich enough seam of strategy games, Firaxis announce today that Civilization VI will be released on October 21st. Development duties are in the hands of the team behind Civ V’s expansions, Gods & Kings and Brave New World, and when we spoke to designer Ed Beach and associate producer Sarah Darney last week to learn all the details, they told us that almost every system from the complete Civ V will be included in the sequel: trade routes, religious systems, archaeology…there’ll be no need to wait for expansions, it’s all in the base game.

The game is running on a brand new suite of software, built to be far more mod-friendly than its predecessor, and as well as brand new AI systems, there are a host of new mechanics that will explore and emphasise your relationship with Civ’s greatest character: the map.

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Boss Aliens! New XCOM 2 DLC Sounds Rad

I really shouldn’t use the word ‘rad.’ I’m an Englishman – not in the alarmingly out-of-touch Zac Goldsmith sense, just in the nebbishly undemonstrative sense. I just can’t get away with boisterously hurling around ironic ’80s terms like they do in San Francisco. But by God, the new XCOM 2 [official site] DLC sounds rad. The Alien Hunters pack features, basically, boss aliens who show up at random and give you hell, and, if you fail to kill ’em, will get out of dodge and return to give you more hell another day.

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XCOM 2 Anarchy’s Children DLC Out Today

Happy Saint Paddy’s Day one and all! A day for dressing up in garish green hats, novelty glasses, and orange wigs. Which is what I assume we’ll be able to do in the latest XCOM 2 [official site] expansion, Anarchy’s Children, which promises “100 new exotic customization options for your soldiers, including new hair styles, face paints, armor, lower face props, decals, helmets, masks and more.” I guess we’ll find out either way when it launches later today. Top o’ the mornin’ to ya, Advent soldiers.

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XCOM 2: Here Come The Grunts

Continuing an XCOM 2 [official site] Iron Man diary starring the staff and readers of RPS. Full explanation and the story so far here here, and you can download the characters for your own game here.

It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times. John, Graham, Pip and Alice are all dead, as are some of our most senior readers, leaving Team XCOM in the perpetually-wounded hands of just Adam and Alec. Could there possibly be a way back?

Damn right there was.

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XCOM 2 Patch Targets Performance, Balance, Bugs

Firaxis have released a big ole patch for XCOM 2 [official site], aiming to improve everything from performance to balance. Even as one of the lucky folks who hasn’t had many problems with XCOM 2 (I mean, aside from when I had the final mission turn into a colourful glitch-o-rama), I’m glad to see some of these changes. The new ‘Zip Mode’, which trims a lot of the dramatic pauses and delays in combat, sounds great. If you are someone who had bigger problems… tell me, does this help?

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First XCOM 2 DLC Inbound, But No Perfomance Fix Yet

Suicide Squad, innit?

Well, in fairness, they’ve still got a week to squeak out a much-needed fix for the otherwise great XCOM 2 [official site]’s assorted technical issues before the Anarchy’s Children DLC arrives next week. They might yet do right by us. Leaves a bit of a bad taste in the mouth to even be talking about flogging extra content before the base game’s fully ship-shape, though – especially as said extra content makes me twist my lips into a sort of bemused pout. I really dig XCOM 2’s current and generous character customisation options, which manage to be playful without capsizing into arbitrary weirdness. I’m not sure the same can be said about the Anarchy’s Children pack of cosmetic add-ons.
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