Posts Tagged ‘Firaxis’

Civilization 6 launches spring update today

A good spring clean is cathartic after the long and dark winter, and Firaxis will surely feel better after releasing the Spring 2018 Update for Civilization VI later today. Along with improving joint wars, tweaking balance, fixing bug, and making the AI slightly less of a big silly, it adds some new Historic Moments for a fresh breath of springtime air in the Rise And Fall expansion. These include such world-changing moments as the building of the first seaside resort, the founding of the first national park, and the completion of the first totally rad tricked-out water park with a pool, aquarium, Ferris wheel, and all that. Ah, to be stuck indoors on a beautiful day like this… Read the rest of this entry »

X-Com spiritual successor Phoenix Point is doing $100k per month in pre-orders

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Snapshot Games, lead by David Kaye and X-Com creator Julian Gollop, is a runaway success. Or at least I would think $100k a month in pledges would give a game studio some breathing room. But Snapshot isn’t sleeping at night. The prevalence of cheap games and promotional bundles has the studio spooked because, while this is a time of incredibly bounties for consumers, not every game can have the financial safety net of, say, Sea of Thieves. This makes creating a game of the scale of Phoenix Point exceptionally perilous.

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Soren Johnson on challenging the norms of 4X games

“Sid [Meier] didn’t know he was inventing a genre back in ’91 – if he had he might have been a lot more careful. He was just making it up as he went along.”

That’s how genres begin. By mistake. Somebody creates a set of rules and systems for the needs of a particular game, and then either people adopt and adapt those rules. Soren Johnson, creator of Offworld Trading Company and lead designer of Civilization IV, is working on a new game called Ten Crowns and after spending almost an hour talking with him at GDC, I get the impression he’s going to be very careful indeed. Not cautious, because I expect some bold reinvention of 4X strategy fundamentals, but careful in his treatment of a genre that we both agree needs to escape its own past.

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All rise and no fall: how Civilization reinforces a dangerous myth

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Civilization VI: Rise and Fall wants to solve a problem. That problem is perpetual growth, and it plagues many 4X games. Whether your aim is world conquest or cultural hegemony, victory in Civilization and many of its cohorts depends on domination. However peacefully you try to play, you’re often straight-jacketed into a utilitarian-psychotic view where all resources and people are just raw material to be assimilated, Borg-like, until the whole map is monochrome.

But as the early excitement of exploration and expansion ebbs to late game stagnation, the fun runs out. Historically, stagnating empires tend to fragment and collapse. But in Civilization VI, like many games, you’re the star of the show – and there’s nowhere to go but up.

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Wot I Think: Civilization 6 – Rise And Fall

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Civilization is at its worst when you’re winning. Success breeds complacency as you click the end turn button and acknowledge the news of great accomplishments with the practiced apathy of a regent signing papers on behalf of an infant king. There is an inevitability about your empire’s march through history and it’s easy to feel like a passive pawn.

Rise and Fall, the first major expansion for Civ VI, attempts to address this by introducing global crises, dark ages and citizen loyalty. It gets about half of the job spot on; the fall is much better than the rise.

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Civilization VI: Rise & Fall expansion released

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The beating of a million drums
The fire of a million guns
The mother of a million sons
Sid Meier’s Civilization®

The looping march through history continues today with the launch of Civilization VI: Rise And Fall, the first full expansion for 2016’s turn-based 4X strategy sequel. Rise And Fall rolls with the ebb and flow of history, with different Great Ages bringing new challenges and bonuses, alliances that grow stronger over time, era goals, ’emergency’ pacts uniting civs against powerful opponents, and more. And obvs it also adds new civilisations, units, wonders, and so on.

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Civ VI: Rise and Fall’s new features explained

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I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never gonna keep me down. That’s what I’ll be singing when I play Civilization VI‘s upcoming Rise and Fall expansion. There are loads of new features but the unifying theme is, as the title suggests, success, failure and recovery. That means dark ages that come with hardships but also bring about the possibility of a renaissance into a heroic age. All of that, and much more, is explained in the brand new video below.

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Cree concerns hammer home why Civ needs to reject its own traditions

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In Civilization, civilization is a competition. Land and resources are limited, and even those nations that don’t expand through military might are attempting to climb to the top of the league table in other ways. Geography, technology, culture, religion, diplomacy – they’re all, to some extent, weapons to be deployed, or at least arenas where an advantage can be gained. Culture and history are the clothes that Civ wears but it’s not really about building an empire or a nation, it’s about sharpening a knife.

The upcoming Rise and Fall expansion for Civ VI introduces several new playable nations, but the introduction of one civ has led to criticism from an unexpected source. Yesterday, Milton Tootoosis, an elected headman-councillor of the Poundmaker Cree Nation, spoke to CBC News about the inclusion of the Saskatchewan First Nation. He acknowledged excitement about the news and noted that historical chief, Poundmaker, is to be portrayed as working to build “a bridge between settlers and First Nations”. But he also voiced a fundamental concern about the portrayal: “It perpetuates this myth that First Nations had similar values that the colonial culture has, and that is one of conquering other peoples and accessing their land.” It’s a concern that cuts to the heart of what Civilization has always been and – I hope – to what it could become.

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Whatever happened to XCOM 2’s daily challenge mode?

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Back in the summer, I boldly declared that ‘I will play XCOM 2: War Of The Chosen’s daily challenge mode every day.’ Er. Whoops. I’ve only played a handful since then, and I’m not alone there. Though the mode still pumps out a new challenge every day, it hasn’t blossomed into a new religion in the same way The Binding of Isaac and Spelunky’s daily random-o-map scoreboard challenges have for those communities.

So, what happened?

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Civilization VI: Rise And Fall expansion out Feb 8th

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Civilization VI is getting its first expansion on February 8th 2018 and it sounds like it might be shake things up significantly. Going by the name Rise and Fall, it applies changes across the whole span of history and rather than introducing one big new system, it seems to focus on the actual rhythm and flow of the game.

There are new rules for Great Ages, city loyalty, governors, emergencies, and loads of additions in the form of civs, leaders, buildings, wonders and government policies, but it’s the overall sense that Firaxis are adding a sprinkling of grand strategy to the series that has me most excited.

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Civilization 6 gets big update while Civ 3 is briefly free

Today’s the big day in Civland, or the world as it’s commonly known. The highlight: Civilization VI has launched its big Fall 2017 Update, which chiefly expands religious combat and makes AI opponents a little smarter. Also out today is new DLC for Civ VI adding Indonesia and the Khmer Empire.

Or if you believe that everything old is better and we should shun the new: 1) Civilization III is free for the next two days; 2) But Civ’s whole ‘inevitable march of progress’ sort of thing seems contrary to your ethos? Read the rest of this entry »

Civilization 6 finding religion in Fall Update

The next big free update to Sid Meier’s Civilization VI [official site] will overhaul and expand the strategy game’s religion system, bringing new beliefs, new pantheons, and new units as well as a reworking of religious combat. AI improvements are coming too, including making computer opponents less useless at sea. Our Adam’s Civ 6 review was mighty fond of the game but it has certainly benefitted from the big updates over the past year. More are welcome. Read the rest of this entry »

I am an Ironman idiot and XCOM proves it

As predicted, I spent most of the weekend playing XCOM 2: War of the Chosen [official site]. It’s good to be back, fighting against the faux-benevolent burger-making overlords of future Earth, but I haven’t actually made a great deal of progress in my new campaign. That’s because there have been several new campaigns, and that’s because I’m an idiot who can’t resist the lure of an Ironman mode, while secretly hating the reality of an Ironman mode.

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Podcast: The Electronic Wireless Show talks Destiny 2, Absolver and XCOM 2: War of the Chosen

If on a winter's night a Traveller

Hark, it’s the sweet vocal vibrations of the humble RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show. The lads (lads lads) are back from the bright lights of Gamescom and ready to chat hard about the games they saw. But Pip is only giving us a maximum of three words about each one. Madness. Never mind, we can talk more verbosely about the alien-shooting of the Destiny 2 beta, or the otherworldly kickboxing of Absolver, or the other-alien-shooting of XCOM 2: War of the Chosen. It’s been quite a good week.
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No U FO! XCOM 2: War of the Chosen released

XCOM 2: War of the Chosen [official site] could almost be named XCOM 3, our Alec thought in his review of the new expansion pack for the alien-mashing tactical game. It adds new factions, new classes, new abilities, new enemies, new bosses, new mission types, and so much more to form a delicious tactical feast. But hark, you no longer need rely upon following Alec’s Instagram platesnaps and his Yelp reviews to get a sense of what War of the Chosen is like. The expansion launched overnight and is now out for all with £35 to spare. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think – XCOM 2: War Of The Chosen

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I can’t help but think of a sausage. A huge, fat, glistening sausage, bulging with meat (or the nearest vegetarian equivalent) to the point that the innards have burst through the skin, forming deliciously fatty globules on the surface. There is surely no room for more, but nonetheless even more has been stuffed inside it. It clearly shouldn’t work. It’s almost obscene. It looks like it will fall apart or even explode if even the slightest pressure is applied. It is sausage-based madness. The sausage is XCOM 2: War of the Chosen [official site], and it is as delectable and satisfying as it absolutely bloody insane. Read the rest of this entry »

Civilization VI launches summer update, Nubian DLC

Summer is certainly upon us, and Civilization VI [official site] is celebrating this joyous season by encouraging you to stay indoors for just one more turn. Civ 6 launched its ‘Summer 2017 Update’ last night, packed full of balance changes, AI improvements, and bug fixes. As requested, it also added a ‘Restart’ button to regenerate a map and start over, and the ability to save game setup configurations for future games is in too.

If you want to pay money, a new DLC pack is out, adding the Nubian civilisation led by the queen Amanitore. The base game is on sale now and all. Read the rest of this entry »

The successes and failures of Civilization 6

When Sid Meier’s Civilization VI [official site] came out last October, it represented a novel take on the series, boasting two parallel tech trees and an innovative city system that broke the previous games’ monolithic metropoli into distributed districts, with attendant tile-space-management gameplay. Nine months on, I spoke to lead designer Ed Beach about the finer points of the game’s design, what needs work, and Firaxis’ approach to designing expansions and DLC.

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Watch a whole load of XCOM 2: War of the Chosen

You and I can’t play the big new XCOM 2 [official site] expansion War of the Chosen until August but we can now watch a gert chunk of it. We’ve got aaages to wait before we can recruit new factions and classes to our cause while taking down new enemies in new areas. But after several weeks of coughing up small trailers focusing on individual classes and enemies in the expansion, 2K have opened the marketing floodgates and let sites such as our business chums Eurogamer post huge preview videos. Here, watch 80 minutes: Read the rest of this entry »

XCOM 2: War of the Chosen’s alien champions, lost cities and soldier bonds explained

Fallen cities swarming with the dangerous remnants of their human populations, alien battlefield commanders who resemble fantastical heroes, new rulesets for friendship and fear, and an actual active resistance out on the Geoscape. XCOM 2 [official site] is changing.

The War of the Chosen is “definitely the biggest expansion we’ve ever done”, lead designer Jake Solomon told us at E3. Introducing unique enemy champions doesn’t strike me as an obvious move for XCOM, so I asked Solomon how the concept of the expansion had developed, and whether he’d drawn any inspiration from Shadow of Mordor’s Nemesis system. And whether we can expect any terrors from the deep in the future.

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