Posts Tagged ‘Paradox Development Studio’

Make Like A Tree And Warp: Stellaris Plantoids DLC Out

Paradox today released the first bit of paid DLC for Stellaris [official site], adding a Plantoid species type to their space strategy game. It’s only a collection of cosmetic doodahs but they are pretty ones – check out the gorgeous new portaits. Aren’t those great? I’m not being funny, right, but I am enjoying imagining how they would feel to the touch. Meanwhile, Paradox have also returned from their summer holidays to work on the next major free update, nicknamed ‘Heinlein’, and they’ve started teasing features such as a new Federation victory condition.

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Crusader Kings II Is Getting A Poxy, Plaguey Expansion

We all get sick every once in a while. When certain unnameable stars are ascendant and the pollen count is high, the writers of RPS are stricken with a variety of ailments ranging from the mildly irritating Wheezing Calamities to the truly dreadful Kneecaps-A-Shudder that causes the sound of grinding bones to echo around our word-cubicles, day and night. We have a proud record of ‘zero plagues’ in 2016 though and that’s something to celebrate.

Crusader Kings II [official site] is set in more sickly times though and the next expansion to the bestest of all historical strategy games will explore illness, death and all that other good stuff.

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Making The UK Communist in Hearts of Iron IV – Part 2

This is the second and final part of Fraser’s attempts to paint the world red in Hearts of Iron IV [official site]. You can read part one here.

It’s a new dawn for Britain. As WWII gets ever closer, the glorious Union of Britain, now a communist superpower, is enjoying its liberation from the shackles of capitalism and democracy. Ignore the tears in the fabric of space time – it’s a small price to pay for setting history right.

There’s little time to settle into this new communist groove, however. The majority of the world is still crying out for a saviour, from our pals across the Irish Sea and the Atlantic, to our continental buddies. The biggest problem is picking which country to save first.

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Intergalactic, Planty: The First Stellaris Species Pack

Plantoids will be the first new lifeforms added to Stellaris [official site] in a ‘Species Pack’, developers Paradox announced today. As is fairly typical for their grand strategy games, the pack will add unique portraits and models for a variety of plantpeople. It’s not a huge deal but hey, if you’ve been waiting for word on actual expansions then you might like knowing Paradox are at least getting the DLC train rolling.

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Making The UK Communist In Hearts Of Iron IV

What if the UK was communist, I wondered as I munched on a gruesome burger from McDonalds while browsing for a new pair of Converses on my oversized smartphone. Would I finally have the confidence to pull off a bushy, Stalinesque moustache? Would those red trousers which I bought on a day I lost all sense, but never wore, suddenly look good on me?

To give direction to my aimless pondering I fired up Paradox’s grand strategy-wargame hybrid, Hearts of Iron IV [official site]. Not just a World War II simulator, it’s a What If scenario generator, answering the big questions like: how can Germany win the war? Can Argentina take over South America? And, of course, what if the UK was communist? Let’s find out.

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Find Space: Stellaris Alpha Mod Adds Loads Of Changes

When I gathered my favourite Stellaris [official site] mods last month, there were just over 2,000 brimming from its Steam Workshop – an impressive number, given the game had only been out for five weeks or so at that point. Three weeks on and almost 500 have since been added to the collection, one of which just missed my roundup cut: the Stellaris Alpha Mod.

Not only does the ambitious modification add over 60 new buildings, 17 new resources and seven new edicts, among a range of other things, creator AlphaAsh has since been actively planning new features, taking suggestions from players and fixing bugs, all of which suggests the Alpha Mod will only get bigger. To infinity… and beyond etc.

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What’s Wrong With Stellaris’ Victory Conditions

Every time you complete the colonisation of a planet in Stellaris, the game’s AI assistant cheerfully barks ‘New colony established.’ When I started the game, it was a pleasant reminder to plan the future of a new planet. By the time I was approaching the two victory conditions it warned me of a chore. By then, my empire was the strongest in the galaxy and I’d settled into the long galactic clean-up that precedes formally completing the game.

Stellaris’ victory conditions demand you either own 40% of the galaxy’s habitable worlds or conquer or subjugate all other empires. Both are a bad fit: rather than guiding you through the game’s rich, durable simulation of competing sci-fi civilizations, they shunt you down one narrow path which takes far too long to complete. Whether you’re colonizing planets to fill a victory bar rather than to meaningfully enhance your empire or crushing weak empires who don’t stand a chance, Stellaris’ victory conditions suck some joy from an otherwise great strategy game. They are badly implemented, badly designed, and even were both of those issues solved they’d detract from the game.

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