Posts Tagged ‘Paradox Interactive’

Stellaris’ New Horizons mod is the best Star Trek game

Everything was in place for the Romulan invasion of the United Federation of Planets. Warbirds screeched out of the shipyards of Romulus and Remus on a direct course for the closest Federation worlds, those belonging to the chilly Andorians. The real goal, of course, was neighbouring Vulcan. This was a symbolic war.

As my jade vessels bombarded the frozen Andorian homeworld, the Tal Shiar informed me that yet another Federation ship had been successfully sabotaged. When my Reman shock troops’ boots hit the icy ground, I realised that Star Trek: New Horizons, a Stellaris [official site] mod, was my favourite ever Roddenbery-flavoured game.

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On its fifth anniversary, a toast to the humour and humanity of Crusader Kings 2

Today, on the Big Love Day of Victor Von Valentine, Crusader Kings 2 [official site] celebrates its fifth anniversary. I’m celebrating too because though I love many games, this one has a special place in my heart. I’ve written about its brilliance before but today I wanted to focus on an aspect that deserves more attention, and that’s the way that the game functions as a period piece. With Chaucer and Monty Python as company, I’ve been thinking about the filth, humour and humanity of this grandest of grand strategy games. And the importance of farts.

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Wot I Think: Hearts Of Iron IV – Together For Victory

Playing any nation in Hearts of Iron IV [official site] beyond the big players, like Great Britain or Germany, is a lot like sitting at the kid’s table. The pace is slow, there are less complex decisions to make, and it never feels like anything that’s going on is nearly as important as what’s happening at the adult’s lavish banquet table. They’re dragging the world into a global war while you’re wondering if you’ve been completely forgotten.

Together for Victory promises to change that, at least for the Commonwealth countries: Canada, Australia, South Africa, India and New Zealand. The expansion gives these five nations a serious makeover, and they now sport unique national focus trees, historical and speculative events, and more freedom even while they remain stuck to Britain.

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Hearts of Iron IV deploys first expansion, big patch

Hearts of Iron IV [official site] has today launched its first expansion, Together for Victory, but just as importantly has released a big patch fixing a lot. While the expansion focuses on the British Dominions and Commonwealth and introduces an autonomy system, while the update in theory does a fair bit to improve the AI. Some players are reporting the game has started crashing for them but, for now, a workaround is helping with that. Read the rest of this entry »

There goes the neighbourhood! Cities Skylines welcomes Natural Disasters next week

Some say a comet will fall from the sky, followed by meteor showers and tidal waves. Yeah, but they only heard that in a song, so what do they know?

If you, like me, kneel at your bedside to whisper the prayer “Lord Godzilla, rise from your slumber and scour humanity from the Earth with your purifying nuclear fire”, you may be comforted by apocalyptic visions in the upcoming Cities: Skylines [official site] expansion. Natural Disasters won’t bring rampaging monsters to the spunky build ’em up (as far as I know) but it will rain meteors, wash sins away with tsunami, and all that good stuff. The wait is almost over, as publishers Paradox have announced Natural Disasters will launch on November 29th. They’ve shown it off in a new trailer too. Read the rest of this entry »

How Crusader Kings 2 Makes People Out Of Opinions

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, Crusader Kings 2 [official site].

Meet Domnall, Earl of Osraige. He’s a pretty affable guy. He’s friends with his neighbouring rulers, and all seems peaceful. But he’s also ambitious and a just little crazy, and he’s about to make a big mess of the Emerald Isle.

Domnall is one of the hundreds of characters across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa that Crusader Kings 2 is simulating here in the year 1066. Whether the player is interacting with them or not, they’ll be vying with each other, allying, marrying, dying, giving birth, and generally doing all of the things that your ruler can do. Crusader Kings 2 is a game all about people. It’s about marriages and dependencies, accordances and kinship. And at the heart of how it models all these dense and messy human complexities is a single value that governs the way its little computer aristocrats behave:

THE MECHANIC: Opinions Read the rest of this entry »

Wish Upon A Stellaris: Banks, Kennedy, And Beyond

Our Adam had a look at the state of Stellaris [official site] after Paradox released the most-recent update and paid add-on for their space strategy game. He called those “an indication that the studio have ideas as to how the universe can become more lively, without making it more cluttered at the same time, and that makes the future of Stellaris very exciting indeed.” And what of that future? Paradox have shared some of their plans and hopes for the future, which include fleshing out the mid- and late-game, adding a “space UN”, expanding ethics, and making empires more interesting and alive. Read the rest of this entry »