Posts Tagged ‘Paradox Interactive’

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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Steel Yourself: Hearts Of Iron IV’s First Big Patch Out

Paradox release some cracking games, but they often need a patch or two to start to shine. If you’ve been waiting for Hearts of Iron IV [official site] fixes, good news: Paradox today launched the first major patch for their new WW2 grand strategy game. Along with the usual bug fixes, crash fixes, and balance tweaks, update 1.1 gets stuck into improving the game’s AI.

This also means we can start enjoying more of the weird fun patch notes Paradox’s complex sims often bring, such as “King George V only dies once, now.”

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Blast Off! Stellaris Launches Asimov Update

Paradox today launched the second big update for their space strategy game Stellaris [official site], named ‘Asimov’ after the first man to snog a robot (after the bot bit his probing tongue, he devoted his life to lobbying for anti-robot laws). Changes include having borders open by default, expanded diplomacy options including diplomatic incidents (break out the Ferrero space-Rocher!), new skyboxes, new nomadic fleets, fixes, interface changes and… look, the patch notes are five thousand words long, I won’t summarise everything.

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Europa Universalis IV Gives Away Free Swedish Songs

What if Paradox Interactive are a shadowy front for the Swedish tourist board? What if they’re being nice – with all these lovely games and free DLC – to lure us to lonely lakes and forests? What then? We all know what the UK government did with The Beatles. Now, I’m not saying this is true, but the latest free bit of DLC supports my theory completely. A collection of 18th-century Swedish songs from poet and composer Carl Michael Bellman is now resonating around Europa Universalis IV [official site] in free DLC, ostensibly to selling Paradox selling many games but… if you download this and start pining for pine, don’t come crying to me for help.

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Best Stellaris Mods

Stellaris [official site] is a wonderful sci-fi strategy endeavour but, like any game with so many concurrent moving parts, keen and inventive modders-cum-cosmonauts have dismantled it, inspected its innards, and put it all back together again with newer and shinier and quirkier parts so as to improve intergalactic space travel for one and all. In essence, they’re making space even greater.

At the time of writing, Stellaris’ Steam Workshop page boasts over 2,000 practical, plausible, weird and wonderful modifications. Here’s our collection of the best.

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Gooaal! Cities: Skylines Adds Free Football Stadium DLC

With Euro 2016 ‘kicking off’ [a technical footballing term meaning ‘throwing a wobbler’ -ballkicking ed.] tomorrow, Cities: Skylines [official site] has brought football home with a little free DLC. The ‘Match Day’ DLC lets players build a stadium in their city, pick kit colours for their home team, earn a cut of ticket sales, enact stadium-related policies, and – oh god help – try to deal with the increased traffic of match day.

This is accompanied by a new update which gives the city-building game’s pre-order bonus DLC bits to all players. Hello, bouncy castles and botanical gardens!

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