Posts Tagged ‘Paradox Interactive’

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 »

Cities: Skylines Wiped Out In Natural Disasters Trailer

Several cities in the popular construction sim Cities: Skylines [official site] have been destroyed or heavily damaged by a freak series of natural disasters. A tornado, earthquake, forest fire, meteor impact and flood all occurred within seconds of each other and devastated a number of metropolises, killing thousands of tiny people who do not really exist. Footage of the deadly phenomenon was captured by the developers of the game, who are thrilled with the result. Warning: the following video footage contains images some viewers may find mildly interesting.

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Get Kraken, Lads: Stellaris Gets V1.3, Leviathans DLC

Today’s a big day for Stellaris [official site] as Paradox’s spacefaring grand strategy game receives both the long-awaited patch codenamed ‘Heinlein’ and its meatiest add-on yet, the Leviathans Story Pack. But wait! If you’re stuck into a game from the last patch, do be aware that update 1.3 will not work with your save file. Paradox do handily have a way to get back that old version, if you desperately want to polish it off before moving on. But if not, coo ‘eck let’s look at all that’s new today. Read the rest of this entry »

Stellaris Gets Space Krakens and More With Leviathans


Paradox’s 4x grand strategy game Stellaris [Official Site] is getting another boost to story and mechanics with the upcoming Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack. Now, instead of just worrying about the everyday issues of diplomacy, combat, and trade, you also have to worry about giant space Kraken destroying your fleets.

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In Tyranny, It’s Good To Be Evil

Tyranny - Primary

Evil in Tyranny [official site] is so ordinary. That’s why it’s successful, I think. In a medium prone to cartoonish overexaggeration, where villains are barely more than mustache-twirling caricatures, Tyranny tells a bleaker story. It’s the evil of numbers, the evil of tax collectors and bureaucracies and negligence and “I was just following orders.” A real-world sort of evil. The type that’s much harder to stomach.

The type that, when you’re given the chance to go hands-on with Tyranny’s first few hours, leaves you unsettled.

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Obsidian’s Tyranny Coming November 10th

“I begin to find an idle and fond bondage in the oppression of aged Tyranny; who sways, not as it hath power, but as it is suffered,” said WillzShakalaka in his preview of Tyranny [official site], “Come to me, that of this I may speak more.”

Yeah yeah come on mate, enough with your New Games Journalism patter. Tell me if Obsidian’s upcoming fantasy RPG is a good game or some sort of crime. How many spells does it have? What’s in the options menu? Score out of ten? You’re useless.

Here’s how it’s done, Shakespeare, with facts: Tyranny will come out on November 10th, publishers Paradox announced today. Booom. Lick my dust, Willz. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Mount and Blade: Warband — Napoleonic Wars?

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

There’s some eras of warfare that seem impossible to recreate in a first-person shooter, and the idea of standing in rows and exchanging volleys with another group of gents also standing in rows seems like one of them. Yet, Napoleonic Wars [Steam page] is one of my favourite multiplayer shooter mods ever. See, while you’re free to just hop online and join in chaotic public matches, you’re much better served joining one of the many regiments that engage in historically-proper battles with loads of rules for what you can and can’t do at any given time. Raised your rifle or spoken out of turn without the captain’s orders? That’s a lashin’.

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Europa Universalis IV Launches New Expansion; Crusader Kings II Rewards Cannibals

A new Europa Universalis IV [official site] expansion, named Rights of Man, is out today. This means that people who pay £15 can play with expanded diplomatic options as a Great Power. As is the traditional Paradox grand strategy way, a big update has launched alongside this expansion with fixes and additions for all.

Look, if I sound half-hearted, it’s because I’m reading the notes for a Crusader Kings II patch Paradox also released today, and that has the lot: cats, fraudulent mystics, and cannibals finding human heads in their beds. EU4 is a let-down on the japery front.

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Hearts Of Iron IV Drops The Bomb (A New Patch)

Like Fred Durst and the Nazi war machine, Hearts of Iron IV [official site] patches keep rollin’ rollin’ rollin’. Paradox today launched Patch 1.2, codenamed Sunflower, which focuses on improving the WW2 grand strategy game’s AI and user interface but also fiddles with balance and… history? That doesn’t seem safe.

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Cities: Skylines Art Deco DLC Celebrates Player Content

There are tons of ways to modify your Cities: Skylines [official site] experience. With official DLC packs that incorporate anything from bustling nightlife to horrific apocalyptic scenarios, and a bustling modding community, the custom city-building experience you’ve dreamed of is right at your fingertips.

Paradox Interactive this week launched a new content pack to honor its talented player content creators. The first Cities: Skylines Content Creator Pack is titled Art Deco, and features the work of Matt ‘Shroomblaze’ Crux.

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Magic And Myth In A Post-War World: Tyranny

I’ve seen Tyranny [official site] several times before and I even played it out at E3, but it was only after a hands-on session at Gamescom that I felt ready to write about Obsidian’s next RPG. It’s a tricky one to preview, seeing as so much of the pitch relates to a world that changes to reflect the Big Choices you make. In a game that’s so keen to gesture toward the bigger picture, it can be difficult to get a sense of how well the smaller moments work toward that end.

At Gamescom, I played a new section of the game, crafted some spells, and decided that even if I can’t know how well the bigger picture will come together, there’s enough here to understand at least some of what Obsidian are building. It’s strong stuff.

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The Reaper’s Due Has Come To Crusader Kings II

Bring out yer dead, we’ve got a lovely wheelbarrow ready and waiting. Dynastic strategy and infanticide simulator, Crusader Kings II [official site], has received its latest add-on. The Reaper’s Due brings a bunch of new events and mechanics for Europe’s worst case of the sniffles. The Black Death will ravage the land and you’ll be forced to either fight against it or hide away in your castle with your pet cat. As usual, there’s also a free patch tweaking other issues, for all the peasants unable to find £7 in their coffers.

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Armageddon It! Cities: Skylines Disasters Expansion

Building and running a safe and efficient city can be fun, sure. Cities: Skylines [official site] is already great for that. You know what’s also fun? Smashing things. Cities: Skylines is now trying harder with that. Publishers Paradox today announced a new expansion for Colossal Order’s city-builder, named Natural Disasters. Oh yes!

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Crusader Kings II: Reaper’s Due DLC Bringing CAAATS!

Paradox and Adam may tell you that the next Crusader Kings II [official site] expansion is about diseases tearing through medieval Europe, but no. The Reaper’s Due is about cats. Lovely cats. Hunting dogs be damned, Reaper’s Due will let characters befriend a cat – which naturally brings bonuses. Then… maybe a few more cats. All of the cats. Lovely, lovely cats. Get carried away and you might get the ‘Crazy Cat Lady’ trait. And then something something black death bad omens angry mob blah blah but look, the point is: cats. Oh, and the expansion now has a release date: August 25th.

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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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