Posts Tagged ‘Paradox’

A Family Affair: Crusader Kings II – Way Of Life

Crusader Kings II is almost fully grown. As a kid, it didn’t have the breadth of thought to explore more than one belief system and certainly didn’t know how a Republic operated. With age came wisdom and the youngster was soon travelling all over the world to learn about different cultures and faiths. As part of the MA in Early Medieval History that it completed recently, CK II wrote a biography of Charlemagne and now it has left the cloisters of academia and is ready to enter the real world. The school of life. I give it two weeks before it’s bedding its own father in law and having its brothers chopped into messes.

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Grander Strategies: EU IV And CK II Expansions

I haven’t checked in on Europa Universalis IV or Crusader Kings II for a while, but both games continue to expand in my absence. For Crusader Kings II, the Charlemagne expansion pushes back further into the early medieval period, with another hundred years added to the timeline and enough features to make the DLC equivalent in size to the gargantuan Old Gods expansion. EU IV’s Art of War expansion might be even larger and is certainly the grandest piece of DLC for Europa Universalis to date. As the name suggests, the focus is on military campaigns, but every system in these games is linked, so it’ll affect far more than the fracas. Videos below.

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Wot I Think: Ancient Space

Space games are having something of a renaissance of late, but it’s only in the fly-and-shoot genres that we’re seeing much concrete promise (specifically with the rise and rise of Elite: Dangerous). The RTS meanwhile still pines for Homeworld, and while there are a number of games on our space-radar, nothing has yet to really spool up our jump drive and push into the next sector.

Could Ancient Space take up this critical astro-gauntlet?

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A Tale Of Two: Cities – Skylines

The announcement trailer for Cities; Skylines showed the scale of the settlements and proudly proclaimed that the game could be played without an internet connection. The latter statement was the more obvious jab at SimCity but the size of the cities in Colossal Order’s upcoming project is probably more important. Even if I were playing SimCity in a hut at the end of the world, with not a whiff of wifi, I would have found myself clawing at the limits of the simulation sooner rather than later. A new trailer for Skylines shows two sides of citybuilding – one is the perfect endpoint and the other is the likely starting point.

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Ancient Space Shows Star-Studded Campaign

I feel like I’ve written about quite a few space RTSs in recent times, but none of them are releasing quite as soon or look quite as promising as Ancient Space. The latest trailer thankfully does more than show up Adam’s lack of sci-fi TV knowledge with its voice cast. It’s actual game footage, UI and all, and interspersed with comments from the developers about how the ship customisation and campaign systems will work. It also brings word of a September 23rd release date, a welcome surprise since I’d assumed that, like everything I ever want to play, it wasn’t due for months.

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Giving Voice To The Void: Ancient Space

Earlier today, I exposed one gaping hole in my nerd-knowledge – I didn’t watch a single episode of Star Trek until 2011. I knew that Kirk ladied his way around the galaxy and that Patrick Stewart made things just so, like a spacefaring Kiping, but I hadn’t actually seen them in action. Picard was nothing but a facepalm to me. A press release from Paradox threatens to tear my remaining nerd cred to bits. It contains an announcement for an RTS, Ancient Space, made by CreativeForge, who you may remember as creators of the intriguing Hard West, currently Kickstarting. Ancient Space is the studio’s previous game and it’s due out later this year. Details and sci-fi actor studded voice cast below.

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Hands-On: Pillars Of Eternity

After publishing my thorough conversation with Pillars of Eternity lead designer Josh Sawyer, I realised that I hadn’t actually expressed an opinion about the game. I was curious and hopeful but hadn’t had a chance to play it, and see how well all of the elements came together. The backer beta, which launched yesterday, is a huge relief. Pillars is shaping up to be worthy of its inspirations, and intelligent and bold enough not to be bound to them.

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Monty’s Icons: Hearts Of Iron IV

In the distant year of January 2014, I saw an early version of Hearts of Iron IV at the annual Paradox convention. It was one of the games that I was most interested to see because of the four Paradox grand strategy series (Europa, Crusader Kings and Victoria being the others), the World War II simulation HOI is the one I’ve never quite managed to get to grips with. In fact, I have about as strong a grip on it as I do on a family of eels in a bucket of caviar. Or a MOBA. The military emphasis doesn’t fit with my usual strategic styles of play and I fear the micromanagement. How pleasing, then, that the latest entry combines streamlined production and an equisite battle planning system, which you can glimpse in the trailer below.

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Simulated Urban Area – Cities: Skylines Announced

A city but inside a computer, created from calculations.

The Cities in Motion games provided a very specific challenge: some chuffing great fool has built a city all higgledy-piggledy and now you need to somehow smoosh a functional public transportation network between their many mistakes. Cities are big, sprawling, ancient, and wonderful messes that we must somehow wrangle, we uneasily negotiate with, and we try to make work. Building a city from scratch, getting to plan for efficiency, almost seems like cheating.

That’s what Cities in Motion creator Colossal Order will offer in their next game, Cities: Skylines. It’ll have players build entire urban areas from the ground-up, like some sort of simulated city.

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Expert Speech Skill: Pillars Of Eternity Interview Part 2

In the second and final part of a conversation with Josh Sawyer of Obsidian (part one), we discuss how the design of Pillars of Eternity differs from Fallout: New Vegas. That involves a discussion of New Vegas’ post-release support, official and otherwise, and the pros and cons of traditional RPG systems. Of particular note – why Pillars of Eternity does not have a Speech skill, or any other skill of that sort.

With contributions from executive producer Brandon Adler, we also discuss the role of Paradox as publisher and the benefits of digital distribution, and end with a tribute to nineties RPG, Darklands.

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Freedom And Fantasy: Pillars Of Eternity Interview

Pillars of Eternity was, briefly, gaming’s most successful Kickstarter, at least in terms of funds raised. Like many crowdfunded games, particularly in the early days, it’s a project driven partly by nostalgia. A party-based fantasy RPG in the style of Baldur’s Gate and the other Infinity Engine D&D games, it has a strong heritage to live up to. Obsidian’s Josh Sawyer is the director of the game and I spoke to him late last week about theology, flagellant monks, freedom from licensing and respecting player’s choices. We also talked about his desire to make a historical RPG and his previous work, particularly the design of Fallout: New Vegas.

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Spellcasting S-E-Q-U-E-L: Magicka 2 Announced

Wizard Wars has been scratching my mischief and magic itch for the past few months, but that doesn’t diminish my delight at the prospect of a full-blown Magicka sequel. Coming to PS4 as well as PC, the game will contain four player co-op, a story-based campaign and ‘relationship-testing friendly fire’. Paradox apparently have each of their studios working on a PS4 game (presumably for PC as well), which might well mean the debut of one of their grand strategy titles on a console. Stranger things have happened. Like that time a wizard accidentally exploded your cat.

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Death Is Cheap: Teleglitch Updates, On Sale

I don’t normally post about patches and I don’t often post when a single game goes on sale. Teleglitch is an exception though, particularly when the update is as beefy as the one that just landed. As well as tweaking the strength of various weapons and the difficulty of some levels, the patch adds an arena mode, which contains four chapters of challenges that provide specific load-outs and waves of enemies to destroy. Teleglitch is what happens when Dark Souls takes its training wheels off so expect those arenas to reach out of your monitor and slap you across the face. The game is currently discounted in a week-long Steam sale, which puts the price at £3.06. Here’s wot we all thought about it.

Into The East: Crusader Kings II – Rajas Of India

Rajas Of India is the next gargantuan expansion for 2012-2013’s best strategy game, Crusader Kings II. Your date with the Rajas is set for March 25th, which should give you just enough time to buy something nice to wear and book a table at that fancy restaurant that everybody keeps going on about. I’ve already gathered a wealth of information about what to expect, as well as thoughts on the expanded map, and new faiths and cultures. The ten minute video below contains much of the same information, delivered directly from the mind and mouth of Henrik Fåhraeus, the man who made the Middle Ages.

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Obsidian & Paradox On Eternity Team-Up, South Park Bugs

Sound the unexpected announcement alarms and check to make sure over-jerked knees are covered by your insurance plan. Paradox has announced that it’s publishing Obsidian’s notoriously independent old-school RPG Pillars of Eternity, a big, (not, by most definitions) bad publishing type dipping its pinky toe into the brave new world of Kickstarter. “…Er, why?” You might ask. “Also didn’t Obsidian get oodles of cash from backers? What happens to the game they paid for if Paradox decides all bets are off?” Well, good news is, Paradox can’t actually do that. I quizzed Paradox CEO Fred Wester and Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart about their new partnership, creative control, what this means for backers, why the two companies struck a deal in the first place, whether Paradox is interested in pursuing other classic RPG revivals like Torment, and how South Park ended up glitchy despite Obsidian’s allegedly renewed QA efforts. It’s all below. 

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Element-Hell: Magicka Wizard Wars Adds Duel Mode

Magicka: Wizard Wars may well be my favourite competitive multiplayer game since the original Unreal Tournament. I was startled when I realised that might be the caese, but the rattle of fingers across keys, weaving deadly magicks, accompanies an enormous chunk of my free time. It’s a game that requires quick reflexes and the ability to switch between various forms of attack and defence without a second’s hesitation. I often find turn-based games a bit too fast-paced for my sleep-deprived mind to handle so I shouldn’t stand a chance in a team-based Wizard War, but the rhythms this game are in tune with the beat of my blood. The new Duel Mode, which is a one-on-one arena face-off, sounds more intimidating than team-based shenanigans, but with a built-in spectator mode it’s as much a learning experience as a series of brutal bouts.

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World At War: Hearts Of Iron IV

My internet connection during the Paradox Convention was about as spotty as Superted’s best chum, forcing me to return with a satchel full of hand-written notes. There’s still plenty to write about, not least my dangerous new Wizard Wars obsession, but buried at the bottom of my inky papers are six pages of scribbles about Hearts of Iron IV. As the latest representative of the one Paradox grand strategy series that I’ve consistently failed to penetrate, HOI IV is an exciting prospect for several reasons. EU IV and CK II are the friendliest incarnations of their respective series to date, and while HOI IV isn’t due until 2015, early signs are promising. At the heart of the Hearts is the most attractive map Paradox have ever produced and a new battle plan system that allows players to evade micromanagement if they so choose.

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Hands-On: Warlock II – The Exiled

Warlock: Master of the Arcane was a solid game that promised a great sequel. The interface and map had similarities to Civ V, some of which were slightly more than skin-deep, but the game had ideas of its own, bolstered by a sense of the ridiculous that was bizarre and humorous but avoided the lure of wackiness. The Exiled expands upon its precursor’s strongest elements and brings the turn-based exploration and conquest to a fascinating multiverse. I played for a little over an hour and didn’t want to walk away.

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Fight Club: Magicka: Wizard Wars Duel Mode Revealed

They are fignting over who loves me the most
If I had the time (and I actually plan on making the time), I’d go to as many Early Access developers as I could manage and ask from them what impact releasing the game to the public has had on their plans for the game? What changes they’ve made as a direct response from the way the players took up their tools? Paradox North has just admitted to taking the advice of the Magicka: Wizard Wars community, but in an awesome way. Their multiplayer game of wizards warring has a new Duel Mode that’s come from fan feedback: a one vs one game mode where you can tussle with an elemental enemy without worrying about a team-mate accidentally flambéing you. There’s a trailer for it below.
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Paradox ‘Dream RPG’ Runemaster Looks Like Quite A Thing

Someday, Simba, you will rule over this land in my stead hey want to go burn down that town over there

Paradox Con 2014 is in full-swing, and Adam is in Miami gathering up every piece of information he can while dodging the coked up Justin Biebers that roam the city’s balmy sands. He will have tons of news for you soon, but for now I’ll be your burly, beardy guide into the Norse-mythology-inspired world of Runemaster. It’ll be a turn-based Heroes-of-Might-and-Magic-esque affair with procedurally generated worlds and quests. Why yes, headline, that does sound like “quite a thing.” I’m glad we agree, you charmer, you.

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