Posts Tagged ‘Strategy’

The Joy Of Hex: Fray Launches June 19th

Strategic corporations-at-war simulation, Fray, could be one of June’s hexiest releases. In fact, it could be one of the games that defines my summer. Using a turn-based system to allow planning and then letting the consequences play out in realtime, a We-Go state of affairs like Frozen Synapse, the game pitches player-controlled squads against one another and lets them duke it out using all sorts of fancy future tech. Given how much I want to play this every time I see it the fact that I haven’t taken advantage of alpha or beta access probably speaks ill of my intelligence. Or time management. Perhaps both! Anyway, here’s a new trailer. Release date is June 19th.

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Cultural Expansion: CK II – Sword Of Islam

New horizons to pursue

June 2012 will bring the Sword of Islam expansion to Crusader Kings II, allowing players to select any Muslim dynasty at the beginning of the game and “delivering a wealth of specific new mechanics distinctive to these rulers, creating a whole new gameplay experience. Laws, marriage, holding, traits, titles and more will work completely differently.” Equally exciting is the news that a major patch will be arriving at the same time as the DLC, expanding the map into Mali-Songhay, and adding more complexity to claims, a new plot and expanded combat. The actual DLC will set you back $9.99 or an equivalent of your local coinage. A trailer of maps below.

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Heroes That Meander: Towns

In my towns, the farm animals are probably either on fire or starving to death

I spent most of last night and this morning punching things so hard that their skin had no option but to fall off. Most of the time I don’t actually want to play the murderous hero though, even when that hero is a monk who thinks the path to holiness is a fist-inflicted form of trepanning. Sure, that guy’s got chutzpah, but I’d rather be watching him go about his business, perhaps tactically teasing the best out of him instead of steering him around in a more hands-on fashion. If you like the idea of visiting Tristram but don’t have an internet permanently plugged into your face, or simply don’t care for Diablo III, it’d be a fine idea to play Towns instead.

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Regal Counsel: Crusader Kings II Interview

Having fathered both bastards and imperial legacies, Adam still refuses to release his grip on Crusader Kings II. To learn more about his latest love, he communed with project lead Henrik Fåhraeus and asked about future plans, the difficulty of incorporating RPG elements into an epic historical strategy game and the features that didn’t make the cut. Upon learning that one of those features was ‘relics and other loot’, Adam sheds a solitary tear for what might have been, and then goes on to learn that the shape of a beard is not genetically inherited, causing him to reconsider the sorry state of his own chin furniture.

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Orion’s Belter: Endless Space

The amount of developers that seem happy to revive our favourite things from times gone by is something recently discussed in the breezy parapets of Castle Shotgun. A few days later a game appeared on Steam, taking preorders that gave access to its alpha. That game is Endless Space and if it were a farmyard animal it would be plodding around a field saying ‘MOO’ quite a lot. It’s a space-based 4X game and although I need to spend more time with it before I say too many more words, it’s already caused me to miss one night’s sleep and that just doesn’t happen enough anymore. Trailer and brief excited key-tapping below.

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Conscripted Events: Heroes & Generals

A bridge to war

The dynamic, strategic multiplayer European campaign at the heart of Heroes & Generals ensures that scripted events aren’t necessary, but let’s pretend the headline is at least vaguely appropriate. John provided millions of details on how the first person shooting, cycling and strategising will work together, but if you refuse to believe a word that comes out of his keyboard you could watch the developer diary below instead. Campaign selection, faction choice and spawning are all covered, as are the number of graphics being added as development progresses, and the uses for purchasable credits.

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Caribbean Quarter Pounder: Port Royale 3

I thoroughly enjoyed Port Royale 2 and if your idea of buckling swash and living the life of an outlaw on the high seas involves cargo management and financial ledgers, there’s every chance that you enjoyed it as well. While the combat was about as much fun as scurvy, the economic simulation was deep enough to create a compelling experience and taking up quests across the Caribbean made it feel more like a place than a spreadsheet. Port Royale 3 looks handsome in this trailer, which also contains the greatest press quote in the history of press quotes. Observe.

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Naval War: Arctic Circle Ships Out On April 10th

An eggshell with several hammers

If you’re a budding naval commander who was planning to blow all his ready money on chocolate ovoids in celebration of a resurrected rabbit, I’d suggest you keep your wallet sealed just a little longer. Rising from the waters as if preparing to sink all of your battleships, Naval War: Arctic Circle will be released surprisingly soon. Consulting various charts and staring at a sexton for a while has led me to the conclusion that April 10th is the date the waters will be troubled by this accessible game of high stakes tactical hide and seek. Tim Stone describes it as a game “that teaches you to be afraid of little crimson arrows”. Read his thoughts here, an interview here and see explosions below.

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Got Space For Another F2P MMO? Here’s Nexus Conflict

SPACE!SPACE!SPACE!SPACE!SPACE!SPACE!SPACE!SPACE!
If a game doesn’t have a connection to my favourite dark matter infused vacuum, I’ll usually take the time to write a letter to the publishers, developers, neighbours, suggesting a rethink. Sometimes it works, sometimes I get my door kicked in by a SWAT team and taken to a ‘facility’ for a rest and a cup of tea. Take Gamigo’s Nexus Conflict: It was originally a fighting game about two phones, a classic in the making you might think? But upon hearing about the burgeoning international movement known as SPACE!, they reworked the game according to my themes: it’s now a strategic MMO in the Black Prophecy universe. You know, in SPACE! Beta details and trailer are below.
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Wot I Think: Crusader Kings II

I have never had a ruler this handsome or beardless.

I’ve counted my plots before they hatched, I’ve duked it out with my brothers and sons, and I’ve lorded over an entire continent. Now, having lost more than I’ve gained and suffered more than I’ve succeeded, I’m finally ready to share Wot I Think about the majestic Crusader Kings II.

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King For Two Days: Crusader Kings II

I haven't actually been a king at all, not even for an hour.
As many of you will have noticed, Crusader Kings II came out on Valentine’s Day. This, as it turns out, was a good thing. I’d already played the beta extensively and have only emerged from the full version when the fact of being a biological entity has demanded that I do so, or when the necessity to write about other things has arisen. I’m not ready to write extensively about wot I think yet – it’s a big game and I’ll be thinking lots about it – but it would be remiss not to acknowledge the release and the hours I’ve already enjoyed.

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Rig Or Mort Is The Choice: Oil Rush

There's a whole ocean of oil under that carnage. No one can get at it except for me.

Naval strategy game Oil Rush is now available direct from developers Unigine, and on Steam and Desura. Rather than being powered by burning up the planet’s lifeblood, it runs on the studio’s own Unigine Engine, which seems capable of producing some attractive visuals. It’s a fast-paced take on strategy, focusing around the capture of platforms, nodes scattered around each map that produce either units or oil. Unit-producing nodes can be defended with various sorts of turret while oil platforms have no such protection and must be defended by the various warcrafts churned out. Observe.

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Matrix Games’ Seasonal Strategy Sale

People either find things like this very exciting indeed or think that people who do are mad in the head

‘Tis the season to report that many a thing is on sale. The latest discounts to come to my attention are over at Matrix Games, eminently serious-minded purveyors of complex strategic delicacies It’s not often that these grizzled veterans emerge into the wilds – they hate breaking cover – so the only hope for a discount is usually when Matrix have their own sales and this year, the holiday sale includes everything released before 2011, as well as a few from this year. Head over and take a look.

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Jagged Alliance BIA Finally Gets Trailer

Is this the Sims?

Now I’m in charge things are going to change around here. On this planet. The first thing is: ALL sequels must have the subtitle, “Back In Action”. I don’t care if it’s your fifth game/film in a row with the same subtitle, that’s how it is, and you’ve no choice. So it is that Kalypso have named the return of the RTS series, Jagged Alliance: Back In Action. They have complied. All will. And they’ve finally stopped piddling around with teasers and put out a proper trailer for the game.

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Panzer Corps Demo Out, Game Half Price

And you say this is a game?

Panzer Corps, a game I am more likely to eat than play, has just released a demo. Which is splendid news if you’re not a giant strategy wimp like me, but rather a brave, strong, firmly-featured type. Within the demo you’ll find six missions from the unenigmatically named Bootcamp Campaign, as well as the invasion of Poland (cripes) and “the first few turns of the Norway scenario”. It should give a good feel for how progression takes place. They’re also putting in a “limited” version of the scenario editor. Oh, and for the next two weeks the game is half price from Slitherine.

Teutonic Slaughter: Real Warfare 2

Really real

I don’t know if anyone bought the first Real Warfare game, but I suppose they must have done because otherwise it’s very unlikely that a sequel would have been made. What I do know is that it was very difficult to watch videos of the game in action and not shout “it looks like bloomin’ Medieval Total War”. There was an awful lot of medieval and an awful lot of bloom. Whenever a sword glinted in the sun, retinas were scorched and unshielded eyes risked turning into raisins. The sequel doesn’t dispense with this but it does add a strategic map to the first game’s tactical combat, which should hopefully allow for more varied scenarios. As the trailer below informs, the game is set in “the Medieval Europe”, following the Teutonic Knights as they conquer Prussia.

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Angry Lairds: Crusader Kings II

The trailer could just be a slow pan across this map, with the soldier waving his shield 'cinematically'

A trailer for Crusader Kings II would inevitably consist of closeups of maps and loud, pompous music, so even though I’m hugely excited about the game I wouldn’t bother posting it. Or it would be the first in a series of live action comedy sketches themed around the seven deadly sins, in which case I’d be more than content to share it with the world. I’m happy that a game so head-scratchingly intense that I’ve gone through six scalps playing the beta is able to let its hair down. And, yes, I’m talking about the game as if it is a sentient being. What of it? Let’s just watch.

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Mayor May Not Survive: Towns

The dungeons are full of gowns

I’ve been meaning to write about Towns for a while and since it fits neatly with my thoughts about ‘living’ game worlds, this seems as good a time as any. In its isometric countryside, the player takes the role of a town mayor, building up from a patch of wilderness and attracting newcomers with housing and entertainment. However, your settlement sits atop an ‘orrible dungeon so among the folks you’ll need to attract are heroes, who will need incentives to quest into the depths and fancy equipment if they are to delve deep. Majesty meets Dwarf Fortress? Play now or journey downtown for more details.

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Sons Of Monarchy: Crusader Kings II

What? That's not enough land for you, The Catholic Faith?

Paradox are currently running a closed beta for Crusader Kings II, their medieval dynasty-builder, but if you’re not blue-blooded you probably didn’t get an invite. The next best thing to the beta is this not-live recording of yesterday’s live demonstration with executive producer Johann Andersson. It’s a proper play session rather than a glossily edited together showcase, which makes it more instructive, particularly as Johann fields some decent questions from the internet audience. It’s split into five parts, in the first of which nothing occurs for ten minutes and fourteen seconds. So, skip forward probably.

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Wot I Think: Stronghold 3

expectations exploding

Castles are amazing. Even their ruins are mightier than the tallest and most robust of modern buildings, and they have dungeons, which are like cellars but with skeletons instead of a toolbox that I never get around to actually using. Yes, castles are amazing, but that doesn’t mean running one in Stronghold 3 is the best job in the world. Sadly, it’s far from that. Here’s wot I think.

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