Posts Tagged ‘War Of The Roses’

Interview: Adding Shieldmaidens To War Of The Vikings

War of the Vikings, Paradox Interactive’s sequel to the gritty and gruesome War of the Roses, is about to receive its first expansion, a relatively modest addition that adds one new class: the Shieldmaiden. Executive producer Gordon Van Dyke, a veteran of multiplayer development who can trace his history back to some of the early Battlefield games, says it’s an opportunity to not only shake up the way the game is played and the patterns that players are falling into, but that it might also be a chance to challenge a few assumptions about gender.

At Paradox’s annual convention in January, Van Dyke spoke to me about his plans to introduce women warriors to the game and how it was important to him that they be dressed in realistic, practical gear rather than sporting the tired trope of stylised “boob armour,” the sort of curvy breastplates and chainmail bikinis that have plagued video games for decades. He explained how this expansion is his chance to make good on his ambition, why there should be women warriors in his game and how he relishes a chance to challenge some of gaming’s sexist conventions.

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Norsey Weekend: War Of The Vikings Free Weekend


What are you doing this weekend, readers? That’s just a general question you should feel free to answer in the comments, btw. I like hearing about your plans. If you feel the need to acquire something to do, then you might want to think about dropping into War Of The Vikings. Fatshark’s beard-and-beating sim is still a Steam Early Access title, but they’ve decided to allow people pile-in this weekend: it’ll be all yours to try from Dec 5th to December 8th.
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More Afjordable? War Of The Vikings Early Access

Axe beats Shield?
Fatshark is hastily putting a final lick of paint onto the longboats, tightening the braids on their beards, and making sure all the fish has plenty of salt for the people who they hope will buy into Early Access of War of the Vikings on Steam. It’s their follow-up to the generally well received War of the Roses, and as the title suggests, the battles here aren’t over who gets the last Tangy Orange Creme, but instead about vikings with axes disagreeing with other vikings. I wonder how they’ll come to terms over their differences?
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Customisable Beards: War Of The Vikings

I don’t know if I’d be more disappointed reading ‘customisable beards’ as ‘customisable bears’ or vice versa. Either way, elaborately braided face furniture is the stand-out feature of the newly announced War of the Vikings. Or perhaps it’s the brutal melee hacking that should give this newly announced game in the War Of The [blank] series an identity of it own. Thrown weapons, including the axe that stars in the teaser trailer below, and a greater emphasis on rapid, vicious bludgeoning and chopping, as shields splinter under the force of beard-powered blows. As with War of the Roses, Vikings follows the ‘pay to prettify’ rather than ‘pay to win’ formula, with longboat-loads of customisation options.

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Richard Rising: War Of The Roses Free Trial

That whole deal with Richard III’s bones hiding under a carpark? A publicity stunt, I reckon. The perpetrators? Paradox. While the people of York are creating petitions to have the skellington buried in their fair county, multiplayer sword ’em up War of the Roses has unleashed its free trial, which you can download now by selecting the demo option on its Steam page. The trial doesn’t segregate players into separate games, but there is a limit on classes and equipment. Any ‘coin’ earned in the trial will carry across to the full version if purchased. Mark my words, we’ll know when the release date for The Old Gods DLC is due because someone will find Harthacnut’s preserved face on the shelf of an Aldi, next to the baked beans.

War Of The Roses Getting Free Version, Brian Blessed

Kingmaker. Not to be confused with the new hit reality show, King Makeover. It's actually quite heartfelt, if you'll believe it.

War. War never changes.

OK, actually, no. Now look here, ominous Fallout guy: I know what you’re trying to say, but I don’t think you’re accounting for any sort of subtlety or nuance. Sure, we’re still talking about people killing each other, and that’s a nice, grim sentiment, but small changes make ripples in the blood-soaked killing fields too. I’m talking, of course, about thunder-voiced narrators. Case in point: Brian Blessed‘s involvement with Paradox’s War of the Roses. As part of an upcoming DLC pack, these things will happen: “Blessed’s booming voice will inspire knights by announcing in-game events and warnings, giving new meaning to the iconic command to ‘Kill the enemy!'” That’ll cost money. But a stripped down version of the game? That, my friends, is completely free.

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Scots, Free: War Of The Roses Gets Huge Update

I’ll admit that I haven’t been back to War of the Roses since shortly after it launched, but maybe now’s finally the time for me to de-rust my steed and feed my armor some of the good carrots. Or wait, no, the other way. Feed my carrots some armor. There we go. Anyway, Paradox’s medieval melee’s seen yet another free content drop – this time taking the form of armor and weaponry forged in the image of the Scottish Gallowglass mercenaries. Apparently, they “brought brute force and fighting spirit to the battlefields like none could,” so probably get ready to smash first and ask only the most necessary of questions. But, even though the update’s named after them, the mercenaryfolk aren’t the main event of today’s update. Rather, it’s complete reworks of core systems – for instance, armor, weapon speed and power, and movement – that stand to make the Middle Ages feel young again.

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Winter Is Knocking At The Door: War Of The Roses

“Winter has arrived”, says the press release for War of the Roses next batch of free content, and here was me thinking Old Jack Frost would turn out to be the Godot of seasons. December 19th is the date that winter officially arrives in the multiplayer stab ’em up, bringing “new armor and weaponry, plus two brand new snow-covered maps based on the historic battles of Wakefield and Towton.” There’s also a balance patch on the way, which appears to be primarily targeted at armour tweaks. Sandal Castle, on the Wakefield map, may also be the focus of a new game mode, although that addition won’t be in the initial download. You can see a brief glimpse of snow and blood below, and there will be a livestream of the maps on December 20 at 7pm GMT on the Paradox TwitchTV channel.

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Smelling Sweeter: War Of The Roses’ New Mode

The true origin of the SameFace Brigade's name remains shrouded in mystery, but many top historians speculate it's because most of its members had the same face.

I played War of the Roses, and I liked it pretty well. I also died a lot. But before long, I found my ornate steel shoes sloshing through syrupy pools of repetition. There’s only so much frantic deathmatching and all-over-the-place point-capturing you can do before you start to see cracks in War of the Roses’ armor, and that threshold is woefully low compared to other multiplayer fight-o-fests. Fortunately, Fatshark’s throwing its oh-so-characteristically sharky girth into setting things right, and we’re finally about to see the results. Come Wednesday, you’ll be able to take the exceedingly high-stakes Pitched Battle mode for a spin.

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More Of The Roses

Is that horn-spanned?

Q. Is that headline pun the main reason I am writing this story?
A. If you had to even wonder, YOU DON’T KNOW ME AT ALL

So yes: Fatshark’s meaty, crunchy, splattery, well-received medieval action game War Of The Roses is due to have a lanceful of new content rammed into its armoured face. Sounds like a strange hybrid of free’n’paid, dependent on how many, I dunno, Tudorpoints you’ve managed to accrue in the game, and it’s due to fatten up the game next month.
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The Many Hilarious Deaths Of Tyrion Lancaster

I’ve been playing a bit of War of the Roses lately, and it’s… interesting. I’ve told friends, family, and one very confused flower shop owner that it’s “deeply flawed and disappointingly barebones,” so it seems only proper that I reiterate that sentiment here. There is, however, tremendous fun to be had in the heat of battle – even if it’s fairly short-lived and clunky at this point. One thing that really sticks out, though, is War of the Roses’ death mechanic. In short, getting killed doesn’t actually, well, kill you. Instead, you’re often left bleeding out on the battlefield, waiting for either an enemy to finish the job or some kind soul on your team to use whatever lost-to-time medieval medicine allowed knights to recover from having their spines severed in three seconds. Not only do the mechanic’s nuances create some tremendously silly moments, they also run parallel to many of the game’s ups-and-downs. So let’s explore that via the eyes of a living, breathing, constantly dying pun: my own Tyrion Lancaster.

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Researching For Authenticity, War Of The Roses Style

Now I'll never fulfill my dream of being a ravishingly attractive hand model!

Regardless of the final product’s authenticity, it’s pretty easy for, say, Medal of Honor, Battlefield, or Call of Duty’s developers to get an inside look at how their subject matter really works. The real War of the Roses, on the other hand, took place roughly six centuries ago, and time travel either hasn’t been invented yet or was wiped out by someone who traveled back in time to destroy time travel. And so, the War of the Roses team did the next best thing: they ran around England in authentic medieval armor. Hilarity, as you might expect, ensued. You can now view the entire four-part behind-the-scenes saga (which also contains some pretty fascinating info) via the modern sorcery that is streaming video after the break.

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Paradox’s Plan To Finally Squash Its Bug Problem

Paradox has made an unlikely business out of almost exclusively publishing wonderfully off-kilter PC exclusives, but it’s not all sunshine and (Wars of) roses. Stability has never been the Swedish conglomerate’s strongsuit, and games like Sword of the Stars II, King Arthur II, and Magicka have generated an ugly cloud of bugs that swarms around its reputation, slowly but surely devouring goodwill bit-by-bit. But, contrary to how things might appear, Paradox is very, very aware of this. So after a nice, long chat about DLC, senior producer Gordon Van Dyke and I caught up again – both to follow up and to discuss the fairly drastic measures Paradox is taking to squash its bug problem once and for all.

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Take A Bow: War Of The Roses Ranged Combat

Potential Battle of the Hastings spoiler

War of the Roses’ ranged combat is as messily violent as the up close and personal sheathing of swords in skulls, as shown in a video of arrows puncturing arteries and organs. Impressively horrible and anarchically comedic at the same time, my deathmatch instincts quiver with anticipation. The way that arrows bend as they lodge in a target is the kind of detail that could make every kill all the more deliciously memorable. The footage is edited together from tournament footage gathered during Paradox’s trip to San Francisco and the entire conflict can be viewed here.

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Paradox’s DLC Policy: Don’t Piss Off The Community

It’s easy to feel cynical about DLC. John took a stroll through that particular minefield a couple days ago, and while he found plenty of good buried beneath all the righteous fury, worrisome practices still abound. Day-one DLC, season passes, and the like litter the current landscape, and – despite what some might claim – business models do influence game design. It’s unavoidable. With some fervent passion, Paradox senior producer (and former Battlefield maestro) Gordon Van Dyke, however, argues that this doesn’t have to be a bad thing, and lets rip at others who make it one. It’s only when companies lose sight of what’s best for their communities, he told me during a recent interview, that we have a serious problem.

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Warhorse: War Of The Roses Shows Off Mounted Combat


The latest trailer for Paradox’s medieval combat title, War Of The Roses, is below. In it you can see horse-based combat for the first time. Players are going to be able to fight from horseback, wielding axes, sword, lances and so forth. There’s plenty more footage of archery, swordsmanship, and general stabbery, too.

Take a look!
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Hands On: War Of The Roses

He's called Lance
When I play a big multiplayer combat game, I like to stop fighting and look around. I judge a lot of games on what I see at those moments, seeing how the battle feels when I’m not a part of it: In Battlefield, it’s thrilling to see jets gracefully curving through the air as tanks blast them from below; In Team Fortress 2, ubered Heavies leading a charge as the enemy hastily rework their defenses makes me happy. During a lull in my hands-on of War of the Roses, I took stock: to my right, through grasses and the trees, I watched a knight stand up, yanking his sword up out of the face of an unseen body on the ground. The effort it took to wrench metal from skull was beautifully transparent from the animation. Behind him, a galloping horse dropped in that heavy way horses do, crashing to the ground and out of sight in seconds, spilling its lance-wielding rider. A lot of intimate battles formed as the slow, deliberate combat locked people together.
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A Thorny Issue: War Of The Roses

Never visit a dentist whose clinic is in a field and whose helmet obscures his view. Also he is a murderer from the past instead of a dentist.

Every time I see War of the Roses it appeals to me more. A multiplayer game that features knights killing each other instead of space marines? Yes, that’ll do. And that’s knights killing knights, by the way, not knights killing space marines, miraculous as such a thing would be. Here is a developer diary that handily features the developer floating in front of in-game footage, thereby managing to be informative and entertaining at the same time. It’s all about ranged combat, with Gears of War cited as an influence, although for its active reload mechanic rather than its chainsaw-guns. Observe.

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Behold: First War Of The Roses Footage

Nasty.
We’ve been a-rambling about War Of The Roses before now, but this is the first chance for the world at large to see the game in action. The Medieval melee combat game is reportedly the most expensive project ever undertaken by Swedish publisher Paradox, and it’s also a big deal for its developer Fatshark, who have built the thing from the ground up. It’s looking fairly solid, too.
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Paradox Hint At Three New Games, Revealed Next Month

I prefer tulips.

Paradox have announced their line-up for next month’s GDC and it contains three new games. They’re waiting until the convention to say what they are, but they’ve dropped some hints and codenames, including a new game from the Magicka team, an action multiplayer.

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