RTS

Z: Steel Soldiers returns to active duty, with reworked art and controls

Tom Sykes at

The Bitmap Brothers' robo-RTS sequel Z: Steel Soldiers is set to relaunch on Steam tonight, 13 years after its original release. TickTock Games are handling the port, while KISS and Kavcom are publishing. We can expect "significantly enhanced 3D graphics", apparently, along with reworked controls—compared with images of the original game, it does look a whole lot less flatter and smudgier. As a result, the game's system requirements have also shot up a fair few notches—but there's a good chance you'll be able to run it anyway.


Offworld Trading Company prototype is now available as a "Founder's Elite Edition" preorder bonus

Andy Chalk at

I'm still not entirely clear on what an "economic RTS" is, but I like the concept of a game that encourages and rewards predatory economic policy on a large scale, especially one being made by the lead designer and AI programmer of Civilization IV. That fellow, Soren Johnson, announced that a prototype his new game, Offworld Trading Company, is now available to play, although there are a couple of catches.


StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm and Wings of Liberty prices dropped to $20 on Battle.net

Andy Chalk at

If you've been holding off on picking up StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (or, for that matter, Wings of Liberty) out of poverty, cheapness or a plain old lack of interest, today may be a good day to reconsider your position.


Planetary Annihilation 'Early Access' is now available in bricks and mortar retail

Shaun Prescott at

Early Access as we understand it is still in its infancy, and developers are still experimenting with the format. Rarely a week goes by when the whole establishment isn't questioned to some degree, whether it's the amount we should be expected to pay for unfinished games, why the whole process is so darned confusing, or whether studios are obliged to complete their games at all. The latest controversy surrounds Kickstarter-funded RTS Planetary Annihilation, which has popped up at UK retail outlets in its Early Access state. The debate started on Reddit, which prompted Uber director Jan Mavor to comment on the move.


Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies trailer explains 'War Spoils', offers exclusive loot

Phil Savage at

Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies is out, and, as explained in our review, provides welcome rejuvenation to Relic's strategy sequel. In this new trailer, the game's executive producer Greg Wilson explains the standalone expansion's* new War Spoils feature. Also he jumps out of a plane.


Space Run review

Tyler Wilde at

Tower defense games flip typical game design around: you design the levels, and the computer tries to survive your death maze. Space Run is kind of a tower defense game, but it flips the concept back around again: you design a spaceship and try to survive a cargo run through waves of asteroids and enemy ships. It’s fun, but the re-reversal isn’t wholly successful, requiring more memorization and micromanagement than clever design and experimentation.


Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies review

Ian Birnbaum at

Company of Heroes 2 has spent the last year being tweaked, balanced, and building an online community, and the latest DLC, the Western Front Armies, is a great step at advancing that success. The main game didn’t do so hot with scripting and acting out a campaign storyline, so this DLC ditches that: there’s no new single-player included. Instead, the focus is entirely on adding new blood to the multiplayer servers with the arrival of the German Oberkommando West and the US Army.


Men of War: Assault Squad 2 review

Ian Birnbaum at

I'm just trying to pivot the camera around when I accidentally hit E. Suddenly, I'm looking over the shoulder of a squad leader with the US Marine Corps. His rifle is following my cursor and WASD moves him around. Men of War: Assault Squad 2 is an RTS—so what the hell is going on?

No matter: I spend the next gleeful minute headshotting advancing Japanese soldiers in this surprise third-person shooter mini-game. Later, I learn that this mode is called "Direct Control," and I can trigger it with any unit at any time. "Accidentally discovering something awesome" will soon become a four-word summary of my time with Assault Squad 2. It’s a deep, complex real-time strategy game set in various theaters of World War 2, with five distinct armies with their own multistage campaigns, hundreds of unique vehicles, dozens of personal weapons, melee combat, seasonal camouflage, fully destructible environments, and realistically modeled armor penetration.


Rise of Nations: Extended Edition is coming to Steam in June

Andy Chalk at

It's been more than ten years since Big Huge Games released the history-spanning RTS Rise of Nations, and yet it still boasts a small but powerfully dedicated fan base. Last year, in a look back at the original game, we hoped that "perhaps one day Rise of Nations could be rescued." And now, after a fashion, it has: Microsoft has apparently acquired the rights to the game and is getting ready to unleash Rise of Nations: Extended Edition on Steam.


Pixel Boost: Command and Conquer Red Alert 2

Wes Fenlon at

Twice a month Wes guides you through the hacks, tricks, and mods you'll need to run a classic PC game on Windows 7/8. Each Pixel Boost guide comes with a free side of high-res screenshots from the LPC celebrating the graphics of PC gaming's past. This week: eternal classic Red Alert 2.

Red Alert 2 is not the most balanced Command & Conquer. It's not the most stable—multiplayer matches ended in crashes more often than not. It's not the most serious (that's probably Generals) and it's not the goofiest (that's probably Red Alert 3). But it's my favorite, because it includes a little bit of what made every C&C game special. Westwood upped the production value if its FMV cutscenes without sacrificing the camp and built a huge range of creative units without straying from C&C's messy large-scale battles. Until the Minecraft era, Westwood was also one of the only developers to make smart use of voxels, and Red Alert 2's colorful world and soldiers still look cool 14 years later. RA2 isn't the easiest game to find these days, but if you have a copy, it's still possible to run the game at high-res in modern Windows.

Command your fleet in first person RTS Flagship

Emanuel Maiberg at

Homeworld is one of my favorite games ever, so I’m interested in pretty much any real-time strategy game with screenshots of capital ships carving each other up with lasers in outer space. The trailer for Flagship has all the lasers, engine trails, and spacey skyboxes I’m looking for, but it also has a fantastic twist near the end that makes it different from any RTS you’ve played to date.


Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies release date announced, will reinforce multiplayer next month

Phil Savage at

It's a worrying sign that we can have favourite wars; that people can sit around the pub, aggressively arguing that the dramatic impact of aerial warfare makes World War 2 a better conflict than the American Civil War, despite its pioneering use of railroads. At least Relic are doing their part to alleviate inter-war tension with Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies—a standalone multiplayer expansion that leaves behind CoH2's Eastern front setting in favour of CoH1's Western lands. If you prefer to battle across the sunnier side of Europe, you'll be able to do so when the expandalone reports for duty on June 24th.


Age of Mythology: Extended Edition launches today on Steam

Patrick Carlson at

It's been just over two months since Age of Mythology: Extended Edition was cheekily announced by an alpaca hand puppet during an Age of Empires 2: HD Edition developer live stream. Yes, this is how classic games are brought back into the world. AoM: EE goes live on Steam today and brings with it the original's Titan expansion campaign as well as a host of other tweaks and upgrades under the hood.


Wargame: Red Dragon launch trailer comes out in favour of explosions

Phil Savage at

More war? Sure. If just tanks aren't your thing, how about tanks, planes, boats and angry, charging men? Wargame: Red Dragon is promising an abundance of ways to show off your military might, and they'll all be available when the game launches tomorrow. As you can see from the launch trailer, about the only thing it's missing is an actual red dragon.


Etherium trailer shows three factions and their resource war

Patrick Carlson at

It seems there are usually three sides to any good story. In the upcoming RTS Etherium, a futuristic battle for control of a hard-to-find resource involves Humans, Vectides, and Intari. And in a new trailer from developer Tindalos Interactive, we get a glimpse for the first time at the kind of unit technology each faction will have on hand during their resource war.


Stronghold Crusader 2 trailer has a vendetta against castles, shows off Skirmish mode

Tom Sykes at

Stronghold Crusader 2 - Firefly Studios' Holy Land-set castle-building, castle-maintaining and castle-sploding RTS sequel - is due out this summer, and will hopefully arrive in a better state than the shambolic Stronghold 3. This new trailer offers a flaming, besieged look at the game's Skirmish mode, which will let you play co-operatively or in rival teams online. Providing you can breach our defences, make sure you have a watch of it after the break.


Men of War: Assault Squad 2 available through Steam Early Access

Emanuel Maiberg at

Last month, DigitalMindSoft made Men of War: Assault Squad 2 available to those who pre-purchased the game. Now you can get into the beta with Steam Early Access. The game usually costs $35, but it’s currently being offered for $28, a 20 percent discount.


Sins of a Dark Age in Steam Early Access for $5

Emanuel Maiberg at

It’s been a long time since we heard from Ironclad’s MOBA Sins of a Dark Age, but it’s still alive and kicking and has just landed on Steam Early Access for $5. That’s a steal compared to the $25 you had to pay previously for a founder edition and access to the closed beta. However, when it’s ready, Sins of a Dark Age will be free-to-play.


Grey Goo: How Weta Workshop is helping Petroglyph build "a world worth fighting for"

PC Gamer at

Petroglyph's upcoming Grey Goo is not just a sci-fi RTS, but a launch-pad for additional games that will take place in the same universe. With so much on the line, it's crucial for Petroglyph to create a setting that won't just provide a good backdrop for RTS combat, but become a world that will fascinate players for years to come.


Wargame: Red Dragon trailer shows the series' first naval combat scenes

Phil Savage at

It used to be that wars were only fought on land, and that made everybody very sad. A full 70% of the Earth's surface is water, meaning that we just weren't making full use of the space provided to us. Luckily, boats were invented, meaning wars could spill out onto the sea. Now Eugen Systems, makers of the Cold War RTS series Wargame, have caught up to this amazingly buoyant technology. The upcoming Wargame: Red Dragon will be the first game in the series to feature naval combat. A new trailer gives a brief glimpse of how it will look.