You see folks, this is why April Fools' Day is dangerous. Or awesome. Delete depending on your affinity for zombies. Back in the dark ages of seven and a bit months ago, Paradox Interactive released a teaser for a fictional Crusader Kings Z, a game that hypothetically merged zombie invasions with medieval European strategy. Months later, and that joke is now a real thing that you can play in Crusader Kings 2. Thanks mods!
Thanks to a slip of the finger, I'm now thinking about the game Crusader Kingz. I imagine it would be a grand strategy in which you formed a hip-hop collective and, through bribery, intrigue, and sick rhymes, conspired to bring down the So Solid Crew. I would play the heck out of that game. As it turns out, though, this development diary is more concerned with Crusader Kings 2 and its Sons of Abraham DLC. Where the last video concentrated on changes to Christianity and Papal politics, this time Paradox explain their Jewish and Muslim mechanics. That's mechanics as in game systems.
After seeing red it only makes sense to fade to black. Unity of Command is getting a new DLC campaign, Black Turn—Operation Barbarossa 1941, which focuses on German operations on the Eastern front after last year's Soviet-centered Red Turn. Although historical details behind the massive—and notorious—military action are well-known, it looks like the Black Turn's end game allows for a "what if" result.
I'm not sure how I feel about getting emails from Neptune's Pride. Dirty, I guess? It was a game responsible for some pretty reprehensible behaviour, as part of a month-long campaign of stress, plotting and backstabbing. After it was over, I swore never to play it again. Then Neptune's Pride 2: Triton appeared, so naturally I played it again. Now it's emailing me, seemingly for no reason other reason than to taunt me with a reminder of its existence, and to reveal that its developers are testing out 64-player games of mammoth machination and mental manoeuvring.
These kids with their hip new terms. Creative Assembly have announced that Total War: Rome 2 will be "coming to SteamOS". Which is a fairly torturous way of saying that Total War: Rome 2 will be coming to Linux. Which it will, because SteamOS is Linux.
The reason for specifically name-checking Steam's upcoming OS is because CA seem keen to tout the game's move to conquer the living room, with planned support for Big Picture mode and the Steam Controller. After all, as Ceasar himself once said, "I came, I saw, I lounged lazily in my pants, eating crisps and moving tiny generals around a campaign map."
Earlier this week, we detailed the planned fixes and features of the free Company of Heroes 2 update, Turning Point. Now, Relic have announced Victory at Stalingrad, a DLC pack that will launch alongside the update, bringing new co-op and solo challenges, and three AI battles. Set in the Winter of 1942, it covers the Soviet counter-attack battles of Operations Uranus and Little Saturn. And yes, I've only highlighted those names in a crass attempt to encourage comment thread jokes.
This review was written by Jon Morcom.
Venice, 1455. The Renaissance is stimulating dizzying levels of creativity and La Serenissima is acknowledged as if not the crossroads, then at least the Spaghetti Junction of all trade in the Occident. Born into a city rife with political manoeuvring, family feuds and rising damp, you are Giacomo da Narni, continuing your family’s proud mercantile tradition and advancing yourself socially until you reach the exalted title of Doge.
Relic have announced that they're reaching a Turning Point. Confusingly in this case, it's a Company of Heroes 2 update, and not a new commitment to make nice games about not ordering tiny men to angrily shoot each other. As well as more multiplayer maps, this update also puts the tools of battle in the hands of the soldiers, by giving the community a World Builder tool that will let them create and share their own battlefields.
Europa Universalis 4: Conquest of Paradise announced, will allow exploration of a randomly generated American continent
Look what you've done, strategy fans... you've forced Paradox Interactive to deal with an actual paradox. They want the newly announced Europa Universalis IV expansion, Conquest of Paradise, to focus on the then-unexplored American continent. But then along you come with the bare-faced tenacity to be from the future, thereby knowing all about where America is and what's on it. Luckily, the developers have a clever plan to make your playthrough of the era seem more historically accurate. They're going to make stuff up.
Creative Assembly were clearly worried that Total War: Rome 2's battles were too mild-mannered and sedate. And so, as with Shogun 2 before it, they've released the "Blood & Gore" DLC pack, which amps up the violence to its most absurd setting. Whether its worth the £2/$3 for what is essentially a superfluous graphics tweak is something you'll need to decide for yourself. All I know is that the screenshots which released alongside it are ridiculously, hilariously over-the-top.
You better watch your back. Since we first heard about XCOM: Enemy Within's disruptive new faction Exalt, the quest to save Earth has been looking a bit more complicated. As we learn in a new dev blog from the DLC's lead designer Ananda Gupta, the "insular and self-serving" Exalt has its own agenda entirely.
Total War: Rome 2's latest patch has a couple of welcome surprises, in addition to the usual bug fixes and the like. Surprise the first is support for Valve's handy Steam Workshop, making it easier to find and install the game's burgeoning assortment of mods. Surprise the second? Well it's a brand new faction, the Seleucid Empire, who were apparently quite good at city building and engineering. Also, one would presume, killing.
Two decades have passed since Stardock released its first game, Galactic Civilizations, and on the eve of the company’s 20th birthday, it’s unwrapping Galactic Civilizations III, a sequel to the game that put the studio on the map. Seven years after Galactic Civilizations 2, the follow-up is promising massive scale, moddability, and a redesigned ship builder alongside its trademark political intrigue. Joining Watch Dogs, it’ll also only run on 64-bit operating systems.
Spice Road is an upcoming indie game about a very spicy road. It's also about trading, economic simulation, empire-building, expansion, eighteenth-century alternate history, real-time strategy, and dudes with particularly luxurious sideburns. That's a lot of stuff to take in all at once, but developers Aartform Games have you covered with that most antiquated of things: a playable demo (direct link). If you enjoy buying, selling, building or expanding, you owe it to your clicking finger to take a look.
Mode 7 Games, creators of our Strategy Game of the Year in 2011, share an update on their progress with Frozen Endzone.
Frozen Endzone had its first public unveiling at London’s Eurogamer Expo earlier this month.
Exposing a game to the wider world is always stressful: not only did we have to cope with a barrage of unfettered opinion but also with managing the torrent of gamers, journalists, children and passive-aggressive bears (yes really) which threatened to swamp our humble creation.
Divinity: Dragon Commander has been out for a few months now, giving Dragon Knights ample opportunity to decide the fate of its colourful world. Now, developer Larian Studios have collected up those myriad political decisions into an infotrailer showing what players decided. What would the world look like if it were ran by people who enjoyed pretending to be a dragon? Well, for one thing, there'd be slightly more nudity.
Wargame: Red Dragon was performing covert operations throughout Gamescom, and now it's ready to be brought to the attention of our collected war(game) council. The follow up to European Escalation and Airland Battle, Red Dragon is on manoeuvres away from the series' traditional European stronghold. This time, developer Eugen Systems have taken the battle to Asia, where China and North Korea will stand off alongside three other countries between 1975 and 1991.
In a nod to its fans, indie strategy game Space Hulk has released a new—and free—three-mission campaign as part of its latest patch which went live today. The appropriately titled Messenger of Purgatory campaign surfaces as part of update 1.2, which also addresses the game's optimization, visuals, and a variety of other improvements, according to its official changelog.
Reinstall invites you to join us in revisiting classics of PC gaming days gone by. This week, we take to the battlefield with not just one, but A FEW mechs in MechCommander.
Time to roll the dice. I’m replaying the third mission of MechCommander, a few giant robot steps away from a big moment: my first run-in with a MadCat. If I play things right, I can bag it. One problem: I’m totally outmatched. My four-man rookie squad is piloting wiry light mechs (Commandos and Firestarters); essentially, I’m about to send a gaggle of Chevy Cavaliers against a Ferrari.
The MadCat’s iconic frame emerges from the fog of war, its egg-shaped cockpit perched atop raptor legs, shouldering twin blocks of long-range missile racks. I’ve got to make a call: do I sprint to the extraction point and attempt to complete the mission without a fight? Do I use the nuclear option and zap the rows of gas tanks near the MadCat for a sure kill—but with no chance of salvaging it? Or do I fight it head-on, and maybe—if I range correctly, kite it away from my damaged scout mech, and find enough finesse—knock the beast down without killing it, adding it to my squad and taking it into mission four as a playable prize?
The thing about games is that sometimes they lock up when loading into battle with DirectX 9, or report the wrong per-frame time in the Graphics Benchmark frame rate display. Honestly, I don't know why we put up with them. Actually, wait, it's because they're brilliant. Even better, they can be fixed. Total War: Rome 2's third patch, announced last week, is now live, and offers technical and performance fixes, along with balance changes, and improvements to usability and the general game.