Virtual card games. Everyone's at it these days, including [UPDATE: sort of] Sword of the Stars developers Kerberos. Not content with the 4X strategy game's first spin-off (roguelike The Pit), the team are making a 'wargame with cards' and they've decided to call it Ground Pounders. Although it hasn't officially been announced yet - expect that sometime this week - it does have a trailer and a tantalisingly empty website, so I'm fairly confident that it's a thing.
Sword of the Stars
We didn't think much of Sword of the Stars 2 the first or second time around, but perhaps its roguelikey spin-off The Pit will fare better. The dungeon-crawling sci-fi RPG has just been released exclusively on GamersGate - presumably it will hit other online stores later - and this demo should give you some idea of whether it's the pits or not. More details below.
Sword of the Stars II was released last year in such a shockingly unfinished state that the developers issued a public apology. Thirteen months later, and this ambitious 4X space game has been allowed to boldly go for a second time. Sadly, while the bugs are (mostly) fixed, the game remains deeply frustrating.
As is aggravatingly common for Paradox releases, Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter has had a lot of updates. A hell of a lot of updates in fact. It's aggravating not because of the new content and balance tweaks - they're all great to see - but because of the unbelievable number of problems and bugs that made it into its initial release.
Now though, they've released Sword of the Stars II: Enhanced Edition, a fully updated version of the game, bundled with the new End of Flesh content pack. In thanks to all the fans who have "stuck with the game" (read: put up with its flaws), the new content is being rolled out for free to all its current owners too.
Sword of the Stars 2 adds a couple of extra Xs to the traditional 4X grand strategy formula. The familiar explore, expand, exploit and exterminate are joined by their ugly siblings excruciating and extended-periods-of -crashing, making for a misjudged and painful sojourn in this poorly served genre.
Free games! Everyone loves free games right? Well we've giving some away! We've got a big stack of Steam codes for Paradox Interactive games sitting here, and we thought we'd share them with you.
Details on how to enter are inside.
PC Gamer routinely features Developer Diaries: tales of what goes on behind-the-scenes in the development studios making your favorite games. In this entry, Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter's Lead Artist, Chris Gerspacher, talks about refining and upgrading a game's art style for a sequel. For more information, read the first and second entries, and let us know what you’d like to see developers discuss in future diaries in the comments.
The holidays are almost here, which means even more time to get stuck into some new games. Win today's prize of of a pile of Paradox games from GamersGate and you certainly won't be short of things to play. Whether you'd rather carve out your own kingdom using brute force in Mount and Blade, or plot your way to victory against the mean Faeries of ye olde Brittania in King Arthur, there's something for you in the Paradox pack. Read on for details of how to win.