If MOBA games are clustered into the overall “strategy” genre, that makes it the most popular in the world. A game like League or HOTS differs heavily from RTS, but the former creators of Rise of Nations think that they can tap into a new audience of strategy fans with a fusion of genres.
Dropzone is an RTS that eliminates base building and instead focuses on player control over three hero-type units, leveraging a sports-like points system as a victory condition. The three pilots man mech fighters, primarily split between the classic Tank, Support, and DPS roles. An additional two classes will be added in the future. Players draft their pilots and load-outs before each match, each load-out offering various passive (Software) and active abilities.
Total War: Warhammer launched May 24th -- and it’s been a massive commercial success. In just three days, the latest Total War title has broken the sales records for all the franchise’s prior launches. Within a week of launch, Total Warhammer has already hit half a million sales, making it “the fastest selling Total War title on Steam.”
For 25 years, the Civilization franchise has been a keystone in the PC gaming world and helped establish the 4X genre in video games. Each title in the franchise built on the next, solidifying and improving the core gameplay set up in the first game. Except Beyond Earth, but that was an outlier. It’s now time for the next game in the series -- Civilization VI. It’s been six years since the last title in the main Civilization line, and two years since Civilization: Beyond Earth.
Master of Orion (affectionately, “MoO”) has a decades-long history in the 4X gaming space. The title first shipped in 1993 under pre-bankruptcy publisher Atari, who have since sold the rights to Wargaming.net. Wargaming.net has proliferated through the market with its F2P “World of [Vehicles]” games (fill in the blank – Tanks, Warships, Ponies), but has an even longer history with more traditionally developed and released strategy titles. The company's legacy dates back to 1998 and its Massive Assault series of strategy games.
Today's emerging information on Master of Orion focuses on the game's espionage and economic victory mechanics, new milestones that will be available in the third phase of early access (freshly launched). The MoO team will also be rolling-out the Silicoid and Darlok races, bringing the re-imagined title back up to the original ten races of MoO. A few leaders of the game's ten races include Alan Tudyk (Wash, Firefly), John de Lancie (Q, TNG), Nolan North (Uncharted), Mark Hamill (Luke, Star Wars), and more. Michael Dorn (Worf, Star Trek: TNG) narrates the game.
Atlas Reactor is a “turn-based team tactics game” developed by Trion Worlds and currently in open alpha, although that will be replaced by a closed beta on April 14th. Small teams of “freelancers” compete to kill each other in simultaneous turn-based combat, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear (and don’t matter).
The words “fast-paced” get tossed around a lot in Atlas Reactor marketing materials, and it’s an accurate description. The tutorial mission implies a Frozen Synapse-esque game of turn-based strategy and careful planning, and the solo gameplay confirms that initial impression with leisurely minute-long planning phases. Competitive gameplay is much faster, however—decisions must be made in a matter of seconds, and things quickly become hectic. “Turn-based” and “fast-paced” aren’t often said in the same sentence, but it turns out they go pretty well together. The worst part of a turn-based game is waiting for the opponent’s turn to end; Monopoly would be a lot better if everyone had to complete their turns within five seconds. Also if families didn't play it together, but that's another story.
Total War: Warhammer demonstrates a natural, synergistic fusion of two genres -- the long-standing grand-strategy games, Total War, and even longer-standing Warhammer tabletop game. Campaigns in the Warhammer universe like Storm of Chaos have given way to Total War-like experiences; armies roam the world map, growing or unfurling (or ‘crumbling’) with wins and losses. At the same time, combat in Total War has kept its structure and mechanics: units travel in tightly-knit groups, facing and flanking are important parts of the battle, and strategic map utilization can make-up for troop count disparities. Then, of course, having a strong general and maintaining troop morale dictate most heavily the staying power of military forces.
All these points are shared by the Warhammer tabletop game. As much sense as the partnership makes, it marks an astounding new venture for the Total War team -- a first venture into a fantastical environ.
AMD just announced a partnership with Total War developers Creative Assembly, highlighting the game developer's move to implement DirectX 12 with the upcoming Total War: Warhammer Grand Strategy game.
I've never understood why sports fans yell at the TV during a match – or, at least, I didn't until the eSports revolution. If that hadn't taught me the origin of this fruitless endeavor, Blood Bowl certainly would have. Few games can induce the rage-quitting fury exhibited by Blood Bowl 2 online players.
But that's OK. That's part of the game's charm, in the same way that it's part of FIFA's charm. Or, err, “charm.”
It's been five years since I've looked at Blood Bowl on the PC. The second iteration doesn't change the core ruleset – a game adapted from a tabletop predecessor in the Warhammer universe – but sees a number of changes made to the multiplayer and league support.
Today starts off with some exciting news -- especially for some old-school PC gamers: The next installment in the long-running Might & Magic franchise will be entering its second closed beta today. Titled Might & Magic: Heroes VII, the beta is open to all those who have already pre-ordered the game.
Pirate fantasy sandbox game “Windward” has arrived on Steam's Early Access, promising launch in 2Q15. The forthcoming indie title grants players freeform gameplay in a naval environment, spotlighting exploration and procedurally generated maps.
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