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Posts Tagged ‘Real Time Strategy’

A recent study conducted by the Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, has used StarCraft II to demonstrate how our cognitive performance deteriorates once we reach the age of 24.

The study measured the performance of over 3,000 gamers ranging in age from 16 to 44, and found that there was a considerable slowdown in reaction time among those in the 24-and-over group – a factor that seems to increase as the individual gets older.

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And instead reveals StarCraft II: Herald of the Stars as the third entry into the StarCraft II saga. The final chapter will still focus on the Protoss, but won’t follow the exploits of Zeratul any longer; instead, Herald of the Stars will focus on the Protoss backstory from Artanis’s perspective. According to Blizzard, this new direction for the Protoss chapter will “reveal this mysterious race in all its power and glory.”

And yes, it’s 01 April, so you can’t believe a word of any of this.

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SEGA has announced that Relic Entertainment will be expanding upon their excellent Company of Heroes franchise with a new multiplayer-only standalone release. The game, named Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies, is set to be released in June 2014 and brings back the Western Front from the original CoH game. For a link to the announcement trailer and some additional details, hit the jump.

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I’ve always had a soft spot for the Age of Empires series. Though I had played Command & Conquer years before, Age of Empires and its sequels were what truly got me hooked on real-time strategy. In fact, its influence was so strong that I subsequently developed a keen interest in all matters of ancient warfare; a scholarly pursuit that continues to the present day (and to think conservatives don’t regard games as educational!). Taking all this into consideration, it’s no wonder that I’d be easy prey for a history-infused indie RTS like 0 A.D..

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You know what we need more of? Real-time strategy games. We always need more real-time strategy games. I’m not being facetious; I’m being honest. There was a time when the RTS genre was the thing, but now that thing seems to be first-person shooters. That makes my inner, armchair general depressed and sad and a little grumpy. Maybe even grumpy enough to want to reinstall Emperor: Battle for Dune. Then I saw this game called Etherium.

Etherium is being developed by Tindalos Interactive – the same team behind 2011’s Stellar Impact, which is an online science-fiction RTS game. Perhaps you played it? I most certainly did not but a quick Google search seemed to indicate that it was somewhat influenced by Homeworld.

In Etherium, the focus will be on a non-linear single player campaign. Set in a futuristic universe, you’ll take control of one of three factions that are fighting each other for a valuable resource known as, you guessed it, etherium. This resource is only found on one planet, so you’ll predominantly be fighting on this planet and its surrounding moons. Did I mention that, judging by the trailer, this planet is a desert planet? Oh, that is very Dune of you, Tindalos, and I’m listening intently.

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Command and Conquer

In an unfortunate move, Victory Games and Electronic Arts have announced the cancellation of the upcoming Command & Conquer. The latest title in the venerable RTS genre would have been free-to-play, supported by micro-transactions and multiplayer only. And because misery loves company, the developers at the helm, Victory Games, have been disbanded by EA.

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When we were first introduced to Blackbird’s Hardware: Shipbreakers, they announced that their game was going to be a free-to-play RTS offering. No matter how good a team’s pedigree is or how amazing a game sounds, the prospect of a free-to-play title is enough to turn off some people. I know I felt pretty conflicted when Blackbird unveiled Shipbreakers – free-to-play often has connotations of crappy microtransactions tarnishing a game. I have a feeling I’m not alone in this.

Great news then that Gearbox has confirmed that free-to-play is gone from Shipbreakers. Since Randy Pitchford and co. decided to share the Homeworld IP with Blackbird, and provide them with funding to bring their game to market, the need for a free-to-play mechanic has been scrapped as Gearbox dons their publisher hat to get Homeworld: Shipbreakers out the door.

The news came via Pitchford’s Twitter account: “With our investment, Homeworld Shipbreakers can be a proper commercial release. No need for F2P.” Best news ever.

Source: Twitter
Via: Kotaku


Gearbox is busy putting together HD re-releases of Homeworld and Homeworld 2. Both games have a vociferous fan base that has been largely neglected for nearly 10 years now. In a way, I kind of feel bad for Gearbox and don’t blame them for going the safe route of focusing on HD remakes and handing over development of a “new” Homeworld game to Blackbird.

PAX is on at the moment, and Gearbox held a discussion panel yesterday to update fans on what they’re up to. Borderlands 2 obviously played a large role in that panel, but Homeworld saw some stage time as well, which resulted in two screencaps of their work on the HD re-releases for both Homeworld games. 

Obviously, one of those is in the header above; the other is after the jump. They’re from Kotaku, who didn’t waste time in reminding readers that the two shots are taken off-screen with a camera. Consequently, they probably look a little underwhelming. What do you think? Does it even matter how HD it gets, so long as the games run well on modern systems?

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Remember Hardware: Shipbreakers? We first learnt about the RTS game from Blackbird Interactive earlier this year; it’s the game being developed by a team that’s largely made up of the guys behind the Homeworld series.

PAX is on right now, but during last week’s PAX Dev, Gearbox and Blackbird sat down together to talk about Hardware: Shipbreakers. Gearbox now owns the Homeworld IP, and they’ve just allowed Blackbird to use it because, let’s face it, Hardware: Shipbreakers is practically a Homeworld game anyway.

On top of sharing the Homeworld IP with Blackbird, Gearbox is throwing money at the indie team in order to help them finish up Shipbreakers. Gearbox will be responsible for publishing the game, which is now officially called Homeworld: Shipbreakers.

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The moment that EA announced the new C&C would be free-to-play, interest for the game took a dive. We all sat around the office grimacing at each other. It was a sad day, and that’s been the general feeling from most people I spoke to. With that in mind, you can understand that I was a little hesitant going in to the hands-on session at Gamescom, but now, after doing so, and speaking to Victory Games’ general manager Jon Van Caneghem, I’m actually rather looking forward to this game.

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