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Posts Tagged ‘Real Time Strategy’

starcraft_ii_legacy_mission_menu

BlizzCon took place this last weekend and with it a ton of new information, trailers and reveals flooded the Internet. The final chapter in the StarCraft II trilogy is on its way, so Blizzard took the time to update RTS junkies on what to expect, and provided a new campaign story trailer as well.

For a start, there are a number of units from previous StarCraft games that are making a return in Legacy of the Void. There are also some new ones joining the roster. The Zerg are getting a Ravager that can spit bile to corrode through Protoss force fields; the Lurker is making a return.

HERCs and Cyclones will bolster the Terran ranks, with the former proving useful at squashing zerglings and banelings. Cyclones will have a lock-on ability which Blizzard cautions will require some skill and micromanagement to pull off.

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total_war_attila_siege

Total War: Attila is the next chapter in Creative Assembly’s long-running strategy series. The game was announced late yesterday in a video featuring a particularly grumpy Hun divulging his intentions to decimate the Roman Empire. So while you may have spent dozens of hours building the Roman Empire in the previous Total War title, Rome II, you now get to play through the Hun invasion from both sides.

You’ll be able to pick between the established and vast Roman Empire, or the invading Hun army led by Attila. Playing as Rome, you’ll have a massive amount of territory to begin with, but you’ll be dogged by internal politics and betrayal.

New to the game’s mechanics will be a new raze ability, which will allow you to eradicate cities from the game map. You’ll also be able to make extensive use of fire to aid in the destruction of to-scale towns and cities. Creative Assembly is promising a more streamlined UI and greater graphical fidelity.

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homeworld_karen_sjet_cut_scene

Gearbox is currently working on high definition remakes of Relic’s classic RTS series, Homeworld. While the game itself garnered critical praise, so did the series’ stylised cut-scenes that conveyed the surprisingly engaging plot of both Homeworld and its sequel, Homeworld 2.

With the original cut-scenes, Relic opted to use a 2D, almost hand-drawn aesthetic. There was no colour, and only portions of the scenes would animate in very simple methods. It was tremendously effective.

With Gearbox prepping the high definition re-release of the series, they’ve had to give the cut-scenes a bit of spit and polish as well. The results, I think, are great. The overall aesthetic has stayed the same, and with the addition of high-def audio, the cut-scenes are looking rather good.

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Finally I know why I can't win ranked games.

Finally, I know why I can’t win ranked games.

Blizzard has revealed why I am still a bronze league player that they will be suing a collective of hackers for creating and profiting from StarCraft II mods. The primary target will be the creators of the ValiantChaos Maphack – a mod which allows players to cheat in online games and is sold for around $62.50. Seriously, R650 just to win a few games? C’mooooon guys. Blizzard believes the hacks have caused gamers to become dissatisfied with the game and, as a result of the loss of interest in playing, led to a decrease in sales of the game and its expansion packs.

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offworldtradingcompany_01

Mohawk Games today officially announced the title of and launched the website for their upcoming real-time economic strategy game, Offworld Trading Company.

Previously codenamed Mars, Offworld Trading Company aims to be a focused multiplayer experience (with games expected to last around half an hour to 45 minutes each) that completely removes combat from the equation, instead relying on economic might and shrewd reading of the game’s internal markets to strengthen your tenuous grip on Mars. In an interview with Ars Technica, Mohawk co-founder Soren Johnson states, “If you look at the top 100 games on BoardGameGeek, you’re gonna see an immense variety of topics, an immense variety of mechanics, different pacing, different scales… and I want strategy games, or [real-time strategy games], to be that varied. And Offworld is like an attempt at that.”

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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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sc2_herald_of_the_stars

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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COH2_Armies_HotDrop

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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etherium_header

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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