Something for the Weekend

Diablo III will apparently not have PvP at launch, as the systems aren’t up to scratch yet.  Instead, they’ll be patched in when they are ready.  In the meantime, Blizzard are apparently putting the finishing touches on the game.. for which there is still no confirmed release date.

CryEngine 3 is now available for free non-commercial use!  AI, animations, dynamic lighting.. check out the preview from IGN:


In the News – 6th March

Mass Effect 3 launched today for the Americans, with the UK release due on Friday.  The game currently has a Metacritic score of 93, while the user score is currently at 2.5.  Political voting?  I think so.

The latest that the multiplayer will have an effect on the ending of your singleplayer game.  As you complete missions and earn the support of different people, you gain them as War Assets: the game takes the number of collected War Assets into consideration when calculating your ending.. and it seems that you need a fairly high number of them.  During multiplayer, you can improve your Readiness rating.  This rating is used as a multiplier against your War Assets, so has a positive effect. (more…)

King Arthur II: The Role-Playing Wargame

King Arthur II: The Role-Playing Wargame, the turn-based strategy RPG by Neocore Games and Paradox Interactive, has now been released on the PC.

While trying to protect his kingdom, King Arthur suffered a wound which won’t heal and thus became the Maimed King.. and his land is suffering with him.  Camelot is in ruins, with the Knights of the Round Table scattered or turned against each other, and monsters roam the lands..

Players take control of a small army of warriors, attempting to uncover the dark forces at work in the lands of ancient Britannia.  Gameplay consists of a mixture of strategic and tactical phases, with a large campaign map for strategic actions such as moving armies and completing story-driven quests, and tactical battles taking place when two armies meet.  Battles can take place under the direct command of the player, with numerous tactics to choose from, or they can be Auto-Resolved for an instant decision.

The King Arthur II demo, featuring the tutorial and first mission, is available for download here.

Magicka: The Other Side of the Coin

Paradox Interactive have also announced an expansion to Magicka, entitled Magicka: The Other Side of the Coin.

In this expansion, players take on the roles of Alucart the Vampire and his Necromancers, fighting against the forces of good, and opposing Vlad’s attempts to improve the poor relations between humans, dwarves and elves.

The expansion will add a new Elven environment to the game, along with a new Challenge map, playing as Necromancers, along with custom objectives and achievements.

A Game of Dwarves

Paradox Interactive have just announced that they are to publish A Game of Dwarves, a strategy game by Zeal Game Studios for PC and PS3.

A dwarven prince is on a quest to reclaim his people’s country, travelling across a continent and unearthing the buried mysteries of the Great War.

The gameplay consists of exploration, building and controlling various dwarven settlements in order to strengthen your clan.  Each level starts with a new, uniquely-generated world which you must explore and build your settlement in, with the building options allowing some freedom to design great-looking as well as practical homes for your dwarves.

The dwarves themselves level up as you progress, gaining new skills and becoming stronger warriors or master craftsmen.

As you dig deeper in search of the resources you’ll need to improve your buildings and equipment, you’ll also need to be prepared to defend your settlement from the enemies lurking in the depths..

Majesty 2

Paradox Interactive’s strategy Majesty 2 is another game I saw a long while back, via demo, and like many other games, I decided to wait till a price drop before picking it up.  The Steam Summer Camp Sale provided the price drop in the form of the Paradox Fantasy Pack, and there we have it..

In Majesty 2, you are the last heir to the throne, and the last hope of the Kingdom.  King Leonard, who held the throne previously, wanted to make a name for himself and so summoned a fearsome demon, the Baron of Hell.. who promptly defeated the King and took the throne for himself.. 😉

Your first task is to learn how to play, aided by a narrator who sounds like a rather dodgy Sean Connery, and some very easy tasks.

Starting with just the castle, you create your town by picking buildings for your peasants to get to work on, starting with the marketplace, a tower or two for defense, and Hero Guilds, such as the Warrior’s Guild.

All you have to do is place the building where you want it, and the peasants do the rest..

Once you have completed a Heroes Guild you can then hire heroes, who you can then get to do your bidding via the setting of explore, attack and defend flags.  Well.. if you offer a reward, that is..

During the tutorial, my explorers seemed to wander the map freely, but after that they needed enticing with some reward money on the flags.  An easy task, such as exploring just into the fog of war, or defending a nearby building, seemed to only need 100 gold to attract interest from a hero, while missions further afield needed a larger reward to get any interest.

More difficult tasks require more heroes to take part, and also then need a larger reward.
I failed to get enough heroes to defend the trade caravan on my first attempt at the Engine of Commerce quest, as it started off further from town and had plenty of attackers on the way.

The game has an interesting economy.. spending more gold on rewards for tasks you want completed turns out to be a good thing.  Your heroes purchase goods and equipment from your Marketplace and Blacksmith with their reward money, and are therefore more effective on the next mission.. and the money then returns to your coffers via taxes!

Taxes are levied on every building; so as your town grows, your income grows too.  Caravans, which set off from Trading Posts, also bring you more gold, although they need to be protected on their journey as they attract attackers.

The tutorial continues through the first few missions, adding a few more building types and introducing more concepts.. there’s also a multiplayer mode, though as my usual gaming buddies don’t have this game, I might be leaving it alone for now.. till I think I can beat random opponents, anyway 😉


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