SG Mid-Month Briefing: Surprise Announcements Edition15 May 2017 1
Strategy gaming news can be like buses - nothing for a while and then suddenly Jon Shafer gets hired by Paradox Interactive. We thought we'd put together a mid-month briefing for you to round-up some of the top strategy news for May so far. Seen anything we've missed? Make sure you get in touch!
New Game: Ancestors
A new squad-based real-time strategy game with a strong focus on tactics has been announced. Developed by Destructive Creations and published by 1C, Ancestors is coming for PC and Xbox One in an undisclosed future date. Taking place in medieval Europe where the player can lead the Viking, Anglo-Saxon, German, or Slav people to glory, Ancestors claims to be a historically accurate RTS with a cinematic battle camera.
We don't have a lot of information about it, as more details and a release date are promised for this year’s Gamescom. We'll keep you update as more information surfaces.
Stellaris just completed one year, surprising everyone who thought it had been out for a whole lot longer than that. To commemorate, Paradox is giving away for free the Creatures of the Void pack, which you could only get if you pre-ordered the game. A new 'Anniversary Species Portrait Pack' was also given out to all Stellaris owners.
Last week also saw the release of the 1.6 Adams Update, which removes the Symbol of Unity building, adjusts the occurrence and strength of crisis, lengthens warp wind-down time, and increases the distance military stations have to be built from each other, along with adding a few Utopia changes such as derelict Megastructures throughout the galaxy that can be found and repaired.
For people who haven't got the game yet, Steam now features a new Stellaris Digital Anniversary Edition which includes the base game and all DLC's released to date, including the latest expansion, Utopia.
Paradox Convention 2017
Speaking of Paradox, their annual convention was held of the weekend. This regular event is often used to make announcements and show-off their latest games, but for the first time ever they also opened it up to the public. Fans were able to buy tickets and attend a two-day event that had demos, presentations and live music.
In terms of new games and announcements, there were quite a few pleasant surprises:
- Paradox announced they have partnered with Harebrained Studios to publish Battletech. This is a squad-based tactical turn-based strategy game that puts the player in command of a small unit of mechs. Stay tuned for further write-ups on June 1st.
- A new expansion was announced for Europa Universalis IV titled Third Rome. This "Immersion Pack" focuses on Russia and the Russian Empire, giving the region a face-lift and some cool specific mechanics.
- Award-winning designer Jon Shafer, Lead Designer of Civilization V has been hired by Paradox to work on a new Paradox Development Studio title. He's also been allowed to continue work on his kickstarted game, At the Gates. We'll be bringing you an interview with him later in the week.
- Haemimont Games, recent custodians of the Tropico franchise, have partnered with Paradox to create a brand-new sim/management title. Surviving Mars is all about building and growing a colony on the Red Planet.
- Prison Architect, the iconic Prison Management game, is coming to mobile, and Paradox are the ones who will be publishing it. Pocket Tactics will have a full write-up later this week.
We also got a chance to play some Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor, as well as the solo campaign for Steel Division. Our review for the latter will be dropping May 23rd!
Endless Space 2
Endless Space 2 has been quietly on Early Access since forever, and it is finally coming out soon. To promote the incoming May 19th release, SEGA has creatively launched a trailer campaign focused on the 4X aspect of its strategy title. The first two are already out, covering the "Exploration" and "Expansion" X's of the sci-fi turn-based title. Check them both out above.
Dawn of War III
Relic's latest RTS has been out for some time now, and it's first balance patch is finally launching on May 24th.
The developer listened to feedback regarding counterplay, unit effectiveness, and escalation mechanics, and worked to make the game fair for players of a roughly similar skill level. They claimed to have reviewed every unit and a few super abilities to promote more active and competitive matches.
There are still going to be some frustratingly squishy units and overpowered abilities, as Relic says their main worry was stopping matches from being ruined when one player was rushed and crippled in the early game. If you're into Dawn of War III, let us know what you expect out of this.
Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance Coop Mod
Coop mods and Supreme Commander fans, rejoice. A new mod called FAFOREVER allows players to play the whole formerly singleplayer campaign in cooperative mode, giving fans of this amazing game one more excuse to jump back into it for a novel experience. Check out the website for more info, or the embed video above.
What you think of the latest news? Let us know what you think on the comments below, or over at our Discord channel!