SG Briefing: EGX Rezzed Special03 Apr 2017 2
Welcome, everyone, to the first of many Strategy Gamer News Briefings! Here, we collect all the latest news of the strategy-related genre in one single spot, giving you a nice summary of every single relevant announcement of the past week or so. Enjoy!
Total War: Warhammer II
Surprising absolutely no one with the subject but quite a few with regards to timing, SEGA and Creative Assembly recently announced the new entry in the Total War: Warhammer franchise, aptly titled Total War: Warhammer II. It already got a Steam page, too, though you can't pre-order it yet (and you shouldn't).
Set in a different map from the first game and dealing with the efforts of four different races to control a magic vortex, TW: Warhammer II draws attention due to it's unique approach as a franchise entry. Owners of both the sequel and the original game will gain access to a colossal new combined campaign that merges the landmasses of The Old World plus Naggaroth, Lustria, Ulthuan and the Southlands into a single gigantic map, and players can choose any owned Race from both titles. Such a unique feature certainly gives people reason to buy both games and the DLC's, and helps keep the first one meaningful even after the launch of its sequel.
Very few details have been announced so far, besides the fact that they haven't named this Total Warhammer II. I know, they're still dropping the ball on this one, pretty badly. Total Warhammer II is out on PC sometime in 2017.
EGX London - SEGA
EGX is not really an industry event, but it is full of industry people, and as such has some interesting industry stuff. Recently, the PC world has seen a revival of the strategy genre in its many forms, and that was reflected by the myriad of strategy-related titles present at EGX.
First off, we got Dawn of War III, which is not looking very good and had a surprisingly empty booth throughout all three days of the event. With it's insistence in making the franchise more and more about micromanaging and fast clicking than proper strategic gameplay, Relic Entertainment may have been shooting itself on the foot.
Next we got Endless Space 2, which has a significantly better reception and it's shaping up to be pretty awesome. Amplitude Studios learned with their past endeavours on Endless Space 1 and Endless Legend, and has brought all that knowledge into Endless Space 2, which is now on Early Access with a surprisingly good 89% rating.
EGX London - Paradox
Paradox and their awesome PR guy Simon Callaghan had one of the best booths in the event, full of strategy goodies as Paradox is wont to have. The strategy behemoth displayed Steel Division: Normandy 44, Cities Skylines and Stellaris: Utopia, all of them available for players to test. From World War II to Outer Space, you need to look no further for your strategy-gaming fix.
First off, we have Steel Division: Normandy 44, a World War II RTS that aims to bridge the gap between the casual strategy player and the more anal wargaming crowd, providing a complicated yet-not-life-consuming title that allows you to dip your toes into more strategical games of war while still feeling like a general. The game is looking pretty good, and the strategic and tactical decisions abound through it's every pore -- if you're a WWII fanatic, I definitely recommend you keep an eye on Steel Division: Normandy 44.
Next up we have Stellaris: Utopia, the first major gameplay expansion of the epic sci-fi game from Paradox Development Studio coming on the 6th of April this week! You'll be able to push the boundaries of what your empire can achieve, building anything from gigantic space stations to ring worlds and Dyson Spheres that completely envelop a sun. Awesome stuff, and out in just a couple of days.
Building cities require strategy too, and we here at Strategy Gamer admire that. So lastly but not least, we got Cities Skylines, with their Mass Transit update and the Xbox One version. Mass Transit is a paid DLC with a free update portion that adds a bunch of requested features to the game, giving you almost complete control of every single facet of your cities transportation. The free part of the update allows you to rename roads, see traffic flow, edit signs, and a host of other stuff, while the paid DLC part allows you to build zeppelins, cable cars, monorails, and more. For city-builder fans, there really is no amount of options to be had, and this new update shall give you a load of new tools to construct your city just the way you envision it. Meanwhile, the Xbox One version works surprisingly well, with a completely reworked interface and control scheme that gives console players the chance to delve a little bit into the fun that is building cities from the ground up. No release date announced yet for either of them, but we'll let you know when there is.
EGX London - Frozen Synapse 2
Mode 17's sequel to the niche hit Frozen Synapse is coming soon, and it greatly expanded it's scope. Featuring the same simultaneous turn based system from it's predecessir where actions are planned before hand then exceuted in real time, Frozen Synapse 2 branches out into a big open-world map that allows you to tackle missions as and when you please. Complete with a faction system where each group possess objectives that may clash or align with yours, the game is looking like a great tactical planning squad shooter. In my book, you can never have too many games like XCOM. Release date TBA.
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