Strategy Games News Bulletin - December 19th, 2019

By Joe Robinson 20 Dec 2019 1

I've been out and about the past couple of days as it was the Christmas Party at the parent company, but I tried to make sure some interesting features dropped while I was out. I also went to see The Rise of Skywalker yesterday, hence why we had that Star Wars-themed list. There's actually been some interesting bits of news this week, which is great because being this close to Christmas you'd think that perhaps there wasn't much else to say.

For the next two weeks we've got a range of op-eds and things planned, but between Christmas and New Year specifically things are going to be a bit lighter. The next news update won't be till Friday, January 3rd, and unless something Red Hot(TM) drops in terms of news, probably won't write up any news or anything after today. We won't be doing an official 'Best Strategy Games of 2019' list, but we will be doing a bunch of retrospectives looking at what's come out.

Meanwhile, in strategy gaming...

First Distant Worlds 2 Screenshots

Following on from the live stream yesterday, Slitherine have finally release some concrete info on Distant Worlds 2, as well as some early screenshots of the game in action. The game’s been in development for over four years now, although it’s not been made clear how much longer is left in development.

Distant Worlds Sneak Peek Stream 7

I suspect more than we’d like, but it’s nice to see the project coming along. We were sent a bunch of screenshots with some commentary, but here’s a summary of some of the salient bits of information:

  • Design goal for Distant Worlds 2 was essentially to remake DS1 with a modern engine.
  • DS1 has been developed on for nine years by the time the final release was put out.
  • DS2 will use a “new 64-bit, multi-core capable 3D engine”
  • DS2 will have 3D models for ships, stations, planets and everything else.
  • The way ships are designed and how they behave in combat is also different.

Not a huge amount of detail to go on, but it shows the project is alive and well and we’re expecting to hear more details next year.

Phoenix Point Patch

The first major patch for Phoenix Point since its release has gone live. It’s not a significant milestone (the new version number is Version 1.0.54713), but it does address a sweeping of major and minor bug fixes, and also makes tweaks to various gameplay elements.

You can read the full patch notes here, but highlights include changes to Return Fire, Story Mission difficulty, Cover detection and Mind Control. Don’t forget to check out our tips & tricks guide if you’re getting stuck.

Phoenix Point 3 d

Warcraft 3: Reforged Release Date

We finally have a release date for Warcraft 3: Reforged. While a closed beta has been running for a couple of months now, the remake of the classic RTS is going to miss it’s planned 2019 release window. Not by much mind, and if you prefer financial years vs. calendar years, then technically it’s still on track as the new release date has been set for January 28th, 2020.

This will be a global, simultaneous release. You US peeps are lucky and will be getting it at Between 3pm and 6pm, depending on which coast you’re closest too, while us here in the UK won’t be getting it till 11pm. Mainland Europe has to wait till Midnight! You can get more details from the official announcement post.

Warcraft 3 reforged

Fantasy General II Christmas Update

Fantasy General II has been a bit quiet since its release back in September - we know the team are working on new DLC and a console version, but patches and smaller updates have also been a little thin on the ground. Patch 4 just dropped this week, and not only does it bring with it some additional tweaks and changes, it also adds a new map and a new gameplay mode.

The new map and scenario is called ‘The Defence of Castle Christmas’ and will be available until January 6th. The new game mode is called ‘Iron Maiden’ and is essentially an Ironman mode where as soon as you fail a map, you lose the game. You can read the patch notes here.

New Frostpunk DLC

Frostpunk’s next DLC - The Last Autumn - has been detailed and given a release date. Come January 12th, you’ll be able to play a brand new campaign that’s set before the events of the main game’s campaign. Even though Winter has not yet started, that doesn’t mean this new campaign will be easy - a central narrative themed around trying to defy nature’s impending wrath will force some tough choices and decisions on you as you try and preserve your way of life.

We’re looking forward to taking it for a spin when it drops, but in the meantime here is the announcement trailer to get you in the mood. We have a tips guide available for anyone looking to get into the game.

Winter Sales

There are Sales happening all over the ship write now as we draw close to Christmas Day. Doesn’t actually seem that long ago since Black Friday and all the madness around that, but just in case you didn’t fill your boots then, here are some reminders where to go for cheap games:

  • Steam’s Winter Sale has officially kicked off.
  • Humble aren't running a holiday sale yet at the time of writing, but they are running a Star Wars sale to celebrate the new film. On it are several games we mentioned in yesterday’s Best Star Wars Strategy game list, so if any of those piqued your interest, go check them out!
  • Slitherine & Matrix Games are still running their winter special, which started a while ago and will be running through to January 12th. Lots of cool strategy games coming out these guys at the moment.
  • There are also sales running on the Epic Games Store, and I think Ubisoft are doing something as well.

That's all for this week - enjoy your weekends and we'll see you Monday!

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