Strategy Games News Bulletin, March 13th 2020

By Joe Robinson 13 Mar 2020 0

There’s been plenty to talk about this week on top of what we’ve already covered, so I won’t keep you too long. Make sure you catch up on the reviews that went up this week, as well as all of the news and other interesting features.

Meanwhile, thousands of miles away...

Starborne to enter Open Beta on April 2nd

Starborne is an upcoming MMORTS project that’s been in development for a few years now. It tries to combine the design philosophy of long-term free-to-play experiences like the old browser games, or mobile games with premium sensibilities. It’s been in a closed beta period since last year but is now ready to hit Open beta come April.

Changes going into the Open Beta includes a new map with new zones to encourage exploration and expansion, three distinct victory conditions, longer game rounds and an in-game tutorial. There’s also going to be an Android companion app. If you want to check the game out you can sign-up here.

Watch 30 minutes of Stronghold: Warlords in action

Firefly studios have released thirty minutes of footage from their PAX East 2020 Demo for Stronghold: Warlords. The video focuses on the main military campaign for the Chinese faction.

Labyrinth: War on Terror Launches onto Steam Early Access

Playdek’s digital port of GMT’s Twilight Struggle-like strategy board game based around the ‘War on Terror’ has finally been allowed to release via Steam Early access. As far as we can tell they’ve had to abandon releasing the Mac version of the game for now, but us Windows jockeys can get stuck in right away. We’ll bring you some hands-on impressions as soon as we can, but in the meantime here’s a gameplay trailer to give you some ideas:

Sid Meier is Releasing his Memoirs

So this isn’t something I thought I'd be writing about. It turns out Sid Meier - the creator of Civilization - and one of the founding fathers of modern strategy games, is releasing a book. Sid Meier's Memoir!: A Life in Computer Games releases in September 2020 talks about everything from his personal history in videogames, to analysis and insights on various subjects relating to his life and his work. You can pre-order it now from Amazon, amongst other places.

Civilization VI Sale & ‘Platinum Edition’ Changes

Speaking of Civilization, 2K are running a general publisher sale on Steam that will last until next Monday. You can save up to 75% off various Civ 6 content, but they’ve also made changes to their Platinum Edition.

This SKU now includes all of Civilization VI’s released DLC, and has been designated a ‘Complete the Set’ bundle so you only pay for what you don’t have, and not for the whole whack regardless of what you’ve bought before.

Phoenix Point DLC is Out Now

So, we didn’t think this was actually out yet when we mentioned it last week, but it turns out Phoenix Point’s first DLC - BLOOD AND TITANIUM - released on March 4th. It adds new story cinematics and missions, a new sub-faction, new bionic augmentations as well as weapons.

It also released alongside the free ‘Leviathan’ update, which includes another new sub-faction, as well as lots of changes and balancing tweaks.

Blood and Titanium

Creative Assembly Introduces a new ‘extreme’ beta for Total War: Warhammer 2

Total War: Warhammer 2 will turn three this September, and a lot has changed since then. Recently the team has been focused on trying to ensure quicker-running turns towards the end game. But in the meantime many new Lords, units and mechanics have been introduced, and it sounds like there’s a pretty hefty backlog in terms of balancing work that needs doing.

Since balancing is never a simple prospect, and marginal changes wouldn’t yield interesting results quick enough, the dev team have decided to turn things up to 11 instead. They’re introducing a new beta branch they’re calling ‘Proving Grounds’. This is separate and in addition to the usual beta patches they run before a major release.

What separates Proving Grounds from other betas is that they’re going to go a bit crazy with the changes, opting for broad strokes and big shifts to try and push the boundaries of their current understanding. You can read more about what that entails in the official blog post, but note that there’s no guarantee any changes made to Proving Grounds will actually make it into the main game. This is just a way of accelerating their balancing efforts.

It actually sounds quite fun, and the first iteration of Proving Grounds is looking wild.

That's all for this week - enjoy your weekends!

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