- Paradox Entertainment has announced Conan: Tower of the Elephant for the iPhone and says that the Age of Conan MMO is now free to play.
- Paradox Interactive has announced Warlock: Master of the Arcane, a new turn-based strategy game set in the fantastical land of Ardania, popularized in the Majesty franchise.
- MMORPG.com has posted information about getting into the beta for Funcom’s The Secret World and its "alternate reality game" The Secret War.
- THQ has announced a September 6, 2011, release for Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine.
Archive for PC Strategy Games
- 2K Games and Gearbox Software have announced the development of Borderlands 2.
- Broderbund has its Hoyle Card Games 2012, Casino Games 2012, and Puzzle and Board Games 2012 on sale. Each title is priced at $17.99.
- There is a new Sylvari video posted for Guild Wars 2.
- Matrix Games has announced the release of Field of Glory – Eternal Empire for the PC. It’s described as a faithful reproduction of Slitherine’s popular tabletop wargaming system of the same name.
- Paradox Interactive posted some details on its upcoming free-to-play Salem MMORPG. Salem sounds like it has an interesting economic mechanism and a "permanent death" feature.
- Sega has announced a pre-order incentive for their Xbox 360 game Rise of Nightmares. Players who pre-order the game will receive an exclusive Mini-Zombie that will interact with the player’s Avatar on the Xbox 360 dashboard.
- Shrapnel Games has announced plans to release Bronze as a "cardboard game".
- Square Enix has released Drawin’ Growin’ for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. It’s a casual game that involves a quest to return an island kingdom’s neglected flora back to its former glory.
- Take 2 Games announced NBA 2K12.
- Tecmo Koei has posted news for Ninja Gaiden 3, Dynasty Warriors 7, and Champion Jockey on their web site.
- Paradox Interactive has released Pirates of Black Cove, a new casual RTS RPG. It is available via "all leading digital distribution platforms" for $19.99 USD. Players of the game sail an open world and command a band of pirates in their quest to become King of All Pirates. A free demo is available for download.
- [Game Deal] Shrapnel Games’ August special includes Dominions 3: The Awakening at the price of $47.95 and winSPWW2 at $34.95.
- Wargaming.net has opened a European office.
- 2K Games posted the list of changes from its recent Duke Nukem Forever patch.
- NCSoft’s Guild Wars 2 page links to a new video that talks about the behind-the-scenes work done for the game’s audio.
Just Cause 2 is an incredible title. You take on the role of a CIA operative dropped into a hostile environment to find out why the island’s leader has decided to break off ties with the United States. You’re more or less left on your own to figure out what’s going on and take steps to topple the corrupt, possibly insane, leader of this island nation.
The open-ended gameplay allows you to sit down for a while and just blow things up if you have a few minutes to spare, and the overall campaign and storyline allows you to focus on a series of missions designed to advance the story along.
The variety of vehicles and weaponry in the game is staggering. You’ll find yourself walking, driving, flying, parachuting, boating, and riding shotgun in a variety of environments. You’ll feel like Spiderman as you grapple and parachute around jungle, desert, city, and mountainous regions.
The amount of gameplay in this inexpensive title is mind-blowing. You can side with a particular faction and help it rise to power, following a basic storyline, then go after the president. You can collect items of value to your chosen faction, improving your standing with them. You can attack various military and political targets of the island’s government, helping to sow the seeds of chaos that weaken the leader’s grip on his people. This is a title you can play again and again, and probably will.
But you don’t have to take my word for that. Amazon’s 40+ reviewers rate it 4 out of 5 stars. Metacritic gives it 84 out of 100, and its users rate it 7 out of 10. The professional reviewers have made the following comments about it:
- Just Cause 2 sets a new standard in the sandbox genre, and will be difficult to top due to its incredible graphics, expansive world, and extremely fun gameplay.
- Just Cause 2 isn’t a perfect game, many of the story missions are blah and the player isn’t really let into the joke of the game until late into it, but even with its very minor faults it still manages to be one of the best games I have played this year.
- Just Cause 2 is a good, but not perfect mixture of GTA and Boiling Point. It offers a huge playground for every action gamer – supported by beautiful graphics.
- I haven’t had this much fun with an open-world game in years. Just Cause 2 is over-the-top and insanely fun.
If you’re looking for a fun way to spend a few hours in an island paradise without spending a ton of cash, check this one out.
Warner Brothers’ Batman: Arkham Asylum is a single-player, third-person action/adventure in which the Dark Knight takes on his greatest challenge yet – trapped by the Joker within Gotham City’s facility for the criminally insane. It blends arcade style combat and stealth mechanics. I bought it back when it was originally released and was immediately taken with the graphics and sound, as well as the challenging puzzles built into it.
I’m not alone in thinking this is one of the best games of the last few years. Amazon.com’s reviewers give it 4 out of 5 stars. Metacritic’s reviews give it a 91 out of 100, and its users give it 9 out of 10.
GameSpy says that "If you’re a Batman fan, this is the best treatment the World’s Greatest Detective has ever received in videogame form — and if you’re not a Batman fan, Arkham Asylum will change that. This is how to make a licensed game."
PC Gamer calls it "An amazingly polished, finely crafted piece of action gaming excellence that’s worthy of the name Batman."
At the current Amazon price (see above display ad), it’s a steal.
I first played Sid Meier’s Pirates! over a decade ago on the Apple Macintosh. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent exploring its open-ended universe and trying to complete the various mini-missions built into it (e.g., reuniting your family). I especially enjoyed the ship-to-ship combat and the ability to capture and use your enemy’s ships after you defeat them. This updated version is even better than the old black-and-white version I played back then. It is without question one of my favorite computer games.
Amazon’s reviewers give the game 4 out of 5 stars, with 79 out of 96 reviewers rating it four or five stars. Metacritic rates it 88 out of 100. The professional critics whose reviews are quoted on Metacritic have given Pirates! the following praise:
- We can’t recall another PC game that challenged us to furious one-on-one sword fights and strategic warfare with cannons blazing — interspersed with a test of ballroom dancing skills in which each click of our keyboard’s keys translated into a deft move on the dance floor.
- This is a fantastic update to a truly classic game. It’s just plain great on every level.
- Simple and deep gameplay that sucks away hours of your life.
- An evocative gem of a game, one all Long John Silver or Johnny Depp wannabes should thoroughly enjoy.
I can’t recommend the game highly enough, and at the kind of prices it’s being offered for on Amazon.com right now, that recommendation is only strengthened.
When you think of real-time strategy (RTS) games for the PC platform, Command and Conquer (C&C) is probably one of the first names that comes to mind. C&C has been one of the most well-loved of all PC strategy game titles since it was first released. This bundle version, Command and Conquer: The First Decade, combines 12 classic C&C games onto a single DVD. It also includes a bonus DVD with commemorative videos and exclusive interviews.
Amazon’s reviewers have given this collection 4 out 5 stars with over 90 reviewers reporting in. The reviewers have made the following comments about this First Decade collection:
- A must-have for any strategy gamer.
- These games never looked so good, and for the price the amount of gameplay time is ridiculous. A great buy.
- I would recommend this product for anyone, from the battle hardened players of the C&C series to people who have never played the games and are looking for hours of entertainment.
- Does not work on a Mac laptop.
- …these games require you to type in a code before you can play the game. If your box doesn’t come with the codes, you can easily find them online.
- …the older 2D games may get boring if you are new to the Command and Conquer series. Command and Conquer Generals and Command and Conquer Renegade still make it worth the $20.
- …if you get the game, don’t count on having online multi-player.
- Some of the game can have problems on a 64-bit system.
Metacritic gave the product a 71 out of 100, and its users rated the bundle 8.5 out of 10.
Amazon.com is currently offering Microsoft’s Age of Empires Collector’s Edition for $17.50. The Collector’s Edition includes Age of Empires, the Rise of Rome expansion, Age of Empires II (Age of Kings Gold Edition), and the Age of Empires II Conquerors expansion.
Metacritic rates the original Age of Empires game at 83 out of 100, and its user-written reviews give it an 8.5 out of 10. Age of Empires II received a 92 out of 100 from the professional critics and 9.3 out of 10 from the user-written reviews.
Professional reviewers made the following observations about Age of Empires I:
- Gamers with an interest in history, and no aversion to a rather abstract rendition of same, should love the atmosphere and feel of the game.
- The first fully-mature real-time strategy title…This is a great game…
- It’s refreshing to find a game that’s so strong in single-player mode…
- My only real complaint is that upon completion of a task, villagers will just stand around doing nothing.
- Despite its flaws, Age of Empires is great fun to play.
The following comments were made about Age of Empires II:
- GamePro described it as "Extraordinary."
- Yahoo Games said "AoE 2 is the best RTS game of the year to date, and as such is worthy of our GDR Gold Award."
- Computer Games Magazine called it "An outstanding game. It looks great, is very well balanced, and is easy to get started with. The game has more strategy and fewer mouse gymnastics than the average RTS game."
- Gamezilla said "The only reason I did not give this game 100 out of 100, as great as it is, is that it is a sequel… Don’t get me wrong, I love this game and it already has my vote for Game of the Year."
Amazon.com reviewers give the Collector Edition 4.5 out of 5 stars, with over 100 reviewers weighing in on it.
The game is compatible with Windows 98 and above.
Encore’s Scrabble Champion Edition is currently available at over 40% off on Amazon.com.
Scrabble Champion Edition offers eight levels of "the most revolutionary A.I. developed by National Scrabble Association tournament champions" and will challenge even the most seasoned Scrabble player. You can compete head-to-head in tournament play or battle the click in solo play. It uses the Merriam-Webster Official Scrabble Player’s Dictionary, and offers auto word validation, pop-up hints, best plays, and more.
Reviewers on Amazon.com have given the game four and half out of five stars, with over 125 reviews as of this writing. 109 reviewers of 127 total gave the game 4 or 5 stars. Reviewers have made the following observations:
- For those of you who cannot get enough Scrabble, this game is for you.
- Once you purchase this edition of Scrabble, you’ll never go back to the board version again.
- This game can be a lot of fun but one drawback is the dictionary. It is very limited and frequently does not provide a definition for the words in it.
- It’s amazing how many times I can get "AAAUUII" by the luck of the draw.
- …it has kept me entertained for many hours while recovering from surgery. This Champion Edition is great…
- Excellent program for any level. Easy to use and understand. A great learning tool.
- After several weeks of use, I’ll say that this program more than meets my expectations.
- Some of the words they allow are not typical, and even questionable in my view, but you will learn what they are and will use them after a while.
- For $6, this game is fantastic. Especially if you want to improve your game. The Best Play advice allows you to review all the words you could play with your tiles.
The game supports Windows 98, 2000, ME, Vista, XP, and Windows 7. It’s shipped on CD-ROM, so be sure that your computer has a CD drive available.
Paradox Interactive’s Majesty 2 kingdom simulator collection is currently available at 50% off on Amazon.com. This $9.95 (as of this writing – current price should be visible at left) bundle includes Majesty 2 (the base game), Kingmaker, Battles of Ardania, and Monster Kingdom. This version also reportedly includes extra content that was not part of the expansions.
Majesty 2 puts you in charge of the kingdom of Ardania, but your rule is not absolute. Your subjects are independent and stubborn. To get them to do what you want, you need to persuade them by offering rewards.
It enables multi-player gameplay for up to 4 players over a LAN or Internet connection through GameSpy.
The bundle includes the game editor which enables players to create and play their own missions.
Majesty 2 requires Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7, a 3GHz dual-core CPU, 2 GB RAM, 4GB of hard drive space, and a DirectX 9.0 compatible video card.
Paradox Interactive’s Victoria Complete game is, as of this writing, available for purchase and download from Amazon.com for only $2.49. (The current price appears in the ad to the left.)
Victoria Complete is a historical strategy/simulation game for Windows and Macintosh, originally released in 2008. It features historical and dynamic missions that guide your country through history. It includes an advanced technology tree that covers the entire period.
A global map features more than 2800 provinces, and the military system is linked with the player’s policy decisions. Up to 32 players can take part in the online multiplayer version.
Amazon.com is currently offering Paradox Interactive’s original Mount & Blade game on DVD-ROM for only $7.88.
Mount & Blade is an action and role-playing game originally released in September 2008. It features free-form sandbox style play in a world with hundreds of unique locations. It includes horseback combat, allowing you to attack enemies using a sword, lance, or bow.
It features a large number of medieval weapons, each with unique combat characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses. The swordfighting system is described as highly advanced and intuitive.
Reviewers on Amazon.com have given the title four out of five stars, and (as of this writing) 83 out of 103 reviewers rated it 4 or 5 stars. Amazon reviewers have praised the game in the following ways:
- It’s "an incredibly immersive and fun steel-and-horses age combat simulator."
- "This is not strictly speaking an RPG in the way that the industry thinks of RPGs. It is not strictly a strategy game. It is a not a shooter… a great sandbox game, along the lines of Pirates!"
- "This is one of the rare games where you can come up with a solution to a problem by doing what you would do in the real world, and it works!"
- "The political and economic systems in vanilla (un-modded) Mount & Blade are simple, but they work!"
- "If you enjoyed the character development and FPS elements of Elder Scrolls Oblivion, then you will like this game. If you like the strategic elements of Medieval II Total War, then you will like this game."
- "The game is completely open-ended, with no central narrative. You find yourself in a land of competing kingdoms, starting out as an independent adventurer, but as time goes on you’ll want to build up your company of companions and hirelings, and eventually to join one of the warring factions…"
- "With other open-ended games (like the Sims or Port Royale) I’ve found myself getting bored after a few days, because there wasn’t enough variety. Mount and Blade is holding up better so far, firstly because the combat is so much fun…"
Amazon reviewers have disliked it for the following reasons:
- "This game has NO plot and NO story."
- "The world essentially consists of a large country with a lot of towns and cities occupied by characters that are just there to send you on errands to other towns and cities. Nothing you do advances anything because there is nothing to advance."
- "The ‘DRM’ limits you to 2 activations [installations on a PC] per month."
- "The graphics are slightly dated, but still very well done…"
- "I didn’t come across one quest that I didn’t think was at least a little lame. Graphics are very outdated. NPC interaction is about as weak as it gets."
- "Capturing towns is fun but managing them is nothing special. And the idea of playing as a merchant? Please. Running goods from one town to another to turn a profit is no more exciting than the game’s ‘deliver this message for me’ quests."
- "The other heroes in the game are so incredibly annoying I was about to tear my hair out. If you have more than a few in your party, you can expect to be stopped constantly and forced to deal with the ridiculous bickering that occurs between them."
The game requires 512MB of RAM, a graphics card with at least 64MB of memory, and Windows 98/2000/ME/XP/Vista/7 with 700MB of free hard disk space, and an optical drive.
If you’re interested in checking out this inexpensive and good PC game, the links above will take you directly to the Amazon.com page where you can purchase it at the discounted price. You can also view screenshots and read reviews of the game there.
Total War: Shogun 2 downloadable content (DLC) has been released. The Sengoku Unit Pack adds ten new elite units for use across the different game modes. The DLC requires the base game, but adds a variety of items, including: Bulletproof Samurai unit – Date clan, Marathon Monk – Uesugi or Ikko Ikki clan, Heavy Gunner – Shimazu clan, Wako Raider – Mori clan, Mounted Gunner – Tokugawa clan, Bandit – Hattori clan, Long-Yari Ashigaru – Oda clan, Fire Cavalry – Takeda clan, Daikyu Samurai – Chosokabe clan.
The Paradox Interactive web site recently posted an announcement about their "Hottest Sale of the Summer" with 50% off what appears to be their entire current catalog, including Magicka, Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword, King Arthur: The Role-Playing Game, and more.
Paradox Interactive has released a demo and tutorial videos for their Supreme Ruler: Cold War game.
Shrapnel Games has an "eight games for eight days" sale going on. Titles available in the sale include Air Command 3.0, Brainpipe: A Plunge to Unhumanity, Bronze, Raging Tiger: The Second Korean War, Scallywag: In the Lair of the Medusa, Space HoRSE, War Plan Pacific, Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space, winSPWW2, and World Supremacy.
THQ has posted information and screenshots for their upcoming Company of Heroes Online game for the PC.
- 2K Games posted a question and answer topic on their forums for the upcoming sequel to their popular Darkness game. If you enjoyed the original game and want to have a say in what 2K does with the sequel, you may want to check this out.
- BradyGames announced that they will soon produce an official e-guide for the Captain America Super Soldier game for 360, PS3, and Wii.
- Broderbund is having a sale on several games as of this writing, including Hoyle Card Games 2011, Hoyle Casino 2011, Hoyle Puzzle and Board Games 2011, and Hoyle Slots 2011.
- HPS Simulations has released Future Force, a game designed for The Army Command and General Staff College to help train military leaders about force management and resource allocation. It’s priced at $19.95 until August 1, when it may increase.
- The intoxic8studio has posted some preview images from their upcoming CafeRama game, which has players competing for domination in a world of designer coffee, fruit juice, and pastry.
- Matrix Games reports that Gary Grigsby’s War in the East has received a major update.
- Paradox Interactive revealed its lineup for Gamescom 2011, which includes King Arthur II, Crusader Kings II, Naval War Arctic Circle, Salem, and Magna Mundi.
- Petroglyph announced that Rise of Immortals is now available for open beta testing.
- GamersFront has two specials this month: Air Assault Task Force for $33.95 and Salvo! for $33.95.
- Square Enix announced that those who pre-order Deus Ex: Human Revolution at Gamestop will have a chance to win $20,000 worth of living room "augmentations".
- 2K Games has released Duke Nukem Forever and a bunch of Duke Nukem merchandise.
- Advanced Gaming Systems has released some tutorial videos for Harpoon 3 ANW.
- CCP Games has released EVE: Online Incarna 1.0, the 14th free expansion to the game. It adds 3D avatars to the game world.
- Guild Wars 2 has added dungeons and underwater gameplay.
- Longbow Games has released Hegemony Gold as a boxed retail product.
- Matrix Games lists several new products, including Close Combat: The Longest Day, Close Combat: Last Stand Arnhem, and Close Combat: Cross of Iron. They’ve also set a release day of July 11 for Panzer Corps.
- Paradox Interactive announced that Supreme Ruler: Cold War has gone gold and that Hearts of Iron III: For the Motherland has been released. They’re also offering many of their titles on sale at solid discounts via the Steam system.
- Steam is having a Summer Sale that includes some incredible discounts on games.
- SEGA’s Virtua Tennis 4 is available via Steam now.
HPS Simulations recently released France ‘14: First World War Campaigns for Windows. France ‘14 is the first title in a new series from HPS entitled First World War Campaigns. The series attempts to cover all the major campaigns of World War I, with units going down to the battalion level. The series also seeks to demonstrate the evolution of warfare between the Napoleonic period and the Second World War by demonstrating the evolution of weapons and tactics.
France ‘14 features 33 stand alone scenarios and 6 campaigns to choose from, including The Ardennes, Mons, La Cateau, Guise, 1st Marne, 1st Aisne, 1st Arras, 1st Ypres, Sorties out of Antwerp, Assaults on Leige and Namur, and more.
The game represents all major aspects of warfare during the period, including deadly machine guns, the evolution of cavalry, the birth of aviation, the power of siege artillery, the firepower of massed artillery, field guns, and more.
It requires a 1GHz Pentium, 512MB RAM, 300MB of hard drive space, Windows 98 and up, and 32-bit color. (Windows 95 and below are not supported.)
It’s priced at $49.95 as of this writing.
Paradox Interactive and Kerberos Studios released a gameplay trailer for Sword of the Stars II: The Lords of Winter at E3 2011 on June 9, 2011.
The Lords of Winter is a sequel to Kerberos’ hit 4X science fiction strategy game Sword of the Stars. It is planned for release in autumn 2011.
Players will lead one of six playable factions, including a mysterious new race with an influence felt throughout SotS 1. Highly detailed star systems are simulated, featuring planetary orbits, moons, asteroid belts, and different space terrain. Design and build your own ships, research advanced technology, and engage in fierce multiplayer battles with up to 8 players.
Shrapnel Games announced on June 2 that they would be discounting two of their wargame titles: The Star and the Crescent and War Plan Pacific.
The Star and the Crescent features “the most detailed battlefield maps you’ll ever plan on in a commercial wargame” and very detailed combat. Reviewers have said that its AI is strong, the manual is comprehensive, and the high degree of customization makes it a gem. The game allows players to refight key battles of the Yom Kippur War using an enhanced version of the ATF engine. It also features battles from ‘56, ‘67, and January ‘73, along with two hypothetical future battles set in 2009. Normally priced at $39.95, it is currently on sale for $33.95. It is a Windows-only title.
War Plan Pacific puts players in the role of the supreme commanders of either the Japanese or Allied forces fighting for dominance of the Pacific during the Second World War. Players command the historical air, naval, and (abstractly) ground forces that fought in these battles. It is a Windows-only title. Normally priced at $39.95, it is currently on sale for $33.95.