Category Archives: PC Games

The Lantern Bearer: revisiting Crusader Kings II

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Crusader Kings II

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Crusader Kings II I thought I’d cracked it. Over and over again, I attempted one of the greatest challenges in Crusader Kings II – play a Zoroastrian and restore the … Continue reading

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Observations on Xenonauts

Xenonauts is a generally inspired homage to the Gollop Brothers’ X-COM, let down by repetitive ground combat. After six or seven hours back in September, I loaded up Firaxis’ XCOM: Enemy Within… and since then, I’ve haven’t looked back. Comparing … Continue reading

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Now THIS is how you make a memorable faction: Endless Legend’s Vaulters

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Endless Legend

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Endless LegendIn several ways, Endless Legend feels like the game Civilization: Beyond Earth wanted to be. The two games share several design choices, such as non-linear tech trees and a … Continue reading

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Crusader Kings II: Snowballing on the Steppes

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Crusader Kings II

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Crusader Kings IIAfter many attempts to restore the Persian empire in Crusader Kings 2, I have learned two things. First, playing a Zoroastrian is hard. The first three times, I … Continue reading

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Sherlock Holmes vs the Cat-Hair Moustache

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments is an adventure game that doesn’t feel like other adventure games. Typically, adventure games give the player several tasks: exploring the environment, gathering items, talking to NPCs, and solving puzzles. The challenge comes from the … Continue reading

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Civilization: Beyond Earth first impressions

This entry is part of 1 in the series Civilization: Beyond Earth

This entry is part of 1 in the series Civilization: Beyond Earth I’ve just won my first game of Civilization: Beyond Earth1, and I have to say, I’m a little disappointed. The problem is not that this is “Civilization V … Continue reading

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Offworld Trading Company interview with Soren Johnson

Offworld Trading Company is an upcoming RTS where, to quote developer Mohawk Games, “money, not firepower, is the player’s weapon”. Its stated inspirations include board games, Railroad Tycoon, and conventional real-time strategy. Below, I am very pleased to present an … Continue reading

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Ayutthaya Universalis: Building an Empire in Southeast Asia

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Europa Universalis IV

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Europa Universalis IVThe Kingdom of Ayutthaya was the major power in Southeast Asia in the 14th and 15th centuries. Based in the capital of Ayutthaya on the Chao Phraya River, … Continue reading

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CA announces Total War: Attila (updated to add video)

Creative Assembly has announced Total War: Attila, a sequel in all but name to 2005’s Rome: Barbarian Invasion.  Eurogamer, IGN, and USGamer (amongst others) have previews up. (Update: I have added a gameplay video above – skip to 4:12. Hat … Continue reading

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The Beginner’s Guide to Wargame

This entry is part 12 of 12 in the series Wargame: European Escalation/AirLand Battle/Red Dragon

This entry is part 12 of 12 in the series Wargame: European Escalation/AirLand Battle/Red DragonWargame is one of my favourite RTS series. It can also be daunting — I know several readers have picked it up on sale, only to … Continue reading

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Transistor: concluding thoughts

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Transistor

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series TransistorTransistor is a clever game, let down by its ending.   At first, Transistor resembles a reflex-driven action-RPG, with the emphasis on “action” (a la Bastion). Within minutes, the combat … Continue reading

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Transistor: 33% off on Steam for one more day

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Transistor

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series TransistorVery quick heads-up; Transistor, the latest game from the studio behind Bastion, is 33% off on Steam ($13.39, down from $20) for another 30 hours. I started Transistor tonight and … Continue reading

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Valiant Hearts: concluding thoughts

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Valiant Hearts

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Valiant HeartsValiant Hearts wants to tell the truth about war. To do so, it uses puzzles, humour, and a goofy villain. That is the language of adventure games, but it … Continue reading

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Valiant Hearts: half full

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Valiant Hearts

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Valiant Hearts I’m halfway through Valiant Hearts: The Great War, Ubisoft Montpellier’s adventure game set during World War 1.  Billed as a “story of crossed destinies and a broken love … Continue reading

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Warlock 2 and the 4X

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Warlock

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series WarlockA few years ago, I linked to an alternate genre classification system for games, as proposed by Russ Pitts and Steve Butts in The Escapist magazine. I paraphrased their system … Continue reading

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From the archives: A game that could have been: Emperor of the Fading Suns

Emperor of the Fading Suns was a mid-1990s PC strategy game from the days before the space 4X genre calcified into Master of Orion 2 wannabes. It was ambitious, sprawling, buggy, flawed — yet I remember it fondly. In 2011, … Continue reading

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From the archives: Conquest, Plunder and Tyranny: Explaining Dubious Morality in Strategy Games

I originally wrote this post around the time Civilization V came out, and it’s interesting to look back in light of subsequent releases such as Crusader Kings 2 and Europa Universalis IV. One of my arguments was that 4X games … Continue reading

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From the archives: Storytelling in Star Control II: Playing space detective

Star Control 2 is a classic of the early 1990s, with a great sense of humour, robust gameplay, and unique, non-linear story progression — the player had to gather clues and do his or her own footwork in order to … Continue reading

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Warlock 2: Mage Versus World

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Warlock

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Warlock   My first scout killed some cockroaches and some wolves, then was mauled by a giant bear. My second scout found some demonic trees and was turned into fertilizer … Continue reading

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If your Wargame ain’t broke…

This entry is part 11 of 12 in the series Wargame: European Escalation/AirLand Battle/Red Dragon

This entry is part 11 of 12 in the series Wargame: European Escalation/AirLand Battle/Red Dragon The US Marines came ashore to find their enemy in disarray.   Before the first marine set foot on land, their escorting frigate swept the … Continue reading

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Firaxis announces Civilization: Beyond Earth

This deserves a post of its own: Firaxis has announced Civilization: Beyond Earth, a spiritual successor in all but name to Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri. PC Gamer has run a detailed interview with the developers, while beneath the cut, I’ve … Continue reading

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Age of Wonders III: Slog and counter-slog

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Age of Wonders III

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Age of Wonders IIIWhile I like a number of things about Age of Wonders III, one problem holds it back – pacing. Like this:Like Loading…

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Age of Wonders III: Synergies

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Age of Wonders III

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Age of Wonders IIINow that I’ve spent a little more time with Age of Wonders 3 – I think I’m near the end of my third campaign map – I … Continue reading

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Age of Wonders III Preview

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Age of Wonders III

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Age of Wonders III  This is it, the biggest battle of this map so far. On my side, four towering giants – amongst the most powerful units in the game … Continue reading

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Hearts of Iron IV Q&A, with Dan Lind

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Hearts of Iron

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Hearts of IronI am a long-time fan of Hearts of Iron, a grand strategy series in which players control all aspects of a World War II nation, from armies and … Continue reading

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The Banner Saga: Concluding thoughts

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series The Banner Saga

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series The Banner SagaAfter finishing The Banner Saga, I thought I’d expand on the conclusions I reached last week. I’m still happy with the game and its tactical battles, which become … Continue reading

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The Banner Saga: Turn-based tactics with a twist

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series The Banner Saga

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series The Banner Saga“The gods are dead.”   So opens Stoic Studio’s The Banner Saga, a low-fantasy tactical RPG with a cool and unique combat system. It’s so different as to … Continue reading

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Paradox’s Latest Games

Paradox has announced two new games and two new expansions, all of which will come from Paradox Development Studio, its first-party arm. The games are Hearts of Iron IV and a new IP — Runemaster, an RPG set in a … Continue reading

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Announcing Tataraba: A Princess Mononoke Mod for Dominions 4

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Dominions 4

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Dominions 4I am very pleased to unveil a project I’ve worked on for some time — a Dominions 4 mod inspired by the classic anime movie Princess Mononoke! The mod … Continue reading

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Pandora’s Toy Box: Observations on Dominions 4

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Dominions 4

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Dominions 4Spring, Year 4 of the Ascension Wars. The rival empires of Jomon, T’ien Ch’i, and Pythium have soaked their borderlands in blood; the prize, the Thrones of Ascension that … Continue reading

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