During E3 I was fortunate enough to have Paradox Interactive walk me through the next several months of their upcoming titles. Here is a quick run through of everything that they were kind enough to show me.
If there was any game at E3 that cause me to openly salivate while it was being shown to me it was Victoria 2. The interface seems kind of unyielding, the world map would make Risk look simple, and seemingly all of the interaction of the game is done through something that looks like a rather colorful spread sheet. All of that said, the game seems to have a level of control over individual cities that goes beyond that of even Civilization.
The entire goal of the game is to take over the world from the start of the 19th century. The only question is how the player is going to perform this daunting task. Although my time with this game was short, I could determine that it had one of the best systems ever in place to mess with your virtual populous. Denying people the right to vote for long enough will cause them to ignore all wage issues and oppress police states (among other almost human rights violations) when it is finally granted. Hardcore strategy fans can find a new depth of play with this one.
Ship Simulator Extremes:
Ship Simulator is exactly what it sounds like, an ultra realistic simulation of the world’s oceans and biggest ports. For some that might sound amazingly interesting, but the game is nothing less than Microsoft Flight Simulator for the open seas. At some point during the demo I was told that this was one of the numerous expansions to the game, but that the developers are constantly just trying to add every single motorized ship and sizeable port to the game that they can (this one will come with all of the content of the previous versions as well).
The two aspects that where highlighted during the demo were the extreme environments and new mission structures. The mission structure places the player in the shoes of famous historical events. At the end, the player is rewarded with a short video interview with the actual captain that completed the real life story it is based on. The extreme environments, like the arctic, are additions to try and capture every single place that someone could sail a ship too.
Lionheart: Kings Crusade:
The moment that the demo for this game started I instantly thought of the Total War series. The longer the game ran, the more I started to wonder why the Total War games hadn’t done some of this stuff sooner.
Each unit in the game can be upgraded the more that they are used; footman can eventually become invaluable heavily armored troops for example, and will continue to become more and more powerful the longer that they are used in battle. The downside to this is that if that unit is completely destroyed, say after dozens of hours of play sunk into it, it is gone forever. So late in the game, battle tactics can change from what is an easy win, to what keeps that one favorite unit alive.
Sprinkled into the mix are a couple of factions that the player is expected to keep happy during the course of the game as well. Each of these has different rewards that they will present the player if they take over certain territories, or do so a certain way. Just another added depth to throw into the mix.
Commander : Conquest of the Americas:
I already mentioned this game in our E3 Games That Need More Coverage article, but it doesn’t hurt to bring it up again.
Conquest of the Americas, from the base level, looks like Civilization: Colonization. Ships sailing around the outline of the coast of the Americas, worrying about what the people back in the old country are thinking about your choices, and building successful cities; that is where the similarities end. Based on the distribution of natural resources and ideal harbors, the game forces the player to transport goods between their own colonies to progress the complexity of the item they are making such as animal skins turning into clothing to earn a hirer price when exported back to the homelands.
The meat of the game seems to be in the navel combat. Other countries can eventually get annoyed at prosperity, or even just because they don’t like you, and will force the player to defend against attacks on the open ocean. The level of detail looks rather impressive on the oceans: cannonballs seem to take a realistic course, and the placement of each shot matters (a well placed shot that takes out an enemy’s mast will disable them). There will also be a few different online multiplayer modes.
Check out more of our E3 2010 coverage HERE.