Tag Archives: Strategy Games 2015

Sorcerer King Steam Early Access Hands-On Preview

RealGamerNewz - Sorcerer King Beta 5 Stem Early Access

Now that the fifth Beta phase has been issued for Sorcerer King it’s high time RealGamerNewz drops our thoughts and feelings on the direction the title has been heading in thus far, the development studio’s vision for those who don’t know yet, and a general impression on how that vision is actually being delivered. Most importantly, whether or not this game is even fun. But first things first, there’s a few things you may not know about me which I’d like to disclose immediately.

A quick internet search will show you that I’ve had my hands on two of Stardock’s other games in this genre (4X Turn-Based Strategy), namely Fallen Enchantress and Elemental: War of Magic. My experiences were not pleasant and the Reviews I provided reflect that loud and clear while still giving readers an idea of their redeeming qualities. The first one, Elemental, even came with a full length book. This prompted me to attempt and bring Brad Wardell onto a Podcast of the publication I was contributing for when I made the Review. Ever the busy guy, Brad apparently never got a chance to respond. Looking back I sincerely wish that I had tried harder, since now a ton of controversy has rained down on the industry and I feel it’s all tainted the developer to press relationship quite a bit, while at the same time causing far more open transparency (albeit through callous methods). That is neither here nor there for the purpose of this Preview though, but suffice to say I found it odd when Fallen Enchantress was released and had almost everything wrong with it that Elemental did (despite clear attempts from the dev team not to) yet the press gave glowing Reviews with high scores. I might have been a bit too harsh on it, but I lambasted it for being a re-hash and even felt that Wardell himself just didn’t know when to give up on a concept after I had played it.

So with all of this personal history / bias in mind, on walks Sorcerer King to my doorstep. Is it different enough? Is it good enough? Or is Stardock Entertainment just really good at PR and Marketing now? I dug in hoping to find out… Giving every game a clean slate to be judged on regardless of who made it or the past iterations is a concept I take seriously a member of the gaming media. Forgive, but don’t forget might not be an accurate way of describing this – but let’s just say that doesn’t mean I won’t notice repeating trends nor ignore them. With that all in mind I’m thankful to be able to say that Sorcerer King is a lot better than the previous two games I have mentioned, while still stubbornly carrying out their legacy. Before I deliver some of how I feel the game has improved, I would like to speak about the developers’ vision for this game and the genre overall for those who might be reading and wondering what they’ve gotten themselves into with this abnormally upfront Preview.

RealGamerNewz - Sorcerer King Beta 5 Stem Early Access Gameplay

After watching many developer streams I’ve come to understand what the team is going for this time around. A more approachable game that gets things right the first time rather than asking the player to bend over backwards to understand it. As for my own personal thoughts, I am pleased with what has become of this turn-based strategy series. Sorcerer King is distinguished and very different from its predecessors in many ways. Most immediately recognizable is the fact that the game is simply much easier to learn, more clear and obvious in its functionality, and most importantly – it’s more fun. Even without cutscenes players will be able to grasp the story being told here. While a few very advanced strategists can point out features and details that need re-tooling, the game is finally complete in that any player of the Strategy genre will be able to approach it without prior knowledge of the series.

Stardock Entertainment has truly produced something worthwhile with Sorcerer King. Although some polish on balance can be expected before the final release, it feels almost finished already, which makes me feel confident in this evaluation. Normally for Previews we like to stick with being informative versus evaluative, but given the history of the franchise and the high price point of entry for users it felt necessary to be judgmental. Now let’s talk about the actual details of how Sorcerer King games play out mechanically speaking.

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– Build outposts to expand your territory, claim resources as your own in order to defend the world against prime evil

– Train units to expand your armies, stack them and bring dozens into each battle

– Upgrade your city with buildings that unlock a more advanced civilization, and enhance your army (among many other things)

– Gain spells, champion attributes, resource modifiers, and much more as your units and structures level up

– Craft potions, weapons, equip individual units with everything they need, auto resolve battles, or fight them out manually in strategy RPG grid style fights (some battles cannot be skipped)

– Come across interesting and varying random encounters with your choices impacting what happens in the immediate moment as well as eventual future such as robbing people, recruiting people, saving people from monsters, doing deals with neutral parties within kingdoms you wish to sway back to your side and away from the sorcerer king, and much more

All the while the Sorcerer King himself will continue to visit you and try to tempt you to join his side or at least accept his aid. It seems like a terrible idea and it’s probably better to maintain your honor in this quest since the world is depending on you as the last kingdom around. Engine performance issues are less than expected given the instability of the previous two games in the series, but there are still hiccups in frame rate and loading which is a shame. Of course, that could easily be a symptom of the game not being done yet, as it is still in Early Access, and I have not experienced anything game-breaking nor trudging along levels of slowdown.

Sorcerer King RealGamerNewz Early Access Preview

There is so much to say about this game and much of it is good. It’s very deep and diverse gameplay, lore, and beautiful presentation make it a must have title for strategy fans of any caliber. Finally it is possible to really understand what you are doing and function in the game without being a completely obsessed person scouring every detail. But this isn’t what everybody in the existing fan-base had wanted.

Some features have been “dumbed down” or removed entirely for the favor of making this game a better title for the overall gaming public. I want to personally thank Stardock Entertainment for making that difficult decision and executing it gracefully (most of what is lacking is actually in the game in some form, telling me that the dev team tried their hardest to avoid leaving things out) and while normally I’m against this practice in games, it made sense for this one. The games that came before it were simply not that good in my humble opinion and though I sympathize with strategy fans who meticulously frothed at the mouth over tiny details and statistical charts they were influencing, Sorcerer King is simply a better, more complete package.

Perhaps since the game is still in Early Access Stardock still has time to add back in some of the pieces that players are missing. But as it stands, this game is an amazing accomplishment bridging the gap between good design, responsible scope of core systems, and ridiculously ambitious scale. I look forward to possibly giving more Early Access Impressions, and definitely performing a Full Review upon release, though it will probably be around four thousand words or more because there is so much to cover in Sorcerer King. If you love the Strategy genre, buy this now.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20150317 and was last modified on 20150317 .

Sid Meier’s Starships Gets New Developer Diary

Sid Meier Starships RealGamerNewz 2K Games Firaxis

When it rains it pours. A ridiculous amount of Space / Strategy style games have been flooding the market, and while we’re certainly grateful for that genre revival which was so desperately needed – this is starting to be overwhelming. Firaxis and 2K Games have brought Sid Meier’s Starships out a couple of days ago with a turn-based gameplay style. The title will come out for Windows PC but there are also Mac OS X and iOS versions for those of the Apple army breed of gamer.

Some mechanics from the well known Civilization series appear to have influenced the game, but there are plenty of differences here. Players build fleets of starships which then take part in combat missions while using battle cards mid-game to boost abilities, influence entire worlds to join their federation, building research labs across the galaxy, and can win matches in various ways such as by achieving a large population / scientific stronghold or of course just killing every ship your opponent possesses.

There is currently a bit of drama associated with this title as it has launched with potential frame rate issues and may have failed to reach the higher resolution graphics which PC Gamers often enjoy. That being said, the gameplay design and experience looks very intriguing and we will reserve judgement until its actually in our hands.

Official 1080P Dev Diary Videocast:

 

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20150313 and was last modified on 20150321 .

Space Colony: Steam Edition Announced w/ Steam Workshop Support + Trailer [HD 1080P]

Space Colony Steam Edition Q2 2015 RealGamerNewZ

With the revival of the Real Time Strategy genre in full swing thanks to titles like Homeworld Remastered and Grey Goo, a new challenger enters the ring (err… also known as the huge worldwide marketplace of Steam). Space Colony is a game that’s already been receiving praise from the press (because we all know how reliable they are right?) and is now making itself known to the world of dedicated Steam gamers out there. Firefly Studios contacted RealGamerNewz today to show us this trailer and let us know that there will be Steam Workshop support, level editor, Steam Cloud saves, Steam Achievements, and Steam Trading Cards among the enhanced features to expect.

Graphical fidelity of the game has even been improved over the original release. The original game touched down in 2012 on GOG and a few other places, so this isn’t exactly digging out a super old game, but the Creative Director for this development studio is quoted as saying the new graphics allow players to “view their entire colony while playing on a single screen.” which certainly gives the impression that bases are going to get pretty huge in this title. The final build is expected some time in Q2 2015 and Firefly Studios is excited as hell to be self-publishing on Steam since it gives them, as they put it so accurately, “total control.” and even going as far as to say “That’s a daunting prospect but without Steam’s help, empowering developers like Firefly, this new release wouldn’t be happening.”

Official 1080P Trailer:

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20150312 and was last modified on 20150312 .

Homeworld Remastered Collection – Making of Episode Three [HD 1080P]

Homeworld Remastered Collection - Behind The Scenes - Dev Diary

Making of Episode Three of Homeworld Remastered Collection.

Genre(s): Real-Time Strategy
Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Gearbox Software
Developer(s): Gearbox Software
Release Date (NA): February 25th, 2015

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Louis Thompson on 20150228 and was last modified on 20150321 .