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Ancient Relics is the latest Story Pack for the space strategy game, Stellaris. Now, a lot of folks hear story pack and think something that is mighty high in fluff but low in crunch. Many times they’d be correct, and honestly, there isn’t a blessed thing wrong with high fluff content. But in this particular case, they would be very wrong. Like, “finding a sample of the Javorian Pox” wrong.
Every game of Imperator: Rome may have you winning or suffering defeat in the Punic wars as the titular Rome. But how many of those games did you have your rival, the leader of Carthage, tossed into an arena, and forced him to duel his son to the death? Of course, when he won, you granted him full rights of a citizen and brought his surviving family members into the fold, and a generation later, they were your most staunch supporters.
I’ll tell ya kids, the list of new features that Holy Fury promises to bring in is so extensive that it would be several paragraphs all unto itself. We’ll cover the highlights section by section, but rest assured that the claims that it has a little something for everyone are true. With previous DLC there was a clear focus, and while one would say that the big ol’ Crusade shield would be the main meat of this outing, they would be wrong. This is so jam-packed with stuff that every style of play barely escapes unaffected. So, raise your levies, and lets march on through this prepared invasion of content. (Ugh, ok, arrest me, banish me, and seize my lands, that was terrible.)
The ability to lay waste to complete strangers or engage with friends in private will be a boon to the game. I really think that this game will shine in the multiplayer aspect, and if you are a fan of this universe, this board game (or board games in general) and don’t give a single flying fig about the single-player campaign, or playing against AI, then pick it up. You’ll like it.
And so it was in the middle of one of the hottest summers to record, that the Old Man felt a chill down his back. It gripped him, cracked his skin, and caused him to slump over his post for hours. His hands were shaking, his eyes bleary, he knew that the Beast of Winter had come for him. And he knew not how this would end.
Let’s imagine you have a stick. A stick from space. You’d be hard-pressed to take that stick and shake it at all the new anomalies that are added with distant stars. With the reworks of the Niven update in hunting and interacting with anomalies, I found that the cusp of the endgame was knocking on our door before we knew it. Among those exciting things lurking around to explore an analyze there is the L-Gate. A mysterious network of gates that apparently lead to a cluster of stars outside the known galaxy, sealed away for whatever reason. Ominous or profitable? While the Chairperson of the Compact of Shor ul Khal was absolutely confident that they would be rewarded for their curiosity, Old Man Mordaith was a bit skeptical and figured his first Distant Stars game was going to crash and burn in a flurry of space tears and megabucks.
Anyone familiar with my reviews knows my greatest fear for some sequels is messing up a perfectly fine system just because they can. Innovation for its own sake is not only dumb, but it’s also dangerous. It can be a series murderer. However, I am happy to report that Deadfire doesn’t fall prey to that scenario. It leans hard on its old mechanics, the CRPG roots that made it great and refines qualms about the previous iteration of the game.
Mechwarriors and the Battlemechs are separate beasts. You can swap them around, one can get messed up pretty bad and the other survive an engagement without a scratch. You need to watch everything. Facing, elevation, turn order, sensor range, and way more information that I could elegantly lay out in this review. Rest assured it is a tactical players dream come true.
After playing my review copy of the game for an hour, I sat back with a sour expression on my face. “What the hell is this?” I wondered. Is this what I was excited for? I was mostly confused because whatever the expectations I had built up about the game, and I couldn’t remember them, there was a nagging feeling deep inside telling me something wasn’t right.
Based out of Bulgaria, Haemimont Games has made the last three Tropico outings, Omerta – City of Gangsters, and 2015’s Victor Vran. Their experience with city builders in a dangerous setting – as with Tropico – show in this speculative colonization game. While the dangers are less political and more dust tornado shaped in Surviving Mars, one danger stood above the rest. Like a lab-created black hole completely out of control, I was sucked in. Hours of my stream seemed to vanish before my eyes as I struggled convincing colonists not to abandon me to the strange red landscape, with only peppy radio host to keep me company.
Well, gimmicky? Yeah, a bit. Needless? Oh no. Very needed. We aren’t going into all the details of the new games and challenges as part of the fun of the game is uncovering them. (And of course, in true Game Master fashion, listening to our NPC narrator gloat about his creations.) Everything is introduced gradually and, with the deck building aspects, you do have a hand in determining the types of challenges you will face.
Get your controller out for this one, folks. It says recommended – I would check that in as mandatory. Take a breath, ease up on the button mashing, and follow the Old Man in our look at Immortal Planet. Currently available on Steam for the very reasonable price of 14.99 USD.
You kids may know by now, this ol’ salt really likes his space games. Strategy to cockpit – it doesn’t matter, done well space is a subject that always inspires wonder. As such, I tend to go easy on games that at least try, and get angry at games that promise the moon, but roll up a cheese slice and say it’s the same thing. (You know… cause the moon is made of cheese? Do people still say that? Forget it – I’m off topic) With that in mind, Everspace is decent game. But I can’t fathom how people are calling it a rogue-like.
This game really wants to take you back. So much so, that it seems new characters will even just start out in Morrowind if they skip the intro story. Fresh off a boat in Seyda Neen, you go through a lot of the motions of the original game. There are many shout-outs, call-backs, and Easter eggs for those familiar with the first Morrowind – so many, in fact, that you’ll nearly choke on them all. And that’s okay, really. It’s what we wanted.
The Surge is an action based sci-fi that follows the story of Warren, a protagonist who dreams of being able to walk again by signing up to work for the suspiciously altruistic company CREO. After a rather upsetting process, Warren awakens being hauled to an uncertain fate by a robot that really thinks he is garbage. Fortunately, his newly acquired exoskeleton rig has given him the ability to walk again, and as he stumbles through his first steps, we too join him in stumbling through the game.
It has been a long time since I really felt empathy for a protagonist like I have for Kay. The reluctant head of his household, Kay inherits a crumbled ruin of an old great kingdom. He really has reservations about it, and at first flat out refuses – not in a typical whiny petulant way, but in the realistic way an ill-prepared person would react to having a great amount of responsibility thrust on them. Unfortunately, circumstances crop up forcing him to take over the kingdom, regardless of his own desires, and Kay, his two sisters, and his loyal bodyguard are forced to stick around and rebuild.