New Stellaris story pack to add proper machine empires

“Cast off the shackles of biology”, says the announcement. The second story pack for [Stellaris] [Review][Official Site], the 4X-meets-Grand Strategy game by Paradox Interactive, has no set release date yet, but an announcement page and trailer reveal that the Synthetic Dawn story pack, released later this year, will allow players to begin the game as a Machine Empire. Continue reading “New Stellaris story pack to add proper machine empires”

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Review: Rights of Man (Europa Universalis IV DLC)

Note: a DLC for Europa Universalis IV entails dozens of changes and additions. This review intends to cover them in broad strokes and assess how it changes the game, not the particularities of this or that (for that, check the patch notes linked ahead).

Rights of Man is the ninth expansion for Europa Universalis IV, and is perhaps its largest piece of downloadable content since Art of War. It is also Paradox’s boldest attempt at making the game less centered around Europe and more open to historical changes and different scenarios, ones where East Asia might eventually consolidate a technological advantage over Western Europe. I’ve played a few centuries and have some musings on the expansion, which you can read below. Continue reading “Review: Rights of Man (Europa Universalis IV DLC)”

Review: The Reaper’s Due (Crusader Kings 2 DLC)

Note: a DLC for Crusader Kings 2 entails dozens of changes and additions. This review intends to cover them in broad strokes and assess how it changes the game, not the particularities of this or that (for that, check the patch notes linked ahead).

The middle ages were a grim time: the Scandinavians still hadn’t grasped what property exactly meant, a single family, instead of a couple of dozen, ruled most of the continent, and Christians liked to come knocking at non-believers’ doors in a way that would make Mormons swell with pride. There were also diseases and plagues, all of this in an era where a cold could be fatal, in no small part because your court physician thinks infections are solved with goat flatulence (thanks, Einar). The latest DLC for Crusader Kings 2 is now out, and while you can check the objective patch notes here (mandatory what they actually mean), I’ve played it a decent bit and written up what I thought below. Continue reading “Review: The Reaper’s Due (Crusader Kings 2 DLC)”

Stellaris’ new Plantoid species pack sprouts onto Steam

In the style we’ve come to expect of Paradox, given how deep-rooted DLC is in their other Grand Strategy games, comes their latest content pack, the Plantoid species pack for Stellaris [Review], a cosmetic add-on that features fifteen new species portraits and accompanying city art and ship templates. The practice is similar to that in Crusader Kings 2 and Europa Universalis IV, where cosmetic packs abound, though until the start of this year I hadn’t botany. Continue reading “Stellaris’ new Plantoid species pack sprouts onto Steam”

Are you ready to give The Reaper’s Due in Crusader Kings’ new expansion?

With the great plague as one of the driving reasons why we even have a game called Crusader Kings and another one called Europa Universalis, it’s hard not to see its importance for the middle ages. How will your kingdom fare against one of the driving factors behind the crisis of the Late Middle Ages? Continue reading “Are you ready to give The Reaper’s Due in Crusader Kings’ new expansion?”

A short guide to what Europa Universalis IV DLC to buy

We’ve all been there – limited funds (or desire to spend them) and the daunting task of having to single out a couple of DLC packages from the myriad of additional content in a Paradox game. With two new major DLCs a year and several cosmetic packs accompanying them, it’s easy to get lost: I’m here to help and tell you which are essential, which depend on what you want to play as and which you might want to wait for a sale. Continue reading “A short guide to what Europa Universalis IV DLC to buy”

Review: Hearts of Iron IV

Hearts of Iron is a game about the inevitable. The tides of war are coming, and all you can do is best guide your nation – be it to partake in the conflict, or to try and stay out of it. Paradox has tried, and for the most part succeeded, with its policy of cutting out the fat and leaving only the interesting in the game, and even when I played the behemoth that the USSR was I never had to bother with the minute details of economy and production, and when the war came and I had to fend against Germans and Japanese on fronts that were continents apart, I found myself with a system that both allowed me to control it in detail or delegate the tactical decisions to the AI. Continue reading “Review: Hearts of Iron IV”