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Review: Total War: Rome II photo
Review: Total War: Rome II
by Josh Tolentino

Picture, in your mind's eye, a testudo.

If you're up on your Roman history, you'll know that I'm referring to that ancient Roman formation in which soldiers tightly align their shields to protect themselves from every angle as they advance. Even without the immortalizing effect of Asterix comics, the testudo remains an enduring icon of Roman military power, but it also serves as an apt analogy for the state of Total War: Rome II.

Indeed, the testudo is large, densely-packed, deadly effective, glorious to behold, and in the heat of battle, seemingly unassailable. At the same time, the testudo -- and Rome II like it -- is slow to move, unwieldy, and when scrutinized closely, reveals a number of vulnerabilities and gaps in the defense.

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Dungeon builder Dwelvers has a free alpha photo
Dungeon builder Dwelvers has a free alpha
by Joshua Derocher

I am always willing to check out any game that describes itself as "a real-time strategy game inspired by the old-time classics Dungeon Keeper and The Settlers." Dwelvers is that game, and it just released a free alpha build on IndieDB.

Developer Rasmus Ljunggren shows off the game in the video above, but I really recommend that you download the alpha on PC and check it out for yourself. I can easily see myself loosing a few hours to this later, and I am looking forward to what happens with it in the future.

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Preview: Castle Story has me stacking bricks for hours photo
Preview: Castle Story has me stacking bricks for hours
by Joshua Derocher

When I first saw the adorable Castle Story at PAX East earlier this year, it immediately grabbed my attention. Its simplistic brick stacking and mining are very enjoyable and addicting, and the animations are a joy to watch.

The game is out now on Steam Early Access, and I have had a chance to dive into it some more to check out the survival and sandbox modes. There is multiplayer available in this build, but I haven't had a chance to play around with it yet since it requires you to manually connect to another user's IP at this point. It's still a little rough around the edges, but the core gameplay is good enough to have me hooked.

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6:00 AM on 08.26.2013

Alien bugs want you dead in PS4/Vita RTS Final Horizon

One of the many indie developers currently working with Sony is Eiconic Games. They're calling their RTS Final Horizon, which apparently takes cues from Space Invaders and Aliens, "the evolution of tower defense." More tower ...

Steven Hansen



XCOM: Enemy Within announced for November 12! photo
XCOM: Enemy Within announced for November 12!
by Jim Sterling

2K Games has lifted the lid on XCOM: Enemy Within, an expansion to the wildly popular Enemy Unknown. It'll be available on November 12, and aims to bring a whole host of fresh content to the original game. 

New soldier abilities allow you to research Gene Mods to augment your fighters' physical capabilities, and the Mechanized Exoskeletal Cybersuit. MECs can use flamethrowers or grenade launchers, because it is cool when mechs use those things. New weapons and equipment will also bolster your assets. 

New enemies will also rear their ugly heads, with the Mechtoid the first to be unveiled. An alien resource known as MELD, fresh tactical challenges and a whole 47 new maps are also on the cards. You'll also get more multiplayer environments, units, and powers, as well as stuff yet to be announced. 

It would appear that Enemy Within plans to do the term "expansion" justice! We'll have some hands-on impressions coming soon, and will also be checking the game out at PAX Prime. Yay substantial expansions!

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Review: Divinity: Dragon Commander photo
Review: Divinity: Dragon Commander
by Patrick Hancock

Dragons and jetpacks, Civilization and StarCraft. Mix'em all together and what do you get? Divinity: Dragon Commander.

Okay, it's a bit more complicated than that, but those are certainly the core elements at play when discussing Divinity: Dragon Commander. It's not quite a real-time strategy game as complex as StarCraft, and it's just shy of being as big-picture as Civilization. It does have jetpack-wearing dragons, however, which sort of puts things in perspective. I mean, what else really matters?

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Very quick tips for Pikmin 3 photo
Very quick tips for Pikmin 3
by Chris Carter

Miyamoto may have created Pikmin to be a "carefree experience," but that doesn't mean it lacks depth. With the addition of a particularly creative set of local multiplayer modes, Pikmin 3 has a ton of gameplay related nuances that may be lost to the void if you aren't careful.

Here are some tips to help you acclimate yourself to the wonderful, cute world of Pikmin.

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2:00 AM on 08.04.2013

Nintendo bred a new flower to market Pikmin on GameCube!?

The common refrain these days is that Nintendo doesn't know how to market the Wii U. But I know the creativity is still there, waiting to be tapped. Case in point... The latest episode of Did You Know Gaming? arrives just in...

Tony Ponce



Wargame: AirLand Battle gets some hefty, free DLC photo
Wargame: AirLand Battle gets some hefty, free DLC
by Fraser Brown

I was thoroughly impressed with Eugen Systems' Wargame: AirLand Battle; an extremely complex, realistic take on modern warfare. It's one of the most impressive RTS titles to come out in the last couple of years, and one that was full of content, with a dizzying array of units and factions. 

Yesterday, it was enhanced by a completely free chunk of DLC -- a surprisingly hefty chunk. "Vox Populi" has been designed in response to community feedback, adding a new multiplayer mode, a new campaign mode, five new maps, and 24 extra units. 

The multiplayer mode, Conquest, is a throwback to AirLand Battle's predecessor, European Escalation's mode of the same name, where victory was dependent not on the decimation of enemy forces, but on the capture of territory. The second additional mode allows players to play through the campaign cooperatively, not just in solo or versus modes. 

All in all, it's a pretty sweet deal.  

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Review: Pikmin 3 photo
Review: Pikmin 3
by Jonathan Holmes

When Nintendo saw what "realistic polygon-powered graphics" were possible on the GameCube/Xbox/PS2, their first instinct wasn't to make a game about human beings doing crimes, saving the world, or even talking to each other. It does not seem that Hollywood-style activities are in Nintendo's DNA.

Instead, they came out swinging with a game about harvesting little carrot people born to die selflessly in battle against giant cute/ugly wildlife in a lush, bustling wilderness. On the surface, there isn't much here that resembles the "realistic life experiences."

Scratch that surface and you'll see that underlying concepts of Pikmin are all too "real." Balancing concern for others vs. self-centered greed, experiencing the frailty that comes from accepting the inevitable passage of time, and facing the anxiety that comes from voyaging out on your own are the core components that make this series tick. Basically, it's adult life in videogame form -- specifically the life of a boss.

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9:30 AM on 07.31.2013

Titanfall will be playable to the public at gamescom

Electronic Arts will be at gamescom in a big way this year, and they're bringing a big lineup of games that people can get hands-on with. The most notable being Titanfall, our game of the show for E3. Fans can also play Battl...

Hamza CTZ Aziz

3:00 AM on 07.31.2013

This one guy is making a sci-fi RTS and it looks good

Meridian: New World has been in development for two years. The single-player, story-focused sci-fi strategy game slated to release next year comes courtesy of Elder Games, which is actually just one guy, Ede Tarsoly. Check a ...

Steven Hansen

3:00 AM on 07.25.2013

Hot damn: Total War's Legend of Zelda mod Hyrules

I'm not the biggest Legend of Zelda fan, I'm not the biggest Medieval II: Total War fan, but I want to play this mod. That trailer sold me. Too bad I am terrible at any strategy that isn't turn-based. The mod, downloadable h...

Steven Hansen





7:00 PM on 07.20.2013

Gearbox bringing space RTS Homeworld into the HD realm

After Gearbox purchased the Homeworld IP from THQ earlier this year, many fans of the classic space RTS suddenly had their ears perk up in excitement. At their panel in PAX Australia today, the studio announced that they are ...

Patrick Hancock

9:00 AM on 07.18.2013

Tactical shooter Breach and Clear out now on iOS

Tactical combat shooter Breach and Clear is now available on the App Store. The game will be going for $3.99, but you can grab it for $1.99 during the limited time launch promotion. As for the game, well, it's exactly what it sounds like. The game focuses on strategic planning and tactical combat as you bust down the doors of terrorists as Special Operations Forces. Looks neat!

Hamza CTZ Aziz

7:30 PM on 07.16.2013

Dragon Commander testers get uber micro in competition

For a long while now, we've seen how Divinity: Dragon Commander is mashing up real-time strategy, role-playing game elements, and directly controlled aerial combat featuring jetpack dragons. It's certainly a unique combinati...

Darren Nakamura