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Real Time Strategy

Steam photo
Steam

Dawn of War II is no longer tied to Games for Windows Live


Multiplayer now handled by Relic servers
Sep 05
// Jordan Devore
Relic has migrated the excellent Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II and its Chaos Rising expansion away from Games for Windows Live, just as the studio said it would. Unfortunately, not everything made it over to Steamworks, in...
Spacecom beta photo
Beta period lasts until September 11
Mr Destructoid has gotten his greedy little hands on some codes for the Spacecom beta, and he's decided to hand them out to the Dtoid community! (This is actually quite generous of our robot overlord. He normally eats things ...

Ancient Space photo
Ancient Space

Ancient Space is a new space RTS from Paradox Interactive


Dwight Schultz is in it! Murdock from the A-team!!
Aug 21
// Alasdair Duncan
If you're anxiously waiting for that Homeworld HD remake to arrive, we can console ourselves with another nice-looking space-based RTS game in Ancient Space which will dock with us later in the autumn for PC and Mac. Develop...
Conflicks photo
Conflicks

Conflicks has a great alternate history setup with anachronistic space colonialism


Not what happens when you heat an egg yolk, but just go with it
Jul 23
// Darren Nakamura
Did you know that Leonardo da Vinci discovered MetaMatter? Well, not in real life, but in the universe of Conflicks he did. It turns out all it takes is to separate a chicken egg's yolk from its albumen, and to heat up the y...
EarthBound photo
EarthBound

EarthBound localization dev chats about the old days on his new Kickstarter


Art changes, daughter cameos, and big tanks
Jul 20
// Jonathan Holmes
Marcus Lindblom is a heck of a guy. Every time you think he's let loose everything there is to tell about taking Shigesato Itoi's Mother 2 and transforming it into EarthBound, he pulls out some new stories to shares. Right no...
AirMech photo
AirMech

AirMech Arena starts its Xbox 360 beta next week


Closed beta kicks off July 23
Jul 16
// Jordan Devore
Oh, that's right -- Ubisoft and Carbon Games are bringing AirMech to Xbox 360 this year with AirMech Arena. The original browser-based release (which has since come to Steam) was good fun. It's real-time strategy, but instead...
Z photo
Z

'90s real-time strategy game Z comes to Steam tomorrow


Remember The Bitmap Brothers?
Jul 03
// Jordan Devore
Some people have fond memories of The Bitmap Brothers' real-time strategy game Z. I do not. Never played it! It's returning to PC with "a faithful and thoroughly modern reworking" on Steam, set for release tomorrow. Sounds a ...

Fable Legends combines Left 4 Dead with Dungeons and Dragons

Jun 10 // Darren Nakamura
On display was the adversarial multiplayer mode, in which four players control the heroes and one player controls the villain. Playing as a hero is most familiar to Fable fans; each hero has a normal attack, as well as a handful of special abilities. Inga is the tank of the group, lugging around an enormous shield. With her special abilities, she can pull enemies close to her, taunt them so they attack her instead of her allies, and put up a shield wall to block ranged attacks. Sterling is more of a glass cannon, with the ability to quickly slice and stab monsters, but limited defense. With his special abilities, he can slap monsters to stun them, close a lot of distance quickly, or attack at range with throwing daggers. Rook is the ranged attacker, equipped with a crossbow. With his special abilities, he can punch enemies who get too close, fire explosive bolts from his bow, or save himself from being knocked out. Winter acts as a support spellcaster, with freezing magic to slow monsters. With her special abilities, she can summon a large area-of-effect storm attack, shatter frozen enemies, or protect allies by covering them with a coat of ice. I played as Sterling, and his abilities have their own unique economy to them. By landing normal melee attacks or thrown dagger hits, he builds up Sterling Tokens. Sterling can then perform a heavy attack that gets stronger the more tokens he has. His special abilities are also tied to Sterling Tokens, which keeps him from being able to spam them. As with Left 4 Dead, the heroes must stick together and cooperate in order to stand a chance. If heroes are separated, their outlines are visible through walls in order to facilitate regrouping Downed heroes can be revived, but the process takes long enough that it only works if the villain has no monsters or traps nearby or if he is not paying attention. What separates Fable Legends from more standard cooperative games is that another player can take on the role of the villain. In contrast to the heroes, the villain player gets a bird's-eye view of the battlefield. He has at his disposal several groups of monsters and a few traps to spring. Before an encounter, he chooses placement for his units, so they will not necessarily show up in the same spots from game to game. For the villain player, it looks more like a real-time strategy game than a role-playing game. From the zoomed out perspective, he commands units and sets off traps. Among his traps are explosive mines, smoke bombs, and spike walls. The spike walls are particularly interesting, because they can be used to separate heroes who venture too far ahead or fall too far behind the group, letting monsters gang up. At the demonstration, most groups of heroes were getting beaten pretty badly. After fighting through waves of monsters, an ogre appeared as the boss for the encounter. Though our group had done fairly well up until that point, we were ambushed from behind by a group of goblins, and were all quickly knocked out. Balance can be tough in asymmetric multiplayer games, and it is not clear if the consistent hero failure was a matter of balance or if it was simply a lack of teamwork as we worked through the mission. If it ends up feeling fair for either side, Fable Legends looks like it could provide some interesting multiplayer gaming.
Fable Legends photo
Chicken chasers unconfirmed
For better or worse, Fable is one of the staple series for Xbox consoles. Since its beginning as a relatively simple action-RPG, it has seen some entries go off in various directions. Fable Legends is another game that takes ...

Company of Heroes 2 photo
Company of Heroes 2

Watch the US Forces in action in Company of Heroes 2 DLC


The Western Front Armies pack will contain US and German forces
Jun 02
// Alasdair Duncan
It's been almost a year since the release of Company of Heroes 2 and now we've got a trailer for the first DLC content for Relic's WWII RTS title. There are two new factions included, the US Forces (which you can see in the ...
Steam photo
Steam

Rise of Nations: Extended Edition pops up on Steam


Better visuals, Steamworks support, and Twitch streaming
May 30
// Jordan Devore
38 Studios sold a bunch of assets at auction back in November, including the rights to Big Huge Games' real-time strategy title Rise of Nations. It's back! An extended edition, including the Thrones and Patriots expansion, ha...

Gateway drug: Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies

May 29 // Dale North
[embed]275437:54080:0[/embed] I played as American forces, jumping into an already established battle where I only had to take a few bases to finish it off. But that never came together for me. I'll blame the ultra-realistic setting and sound for my failures -- they're intense!  I struggled with advancing through dense woodlands. Even with taking care to use COH2's cover system and slowly pushing back the fog of war, I kept walking into trouble, finding myself surrounded by squads in hiding. Worse were the tanks, taking my groups out before they knew what was happening to them.  Long story short, I regrouped many times and did my best to try to rally, but I eventually exhausted my resources and was utterly defeated. My situation was so desperate that even Relic staff were watching on and offering advice to try to help me out of a string of bad situations.  I love that there's a game feature that lets you continue on after you've lost in a sort of just-for-fun second chance. But even getting back in through this feature didn't help -- I died again, this time for good.  I'll get them next time, Gadget. For $20, why not? The two new collections of content include their own eight maps, new weapons, vehicles, and options, and all of the maps of the original game are also fully available. Again, this is a very easy way to get into the popular RTS. Even if you don't have friends that play COH2, you can be insta-paired with other players to make new ones. 
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Coming June 24
Standalone multiplayer release for Company of Heroes 2, The Western Front Armies, can serve as a gateway, bringing players over to the full Company of Heroes 2 experience. Its pricing is low enough ($12.99 for one army, or $1...

Early Access photo
Early Access

Play Planetary Annihilation alone in new Galactic War mode


Seems like a good time to get in on the action
May 24
// Jordan Devore
This week, Uber Entertainment added single-player to its in-development real-time strategy game Planetary Annihilation, which was Kickstarted in 2012 and has been doing its thing as an early-access release for a while now. Go...
Grey Goo photo
Grey Goo

Make like the Goo and absorb these Grey Goo screens


Seriously, they'll eat anything
May 21
// Brett Makedonski
One of the major aspects of Grey Goo that's likely to set it apart from other real-time strategy games is the inclusion of the titular Goo -- a race of nanites that can form into and break off from an amorphous blob. Whe...
Company of Heroes photo
Company of Heroes

Company of Heroes 2 multiplayer goes standalone with The Western Front Armies


Two factions and eight maps for $19.99
May 08
// Jordan Devore
If I were going to get into Company of Heroes 2 at this point, I'd likely just wait for a Steam sale, but options are appreciated. On June 24, Relic Entertainment will launch a standalone multiplayer release for its World Wa...
AirMech Arena photo
AirMech Arena

Ubisoft to publish AirMech Arena on Xbox 360


Free-to-play robot warfare
Apr 07
// Conrad Zimmerman
AirMech, the action-oriented real-time strategy franchise from Carbon Games, will be arriving on Xbox 360 this summer. Published by Ubisoft, AirMech Arena will offer free-to-play cooperative and competitive multiplayer ...

Grey Goo aspires to get to the roots of the real-time strategy genre

Apr 04 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]272868:53272:0[/embed] To accommodate different styles, Grey Goo features three completely distinct factions to play as. The Humans are, as the developers called them, a "base-builder's dream." They are defined by a central hub from which they must build outward through conduit lines. Serving as the slowest and least aggressive of the races, Humans are "the masters of teleportation," as they're able to move structures and units around with ease. This makes Human bases particularly difficult to infiltrate. The faction that serves as a middle-ground of sorts is the Betas. The Betas are a combination of base-building and offensive attacks -- a fairly agile group that can build several production facilities. Anyone playing as the Betas will probably find themselves producing more units than buildings, as it suits their strengths. Players could find themselves overwhelmed with the idea of keeping track of the scattered nature of this race, but Grey Goo implements a system that doesn't require the player to choose the specifics of creating new units; it'll automatically select the most efficient place and create them for you, unless you say otherwise. It's a touch that focuses more on macro- rather than micromanagement. But the most intriguing of the races is the titular one -- the Grey Goo. The Grey Goo is a nanite blob that can split itself into smaller blobs as you see fit. It's (They're?) characterized by being extremely mobile and aggressive, the type that will rush head-on into enemies and consume them from within. As it hovers over resources, it gathers them, growing the Goo only to be broken off into more units. One of the Grey Goo's interesting features is the way that it uses verticality within the environments. For instance, if a group of units is up on a cliff, it can attack downward, but others couldn't attack up. The Grey Goo completely negates this. It rolls over hills, through trees, across rivers -- wherever it wants, really. Natural barriers that would be hinderances to the other two factions aren't even an inconvenience to the Goo. RTS players often have a tendency to become intimately familiar with one faction and stick with it. You can't help but feel like each race in Grey Goo is unique enough that doing this would be a disadvantage. Anyone looking to play the campaign will need to acclimate themselves to all factions, as over the course of fifteen missions, you play as each type. Petroglyph hopes to get back to the golden age of RTS games with Grey Goo, and that might happen by creating something that's supremely different. Balanced gameplay, three unique factions, and putting an emphasis on "strategy" rather than "real-time" is the technique that Petroglyph's going to employ. That's crazy enough to work, because out of the gate, it's poised to be a game that's endearing to fans of the genre.
Grey Goo preview photo
Three completely different factions
The real-time strategy genre has undergone quite the transformation throughout time. Seemingly gone are the days where games require that you focus on strategy, often replaced by experiences that reward combat ability and qui...

Age of Mythology photo
Age of Mythology

See what's new in Age of Mythology with this Extended Edition trailer


Look for it on Steam in early May
Apr 03
// Jordan Devore
This Age of Mythology: Extended Edition trailer is essentially a recap of the features we covered yesterday but it's still worth seeing the updated game in motion. The original Ensemble Studios title released way back in 200...
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Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies announced


Coming this June
Mar 28
// Dale North
Sega has announced that a standalone multiplayer Company of Heroes: The Western Front Armies will launch this June for $19.99. This brings back the Western Front from the original CoH game. Two collections of content -- ...
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Grey Goo: A new RTS from Petroglyph


This looks goo
Mar 13
// Dale North
Petroglyph Games and Grey Box have announced a new PC RTS called Grey Goo. They claim that this title has classic RTS roots, but uses modern design and lessons learned along the way to improve the formula. Their goal wa...
Pocketwatch Games photo
Pocketwatch Games

Monaco dev's next game is a real-time strategy title built for gamepads


Hear them out
Mar 12
// Jordan Devore
"With Monaco, we took an old school genre (Stealth), we simplified the controls, and then we built an incredibly complex game that could be played at high and low skill levels alike. I want to do the same with the RTS genr...

Review: Infested Planet

Mar 11 // Conrad Zimmerman
Infested Planet (PC [reviewed], Mac)Developer: Rocket Bear GamesPublisher: Rocket Bear GamesReleased: March 6, 2014MRSP: $14.99 Infested Planet is a real-time strategy game where players are given command of a small squad of soldiers pitted against an unending stream of mutating aliens on a mysterious planet. The general goal of most missions is to wipe out the aliens by destroying hives from which they spawn in a slow, oozing mass. Destroyed hives are turned into command posts (or bunkers) which must be defended to prevent the enemy from re-establishing the hive, and provide a place to heal units or spawn replacements for them when killed. The insectoid foes are relentless and will attempt to sneak through any gap in defense, and hanging on to what the player has managed to secure means resources will be spread thin. The size and power of your squad can be increased during the course of a mission, with weapon upgrades and structures that provide passive bonuses and new abilities. These are purchased with a kind of currency earned during the stage by taking over hive locations and retrieving resource crates on the battlefield. The design encourages aggressive play and rewards it with greater power, but the limited size and capability of the squad makes every push forward a chance to lose ground already gained, while the difficulty continues to tick upward with the introduction of new mutations among the aliens. [embed]271773:52940:0[/embed] Mutations are varied and effective at countering player strategies. If you're having a lot of success in taking control points by getting in close with a flamethrower, enemy turrets will develop the ability to push your soldiers back with each shot. Overcome that with a well-placed sniper, and the aliens will erect walls to eliminate line of sight to your targets. There are plenty of them and the variety keeps the game feeling varied and fresh from one round to the next, though it can be a bit difficult to keep track of them all (there are 35 different mutations in total) and remembering the name and function of each is about as much a challenge as developing the appropriate response. The gameplay is tense, hectic, and generally fun. But there are some elements that the game does a poor job of explaining, notably the spawning of replacement units. When a soldier is killed, there is a cooldown period before they respawn based on their value to the unit (a soldier with a shotgun is worth more than one with a rifle, for example, and takes longer to return). But it's often unclear which of the player's control points those units will spawn from and occasionally they'll spawn in a wholly inconvenient place which seems to make little sense. This can result in idle units far from the front line, easily forgotten, their absence dragging down the rest of the squad. The game has some visual challenges as well. While environments and enemy character models manage to strike a balance between function and form, the members of a player's squad are too simple and a bit too similar. Upgrading a soldier's equipment changes their color, but the colors don't contrast enough between a few of the designs when they really ought to be popping off the landscape. Infested Planet includes a 17-mission campaign which serves as a great introduction to the mechanics and strategies, providing a nicely graded difficulty that challenges without overwhelming the player too early, offering abilities over time at a steady rate. The campaign also offers more mission variety, with some stages requiring the protection of specific units or the destruction of specific targets as mission parameters, and some set-piece stages which flip the script and put the player wholly on the defensive. In the campaign, access to the full range of abilities is restricted and unlocked over time by spending money earned at the conclusion of each mission. Money is awarded even if the player loses or surrenders the battle and struggling players can also use it to hire more (and better equipped) units for the squad on a per-mission basis to give them an edge in future attempts. A series of ten additional bonus stages becomes available about a third of the way through, which offer some alternative challenges and an opportunity to earn more money to help with a particularly troubling primary mission. The campaign is a enjoyable mix, appropriate for less experienced real-time strategy players. There is a bit of a story there as well, mostly conveyed in text preceding missions with some occasional mid-mission drama to spice things up. There's not much to get excited about one way or another where the plot is concerned, with a couple of stereotypical commanders (one military, one scientific) bickering over the approach to dealing with the alien threat while your team gets dragged back and forth by both of them. Predictable but inoffensive, the story elements are nice as a backdrop to give structure and reason for the campaign missions but serve little other purpose. Aside from the campaign, Infested Planet offers a "Skirmish" mode with eight difficulty stages, appropriate for players of any skill. Beyond this, custom settings can be applied that control every aspect of a mission to create a wholly original challenge. You can adjust the map size, respawn delay, types of enemy defenses and even which specific mutations the aliens will have access to. It's a flexible, powerful mission tool that will act as an enabler to addicted players who are constantly seeking a new thrill. While there is no form of direct multiplayer to be found, the game does offer some competitive opportunities through weekly challenges and leaderboards. Three levels of the challenges are available each week, with scores and rankings largely determined by how quickly the mission is completed. Weekly challenges can be attempted as many times as desired, with the best score out of all attempts posted to the leaderboards. The feature should give some additional life to the game over time and those looking to compare their skills with others should appreciate it. When it comes down to it, Infested Planet is a fun spin on sci-fi real-time strategy that makes good use of tower defense mechanics in an offense-focused game. A little rough around the edges, it still manages to succeed in creating an experience that is challenging and unique every round while providing options which accommodate a wide range of skill level.
Infested Planet photo
Game over, man
This should sound somewhat familiar: a small band of mercenaries are on a forbidding planet, confronted by a horrific alien force that swarms across the landscape. Well-armed and entrenched, the soldiers have been easily keep...

Blizzard photo
Blizzard

Unsure about Heroes of the Storm? Watch this full match


Blizzard will walk you through it
Mar 04
// Jordan Devore
Hearing Blizzard talk about the Heroes of the Storm alpha yesterday renewed my interest in the game, leading me to this, a commentated match that serves as a nice introduction. Even as someone who doesn't play many MOBAs, I ...
Blizzard photo
Blizzard

Blizzard preparing Heroes of the Storm for public alpha test


May luck be on your side
Mar 03
// Jordan Devore
The "online team brawler" Heroes of the Storm has been offering beta sign-ups for quite some time now. First things first, though: the game needs to hit alpha. Blizzard is inviting "a very limited number of players [in the Un...
Steam photo
Steam

Age of Mythology: Extended Edition teased for Steam


Eff yeah
Feb 28
// Jordan Devore
Even before Age of Empires and its sequel made it to Steam, I had been longing for Age of Mythology to see a release on Steam, or GOG.com, or anywhere. I know you feel me. A developer stream on Twitch has hinted at Age of Myt...
Titan Invasion photo
Titan Invasion

Titan Invasion announced for PS4, PS3, Vita


Cross-buy!
Feb 19
// Steven Hansen
No, it's not a ploy to trick people into thinking they're buying Titanfall. Titan Invasion is a collection of two indie PC games; the Space Invaders-styled Titan Attacks!, which won me over with its well-done trailer (above)...
Legendary Wars photo
Legendary Wars

Legendary Wars marches on to Android


It's about time!
Feb 15
// Wesley Ruscher
It's been three years, but one of my favorite mobile strategy titles, Legendary Wars, has finally come to Android, via the Google Play Store. In this RTS-RPG hybrid you directly control an ever growing army of knights, wizar...
Total War: Rome II photo
Total War: Rome II

Rome II update replaces Indian elephants for African ones


You'd think Creative Assembly would have checked that?
Feb 10
// Alasdair Duncan
In his review of Total War: Rome II, our own Josh Tolentino was left unhappy at the buggy state of the game but was happy with the level of historical accuracy displayed. I wonder if he would have docked the game an extra poi...
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World War II is back with Hearts of Iron IV


A hardcore grand strategy title
Jan 23
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Another new announcement from the Paradox Convention this week is Hearts of Iron IV, a new grand strategy World War II war-game. You can play as any country that existed during the World War II time period, from Puerto Rico ...
Rymdkapsel on PC photo
Rymdkapsel on PC

Rymdkapsel to see PC launch on January 30


New modes included
Jan 21
// Darren Nakamura
Rymdkapsel, the tetromino-based space station building strategy game with a Swedish name, originally released in May of last year on PlayStation Vita, and has since made the rounds onto Android and iOS. Early last month we h...
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You can download part of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls now


Plus an upcoming patch
Jan 20
// Harry Monogenis
Those of you playing Diablo III via either the Battle.net desktop client or the game's launcher may, from this week, notice a 6GB background download initiate. That's quite big, and for good reason, because that download...

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