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Real Time Strategy

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...
Free Steam Weekend photo
Free Steam Weekend

Play Company of Heroes 2, Saints Row IV for free on Steam


Free to play until Sunday afternoon
Jan 16
// Jordan Devore
This weekend on Steam, both Saints Row IV and Company of Heroes 2 will be playable for free. If you like what you find and want to continue after 1:00pm Pacific on Sunday, which is when this promo ends, the titles are on sale...
Fancy new RTS engine photo
Fancy new RTS engine

This engine could mean massive new strategy games


Oxide Games uses AMD's Mantle for its new engine
Jan 14
// Jordan Devore
Leveraging AMD's Mantle technology, Oxide Games has come up with a new game engine intended for real-time strategy titles on PC and consoles called Nitrous that can handle up to 5,000 AI- or physics-driven objects (like laser...
FTL photo
FTL

New race announced for FTL Advanced Edition


And 50% more ship designs
Jan 01
// Conrad Zimmerman
FTL: Faster than Light is gearing up for its "Advanced Edition" update, coming early this year, and some new information about the content said update will contain has now been released. The biggest news is the addition ...
Natural Selection photo
Natural Selection

A classic Natural Selection map has returned


Blast from the past
Dec 20
// Jordan Devore
I completely and utterly missed out on Natural Selection back in the day and although I have only ever played its follow-up, it is cool to see the classic map Eclipse revitalized for Natural Selection 2. Graphics sure have c...
StarCraft photo
StarCraft

StarCraft II patch 2.1 is all about clans


Icons, decals, and event planning
Dec 20
// Jordan Devore
Blizzard has detailed the upcoming StarCraft II patch 2.1 that targets clan players. An in-game solution for scheduling events for groups and clans now exists, allowing club officers or owners to mark a date, title the event,...
Dota 2 photo
Dota 2

Dota 2 removes sign-up process and is finally open to all


Everyone can play!
Dec 17
// Joshua Derocher
In case you aren't one of the 611,480 people playing Dota 2 as I write this, you will be happy to know that the game is finally open to everyone. While it officially released this summer, Valve had been slowly allowing more p...
PS Vita photo
PS Vita

Eufloria HD spreads to PS Vita on December 17


New controls and a better frame rate
Dec 03
// Jordan Devore
Eufloria has been around for ages, but the stylish real-time strategy game is only now coming to PlayStation Vita with a revised HD edition by Titanium Studios. Eufloria HD has been locked in for a Tuesday, December 17 launc...
New Warhammer 40K game photo
New Warhammer 40K game

New Warhammer 40K game is going to be a MOBA


Storm of Vengeance
Dec 02
// Joshua Derocher
A new Warhammer 40K game is being made, according to Develop. The game is called Storm of Vengeance, and it will be a "lane strategy" game for mobile and PC. Lane Strategy? Really? Does everyone need their own term for a...

Review: Company of Heroes 2: Victory at Stalingrad DLC

Nov 23 // Joshua Derocher
Company of Heroes 2: Victory at Stalingrad (PC)Developer: Relic EntertainmentPublisher: SEGA EntertainmentRelease Date: November 12, 2013MSRP: $9.99 The first bit of the DLC, the Tatsinskaya Raid, is a solo challenge set in the winter with a focus on tank combat. You'll take control of a Russian tank corp, and you can't build any new units. Tanks can heal themselves, but you'll need resources which are earned by destroying planes on an airfield. It's a tough little map, requiring you to play it smart if you want to get through. I constantly retreated and repaired my tanks while trying to lure the enemy out of their stronger groups behind cover. Bridge Defense is the other solo challenge in the DLC, and the name sums it up accurately. You have a small gang of partisan fighters that you'll use to defend a bridge against seven waves of German attackers. You start out without any good weapons, but your soldiers can forage around and find some heavy firepower. [embed]266272:51547:0[/embed] Tatsinskaya Raid and Bridge Defense are good missions, and their focus on small corps brings out what I love best in Company of Heroes 2: micromanaging a few units to take on a larger enemy force. While the huge battles are epic for sure, the smaller ones like these are so much more enjoyable to me. This is mainly due to the fact that I tend to get attached to the units, and thus move slower and more methodically. Victory is always sweeter, and defeats are bitter. There are also three AI battles: Winter Storm, Stalingrad Resistance, and Stalingrad Encirclement. These are all pretty standard fare for the game, and play out just like any other battle, but with new maps. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with these battles, I didn't really see anything special in them. The co-op scenario, Kalach Pincer, is interesting. It's almost a standard match against an AI opponent, but the capture points keep moving around the map. The AI is very powerful, and has troops spawn off the map so there is no way you can crush them completely. You and your friend will be holding out on a point, and then the objective will change forcing you to quickly run across the battlefield before the enemy gets there. It's hectic, and I had a lot of fun with it. It will take you about three to six hours to play through all of the content once, and it will probably take you a few tries to complete some of the challenges. Each battle also has quite a bit of replay value -- you could easily add another 20 to 30 hours of life to Company of Heroes 2 with this DLC. No matter how you slice it, that's worth the price tag. I like Victory at Stalingrad, but it isn't essential for every player. The new multiplayer maps are already available for free, so this is meant more for the players who want to really get as much as they can out of the game. If you are a hardcore player, then you should definitely get this, but if you just casually play multiplayer or co-op with friends on occasion then you'll be fine skipping it.
Company of Heroes 2 DLC photo
More of the good stuff
Victory at Stalingrad is paid DLC that's a part of the larger Turning Point update, which also includes new free multiplayer maps, the World Builder tools, four free commanders, and four premium commanders. The free stuff is ...

New C&C studio photo
New C&C studio

Command & Conquer games will continue with new studio


Kill them like watermelon
Nov 20
// Joshua Derocher
EA stopped development on the latest Command & Conquer, and closed the studio working on it. The game was in its early alpha stages as a free-to-play title, and EA released a statement saying that all purchases during the...
Warcraft photo
Warcraft

Blizzard looking to update Warcraft 1 & 2 for modern PCs


'...we'd love to replay those games for sure'
Nov 11
// Jordan Devore
At BlizzCon 2013, World of Warcraft production director J. Allen Brack responded to a fan request for the company to make Warcraft: Orcs & Humans and Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness compatible with modern PCs. "So, we actu...
Age of Empires photo
Age of Empires

What's this? An Age of Empires II expansion?


The Forgotten is out now on Steam
Nov 08
// Jordan Devore
I had to do a double take when I heard that all these years later, Age of Empires II has a new expansion out. The Forgotten was originally an unofficial mod before its team collaborated with Skybox Labs for a commercial relea...
Free content! photo
Free content!

Company of Heroes 2 adding new maps and World Builder


Custom maps are the best maps
Nov 05
// Joshua Derocher
Company of Heroes 2 will be getting a free content update, that will include the awaited World Builder that will let players create their own multiplayer maps. The update will also add two new multiplayer maps and four n...

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