Our own Fraser Brown is in attendance at the Paradox Convention 2013 this week, and I've just received correspondence from him via carrier pigeon. Slower than we would have liked, but surprisingly cost-effective. He's given me the lowdown on a number of projects in the works at the publisher beyond what we've already heard of the new War of the Roses add-on content and gold-edition re-release.
The most unexpected news has got to be Magicka: Wizards of the Square Table, a cross-platform cooperative game for iOS and Android tablets. It's a new story in the Magicka universe that once again revolves around four players, only this time, it's presented in 2D. Look for it to drop in the next few weeks for $1.99 with support for microtransactions.
Next up is the masculine-sounding Leviathan: Warships, a turn-based tactical game featuring a sci-fi art-deco steampunk aesthetic, in the words of Fraser. This will support co-op and competitive play -- including a co-op campaign -- for up to four players when it hits in Q2 2013 for PC ($20) and tablets (less than $20).
Moving right along, two expansions were announced by Paradox this week. The first, Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods, should be great news for active players of this beloved strategy title. Starting in 867 AD, they'll be able to play as Pagan nations and, yes, Vikings.
Fraser's the expert here, so I'll let him sum this up: "Looting and pillaging has been added, rebels now have purpose and leaders, and landless characters can now become adventurers and gather armies and make realms of their own." The Old Gods is in development now with an expected Q2 2013 release.
The second expansion, Victoria II: Heart of Darkness, has a new colonization system geared around colonial conflicts and naval expansion, with the latter getting a reworked gameplay system. Lesser powers can call on the Great Powers to intervene over international crises, and more than 60 newspapers -- some historic, some fictional -- will be accessible to give the lowdown on global events.
Lastly, 2.5D multiplayer shooter The Showdown Effect has opened beta access for those who pre-order the game. More of those individuals who have already signed up but not yet put down money will be added as the beta expands.
That about wraps it up. Fraser will have hands-on reports for Magicka and Leviathan when he returns from Paradox land. Anything stick out here? I'm less of a strategy nut, so War of the Roses was my highlight, but there's definitely stuff to be excited about.