With the reboot of SimCity and sequels to Total War: Rome, Command & Conquer, Company of Heroes and an expansion to Starcraft II, there’s certainly a lot to look forward to if Strategy is your cup of tea when it comes to video games.
Command & Conquer: Generals 2 /Bioware
EA handed Bioware the reins for their next C&C installment after the previous two games in the series, C&C Red Alert 3 and C&C4 were huge letdowns. The game is set to return to the style of the original Command & Conquer series. The game would again feature the series’ staples of base building and resource collection, as well as orchestrating and commanding large armies; it’ll also feature 3 unique factions: he technologically-advanced European Union, the militant Global Liberation Army(GLA), and the newly formed Asian Pacific Alliance (APA).
Company Of Heroes 2 / Relic
The original game is one of the highest rated strategy games of all-time, so there’s a lot of pressure on Relic to make this one special. Coming out in the first half of 2013, the game is built on Relic’s proprietary Essence 3.0 engine, which showcases new improvements compared to Relic’s previous games. One such improvements is the new line-of-sight technology, TrueSight. TrueSight more accurately represents a unit’s visibility range based on environmental conditions and type of unit. The new game is set to emphasize tactics over build orders.
Europa Universalis IV / Paradox
Paradox have had plenty of spinoffs off their core series, but return to EUIV which should come out sometime in Q3 of 2013. It’s expected to be larger, and more detailed than any of the previous games, beginning on 11 November 1444 and ending sometime in the 18th century.
Impire / Cyanide Studios
Coming out on February 14, Impire is a three-dimensional single-player and co-operative real-time strategy video game. It’s pretty much an attempt to be the Dungeon Keeper for this generation of video games, and is heavily influenced by Bullfrog’s hit from 1997, granting players command over a subterranean empire with the ability to dig out rooms, recruit monsters, and engage minions in combat against would-be adventurers.
Kingdom Under Fire II / Blueside
The first game wasn’t a huge hit, but hitting the market with a lot of other RTS games kinda hurt its status as an attention grabber. In 2013, with more focus on big action games, it has a better chance of becoming a hit. The plot of Kingdom Under Fire II comes chronologically after the events in Circle of Doom – which took place within the alternative dimension of the game’s antagonist – Encablossa. The game’s events continue the story of the Kingdom Under Fire universe, 150 years after Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders, and introduce a new faction – the ‘Encablossians’, who have been brought from the Encablossan dimension by Regnier, an antagonist in previous games.
Pikmin 3 / Nintendo
The game was supposed to come out along with the launch of the Wii U, but has since been delayed to Spring 2013. The new game is set to make full use of the Wii U’s handheld display, by conferring map information to the player through the device to allow for an unhindered view on the main display.
SimCity (2013) / Maxis
Set to come out on March, SimCity just might be the most anticipated sequel, or reboot, in quite a long time. It offers a true-to-life simulation of a city with its powerful GlassBox engine, which simulates elements both basic and complex, including water, traffic, pollution, crime, and more.
Like real life, no city is an island, and SimCity lends the new element of interconnected cities that allow neighboring cities within a region to influence each other. All this is done through the game’s online mode, which may serve as a cause for concern to anyone who doesn’t want to stay online while they play the game.
Starcraft II: Heart Of The Swarm / Blizzard
The upcoming expansion pack to Starcraft II will be coming out on March 12. Spanning across 20 missions, the game will also offer some huge additions to the multiplayer game with the inclusion of seven new multiplayer units. It should be more than just an update of content, bringing improvements to the graphics engine. You need to own the original game in order to play this expansion pack, if it wasn’t obvious.
Total War: Rome 2 / The Creative Assembly
The game is set to have a larger campaign map than Rome: Total War, and apart from encompassing the extent of the Roman Empire and its environs, will feature new territories going further East. A new graphics engine will power the visuals of the game, and new unit cameras will allow players to focus on individual soldiers in the battlefield, which in itself may contain thousands of combatants at a time.
Creative Assembly has stated that they wish to bring out the more human side of the war this way, with soldiers reacting with horror as their comrades get killed around them, and officers inspiring their men with heroic speeches before siege towers hit the walls of the enemy city. This time around, every faction will offer a distinct look and feel so you won’t feel like you’re marching an army of Roman clones when you’re in charge of an army of Vandals or barbarians from Saxony.