Right after the first day of the Guerrilla Collective presentation — and I mean right after — Swedish publishing giant Paradox Interactive took the digital stage for 40 minutes of developer interviews and reveals from some of their biggest upcoming games.
Crusader Kings 3
The newest in the line of strategy games from Paradox, Crusader Kings 3 puts you in the seat of power during the Middle Ages as you navigate the treacherous world of political intrigue. The last time we saw Crusader Kings was in 2012, so expect major improvements to the visuals and systems in 3. The developers discussed some of those changes, like adding religious mechanics to the game that provide an added level of difficulty with wrangling your court to fight for your causes. The demo shown during the event focused on the player’s attempt to assassinate your brother, the king of a neighboring Iberian state. Bribes and favors were shown to build the sense of political maneuvering you’ll have to do when Crusader Kings 3 launches for PC and Linux on September 1, 2020.
Empire of Sin
Brenda Romero and her team dropped in to discuss tactical role playing game Empire of Sin, which puts you in control of one of many Prohibition-era mob bosses attempting to gain control of Chicago from 1920-1933. Each boss as their own traits, perks, and abilities, like reductions to running breweries or massive loyalty bonuses in exchange for more punitive truce-breaking consequences. Gameplay involves using your wits and resources to gain favor in the city, but also using a large roster of for-hire gangsters to build loyalty and strike fear in other camps. Combat looks a lot like X-COM, with small scale tactical battles take place on grids where cover creates advantages or disadvantages. Empire of Sin will be out for this-gen consoles, PC, and Mac this holiday.
Prison Architect: Island Bound
This expansion to Prison Architect takes place on an island. Really tough to muster enthusiasm for describing a game about constructing and maintaining a prison. Sorry.
Surviving the Aftermath
This post-apocalyptic survival game requires you build colonies and protect them from hostile environments and factions. They are adding “more” to the game in the coming months as they ramp up toward an Early Access release for Steam in October. The game is already out for Epic Games Store so you can get on board right now and check it out.
Hearts of Iron IV
Paradox’s 2016 grand strategy game boasts its history-altering gameplay where major events of 20th century war (mainly World War II) can pan out very differently. The game has been around for four years, so the devs appeared on the event to suggest more expansions and content are coming. The very hilarious and telling part of the game’s trailer to celebrate the event is 58% of players choose the Axis Powers over the Allied Powers. Quelle surprise!
Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines 2
Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines 2, the highly anticipated sequel to the criminally underappreciated 2004 PC game, wrapped up the show with a look at the First Blood Edition of the game, which yields some cool stuff like the soundtrack on vinyl, a map of Seattle, a figurine, and more. The devs showed the trailer we saw earlier this year. You know the one. The one you can’t unsee. The one with “Danke Schoen” and the family hung from the ceiling by their eyelids. That one. They did tack on an extra minute or so gameplay as your player character explores a building and heads downstairs to find Bloodlines favorite Damsel holding you up with a shotgun. The game’s release is still scheduled for 2020, but I’ll do a bit of editorializing here for a second. The frame rate of this game in motion is, not great. Like clearly under 30 frames per second, not great. Especially for a crafted trailer, this seems pretty strange. I can’t speculate too much but I wouldn’t get too attached to that release frame as it still appears major parts of that game are unfinished.
Still, the overall gameplay and choices the player has combine for an experience that looks like a blast and the sense of style, one of the settings’ major selling points, appears to be intact in spades.