Developers have distantly flirted with the idea of a Warhammer 40K grand strategy, but the commitment to rendering a colossal empire management sim in the grimdark future has yet to be fully realised. It would be an interesting undertaking, and while perhaps some conversions and mods have offered glimpses into what might be, we’re yet to see one with the official GW stamp. Along comes Gladius – Relics of War, from Pandora: First Contact devs Proxy Studios and published under the auspices of Slitherine, and while the game has aspirations to the grand strategy genre, it’s best described as a wargame. Or is that Waaaaarrrghgame? Apostates and the pious alike, read on.
PC, Xbox, Playstation • Ex-Bioshock devs Uppercut Games have enjoyed a very warm reception to their Arabian-themed swashbuckler City of Brass. No tricks here, it’s magical. If you’re not already playing on PC, Xbone or Playstation, it’s worth rubbing the lamp on. Especially now they’ve unleashed two post-release updates, the latest of which is very tidy.
PC, PS4, XBox One • There’s an inbound Steam summer sale bearing six-two-two-carom-one-eight, Statelies. You know what that means? That means, with any luck, Battlestar Galactica Deadlock might be had at a lovely discount, alongside the most recent and most wonderful DLC, The Broken Alliance. That is, if you’ve not already played it. And if not, here’s impetus in the form of an internet-grade list as to why Deadlock is worth a punt.
I’m making an infantry fighting vehicle for my three kids, which can also read as “guy makes 1:4 scale miniature under camouflage of parenting”. There’s more to it than that, though. Sitting back, nine-odd months on from starting this outrageous project, the act of making my kids an insane billy-kart is a pretty powerful allegory, and though that ball of gristle I call my heart doesn’t suffer cheese lightly, the journey continues to be an important one of personal growth.
PC • Though age hath wearied my nerves and reaction time isn’t what it once was, the siren song of the shooter still manages to kindle the old fascination. Eximius: Seize The Frontline is aiding and abetting this month, due to running headlong into Pandemic Studios’ luminary Ken Miller’s proposition that FPS players don’t want to think, and RTS players don’t want to die. If the idea of commanding, ahem, and conquering appeals — and why we aren’t enjoying a glut of these hybrids is one of gaming’s more mystifying vacuums — then give this a look-see.
PC • Say what you will about the fire-sale mentality of Games Workshop licenses being granted thither and yon, the dividends are paying out rather nicely. We’ve got grand strategies coming online, decent approximations of the tabletop in the mix, starship combat deftly effected and the list goes on. Tickle me pink that the colossi are seeing their day, too. Just announced? Adeptus Titanicus: Dominus. Fantasticus.
PC • As the axe fell on the RTS after the turn of the century, and we all realised that the late Nineties RTS arms race had an unfavourable signal-to-noise ratio (sideward glance to this current battle royale malarkey), a name rang out in the wilderness. Spieleentwicklungskombinat. But if a dinosaur roars and nobody hears it, is it really there? Behold, the enigmatic ParaWorld.
PC • I’ve been having quite the ball with Aartform Games‘ rather intoxicating conglomerate of colony sim, squad manager and, heck, off world King of Dragon Pass. Very much one of those games where efficiently nutshelling is beyond my capacity for brevity. Fiction-heavy, tactics-light and rather good. Do you want to read on (+1 to author morale) or redirect browser to Reddit? (-50% chance for a good time)
PC • At the intersection of Hornblower-Tolkien cosplay, you find Maelstrom. It’s an enticing clash of high-fantasy and fighting sail, and is exactly the twist a certain type of popular multiplayer game needs right now. Behold, Battleship Royale.
PC • Every once in a while, I’m bum-rushed by a seriously polydactyl concept, one that presses all the buttons. Tempest Citadel is this month’s most fabulous of ambushes. Science fantasy. Offworld expedition. ALIENS meets Milton. Dante’s Bespin. Aartform Games, the tiny outfit behind Spice Road, is dropping Tempest Citadel in a few hours on Steam, and it looks very, very intriguing.