Following the finale of yesterday’s rapturously received Media Event in Stockholm, Paradox Interactive have publicly revealed the key announcements made on the day for everyone that was unlucky enough not to be in attendance.
Before a packed auditorium full of expectant journalists from across Europe (except me for some reason...), Paradox Interactive showcased their forthcoming releases, some demonstrated in public for the first time, unveiling brand new gameplay features and elements to the assembled audience. The key aspects of the presentations revealed.
Mount & Blade Multiplayer Expansion Announced
The first expansion pack for the critically acclaimed Mount & Blade was demo’ed publicly for the first time by developer Taleworlds and introduced a number of features that players have requested and which will vastly improve their enjoyment of the game;
Improved strategic AI
Extended diplomatic options allowing the player to wield more power
State-of the-Art rendering technologies introduced for the first time, including the addition of High Dynamic Range (HDR)
Brand new multiplayer feature including the ability for 32 players (possibly more – TBC) to play on a single map in team death-match style battles
New features in Hearts of Iron III
Demonstrated by Lead Developer Johan Andersson, this was the first public play test of the hotly awaited latest instalment of the best-selling World War II Strategy series. Some of the brand new features unveiled in the presentation;
- AI assisted Unit Interface – When a unit is selected it will provide the player with its current situation (negative or positive), and if it has been given a specific objective what the unit believes it requires in order to succeed
- Improved Espionage – Players will receive more useful reports from their spies in the field including where enemy units are and what orders they have been given.
- New ‘Threat’ Feature – Replacing the ‘Belligerence’ concept from Hearts of Iron II, ‘Threat’ is a more localised and subtle feature, affecting the player’s relationships with countries in the immediate vicinity of their aggressive behaviour along with its allies, with a less negative opinion from those states further afield and without a vested interest.
In-depth gameplay revealed in Majesty 2
With a brand new intro trailer unveiled, and a demonstration of the gameplay which was the first exposure to Majesty 2 for many observers in attendance, the focus of the presentation turned to the hitherto unrevealed aspects of the Fantasy Kingdom Sim;
Marketplaces – The hub of the kingdom. And with there being only one of them, these are the centres of the players game world, thus becoming the target of your enemies
Trade Posts – Defended by turrets due to their prized attributes, Trade Posts will generate caravans which will travel to the Marketplace
Temples – Used to promote basic heroes to more powerful heroes, Temples can be built in places of power only. Each place of power is defended magic creatures the player needs to defeat before they are able to build a Temple.
The Stats - 16 missions in each single player campaign. 6 single player scenarios. 8 multiplayer maps. 30+ hours of gameplay
Additional highlights of the Media Event was Frictional Games, the developer of the forthcoming Penumbra Collection briefly revealing their next project – a horror game set in the 18th Century, as yet unnamed, releasing some time in 2010.
Russian developer Ino-Co were also on hand to demo the latest build of their superbly polished Turn Based Fantasy Strategy game Elven Legacy.
Sub-brand Mezmer Games announced
Paradox Interactive also announced the creation of a sub-brand, Mezmer Games, designed to provide promising independent developers a digital distribution outlet for their games along with marketing support. The first game to be released under Mezmer Games is quirky strategy title Stalin Vs Martians. Another title being released is Legio, an original turn based fantasy strategy title that counts Chess amongst its influences.