I’m a Civ/AoE/EU/SimCity/RT/RCT/Baldur’s Gate sort of a PC Game player. 4X games are fun, simulations of interesting things are neat, and a good role-playing game is a blast (I purposefully stay away from WoW and EverKill to avoid becoming an unemployable zombie! :eek: :p). But I’ve run out of things to play lately; the only “new” game I think I purchased this year for the PC was Dragon Age.
Now I want something new. I stopped bothering with the gaming mags, cause they are boring to read and frankly, computer gaming is in the doldrums lately, with so much emphasis on FPS games and so-called RTS games that are nothing more than shooters with some bells and whistles. So I’m disconnected from the pipeline of information about games available now. I’m kind of hoping that something slipped through the cracks and made it out, but hasn’t shown up on the shelves at BestBuy/Target/Wal-Mart yet.
For your help, my game shelf notably includes the following:
All versions of Civ. And I do mean all.
MoO2, GalCiv 1&2, SoaSE, Homeworld, etc.
RRTycoon3, Railroads!, and Trainz
Roller Coaster Tycoon in all it’s various versions
The Sims in every flavor possible
All the AoEs, and all the EUs, including EU:Rome
The Anno1602 games, though I don’t have Anno1404 (was it any good?)
Hearts of Iron 3 on steam for $15 now may be the most detailed strategy game ever made (I haven’t played 3 yet, but I’ve played previous games) - you rule any country in the world from the 1936-1948 period, and you control lots and lots of stuff, amazing detail. Production, logistics, military acquisitions, direct research, control resources, conduct diplomacy, etc.
The recommendation of the Total War series is good. They are somewhat like Civ 4 in that they contain a world map with city and army management - but when two armies meet up to fight, you actually fight it out on a 3d battlefield. Getting Rome and Medieval 2: Total War for $7.50 combined is a ridiculous steal. Empire for $25 is good too, but you may want to start out with the cheap ones and see if you like it, you can buy empire later- the sale runs through January 3rd.
I got Vegas: Make it Big for $2.50, haven’t played it yet. I read a positive review and it sounds like essentially Casino/Resort Tycoon.
There’s Europa Universalis 3 for $15. I haven’t played it myself, but it’s well regarded as a deep strategy game.
There are a ton of games on Steam on sale now, you might find some more that seem interesting. Join us over at the sale thread and you might see a recommendation that sounds interesting.
Agree on the Total War recommendations, Rome is my favorite of the series. A couple other RTS titles that I think are worth a look for a turn based strategy fan are Kohan II and Rise of Nations. Both should be cheap. I liked Disciples 2 as well.
Children of the Nile is probably the best building game I’ve played in the last few years, but that’s not saying much. That subgenre has been fallow for a while, so far as I can tell. It’s reminiscent of the Impressions Pharaoh/Zeus games.
Battle for Wesnoth is a freeware TBS that wasn’t bad. I haven’t looked at it in a few years, so maybe it has been updated.
If you haven’t tried roguelikes, some people consider them the among best RPGs. NetHack is the usual recommendation, but Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup is my personal favorite of the genre.
Dwarf Fortress sometimes confused with roguelikes-- and it has an RPG mode-- but the meat of the game is as a builder/RPG hybrid. I found it interesting for a while but IMO it lacks an endgame and the author screwed it up by adding new features without addressing this problem.
Another vote for the Total War games. MTWII is pretty cheap now, and there are expansions and the Stainless Steel mod available that makes it really cool. Or Rome TW, with the Total Realism mod is always a good choice. Of course, there is the new Empire TW as well…I’m STILL playing this on a regular basis. Some pretty cool elite units down-loadable content, and the Native American DLC is interesting to play. Plus, the new expansion (Napoleon TW) will be out in early February, and it sound VERY cool.
I played Warcraft 2 back in the day (didn’t own it, but the sons of my SO did). Trouble was, it was competing at the time with Seven Kingdoms/SK2 for my play time, and I much preferred Seven Kingdoms, though I can’t really say why. I keep seeing WC3 and Starcraft Battlechests for fairly low prices and probably should just pick them up and play.
For those prices, I may give them a try. I’ve shied off because, to the extent that they are turn based civ-building games, that’s just Civ all over again; to the extent that you get to control battles real-time, I’m not that interested (you can tell what kind of Civ player I am :p). But for a small price, it’s probably worth investing some time.
HoI is a Paradox game, and you’d think I would have jumped into playing both it and it’s 19th Century counterpart, Victoria, since I’ve invested more time into Europa Universalis than anything else, perhaps more than the collective efforts of all other games combined! (EVERY Wednesday evening for something like 2 years for 4 hours each evening with a multi-play group from all over the world, plus numerous other MP sessions, and that doesn’t include all the SP play :eek:). But when HoI first came out, I was so into EU that I didn’t want to switch. Later, I was so pissed at Paradox for their EU3 graphics card fiasco (game couldn’t be run by computers using hardware emulators, which killed all of us with cheap Dells :mad:) that I didn’t want anything to do with their games (it’s only in the last year that I’ve gone ahead and fooled around with EU3 and EU:Rome). I suppose I could pick up the HoI game now that my mad has passed.
Heh. I still prefer EU2, even with the cheesy 2-D graphics. Though there ARE some interesting conceptual add-ons in EU3, like hiring advisers to help you. I tend to be a bit of a traditionalist, which is why I still think that SMAC was the best 4X game ever.
I shall have to peruse that, yes. My sons all swear by Steam; Now that I’m on break, I may have to investigate this new-fangled stuff.
I agree about the genre. I think that one of the troubles I have with gaming is that most of the possible types of games are already out there. Very little truly new stuff is out there (the Guitar Hero games seem to me to be one of the few truly new concepts to be introduced in a while, which might help explain their popularity). Almost everything you want has been simulated (remember how fun it was to take over the house as the ants!? :D). Now a new FPS is as simple as creating a “new” setting and story. But a new 4X game, or other building game requires coming up with a new set of mechanics, as well as a new storyline. And that’s asking a lot. I’ll have to check out Children of the Nile, and Battle for Wesnoth may get a peek; I like supporting freeware, when it’s done well.
Sins of a Solar Empire is on my shelf; it was the natural successor to GalCiv2 (after MoO3 was such a bust!). But it’s got a lousy AI with it, which makes it ridiculously easy to beat in SP, and I don’t have much time for MP any more, until summer and break. <sigh>
Do you have the Napoleon’s Ambition and In Nomine expansions? They really improve gameplay in EU3 vastly. I’ve slowly grown to prefer EU3’s slightly less deterministic approach and the truly superb Magna Mundi mod goes a long way towards helping the AI for each country seem more unique and personalized.
Speaking of Paradox, howabout Crusader Kings/Deus Vult? They have a bit of a love it or hate it thing going amongst the Paradox crowd, but personally I’m a big fan despite the flaws. Nothing else can come close to simulating dynastic interactions in a pre-nationalistic context.