<< Portico: Everyone's Doing It

5/25/2005

Everyone's Doing It

Gamespot has some screenshots of the upcoming XIII Century: Death or Glory. You can read more about it at 1c Games headquarters.

Gee. Epic battles, a Risk-like strategy game, 10 playable factions, sieges...didn't I play this before?

Creative Assembly has a good thing going. A distinctive look and complete command of the sub-genre. They had large battles and a strategy overlay that was finally perfected in Rome.

Immediately, after Shogun was released, Magitech released a similar Japanese themed game called Takeda. They shortly after did a Rome themed one, Strength and Honor, which is still awaiting its US release. The Magitech games put more energy into the strategy than the battles, and they had a lower budget look and feel. (They are now at work on Takeda 2).

But now we have Imperial Glory, a Total War type game set in Napoleonic Europe and soon we'll have XIII Century, which will have customizable units. Legion: Arena looks to have a Total War vibe to its battles, though we'll have to wait until Xmas to see how they stick a strategy engine to it.

In short, Creative Assembly's trademark style now belongs to everyone.

This is nothing new. Civ sparked clones, as did Command and Conquer. All the great strategy originators had to see their own Eureka moments copied or bastardized by less talented developers.

Now, XIII Century could be a great game. It could be the 3D Medieval: Total War.

But after seeing a Rise of Nations campaign map tagged onto Cossacks II and Rise of Nations borders in Empire Earth II, I wonder why anyone wonders why strategy gamers are a little jaded.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Paul Stephanouk said...

Exactly at what point in gaming did an idea that was fun in one game NOT encourage the use of that idea all over the place? Gaming, hell, in any media. One man's unending sea of sameness is another man's incremental process. Just start buying every 14th game and you'll be fine. Or stick to the ones with giant steampunk robots and dragons made of glass. Nobody's got one of those out...YET.

5/27/2005 02:01:00 AM  
Blogger Troy Goodfellow said...

One of the reasons that Rise of Legends excites me is that it is such a new world for a strategy game. One more game with elephants rampaging would be a bit much.

Though it is absolutely true that this is nothing new - there is nothing new under the sun - I do think that there is a difference between incremental progress (the ubiquity of left-select/right-move or of historical RTS in general) and pure me-tooism (which often leads to things like Rise and Rule of Ancient Empires or Pax Romana).

A formula that is fun is great. Knights of Honor steals from a half dozen games and builds something entirely new. This what I want more of.

5/27/2005 11:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Paul Stephanouk said...

Of course you're correct. I was being flip just so I could make a cute reference to my game. :)

Ideally you want a regular stream of "improvements" within a safe margin of degree. No improvement is boring sameness. Too much "improvement" blows away any useful context.

5/27/2005 02:58:00 PM  

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