<< Portico: 2k Games announces the 2006 Firaxis lineup

3/16/2006

2k Games announces the 2006 Firaxis lineup

I mostly don't believe in premonitions. But I've had a hell of an odd month considering 2k's announcements.

It was only yesterday that I was complaining about the surge of Roman city building sims. So what does 2k announce? CivCity: Rome. For those keeping count, that makes four Roman city builders. In 2006. Nuts. It will be developed by Firefly Games (the Stronghold guys) with Firaxis overseeing things. By the way, since Firefly is manned by many former Impressions people, they will be going head to head on the same sort of game against Tilted Mill. Let the fur fly.

Last week I talked about the news that Poptop Games was being folded into Firaxis, reuniting hot IP Railroad Tycoon with its founding father. So what is announced? Sid Meier's Railroads! It's their exclamation point and not mine. It looks like it will be Railroad Tycoon IV in all but name, though the early artwork (naturally) is pretty train heavy.

So the least exciting announcement was the obvious Civilization IV expansion, subtitled Warlords. The screens there show some new leaders (Stalin, Churchill, Augustus, artwork for Ramsses), what appears to be new archer artwork, slingers, a trebuchet...no hint on the new civs. The press release makes me suspect a larger emphasis on the military side with new "warlord" units. This, too, was predictable given the muted complaints about how difficult conquest could be.

Not a really exciting lineup, to be honest. All that talent in one office and still no great new idea. Would it kill them to surprise me?

3 Comments:

Anonymous Michael A. said...

My thoughts too.

3/18/2006 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger Troy Goodfellow said...

Hey, Michael. Long time, no post. Congrats on the new job, btw.

I don't want to leave the impression that I don't want any of these games. I am sure I will buy each and every one of them. I'm a lemming like most other PC gamers, I guess.

And with all the old IP that Firaxis has, I can't believe that they can't find an even older game to remake if they want to do a remake.

The great thing about Civ4 as a remake, though, was how new everything seemed. Johnson made me feel like I was playing Civ for the very first time. A better interface, a cleaner look, greater transparency into the math...it was a remake that showed his inate talent at game design.

So why not cut him loose to do something completely new and way out there?

But since all of these three are 2006 releases, there must be other projects on the drawing board. Specifically, a console game or two. Maybe that's where we'll see some of the old Sid magic.

3/18/2006 01:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael A. said...

Thanks - it's been a long time in the coming.

I suppose I'm not a typical PC gamer anymore, in that my other commitments (such as Imperium) leave me very little time for gaming - and I've found that I resent using that little time on re-makes (even CivIV didn't do it for me for more than a couple of weeks).

In the case of Firaxis, though, I can't help thinking: So much talent... but when are they going to give us something new?

Well.. maybe the CivCity will break new ground... but I tend not to be very optimistic anymore.

3/19/2006 08:58:00 AM  

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