E3 Hands-on: Paradox Interactive

Paradox Interactive is a publisher known for its PC-based strategy games from developers all over the world. We got a chance to sit down with them at E3 and get some hands on demonstrations of their upcoming line-up.

King Arthur II

King Arthur II is a PC role-playing wargame from Neocore Games. You play as King Arthur in his attempt to unite a Fantasy version of Britannia. Most of the game takes place on a world map where you move your heroes about to complete various text and diplomacy missions, gaining rewards and affecting your alignment. If your people fall under attack, you can rush to their aid or ignore them and let them suffer.

Of course, diplomacy doesn’t always work, especially when dealing with a horde of demons. When war is necessary, the game enters a real time battle where you command your troops in the field. In addition to your standard foot soldiers and cavalry, King Arthur II will feature flying troops as well has heroes that can command powerful spells to devastate enemy forces.

Sword of the Stars II

Sword of the Stars II is a modern re-imagining of a classic 4X strategy games developed by Kerberos. If you are not familiar with the term, the 4Xes are explore, expand, exploit and exterminate. It features 6 unique races battling for control of the universe. Players start off controlling a few star systems and must explore, expand, gather resources, research new technologies and destroy your opponents. Rather then having a static tech tree with a single “best” route of research, Sword of the Stars II utilizes randomized tech trees that force you to adapt to your available research each time you play.

All players play out their turn and the same time, and if two factions end their turn with a fleet on the same node then its time to battle it out. Battles are designed to be quick in, quick out experiences. Ships battle on three 2D planes layered on top of each other, moving up, down and rolling as they attempt to out flank the enemy. You can micro-manage your ships, targeting specific weapons or other important locations on your enemies.

Magicka

Despite the rocky launch, Magicka became quite a hit among some members of the Games are Evil staff. In case you missed it, here is our review of the spell casting action game. Even while playing cooperatively, a stray spell here and there tend to eviscerate your buddies. Arrowhead is taking advantage of this and will be adding in PvP this summer.

When the new update hits, owners of Magicka will be given access to two PvP maps with three playable modes. Three additional maps will be available to download as DLC for a small price. Only the host of a PVP match will need the map in order to play on it. The spell system will also be balanced for PVP, and you can customize matches to limit usable weapons or ultra powerful spells.

Defenders of Ardania

Defenders of Ardania is a tower defense game set in the Majesty universe. It will be available on PSN, XBLA, PC, and the iPad. Rather then simply defending against a horde of enemies as you do in most tower defense games, you will also have to balance an offensive strike as well. In the iPad version, two players will need to manage their resources to build towers as well as sending an onslaught of troops towards their opponent. The other versions will allow up to 4 players to battle it out. The units you send at at your opponent have various rolls, including heading straight for the enemy base, destroying other units or even attacking the towers.

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