The strategy generation of games, starting out with hardy games, has been reduced to nothing more than a niche generation played only by a small bunch of players who either want to reminisce memories of the past, when they used to play Age Of Empires in their’s parent’s basement, or by a handful of competitive players trying to memorize algorithms to destroy an enemy base in the fastest way possible in Starcraft 2, or simply the casual crowd wanting to build a city in the games like SimCity and Cities : Skylines. Long had this sector been neglected by game developers because of the niche nature of the community, but for reasons unknown, some developers wish to revisit the generation, in order to “make it great again”.
The game announcements start with Jurassic World : Evolution. The official sequel to Jurassic World : Operation Genesis, which was a success when the PlayStation 2 was the console of the times. Frontier Developments, the studio behind already nostalgic and popular titles like Zoo Tycoon (which made my childhood!) as well as games like Roller Coaster Tycoon and Planet Coaster, the developers who are really experienced at the art of making simulation games with a touch of strategy in them, Jurassic World : Evolution allows one to manage one’s own Jurassic Park! You can genetically synthesize your own species of dinosaurs, and find innovative ways of keeping them bound inside their enclosures, hire staff for feeding the dinosaurs, as well as innovative ways of travelling for passengers, such as maglevs, safari trains, and even instructors who introduce the populace to the species being held inside the majestic enclosures. Also, be prepared to hold ground in case a breakout happens! Jurassic World : Evolution comes to the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in summer 2018. Check out the official trailer here :
It’s competition that keep the games coming, and that certainly can be said for Ubisoft! Anno is one of the most innovative simulation games , having city designing elements with lots of strategy involved in every placement, where you have to pre-plan the placement of buildings beforehand, in order to maximize the efficiency of every production building, and the outreach of all influential buildings (which improve the happiness and satisfaction of the populace). Anno 2205 was quite a disappointment when it came out, atleast for me, thanks to the lack of dedicated multiplayer (yeah, that’s what I like to play in all strategy games) or coop (or solo) versus the AI. Let’s hope the next title in the series, Anno 1800, fixes that, along with many different gameplay mechanics, that makes playing the game fun, like the previous Anno games. All Anno games have a flavour and era of their own – for 1404, it is the Holy Crusades, and the clash between the Orient and the Occident, for 2070, it is the perilous future of humanity where global warming has led to the melting of the polar ice caps, with a clash between the ecologists and the industrialists, for 2205, it was the future of humanity, when they are readying colonization missions as far out as Mars and the moon itself, while for 1800, it is set in the industrial era, the era of increased production and colonization of uncharted islands and locations on the Earth. The setting is a pretty cool one, which gives Ubisoft a lot of free design space. Will it live upto the Anno name (that is, before Anno 2205 came out)? Check out the trailer here :
Every gamer has lived in anticipation for one whole decade, for the rebirth of RTS itself! The generation of gamers who played video games in their parent’s basement, the age-old title, the mighty king of strategy itself, Age Of Empires! YES, AGE OF EMPIRES IS BACK, AFTER ONE DECADE!
Age of Empires 4 has been announced by Microsoft, for which they left an entire session in Gamescom! (After the Xbox One X announcements of course) This is where it all began, back when we were kids, and now, when we are full adults, starting from the ancient age to the fall of the Roman Empire in Age of Empires 1, from the development of civilization in Europe to the Renaissance in Age of Empires 2, and from the Age of Exploration till the Age of Colonization (or the Industrial era) in Age of Empires 3 and probably much beyond till the Second Age of Exploration (of space this time!) in Age of Empires 4. If a new game isn’t enough, Microsoft is remastering the older Age of Empires games and releasing it with better graphics (upto 4k!), a better soundtrack, and tons of bugfixes and improvements!
Watch the trailer here :
Microsoft’s approach to gaming has changed quite a lot, as recently they made Halo Wars available on PC and purchasable on Steam, that too a Definitive Edition with several improvements and bug fixes. Halo Wars 2 came out on PC too, which does mean Microsoft is looking at the PC as a viable gaming platform to market their games on, which is quite the change in attitude from back when Halo 3 released (and it didn’t come for PC).
What with all these strategy games, it’s going to bleed every nostalgic strategy fan’s and gaming nerd’s wallet dry, unless they save up for it beforehand. And then there is the new crowd, which the developers seek to woo into playing. Niche generation or not, it is making a comeback, and the change in perception of the developers is certainly welcome. Let’s hope players themselves look upon the games in a better way than they did in the past!