Strategy specialists Paradox had a big day today, taking the lid off a bunch of new projects due for release over the next couple of years, including both new games and expansions to existing ones.
Biggest news first: Cities: Skylines, the world’s premier city-builder and a game that is somehow now eight years old, is getting a sequel. The debut trailer is sadly all cinematic, so there’s not much to be gained from it, but the accompanying press release has a little more info:
A modern take on the city-building genre, Cities: Skylines II lets players create and maintain cities that come to life like never before, complete with fully-realized transport and economy systems, a wealth of construction and customization options, and advanced modding capabilities. Revealed during the Paradox Announcement Show 2023, Cities: Skylines II evolves the city-building genre further, letting players build the cities of their dreams with the most open-ended city-building sandbox on the planet.
OK, so it doesn’t. That really doesn’t tell us anything either, especially what this is going to be doing that we can’t already do in Cities: Skylines. Ah well, at least it’ll look nicer! Maybe!
Crusader Kings III is getting a new expansion called Tours and Tournaments, which like the game’s last major update, Royal Court, is geared more towards the character and RPG side of the game than its broader strategic content.
There’s a lot more info on it here, but basically:
By assembling an entourage, selecting options for your travel, and hiring a caravan master, you are ready to set out on the road and travel to activities across the world. The Travel system is an integral part of activities, with both the host and guests traveling to reach them - creating a stronger feeling of place as you see your route being plotted and your character moving directly on the map.
The expansion will add three major events for you to travel to: Grand Tournaments, Grand Weddings and Grand Tours, each of them letting you strut about your realm, meet people and giving the player even more menus popping up asking you to choose a dialogue/action option.
It’ll be released in “late Spring”.
This looks cool! This is a brand new thing, a “tactical turn-based strategy game set in an alternate 1933", which is a longer way of describing what was surely its elevator pitch, which is “It’s Indiana Jones x XCOM”.
Since that trailer has zero gameplay in it, here’s a second:
The game is due out on “PC and Xbox Series X and S consoles in 2023".
Venerable grand strategy classic Europa Universalis IV is getting its 2168th expansion with Domination, which “offers new mission trees, new government reforms, new estate management and new events for several of the major powers in the game”.
That means powers like Britain, Spain and France have been “given new life and new balance, with greater historical depth, more promising rewards and branching mission trees so player choices can have a dramatic impact on the course of history”.
Paradox also made a bunch of smaller announcements for smaller titles, like a Surviving the Aftermath expansion and “Mechabellum, a sci-fi auto-battler game where players compete with ever-growing armies of mechs, robots, and heavy weapons”, which you can check out here.