In this weeks bulletin, we only focus on Crusader Kings III. Just kidding of course! We definitely discuss CK3, but also Age of Empires III, Curious Expedition 2, the representation of Islam in video games and another interview with Sid Meier!

Curious Expedition 2 wins ‘Best Indie Game’ during gamescom 2020

As the title already suggests, Maschinen-Mensch’s Curious Expedition 2 has won the ‘Best Indie Game’ award during gamescom 2020! The second iteration of the Curious Expedition games, it builds on its predecessor successful formula. Using procedurally generated worlds, players must explore every corner of the world, whilst mastering turn based combat and other perils along the way (although there are some points to talk about, which we did when we streamed Curious Expedition 1 a while back). The game is now in Early Access, so you can pick it up for just €17. You can also check the press release of the award here!

Image: Maschinen Mensch

The HD Capybaras in Age of Empires III

Age of Empires III: Definiteve Edition launches in just over a month. Last week, the devs started to share some of the new visuals of the game (4K!) on Twitter. What got most people hyped up (like Kotaku’s Zack Zwiezen)? The HD capybaras in the game! Just look at them (and how much better it is than the old version)! Aside from cute HD animals, Definitive Edition will also feature modern mechanics and features such as cross play. We only have to wait for one more month until we can gaze upon the reworked world of AoE III!

Crusader Kings III: reviews and mods

If you’ve missed it, you must be hiding somewhere. Last tuesday, Paradox launched Crusader Kings III, the new game in the medieval RTS-series. Instead of making another DLC for Crusader Kings II, the devs finally decided to create a new game. And it’s good. It’s very good. Building upon the experiences of CK2, the game now has 3D-modeled characters (which livens stuff up), has a really nice and calm UI (which is pretty un-Paradoxy), has some very neat new features (like the lifestyle), and provides you with hours upon hours of medieval fun! Kotaku’s Luke Plunkett was also very impressed, satating in his very extensive review that ‘Crusader Kings III may begin in what we used to call the Dark Ages, but it’s a Renaissance for strategy gaming in 2020.’ We also had a dab at the game at both our streams this week, and will perhaps play some more. If you like medieval games, or just RTS in general, you should definitely check it out. However, beware of the tutorial, as it is still a Paradox game, so don’t expect to learn that much from the turorial. You can now pick up CK3 from Steam for €50.

Image: Paradox Interactive

And of course, with the launch of a new game, new mods also pop up! And some of those mods are already very extensive, which is pretty amazing. For example, you can check out The Bronze Age: Maryannu. The mod, surprisingly, adds a Near-East map, with additional playable characters, new start dates, new assets and much more! It’s amazing that people are this dedicated to making mods, but it also raises one question (please see image below). The answer: Paradox gave some big modders early access to the game, being the nice devs they are. Check out more mods on the CK3 Workshop on Steam.

Image: Steam Community

Playing the CyberSultan

Many (strategy) games, like CK3 and it’s predecessor CK2 allow you to play various different rulers, from different cultures and with different religions. However, when it comes to the Islam, the games often overgeneralize many elements of one of the largest religions in the world. Edmund Hayes had a look at the representation of Islam in videogames, and especially the strategy branch. The conclusion: even though some games do tend to portray more elements of Islam (like the many sub-divisions of faith), it often boils down to the fact that Muslims are more pious than Christian rulers, especially in the Middle Ages. According to Hayes, that does not hold up in light of some notable events in the history of the world (like the Crusades). You can read Hayes’ entire piece here (please do, it’s very interesting). Please note that Hayes only wrote about CK2, so we have to see what CK3 does different this time!

Image: Paradox Interactive

More talks with Sid Meier

Last week, we mentioned the rare opportunity to see Sid Meier speak live. Well, this week we have some more Sid on offer! You can check out Sid’s story on PAX Online (it’s pre-recorded and will go live the 13th of September). Like the previous mentioned talk, and his memoirs, Sid will trace back his career, and tell you how his name became known all over the world!