In this weeks bulletin, we discuss Manor Lords, Immortals Fenyx Rising, The Wagadu Chronicles, a historical framework, Pendragon, Stronghold: Warlords, Assassin’s Creed in VR, the Game Devs of Color Expo and Civ VI!

Manor Lords trailer

About two months ago, Manor Lords was announced. The hybrid between Banished and Total War is set in the medieval era and focusses on city-building and warfare (hence the hybrid). A new trailer has just dropped for the game, focussing on several elements of the game. First of all, it seems that you will not be building just one city, but can focus on more settlements in a region (with regional development). As far as warfare goes, the trailer shows the several unit classes available and how to recruit them. In medieval style, you can raise your local militia, or pay hardened fighters with stacks of gold and silver. As someone with a love for the Middle Ages and a ‘city-builder coinaisseur’ (that’s what Dr. Random called me), I’m very excited for this game. It will go through early access first, but no date has been announced yet. You can read more on Manor Lords at PC Gamer and definitely watch the gameplay overview below!

Video: Manor Lords

Immortals Fenyx Rising

IGN posted a first look at Immortals Fenyx Rising. The storybook adventure game is based on Greek Mythology (which seems to be quite a hit these days), but does not claim total accuracy. Immortals Fenyx Rising is set on The Golden Isle, a land divided into zones dedicated to seven different Greek deities. However, the isle has been invaded by dangerous creatures. Play as the demi-god Fenyx and liberate the isle. The game will launch on December 3rd. Read more on IGN or watch the tour of the Golden Isle below!

The Wagadu Chronicles: kickstarter

We love our fair share of RPG’s. However, it seems that more often than not, they’re more about grinding out weapons and skills than what the games actually are named after: role playing. Cue The Wagadu Chronicles, a project that seeks to bring the role play, and more importantly the lore, back into RPG. Also, the game will be an MMO but will also feature offline lore books! That is cool in it self, but the devs (Twin Drums) also want to change the way games portray non-European lore. Most non-European/Western lore is still presented through a Western (colonial) lense. The Wagadu Chronicles tries to change this, and create a roleplaying safespace for everyone (The Verge). You can support this awesome game through Kickstarter (around $10.000 still needed until the 30th of October). You should also definitely check out Alan Wen’s amazing feature on The Verge about the game.

Image: Twin Drums

The Historical Problem Space Framework

Yes, that sounds as academic as it can be. And it is, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t interesting. One of the household names in (historical) video game research, Jeremiah McCall, has created a new framework to analyse games as more than just texts. The HPS-framework looks at how video games present the past through player agents with different roals and goals. These are contextualized in a virutal world, with features that enable and constrain player action. In respons to those features and their constraints, players craft strategies and make choises. In short: the framework allows analysis on a whole new level: not only of text, but also of the world, players and interactions between all elements of a video game. You can read McCall’s article in Game Studies here.

Pendragon release & review

inkle’s Pendragon is finally out in the world! We’ve been waiting some time for this game, and we’re very happy that we can finally play it (like we did in yesterday’s stream). Pendragon isn’t a ‘normal’ game to say the least. Whereas many games let you play through the same story over and over again, Pendragon‘s story changes with every playthrough. New characters in the Arthurian Epic become available when you meet them in the game, and the narrative influences the player whilst the player also influences the narrative. The next time you come to the aid of King Arthur, you can play as one of the characters you met in your previous playthroughs. It’s a pretty cool mechanic, although it takes a while to get to the core of the mechanics. But that doesn’t really matter according to Robert Purchese of Eurogamer, as Pendragon ‘grows richer over time and retelling.’ We’re big fans of the game, so definitely check it out (it isn’t that expensive either)!

Image: Eurogamer / inkle

Stronghold: Warlords

The next iteration of FireFly Studios successful Stronghold-series is upon us: Stronghold: Warlords. During PAXxEGX Digital a demo was released for the game which will eventually be released in Januari 2021. Rock Paper Shotgun’s Nate Crowley played the demo and holds faith that FireFly can return the series to it’s former greatness. This is partly because it now features a non-European theatre, as it focusses on East Asia. Secondly, the game does successfully portray feudalism (or as Crowley calls it: ‘it gets feudalism just right’). Although I might kinda disagree with him (but this will become a historical discussion about feudalism no one is waiting for), I’m quite excited for the final product. You can check Crowley’s entire review of the demo here, or check the trailer below!

Video: fireflyworlds

Assassin’s Creed in VR

Ubisoft announced it will bring Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell to VR (Eurogamer). In last weeks Facebook’s VR event, Ubisoft suggested it will develop the VR versions for the games as Oculus exclusives. It will be cool (but also terrifying to jump around the roofs of Florence as Ezio, but for the fans of the Splinter Cell-franchise, it is finally some good news as it has been a while since a full fledged game of the series has been released. Unfortunately, this is all the information Ubisoft gave us, but more is definitely to come!

Game Devs of Color Expo

Diversity in gaming is more important than ever. That’s why the Game Devs of Color Expo is such an important event. Because this years expo was online, participants send in some very cool video showcases. Zack Zwiesen of Kotaku compiled a list of his favorite attendees. One we would like to highlight is Museum Multiverse, a VR puzzle-adventure game about an abandoned museum. You must traverse the multiple worlds existing in the museum and find a way to escape. It looks proper cool!

Video: Hessvacio Hassan

Civ VI update

Last week we shared the showcase of one of the new leaders in Civ VI. Yesterday, the September update to the game was released into the wild. Next to Basil II of Byzantium, players can now also choose Ambiorix of Gaual to lead them through history. I’ve played one game with Basil II and he’s proper overpowered if you like religious and warlike play. Ambiorix focusses more on a defensive playstyle, but the unique district also looks quite overpowered to say the least. However, the new dramatic ages gamemode is quite fun! Check out Ambiorix’ and Gauls specifics in the video below!

Video: Sid Meier’s Civilization