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Strategy games

StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Prologue Missions now available to everyone

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
News
Tags:
Battle.net, Blizzard Entertainment, PC games, Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void, Strategy games

StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Prologue Missions now available to everyone

Having previously been only available to those who pre-purchased the game directly from Blizzard, the three prologue missions for StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void is now available to everyone. That includes those of you who haven't bought Wings of Liberty or Heart of the Swarm - all you need to do is download the StarCraft II Starter Pack and you'll be able to play through the three missions, which provides around about an hour or so of gameplay.

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Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War Franchise is Free to Play & 75% off this weekend

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Dawn Of War, Dawn of War II, Free weekend, PC games, Relic Entertainment, Sega, Steam, Strategy games, Warhammer 40K

Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War Franchise is Free to Play & 75% off this weekend

If you've been interested in trying out the Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War series but have held off, now is the time to give it a go. Both Dawn of War and Dawn of War II, along with all its DLC, is currently free to play on Steam this weekend. Better yet, if you end up enjoying it you an save a massive 75% on everything available. Newcomers will find the best value in the Franchise Pack, which holds absolutely everything for £24.99, but those of you missing the odd bit of DLC will be able to make a saving as well.

In addition to the free weekend and massive sale for the RTS titles, Relic are giving away some brand new content for free to mark the occasion. You can find details for this, which includes a free map and items for characters, after the jump.

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Command & Conquer Red Alert 2 + Yuri's Revenge is currently FREE on Origin

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Command & Conquer Red Alert 2, EA, Free, Origin, PC games, Strategy games, Yuri's Revenge

Command & Conquer Red Alert 2 + Yuri's Revenge is currently FREE on Origin

EA are once again giving an absolute classic away for free with their On The House promotion. This time it's for Command & Conquer Red Alert 2, as well as its expansion. As always, all you need to do is log into Origin, claim the game, and it will be yours to keep. I still regard Red Alert 2 as one of my favourite RTS titles thanks to its varied units and fantastic gameplay balance (not to mention those fantastically hammy FMV sequences between mission.) In short, go and grab this freebie, listen to the glorious tones of the Hell March, and then roll that tank column over your foes like there's no tomorrow.

StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void gets November release date

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
News
Tags:
Blizzard Entertainment, PC games, release date, Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void, Strategy games

StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void gets November release date

Opening cinematic sets the scene for the final chapter

At the StarCraft II World Championship Series Season 3 Finals this weekend, Blizzard announced that the stand-along expansion Legacy of the Void would be arriving sooner than originally speculated - November 10th, to be exact. The introduction for the Protoss-focused expansion was also premiered at the event, setting the stage for the final chapter in the StarCraft saga.

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Pre-order StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void for just £17.95

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Blizzard Entertainment, cdkeys, PC games, Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void, Strategy games

Pre-order StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void for just £17.95

Now here's a fine price ahead of its unconfirmed December release date, as it beats the price direct from Blizzard by over £12. It should be noted that, unlike the pre-purchase from Blizzard, you won't get immediate access to the Mutliplayer beta or the Prologue missions with this listing, although it's worth pointing out that those missions will be made free to everyone nearer to release. With the campaign set to close off the StarCraft saga - and the high standard of the previous two instalments in the series - we're expecting big things from the stand-alone Protoss expansion. Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD!

Watch 10 minutes of XCOM 2 in this new gameplay walkthrough

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
2K, Firaxis, PC games, Strategy games, XCOM 2

Watch 10 minutes of XCOM 2 in this new gameplay walkthrough

Play the music and prepare to deploy, because XCOM 2 has received over ten minutes of gameplay footage direct from E3.

You'll watch the newly embattled team attempt to disrupt the Unification Day celebrations, marking humanity's defeat by the alien forces, seeing the new Ranger Class and procedurally generated maps in action. We crave it madly.

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Lord Of Magna: Maiden Heaven Review | Harem Hotel

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
3DS Games, JRPG, Lord Of Magna: Maiden Heaven, Marvelous Games, Strategy games, Visual novel

Lord Of Magna: Maiden Heaven Review | Harem Hotel

The fact that Lord Of Magna: Maiden Heaven even exists, let alone made its way to the US and Europe, is nothing short of incredible.

As far as I can tell the original studio was shut down partway through development, but Marvelous Games managed to put the band back together long enough to finish, publish and localise it. Effectively Lord Of Magna is back from the dead and the result is a fun, cheeky and very interesting little thing indeed. Halfway between a strategy JRPG, romantic visual novel and ten-pin bowling, it's absolutely delightful.

Lord Of Magna revolves around the harem dynamic we've seen in everything from Sekirei to Omega Quintet. A hapless innkeeper with an unpronounceable name, Luchs Eduard, finds himself forced to scavenge for crystals to keep his business afloat. Encountering monsters instead of riches, he's saved by a mysterious Fairy Maiden and becomes her master via a strange bracelet. With a new purpose, Luchs (ugh, thank goodness that we can rename him) sets out to assemble six more Fairy Maidens, discover their true origins and learn the truth behind his family inn.

Oh, and he also puts them to work in the hotel to earn their keep, inspired by his enthusiastic yet slightly lascivious friend. Cue some light romance and a little bit of ecchi teasing as you grow to know the seven sisters through lighthearted banter and absolutely insane combat.

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Football Manager 2015 will eat your life for only £9.39

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Football Manager 2015, PC games, Strategy games

Football Manager 2015 will eat your life for only £9.39

We all know what Football Manager 2015 does, but it's damn good at doing it. The UI is great, cleaner and crisper, while it's more easy to navigate between the most important screens. The match engine is also engrossing despite its imperfections, sucking you in over and over again if you're not careful. For less than a tenner it's hard not to recommend, even if I still find it amusing that it's one of the beardiest and geekiest grand strategy games around has a cool reputation.

Thanks to mrcwtonothy @ HUKD!

XCOM 2 is happening and humanity is on the offensive

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Firaxis, PC games, Strategy games, XCOM 2

XCOM 2 is happening and humanity is on the offensive

So I was out at a preview event yesterday. "Never mind," I thought. "Nothing major will happen on a Monday."

Then 2K only went and announced a sequel to bloody XCOM.

It turns out that the mysterious game they were teasing, Advent, is none other than XCOM 2, which takes a very different approach from Enemy Unknown. 20 years after losing the war against the extraterrestrials and undergoing a brutal occupation, the remnants of XCOM are fighting a savage mobile guerilla war to take the planet back. We're the enemy unknown. Watch the trailer and let's have an overdue chat.

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Cities: Skylines gets another huge free update

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Cities: Skylines, PC games, Strategy games

Cities: Skylines gets another huge free update

DLC alert! Cities: Skylines has received an enormous update containing new maps, 72 new buildings, tunnels, assets, additions, fixes and more. How much are Paradox charging?

Well, seeing as you already read the headline, let's just skip straight to the awesome free stuff.

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Blackguards 2 is hard as nails, but fantastic value at £9.49

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Blackguards 2, game keys, PC games, Strategy games

Blackguards 2 is hard as nails, but fantastic value at £9.49

Blackguards 2 delivers brutal hex-based strategy and environmental puzzling while refining the original game in several smart ways. The more open yet focused campaign, propped up by a fantastic central character who's as evil as you want her to be, makes for a satisfying if punishing experience.

You can read more details in our 7/10 review, bearing in mind that most of the technical launch issues have now been fixed, and if you like the idea Blackguards 2 can be yours for less than a tenner - saving about £13.99!

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is out today in the UK - and you can get a copy for less than £25

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
3DS Games, Code Name S.T.E.A.M., Strategy games

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is out today in the UK - and you can get a copy for less than £25

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is out today in the UK and one of the most unique strategy games I've ever played.

"Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. makes a sensational elevator pitch," I wrote in our 8/10 review. "It's a turn-based strategy game that feels like XCOM, plays like Gears Of War and hails from the creators of Fire Emblem, all wrapped up in a delightfully cel-shaded Steampunk universe that parodies the American civil war. With geeky stunt casting from Wil "Wesley Crusher" Wheaton, Michael "Worf" Dorn and Jeremy "Finn" Shada no less."

There's a steep learning curve, and it won't be for everyone, but personally I loved it to bits. If you like what you see, you can now get a copy for less than £25.

Train Valley is on track (groan) and Steam Early Access

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Puzzle games, Steam Early Access, Strategy games, Train Valley

It's clear that Train Valley isn't based in the UK, because this adorable cross between a virtual train set and puzzler is on track, on time and pulling into the Early Access station now.

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Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. Review | Mecha-Lincoln Wants YOU

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
3DS Games, Code Name S.T.E.A.M., Intelligent Systems, Nintendo, Strategy games

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. Review | Mecha-Lincoln Wants YOU

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. makes a sensational elevator pitch. It's a turn-based strategy game that feels like XCOM, plays like Gears Of War and hails from the creators of Fire Emblem, all wrapped up in a delightfully cel-shaded Steampunk universe that parodies the American civil war. With geeky stunt casting from Wil "Wesley Crusher" Wheaton, Michael "Worf" Dorn and Jeremy "Finn" Shada no less.

Intelligent Systems have produced one of their most unique and confident games to date, another triumphant 3DS exclusive that deserves your immediate attention now that us Brits are finally able to play it. However, to fully appreciate how Code Name S.T.E.A.M. blends two disparate genres together, you'll have to unlearn much of what you think you already know.

The premise is delightfully mad. Set in a crazy steampunk alternate version of the late 19th century complete with massive brass airships and high calibre cannons, aliens have invaded the United Kingdom and threaten to unseat Queen Victoria. Who can save us? Why, only Abraham Lincoln and his elite team of alien-killing operatives, of course. Armed with the latest steam-powered technology, mechanical armour and weaponry, the Agents Of S.T.E.A.M. deploy to rout the extraterrestrials and rescue the British Empire.

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Flash deal: save 95% on Stronghold 3 Gold (Steam Code)

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
game keys, PC games, Strategy games, Stronghold 3
Flash deal: save 95% on Stronghold 3 Gold (Steam Code)

Stronghold 3 was completely broken at launch. So utterly unfit for task, in fact, that I spent the bulk of my Stronghold 3 Review pointing out flaws and sobbing softly into my keyboard.

However, Firefly have been hard at work and fixed a whole lot of stuff. It's now easier to play, more accessible, less aggravating and wolves can't climb sodding ladders any more. Better yet, you can get the Gold Edition for just £1.14 over at Green Man Gaming - that's a 95% discount!

It's a flash deal, so move fast, but bear in mind that Stronghold 3 is flawed in a number of ways. Again, though, £1.14.

Jagged Alliance Collector's Bundle now £4.49, down from £29.99

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
game keys, Jagged Alliance, PC games, Strategy games

Jagged Alliance Collector's Bundle now £4.49, down from £29.99

The Jagged Alliance Collector's Bundle includes Jagged Alliance: Back in Action and Crossfire and 6 DLC packs: Desert Specialist Kit, Jungle Specialist Kit, Night Specialist Kit, Urban Specialist Kit, Point Blank & Shades of Red. It usually retails at a hefty £29.99 on Steam, but this weekend you can grab a Steam code for an outrageous £4.49!

Get the Tropico 5 Limited Special Edition for £25.99 on PS4

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PS4 games, Strategy games, Tropico 5

Get the Tropico 5 Limited Special Edition for £25.99 on PS4

Tropico 5 is the latest in Kalypso's banana republic despot simulator series. If you want to get involved on PS4, you can now grab the Limited Special Edition at a major saving.

Reviews are positive and the consensus is that Tropico 5 is really rather good. You'll also get physical merch, such as a map and postcards from your sunny new island. Enjoy, El Presidente. Many thanks to andrewww @ HUKD!

Europa Universalis IV now 75% off, grand savings on grand strategy

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Europa Universalis IV, PC games, Strategy games

Europa Universalis IV now 75% off, grand savings on grand strategy

Bundle Stars are currently running a tasty deal for Europa Universalis IV, with the game and all DLC available at a 75% discount. Grand Strategy fanatics will have probably already delved into this exceptionally deep take on the genre, which received rave reviews and is generally considered to be the best in the venerable series. Indulge in true exploration, trade, in-depth diplomacy and, when all else fails, all-out warfare.

Get Ground Pounders for just £0.66 and save over £8 (Steam Code)

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Ground Pounders, PC games, Strategy games

Get Ground Pounders for just £0.66 and save over £8 (Steam Code)

Looking for some hex-based strategy on the cheap? Ground Pounders is the latest IndieGameStand Pay What You Want deal. Clocking in at £0.66 minimum, the game garnered mixed reviews that praises its depth but criticises the lack of tutorials, but what we can all agree on is that it's a massive saving considering the £8.99 RRP!

Conversely you could beat the average to also receive Sword Of The Stars: The Pit (a Sci-Fi themed Roguelike).

StarDrive 2 Review | Space Bears On Fire Off The Shoulder Of Orion

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
4X games, Games reviews, Iceberg Interactive, PC games, StarDrive 2, Strategy games, Zero Sum Games

StarDrive 2 Review | Space Bears On Fire Off The Shoulder Of Orion

Exploration is nice. I'm partial to a little Expansion and Exploitation too. StarDrive 2 offers all of these things, but when it comes right down to brass tacks, it's all about wholesale Extermination on a galactic scale. Sweeping battles in space and on land, attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion, glittering armadas reduced to smouldering ruin. And that's absolutely fine by us.

While the space 4X genre is actually booming thanks to a small number of true greats (such as Distant Worlds and Endless Space), there's also a slew of generic, mechanically unsound and lacklustre cookie-cutter clones attempting to satisfy the demand. Though much closer in mechanics and tone to a traditional 4X game than its RTS-inspired predecessor, StarDrive 2 cuts through the noise by doing things differently, and in many cases, better.

Also there are Space Bears. Which we like immensely, even when they're rampaging through our colonies thanks to surprisingly canny AI.

Note that this review is based on v.1.0h, which includes a huge number of stability and balance tweaks alongside major AI and difficulty level tuning. - Jonathan

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