Must have strategy games of 2016
by Vykintas Maziukas
January 1, 1970
Although 2017 is just around the corner and already most of us, gaming enthusiasts, can’t wait to see what the next year will have to offer, it is a perfect time to take a step back and get a good look at the grandiose creations we have been offered to try this year!
You have guessed it! This little creature is the first one on the list and boy it deserved that. After a devastating failure of Civilization: Beyond Earth this one is hell of a treat for a 4X strategy games fan like myself.
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is the sixth main title in the Civilization series developed by Firaxis Games. As per usual, the goal of the game is to lead your empire to a cultural, scientific, domination, religious or score victory. As for now, the game will let you chose from 20 distinct leaders with their special units, abilities and buildings. Now, that may seem like the good old Civilization V but that would not be an accurate thing to say. The new game offers us many new features which help achieving desired victory faster and more efficiently whilst also giving the game more depth:
- districts, which benefit from the surrounding environment (mines, mountains etc.) and produce different types of bonuses.
- civics, which work just like policies in a real world empowering various different things.
- diplomacy improvements (yes, it is finally here!) adding visible and hidden leader agendas which influence the way you interact with other civilizations and many more smaller neat changes that make the game more intuitive to a player.
Unfortunately, in the current state, the game still has it’s flaws and missing features. For example:
- they have removed congress which many believed to be a really big part of the game.
- did not add the “Earth” map nor officially supported true starting locations for different empires and more.
- some people may find the speed of the game too fast as technologies and civis in later stages of the game are gained quite fast.
Developers mentioned that some of the things will probably be added to the game as parts of DLC in the future but until then we will have to rely on the hard-working and dedicated community of modders from websites like Civfanatics to enhance the gameplay experience for us.
Next up is Stellaris. A game developed and published by the one and only Paradox Interactive. A studio responsible for epic titles such as: Europa Universalis, Hearts of Iron and Cities: Skylines. In this “not your casual space empire simulator” you will have to micro-manage your space civilization and guide it in the vast galaxy filled with dangers. This one is for true grand strategy game lovers. And well, I might understand ones reservations about this new game considering the developer behind it, but be rest assured that this is nothing like you have ever seen published by Paradox.
The game has a very practical and sensible UI (in comparison to Europa Universalis), a moving pace and extensively broad specter of playing styles. As you begin the game you will be asked to pick a pre-generated civilization with it’s own traits or go and experiment creating a personal one with a lot of detail. You will be able to chose your aliens preferred climate, their traits, government type, ship visuals, guns, flag.. Everything you can imagine – you can create. The choice is yours. Once you will jump in to the actual game, you will start exploring systems to uncover the resources for your empire to develop and expand, you will research futuristic technologies that will allow you to terraform planets, change the genome of your species, improve the habitability of your planets and other fancy stuff you have seen on TV. You will face wars, random events, catastrophes and much, much more.
Stellaris will offer you many hours of joy and non-stop action. It’s like the best sci-fi movie you have ever seen, except it is 100 times better. Hell, the game let’s you be a Nazi bastard and purge every other nation in the galaxy or play as the “America” and bring that “freedom” to other “less free” civilizations. Isn’t that what we have all been waiting for?!
ENDLESS SPACE 2
Endless Space 2 is a 4X strategy game developed by Amplitude Studios. If you have ever played Endless Legend or Endless Space before you are already familiar with them. As a matter of fact, Endless Space 2 is actually a combination of both Endless Legend and Endless Space. Currently it is in a Early Access but after playing it even for a short time I felt an urge to write something about it since it may be one of the most polished Early Access games I have seen in a while.
The game will put you in the shoes of a leader guiding his civilization in making the first steps in the interstellar exploration. You will have a chance to pick one of the 8 presented factions in the game (now only 4 are selectable. Expect more in the near future). After jumping in to the game you will begin your journey by training your leaders for different tasks, developing advanced technologies, exploiting planets resources, engaging in wars and diplomatic conversations, exploring the universe and expanding your colony. The UI is perfectly arranged and easy to understand even for a first time player so you don’t have to worry about having to do a 12 hour research online on how everything works prior playing. It is also worth mentioning that breathtaking visuals and beautifully composed music compliment each other and fit perfectly in to the space theme of the game. The game will surely make you feel like a great leader leading your people in a yet unexplored and unconquered universe.
Although the game is still in Early Access (as mentioned before) it offers an unforgettable experience to anyone willing to play it. Don’t miss your chance.