sábado, 15 de diciembre de 2012

Crusader Kings II: A Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones

Paradox' excellent Crusader Kings II becomes, with an exhaustively extensive range of modifications - from the map to the characters to the very political structure of the game - just about the perfect Game of Thrones video game.


There is an Awesome Game of Thrones Video Game.

You Can Play it Right Now.

Over the weekend, the first playable release of Crusader Kings II: A Game of Thrones was made available for public download. And it is already pretty much the perfect Game of Thrones video game.


I mentioned in my review of Crusader Kings II earlier in the year that the systems put in place by developers Paradox seemed ideally suited to George R R Martin's fantasy universe. While there are larger things going on like Kingdoms falling and wars being fought, CKII places just as much importance on the more personal side of feudal rule: marriage, politics, alliances and back-stabbing. Which just so happens to b the same blending of the big and small picture that that makes GoT that much more appealing to a wider audience than your standard fantasy tale.

It was only last week, then, that in lieu of a decent official Game of Thrones title I was recommending people keep an eye out for a Game of Thrones mod for Crusader Kings II instead. Turns out you didn't have to wait long, because it's not only been suddenly released, but it's already surprisingly playable and, more impressive, comprehensive.


Beginning during Robert's Rebellion against the mad King Aerys, CKII:GoT lets you play as any title-holder in Westeros. And I do mean any. The mod team has certainly done their research, as going beyond the big names like Aerys, Robert and Ned Stark are hundreds of lesser lords and officials, some featuring as characters in the books/TV show, others only mentioned briefly or in passing.


What does this mean? Everything I said about the main game in my review applies here, only everything I loved about CKII is now magnified, because I'm not playing as some random English Duke, I can play as Ned Stark. Walder Frey is there, and he has 100 kids, and they can all be married off to unsuspecting husbands/wives/victims. Even The Wall and the Night's Watch are there, though without Wildlings in this beta release, they're not doing much.


Honestly, it's worth a download just to use it as an interactive Game of Thrones encyclopaedia, clicking through the family trees and lineages and histories not only learning about the world, but admiring the amount of work that's gone into this mod.


In terms of what it adds or changes to the vanilla CKII, there's nothing too different. There's a new war system in place to better handle the nature of the conflict (since it's one giant civil conflict), a new assassination system and the incorporation of knights into the character system. Aside from that, and some welcome (and extensive) re-skinning of CKII's graphics, things play mostly the same as they do in the standard game. Some added, extra events - winter is coming, prisoners demanding trial by combat - are a nice touch.


I haven't run into too many issues so far, but I've only been playing as the Starks, and I've only been playing over the weekend. I'm sure something will pop up sooner or later, this being the first beta release of a mod, but whatever. It works, and it's stable enough to enjoy. Know though that it does need some balancing, especially with regards to how strong King Aerys' forces are early on. Get past the early wars, though, and things seem to settle back down to a more normal pace.


If you're a strategy game veteran, you'll have no problems here. Those who are big GoT fans but who haven't played a game like Crusader Kings II, don't panic; it may look complex, but it's surprisingly easy to get a handle on, and you can have enjoyable games only knowing the very basics of its structure. Later playthroughs, where you can dig a little deeper, will only get better.
You can download the mod at the link below. Note that, being a mod, you'll need a copy of Crusader Kings II first, which you can get here.


UPDATE - Seems Crusader Kings II is $10 on Amazon, or $12.50 as part of a deal including other Paradox games. Great timing, that!



Game of Thrones PS3



In this 30plus hour action RPG, players will enter Westeros, the gritty and medieval fantasy world made internationally popular by the acclaimed book and TV series. As one of two original characters with disparate motivations, both former soldiers of Robert's Rebellion, players will forge alliances and wage battles as they play a pivotal role in the ongoing war for power between the Houses of Westeros. Their journey will span numerous quests, during which they will interact with many characters and make key decisions that impact the realm.


Standing before the majesty and bitter isolation of the Wall or walking through the streets and alleys of King's Landing, players will not simply pass by locations and characters integral to the series; they will explore and interact with them, meeting and learning about the people and history that defines them and their importance. Key decisions and major events will have meaningful impact on Westeros, allowing the player to witness how the game world evolves over time based on their actions or inactions.


Moreover, Game of Thrones introduces an innovative "active slowdown tactical combat engine" in which combat mirrors the series' thoughtful approach to war and politics: fighting slows but never stops entirely, forcing the player to make quick, pressured choices before their enemy strikes again. In this way, combat mirrors the series' thoughtful approach to war and politics. In early 2012, with this epic new Game of Thrones game, fans will have a chance to not simply read or watch the story, but to take an active role in the riveting drama as it unfolds.


With an original story written under the supervision of George R. R. Martin, filled with characters and locations straight from the pages of the beloved fantasy saga - including the likenesses of stars from the cast of the hit HBO TV adaptation, Game of Thrones promises to deliver the ultimate interactive RPG experience for fans of its gritty, sophisticated medieval fantasy.



    • Play as multiple characters, embark on numerous quests, and make key decisions that have meaningful impact on Westeros in this 30plus hour action RPG epic! 
    • For fans hungry for more Game of Thrones content, the game's story - available nowhere else - opens up another part of George R. R. Martin's enthralling world, putting players in the shoes of two former soldiers of Robert's Rebellion who have made choices that led them in different directions. Now, despite divergent goals, they must come together to deal with common enemies, surviving countless battles and foiling the plot that threatens the kingdom.
    • Combat mirrors the series' thoughtful approach to war and politics: fighting slows but never stops entirely, forcing the player to make quick, pressured choices before their enemy strikes again.


miércoles, 12 de diciembre de 2012

El Internet: Edición Game of Thrones

El mapa de la Internet al estilo Game of Thrones
Haz clic en la imagen para verlo en grande

La revista El Economista comisionó este mapa ilustrando el Internet al estilo Game of Thrones, creado por David Parkins.

En él, pueden apreciar regiones tales como Appleachia, Amazonia, Google Earth, y Fortress Facebook, entre otros. La ilustración viene a raíz de un interesante artículo que desglosa la actividad de las entidades más importantes de la web titulado “Technology Giants at War: Another Game of Thrones” (“Otro Juego de Tronos” en español).

A diferencia de décadas anteriores, el panorama en línea es cada vez más complicado. En los 1980 estuvo la guerra entre IBM y Apple; en los 1990, Microsoft vs Netscape; sin embargo, el panorama de hoy es un juego de innovación, contenido, y quién proveerá la mejor “experiencia” a futuro con una combinación de implementación web con periféricos (entiéndase como “más tablets y smartphones“).
¿Cuál será tu casa para este “invierno” que se avecina?


Puedes leer el artículo original (en inglés) entrando en este enlace.