Misc

Misc
The State of PC Games: Paradox's 2011 Lineup

Greg Tito | 27 Jan 2011 21:00
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Defenders of Ardania
Release Date: Summer 2011

In most tower defense games, you set up a few defensive buildings and watch gleefully as they murderize wave upon wave of bad dudes as they stream towards you. Defenders of Ardania emulates that standard gameplay but it lets you send your own troops to accomplish your own goal on the map. Set in the fantasy world of Paradox's RPG Majesty, it adds a fair bit of "light RTS" to what can be a tiresome genre. You don't control your troops directly - that would make it a "heavy RTS" supposedly - but you can level them up, making them more powerful as you invest gold and mana.

There is also more action for the player to do than in many tower defense games, as you can cast spells with areas of effect to take out a pesky troop of enemies or provide bonuses to defense. These spells and powers can be upgraded as well, as you progress through the campaign.

I played through a level as part of the demonstration and despite the prettier graphics than most games of its ilk, Defenders of Ardania doesn't have anything that would compel me to spend the $15 to play the full game. The only caveat to that is the promise of multiplayer; if Paradox can make tower defense multiplayer work on this scale, then Defenders of Ardania might be interesting.


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Dreamlords: Resurrection
Release Date: April/May 2011

Dreamlords has been around for while; Resurrection is the third iteration of the MMO-RTS hybrid. Designed and originally self-published by Lockpick Entertainment, Dreamlords has been taken over by Paradox to be one of the free to play games released under the Paradox Connect banner. (Paradox Connect is kinda like Steam, with achievements, forums, friends lists, and a virtual currency: ducats.)

Because Dreamlords is already a functioning game, I was able to see a large part of how the game works. Your avatar is an eponymous demigod - a Dreamlord - and you start on a shard of land hovering in nothingness but split into different zones to explore. Each zone will give you something to fight or a quest to complete in a real time strategy map with your minions under your direct control. As your Dreamlord levels up, you gain more minions in your army as well as more powerful spells.

On top of that is a whole new level of MMO systems and communities. Organizing with other Dreamlords into Convergences (Read: guilds) is almost necessary if you want to handle the high-level content or engage in PvP against competing Convergences. There are also Convergence quests that involve collecting large amounts of crafting resources for bonuses to be applied to the whole group.

Dreamlords: Resurrection seems like a pretty deep game for a free to play MMO, and the RTS gameplay makes for a nice diversion from WoW or DCUO for those who prefer that genre.

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