Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

This year has been unusual for me, gaming-wise, because I haven’t had That One Game. You know the one – the game that keeps you up at night while also managing to occupy your coffee breaks. The one that you can play while you’re listening to the new Flying Lotus album just as easily as you can play while Corrie’s on. It can take up all of your attention or the slightest part, filling whatever part of your mind you commit to it at any one time. I miss That Game.>

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Important decisions for a ruler.

Few games would boast of allowing that, perhaps only cracking a nervous joke in patch notes addressing the bug’s removal, but it’s a proper listed-in-the-trailer feature of Crusader Kings II‘s latest mini-expansion. Way of Life launched yesterday, injecting a little more personality into your pawns. WoL lets you give characters a “focus”, a passion in life that they’ll follow and pursue. Some folks like gossip, some are happiest when hunting, and some, well, some really want to marry their cousin. CK2 is basically a weirder, stabbier, and more difficult version of The Sims anyway, right?

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

Crusader Kings II is almost fully grown. As a kid, it didn’t have the breadth of thought to explore more than one belief system and certainly didn’t know how a Republic operated. With age came wisdom and the youngster was soon travelling all over the world to learn about different cultures and faiths. As part of the MA in Early Medieval History that it completed recently, CK II wrote a biography of Charlemagne and now it has left the cloisters of academia and is ready to enter the real world. The school of life. I give it two weeks before it’s bedding its own father in law and having its brothers chopped into messes.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

Every Sunday, we reach deep into Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s 141-year history to pull out one of the best moments from the archive. This week, Adam explores his own gaming history to understand why he plays and why he writes.>

This is my first week back from a holiday, during which time I barely looked at an internet, let alone wrote on one. I didn’t play any games either, unless you consider freezing to death on a remote Welsh hillside to be some sort of game. As is often the case, not doing something for five minutes has made me think about why I do it in the first place. Why, of all the wonderful and fascinating things that exist, do I spend so much time thinking and writing about games?

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

I haven’t checked in on Europa Universalis IV or Crusader Kings II for a while, but both games continue to expand in my absence. For Crusader Kings II, the Charlemagne expansion pushes back further into the early medieval period, with another hundred years added to the timeline and enough features to make the DLC equivalent in size to the gargantuan Old Gods expansion. EU IV’s Art of War expansion might be even larger and is certainly the grandest piece of DLC for Europa Universalis to date. As the name suggests, the focus is on military campaigns, but every system in these games is linked, so it’ll affect far more than the fracas. Videos below.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Ben Barrett)

Who will become the King of Fabulous (13)?

Humble Bundle are always going to be of varying quality – sometimes including only a single quality game with some bonuses, sometimes of no interest whatsoever – but the latest, titled Jumbo Bundle 2, is quite the bargain.

For the low, low price of whatever-the-hell-you’d-like you’ll get space 4X Galactic Civilizations II with its expansions, side-scrolling undead violence-applier Deadlight and isometric action RPG The Incredible Adventures of Ven Helsing. Beat the average price however ($6.32 at the time of writing) and you’ll also receive 2D survival exploration Terraria, combo-heavy high-skill fighting game King of Fighters XIII and the story-spawning strategy-RPG Crusader Kings 2.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

I don’t think I’d mind if Crusader Kings II received fresh DLC for the next twenty years. Judging by the latest announcement, which I witnessed live at a fan gathering/press conference at Gamescom, the greatest medieval strategy RPG-sim of all time might soon be simply the greatest historical> RPG-sim of all time. The upcoming Charlemagne expansion brings the possible start date ever closer to the classical era, with the option of beginning play in 769 AD to follow the life and times of Big Chuck. EU IV is also set to expand, to the beat of a warlike drum.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

A logo, yesterday.

I really appreciate the efforts of the voiceover man in this launch trailer for the new Crusader Kings expansion, Rajas of India. He’s doing his very best to make the game sound exciting and dramatic, even as the camera pans slowly across colourful cartography and static menu screens.

Except, as we players of Paradox’s medieval soap opera know, this is> exciting. You don’t need to say it in a dramatic voice: Rajas of India adds the Indian subcontinent, three new religions, and a lot of new ways to commit lusty barbarism.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

Rajas Of India is the next gargantuan expansion for 2012-2013′s best strategy game, Crusader Kings II. Your date with the Rajas is set for March 25th, which should give you just enough time to buy something nice to wear and book a table at that fancy restaurant that everybody keeps going on about. I’ve already gathered a wealth of information about what to expect, as well as thoughts on the expanded map, and new faiths and cultures. The ten minute video below contains much of the same information, delivered directly from the mind and mouth of Henrik F hraeus, the man who made the Middle Ages.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

I don’t think anyone at Paradox expected Crusader Kings II to spread into India with quite as much gusto as it will this March. The next expansion adds around 50% to the world map, with almost 400 new provinces, three new religions and a continent’s worth of new events, including the possibility of chained ‘reincarnation’ plotlines. As always with these generous chunks of DLC, a free patch will be released alongside the expansion and it will contain a surprisingly hefty amount of content, including the entirety of the expanded map, and Steam matchmaking and Workshop support. While it may not have the immediate appeal of the Old Gods to many (Vikings vs Buddhists anyone?), Rajas is the biggest expansion since. More details below.>

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