"What makes up a king?" asks the Earl of Warwick in this War of the Roses: Kingmaker trailer, before quickly answering it with "IT'S ME, BRIAN BLESSED, I DO." The booming British actor plays the part of the Kingmaker himself in this imminent special edition of Paradox Interactive's historical multiplayer battler - imminent as in tomorrow, March 21st. As previously revealed, his thunderous voice will shake the battlefield by announcing in-game events and warnings, and if this video is any indication, we're all going to have tinnitus by the end of the round 1.
As well as including content from previous updates, this special edition of War of the Roses features a new game mode: Assault. This has you attempting to either breach a stronghold, or defend it from oncoming invaders. The game was recently updated to support controllers and Steam's Big Picture mode, both of which have obviously made it into this new version.
If you already own War of the Roses, you'll get all that lovely new stuff for free. Otherwise, the Kingmaker edition will set you back $19.99, from "digital distributors everywhere". Additionally, Paradox are hosting a Twitch.tv livestream at 7pm GMT/12pm PDT tomorrow, where they'll be showing off the game's new content - that is, if you can hear them over Brian Blessed's DULCET TONES.
You might want to have a pair of earplugs handy for the following video.
IT'S HERE! After much anticipation, War of the Roses' Brian Blessed DLC pack has been released. The pack casts the cacophonous thesp into the role of narrator, announcing victories and defeats with his own unique aural assault. I've done you a disservice by not typing the entirety of this opening paragraph in all caps. TO THE VIDEO!
At £3.99, it's a little pricey for what is a essentially just a voice-over swap. Is it worth it to hear Blessed's boisterous bellow belting into your face? That's a discussion best left to you and your likely terrified ears.
Value aside, I approve of the idea. There can't be many games that wouldn't benefit from the inclusion of Blessed. Perhaps we could persuade him to re-do the narration for Dear Esther?
If you already have Steam installed, click here to install or play War of the Roses. If you don't have Steam, you can download it here.
War of the Roses is a team based third person action game set in 15th century England. Two rival branches of the Royal House of Plantagenet - the house of Lancaster (the reds) and the house of York (the whites) fight over the throne, and the player is thrown into the fray. Players go toe-to-toe with their opponents using authentic and visceral weapons of the time period including broad swords, long bows and battle-axes.
While we're still waiting on details about War of the Roses' much anticipated (by me) Brian Blessed DLC, Fatshark continue to update their medieval melee FPS in new and interesting ways. The latest content drop, titled Outside the Law, puts a Robin Hood-style twist on the ongoing battle between Lancastrians and Yorkists - adding in flaming arrows and a lush new forest map.
Greenwood is the appropriately titled verdant landscape, taking the fight across hills and valleys, through fallen trees abandoned camps. Not that there's time to stop and stare at the saturated scenery - the Elm Self Bow and Yew Self Bow will cause fire to reign from the skies. Knights also get to try their hand at the new Woodsman’s Axe, Headsman’s Axe, Shillelagh Mace and Quarterstaff weapons.
To celebrate the update, War of the Roses will be free to try this weekend. While the game's demo currently lets players sample all the maps, along with base classes and weapons, the weekend trial will presumably be the full deal - allowing levelling and unlocks as well.
What's slash dancing, you ask? It's my term for the act of spinning on one's back and head like a rug-burning dervish as you swing a sword up, down, upside-down, and everywhere else in Puny Human's Blade Symphony. Symphony's one-on-one affairs of honor are stylized, third-person measures of agility and timing reminiscent of the PS1's Bushido Blade and old-school lightsaber fencing in Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast.
The speed and momentum of battle looks challengingly high, as strings of attacks and dodges, dashes, and dives across three stances afford multiple degrees of dealing the pain by your blade. Puny Human says each character brings over 40 different attacks modified by the type of sword chosen for the fight, and if vanquishing your mortal enemy isn't enough to sate your bloodlust, you can grab a buddy for 2 vs. 2 or free-for-all setups. All of it gets tracked on global leaderboards for the "THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE" crowd.
Blade Symphony enjoyed a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2011 to bring its jumpy combat onto Steam, and Puny Human is keeping the game in closed beta for now. Signing up on the team's official website provides updates on when the game will become available for all.
Paradox are offering a free pass to the 15th century, with a trial for the knight-bothering medieval multiplayer combat of War of the Roses. And this isn't one of those "try the full game for one weekend only" deals. Instead, it's a permanent sampler, letting you lance Lancastrians or cause Yorkshiremen to yelp whenever you please.
To take part in the trial, you just need to head to the game's Steam page and hit the "download demo" button. You get access to all online battles, against both paying players and other trial members. The downside is that you won't earn unlocks, meaning only the base classes and weapons are available. You will, however, be given any money you've earned if you later choose to buy the game.
Not to be outdone by Chivalry's addition of expanded content, Paradox have provided some details on what's upcoming for their bloody medieval combat game War of the Roses. It includes more information on yesterday's announcement of Brian Blessed's involvement - a premium DLC pack will add him in as the game's narrator.
"Blessed’s booming voice will inspire knights by announcing in-game events and warnings, giving new meaning to the iconic command to 'Kill the enemy!'" reads the press release. I'm not sure what other meaning there could be for the command "kill the enemy", but if anyone can find one, I'd bet Blessed can.
Also announced is War of the Roses: Kingmaker - a gold edition of the game that will bundle together all DLC and exclusive content. "Kingmaker will also introduce two new game modes—Assault and Assault Castle—where knights will face new attack and defense scenarios that aim to truly test their skill as a team."
Finally, all editions of the game will receive the "Outside the Law" update, adding in a new deep forest map, along with new armour.
A free trial for War of the Roses is due to take place from the 6th February.
Paradox's CEO, Fredrik Wester, has just finished delivering the opening press conference of the Paradox Convention 2013. Announcements included new expansions, a new game, and something involving the thunderous thespian Brian Blessed. Read on for a complete run down of the convention's revelations.
War of the Roses gets Brian Blessed DLC
Gordon's alive! This announcement is bizarre, yet somehow appropriate. A bit like Blessed himself.
In February, War of the Roses will be getting a DLC pack that will feature the vocal talents of the sonorous Brian Blessed. No details yet on Blessed's role, but you can bet it will involve many decibels. The game will also be holding a free trial.
The Showdown Effect blasts into beta
Pre-orders for the cliché-filled 2.5D multiplayer action game will begin today. Everyone who pre-orders will get instant access to the beta.
The pre-order page isn't live yet, but it should be available at some point in the next few hours. Here's the website, and here's a trailer:
Pagans invade Crusader Kings II
Some long awaited news for the feudal feuding strategy, as playable pagans will finally be made available. The Old Gods expansion will focus on Vikings and Pagans, and add landless adventurer characters.
The chance to bother the Scandinavians as a Norse warrior has been at the top of the community's wishlist since the game's release. The Old Gods will also set Crusader Kings 2's starting date back to 867 AD.
Victoria II: The African campaign
Also to be expanded is colonial grand strategy title Victoria II. The Heart of Darkness add-on will focus on Africa, as you "compete with other colonial powers and experience international crises which require Great Power mediation if the world is to avoid war." It will also feature new naval combat.
Ship gets real
The conference also announced a brand new game, Leviathan Warships, complete with the excellent tagline: "Ship just got real."
It's a strategic action game, in which players build and customise their own fleet of warships to pit against three other players. The game will support multiplatform cross-play, with PC, Mac, iOS and Android versions planned.
Paradox is taking full advantage of its permanent content team for the multiplayer medieval mosher War of the Roses. An update released yesterday furnishes the armories of the Lancaster and York ranks with a free helm and chestpiece combo modeled after the Scottish Gallowglass mercernaries.
"Covered in mail and ready to cut down Englishmen for cold hard coin, the Scottish Gallowglass mercenaries brought brute force and fighting spirit to the battlefields like none could. Now is your chance to become one of them," reads the update announcement. It's almost as if you inhabit the soul of a claymore-swinging Highlander sealed within the scuffed chainmail and steel.
The patch notes also mention a revamp of how much protection each type of armor affords for wearers. Cloth armor now negates 10 percent damage, leather 20 percent, mail 30 percent, and plate 60 percent. Maces ignore armor entirely but deal less damage, and axes dispense the harshest punishment at the cost of speed.
Overall, the tweaks seem balanced enough, but as any feudal knight knows, the best measure of merit lies in taking up arms and experiencing the changes yourself. For those who've done so already, do you think these changes are needed? Let's hear it in the comments!