Crusader Kings 3 Hands-On Preview

Crusader Kings 3 Hands-On Preview

As a fan of history, and the backstabbing ways of Medieval Europe, Crusader Kings 2 is a game that has been installed on every system by default. There is something oddly satisfying about building your monarch up, sorting out the politics of the time, and slowly building your seat of power though dealings, marriages, and good old fashioned warfare. So when Crusader Kings 3 was announced I was very excited and eager to hope into the next instalment. Now that I have spent some time with the game, I can safely say that the developers know what players enjoy about the series, and have streamlined most aspects that used to get in the way of living your Medieval despotic dreams.

Much like previous instalments in the series, you don’t necessarily need to rule Europe with an iron fist, cutting down anyone who opposes you. You can be a chivalrous and pious ruler but that is simply not my style. Instead, I enjoy diving into the covert methods of control. To undermine my enemies as I slowly rise through the ranks, making deals to seat myself as the most powerful ruler in the land. ThankfullyCrusader Kings 3 makes all play styles possible, and while it feels familiar to fans of the series, there is enough new here to make it an exciting instalment in an already fantastic series.

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Crusader Kings 3 – Preview Image Provided by Paradox Interactive

Crusader Kings 3 feels like an evolution of where Crusader Kings 2 and all its expansions left off. All the systems are in place that players know and love, but there is a coat of polish that makes the full experience feel fresh, new and exciting. From graphical improvements throughout the game to the additions in gameplay and systems, Crusader Kings 3 feels like it was built with love, and has additions in place to bring new players into the fold without alienating ones that know and love the games up to this point.

Right from the start, it’s clear to see just how many systems and concepts are at work within Crusader Kings 3. Thankfully, Paradox has blessed us with tool-tips aplenty. Whether it’s menu items, buttons, or even a system or concept, there will be a tooltip to guide you through what it does and help you through the myriad set of options that lay at your mouse pointer.

Once you run through the tutorial and get a feel for how the game plays, the best thing to do is just dive in, and get your hands dirty. There are many ways to experience Crusader Kings 3, and many ways to rise to power, but it all feels closely tied to the lifestyle system. Similar to a tech tree, or class in an RPG, this system guides your ruler and gives bonuses as you slowly progress into one decided area.

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Crusader Kings 3 – Preview Image Provided by Paradox Interactive

Each monarch you pick will have a predefined character, and while you can ignore this, and choose a lifestyle completely different and against their nature, the game rewards players that direct their leader into ways they are best suited to. If you are a born fighter, you will probably want to avoid the peaceful traits, as you will lose bonuses the more warlike lifestyles will grant.

And as with any Crusader Kings game, you can play with the systems and build a leader that best exemplifies you. You can choose a focus that is far and away not connected to your lifestyle, and you can also change these choices midstream. But since your character is an amalgamation of life experience and choice, they will carry their old choices with them as they go forward on their new path.

Your leader also carries all scars and experiences that they get along their path to domination. If they are injured in battle, they may heal but will have scars or even be less mobile moving forward. It all works to make characters in Crusader Kings 3 feel organic, and alive. And something that makes every choice matter, and gives every decision weight, even it may seem trivial at the time.

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Crusader Kings 3 – Preview Image Provided by Paradox Interactive

Crusader Kings 3 more than ever before in this series is a game about choice, and there are countless ways to build your empire. From new choices like religion and founding your own faith to concepts of having affairs or simply crushing your enemies through a long and complex series of alliances, Crusader Kings 3 gives you the choices to be as pious or malicious as your dark little heart desires.

From rallying troops to the day-to-day activities of building your kingdom, Crusader Kings 3 feels a much more fluid experience compared to past instalments. From the overall feel of the UI, to the way the game guides players through the many systems, this is a much more welcoming Crusader Kings. Urgent matters will have more direct alerts that call the player’s attention, while less pressing matters are there when you need them, and can be ignored if you don’t. While the overall goals and gameplay feel the same as past instalments –  arranging alliances, backstabbing, scheming and war – it is presented in a cleaner, more direct way. It feels akin to a medieval Alexa ready with alerts, ensuring that arranged marriage you have been plotting goes off without a hitch.

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Crusader Kings 3 – Preview Image Provided by Paradox Interactive

But the core drama that Crusader Kings 3provides is still alive and well even with the changes, new systems and options. This is a game that makes Game of Thrones seem reserved. From underhanded plots, religious uprisings, to the extramarital affairs, Crusader Kings 3 lets you live our medieval soap opera of your dreams.

Now I should make it clear that I played through a beta build of the game, the full release is not launching until September 1, 2020, so there are a few bugs and other odd aspects that need polish. What I did see felt solid for the most part, although there are a few obtuse issues such as the tutorial that I hope the team at Paradox addresses, just to ensure all the new players don’t feel overwhelmed jumping into a game with so many systems at play.

While it’s still early, Crusader Kings 3 is shaping up to be an exciting experience. From the accidental war I started, to the time I somehow got blinded in battle, it’s clear that the series continues to be jam-packed with drama, action and intrigue, in a way only the Crusader Kings series can deliver.

Sony Maintains Course for PlayStation 5 Launch Amid COVID-19

Sony Maintains Course for PlayStation 5 Launch Amid COVID-19

Sony is remaining confident over their release date for the PlayStation 5 as their latest financial earnings meeting keeps its launch within 2020.

Its document outlined plans for production of PS5 consoles during COVID-19 while accounting for over 110 million PS4 systems sold up to the end of the fiscal year on March 31, 2020. The notes also mention the upcoming next-generation system still moving forward for a release, despite staff and production workers facing setbacks from worldwide safety measures.

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“Development is progressing with the launch of the console scheduled for the 2020 holiday season,” the document wrote. “At this point in time major problems have not arisen in the game software development pipeline for Sony’s own first-party studios or its partners’ studios.”

Sony also mentioned their first-party studios, including Naughty Dog and others under their umbrella PlayStation Studios brand continue to make PS5 games without major delays while developers practice remote work and social distancing measures.

No official reveals have been shown for the PlayStation 5 yet. The system was confirmed to exist by Sony in a technical presentation by Mark Cerny earlier in March 2020 while its controller was shown shortly after. The system continues to approach its launch date worldwide sometime during Holiday 2020, as Microsoft’s Xbox Series X is also planned to go on sale around the same time.

Top Apex Legends Players Being Investigated by Respawn Over “Teaming” Practices

Top Apex Legends Players Being Investigated by Respawn Over

Respawn Entertainment’s battle royale hit Apex Legends has been seeing foul play from some of the game’s top players, according to a report by Eurogamer and corroborated by sourced footage on social media.

While the game needs at least one surviving player or teams of three to end the match, users on Reddit and other competitors claimed players such as Skittles and Xyona practiced “teaming,” a technique where squads build alliances in a match. The session ends with a showdown between the two teams who break the alliance to decide a winner.

A video shared on Reddit shows two squads supporting each other while setting a trap for unsuspecting Apex Legends players. The game, over a European server, received backlash from community users who suggested a ban to take place. Users also added teaming also gives players a disadvantage as others gain double the visual information and higher ground under a free-for-all game format.

The #1 and #2 Apex predators Xynoa and Skittles caught 6 man teaming on EU servers

r/apexlegends: The developer supported, community-run subreddit dedicated to Apex Legends made by Respawn Entertainment.

Teaming also contributes to higher wins, resulting in players climbing through competitive rankings with the help of others. The act could also put players in a rare place where the world’s top 500 players sit. This lead to players suggesting its rankings were different than what they should appear to be.

Respawn Entertainment developer and senior designer Chin Xiang Chong later responded to Apex Legends community members, stating the studio was aware of the claims and are conducting an investigation over recent teaming plays.

Eurogamer previously reported (and tested) on teaming as an issue for players since the game was released in 2019, with Respawn receiving a number of complaints over being overwhelmed by different squads at the same time.

Paper Mario: The Origami King Takes Shape for the Nintendo Switch on July 17

Paper Mario: The Origami King Takes Shape for the Nintendo Switch on July 17 1

Nintendo announced their next installment in the Paper Mario series with Paper Mario: The Origami King coming to Nintendo Switch in July.

Paper Mario: The Origami King – Announcement Trailer – Nintendo Switch

The Paper Mario series arrives on Nintendo Switch with an origami twist! What evil paper shenanigans does the Origami King have planned? Find out when Paper …

A trailer showed a brand new look to Paper Mario‘s 2.5D universe while adding more 3D-based level designs across sunny plains and fiery dungeons. The game also adds a a few more RPG mechanics on top of its plot involving a new type of enemy terrorizing the Mushroom Kingdom. The Origami King gives players expanded options for their party in battles and foldable abilities to use. Some bosses and objects are also rendered in full 3D to set Paper Mario apart as it runs on the Nintendo Switch console.

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Paper Mario: The Origami King – Nintendo

The Origami King takes its name from King Olly, who unfolds a plan to take over the Mushroom Kingdom and trapped Princess Peach’s castle in a shroud of energy. Peach is also acting differently, with Paper Mario going on another quest in search of answers.

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Paper Mario: The Origami King – Nintendo

Interestingly, some of Mario’s enemies will also be helping him along the journey. As with past games, different versions of Koopalings and Bowser’s forces can be included in a party while they have a folded appearance after being transformed by King Olly. Bowser also becomes a part of the action as he joins with Mario to take back the Mushroom Kingdom.

In an ode to other games including Odyssey and 3D World, Paper Mario: The Origami King adds more depth into its flat world with free-range exploration. In some levels, players can navigate through open areas to uncover collectibles, items and NPCs for useful tidbits. It’s also a way for Mario to find more secrets in an already larger-scale kingdom.

Its turn-based battle system brings a new ring-based layout for damage distribution on multiple enemies. New moves, including the 1000-Fold Arms, pull out some parts of a landscape to find hidden details. The world itself is also filled with characters Mario can interact with for short side quests and advice on efficient battle strategies. Some platforming from traditional Mario games are also present across the Mushroom Kingdom and require players to decide how they want to sneak or jump past trickier enemies.

Paper Mario: The Origami King is coming exclusively to the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite on July 17, 2020. Pre-orders are also available on the Nintendo eShop and online retailers.