If you’re a fan of deep strategy games, PDXCON may be your personal E3 of the year. Paradox Interactive’s annual convention took place last weekend in Berlin, Germany. During the weekend-long event, the Swedish publisher announced a slew of new games and expansions, including Crusader Kings 3, and the first expansion for Age of Wonders: Planetfall.
We’ve rounded up all the big news from PDXCON 2019 below. In addition to the new game announcements, upcoming immersive action-RPG Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 has been pushed back from Q1 2020 to “later in 2020.”
Crusader Kings 3
One of Paradox’s best known franchises is getting its next installment next year. Crusader Kings 3 promises “a new generation of grand strategy games.” The sequel keeps the medeival simulation and focus on individual characters and their families, politics, and religious beliefs, including new 3D models. And of course, lots of political drama and intrigue. Paradox pledges a welcoming entry for series newcomers as well.
“Crusader Kings III is a grand medieval simulator where you are free to live out any plausible ruler fantasy that we could think of – but not without challenge.” says Henrik Fåhraeus, director. “Seeing its predecessor explode in popularity was very satisfying, especially considering that user friendliness was never our primary goal. Now we have a chance to address an even larger audience.”
As an added bonus, the base game of Crusader Kings 2 is now completely free to play.
Release: 2020 (PC, Xbox Game Pass)
Surviving the Aftermath
Colony builder Surviving the Aftermath was teased last week, and now it’s available via Early Access on the Epic Games Store and Xbox Games Preview ($19.99). The follow-up to Surviving Mars brings us back to Earth, but after the devastation of a world-ending event. It’s up to you to rebuild society one building and colonist at a time. You’ll also need to recruit and send teams out into the wasteland to gather resources and learn about the outside world, including exploring a full overland map.
“Surviving the Aftermath is the game we’ve always wanted to make,” said Lasse Liljedahl, CEO and Lead Designer, Iceflake Studios. “When we pitched our plan to Paradox, they recognized our passion and commitment to making this game the best survival colony builder it can be. We’re beyond thrilled to finally share our dream project with the world and to have the support of one of the industry’s leading publishers.”
Surviving the Aftermath is available now via Early Access on PC and Xbox One. Future updates include adding diplomacy and combat between colonies and more endgame content.
Release: 2020 (Epic Games Store, Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
Age of Wonders: Planetfall – Revelations
Revelations is the first expansion for sci-fi strategy game Age of Wonders: Planetfall. Revelations adds a new secret tech, Heritor, which includes abilities to drain the life of enemies, power entropy weapons, and summon new units. Two new campaign missions focus on the discovery of this ancient people, along with an NPC faction, The Forgotten, which broke away from Heritor society. A new Tomb World Scenario tasks you with surviving against an onslaught of Heritor forces.
“This first expansion allows players to explore deeper into the Planetfall universe, uncovering how the collapse of the Star Union empire has awakened beings from its mysterious past,” said Lennart Sas, co-founder, Triumph Studios. “With the introduction of Heritor Secret Technology, NPCs, and Essence, Revelations is a new chapter for Planetfall that will affect the rise and fall of empires to come.”
Revelations is included in the Planetfall season pass, as well as a separate purchase for $14.99.
Release: November 19 (Paradox Store, Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
Battletech: Heavy Metal
Heavy Metal is the third DLC expansion released for mech strategy game Battletech. It’s included in the season pass, and available separately for $19.99. Heavy Metal adds eight new mechcs, including seven classic mechs from the tabletop game, and eight new weapons systems. New weapons include Battletech’s first are of effect weapon with the Mech Mortar, while the Coil Beam deals more damage at longer ranges. Heavy Metal also adds a new Flashpoint Mini-Campaign, which features two legendary Battletech characters.
“Heavy Metal brings a greater level of diversity to Battletech by including eight new ‘Mechs and a variety of devastating weapon systems that will change the way players destroy their opponents,” said Mitch Gitelman, director and co-founder of Harebrained Schemes. “The new mini-campaign weaves its way through your mercenary career to the point when you become an elite MechCommander, capable of facing off with two of the most legendary MechWarriors in Battletech history.”
Release: November 21 (Paradox Store, Steam)
Stellaris: Fedearations and Lithoids Species Pack
The 2016 sci-fi grand strategy game Stellaris is getting two new expansions later this year, one big and one small. Federations is a major new DLC pack that focuses on expanding diplomatic gameplay, including the ability to form a galactic senate. Federations also adds a backstory origin to each civilization, and the ability to construct megastructures, like a Death Star-er I mean Juggernaut mobile star base.
The Lithoids Species Pack will be similar to the Plantoids and Humanoids packs, adding a new rock-based species who can eat minerals. The species pack includes 15 portraits, and new voice packs and ship models.
Federations Release: 2019 (Paradox Store, Steam)
Lithoids Release: October 24 (Paradox Store, Steam)