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    Cities: Skylines Airports DLC announced for release in January

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Monday, 13 December - 12:04 · 1 minute

Seems Paradox and Colossal Order aren't done with their city builder just yet, as the Cities: Skylines Airports DLC was just announced for release on January 25.

"Cities: Skylines Airports expansion DLC invites you onboard to experience the wonders and logistics of modern-day air travel. Please have your boarding pass ready as you start to place and design your airport. Fasten your seatbelts and connect your airport to the city through bus, metro, and train stations. Please place your items in the overhead compartments so that you can create cargo terminals connected to your airport complex while hauling in new goods and materials. We are now at the perfect altitude to begin enhancing your city's travel industry! Thank you for flying with us today!"

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Features:

  • Modular Airport Building : Place and design your airport, connecting its various buildings by using concourse networks
  • Airport Progression : If your airport gets the approval of business travellers and tourists alike, you’ll be rewarded with expanded building options and bigger airplanes, creating a boon for the local travel industry.
  • Public transport : Make life easier for would-be travellers by placing dedicated airport buildings, allowing you to connect your airport to the city through base game transport types like bus, metro, and train stations.
  • Cargo Air Traffic : Tired of hiding your cargo terminals by themselves on the outskirts of your city? Create cargo terminals that are connected to the larger airport complex that fit in visually with other airport buildings, eliminating the need for older eyesores while hauling in new goods and materials.

You can pick up Cities: Skylines from Humble Store and Steam . This new DLC will be $12.99 at release.

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    Paradox takes another stab at sorting Surviving Mars newest DLC

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Wednesday, 8 December - 13:13 · 1 minute

Seems like Paradox are slowly but surely turning around the review score for Surviving Mars: Below and Beyond, with another free update out now.

This DLC released back in September 2021, and quickly went onto gather up a nasty Very Negative score. Paradox and the newer developer Abstraction missed the mark quite badly with it initially. The biggest problem being that going below ground or above on asteroids took you away from your beautifully crafted Martian city for so little gain but they've steadily made it more worthwhile.

New in this update includes:

  • Buried Wonder Upgrades: each Buried Wonder has a new upgrade or building they unlock, which benefits your entire colony (Surface, Underground and Asteroids). The story of each Buried Wonder is also extended to include these upgrades.
    • Players that already (partially) completed buried wonder events still get access to these.
  • Rare Anomalies: These are special anomalies that can be found throughout the Underground which each give you a choice between multiple powerful rewards.
  • New Breakthrough Techs: 6 new breakthrough techs have been added that can be found on the Surface, in the Underground and on Asteroids.
  • 2 New Commander Profiles, The Spelunker and The Space Miner: The Spelunker gives easier access to the Underground and makes colonists regain Sanity while in the Underground instead of losing sanity. The Space Miner has an easier time getting to asteroids.

Numerous bug fixes also came with the update, along with a few gameplay improvements like actually making the Universal Depot take DLC resources as the name would suggest it would.

If you don't own Surviving Mars it's available for Linux from Humble Store , GOG , Paradox and Steam . Also, it's available in the current Jingle Jam 2021 Games Collection .


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    Crusader Kings III: Royal Court releases February 8, 2022

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Tuesday, 23 November, 2021 - 18:02

With the Crusader Kings III: Royal Court expansion, would-be monarchs will have new ways to manage courts, build nations, and display the prestige of their dynasty for everyone in the realm to see. It's now set to release on February 8, 2022.

This is the first major expansion for the game, that has gone on to receive a very warm reception from players both new and old with it seeing now over 42,000 user reviews on Steam with a Very Positive rating. We enjoyed it a lot here too, so we're also very much looking forward to this!

Check out the new date reveal trailer:

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As usual for Paradox games, we can expect to see a big free update for all players at the same time too. This will include a new culture interface, minor court positions, and plenty more.

You can buy CKIII from Humble Store and Steam .

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    Hearts of Iron IV: No Step back is now out alongside massive patch, some thoughts

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Tuesday, 23 November, 2021 - 17:26 · 7 minutes

It’s been almost two years since the last major expansion for Paradox Development Studios’ World War II strategy title. The developers have been busy, overhauling major systems in a patch and adding more content in the latest expansion all about the Eastern Front.

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Note : Review key provided by Paradox

While there’s plenty to chew on in terms of new free features and enhancements in the large patch that has come out alongside No Step Back, the most noticeable and important of these is the overhaul of the logistics system. Trains and rail lines make an appearance and, in order for armies to fight effectively, supply lines have to be protected and supply hubs captured. This new system is fairly elegant and adds an element of complexity that is easily understood and interacted with.

I’ve played several games and observed the new supply system and how it fits in with the overhauled combat and weather systems. There’s plenty to love and I instinctively found myself planning offensives with supply hubs as primary objectives; disrupting enemy supply likewise was something that I found myself doing more and more. It’s safe to say that it’s a marked improvement to the old system and that in areas with low infrastructure it can be a right pain to keep momentum.

That said, the AI is less-than-impressive when it comes to taking advantage of this system. I observed it building rail lines in places, to get supplies to the front, but for the most part it continues to attack all along a front even when a good portion of its forces are under-supplied and slowed down in adverse terrain. It performs particularly poorly in the vastness of the USSR or in China, where attrition takes its toll as continuous offensives grind on and on in poorly-supplied areas. There are none of the seasonal offensives that were typical of these fronts as mud or severely cold temperatures would stop entire army groups in their tracks.

Even with horrific 1:1 casualties that number in the millions for the Axis powers, I found that both Japan and Germany continue to dominate their “main” enemies. I ran several hands-off tests by playing as a neutral country that did not interact with the world. China fell every time to the Japanese. Only once in more than a dozen games did the Soviets manage to counterattack and eventually push the invaders back. Twice, a stalemate developed on the front, despite Allied forces knocking out Italy, recapturing Western Europe and marching on Berlin seemingly unopposed. As large parts of Poland were being freed from a offensive that came from the Balkans and Austria, the Germans continued to push the Soviets back and managed to capture Stalingrad.

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Most of the Balkans, Western Europe and North Africa were captured in a few months while the Germans continuously press their attack in the East

I’m not quite sure what the issue there is but I suspect that it is a combination of both skewed AI priorities as well as the penalties for being out of supply being too low or not scaling sufficiently for large armies. While I have no doubt that this is the sort of thing that Paradox will continue to tweak and improve, it was a major disappointment in the prerelease build that I had access to. I’m not the type of player who expects a truly close reproduction of the conflict but the real-life difficulties that defined war on the Eastern Front, in China, in North Africa simply aren’t convincingly reproduced. Likewise, many of the limitations that held back Allied intervention in mainland Europe seem to be non-existent, with Italy being regularly knocked out quickly by invasion (without, seemingly, German intervention) and France being freed in record time.

As for the paid DLC content itself: it’s mostly good. The USSR is the main focus of new content and has a massive new focus tree, special decisions and events. There are several alternative non-Stalin paths that can be taken and all lead to civil war. Much like the Spanish Civil War, there’s choices that can be taken to build a base of power before armed conflict erupts; it’s an interesting enough minigame of sorts with some of the alternatives to Stalinism definitely being more “rule of cool” than historically plausible. Still, they ultimately play out similarly, bringing conflict with the other major powers—who have all made their own alliances in the meantime—albeit on a different timescale.

While I had fun exploring the new tree and trying different things out, I think if the USSR is controlled by the AI, it is disastrous. The civil war weakens the USSR too much and every time it happened (with historical focuses off), any inevitable enemy basically could stroll in and conquer everything with minimal resistance. Even in a game where I formed the Baltic Union with the Communists and allied with the USSR, there was little I could do to make up for the severe deficit in Soviet equipment and divisions in the face of an aggressive invader. As a player invading them… well, it’s predictably easy after their civil war, even if you’re a relatively weak Baltic state seeking revenge.

There are some things that are modelled awkwardly as well, like the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran. In historical focus mode, it is selected around the time the Germans invade and can fail to have a quick resolution. This means that the already weak USSR can find itself with another front open and all alone—the UK does not get a heads up beforehand in-game as far as I can tell. It takes the Soviet AI too long to actually pick the focuses that reorganize their army and, uh, actually get to the eponymous not a step back order, get rid of many of their penalties to their army, and launch the counterattacks that followed.

I should briefly mention that the focus trees for the Baltic countries and Poland have also gotten an expansion in the DLC and do give quite a bit of flexibility (and challenge) to veteran players. I don’t think that most people will play them more than once or twice, but they are well thought out and interesting in their own right. There is a lot of flexibility in terms of forming alliances or creating a different narrative, with various ideologies and ambitions being represented.

The customization of armored vehicles is also something that’s available to owners of the DLC. The system works pretty well and is a nice little toy those who enjoy designing and experimenting. I can’t say that I care to micromanage too much and, thankfully, there’s an automatic design button and also an easy way to upgrade components without paying too much attention to the system. That said, it was a lot of fun making flamethrower tanks for specialized units as well as doing really stupid things like mounting a big gun and stripping away armor on obsolete tank chassis to give some divisions a little extra cheap firepower.

More flexibility is also afforded by a new system that allows the branches of your armed forces to be customized via selectable “spirits” and selection of preferred tactics on the overall as well as commander level. By itself, it’s not a really big deal, but it adds to the overall experience of having as much control as the player might want over their forces. Along with all the other changes I’ve mentioned, as well as a bunch of new music, 3d models, art, and niche things like armored trains and railway artillery. All of this certainly makes No Step Back one of the more content-rich expansions that Paradox Development Studios have put out.

I want to be able to recommend No Step Back but I can’t in its current state. Don’t get me wrong—it’s got plenty of content and interesting mechanics that are fun. The problem is that the base game is not in a state that allows all of the cool ideas in the DLC to shine. The safer bet is to wait and see if a larger pool of players will also notice the things I’ve pointed out in this review. Until issues with logistics and the AI are sorted out, Hearts of Iron IV will have taken one step forward and two steps in random directions.

You can get Hearts of Iron IV: No Step Back on the Paradox Store , the Humble Store or Steam .

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    Stellaris: Aquatics Species Pack and the free 3.2 'Herbert' patch out now

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Tuesday, 23 November, 2021 - 16:13 · 3 minutes

Something smells a bit fishy here! Paradox Interactive has released the Stellaris: Aquatics Species Pack DLC along with another big free update for all players.

This actually sounds like one of the most interesting race packs released yet, especially with the new ship designs and the origins. Looking forward to personally diving deep into this one. Have a look at the release trailer below:

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Here's what the DLC includes:

  • New Origins:
    • Here be Dragons!: This ancient mythical beast stalks your home world, its deep sage-blue scales orbiting your humble kingdom. Your relationship with this proud creature will determine the lengths she will be willing to go to either defend or destroy you… you’d be wise to avoid displeasing it.
    • Ocean Paradise: These peaceful civilizations lead a peaceful life in a bountiful environment. With no natural enemies as well as food deposits and bonuses, enjoy unhindered growth and opulence.
  • New Trait - Aquatic: When species evolve to thrive on ocean worlds, they’re also the stereotypical “fish out of water” on others.
  • New Civic - Anglers: The bounties of the sea, fresh seafood and rare pearls, are but some of the benefits of a seafarer's life. Visit the agriculture districts to cash in on these valuable consumer goods.
  • New Ascension Perk - Hydrocentric: When you spend most of your time underwater, you figure out cheaper and faster methods of modifying your environment. Terraform planets into oceanic worlds, or make them bigger by harvesting water from other planets. Build the sandcastles of space!
  • New ship set with a sleek look, designed to help you yacht your way through space.
  • New Aquatics Dragon : A new, majestic space dragon will now grace the stars.
  • New Advisor: Sail the stars alongside the Seafarer advisor voice, inspired by high-seas adventure fiction.
  • 15 new aquatics portraits to help you embrace your fishy new existence.

As for the big version 3.2 'Herbert' upgrade, here's the main highlights:

Features

  • Multiplayer hosts that own the DLCs now unlock portraits as well as ship and background sets from the Plantoids and Humanoids Species Packs for clients that do not own them.
  • Added the ability to pick your main species' gender during game setup.
  • Added over 200 new star names for random galaxy generation.
  • Added 13 random events to terraforming to make the feature more engaging.
  • Added 4 new asteroid-related anomalies to spice up old anomaly categories.
  • Added 4 new Gas Giant anomalies.
  • Added 4 new anomalies to existing, uninhabitable worlds anomaly categories.
  • Added new options to several old anomaly events which share categories with the newly added ones above.
  • Enabled the Ship Browser for all players.


Improvements

  • Reinforcement fleets will now attempt to find a safe but longer path if the shortest path to the target fleet is not considered safe. This will reduce how often reinforcement fleets are spawned at the shipyard at the cost of increasing the MIA time (due to taking a longer path) in these cases.
  • Reinforcement fleets now consider systems that have both hostiles and allies in them to be safe for pathfinding purposes.
  • Reinforcing fleets using jump drives no longer require a safe hyperlane path to the fleet they are reinforcing.
  • Improved how shipyards are selected when constructing reinforcements to better utilize stations with multiple shipyards and mega shipyards.
  • Reinforcing fleets that fail to find a safe path to the target fleet will now merge with other fleets orbiting the same shipyard, if both fleets intended to reinforce the same target fleet.
  • Plantoids and Fungoids are no longer forced to have no gender, as you can now freely pick species' genders. Instead, every randomly generated species now has a 30% chance of being one of: genderless, female-only or male-only.
  • Added an additional option to the Alien Box event chain for Gestalts.
  • Added an Industrial colony designation to Ecumenopolis.
  • Made it so colony events will not fire on newly terraformed worlds to avoid some Ludonarrative Dissonance.
  • The default flag of new empires is now randomized, say goodbye to the red-black triangle flag!

You can buy on GOG , Humble Store and Steam .

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    Europa Universalis IV: Origins is out along with a big free update

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Thursday, 11 November, 2021 - 10:05 · 2 minutes

Europa Universalis IV: Origins is a new "Immersion Pack" available now as a paid DLC for Paradox's popular historical strategy game and the 1.32 Songhai free update is also live.

From the trading ports on the eastern coast to the gold mines of Mali, early modern Africa was a continent of rich kingdoms and cultural variety. Now, Europa Universalis IV: Origins brings this history to vivid life with new missions, events and regional flavour. You can check out the release trailer below:

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Here's what to expect from it:

  • Jewish Religion: The Ethiopian Jews of Beta Israel are included, and Jewish nations can choose from nine religious characteristics to accentuate their national strengths, with new flavor events.
  • Missions for Mali: Halt the decline of West Africa’s greatest medieval empire and reassert control of former vassals.
  • Missions for Songhai: Develop your provinces and claim the mantles of Mali and Timbuktu as the new rising power.
  • Missions for Kongo: Unite the peoples of the Congo River and confront the growing European threat.
  • Missions for Ethiopia: Ensure religious unity and prestige in the Kingdom of Solomon while unifying the nations of the African Horn. Also adds the noble Ç̌äwa regiments.
  • Missions for Ajuuraan: Control Indian Ocean trade and bring water to your desert provinces.
  • Missions for Kilwa: Focus on naval economic power, establishing a colonial empire across the seas.
  • Missions for Mutapa: Build on the legacy of the founders of Great Zimbabwe and exploit the riches of South Africa to dominate trade.
  • Minor Mission Additions: New mission options for Jolof, Mossi, Hausa, Oyo and Adal.
  • New Regional Mission Trees: New Missions for minor powers in Central, East and West Africa, and the African Horn, as well as new estate privileges for many nations and regions.
  • New Army Sprites: 4 new army sprites each for Congo, Great Lakes, Southern Africa and Bantu nations
  • Two New Missionary models: African Coptic and African Fetishist missionary animations added.
  • New Music: 12 minutes of new West African themed music, and 12 minutes of new East African themed music.

As for the new free 1.32 Songhai update that's available for all players (DLC not required), here's the major points to expect from it when booting up:

  • Added 9 new government reforms for African countries.
  • Added 8 additional free estate privileges.
  • Added 7 new formable countries (Israel, Aksumite Empire, Great Zimbabwe, Kitara, Nubia, Somalia and Rozwi).
  • Reworked 3 already existing formable countries (Mossi, Hausa, Sokoto).
  • Reworked 4 already existing countries as reformables (Mali, Macina, Kongo and Ethiopia).
  • Added 1 spawnable country: Zulu.
  • Added new sets of ideas for all the new formable countries (except for Rozwi), Jolof, Oyo, Adal, Kilwa, and generic for Horn of Africa countries.
  • Added 52 new monuments for Leviathan DLC owners.

Paradox also worked on the performance of the game with this update too, fixing a bunch of degradation that was introduced in the previous Leviathan release and some other misc upgrades to make it smoother.

You can buy Europa Universalis IV from Humble Store and Steam .

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    Paradox continue attempting to make Surviving Mars: Below and Beyond worth it

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Monday, 8 November, 2021 - 15:00 · 2 minutes

Surviving Mars: Below and Beyond released back in early September, and to say the reviews have been poor would be quite the understatement but they're continuing to try and improve it.

Released on November 4 was the first content update for Below and Beyond, where they said the first focus was around making it easier to use the Underground, Asteroid Lander and Elevator. Not only that, they're trying to give you more of a point to doing either for your main colony. That is probably the biggest issue with the expansion, it added other places to explore and build, which sounded nice but for so little gain.

Main Highlights Include:

  • Elevator Grid resource transfer: The elevator now transfers excess power, water, and oxygen between the Martian Surface and Underground. This enables you to start expanding in the underground while relying on your production on the surface.
  • Elevator Auto mode: You can now set a minimum amount of resources you want on the Surface and Underground. While the elevator is in auto mode it will automatically request resources when under this minimum. You can also still manually request resources.
    - Requesting resources for the Elevator is now done on the side where you need the resources, instead of where you send them from. With arrows indicating from where to where the resources will be transported.
  • Reworked cave-ins: Cave-ins no longer require a specific tech to clear, and blocked tunnels that required the landscaping tool are also removed. To still maintain an element of gradual exploration, we introduce the new Collapsed Tunnels which do still require the tech to be cleared.
    - Increased room for exploration in the underground, greatly reduced the number of tunnels blocked while the new Collapsed tunnels are placed such that they lead to larger new areas to explore or extra anomalies to find. We also increased the number of anomalies in the underground.
  • Exotic Minerals upgrades: We introduced a few upgrades to surface buildings that cost Exotic Minerals;
    - Improved Photovoltaics; doubles power production for solar panels
    - Exotic Mineral Treatment; greatly increases health and sanity recovery from Infirmaries (and Medical Posts if you have In-dome Building Pack).
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So far it hasn't really moved people on their reviews, with the expansion still sat on a Very Negative user rating on Steam.

If you don't own Surviving Mars it's available for Linux from Humble Store , GOG , Paradox and Steam .

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    Paradox needs a bit more time to finish Crusader Kings III - Royal Court

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Wednesday, 27 October, 2021 - 19:33 · 1 minute

Crusader Kings III, the popular strategy game from Paradox is expanding with the upcoming Royal Court DLC but it's just not ready yet.

Announced on Tuesday, October 26, Paradox said plain and simply that "we are not, at the moment, entirely satisfied with Royal Court's progress, especially regarding its stability" and so it's going to release at some point during 2022 but they're not giving us a date as to when just yet. With this being the first CKIII expansion, Paradox said it will include "a set of features entirely new to the CK series, including cultural evolution and language" and so they are continously experimenting with it.

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It's always a shame to see a delay but Paradox has been struggling it seems over the last year or two. From expansion releases for their other games that did not review well, Imperator Rome didn't do well, they've had CEO Ebba Ljungerud step down, new CEO Fredrik Wester ended up apologizing on Twitter for a Paradox employee being "subject to inappropriate behavior" from him and the list goes on. Hopefully Paradox will be able to thoroughly clean up because the majority of their games are great.

Want more info on Royal Court? They have an FAQ posted .

You can buy CKIII from Humble Store and Steam .

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