SpellForce 3 (PC)
Strategy 07 December 2017
The third installment in a fantasy game series launched in 2003, which combines elements of RTS and RPG. The title was produced by Grimlore Games, a studio founded by the series’ publisher, which employs some of creators of the first two SpellForce games. Story-wise, SpellForce 3 is a prequel to the previous titles. It is set in times, when this fantasy world was still a vast, unified continent. This obviously affected the structure of locations, which are no longer solitary islands connected by portals. In terms of gameplay mechanics, the developers used the well-proven solutions making up a strategy game, in which you build a base, recruit army, and fight battles. At the same time, the strategic gameplay is enriched with the addition of such elements as heroes of different classes and skills, a character progression system, and story-driven missions with subquests – like in a classic RPG. The game features also multiplayer gameplay available through the Spellforce.net online platform.
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty (PC)
Strategy 27 July 2010
A sequel to a bestselling RTS game released by the Blizzard company in 1998. The story of the second game was split into three separate episodes; Wings of Liberty is the first installment in the trilogy, focusing on Terrans. In the game you meet an old acquaintance - Jim Raynor. Deemed a rebel, now he fights with Zerg forces, who seem to be interested in a mysterious artifact. He also encounters the powerful and mysterious race of Protoss. In comparison with the prequel, gameplay mechanics did not go through any drastic changes, allowing the authors to focus on new, upgraded visuals, multiplayer mode enhancements, and other minor modifications. Single player campaign allows the player to complete the available scenarios in any order and freely choose which technologies to develop. Furthermore, between the missions you can explore the world, talk to non-player characters, and use their services.
Hearts of Iron IV (PC)
Strategy 06 June 2016
The fourth major installment in a series of larg-scale strategy games, which originated in 2002 as a spin-off to the popular Europa Universalis series. Both franchises are consistently developed by Paradox Interactive. The game lets you take the lead of a country from the World War II period and beyond, specifically the years 1936-1948. Your responsibilities involve taking care of international relations and building alliances, but also developing the army, choosing the right strategy, and conducting the military operations. As it was in the previous editions of the series, the game combines faithfully recreated historical events (including authentic leaders, as well as military forces and technologies used by particular countries, along with the possibility of putting the history on a different course. As compared with the previous games, micromanagement was slightly reduced, and the focus shifted to larg-scale strategy. Other additions include the day and night cycle and changing seasons, as well as an option of grouping provinces into regions to facilitate management.
Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon (PC)
Strategy 16 November 2017
Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon is an expansion to the 2012' popular historical strategy game developed by Paradox Development. In order to work, this add-on requires one to own the base game. Jade Dragon implements into the game the presence of China – it is not a playable faction; however, it serves as an outside empire, which indirectly affects the turn of events, especially within India and Transoxiana. A player can become a vassal to Chinese Emperor or complete tasks assigned by him in order to receive numerous bonuses; refusing to obey the Emperor might prove very dangerous. Moreover, Chinese princes and raiders visit other nations offering help or causing trouble. There is also the ability to profit from the Silk Road. Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon introduces also new artifacts, character portraits, and a set of eight new casus belli.
Europa Universalis IV (PC)
Strategy 13 August 2013
The fourth installment in a highly popular strategic game franchise - Europa Universalis. The title was developed by Paradox Development Studio. In accordance with the tradition of the series, Europa Universalis IV lets you command and develop a chosen nation over the course of several centuries. This time the historical framework spans from 11 November 1444 to 2 January 1821. The gameplay is based on classic solutions of the 4X genre (explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate). The player has to manage his provinces, develop new technologies, command armies, and conduct diplomacy. Apart from AI enemies the game offers online multiplayer for up to 32 people.
Crusader Kings II (PC)
Strategy 14 February 2012
A sequel to the expansive strategy game Crusader Kings, which came to existence in 2004 as a medieval-themed spin-off to the popular Europa Universalis franchise that has been developed for over a decade by Paradox Studios. The game is set in the 11th century, and you play as a prominent Christian noble, who aims to secure a successful future for his house. Throughout the gameplay you have to oversee a a number of areas essential to the development of your kingdom: social and feudal issues, military, diplomacy, and religion. The most noticeable modification, as compared with the previous game, is the developed psychological aspect, giving more weight to social relations and individual motivations of your subjects. Other changes include the introduction of barons who manage provinces, royal spies, increased importance of women, and far-reaching relations with the Church.
Total War: Rome II (PC)
Strategy 03 September 2013
A grand-scale strategy game developed by British studio Creative Assembly. Total War: Rome II lets players become leaders of the nations of antiquity from the Roman Empire period and struggle for dominance over new territories. Like the past Total War games (e.g. Total War: Shogun 2 and Empire: Total War) gameplay combines turn-based and real-time activities. Your task is to manage you provinces and command armies. The game’s highlight are the spectacular battles of armies fielding thousands of units. The developers of Total War: Rome II carefully kept to historical truth when it comes to battle formations, weaponry, and tactics. High-quality graphics was achieved thanks to a modified version of the Warscape Engine.
Age of Empires IV (PC)
The fourth full-fledged installment of the famous series of real time strategy games. The saga is considered as one of the most important in the history of the genre. Contrary to previous games in the series that were developed by the now defunct Ensemble Studios, Age of Empires IV was developed by Relic Entertainment, a studio that created series like Company of Heroes and Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War. The mechanics of Age of Empires IV are faithful to its predecessors. The player takes control of one of a few civilizations (among them there are European, Asian and Arabian ones) and he leads it through phases of evolution. During the game the player is gathering resources, constructing new buildings and creating powerful and varied armies. In addition to singleplayer mode, the title features an advanced multiplayer mode that enables the player to face other commanders from across the whole world.
Total War: Warhammer II (PC)
Strategy 28 September 2017
Another installment in a popular series of strategy games created by Creative Assembly. Unlike the first part of the subseries, which was set in the Old World, this time the players travel to the west, where they wage a war across four continents: Ulthuan, Naggaroth, Southern Realms, and Lustria. Four races take part in the conflict, i.e. the High Elves, the Dark Elves, the Lizardmen, and the Skaven. Each of these factions fights for control over the Great Vortex, which they can heal or disperse using various rituals. Once more, gameplay in Total War: Warhammer II is based on two pillars. In a strategy map view you move your armies, manage economy and expand cities (all this in turns), while battles are waged in real time on 3D battlefields. Each race has its unique mechanics, units and heroes. Besides, owners of the first and second game can download a huge map that combines both game worlds. This way you can play a campaign of truly epic scale while controlling any of the factions available in Total War: Warhammer and its sequel.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert (PC)
Strategy 09 November 1996
The continuation of the enthusiastically-received RTS title from the Westwood Studios company. In contrast to the purely fictional storyline of its predecessor, this time the developers have decided to provide the players with an alternative version of reality, in which Stalin decides to “liberate” the world from the hands of imperialists and subjugate it to Soviet authority. After we declare our allegiance we can either assault the West under the red banner or fight in the ranks of the Allies and try to withstand the Soviet onslaught. This decision will have huge impact on our gameplay experience, as both factions have completely unique types of units and armaments, which also results in slightly different playstyles and strategies. The arsenal of doomsday devices which we have at our disposal has also been made much more realistic in comparison to the production’s archetype; however, there is no shortage of various weapon prototypes, such as the Tesla coil which electrocutes nearby enemies. Each of the campaigns consists of fourteen diversified missions, while those looking for an even greater challenge can try their strength in the multiplayer mode.
Total War: Warhammer (PC)
Strategy 24 May 2016
Next installment in the epic strategy game series, introduced by Creative Assembly in 2000. After a series of titles set in different historical periods, the developers decided to take players into one of the most famous fantasy universes, created by the Games Workshop company. In the dark universe of Warhammer, different races constantly fight for power and world domination, unaware of the fact that the real threat comes from a mighty force from the north. The game lets become the leader of one of several races, including humans, orcs, goblins, dwarves, vampires, and others. Disregarding the fantasy elements, the gameplay does not differ significantly from the previous games in the series, with epic real-time battles lying at its core. Between the battles the gameplay switches to a turn-based mode, where on a world map you develop your country, its economy, and establish diplomatic relations with other nations.
Stronghold: Crusader (PC)
Strategy 24 September 2002
A sequel to Stronghold, an economic strategy game set in the Middle Ages and developed by FireFly Studios in 2001. This time we travel to the Middle East of the crusades period in the late 11th and the early 12th century. The game mechanics are not much different from what fans of the series know and love. The game's biggest innovation is the setting, albeit it features also some minor gameplay adjustment, such as dealing with limited water supplies. The developers offered four campaigns, in which you can lead the crusader army as Richard the Lionheart or command the Arabic soldiers as Saladin. The already wide spectrum of military units was expanded even further, featuring several units unique for each side of the conflict. In addition, the game offers a wider selection of clever siege weapons and defensive measures to be used in battle, a functional scenario editor, and a new Skirmish Mode.
Age of Empires III (PC)
Strategy 18 October 2005
The third major installment in a cult RTS franchise created and developed under the watchful eye of the Microsoft company. Contrary to the previous editions, which were set in ancient and medieval times, this one lets you witness centuries-long conquest of America, spanning from 16th to 19th century. Because of its wider time frame and a setting much closer to modern times, the game lets you command both medieval units, as well as more recent technical advancements. The developers brought back the well-proven mechanics, with an addition of some new elements. Core gameplay is an extensive story campaign depicting a blend of facts and fictional events. In multiplayer you can command one of eight playable nations, each one having its own, unique features. Additionally the game can boast impressive 3D graphics created using the Havok physics engine.
Cossacks 3 (PC)
Strategy 20 September 2016
The third installment in a real-time strategy series, set in a historical setting of the 17th and 18th century. The game was created by the reactivated GSC Game World studio, known for such titles as S.T.A.L.K.E.R. or American Conquest. In terms of the plot, this game is a remake of the first installment, originally released in 2000. In the game you can select any of the 12 available historical nations, each having their own buildings, units, and technologies. Gameplay is based on the classic mechanics of RTS genre, so your responsibilities include expanding your base, gathering resources, and recruiting an army to fight your enemies. Although you command massive armies in battles (up to 10 thousand units at one time), it is possible to give orders to individual soldiers. Each one has his own statistics, such as health, morale, level of training, experience, and fatigue.
Total War: Attila (PC)
Strategy 17 February 2015
Another chapter in the Total War large-scale strategy game series, created and developed by the Creative Assembly studio. After a couple of sequels to the earlier installments in the series (e.g. Medieval, Shogun, and Rome), the developers took on a new great historical figure. The game is set in the late 4th and the early 5th century CE. The Roman Empire is on the brink of collapse, at war with numerous barbaric tribes of the Huns and the Visigoths. Playing as Rome, you lead an army weakened by continuous skirmishes. This makes gameplay much more demanding, challenging even for the veterans of the series. The game realistically presents various military, social, and religious tendencies of the period, e.g. you have to counteract diseases and epidemics and deal with climate changes that affect farming and economy. Additionally, both the UI and the game engine were improved, resulting in better visual quality.
Company of Heroes (PC)
Strategy 11 September 2006
A real-time strategy set during the World War II. The game was developed by the Canadian studio, Relic Entertainment, famous for the Homeworld series and Warhammer 40.000: Dawn of War. The game focuses on the American armies struggling against the enemy in Western Europe. It begins with the D-Day, the legendary allied landing in Normandy. The single-player campaign is very cinematic. When it comes to the multiplayer, it can support up to eight players. Each of them has to pick a side - either the Allies, or the Axis. The game stands out thanks to the Essence Engine and the popular Havok technology accompanying it. Thus the game world makes a great impression - the environments are destructible to a large degree and the team the player commands can boast great AI - its members take advantage of their surroundings and respond very quickly to enemy actions.
Medieval II: Total War (PC)
Strategy 10 November 2006
The next installment in a strategy game franchise from Creative Assembly. The game is set in the period of years 1080-1503, once again taking the players into the Medieval period. The developers did their best to faithfully recreate the epoch, including economy, trade, and political relations. Players can choose from 21 playable nations that differ in more than appearance, but also preferring various combat tactics. The story campaign lets you expand across Europe, Middle East, as well as South and Latin America. As always, gameplay consists of two layers – turn-based, in which you manage your kingdom, and real-time, where the battles are fought. As compared with the previous games in the series, this one offers extended tactical options, including e.g. new siege weapons and heavy artillery. Furthermore, the visuals, as well as animations and the destruction model, were significantly improved.
Empire: Total War (PC)
Strategy 03 March 2009
The fifth installment in the popular strategy game series created by Creative Assembly in 2000. This new game is set in the 18th century, focusing on key events of the period, such as the American Civil War, the Industrial Revolution, and the rivalry over the Eastern trade routes. Although the core concept of the gameplay remains the same, the mechanics went through some major alterations, mainly due to the introduction of sea warfare. The game lets you command entire fleets as well as individual ships. Moreover, external factors, e.g. weather conditions, can affect sea battles. Additionally, the game offers improved advisers, as well as new options of trade, diplomacy, and espionage. Due to the widespread use of firearms in the period, new combat tactics have to be used. However, the key elements of the series, the turn-based strategic layer and large-scale battles, remained unchanged.
Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (PC)
Strategy 03 July 2002
Third part of a classic real-time strategy series set in fantasy world started in 1994 by Blizzard studio. It takes us once again to the land of Azeroth known from previous games, where forces of humans, orcs, and night elves face invasion of undead known as Plague. Gameplay features mechanics typical of the series, but there are still some novelties. The most important is the introduction of heroes for every race, who gain experience and new special abilities that help us during battles. Additionally, third entry in the series features a cutscene-driven narrative. Warcraft III also has complex multiplayer, offering several modes through Battle.net network. Another attraction comes in the form of expanded editor, enabling us to modify almost every element of the game.
SpellForce 2: Shadow Wars (PC)
Strategy 07 April 2006
The second major installment of the popular series that combines the features of real-time strategy game with the traits characteristic of cRPG titles. The story of Spellforce 2: Shadow Wars focuses on a new threat caused by the titular Shadows. The player is tasked with leading one of three factions that declared war on the forces of evil. Similarly as in case of the first installment in the series, the gameplay is based on two pillars. The first pillar is based on completing various main and side quests, developing the protagonist (among the available classes there is a mage and a rogue) and obtaining more and more powerful equipment. The strategic aspect of the game allows the player to control one of nine races and it focuses on expanding the settlements, providing them with technology and recruits. In addition to the regular infantry and cavalry, in the game there are also flying units and heroes with unique abilities. The story campaign for the single player is the main attraction of Spellforce 2: Shadow Wars, but the game contains a multiplayer mode as well.
Company of Heroes 2 (PC)
Strategy 25 June 2013
Second part of the highly successful military real-time strategy. Title was developed by Relic Entertainment and released by the SEGA company. Action of Company of Heroes 2 is once again set in the time of World War II. This time, however, players have the opportunity to take part in the events that took place on the Eastern Front. The main single player campaign focuses on commanding the Red Army, while in multiplayer, forces of the Third Reich are also available. Mechanics are based on solutions known from Company of Heroes, but the developers also decided to add new features, including a completely redesigned cover system and atmospheric conditions that affect units' mobility. Game was built on a new graphics engine Essence 3.0, which resulted in impressive visuals.
Stronghold: Crusader II (PC)
Strategy 23 September 2014
An RTS set in medieval and a sequel to the 2001 hit strategy game, Stronghold. In Stronghold: Crusader II, players once again take role of a leader of medieval armies fighting in the Middle East during the crusades. Similarly to is predecessor, the gameplay focuses on ruling one's fortress, including the management of resources and workforce, building fortifications, and building an army to defend your stronghold, but also laying siege to enemy castles. Developers from FireFly studio aimed to implement bigger maps and many new types of units. Another novelty is a multiplayer co-op mode, which effectively allows you to divide ruler's duties between a military commander and an administrator.