Favourite Strategy Game Series’s
A summary of my favourite strategy games series for those who love strategy and may be looking for something new:
Total Annihilation/Supreme commander
The first game to feature units and terrain. Total annihilation was way ahead of its time. The graphics for a game released in September 30, 1997 were exceptional and the units were well balanced but it was also well paced and at times incredibly exciting. Despite being lesser known than other RTS series of the time like Starcarft, and and Conquer and Warcraft it was probably the best of all of those games. It was the only one of them to use semi realistic air units, including the ability to set-up patrol routes for fighters and the ability to build missile interceptors. Its spiritual successor Supreme commander builds on many of these aspects with better graphics, new units and better multi-player. However Total Annihilation stand up strongly to any modern Real-time strategy.
The Crusader Kings grand strategy games made byabout the period from 1066(Norman invasion on England) until 1453(Fall of Constantinople). Crusader kings one originally developed by other company and was only taken on by paradox entertainment when they went bankrupt. As such numerous parts of the game were incomplete and it had numerous historical inaccuracies. Despite this the combination of interest of playing a person(and dynasty) from history combined with the detailed recreation of medieval Europe made it one of my all time favourite strategy games. An expansion called Deux Vault repaired many of these problems but it was not until the recent release of Crusader kings 2 that Paradox entertainment got to Design their own Crusader Kings game. This took account of the best and worst parts of the original game and made a game with better graphics, much better rebellions and relationships between characters and many many more options. In my opinion Crusader Kings 2 is the best strategy game ever made.
Is a series of turn-based strategy games which involve trying to build up a Civilization from prehistory and trying to beat a number of other Civilizations before the end of the game. The games involved detailed warfare, technological and diplomatic choices. The games in the series differ significantly however in how they are focussed and the actions that the player can perform. In the later games (those after Civilization Revolution) a move towards a more simple action based game became noticeable which for many( including me) destroyed the great depth of the original games.
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (SMAC)
Alpha Centauri combines the turn-based strategy genius of Civilisation with a futuristic and alien environment. The series is based on the concept of human colonists travelling from Earth to the nearest star Alpha Centurari in order to colonise a planet there. Once they crash land on the aptly names Planet they split into factions based on the parts of human endeavour they most agree with. The player chooses one of these faction’s and must then try to achieve victory over the other factions in one of several different possible ways. Diplomacy, warfare and several other interactions between the factions are possible. Planet is also home to an intelligent lifeform known as Planet which exists in a distributed fashion throughout the planet. Planet increases its intelligence throughout the game and the player can use this to their advantage. This game was a masterpiece engaging open plotline combined with vast number of different options and several valid styles of play made this an exceptional game and in my opinion the greatest turn based strategy of all time.
Total war games combineand resource management, with control of battles. Though neither the real time battles nor the turn based strategy were as detailed or accurate as games dedicated to those the combination of the two made the game much more interesting. Total war games after Rome total war were known for their highly realistic 3D battles and that combined with the greater freedom of movement changed the Total war series from a number of good games into a series containing several great games. For me at least the longevity of these games is limited by the poor battle AI which makes winning battles very easy unless the player is greatly outnumbered.
Command & Conquer
Is a group of primarily real time strategy games, based in modern style weapons and equipment. The games either in the mid 20th century at the height of the cold war (red alert) or they were set in the near future(the main command and conquer games). The command and Conquer games game-play was nearly as good as Total Annihilations whilst the exciting missions and satirically over-exaggerated campaigns.
The Tropico series are a number of strategy games based around developing a banana republic on a Caribbean island. The player plays as El Presidente the Dictator of the island and must try to hang onto power whilst developing the country economically. The game makes fun of many different aspects of being a dictator and banana republic more generally. Dissatisfaction of the army or the populace can result in rebellions, coup’s and if El Presidente doesn't use fraud then losing an election. The Tropico games are great fun especially if you like the idea of ruling a small island, and the humour and Caribbean soundtrack improve it further. The longevity of the game however can be limited because the principles of increasing the economy and making the people happier remain the same across each island and so once learnt they can get repetitive.