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Paradox’s ill fated dev talk at i49 shows off Vikings

If you take out the fact that you can bring your PC along and play with and against thousands of other like-minded PC gamers, the biggest attraction at Multiplay’s i49 is the main stage. This is where you’ll get the sneak peaks at upcoming releases and where the finals of some of the tournaments will be played.

As a big fan of some of Paradox’s previous games, like its published Mount and Blade and its developed Magicka, I stopped by at 3PM to check out what it had on show. The byline for its slot on the schedule board suggested we’d be viewing Magicka Wizard wars, the sequel to the humourous wizard based, isometric, hack n’ blast, along with War of the Vikings, an expansion title in the same vein as War of the Roses; meaning brutal axe based combat. Lots of brutal axe based combat.

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The fans sit patiently awaiting their Wizard Wars, whilst I silently hope for a sneak Bannerlord announcement

Unfortunately, as I sat patiently waiting, eating my 87 per cent pork hotdog, I noticed a change on the big display at the front of the wall. The showing had been pushed back 15 minutes. As busy as I am (read: not at all) I decided to wait another quarter hour to see what was in store.

However, 15 minutes later and nothing had happened, except that the notification of when the talk was set to start had now been switched to “Coming Soon.” This ladies and gentlemen, was a technical glitch.

At least that’s my best guess at 3:30, the current time while I write this. Here’s hoping the same three songs stop looping on the room’s sound system soon.

And my guess at 3:45…

Well it’s now 4:20 (wink). I give them 10 minutes and then I’m just going to post this and try and pop back in later. Got a few other boothes that need covering before I go.

They are so lucky. At 4:25 it all kicked off.

First up was a little bit of information on War of the Vikings. It’s a medieval combat game that updates the gameplay of War of the Roses with the technology of the time. It’s faster and more brutal, with extra special moves but don’t use too many of them as they’ll drain your  newly implemented stamina system.

Dodging has also been put into the game, as well as customisable beards. So that’s an important point to note.

For the demo portion of the dev talk, it pitted a couple of pro teams (the only named one was Team Dignitas) against each other in the game itself, which is now in open-alpha and can be signed up for on Steam.

At the moment there are only two multiplayer maps to play on, but there will be a lot more on release – with at least three large ones, designed specifically for Team Deathmatch.

Graphically, it’s taken a nice jump over its predecessor, with some better texturing and higher poly models throughout.

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T
he combat really is pretty fast. This was the least blurry shot I could grab of the action

The gameplay isn’t going to be too alien to anyone that’s played War of the Roses or had a stab at Mount and Blade Warband multiplayer at any point. We didn’t get a close up of the control system, but it looks to use the same mouse swing control for attacks and blocks.

One person in the crowd asked if there  would be any sea battles, but at the moment this is just a potential future development. The game won’t ship with any boat based battles.

Archers ave also been tweaked to give them a first person perspective. This should make them a little easier to aim and a more effective class.

Unfortunately guys, this is where I had to leave. The whole festival was beginning to wind down as the stands started packing up for the day and I still had plenty of people I needed to talk to. Unfortunately this meant I didn’t see anything on Wizard Wars, but at least I finally heard something from Paradox that wasn’t “don’t go anywhere, we’re starting soon.”

KitGuru Says: Pretty bummed they didn’t sneak anything in about Bannerlord. That’s easily one of my most anticipated games in development at the moment. 

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