Re-forge (or screw up) 70 years of history for any one of eight major world powers in Paradox Interactive’s Pride of Nations. Yes it’s a game with a lot of maps, history, strategy, and it might even make you smarter. And Philippe Thibaut, the game’s producer at Paradox Interactive, gave us a whirlwind tour of this very deep, very ambitious game at Paradox Con 2011.
In Pride of Nations, you take control of a major world power—The United States, Russia, Great Britain, Germany, France, Japan, Russia, Italy, or Austria-Hungary—between the years of 1850 and 1920. (Watch the trailer)
Want to stop World War I from occurring? Or maybe turn France into a major military power and take over Germany? This is a game that lets you explore such possibilities—and virtually any others you’d care to pursue. According to Thibaut, this 70-year period was when the major powers were essentially defining themselves and “establishing their place in the word and their national identity. But you get to change it.”
Re-defining the world
Like all of Paradox Interactive’s grand strategy games, Pride of Nations is all about giving you a world history sandbox and letting you forge your own path. Starting with a historically accurate world beginning in 1850, you control virtually every aspect of trade, diplomacy, colonization, culture, politics, and war for 70 years of rule. (View screenshots)
Pride of Nations differs a little from some of Paradox’s other grand strategy games because it’s a little more focused toward expansion, diplomacy, and economics. Your primary goal is simply to develop your nation into a superpower. But according to Thibaut, “Pride of Nations is set during a period when private capitalization was at its best.”
And though you’ll be developing and managing ‘the military option’ of course, you can’t just send your troops stomping willy-nilly into other countries on a whim. The only way to declare war is to essentially “engineer a crisis” (to use Thibaut’s phrase)—for example, making trade agreements and then not living up to your end of the bargain might be a good way to start.
“You can only declare war through manipulation,” Thibaut tells us, “which adds significant strategy and scheming to the game.”
So basically, before the shooting begins you might need to be a bit of a rabble-rouser—if you’re hell-bent on shooting at another country anyway.
War can and will still happen one way or the other, however. You have spy networks to help keep tabs on what other players are doing, and even if you don’t start a war the game’s AI is completely unscripted and prone to its own whims.
And when war does happen, expect an intensely detailed models and strategy. Thibaut explains, “Everything has been meticulously detailed. Even the military units have been accurately modeled, right down to their uniforms.”
It’s all about prestige
Prestige is essentially the game’s measure of your ‘score’ in the game and how other nations treat you. High prestige means your country is well-respected. Low prestige means you’re a nation of knee-biters. Prestige can be earned by meeting objectives—“side quests” in the game if you will—and it’s gained as your nation and its overall might grows. Prestige is also the ‘currency’ used in diplomacy with other nations.
You can do virtually anything you want in the game—generally mistakes may just cost you prestige. But Thibaut is quick to explain that you virtually always recover from a mistake.
And to keep things interesting, Pride of Nations also has a variety of historically accurate but randomized events that can throw you a curve ball now and again.
A game of options
Pride of Nations spans roughly 70 years, with 1 game turn being equal to 15 game days. A complete game is 1600 turns—and that’s a damn long game.
But you have plenty of options for playing shorter games. You can also play games as short as 70 turns. In addition, Pride of Nations allows you to create your own parameters for victory conditions, and pre-made scenarios from different points in history will also be included. You can also play with up to 7 friends as well in a ‘simultaneous turn-based’ engine.
For the main (grand) campaign, different nations can also have different victory conditions. “For example, Britain’s goal is to end the game with two or more times the prestige of the other nations,” Thibaut tells us.
Pride of Nations is scheduled to release in Q2 2011 at an MSRP of $19.99.
Pride of Nations features (courtesy of Paradox Interactive)
- Immerse yourself in realistic historical gameplay set on a global map
- Play as the world’s Great Powers between 1850 and 1920
- Lead one of eight different countries, each with their own personality and agenda: USA, Great Britain, Germany, France, Japan, Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Italy
- Experience the most original diplomacy model ever created for a grand strategy game
- Explore a revolutionary system for building armies and fleets
- Fight against a strong AI through a number of new game mechanisms
- Battle it out with others in multiplayer with anew simultaneous turn-based engine
- Engage in a detailed world economy with realistic components