Approach Vector - May Edition26 Apr 2016 4
Welcome back, shoppers. Cash that cheque and loosen the purse-strings; this month puts the May in mayday, as credit ratings burn in magnificent pyres of indulgence and canny purchases. No frivolous tips listed below, the grizzled tin-pushers in Approach control know a sure thing when they see it. And it's an absolute Antonov of a month.
Sengoku Jidai: Shadow of the Shogun
On the buckled cavalier heels of Pike and Shot: Campaigns, an impeccable bottler of a wargame in its own right, comes Sengoku Jidai: Shadow of the Shogun. A collaboration between mod maestro Jayson Ng and Pike & Shot's very own Richard Bodley Scott, Shadow of the Shogun lets players partake in the tumult of Japan's Warring States period as well as the Imjin campaigns into Korea. Spicing up the mettled formula with generals and assorted twists, Paiku ando shotto has never looked better. Fly the mon, fire the kunikuzushi. Sengoku Jidai: Shadow of the Shogun releases on the 19th.
Wars of Napoleon
AGEOD's Boney Simulator has been called, in no uncertain terms, the most complete representation of Napoleonic military strategy. Imposing verbage, but our fellow grognard JC at Real & Simulated Wars doesn't mince 'em, and such accolades weren't rare when this colossal wargame dropped in early December of last year. Wars of Napoleon gets a Steam release this month and should scoop up another round of fans via everyone's favourite digital corral. Have your own Waterloo on the 6th.
Fred Wester's House of Many Cogs took their historical strategy chops and turned the clock way, way forward. Stellaris, Paradox's take on the space empire builder, is now within photon torpedo range. In a genre that many have decried as conservative in experimentation, pundits and peanuts are looking to see if that same Scandinavian grand strategy magic can leave the blood-soaked annals of the past and disrupt a mechanically well-trod future.
TransOcean 2: Rivals
Nobody remembers Jacaranda Software's The Tycoon Itch, but by jolly, did the original TransOcean do its damnedest in 2014 to recreate that specific thrill of modern seaborne trading. Pretenders to the Onassis throne can get their fix once more in Rivals, with the added emphasis on multiplayer. If the thought of out-magnating your friends appeals, the high-seas trader looks to be a proper go-to for undercutting and overtaking in a global race for commercial sea-lane dominance. TransOcean 2: Rivals continues the romance on May 11.
Total War: Warhammer
The pomp. The carnage. The journey to now. Everyone's guiltiest of franchise pleasures lives as though it has always been in Creative Assembly's Total War: Warhammer, possibly the greatest near-miss in naming convention yet seen. Redundancy aside, this just-shy-of-epic-Epic RTS is doing what us paupers have wanted for years in trading pewter for 'puter. Massive fantasy armies going hell-for-leather, offering a 64bit-enhanced take on the technology we've known and loved Total War for and using it to great effect. Antipodean misfires notwithstanding, taking its leave of history has done the accomplished strategy house wonders. Roughshod and howling, Total War: Warhammer thunders towards release on May 24.
This is the Police
Unlike Detective-Inspector Henry Crabbe, whose reluctance was legendary and fried-then-baked chips were to die for, Weappy Studio's Jack Boyd wants to retire on a little more than homely cuisine. This Is The Police is Deviousness Simulator 2016, where players take their position of power within law enforcement and fast-track a degree at the Vic Mackey school of Integrity. Using various systems and powers, Jack Boyd has a six month window to accrue one million big ones, maintaining his spotless character while dirtying up with criminals and corrupt city officials. Even if This Is The Police ends up a night in the drunk tank in place of a yacht in the Quays, the premise is so fascinating, it deserves a spot on the split-flaps.
Soviet Monsters: Ekranoplans
Comrades, imagine an age where the Wall never fell and World in Conflict was as to history as 2003 was to KUMA\WAR. And rather than decaying in a Kaspiysk rivulet, the mighty Lun-class Ekranoplan ground-effect craft would be plying the Caspian and beyond in legion. Heck, wasn't that Bloodstone mission enough to whet the whistle and frenzy the imagine? Soviet Monsters: Ekranoplans wants to put you in the shoes of Rostislav Evgenievich Alexeyev and get Mother Russia's visionary heavy-lift, combat and transport program, ahem, off the ground. Charged with managing the vehicle's development, can you do the Kremlin proud and coast all the way to Washington on a cushion of Soviet ingenuity? This beast thrums away from its mooring sometime this month.
"The wise man must not be ordered but must order, and he must not obey another, but the less wise must obey him," or so Aristotle wrote. What modern scholars miss was the philosopher's following sentence: "...and go fully ape, wrecking anything the wise bloke tells them to." Okhlos takes its cues from Pikmin or the unsung Army Corps of Hell, where a player character attracts and commands a semi-autonomous mob. Eight procedurally-generated levels to lay waste to in a Katamaric frisson of Hellenic rioting. Aristopple Greece (hopefully) sometime this month.
Salivation is the theme for May. Fly true.