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In Paradox’s new Civ-like strategy game, you can rewrite history

Millennia is a strategy game coming from Paradox and C Prompt Games, where you can dictate the course of history, and lead it off in bold new directions.

Paradox has announced Millennia, a 4X turn-based strategy game it’s publishing in 2024, working alongside development studio C Prompt Games. This turn-based strategy game looks a lot like the Civilization series from early screenshots, and lets you customize a nation while guiding it through ten different ages, “from the Stone Age to the near future”.

The part that had us excited earlier this week, when all we had to go off was teaser images, is the apparent inclusion of alternate histories, and that’s now been confirmed. Rather than straightforwardly moving from the Medieval age to the Renaissance, like you would in most 4X games, in Millennia you get to shape the direction history takes.

So long as you meet their requirements, you can choose Alternate Ages (like the Age of Heroes) or Crisis Ages (like Blood or Plague). These can apparently unlock weird technology and events – a press release for the turn-based game describes building “Cloud Estates in the Age of Aether” or “underwater cities in the Age of Utopia.”

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To us, it sounds a bit like a version of the Dark/Golden Ages system from Civilization VI, only way more fleshed out, as we’re told that “each Age involves unique rules, units, buildings, goods, etc.” The trailer also shows that there can be more than three options. For example, from the Age of Kings, you can move to the Age of Discovery or the Age of Renaissance without doing anything special, or go for the Age of Intolerance (presumably a Crisis Age) or an unseen Alternate Age.

You can also customize your empire with National Spirits. These are features that define your civilization’s approach to things like warfare or diplomacy – you might be raiders with a god-king dynasty, or spartans who are also seafaring explorers. Each option you select will let you pick and unlock different bonuses (as the screenshot of the Spartan’s ‘cultural tree’ below shows), and the press release assures that the wealth of options means you’ll “craft a unique civilization in every game”.

The way you win a game of Millennia sounds very interesting, because it seems like a successful player can set the win conditions themselves mid-campaign. Apparently you win through a ‘Victory Age’ (Ages definitely seem to be the hot thing in this game), and you can trigger these earlier on in a playthrough, though this comes with great risk.

Rather than summarize and risk losing some meaning, here’s Paradox’s full description of how it works: “Toward the end of the game (or earlier if your strategy is sound), dominance allows a nation to dictate the winning conditions. The rest of the world must decide if they will struggle to achieve victory before the leader… or oppose the leader’s attempt.”

Millennia is being published by Paradox Interactive, but it’s actually developed by C Prompt Games. This American studio is led by Rob Fermier, Ian Fischer and Brian Sousa. Between them they’ve worked on Age of Empires and Mythology, Starcraft II, and Orcs Must Die – so there’s plenty of varied strategy game experience to go around. Apparently, Millennia will pair “familiar comforts of the genre with fresh new gameplay”. It’s expected to launch some time in 2024.

If you’re a big fan of Paradox’s work, you can check out our picks for the best grand strategy games here to seek something new, or just make sure we’ve included your favorites. We’d also recommend these strategy board games, if you’d like to take your tactical brilliance to the tabletop.