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Gear Up hits beta: put guns on goo or make invisible spider tanks

Free zombies: Inject some unlife into your weekend with Dead Island: Epidemic on Steam

War of the Roses

Paradox Con 2013: The Showdown Effect hits beta, Crusader Kings II gets bigger, War of the Roses recruits Brian Blessed

Paradox Con has been a’happening over the last day or so, and more has been revealed than I can possibly squeeze into a headline - especially one already creaking under the gravity of somehow-not-yet-a-Sir Brian Blessed. Think expansions for the ‘Dox’s core strategy titles, a new turn-based game taglined “Ship Just Got Real”, and what will surely be the shoutiest DLC ever made.

First up is a new slice of War of the Roses DLC, which will see both Yorkshiremen and Lancastrians blasted indiscriminately by the vocal chord artillery of Mr Blessed. That’s all there is on that right now, but you might be interested to learn that WotR will also soon be hosting a free trial. The game gained 5GB worth of patching only last week.

Beyond that, there’s plenty of terribly good news for fans of either diplomacy-tinged global combat or combat-tinged global diplomacy. Victoria II is getting a new African campaign, colonially titled The Heart of Darkness. There you will get stuck into new naval battles, as well as “compete with other colonial powers and experience international crises which require Great Power mediation if the world is to avoid war.”

Crusader Kings II, meanwhile, will shift its focus to the Vikings and newly playable Pagans in The Old Gods. The expansion rolls back the clock to 867 AD, and adds roaming, landless adventurer characters.

What was “Ship Just Got Real” all about? That’ll be Leviathan: Warships, a naval-gazing new turn-based strategy title from a publisher already flush with them. Leviathan will feature cloud-saving enabled cross-platform play across PC, Mac, iPad and Android. That should prove ideal for its nine-mission, four-player co-op campaign. A Challenge mode provides an opportunity for single-player, and multiplayer skirmish will be included at release too. You’ll be able to build and customise your own warships using 11 ship and 16 weapon types.

Last up is The Showdown Effect, Arrowhead’s ‘80s action-riffing Magicka follow-up. Access to the new beta will come with pre-orders, and will play out something like this:

Thanks, PC Gamer. So: what are you most looking forward to?

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