A Beginners Guide to PC Gaming: Strategy Games
For strategy gamers, the PC provides a vast choice of games. From real-time strategy to turn-based strategy, gamers in this sphere are spoiled for choice.
Types of Strategy Games
In strategy games, there are two distinct flavours of game: Turn-based strategy and real-time strategy. In turn-based strategy, players are often allowed free rein to micromanage their respective economies, marshal troops and build buildings; the game doesn't advance until the player is happy they have accomplished everything they can do on a particular turn.
In real-time strategy, the onus is much more on direct, reactive thinking. Events happen in 'real-time', hence the name, so players are required to think quickly and adapt their strategies to suit what is unfolding in the game. While only ten minutes may have passed in reality, fifty years of game-time may have elapsed in that period.
Strategy games tend to appeal more to those who are deeply interested in giving their brain a good workout and may not appeal to those who prefer to get into the thick of the action from the first mouse-click. However, if PC strategy is something you'd like to try, or you're already a fan and looking for the best that the genre offers, why not try some of the following?
Company Of Heroes
This Company of Heroes review finds it an extremely slick and refined example of the very best of real-time strategy game set in World War Two. Developed by Relic, who were also responsible for the 'Homeworld' and 'Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War' games, Company of Heroes brings to life the perils of war as the player takes command of Able Company as they fight their way through war-torn Europe.
Stripping out many of the non-essential areas of RTS, Relic delivers a highly polished, fun and exciting real-time strategy experience.
World In Conflict
Vivendi's real-time strategy game is a stunning example of the genre, set against a backdrop of the Cold War. World In Conflict looks almost as stunning as it plays, and the player is treated to some jaw-dropping graphics throughout. The game is all about destruction, so forget about micro-managing bases and resources and while the single-player campaigns are solid, this game comes into it's own when played in multiplayer. Fun and addictive, this game is a must-play for PC strategy fans.
Ok, so it might be a couple of years old now, but Civilization 4 is responsible for sales in excess of six million copies and it's little wonder. This turn-based strategy gem puts the player in charge of a fledgling empire, with the aim of building it into a global power.
Civilization 4 is an addicting, absorbing game that will give you many sleepless nights, but they'll be worth it!
The next page takes a look at 4 more great strategy games including Sins of a Solar Empire, Medieval II, and the classic Rise of Nations.
Sins Of A Solar Empire
A hybrid real-time/turn-based strategy game, Sins Of A Solar Empire is destined to turn into one of the classic games of the strategy era. Rich and accessible, Sins Of A Solar Empire features deep resource management with some breathtaking space battles. And it looks fantastic.
Medieval II: Total War
Medieval II is an epic game that took strategy games to whole new levels when first released. Featuring over seventy-five hours of engrossing gameplay, where players can indulge in combat, diplomacy and espionage, this game will have you hooked within minutes with beautiful graphics to augments some excellent gameplay. Battlefield moments are exceptional, with some of the biggest battles you'll ever see on a computer screen.
Rise Of Nations
Getting long in the tooth, its hard to believe that Rise of Nations is over 6 years old. However, it's age is belied by the astounding gameplay which combines elements of the Civilisation and Age OF Empires series into. While it might not compare favourably in terms of graphics with other, newer releases into the genre, you'd be hard pressed to find a game today that has the depth of Rise Of Nations.
If you like sci-fi strategy games, Supreme Commander will appeal. Featuring massive battles and armies made up of thousands of land, air and sea troops, giant robots, massive battlefields and a deep, immersive gameplay, this a sci-fi strategy that will drain more than a couple of hours from your day.
The above is only a very small sample of the many PC Strategy games that are available, but you'll be hard pressed to find better examples of the genre. As you might expect, PC strategy games cover a wide choice of areas and time periods, meaning players can immerse themselves in anything from building up the Holy Roman Empire through to destroying planets in a far-flung, futuristic galaxy.