The Future of Grand Strategy Games: A WishlistAug 27, 2020 | 0 Votes by Mikhail - rate With the next-generation of gaming knocking on our doorstep, what will the future hold for grand strategy games? We don’t know for certain, but we wish the following aspects will be part of it:
Back in the day, grand strategy games were mainly about conquering on a map through war. Today, it has evolved into a deep genre with countless elements and a slew of nuances. In a way, the genre started turning into a “diplomacy and conquest simulator”.
With that said, the future of grand strategy is extremely bright, with Crusader Kings 3 and Total War: Troy coming later this year and with more content for games like EU4 and Civilization VI. However, there are a few other things we want and here’s to hoping that developers will include the following in the genre’s future:
There are only a few grand strategy games on consoles, notably the Civilization franchise and Stellaris. To play other more popular titles, you need to have a decent PC, considering some are only playable on Steam.
With that said, console players are missing out on outstanding games like Total War and Paradox Interactive’s games. Although you could argue that they’re not a stellar fit for consoles, this can be fixed with mouse and keyboard integration. Even if this is unlikely since the market for these titles is on PC, it’ll be a gamechanger and will expose these games to a fresh albeit untested audience.
Grand strategy has evolved in leaps and bounds in terms of simulating diplomatic relations between players and AI. Back in 2004, Rome: Total War’s diplomacy mechanics were fairly simplistic and difficult to work with. For example, you’ll find it hard to bribe settlements and rebels even if you have truckloads of cash. Today, diplomacy in newer Total War games like Rome 2 and Total War, gives players a lot to work with. These include forming trade agreements and better vassalization mechanics.
In the future, we’re hoping more elements will be added to diplomacy that fits the setting the game is on. For example, I’d like to have more “casus belli” options, like full conquest and exact a lump sum tribute) in CK2 and EU4.
Stop the deluge of DLCs
If there’s one thing the last generation taught us, it would be that DLCs can both be a boon and a bane. Civilization VI has tons of DLCs, while Paradox Interactive’s titles have dozens, some of which include features that should have been included in the base game. Sure, they add a lot of variety and new gameplay elements, but they end up burning a hole in wallets.
With that said, it would be better for companies to change their approach. Instead of releasing it in bite-sized chunks of $10-$20, release huge game-changing ones for $30-40.
Grand strategy games or mods based on pop culture
If you ask me, developers lost the opportunity to create a grand strategy game based on popular TV franchises. For example, a strategy experience in the world of TV series like Game of Thrones and Vikings would have been epic. Although there are mods, it would great if there were fully licensed games.
In any case, here’s to hoping we’ll get a DLC or a comprehensive mod patterned after the Game of Thrones and even the Lord of the Rings in future medieval grand strategy games like Crusader Kings 3. Imagine playing through various eras in Westeros’ history like the War of the Five Kings and during Aegon’s Conquest.
A modern setting
Imagine playing a high-budget grand strategy game set in today’s era. Apart from the staple of war and conflict, you’ll get to contend with today’s geopolitics and ideologies. Like in most games, you’ll also have to deal with economics, culture, and of course, military. With that said, having a game like this would be fairly exciting. Imagine playing as a leader of a minor nation, trying to contend with the great powers, trying to avoid being bullied. Plus, imagine being a powerful nation trying to bend other minor countries to your will.
So far, there have been a few titles in this setting. However, they haven’t lived up to expectations. Here’s to hoping we’ll get a game like this in the next generation.
More character-centered grand strategies
By character-centered, we mean something akin to Crusader Kings. Instead of simply ruling a country or faction, it would be fantastic to actually play as a certain character - particularly your faction’s ruler - which can potentially turn the game into a grand strategy/RPG hybrid. In addition, it would be fantastic to have more robust marriage and heir elements, especially in ancient and medieval-themed titles.
In your case, do you play any of these games? If so, do you have your own wishlist? Regardless of what it contains, grand strategy games in the future will continue to rise and include more robust and complicated gameplay mechanics, giving players more to work with and enjoy. We can’t wait for what the future holds.