Strategy games are primarily for the PC, but that doesn't mean the so-called "master race" of gamers of holds domain over the genre as a whole. In fact, some of our most-wanted strategy games are set for release on the console next year, and it's with no small amount of ingenuity that game developers have managed to wrangle the controls offered by consoles to make the experience as seamless and pain-free as possible.
Previous attempts have not been quite as successful, but no success—not even the space program—has ever come without a few dozen failures as early trial runs, but I digress.
Videogames in general may be known for offering experiences that typically involve solving puzzles, jumping, and shooting people square in the face, but like a large buffet, videogames have always offered something for everyone no matter their tastes. For gamers who prefer to take on the roles of something other than soldiers and plumbers, strategy games have remained the genre of preference for these would-be civil engineers, generals, and emperors.
It is without further ado that we present our most wanted strategy games of 2013. Click on the next slide to continue!
10. Kingdom Under Fire II
While the original Kingdom Under Fire flew under everyone's radar, it was only due to the fact that it was released at a time when real-time strategy games were the only games being released at the time. The industry's focus on action games over all else should give Kingdom Under Fire II a fighting chance to gain a fraction of the spotlight this time around.
Developed by Blueside, Kingdom Under Fire II takes place after the events of the previous games in the same high fantasy setting. As an RTS, the game explores the wars between the Human Alliance, the Dark Legion, and the Encablossians, all of whom struggle for dominance over the game's world.
It's set to combine action with both RPG and RTS elements with players in control of a single hero who can command various troops on the battlefield.
9. Command & Conquer: Generals 2
No "most wanted games" with a pinpoint focus on strategy titles could be without a new Command & Conquer game. It's true that while the last two games, C&C Red Alert 3 and C&C4 were huge letdowns, the fact of the matter is that the franchise now finds itself in the very capable hands of BioWare.
EA's decision to give BioWare the reins of the C&C franchise only underscores how much effort they intend to put into the game, so it's with good reason that we've reason to be optimistic about it.
The upcoming title veers away from both the schlocky Soviets vs Americans setting of Red Alert, and eschews its sci-fi roots for a setting more grounded in the real world with Generals. The original Generals saw three sides: the Americans, the People's Republic of China, and the GLA—a fictitious group of rebels based on the Taliban—at war against each other. The current sociopolitical climate involving Anonymous, Wikileaks and a renewed Russian Federation ought to serve as an interesting base for Generals 2.
8. Fire Emblem: Awakening
Fire Emblem: Awakening is the only title on this list designed for the Nintendo 3DS, but that's only due to the fact that the platform sees few other games, much less strategy titles.
Taking elements from the previous Fire Emblem games, Awakening allows players to create their own character, or "Avatar", and control a small squad of teammates into battle to progress throughout the game's single-player campaign.
This strategy RPG is expected to give owners of the Nintendo 3DS a title something to play besides Super Mario all day.
7. Pikmin 3
Pikmin 3 should've been out with the launch of the Nintendo Wii U. The point is that it isn't, so gamers are going to have to wait until next year to get their hands on the title, which offers more than a graphical update to the previous Pikmin titles.
The new game is set to make full use of the Wii U's handheld display, by conferring map information to the player through the device to allow for an unhindered view on the main display. It also sees the addition of many new units—among them, rock-type Pikmin—which will add no small amount of variety to the challenges offered by the game.
Dungeon Keeper may no longer be around, and Peter Molyneux's Project GODUS Kickstarter may be far from confirmed, as of this article. Be that as it may, the dream of playing a new, current generation Dungeon Keeper is not dead. Thanks to Cyanide Studios and Paradox Interactive, the new Dungeon Keeper may come in the form of Impire.
Heavily influenced by Bullfrog's smash hit from 1997, the new game grants players command over a subterranean empire with the ability to dig out rooms, recruit monsters, and engage minions in combat against would-be adventurers.
Here's hoping it's a lot more like Dungeon Keeper than games like Realmforge's Dungeons or Overlord and its sequel. They weren't bad games, but they certainly weren't anything like Dungeon Keeper.
5. Europa Universalis IV
Europa Universalis IV is the fourth game in the long-running series of ultra-hardcore strategy titles by Paradox. Certainly, the studio has made numerous spin-offs like Crusader Kings, Hearts of Iron, and Victoria, but their core creation has always been Europa Universalis.
The newest title is set to begin at the end of the Middle Ages—during the dawn of Age of Explorations—and end in the late 18th century. It's expected to be larger, and more detailed than any of the previous games.
4. Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm
Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm is the second chapter of Starcraft II. Set after the events of the first game, Wings of Liberty, players will now assume control of Kerrigan and the Zerg and experience her story.
Spanning across 20 missions, the game will also offer some huge additions to the multiplayer game with the inclusion of seven new multiplayer units, and bring changes to many existing units and buildings.
More than just a thematic update, the game will also bring improvements to Starcraft II's graphics engine, with upgrades to the look and behavior of Zerg creep and all its environments.
You'll need to own Starcraft II to play this one.
3. Total War: Rome 2
The Total War franchise has been around for awhile now, and with good reason—they're damn good games. The Total War series has been rock solid with every iteration and Rome 2, which sees the series' return to Classic Antiquity, is expected to be bigger and better than ever.
This time around, every faction will offer a distinct look and feel so you won't feel like you're marching an army of Roman clones when you're in charge of an army of Vandals or barbarians from Saxony. Battlefields have also been enlarged to include naval units, allowing for wide scale assaults upon cities by the sea—bringing to mind scenes from Game of Thrones and Troy.
This time around, you'll also be inclined to pay closer attention to your generals and even to your individual platoons as the game is set to include a variety of RPG-like features to allow you to customize your own distinct army.
2. Company of Heroes 2
Company of Heroes 2 is the sequel to the highest rated real-time strategy game of all time. Set on the Eastern Front, during the winter of 1941, you take on the role of a Soviet Army commander, as Hitler sets his sights on claiming Russia for the Third Reich.
It's up to you to repel the Nazis and make them regret ever setting foot on Russian soil. Thanks to the game's new powerful Essence 3.0 engine, nature itself is an enemy to both sides and soldiers who set foot into battle may end up freezing to death even before a single shot is fired. Needless to say, it's not going to be easy.
The game is set to offer features never before seen in a strategy game, including true line of sight (referred to as "TrueSight" by the game's developers), destructible environments, and the aforementioned weather technology, called ColdTech.
Retaining the strongest elements from the original Company of Heroes, the new game is set to emphasize tactics over build orders.
SimCity is a sandbox for city builders and it harkens back to the freeform gameplay of the original SimCity and its sequels, powered by the technology of today.
It offers a true-to-life simulation of a city with its powerful GlassBox engine, which simulates elements both basic and complex, including water, traffic, pollution, crime, and more. How fires spread in a densely populated neighborhood is also realistically simulated, as are the after-effects of that fire and its impact on the people who live there.
Like real life, no city is an island, and SimCity lends the new element of interconnected cities that allow neighboring cities within a region to influence each other. All this is done through the game's online mode, which may serve as a cause for concern to anyone who doesn't want to stay online while they play the game. However, it's developers are convinced that it's all worth the hassle, so I'm willing to see what they do with it.