PAX East 2010 - Making History II Impressions

by: Ben Berry -
More On: PAX East 2010 Making History II: The War of the World
I love strategy games. I love them so much that my buddies and I in high school used to get together for pizza and Mountain Dew fueled all night games of Axis and Allies. When we got too tired to think, we’d play a Bunker Hill card game until the sun came up then we’d all go home to crash. I never got a chance to play the first Making History, so I jumped at the opportunity to schedule time to learn about Making History II.
When you’re playing a strategy game that deals with a specific period of time, it’s hard not to feel trapped by the constraints of what actually happened. The team behind Making History II took this thought into account when they designed their new product. While it wasn’t completely popular with fans of the series, it makes sense from a re-playability standpoint.
The game time period naturally deals primarily with World War II, but the developers have extended the period to being in the early 1930’s and continue on into the 50’s and the early stages of the cold war. There isn’t a tutorial planned, so the idea of extending the game period to start earlier was to give the player a period of time with a relatively low amount of chaos, with a slowly moving world. It allows the player to build up their country in preparation for what comes next.
You can start as any of 90 countries, with the major and minor powers having unique general attitudes towards the war, other counties, and their own goals. Everything you do as a player has an effect on the overall game, with your movements as a player overriding the general attributes of the country you lead. Needless to say, going against the wishes of your country is probably not the best idea.
There are pre-programmed events that fit within the natural mode of each country, such as India and Pakistan going to war. But these pre-programmed events don’t happen unless the conditions are right for it. For example, If India is still a colony of England at that point, it won’t go to war. In addition, each country has its own wants. If England is doing poorly, India will take the opportunity to establish its independence.
Countries that don’t yet exist as part of the world at the time the game begins become available over time, and could potentially be the starting point for the Making History II. With a May 25th release date, Muzzy Lane is taking pre-orders that give players access to the upcoming open beta.

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