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Paradox Interactive is looking to expand beyond the hardcore strategy genre but they are still looking to make games that focus on high replayability. War of the Roses is a game that CEO Fred Wester had wanted to create for a long time, and it looks like it’ll happen with the help of developer Fatshark. At the Paradox Interactive Convention, we were shown a presentation that gave us an idea of what to expect from the multiplayer, which is the game’s primary focus.

The senior producer, Gordan Van Dyke, who had previously worked on the Battlefield series from DICE walked us through some of the games key features. While Fatshark may not have the capacity to create something as big as a Call of Duty or Battlefield, they are looking at those models to create an online experience complete with unlocks, stat tracking, dedicated servers and DLC. Van Dyke specifically noted that maps will always be free, and any DLC that the player will pay for will not give them any strategic advantage – like custom armor.

The game was in pre-alpha but we were given a quick tour of various environments and the kinds of armor we’d be donning. War of the Roses is obviously centered around medieval warfare and items (no matter how ridiculous) in-game has been modeled after real-life items from history. The producer emphasized that they want to have detailed, living environments, so that it feels like you’re fighting in areas that are inhabited (or once inhabited, corpses may be part of the decor).

We were told that there's going to be a persistent unlock system and you’ll have more than 60 weapons from 15 types to choose from. Depending on your play style, you can modify your weapons to feel the way you want it to feel. You can carry at most three weapons at a time including a main weapon, side arm and dagger. How much you carry or the type of armor you choose will affect movement and speed. So don’t expect to be agile dressed in heavy armor swinging a large battleaxe. Senior Wildlife Editor B. Buttercup should be pleased that there will also be an assortment of armored and unarmored horses to choose from.

Similar to some other multiplayer games out there, a perk system will let you personalize your warrior’s play style.  The categories fall under offensive, defensive, supportive, movement and officer perk and there will be more than 60 in the game. Default classes will be available as well, but there are plenty of possibilities and unique combinations.

In terms of control, you have four directions to swing from: left, right, from above and thrust. The longer you hold your mouse button the more powerful the swing. Parry works in a similar fashion but you can always choose to block with a shield. All items except the dagger will eventually break so it’s worthwhile for you to parry, plus you can quickly counter after you parry.

It's about time that someone explored a massive online game that doesn't involve elves, magic, tanks and guns so we look forward to seeing the game in motion. Game modes (team deathmatch is in for sure and some kind of objective-based mode) and final player count aren't finalized yet, but it will support 32 players at the moment. War of the Roses is set to come out this summer and will be playable at GDC. Stay tuned to GamesRadar for more updates.

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4 comments

  • MrUnReAL136 - January 28, 2012 5:04 a.m.

    This may be a really dumb question... but is this PC exclusive ?
  • GR_SophiaTong - January 31, 2012 3:07 p.m.

    Yes.
  • An_Awesome_Guy - January 19, 2012 3:20 p.m.

    I have been looking forward to this for quite some time, but this is the first proper preview I have seen. I like the idea of a medieval multiplayer combat game (I am a fan of Mount & Blade), and I seem to remember another game called Ethereal coming out that looks like it could be quite similar to War of the Roses.
  • SwishiestB0g - January 19, 2012 2:42 p.m.

    Reminds me of Mount and Blade a lil bit. Which makes sense as Paradox is the publisher for that too. I might just have to check this out...

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