Paradox Interactive Takes a Stab at RPGs, also Announces Hearts of Iron IV

Paradox Interactive is most commonly known for their sprawling, amazingly dense grand strategy franchises such as Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis, and Victoria. Of course, not only do they develop their own games in-house, they also publish a slew of other titles ranging from War of the Roses to Mount & Blade and Magicka. In other words, they single-handedly make up like 10 percent of all PC games. Alright, that last bit is sort of a stretch, but it certainly feels that way considering how many pots their hands are in. Still, despite their design studio mostly tackling strategy titles, the developer announced today that they are branching out for once. What are they branching out to exactly? Roleplaying games. Who’d have thunk it?

Their forthcoming RPG, entitled Runemaster, is a high fantasy-inspired game that is heavily rooted in Norse mythology. Accordingly, players assume the role of a hero “in a time of chaotic upheaval.” (After all, what good RPG is put against any other kind of narrative backdrop?) The player’s goal? Explore six worlds, amass a small army and vanquish foes on the batlefield in the name of a chosen God. The long and short of it: you have to save the world from an ever approaching tyrant. Per the game’s product page over at Paradox’s official website, Runemaster will include the following:

  • Vast vistas to explore: Wander the six worlds of Norse myth, from the lofty forests of Midgard to the fires of Muspelheim. Each time you start a new campaign, the world is procedurally generated to ensure each adventure is a venture into the exciting and unknown.
  • Rich tactical combat: Recruit and command an expansive range of units with unique abilities. Learn to use your troops – and the terrain of the battlefield – to crush your enemies.
  • Emergent storytelling: Who you are and the choices you make have a direct impact on the journeys you embark on. The game’s procedural quest system will take note of your deeds and challenge you accordingly. No two playthroughs will ever be the same.

But Runemaster isn’t the only game up Paradox’s proverbial sleeve. In fact, it would almost be criminal to see the studio go another year without mention of a new Hearts of Iron installment. Seeing as it’s one of the franchises most often associated with the company, it then comes as no surprise that a fourth entry, in the heralded strategy series focusing on the second Great War, was announced today, as well. While the teaser trailer released shows no actual gameplay, it does include a pretty epic montage featuring one of Winston Churchill’s most famed speeches. Now here’s just hoping they don’t botch the game’s launch like they did with HoI3.

Right now, neither game has a release date, though each has been given a launch window: Runemaster is eyeing a Winter 2014 date, while Hearts of Iron IV will come out sometime in early 2015. Of course, both will be available for PC. No other platforms have been announced at this time (nor do we think any will be period). Regardless, since late 2014 and early 2015 are a ways off, do yourself a favor and view the videos below to get a glimpse at what you can expect from the two games.

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