Long read: Who is qualified to make a world?

In search of the magic of maps.

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Data Becker signs Castle Strike

I can siege clearly now!

Highland Warriors publisher Data Becker is back on the war wagon today, having signed Related Design's Castle Strike for release later this year. As the name faintly suggests, the erstwhile developer of No Man's Land and America (we've got some thoughts on the design, chaps) is planning a medieval empire-building strategy title, in which players battle for control of continental Europe during the Hundred Years War.

Although the playable nations are real (England, France and Germany) and the environment apparently quite authentic, the storyline will be fictional, and filled with tales of battle, ambush and betrayal. Ooh! During the course of the game, players will be invited to slaughter their medieval brethren using 18 different units per side (ranging from mounted knights and variously tooled melee fighters to archers and sappers) whilst building and struggling for control of various castles.

The castle construction interface is one of the game's more interesting features, allowing players to customise the outer walls, towers and gates by literally drawing the design from the ground up and then having the CPU organise and divide civilian workers into builders and resource gatherers. And castles, given their size, won't just spring up out of nowhere overnight - it'll take a while to produce a good-sized and well-defended stronghold. When you do though, you'll be able to fill it with more than 25 economic and military buildings.

It sounds like you'll have to judge how much time you have and how many buildings you really need against how quickly you're likely to be rattled by a rival army, who will be equipped with everything a good raiding party needs; siege towers, battering rams, catapults, mortars, trebuchets and of course cannons. With sufficient resources and a sizeable workforce though, it will be possible to build huge castles and then defend them to the hilt against the arrogant English, pesky French or, well, the Germans.

Castle Strike is due out later this year on the PC. Next from Data Becker: When Spaniards Attack!