The historical PC game experts Paradox Interactive seem to have a new game featuring the War of the Roses coming out. The video below was uploaded in August, but there doesn’t seem to be any news on a release date. If it’s historically accurate, which some of Paradox’s games are, then it could be very interesting for any fans of Medieval history.
Here’s some more information on the game from Paradox’s website:
War of the Roses is a new IP that transports players back in time to the battle-ravaged, dynastic civil war era of 15th century England where ownership of the throne of England was brutally fought over between supporters of two rival branches of the Royal House of Plantagenet – the house of Lancaster (the reds) and the house of York (the whites).
A team-based multiplayer melee combat experience, War of The Roses sees players and their band of knights going toe-to-toe with their opponents using authentic and visceral weapons of the time period including broad swords, long bows and battle-axes. Built on a stunning graphics engine which vividly portrays the fighting from an up-close-and-personal third-person perspective, War of the Roses features both online multiplayer and a single-player campaign. Players will get the chance to lead their warrior through a rich progression system, gaining upgrades and unlocking new content on their path from filthy peasant to unstoppable armored killing machine.
The years of 1455-1485 in England is an extraordinary and underused setting filled with conflict, treachery and bloodshed. In the wake of the “death of chivalry” at Agincourt in 1415 and the introduction of gunpowder, warfare changed; the gloves came off, so to speak. The old and the new clashed on the battlefield while personal vendettas persistently motivated the desire for war. War of the Roses – ambitions and goals In War of the Roses, Fatshark take what was learned from Lead and Gold and apply it in a medieval setting, using the Bitsquid tech-engine for high quality visuals and performance. The driving focus of the game is creating a multiplayer game with the same accessibility as the best competitive shooters currently out there, but in a medieval setting with a primary emphasis on melee combat. The focus of the core gameplay is on the Multiplayer experience, but we will have an engaging and immersive story driven single player campaign designed to prepare and train players for the multiplayer experience. The single player campaign will give the players direct rewards to use in the multiplayer battles.
I once reviewed Eco’s Baudalino for another blog and found its attempt at postmodern humour. I think Eco does much better when he’s being more serious, and there’s no better example of that than his classic medieval mystery story The Name of the Rose. I have recently started reading this again for my own research – see the Roger Draper project. I found it interesting how he uses a narrator who was actually present during the events to tell the story. This has a number of advantages, the character of the narrator is emotionally involved in the story and can give a vivid description of what happens, while also allowing the reader to get an insight into the medieval mind. However, by making the narrator a minor character and not one of the principles, it allows Eco to provide commentary on characters such as William of Baskerville and maintain some mystery about their thoughts and motives. As a reader therefore our respect for William’s deductions are enhanced. A bit like the way Conan Doyle used Watson to narrate the Sherlock Holmes stories.
Something worth bearing in mind perhaps for my own Roger Draper book. Who would be the narrator though – the bungline Roger, who is baffled by the intuition and deduction of his lowly sidekick Jake? Could be…
As a reader of this text I feel like I am in the middle of a postmodern laboratory experiment. For this set of clinical trials the Eco research unit is testing the application of intertextuality theory to the comic novel, having undergone two previous trials that I know of on the murder mystery – The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum. The subject of these earlier excellent novels leant itself well to the fictionalisation of Eco’s main theme of the interpretation of truth. This latest novel, with its comic tone does not succeed as well.
The book (or perhaps I should say text?) centres on the character of Baudolino, a poor peasant boy catapulted to the court of Frederick Barbarossa, the German Holy Roman Emperor in the twelfth century. He rises on the basis of his own wits and ability to tell a tall tale to become Frederick’s adopted son and a key advisor. As such he finds himself connected with a number of the key events of the age and in particular the legend of Prester John, the Christian King who was supposed to live to the East beyond the lands of the Muslims. The book revolves around the search for this king. The theme of the book, however, is the main driving force of the narrative. Truth, its interpretation, its fabrication, its composition in texts and the metaphysical and scientific nature of it are at the heart of Baudolino.
As mentioned above truth also formed the theme of Eco’s other fictional works. Umberto Eco’s day job is as a Semiotician, a postmodern study of signs. His work is concerned with how perceived truth is constructed by texts. This interest seems to have become the raison d’etre for writing this novel. Unfortunately it takes away too much from the plot of the book and the actual narrative connected with the characters. Baudolino himself, the main character, is interesting and he certainly experiences enough events. However, the author rarely keeps his narrative sharp enough and connected enough to drive the story forward with tension. The book reads like one of those dull medieval travel books which recounts a series of remarkable events, but with no unifying theme to connect them. Only twice in the book are there moments of real tension, which were hinted at early in the book. Unfortunately Eco does not use his narrative skills to keep these going through the rest of the story.
I was looking forward to reading this book as I had really enjoyed The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum, partly because of their setting and themes, but mostly because Eco was a good storyteller. For some reason he seems to have left his fiction writing skills at the door on this one. This experiment has failed.