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July 2024

Ara: History Untold

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Strategy
Publisher: Xbox Games Studios
Developer: Oxide Games
Release Date: Sept. 24, 2024

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'Ara: History Untold' Gets September Release Date, Reveals Multiplayer Details - Trailer

by Rainier on June 12, 2024 @ 2:47 p.m. PDT

Build a nation and lead your people throughout history to the pinnacles of human achievement as you explore new lands, develop arts and culture, conduct diplomacy, and go head-to-head with your rivals to prove you are the greatest ruler ever known.

Ara: History Untold, built by a team that includes many of the leads behind one of the most popular historical grand strategy games of all time, invites players to build and lead a nation throughout global history as they explore new lands, develop arts and culture, conduct diplomacy, and go head-to-head with rivals to prove they are the greatest leader ever known.

Players will become the architect of a dynamic, living world fully rendered and brought to life through the power of Oxide’s proprietary Nitrous Engine, where their play style and decisions will shape the world they create, the lives of their people, and their legacy as a leader.

Featuring both familiar and innovative gameplay mechanics, Ara: History Untold delivers an evolution in historical grand strategy with no pre-set paths to victory, leading to endless possibilities.

The choices you make will define the world you create, your experience and your legacy. It’s Your World Now.

Ara: History Untold will launch this September 24, 2024, for Windows PC, Steam, and will be available on day one with PC Game Pass!

The team at Oxide really wanted to make Ara distinctive in the historical grand strategy genre, by looking across the landscape of strategy games to identify common pain points they could address and explore ways they could shake things up. There are many things the team is excited to talk about when it comes to Ara.

Playing in a Living World

One of the standout elements of Ara: History Untold that’s immediately clear from the footage shown during the Official Xbox Podcast segment, and its screenshots, is just how beautiful and detailed the world looks. At a high level, you can easily see how the regions are divided, making them distinguishable from agricultural versus industrial, as well as resource deposits.

Ara, at its core, is a classic turn-based historical grand strategy game that spans the scope of human history from ancient times all the way up to the modern era and beyond,” explains Stone. “But it’s also a game that (Oxide) has been really pouring a lot of modern elements into it. They’ve made the look of the game something completely unique that you’ve never seen before.”

Diving in closer, however, you see that this is a “living” map with massive amounts of activity from planes flying overhead, garbage trucks going down the street, children playing in playgrounds, to wildlife living in dense jungles. It brings character to this game world and lets you connect with it in a way that you may not have before in other grand strategy games.

“This is all randomly generated every time you build a new game. Every time you play again, you will get a different world. It’s going to be full of all these different biomes,” Meyer explains. “It’s the living world; it’s full of all types of interesting things we want the players to notice and to see… And it’s a resource. That’s part of the game. It’s something you will harvest and get things from, and you will establish your nation here and you’ll use that resource to improve the lives of your people and your citizens.”

Multiple Paths to Victory with Unique Leaders

Because there’s so many ways to play through Ara, it was important for the team to make sure there were leaders for every playstyle, and we were shown that during the Official Xbox Podcast segment. There’s a variety of traits that help define who these Leaders are, inspired in part by how they existed in the world.

“Each of the leaders has sort of this unique hero trait that that sets them apart from everyone else,” explains Meyer. “They’ve got these set of traits that they share with each other and they kind of dictate a little bit of the underlying pieces of their personality and they dictate how they’re going to get along with each other… It lets us have a huge variety in the different leaders that we offer and so that playing each one of them is very different.”

Ultimately, the goal of Ara is, through your own means, to become the most prestigious nation on Earth. And you can do that across a lot of different types of gameplay strategies, from military conquest to religious victories to industry. Or become a beacon for other nations through prestige. “There are almost unbound ways to kind of go invest in kind of what you’re building from that first little village,” says Stone.

“As your nation grows, and as you gather people, you’ll gain claims that will let you take over pieces of land and grow your empire and find new places to build and new resources to exploit,” Meyer adds. “And so, it’s all this self-fulfilling system where you grow so that you can grow more, and you can get more land and you can get more resources. And then you take those resources, and you refine them through our crafting system to produce amenities that will improve the quality of life of your people.”


In many grand and turn-based strategy games, multiplayer sessions can be a challenge — trying to wrangle a dozen players in a single game can be a daunting task. But Oxide might have a solution here. They call it “Simultaneous Turns” and it involves all players resolving their Turns at the same time. While not wholly new to the genre, the way simultaneous turns are implemented in Ara is truly unique.

“The way that works is you submit your actions, and everyone else in the world submits their actions at the same time, and then they all get resolved together,” explains President of Oxide Games Marc Meyer. “It’s not a situation where if you go first, you get to get the claim; the person who goes second doesn’t get the claim. In this model, everyone goes at the same time. So, in multiplayer you really have a fair chance at everything.”

“We’ve built all of that turn processing in the Azure Cloud, which means that it’s all there, all running, all the time,” adds Head of Ara History Untold for Xbox Game Studios Brian Stone. “Anybody in any game can hot join, in or out. You can run games at any pace you want. If you want to play a game like one turn a day or one turn every 30 seconds. It doesn’t matter. You can do that. You don’t need to worry about who’s hosting — it’s like almost unlimited flexibility in terms of how you play.”

“We really wanted to remove all the barriers for multiplayer,” says Meyer. “You can jump in and out of as many games as you want. You can take your turn when you have time and wait until it gets submitted. If your friend decides he doesn’t want to play anymore, an AI can come in and take over for him, it doesn’t mean the end of your entire world if you’re playing online and you don’t want to do that, you can stop, and you don’t have to worry about destroying the game for everyone else who’s playing.”ey Features:

  • EXPLORE AN IMMERSIVE LIVING WORLD: Explore a dynamic living world filled with life and charm across sweeping landscapes ranging from tropical jungles to sand-swept deserts as you discover the resources you need to develop your nation. Witness the world come to life in vivid, realistic detail as citizens move throughout the world and react dynamically to times of health and sickness, war and peace, wealth and despair with unique biomes, cultures, and eras that represent the diversity of the human experience.
  • BUILD YOUR NATION: Your land is your canvas – construct a variety of improvements from forges to libraries to citadels and cathedrals. Research diverse technologies. Optimize a richly detailed industrial and economic crafting system. Manage every detail, the output of a single mill, the citizen stats of a city, and the combined resources of an entire nation. Weave a future of infinite possibilities.
  • RULE YOUR WAY: Take up the mantle of history’s most influential figures and reshape the world through your choices. Will you rule the Egyptians as Queen Nefertiti, the Greeks as Sappho, or the United States as George Washington? Choose from unique leaders representing different nations, people, and playstyles with gameplay-impacting traits players can experiment with, and distinct personalities that help determine their behaviors as your AI neighbors, allies, or enemies.
  • EXPERIENCE TRUE SIMULTANEOUS TURNS: Every turn each nation's actions and choices resolve simultaneously, leading to suspense, anticipation, unique outcomes, and surprising twists on the classic turn-based formula. The fate of your people will be determined by your decisions and your ability to predict your opponent’s next move, putting your skill as a leader to the ultimate test.

Ara: History Untold is coming to PC (Steam) on September 24, 2024 and will be available day one with PC Game Pass.

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