During today’s Xbox Developer_Direct event, more information on the upcoming PC grand strategy game Ara: History Untold was revealed. Developer Oxide Games and publisher Microsoft (via the Xbox Studios Publishing) plan to launch the game for the PC on Steam, and also on PC Game Pass, in the fall of 2024.
In a post on the Xbox Wire site, the preview article talks about how the player’s choices in Ara will become a big factor in gameplay:
Where player choice really comes to play is when choosing to advance to the next era (e.g. a bronze age). When that occurs, you’ll be given the choice to advance, gaining access to new and powerful tech, or continue in the current era building up your foundational knowledge. The weight of your choice matters because once you advance, you’ll abandon access to any “last gen” tech from the previous era which could limit future research opportunities.
While many team members at Oxide Games previously worked at Firaxis and on the Civilization series, they saw a chance with Ara to try out some new gameplay features that were not handled when they worked on that long-running strategy series. That includes putting in a crafting system that will give players extra advantages when developing and updating their units, among other things.
In addition to today’s Developer_Direct event, the official Ara YouTube channel has posted its latest dev diary on the game. Oxide Games’ Design Director Michelle Menard offers up some info on 4X strategy games of the past, and how Ara is a new step forward in that genre.
Ara: History Untold will have special Insider events that people can join to play early pre-launch versions of the game. It will also keep the Insider program going after the game launches to get feedback on upcoming future updates.