Age of Wonders is simply a long-running PC strategy bid that has been astir since 1999. This latest introduction takes nan 4X genre—think Civilization—and transports it into a imagination world wherever battles are resolved successful tactical showdowns, there’s magic everyplace and your leaders are besides RPG characters.
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That sounds for illustration a crippled made specifically for me, truthful ideate my ain astonishment when, looking complete its Steam listing nan different time and installing it, I realised I had ne'er played 1 before. Not nan original, not its 2002 sequel, not moreover nan 3rd game, released successful nan comparatively modern era of 2014 (though I’ve now been told they’re rather different games, truthful that mightiness explicate immoderate of this!).
I had played nan series’ 2019 spin-off, though, truthful I had some familiarity pinch nan series, if not successful its purest form. And what I recovered pinch Planetfall I recovered to beryllium beautiful overmuch nan lawsuit pinch Age of Wonders 4 arsenic well: this is simply a slick 4X crippled that hums on nicely, looks awesome and, for those willing, has a astonishing magnitude of extent you tin burrow down into and messiness astir pinch if imagination and RPG worldly is what you’re into.
Because I’m caller to this series, I actually—and I recognise nan chronological backwards-ass quality of this, but it is what it is—found it incredibly akin to Amplitude’s Endless Legend. Where that crippled goes difficult connected providing you wildly varying factions to take from, though, and person your crippled impacted accordingly, AoW4 goes successful nan other direction, and lets you create a faction down to nan astir infinitesimal detail, from its title to its perks to its quality (you tin take from immoderate pre-baked races if you like, but that’s boring!).
Much of AoW4's overarching building will beryllium acquainted to anyone who has ever played a 4X crippled before. From building cities to researching exertion to exploring nan representation to gathering friends and rivals, nan wide style of nan crippled is, possibly unsurprisingly fixed nan series’ age, staunchly traditional.
Where AoW4 gets freaky, though, is nan measurement it implements its imagination setting. You get leader characters who tin beryllium levelled up and equipped pinch loot. There are spells you tin formed astatine a strategical level that assistance perks and moreover units. The tactical battles person swords and arrows, but besides elemental magic, animals and dormant dudes. There are moreover communicative missions you tin activity through. It’s great!
Another point I really for illustration astir nan crippled is that, while there’s a batch to excavation into—city management, battles, exploration, diplomacy, RPG stuff—the game, for illustration Planetfall, moves fast. I don’t cognize if that’s because of its standard aliases possibly conscionable that I’m already truthful acquainted pinch 4X worldly that I’m blowing done parts of it, but nan game’s pacing conscionable felt really solid; I ever had thing cool to do, and ne'er felt for illustration I was bored, aliases stuck waiting for a peculiar portion of investigation aliases construction. The game’s interface, astatine erstwhile instantly-familiar for 4X veterans and ever prodding maine erstwhile a determination needed to beryllium made, helps here.
So yeah, I really for illustration AoW4! It’s possibly not nan finest illustration of nan sub-genre—I still think, astir a decade on, that Endless Legend remains a masterpiece—but it’s surely bully capable astatine everything it’s trying to do that I regret ne'er having dabbled pinch nan bid sooner.