Conclusion: It seems as if about one good turn-based, epic fantasy strategy game comes out every year. If that trend continues to hold, then Age of Wonders III should be your choice for 2014. The complex tactical combat that has given the series its identity is as strong as it has ever been. The few problems that the game has are relatively minor next to its addictive turn-based gameplay.
Excerpt: Age of Wonders III is a massive visual spectacle that attempts to combine the best elements of Civilization, Warlock, and League of Legends into a single, sprawling game. It is, for the most part, a turn-based strategy game, but it's got a MOBA influence in the way that it incorporates heroes that lead your armies.
Excerpt: From my perspective, it’s always seemed that the moment Civilization broke onto the scene, developers have dreamed of creating the perfect fantasy-themed version of it. Starting with Masters of Magic and continuing on with mods and games like Fall from Heaven and Elemental: Fallen Enchantress, there’s clearly been a market for magic-based 4X gaming, though nothing has ever quite hit the nail on the head.
Conclusion: Concept: A strong turn-based fantasy strategy game mixed with a simplified 4X empire simulator that can feel like a chore
Graphics: Features a nice diversity in unit types, but the simple environments won’t push your GPU to the breaking point
Sound: A peppy drum-filled soundtrack will get you pumped for war, but the voice acting will make you happy to just read the subtitles
Playability: Age of Wonders III’s many systems feel complicated at first, but you will pick up...
Conclusion: Since I never played the earlier games, I can’t make the call as to whether or not this game was worth waiting 11 years for. Saying that, I’ve been waiting since I saw the game at GamesCom last year to get my hands on it, and it was definitely worth it. Like Warlock 2, this is a game that’s trying to be more creative with the fairly rigid ‘Civ’ template, and combined with the tactical battles and challenge of a hostile world, this is definitely one of the better strategy...
Age of Wonders III’s evocative, intricate, lovely world without end
8 April 2014
Excerpt: Age of Wonders III is almost great. This fantasy strategy game has nearly everything a fantasy strategy game needs, including some things other fantasy strategy games don’t have. Clever combos of races and classes that make you want to keep starting new games. A broad tree of skills and spells that makes you want to keep starting new games again. Distinct and detailed armies that make battles a joy. Superb tactical combat that makes battles even more of a joy.
Conclusion: The quest for the ultimate fantasy strategy game will continue for a while longer, as Age of Wonders III only partially fits the bill. Still, it's a fairly successful return for a game series and style that seemed undeservedly buried. I have no doubt that the strength of the tactical combat will help find a strong niche, but for me, that just makes the relative weakness of the strategic side of gameplay all the more disappointing.
Pros: Superb turn-based tacitcs, Detailed fantasy setting, Great music
Excerpt: Remember Age of Wonders 2 ? How about Age of Wonders 1 ? Games released back in the storied mythical time of over a decade ago, when dragons flew through the skies, elves rocked hi-top Air Jordans and only the wealthiest merchants had mobile phones. It was a time of legend, of mighty beards and warm ale.