Excerpt: While I'm no stranger to strategy games, this is my first time playing the Age of Wonder series. Age of Wonders III is a 3D 4X (explore, expand, exploit and exterminate) turn based strategy game.
Pros: Beautiful graphics; lots of races to explore; engaging story; solid gameplay mechanics; lots of replay value both online and offline
Cons: Triumph account needed to play; some confusing winning conditions in the campaign
Summary: I founded my empire in the depths of the earth. As it grew, I built it with the bones and rotting corpses of the subterranean dwarven kingdoms. For millennia, I crafted my undead legions, preparing to crawl out of the caves and rock and wage war on the evil in the world. That's right.
Pros: New races and classes add some much-needed mechanical variety, Morality system is simple, but facilitates great roleplaying, Solid campaign with branching paths that are interesting and vital
Cons: Shares some of Age of Wonders III's weaknesses
Conclusion: If you played through the campaign in Age of Wonders III and you are looking to get a jolt of fresh energy out of the game, then the Golden Realms expansion should have what you are looking for. This little expansion is packed with all kinds of minor improvements that are fun to discover.
Golden Realms fulfills the promise of Age of Wonders III. And adds hobbits.
Quarter to Three
2 October 2014
Excerpt: Halflings? Halflings? Really? The race that no one wants to be because you might as well be an elf for the charisma bonus? The most human of non-human races, which is quite an accomplishment next to half-elves?
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.
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...
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,...
Excerpt: Take Civilization V , greatly simplify city management, throw in tactical RPG battles and replace all the ethnicities with classical fantasy races. You now have a close approximation of the addictive experience that is Age of Wonders III .
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...
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.