Age of Wonders III

aowIIIWritten by Lance Alexander

Some of you might be old enough to remember the fantastic turn based strategy games called ‘Age of Wonders.’ This was a ‘Civilization’ style game in a fantasy setting where you built an empire of Orcs, Undead, Elves or even Hobbits and conquered your enemies. The mixture of city building and magic was intoxicating.

So my first thoughts upon seeing this new iteration announced was whether or not it would live up to it’s legacy.

The brief explanation on the website, coupled with the brief preview video, do give us a few clues. For instance, it appears that the general game mechanics aren’t being tampered with. In the old AoW games, you played essentially in the same way gameplay is done in Civ. You move your units so many hexagons per turn, you go to cities to produce units, build buildings, craft spells, etc. The real unique part was combat. Units that engaged an enemy don’t immediately resolve combat with a few repetitive animations like Civ. In AoW, all units within a one hexagon of the combat immediately go into a separate RTS style resolution. Each unit can be controlled interdependently to go about whatever task you’ve set out for them. City battles were especially interesting because taking out the walls would occasionally become a serious pain in the butt.

Age_of_Wonders_III_City_OverviewAs far as AoW3 is concerned, it appears that all of this will remain the same. What sets AoW3 apart from the two previous games is that this one will be a ‘turn based RPG empire builder.’ Which means at the start of your game you pick a class, you have your typical RPG classes such as Rogue, Sorcerer, Arch-druid, Warlord, but you also have classes like the technologically inclined ‘Dreadnought,’ or the religious ‘Theocrat.’

The development director at Triumph, Lennart Sas, does a better job of explaining the changes then I can;
“In Age of Wonders III, we extrapolate RPG style classes to be the leaders of fantasy empires, for example: as a Goblin Theocrat you can build your own holy empire, recruit little goblin crusaders or cute winged goblin angels equipped with flaming weapons, and wage war on your heathen enemies. We want players to be able to choose between lots of different play styles, without being restricted by fantasy clichés, like all goblins are evil.” (sourced from Gameinformer.com)

Age_of_Wonders_III_Worldmap_SeaAdditional changes are listed on the games website, and they are;

Key features include:
  • Explore, expand and exploit a living fantasy world. Discover wondrous locations and gather legendary heroes.
  • Develop your domain, with many classes having the ability to change terrain and climates to suit your needs.
  • All new 3D graphics that provide a crisper and more detailed overview of the world and battle maps.
  • New styles of play are possible with the introduction of RPG style leader classes like warlord, theocrat, rogue and sorcerer, along with a wide selection of specializations.
  • Command a variety of races. Pick your starting race and shape your people’s destiny using your leader’s unique skills.
  • A brand-new tactical battle system renders each battlefield and siege in great detail; new rules include flanking and a massive set of special unit abilities.
  • An epic story campaign with two playable factions; Choose the mighty Commonwealth Empire or join the Court of the High Elves, founded after the reunion of the Dark Elves and Wood Elves.
  • Compete online in extensive multiplayer modes and scenarios.
  • High replay value through random maps, difficulty modes and tools allowing user created content.

Looks like it’s shaping up to be a fantastic game!

One Response to Age of Wonders III

  1. I am W says:

    Mice review, you must have done your research or you are just a full blown genius.

Leave a Reply