Age of Wonders 3 - Review Roundup
I managed to roundup a few reviews for Age of Wonders 3 to share with everyone today. This should be the first batch as the game will be released next week.
The game had a much stronger visual style than Fallen Enchantress, as colors tended to pop. The world was vibrant and engaging, and cities, as they grew, were more compelling visually. Thus continues the recent trend in revitalizing the strategy gaming genre- stronger visuals are important, especially in games that have long playtimes. No one wants to stare at ugly brown for 30 hours.
Like its predecessors, AoW3 takes place across two layers. There is a strategic map, where players explore, build cities, and train armies; and there is a tactical battle map, where those armies meet. Even on the strategic map, the focus is on warfare (and indeed, my reviewer’s guide uses the analogy of an RTS). Empire management is quite simple, closer to Warlock than to Civilization.
I thought that AOW3 was a beautifully imagined game that depicted this mythical land with vibrancy and great detail. I’ve been playing a volley of “next-gen” console games off and on for the past two weeks, and for the most part, Age of Wonders represents itself extremely well: images are sharp, crisp and tight. Compared to its predecessors (AOW2 and Shadow Magic, consecutive precursors), this game is diverse with an imaginative and seemingly limitless barrage of high fantasy elements and environments that have been crafted with vivid detail.
It has been ten years since we have seen an Age title come out. The community is strong however, and it is easy to see the hard work that Triumph Studios has put in to this title. It is more than my nostalgia talking though. It is a strong strategy title, with beautiful graphics and delightful themed music; it has lots of options and choices to make, and I can see having hundreds of hours of fun playing this with and against friends and strangers alike. It can be incredibly challenging, but honestly I think players will revel in it.
Eleven years is far too long of a gap for a series of this caliber, though we can set those complaints aside for awhile, as Age of Wonders III has the potential to keep you hooked for a good long time. Whether playing a campaign against the computer or taking on eight other players in a random map, it bears the hallmark only a few empire building games have--the addiction to take "just one more turn". With a half-dozen classes, each with exclusive skills, spells, and units to unlock, as well as countless more denizens to discover, each playthrough is bound to reveal something new and interesting for you to enjoy.
Information aboutAge of Wonders 3
SP/MP: Single + MP