Age of Wonders 3 first caught our attention with the striking image of a man atop a steampunk leviathan sipping gently from a teacup. Unfortunately, today’s footage does not extend and develop that image but, rather than throw a justified tantrum, we found that there’s a great deal to like in the upcoming turn-based strategy game.
A great deal.
That world map is gorgeously lush, all verdant greens and glittering golds, and the player city at the centre looks particularly lovely, a little like The Imperial City from Oblivion but seen from above and in boardgame form. It’s been a while since I’ve played a turn-based strategy game like Age of Wonders or Civilisation but seeing this demo has me itching to jump back in. The inclusion of spells, like when they cure the land of blight, looks to add a further layer of planning to each turn.
Developer Triumph look to have put a good deal of attention into the other turn-based phase, the combat. It, too, uses a hex-based grid and, with it, encourages you to manoeuvre your troops, providing damage bonuses and other perks for flanking your enemies. Top stuff!
The only criticism that jumps to mind from what Triumph show in this short demo is that in the space of five minutes we see a great many spells and abilities, it could become a complex game quite easily. Plus, we were only seeing one skew of a particular hero, with the multiple player classes, races, and professions open to us to choose in our heroes it may be easy to be overwhelmed. Hopefully it won’t be easy to end up in a situation where our specialisations aren’t able to deal with a certain enemy type or spell.