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One of the decade’s greatest strategy games gets new horror expansion

The hit 4X strategy game Age of Wonders 4 is getting a new Eldritch Realms expansion, introducing the Umbral Abyss and a new ruler type.

One of the decade's greatest strategy games gets new horror expansion: A winged character in Age of Wonders 4's Eldritch Realms DLC

The critically acclaimed fantasy strategy game Age of Wonders 4 is getting another major expansion called Eldritch Realms. With a completely new map layer to discover, a fresh ruler type to play with, and more tomes of magic to try out, there’s plenty to look forward to when the next DLC launches in June this year.

For many, Age of Wonders 4 represents the pinnacle of strategy games. We called it “a marvel of customization” in our review when it dropped in May 2023, and developer Triumph Studios has continued to support the game with regular DLC like the recent Primal Fury expansion, meaning there’s always a reason to return.

The big new feature in the upcoming Eldritch Realms expansion is the addition of the Umbral Abyss, a new layer of the map where “horrors beyond comprehension wait to consume all that is good in the world.” Sounds pretty gnarly to me. Players can also try out a new ruler type, the corrupted Eldritch Sovereigns, who bring a unique Thrall spell-casting mechanic to the game.

Here are the key features of Eldritch Realms:

  • The Umbral Abyss map layer, featuring unique locations and independent factions of Umbral dwellers.
  • A new Eldritch Sovereign ruler type.
  • Three new Tomes: the Tome of the Tentacle, the Tome of Corruption, and the Tome of Cleansing Flame.
  • Two additional forms: Insects and Syrons.
  • Two new story Realms.
  • Two new Mounts.
  • Three new Real traits.

There’s also a slick trailer for the new expansion, which shows off some of the gameplay we’ll get to experience when it drops.

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Eldritch Realms will be available from June 18, 2024, and will cost $19.99 / £16.99. If you already own the game’s Expansion Pass or you previously bought the Premium Edition of Age of Wonders 4, the new Eldritch Realms expansion will be included at no extra cost.

Even if you don’t purchase the new expansion, there will still be free content to enjoy on launch day with the Mystic Update. We’re still waiting for full details, but Paradox Interactive has confirmed it will feature randomized realms with hidden traits, new pantheon content, and a rework of the Mystic Culture. Who doesn’t love free stuff?

There’s not long to wait until the Eldritch Realms expansion is available to dive into, but if you just can’t wait for your next strategy fix, we’ve rounded up the best 4X games on PC as well as the top games like Civilization.

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