Age of Wonders: Planetfall Review - game game

In the realm of Forex titles whether it's turn-based epics like endless space- or grand strategy exploits likes teller’s triumph studios age of Wonders franchise occupies an interesting spot age of Wonders 3 isn't quite 4x but there's a significant amount of exploration expansion and exploitation with a strong emphasis on extermination it's quite heavily reminiscence of Heroes of Might & Magic the heroes and their armies of the stars with proper use of their abilities and resource management winning out in the end but the question is what would happen if triumph showed up all the other elements of a 4x title and improved them dramatically the answer can be seen in age of Wonders planet for departing from the medieval fantasy worlds of its predecessors planet fall sees the star union collapsing and six factions emerging from the wreckage players can take control of the vanguard a race of humanity that employs military technology like tanks walkers and drones alternatively there's the assembly a race of cyborgs who can repair themselves with the remains of their foes reassemble fallen allies and specialize in arc weapons then you have the Amazon who gain bonus morale when fighting in forests and can use genetically altered creatures to wreak havoc and so on and so forth with the devourer kirkko and syndicate each race in their units look incredibly distinct the Vanguard is standard sci fi military with options for capes and big bosses que eyepatch 'as while their units comprised of tanks gun birds and assault units the assembly on the other hand are appropriately nightmarish with their cybernetic augmentations the inspector is three heads connected to a floating drone for instance aesthetics are nice but each faction offers a different gameplay experience as well the Van guard can use combat drones and turrets while excelling in ranged battles making them especially deadly when sniping the assembly Boost arc resistance and reap more rewards from successful fights secret technologies further mix up the action in crazy ways want to infect your enemy with a deadly virus that converts them into bio organic weapons we'll take the Zeno plague those infected units can then be evolved into greater monstrosities interested in temporal clones and units that teleports away from danger preventing any potential backlash attacks or alternatively teleporting the enemy to throw off their positioning Wojtek has you covered the fear range of choice when customizing your commander also allows for tons of replay value perks like marshal tradition refill all action points for your commander when kills escort while vices like stubborn reduce the colony's knowledge but expands resistance to status effects when entering a campaign is a specific race though your secret technology is locked for storytelling purposes aside from the tutorial three campaigns are available from the outset for the Van guard d'Ivoire and kirko but completing these will unlock more and let you really delve into each factions story following the collapse objectives are standard 4xturn-based affairs go here gather resources annex sectors defeat NPCs guarding a location colonize different parts of the map etc two kinds of research military and society can be decided upon four additional technologies colony developments mods and whatnot taking technology to create temporal clones to add +1 to all resources equipping cloaking devices for your units and such are just the tip of the iceberg like age of Wonders you can queue up different kinds of buildings and units for production building a colony up doesn't require building up districts like say endless legend but you can designate a greater focus on certain resources specialize in certain structures and upgrade any annexed sectors if you need more energy assign more colonists to that though being able to manually select and allot colonists as opposed to messing around with the toggle would have been appreciated expanding your colony and garnering more resources is key so you'll want to start annexing sectors each sector has its own benefits like resources energy research and whatnot however paying close attention to the terrain type is key depending on the terrain different technologies must be taken to exploit those resources for example annexing some arid sectors to your colony may provide some bonuses to production depending on structures near them however you need to research technologies like arid exploitation to completely utilize them on the other hand this gives you something to work towards in mid-game as more production is spent on the heavier hitting units like tanks and walkers the other problem is that you might not always have enough colonists you could choose to make a forward base which has the benefits of healing armies in the vicinity and fending off invading hostile parties besides it also presents a nice bargaining chip when dealing with other races this already makes age of Wonders planet for a big improvement over its predecessors depending on the races encountered you can compliment them insult them become their vassal lord over them exchange map information go for a non-aggressive pact etc you can also take on factions quests for different rewards or if you don't have the resources to meet their demands garnering reputation will allow you to afford different units from other factions which is a nice sync for your influence faction commanders will also react to your exports across the world build a good relationship with your neighbors and they'll be more amicable perhaps even complementary to you become a war monger and they'll threaten you with oblivion it's not reinventing the wheel as far as Forex titles go but being able to foster these kinds of relationships though they can be damaged by doing quests for their enemies goes along way towards a more flexible replayable experience I had fun being on good terms with the automatons and living in peace going to war with the growth which earned me some goodwill with the Vanguard and then subsequently betraying the automatons even the campaign provides a good amount of freedom in the decisions that you can make ally with Michel Valens completing his arbitrary quests all crush hims who advance forward just be careful that the Paragon don't view this with disdain though the campaign has the benefits of more exposition and character interactions many of the quests till fall into the same pattern go here collect or kill this within X number of turns provide this many resources to a faction etc again nothing that's going to break the mould when it comes to other 4x titles but it's all handled incredibly well it will inevitably force you to decide where they're going out of your way to exterminate that pirate lair is worth it for the syndicate when you could be fulfilling a major storyline quest instead what does that age of Wonders planet fall apart from its competitors is the combat age of Wonders 3 had a fairly robust turn-based system where the number of action points consumed by a unit per turn influenced their actions so if you move very little then a specific unit could attack three times in one turn planet fall expands upon this with numerous mechanics like grazing which deals half damage from his shots and overwatch where you can hold your ground and attack an enemy that gets too close flanking an enemy is also important since you'll deal increased damage but remember your positioning it's easy to get outflanked and suffer heavy losses there's a definite XCOM like feel to it all as your units move from cover to cover focusing and isolating certain foes then there are the different operations which can be used for things like garnering more influence from requests to calling down a concentrated laser strike on your foes it can be a little daunting at first but still completely manageable just be warns that bum-rushing an enemy who has the positional advantage and more fire power is often a bad idea also combat is a good route to go if you don't want to play out every single battle and being told which battles are safe for low to high risk is nice though some occasions may require direct control like protecting a syndicate agent who could immediately die even if your fire power doubles that of the enemy last but not least the presentation in age of Wonders plan fall is great the world's themselves have a stunning amount of detail while remaining streamlined and easy to pass units animate as well as they look and performance is very smooth with no hang ups the soundtrack is also well done capturing that balance between a sweeping majestically and sci-fi atmosphere voice acting was more hits than miss thankfully though some lines do come off a bit oddly as far as the user interface goes it's incredibly easy to use and navigate some quality of life features like having a search tab for locating specific text or control clicking on a missing technology to go straight to it in the research tree a land less space - would have been great but it doesn't take long to get the hang of everything and the game's notifications are helpful enough to remind you of what's going on without clogging up the interface the overall pacing also feels just right as the game slowly but surely ramps up in complex it yas you progress once you finish the numerous campaigns available there's a scenario mode for launching different matches across several types of planets from the war zone to the Zeno  plague-infested while custom scenarios with their own dedicated stories would have been neat age of Wonders planet fall does enough with his gameplay systems to ensure that each match is a new experience unto itself age of Wonders planet form may not have the lore of the endless universe it's not even a game where you exploit their hair counter specific technologies and go on a tear through the galaxy like stellar is it is an utterly compelling forex title with some great combat playing to its strengths while offering some excellent visuals unique gameplay and streamline mechanics with exceptional depth if you've been waiting for a game to fill the void left by endless legend or just wanna heroes ask gameplay experience with many more diplomacy and economic options age of Wonders planet fall is definitely worth checking out and that wraps it up if you like what we're doing please share this with your friends.

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