There's always been much to like about Age of Wonders, a fantastical fusion of strategy and tactics last seen back in 2002's Shadow Magic. But really, it doesn't get better than the penguins. Dire penguins, to be exact. Dedicated to evil, and summonable to join the armies of goblins and dragons and elves and magic. "These were no men," declares the in-game tome. "They were far more deadly. They were killer penguins." If this game had brought us nothing more than that quote, the wait would have been well worth it. Lucky for us, it did. A lot more.
Age of Wonders III
Age of Wonders III is so out now that it's available for purchase - you literally can't get more out now than that. If you're currently entrenched in the turn-based fantasy fantasy and your mind is already racing with ideas for your own campaigns, you're probably pretty glad that it has a level editor tucked away in the game's launcher program. If you've been wondering how to use that editor, Triumph Studios have you covered with the following video, which dives into the nitty gritty of constructing your own AoW content.
Theocrat is a word which here means "Dude who is in with God". It's also a word that means "Dude with healing powers, who can 'cleanse the land of supernatural beings'", which I'm pretty sure was a superpower left out of my school's edition of the King James bible. The Theocrat, you see, is one of Age of Wonders III's new leader classes, a deceptively benevolent-seeming chieftain who is nonetheless a bit of a warmongering zealot (providing you choose to play them this way, of course). Triumph Studios have shown off how the Theocrat operates in a new nineteen-minute video, which you can see below.
At heart a two-faced schemer, Age of Wonders III's rogue leader class seems to attract the best kind of people. Demons, thieves, and killers are some of the resources on hand for players walking a darker path in Triumph Studios' upcoming turn-based strategy game. We get a glimpse of some of the rogue's more underhanded tactics in a new trailer introducing the class.
Here's 10 minutes of Age of Wonders III footage, introducing the dwarven Dreadnought Gustav and his predilection for technological hijinks. Really, the campaign slice we're shown is a magical - and violent - turn-based Ocean's 11. Our narrator gets himself into a tricky tactical situation, before stealing an entire city with a hitherto unrevealed plan: killing everything. That's a film I would watch.
If you booked off most of Autumn to play Triumph's Age of Wonders reimagi-sequel, then I almost don't want to tell you that it's been delayed to the first quarter of 2014. I mean, that would be crushing. There is a good reason for the new release date, however, with Triumph's community manager (and presumed van owner) Jimmy van de Have stating that “we’ve made great progress developing the game and feel now is the time to give you heads up that we will take a bit more time creating all the features and content. Age of Wonders III is the largest game in the series and with the additional polish we hope we can give you an even better experience”.
Oof, that's dangerously close to a fart joke in the headline. In my defence, it's accurate - this no-nonsense GDC demo of Age of Wonders III pre-alpha footage does feature an in-depth attack on a bone dragon that spews knight-bothering clouds of toxic gas. We also get to see an already impressive degree of spells and battle tactics from a game so early in development, along with a taste of the potential options in the overworld.
The annual Game Developers Conference is underway in San Francisco. What can we expect? Candid retrospectives? Shock reveals? Will David Cage's Giant Floating Man Face do battle with Nvidia's Giant Floating Man Face above a flaming pit?
We'll be bringing you all the latest from the frontlines and keeping this page updated with all the stories so far.
Triumph Studios, the group of wizards responsible for the Age of Wonders games and wacky Overlord adventures, is pooling its mystical powers together after four years to forge Age of Wonders III, a "modern re-imagining" of the celebrated turn-based strategy series primed for a late 2013 release.