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Sorcerer King, Stardock's new 4X strategy game, is coming in July

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Sorcerer King

We took a look at the Early Access version of Stardock's new 4X strategy game Sorcerer King in October of 2014, and while it was still very much in a pre-release state at that point, it seemed "promising" nonetheless. We haven't really kept up with it since, so I can't comment on what sort of state it's in now. But hopefully it's something like "good," because it's coming out of Early Access next month.

You play the game as the leader of a city-state standing against the Sorcerer King, who has begun to destroy the world's magical "shards" so he can steal their power for himself. You'll also have to deal with other, more short-sighted factions, who care less about what the Sorcerer King is getting up to than about conquering new lands for their own little kingdoms.

You don't have to knock them off, however—you have to sign them up to your cause. The "twist," as Stardock puts it, is that the war against the Sorcerer King has already been fought and lost, and so while you're sending scouting parties out from your one little city, exploring the world, gathering resources, and (hopefully) making new friends, he's already well into the process of reshaping the world in his image.

"Sorcerer King is a new direction for 4X game design, pitting the player against a single overwhelmingly powerful enemy instead of a set of evenly matched factions racing for abstract victory conditions," the Steam description states. "Think of the Sorcerer King as the evil mage who won the last traditional 4X game. He has already conquered the world. His enemies (including you) are scattered, their armies broken and cities torn down. His dark minions have free reign to terrorize the survivors everywhere except a few tiny outposts of civilization (like the one you start in) too insignificant to crush."

Sorcerer King is scheduled to go into full launch on July 16, and for now remains available as an Early Access game on Steam. Find out more at sorcererking.com.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.