Joe got a good look at Triumph Studios' upcoming sci-fi 4X strategy game Age of Wonders: Planetfall (opens in new tab) in May, and came away impressed (opens in new tab). Now, you can make your own mind up by watching 90 minutes of gameplay footage that the developer released this week.
A condensed version, 26 minutes long, is above, or you can click here (opens in new tab) for the full hour-and-a-half Twitch stream.
In the video, game director Lennart Sas starts by picking a commander, faction and secret technology (essentially a "doomsday weapon") before trying to build up a colony on a mountainous planet.
You'll get a look at scouting, diplomacy and the extensive research trees in the video. Sas meets The Growth, a sentient plant species, the zombie soldiers of the Imperial Revenant and the Kir'Ko, an alien insect race that specialise in melee combat.
The Kir'Ko are the target of Sas' ire, and he takes them on in Planetfall's turn-based combat (opens in new tab), which starts at the 11:20 mark. Joe talked about how it'll be compared to XCOM, and you can see why: you can put units in Overwatch to lock down an area of the map and crouch behind destructible cover of varying strengths. But its giant hex tiles and relatively small battle arenas mean that fights unfold far quicker than XCOM because there are limited options for where you can move.
I like what Triumph has done with hit percentages. If you have more than 75% chance to hit an enemy with an attack, then you'll always do damage, but there's a chance you'll "graze" them for half damage. It'll remove the frustration of missing a 95% sure shot. Sas says that "stagger" is going to be a key mechanic, too—if you make an enemy stagger by dealing certain types of damage, they'll be forced out of Overwatch, which could prove very useful.
It's a lot to get your head around, but, on first look, the move away from a fantasy setting seems to suit the series. What do you think?
Planetfall is due in 2019.