Age of Wonders III
A war worth sinking your teeth into, on both its magical fronts.
Despite some familiar trappings and a shortage of genuine wonders, Age of Wonders 3 delivers a more tightly focused experience than Firaxis' behemoth Civilization series, to which it initially appears to owe so much. In doing so, it proves that even after a decade away the Age of Wonders series can still stand proud beside its modern-day contemporaries.
Age of Wonders 3 does the little things right, but struggles on a larger scale.
The turned-based battles will leave a lot of strategy fans happy, but I wish you could fast forward through the rest of the game
Age of Wonders 3 is a challenging power fantasy
I don't find it quite as exciting as Warlock II, which has such an unusual and habit-shattering structure, but they are very different beasts, despite appearances.
I'm not sure if anything is worth waiting 11 years for, but if it was, it would be Age of Wonders III. This isn't Duke Nukem Forever, shoved out the door to exploit ravenous fans. Nostalgia has a lot of weight, and this definitely feels like something that could have existed over a decade ago when we were swimming in turn-based strategy, but that's not why it's great. It builds on its past rather than just using it as currency. The familiar sits beside the modern, the fleshed out classes, the deeper tactical combat. It's the best that Age of Wonders has ever been.
The perfect strategy games for those who love high levels of customization, but also caters to beginners of the genre.
So while Age Of Wonders III doesn't really offer much that you can't get elsewhere from the 4X genre, it feels fresh and distinctive enough – it has been over a decade since the last Age Of Wonders, after all – that strategy fans will have something to get their teeth into all the same. Hopefully next time won't be quite so far away, and a little more consideration for the city management screen wouldn't go amiss.