Age of Wonders III PC

Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Apr 8, 2014
    74
    Age of Wonders III is a bona fide old-school 4X. And it's also pretty good at it, even if sometimes falls in the trap of tedious, unbalanced micromanagement.
  2. Apr 2, 2014
    71
    I have no doubt that the strength of the tactical combat will help find a strong niche, but for me, that just makes the relative weakness of the strategic side of gameplay all the more disappointing.
  3. Apr 17, 2014
    70
    Age of Wonders 3 knows the ropes, so much is clear. But as soon as you get a grip on the clever AI, you'll notice this game might be looking in Civilization's direction ā€“ much too often for me to believe that's not what it wants to be ā€“ but it never really reaches those heights.
  4. Apr 11, 2014
    70
    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.
  5. 60
    A complex, albeit a little confusing strategy game. If you have the time and enthusiasm to pour into it, you will be rewarded. [Issue#241]
  6. Apr 8, 2014
    60
    But the more you play, the more you try different game types, the more you experiment with different races and paths along the skill tree, the more you develop favorite combos and hated opponents, the more crushingly disappointing it is that it doesnā€™t know how to end. A game this good deserves a good finale. It deserves anything other than the long tedious slog to finish a game that was over 100 turns ago.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 521 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 86 out of 127
  2. Negative: 22 out of 127
  1. Mar 31, 2014
    10
    So what are my thoughts on Age of Wonders 3? Let me just start by saying this is going to be a subjective review. There is two ways about it.So what are my thoughts on Age of Wonders 3? Let me just start by saying this is going to be a subjective review. There is two ways about it. I love TBS. I love tactical combat in TBS's. I love fantasy setting and I love unique and varied races and units. Age of Wonders 3 hit all these perfectly for me. This is the game I have been waiting for and wanting.

    Let me underline that I have been participating in the beta for 2 months and have over that time clocked 180 something hours (all within the limitation of real life) in both online and offline modes (yes, you can play offline). Over that time I have gotten a good impression of what the game is about, what it delivers, but more importantly, what it can deliver. The game has such a solid mechanic, that any additional content will just improve more and more on the game.

    I am not a reviewer and I don't know how to write reviews, but what I can do is give you my thoughts on the game. It is complex, it is deep and it really covers the 4X expectations. You get to explore a beautiful map, you get to exploit treasure sites by entering them, fighting the guardians and taking their loot (everything from weapons/equipment to mounts, secret spells, resources, prisoners who will join you and more). You get to expand by building new cities or by having other cities join you through diplomacy, bribes, quests or just conquest! And you get to exterminate all who stand against you in a glorious tactical combat.

    You have heroes who level up and can pick traits, skills and spells as they increase in power, decking them out in magical equipment and riding fantastic mounts from spiders to hell hounds and beyond. You have units who rank up and become stronger and learn new abilities, increasing their tactical value. You have access to great spells that can shape the land, makes cities riot, devestate armies on the strategic map and summon creatures from other places. Spells that can turn the tide on the battlefield and give your opponent a surprise he or she never saw coming.

    There is this and so much more! I am quite horrified to see three votes giving 1 score even before the game is released knowing everyone who has participated in the game so far has been nothing but happy with it. For me, this is just the game I have been waiting for and it combines the best of master of magic, heroes of might and magic, civilization and fallen enchantress. Seeing the game as it is and knowing it is just so incredible fun and that with each addition to it, it can only get better, this is my highest rated TBS game of my so far life time, including all the oldies and classic.

    I can't wait to see other people get to try the game and leave their thoughts on it. I look forward to reading other peoples opinion on the game and I feel confident that any TBS fan will find this game to hit the mark for them.
    Full Review »
  2. Mar 31, 2014
    10
    Finally the perfect game to scratch my TBS/4X itch! I have a feeling that in 15 years or so I will still be playing Age of Wonders 3. I makeFinally the perfect game to scratch my TBS/4X itch! I have a feeling that in 15 years or so I will still be playing Age of Wonders 3. I make this prediction because once in a while I still play the original AoW and it came out in 1999. So unless they come out with an AoW4 or standalone expansion that is even better in every aspect I think this game will stay on my computer and my next computer and the VR headset after... a long time.

    My favorite part of AoW3 is its focus on tactical combat while still including all the 4 Xs (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate) plus RPG elements. There are cities to form into an empire, heroes to level up, spells to research, dungeons to loot, resources to manage, etc... On top of it all players are engaged in battles early and often. The battles are killer fun tactical experiences that take place on their own maps separate from the primary strategy map. When a hex is attacked on the strategy map the armies/stacks in that hex and all neighboring hexes get pulled into the tactical battle. This means there could be 42 units (7 hexes x 6 units/hex) in the same battle and they could even belong to several different players! The combat mechanics like attacks of opportunity, flanking, guarding, and 3 action points to use for movement, multiple attacks, or multiple reactions are very well done. When playing single player I almost always choose to fight each battle manually because they are so much fun, but there is an option to automatically resolve them if you wish.

    One thing that is disappointing about AoW3 at first glance is the number of races. Past AoW games had at least 12 races but AoW3 is releasing with 6. However, this is made up by the new class system which did not exist in previous AoW games. The developers have done an amazing job making both race and class matter. An elven archdruid feels different than a draconian archdruid or an elven warlord. Thus, instead of having simply 12 races to choose from you have 36 race/class combos (6 races x 6 classes). There are also specializations/spheres that further customize your leader and playing experience, similar to previous AoW games. I expect more races to be added in DLC or an expansion and am fine with that.

    The only bad thing I can say about AoW3 is that it feels like the morale systems need to be flushed out a little more. My wish for morale is that your starting/ruling race should have more influence on the morale of your cities and units and diplomatic relations with independent cities. It was important in past AoW games. These things will probably get improved with some patches, and should not stop anyone from buying the game.

    There was a period of years where I played a lot of Civ4 and some Civ5. Eventually I found myself thinking - I wish there was more action in these games and battles were more realistic like... Age of Wonders. Before AoW3 was announced, I searched for recent games with gameplay similar to AoW but nothing seemed to be on the same level. Warlock was too simple and too Civ-y... Total War just didn't draw me in... Others didn't even look worth buying. Age of Wonders seems to fill a special niche that no others do.

    Bottomline: AoW3 takes many of the best parts of its predecessors plus some new goodness to create a masterpiece of the TBS/4X genre.
    Full Review »
  3. Mar 31, 2014
    10
    Awesome return of an epic game! Looking at the new features, e.g. 3D-engine or class-race-combinations, I am excited to finally see this gameAwesome return of an epic game! Looking at the new features, e.g. 3D-engine or class-race-combinations, I am excited to finally see this game returning. Had kinda lost all hope to ever see it again, but yay! :) Full Review »