Mar 31, 2014So 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.… Expand
Mar 31, 2014Finally 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.… Expand
Mar 31, 2014AoW3 is for me the best fantasy 4x experience you can get to this point and in the near future.
i loved age of wonders - shadow magic (AoW 2.5) and had clocked many hours into the game. this new entry is loaded with depth, known from older titles with all its beloved core features. it also adds some nice new mechanics like classes, some improvements to tactical combat (flanking, opportunity attacks, etc.) and wonderful 3D visuals!
the AI right now is very good, which for me is one big factor if a strategy, more importantly a 4x game is worth the buy. lets be honest, multiplayer is nice but most 4x lovers play singleplayer because they like epic campaigns and that is exactly what you get here. the random map generator gives out maps which just look awesome and could very well be made by hand which shows the degree of effort they put into these feature to present organic and believable playgrounds.
the customization in this game is wonderful, starting with the many options of customization for the maps to advanced gameplay rules and not even ending at the superb character designer where you can create your leader after your liking.
i really can't understand who would give this game a negative score. has it a deep diplomacy system like the grand strategy titles (europa universalis, etc.)? no, the game is more focused on exploration, tactical combat (one if not THE main meat of the game) and RPG elements loke leader / heroe classesk, itemization and leveling. has it 100 buildings which each give +x generic production or +generic modifiers? no, it doesn't try to be an town building / management game like civilization. what the game offers is great depth in parts of 4x fantasy which every fanboy was craving for over the last decade (since AoW:SM came out).
only reasin i imagine people giving this game a 0 / 1 is if
a) they believed it to being an egoshooter
b) an CGI filled adventure / RPG game
or c) if they are warlock 1 / 2 fanboys which feel threatened by this game somehow, even though its focus is more towards the 4x (hardcore) lovers. before someone cries "fanboy yourself" then yes, i love the AoW-series. warlock 1 was nice and warlock2 seems to become a decent game which is more focused on casual gamers and cheeky humour. people should stay calm and just enjoy these games instead of feeling butthurt over their own misperception.
or of course there is d) its the internet and people are just trolling.
i say it again, everyone who loves fantasy 4x or TBS games should consider this game a must buy! there already several lets play series on youtube duo to the developer handing out preview builds to many lets players cause they stand behind their product.
peace :).… Expand
Mar 31, 2014This game demands time,and end-turn strategies are not for everyone.All who liked Heroes,king's bounty and aow1,2 will adore this game.It's complex game,nice looking,pretty demanding on specs.Do not buy it if you don't want to invest time and good will,this is not 'relax mode' game,it's serious and will eat you alive on harder diff. 8(just casue it's for true gamers,not casuals).10 for hardcore gamers for sure.… Expand
Mar 31, 2014Finally the return of this Dutch masterpiece. Almost 12 years after the latest installment Age of Wonders returns bigger and more intruiging than ever. This is a must buy for every TBS gamer. It's fun, it's deep and it's challenging. The tactical combat is imho the best to ever grace a TBS game. It's not overly complicated but has so many things to tinker with and most of all is satisfyingly fun!
Apr 1, 2014AOW3 its my first game in the series, but as big fan of Heroes series(3 was the best for me) and fallen enchantress, i can say AOW3 is what heroes should evolved, its play very same as heroesFE but this time you got much more units,spells,quests.
in the tactical combat there are couple of new new ides and when you play you feel the depth, every unit had its own abilitys, i not too much(only couple of hours) but still i see and feel to whare its go...
moreover the graphics are very good and the preformance is stay on 60FPS(my card is 660gtx ti 2gb, ultra settings)… Expand
Mar 31, 2014Normally i dont write a review on day one. But after watching 60+ hours of content. Visiting the aow3 forums daily and reading most of the reviews on the internet. That have been written by people who spend some effort into analysing the game. I must say this game really has a smooth launch. The game is near perfect for this niche market and beginners and veterans will just love this game.
It has good graphics, solid/great AI, clear information, a tome of wonders to look things up. endless amounts of content, a great map generator, editor, good community, great strategical depth. The game is not rushed but ready to play from day one. I could go on and on and some people have done that out here.
Normally i would rate this game around 8.6/9.2. I dont usually give that high grades. But what would you ever want more out of a game that is cheap and could be one of the greatest games of its kind. Ill give it a 10 because of people who give this game a 1/0 for minor issues like fair prices on gog or minor launch problems on day 1 (i dont have any) .… Expand
Apr 5, 2014I played the first two Age of Wonders games a lot for years and I love them. I hate to have to say it, but this third game is a disappointment. It forces the player's strategy too much, limiting you to one option. You are put in positions where you need to rush and that's all you can do if you hope to win vs the poorly programmed cheating supplemented AI.
You have to send out small fast units to grab undefended AI cities which feels more like an exploit than normal game mechanics.
In combat I was fighting to siege an enemy fort and our armies were evenly matched, so obviously I wanted to use some strategy and position my forces for the best approach. Not in AoW3. In this game you're penalized for using strategy. A message popped up after only a few turns saying that no unit had been damaged fast enough and the battle was ended. The only option I have is to rush at the gates so my forces can get cut down by their defenses.
I don't have time for games like this. It's unbalanced. The AI gets bonus money to spam OP units on normal or higher. Any difficulty easier than that is too easy and no challenge.
Here's some advice for the devs, actually try to program AI routines. Not just a few basic ones, stop think about why the AI is losing strategically and make routines for dealing with those scenarios. It's obvious you didn't even try. You should probably try to hire me to fix your terrible AI.… Expand
Mar 31, 2014Let me preface this review by saying that I don't have a lot of experience in this genre outside of the civilization series which I have played since Civ II. With that being said I find this game to be excellent. It is easy to pick up and play but has depth at the same time. I love the inclusion of a story based campaign mode. Downloading and installation was painless and after I set up an account, verified the email (which came to me in like a minute), put the settings to ultra, and away I went. All in all I highly recommend this game to any tbs fans or anyone interested in trying the genre.… Expand
Apr 1, 2014A very solid game and polished game. Stable too! I have played for about 4 hours and have been amazed at the depth and beauty of the game. Its been a LONG time since I played a turn based 4x game of this caliber. It also ships with an editor that looks pretty darned sophisticated (I haven't been able to explore it too much as it also looks pretty complicated).
A lot of the negative reviews are complaining that you need an account to play the game. I can't understand their rage as their is a big checkbox on the front screen that says "Play offline/guest account". I have played for about 4 hours and haven't even tried to get an account yet. I am pretty sure that account requirement is just for multiplayer - but I concede that perhaps it could have been presented better.… Expand
Apr 2, 2014Imagine AoW from days of old. You had the large detailed filled UI that took up about 1/4 the screen at times over 1/3. It has detailed info, and descriptions when your magnet things in the city, or looking at unit stats. Now imagine a free Ipad app with generic bubble themed buttons, and pop ups that are transparent and disappear out of sight like one big mouse over tooltip. Now smash them together with some old 3d graphics, a few new features that sound awesome.
What you get is an ugly thing that looks like it should be on an Asian website as F2P and be for your tablet or facebook profile. Granted it is a bit big for that. It has lots of stuff to it, nice new features like researching unit tech suppose to just needing to hit X city size and have y production to make the building needed to train. I love all the the stuff on paper, but visually it looks like a knockoff of the franchise, and like it as little work and thought as possible was put into the UI.
Every thing is designed so you can look at the pretty most the time still back ground like you paid 39.99 to preorder a back drop that moves from time to time. No detailed info at easy access, no feel that the old ones had that every decision mean something. It went from a game of chess, to a kids travel edition checkers, easy to use, and folds away out of sight when not in use. Went from detailed chess pieces stored off to the side of the bored when not in play to generic magnets with pieces of plastic glued to them that just get stuck to the board, then easily vanishes under the the table that doubles as a box as far as unit and city details went… Expand
Mar 31, 2014Aside from the earliest reviews here... getting 10's from people who have one review (this game) before the game was even released...
I have been playing for about 20 hours'ish now. The button design makes me think something isn't in focus, but otherwise I am having quite a bit of fun. The first few hours were disorienting (spend the time to do the reading when learning something new), but it has since settled in nicely.
Save... a lot. Currently having a blast.… Expand
Apr 1, 2014What a gem AoW3 is! How beautiful and enjoyable! Satisfying my inner turn based strategy addiction and going further beyond...
Sid Meier is going to play AoW3 so hard, he will probably forget the release of Civ6 for 10 years! Alas another 10 years of wait till AoW4 and Civ6. What a terrible fate for all TBS lovers!
Take my 10 and let me play!
Apr 1, 2014Improves on almost every features of a.o.w.s.m and for those who're saying that races aren't as unique, please play this game for some more time, the races are very unique just give them some more try. there can be as many as 6*6 variations of races and classes in game.
Mar 31, 2014This is the best TBS game hands down I have ever played. I had played the old ones and have been actively looking for something that gives the same experience. The tactical battle there is no other game like it, its like table top battles, it takes that idea and brings it to life, using squads of a variety of things like archers, and cavalry and play on siege base scenarios or swamps and bridges. Or if your into games like XCOM where cover and flanking can change the game and look after your units and heros as they gain metals.
It also has a great character customization, diplomacy, I like games where I can form alliances with other races to defeat enemies, and the best thing good old hotseat! so I can play with my GF and bro.… Expand
May 30, 2014At first I thought this is a good game, but after a few hours in I realized I was just fooling myself, it's a bad game. * After killing 11 out of 12 soldiers in a squad it still does the same damage as if nothing changed, * Not enough ruins and such to explore, you barely get 2 items per game. * Strategic battle starting positions are insane. * Heroes customization has too many useless traits, and even level 10 heroes aren't that powerful.
* You can only cast 1 spell per combat round, but what if you have 2 casters? or 3?
* Casting global enchantments is pointless, whatever you cast is immediately dispelled the following round.
* Heroes only give their bonuses if they are leaders, so you can't stack two heroes in an army. why?!
* All races have the same buildings.
* There is almost no different between the units of each race (priest shots fire, priest shots poison etc...)
* It takes ages to clear a map, and it's mostly waiting on your cities to produce enough units to take down the 3 army stacks the computer has holed up in his castle. really really boring.
I can go on for ages, this is a bad game, they did not think this through, this is a big disappointment!… Expand
Apr 1, 2014Absolutely delivers on everything that made Shadow Magic one of the best TBS ever made and more. Combat significantly improved, increasing unit health and eliminating misses and adding flanking makes is a huge improvement in the way combat plays out. Character creation is rich, random map generator so far seems to be a great improvement as well. The tools are also fairly robust so I suspect we'll be seeing some amazing maps out of the modding community.… Expand
Apr 1, 2014Age of Wonders III is a fantasy strategy game finally done right. It has great gameplay, great graphic, and great replaybility. I love how Triumph allow players to totally customize everything. In my first game, I chose to start at metropolis city, with units ready to war. I set the game with plenty independent cities and dwellings, but I can not build city. This provide me with a whole new experience, very much unlike "regular" AoW experience with city spams etc.
One thing that I feel lacking is: diversity among racial units. Tier 1 and Tier 2 units are lacking uniqueness in my opinion. On the contrary, support units are quite different one from the other (High Elves' Storm Sisters are totally different than Goblin Blight Doctors), so do Tier 3 units or class units. I do hope that Triumph will release a patch that address this issue.… Expand
Apr 2, 2014Combining the best of it's prequels and blending 4X turn based strategy with RPG elements, makes this a wonderful masterpiece.
Easy empire management combined with a deep and complex tactical combat system makes this game a must have for fans of Heroes of Might and Magic and Fallen Enchantress or Warlock. It stands out in portraying a highly detailed and breathing fantasy world, it's lethal and thrilling combat and enchanting music score. The sheer number of units, abilities, spells and maps (thanks to a random map generator) makes this a game that will be played for years, decades. I still play the original Age of Wonders, which came out in 1999.
Humour has always been kind of a trademark of Triumph Studios, as is displayed in things like an outhouse or picnic table on combat maps, the witty unit descriptions and the animations of idle units like the Beholder (Watcher) or goblins.
A must have for fans of fantasy TBS games.… Expand
Apr 2, 2014If you like 4x strategy games this is a buy, if you like turn based games with turn based combat this is a must have.
With a game like this, one that's well polished with no obvious technical flaws it can be very hard to write a review. It delivers and spectacularly what it sets out to do, a turn based fantasy 4x game.
With a map editor on the way there's plenty of replayability and value for money here.… Expand
Apr 2, 2014Easily the best game as of right now in the genre(4X fantasy). I cannot name a single thing that was done badly here. The graphics are amazing, the optimization is flawless, the game play is truly fluid, enjoyable and engaging, the sound and music is cool and fitting. Easily 10/10, well done!
Apr 1, 2014It has a core of a great game but is atm plagued by a lot of bad design decisions. Namely:
1) Killing members of a unit does not in any way weaken its strength
2) Very little unit variety at later tiers
3) horrible pre battle placement
4) combat map sizes are a joke
Apr 1, 2014This is a worthy successor to the series. Very innovative class mechanics and complex strategic gameplay make for an extremely addictive game. The 3D graphics are quite beautiful and the powerful random map generator also works very well.
The few drawbacks, such as smaller selection of races and slightly poor camera controls, don't detract much from this awesome gem.
Apr 25, 2014There is nothing wondrous about Age of Wonders 3.
I've now played for 40 hours on two maps and am sick of this game. It feels like I'm playing AOW2 with poorer maps. Despite the graphics, the maps in AOW3 are POORLY decorated, as if they were decorated by an AI--they look completely generic and more or less the same except for their shape. I've seen all the AOW3 maps, which are much smaller than AOW1&2 (even the XL size), and they look like they were decorated with a palette of maybe 15 tiles. Good maps in AOW2 are decorated with thousands of beautiful tiles and exquisite detail. The maps in AOW3 are plain, boring, and pedestrianly conceived. The tiles are limited, plain, generic, and boring whereas the tilesets in AOW2 were hundreds of times more vast, and indeed, many of them were wondrous. There used to be all kinds of beautiful, cool swirling magically wondrous things in the AOW2 tilesets, but they are nowhere to be seen in AOW3.
I think the problem is that instead of attempting to break some new ground in the genre, all they did was take the easy way out and bring AOW2 into the 21st century (circa ~2007, mind you) by giving it a makeover. That's it, AOW3 (should be AOW2.5) is nothing but a makeover. And they thought they could actually make money doing it. I mean, they must be trying to target the undiscerning consumer who loves playing games in 2014 that were good enough to be out in 2007.
To wrap this up, finally, so I can put the bad taste behind me... I would have been 100 times more satisfied if, instead of taking the time and effort and cost to "develop" AOW3, they simply put out a new pack of beautiful, wondrous maps for AOW2, which was a game that I can only describe as perfection.… Expand
Apr 2, 2014I started playing the day of release at night, I already have 17hrs into it and cannot wait to get home again to rock it some more!!
Deep and tactical combat, gorgeous and diverse setting full of different creatures and fantasy races, the music is epic and fits perfectly to immerse the player in the thick of the strategic experience.
-Great combat mechanics+rich and vast world+awesome map and character customization=Worthy heir to the saga and one of the best strategy games I've played so far.
If you like turn based strategy, you've got a god damn must.… Expand
Apr 2, 2014Age of Wonders, in a nutshell, is a series that combines the best aspects of a Civilization game, with the best aspects of a fantasy RPG, in the same vein as games like Dominions or Might & Magic.
I've been a fan of the Age of Wonders series since Age of Wonders 2: The Wizard's Throne, and like a lot of fans I looked forward with eager anticipation to the release of a new game in this series. Age of Wonders 3 does not disappoint. Combat is much tighter and faster paced than before, and there are more interesting things to do on the world map. Graphics are perfect, by which I mean that they spent just the right amount of time and resources on them - enough to look good, but not so much as to detract from gameplay or slow down your system.
The game isn't perfect - there are still a few bugs to work out (myself and the other beta testers tried our best, but sometimes you just can't fix all of these things by release), and there isn't quite as much content (in terms of races, classes, and the like) as there was in previous installments - for example, we're down to only 6 starting races as opposed to Shadow Magic's 15 races. The developers have, however, promised to keep updating the game, fixing bugs, tightening the gameplay even further, and introducing new content. So far we've been told we'll see the return of the Halfling race, as well as the introduction of a Necromancer class and a hinted-at Merchant class.
I would recommend this game to anyone. If you're a fan of the series, definitely check it out. If you're not a fan, go ahead and check it out anyway.… Expand
Apr 2, 2014I have been waiting 10 years fos this masterpiece to come back. And it has made a glorious reappearance! The game is incredibly beautiful and the gameplay just flows. The soundtrack is once again epic and there are many races to play with, with more to come. I will be playing this game for a long long time and i am sure i will enjoy every minute of it.
Apr 2, 2014Age of Wonders 3 - combining some of the the best of Masters of Magic with Civilization and elements of Xcom and Total War, or Fall From Heaven. Thoroughly enjoyable and stable as it stands now. The only mild complaint I have is I want more - more races, more classes, more customization options for the leaders (particularly leader heads and outfits), more units, more victory conditions... just more. Don't get me wrong - there's a veritable dragon's hoard of content already -but the game already has me craving more.
Happily, the developer has strongly hinted at continuing to develop content for the game. It's an absolutely superb fantasy TBS as it stands and the prospect of more content to come make it all the better. Here's to hoping the developers continue to develop more content, races, classes, units and monsters, because I could just pack my bags and go live in the Age of Wonders. Definitely highly recommend this game to anyone with an interest in fantasy turn-based strategy games.… Expand
Apr 2, 2014Thank you THRIUMP! You are bright in night. :) You are one who never be another studio as you were ages. :)
race specific units are missing me but the game mechanic and strategy are wonderfull as it was right always by your games :)
So thank you really!!!!!
May 7, 2014Worst game scores in the history of the franchise. Easy to see they didn't improve anything but the graphics. Less factions to play with, less factions to play against and no personality settings. Over at the Steam forums if you say anything "negative" about the game they will ban you and call you troll. lol They are sooooo insecure about this game and they have reason to be. Down from over 4000 players just a few short weeks ago to around 1600 now. lol Keep on worrying Triumph you on the way out just like the others before you. lol… Expand
Apr 3, 2014As a long-time fan of the AoW series, I can enthusiastically recommend this game. It is well-polished and has rich and varied gameplay. The only thing that I can think of that is slightly disappointing is the fewer number of races in the game. The new class system does however make them much more varied than the previous 2 titles' races. Well worth the purchase.
Apr 3, 2014Excellent TBS game. A lot of customisation to set up the game exactly how you want it. Excellent multiplayer online, lan and hotseat! It is also more easily accessible then some other TBS games so you can play with friend that are now to AoW. Far better than any recent HoMM.
You can play they game offline, or LAN *without* internet connection! Even with your profile, or as a guest (offline) with *full functionality*.
There is a map editor!… Expand
Apr 1, 2014This is a solid game for the genre. It's only flaw is that I've played literally thousands of hours of games just like this, and there isn't anything that strikes me as fresh. It's mostly a new coat of paint, with a few design improvements, which is great! However, I'm finding that I'm not as excited as I thought I would be.
Apr 3, 2014AoW3 is almost entirely the same game as AoW2. Narratively, the single player campaign is at the same level with its predecessor - the story is boring, uninspired, and the gameplay and story do little to interact. However, if you liked AoW2, you'll like this one as well - it's the same title with some make-up and a fancy new clothes.
Apr 5, 2014I'm relatively new to the 4X genre. Ever since I got into these games, I've been looking for a very specific type of game. I wanted something set in a fantasy world with a great combat system (preferably not RTS, which isn't my thing), memorable factions, and diplomatic options for victory. That's a pretty tall order for a genre that already doesn't have a whole lot of options. When I heard about AoW III, I jumped at the chance to play it.
After spending a dozen hours over the last couple of days with it, I have to say that this is very close to being exactly what I was looking for. AoW is set in a fantasy world with beautiful 3D graphics. While graphics aren't the most important thing in a strategy game, the lush, colorful world of AoW really draws you in right off the bat. Things get even better when you go into combat. One of the best things about fantasy is the flashy spells, and this game definitely doesn't disappoint. Spells can cast an eerie, otherworldly glow over the whole battlefield, or cloak your entire army in lightning. You definitely won't be disappointed in terms of aesthetics.
The combat system is turn-based and thorughly enjoyable. Units are lead by heroes for whom you can acquire gear and learn new skills upon leveling up. Unlike in some games where winning is just a matter of having more units in the area (ahem...Civ 5), here every battle plays out like a chess game. Both positioning and the battlefield itself play huge roles. Are you outmuscled by a particularly powerful unit? Set a trap and have one unit flank him from behind (there are bonuses for flanking and penalties for various postional disadvantages), then, when he turns around, have the other unit flank him. Combat never gets dull here. Even though you can sim battles, you'll find yourself wanting to fight out every one of them.
The game has several paces you can choose from that focus on different aspects of gameplay. Are you all about war? You can set up the game for that. Do you wanna take your time and build an empire of scratch? You can set up for that, too. I play on empire building pace. While this is fun and certainly very streamlined to limit micromanagement, the options for city building are a little lacking. There's really no focus on culture or religion or anything like that. Instead, every building is there to either unlock units or generate gold or mana. For me, this is kind of a bummer, and here's hoping they can turn out an expansion pack that adds to the non-combat side of empire building. Same thing goes for diplomacy. You have your basic peace treaty, alliance, open borders options, but this aspect of the game is definitely lacking.
All in all, this is an awesome game that's well worth the money. It really shines in terms of exploration (owing to the beautifully rendered world) and combat, but lacks in the economic and diplomatic side of things. Things are streamlined so that it will be accessible even to beginners, but it might be a little lacking for hardcore micromanagers. Even without super-detailed management options, however, this game is still a winner.… Expand
Apr 7, 2014I just love how IGN clearly did not get paid from developer and fired lovest rating from all reviewers, when they give **** games 95% almost every time.
I werent fan of Age of Wonders 1 and 2 (preferred Heroes and discipless 2), but this instalment is really good. It feels like mix of heroes of might and magic and civilization. I dont think that this game should be compared direct-li to HOMMAM, both are very good games and both are very different. The game play of Age of Wonders 3 is very good and graphics and music are ok too. What is really good about this game is wast number of skills and abilities your hero and units have.
Aside from some minor problems in game play, the only major problem can be very bad tutorial. If you are fan of 4x strategy games you will know what to do in short time, but if this game is your first 4x game than you can have problem with it.
Still have to recommend this game. I really like the classic turn based game play and this game is very addicting.… Expand
Apr 4, 2014Age of Wonders III plays very similar to the last installment and follows the spirit of the franchise. Playing the game since release, around 40 hours, I have developed a fondness and desire to keep playing, which I have not had since Civ 5. If you have played AoW I, II, or II SM and enjoyed your experience, then you will very much enjoy this one. I see a lot of growth for DLC in the magic system, troop routines, and maps, and look forward to that content. My only complaint is that the Tier IV troops are lackadaisical. I am not impressed. Even considering that, I will play the game often and look forward to additional DLC and patch content.… Expand
May 2, 2014I expected to play a similar game to AoW2 with old bad stuff being thrown away. But what do I see instead?
1. Gameplay has got even slower than in AoW2. There is a lot to automate in UI. Now I have to click even more buttons and messages than I've used before. I want to be able to automate most stuff so I won't feel as if I am working instead of playing. Personally for me this the biggest con, and this is why I've stopped playing this game after ~10 hours in total. I don't want to micromanage woeful stuff that mu computer should do for me.
2. AI on strategic map is really stupid.
3. Looks like they've spent most of their development time on graphics. Personnaly I would still buy AoW3 with old graphics, but better gameplay, and would enjoy it.
4. No possibility to run an autocombat and then go manual combat like in HoMM. Come on, was it so difficult to implement?
5. Most spells are useless.
6. Cities have more structures, and most of them become useless because you'll produce 1 unit at 1 time.
7. Ever run out of mana?
1. You can have much more casting points.
2. Attacks and damaging spells don't miss.… Expand
Apr 4, 2014A Civilization like game with magic and better unit abilities. Reminds me of Warlock Master of the Arcane. Overall, this is a good game, and I'm sure once they fix all the bugs and improve the AI it may even be a 9.
Right now, looking at the elven campaign on hard, it seems that the enemy AI is really bad. Most of the time it does not do anything, no new settlements, no major offensives (saw it only once). The enemy seems to be able to instantly spawn 3-4 stacks of 6 units in their capital when you get within the borders, but it does nothing with those units. They just sit around the capital, about 18 units. I can park my army of 6 within the borders, and the enemy would do nothing. A normal course of action would be to kill off my guys.
The campaign has good story, and one of my biggest complaints is the poor character resurrection system - the faction leader can die and will be resurrected in X turns, but secondary heroes that "must survive" cannot be resurrected. This creates a lot of situations where a random succubus or a bunch of flank attacks cause me to lose a scenario. This is really annoying when after spending 30 minutes in a capital battle, some succubus flies over the wall, charms my hero and causes me to have to replay the battle.
In terms of civilization upgrades, all races have exactly the same buildings, and there isn't much depth to the buildings, maybe 20 different buildings, all leading to the grand palace. Each of 6 classes has a class specific building to produce 4-5 class based units. I think there's only 4 tiers of units. There is not that much difference between the races, they all have an archer, infantry, pikeman, cavalry, etc.
Overall, a good game once the bugs get polished out.… Expand
May 4, 2014It's so easy to get lost in the magic of Age of Wonders 3. Many of my sessions were 5-6hours long and it barely felt like I'd begun managing my empire. There is just so much to do each turn, so many armies to manage and cities to build. The gorgeous world is waiting to be explored and the various monsters are ready to do battle. All of this is paired with truly wonderful tactical combat. There are just so many different ways to approach combat that it's dizzying. The visual styling and the core mechanics are so faithful to the original that it makes me smile.… Expand
Apr 23, 2014In Short: Pros: -great gameplay -high replayability -very good multiplayer -easy to get into, hard to master -low price -frequent updates (it looks this way so far) -good balance -a lot of customization -nice graphics -beautiful music Cons: -relatively long games (not for the genre) -not that many people playing multiplayer -rather bad tutorial -not the most challenging AI (for veterans of the genre)
This game is a steal! I bought my steam digital download version for 75PLN (about $25) and if you look online you can by it this cheap pretty much anywhere in the world. For this price you get a brand new game with 2 campaigns, each with 6 missions + 1 for alternative choices made. I would say this is easily 40 hours of gameplay, at least. Then you also have scenarios and endless possibilities with random map generator.
The game is complex, but easier to get into than the likes of Europa Universalis, Total War, or even Civilization series. At the same time it offers plenty to more seasoned TBS and 4X players. It's different than almost anything else on the market. People compare this game to HoM&M, Civ, and Total War, but while it includes elements of all these games, it's still something totally different.
If you enjoy 4X games, you should definitely try it. If you like TBSs in general you might want to give it a go. If all HoM&M titles after HoM&M 3 (and maybe 4) disappointed you, buy this game!
For anyone who likes Civ, Gal Civ, HoM&M series this should be a definitve buy. People who like Paradox games should also consider it.
The random map generator in this game is like nothing I have ever seen before. The number of options is mind blowing. You can customize the number of cities, their size, number of treasures, resource, visit structures, starting army sizes, and much more.
There's plenty of strategy involved and enough variety to keep you playing for many hours. 6 classes, 6 races, and 14 specializations to choose from means you get to try out new things almost every game.
And finally, the multiplayer. I don't know how 4X games could have existed without simultaneous turns. I used to play some with classic turns and it was a thrill, but it also dragged on way too long and I would never play with strangers for this very reason. Here you can start a small map 1 vs 1 game with smallest starting cities and medium armies and finish it in about half an hour, it that's your cup of tee. You can still play epic large map games with mutiple opponents and save your sessions, in this case too, the simultaneous turns option will vastly speed up the game. I was worried about using this over the classic turns, but it works like a charm, I use it even against the AI, there's hardly any reason not to.
Buy this game! Even if you have never played 4X games before. This is a good game for beginners too and at this price it is worth giving it a go. The support for the game is amazing, the forums are very helpful and best of all there is more content to come in the form of dlcs and expansions, which are likely to feature new playable races, new scenarios, and maybe new campaigns.… Expand
Apr 8, 2014This game is everything I ever wanted in a TBS. Exceptional, rewarding and diverse tactical combat. Many different play styles with the different hero types (and I've only played three so far!). I can only imagine how this game will grow over time as more of the AOW lore is built into it.
They somehow managed to keep the mystique of the series alive (the remixed, driving epic music gives the game of thrones theme a run for its money!) while piling on strategic and tactical depth with more unit types and abilities and some game-changing spells (Chaos rift left my jaw agape - made me feel like a god opening the heavens!).
Definitely worth picking up for any serious strategy gamer - and while not an entry level title, it's approachable enough that novices should be able to pick up and play as well.
10/10 Would Play Again!… Expand
Apr 15, 2014I waited a decade for this sequel, and I'm glad it turned out so well!
The general stuff: Visuals and sound are high quality as you expect it from the series, and the gameplay is the same, as well. Compared to AoW2:SM, there are fewer units (but Shadow Magic was essentially an expansion) and the game is currently more streamlined, which also makes it more accessible. Race differences and alignments don't yet matter as much as in the previous game, but developer responses on the official forum imply that this is coming. The focus is less on empire building and more on global strategy and tactical battle (no other fantasy TBS does tactical combat better). Games are relatively quick for TBS standards, especially if you opt to start with cities and an army.
Content: The game has several lengthy campaigns (that you can play on either side), scenarios, a map editor (that lets you create entire campaigns), a competent random map generator (huge plus), single-player and multi-player (local, internet, and asynchronous pbem is in the making. There's a ton to do, and it's unlikely that you'll run out of things to do. There is a large number of options that allow you to customize scenarios and maps: teams, victory conditions, custom heroes, classic or simultaneous turns, terrain, map type, map size, pre-learned spells or none, and so forth.
The AI: If you don't want to play against people, the AI's quality matters. Right now (two weeks after release), the AI is pretty standard for a fantasy TBS. It's not GalCiv2's excellent AI, but it's also not Civ5's excuse of an AI. It seems more competent than it was in AoW2:SM, but it's a little passive still and can be cheesed in tactical combat. The devs mentioned that the next patch will include substantial AI improvements including code that recognizes cheesing attempts and will respond to it, so by the time you read this review, things may already have changed. A nice improvement over AoW2:SM is that if you start with a settler and no town, the AI actually handles it well and does manage to be a competitive opponent. So if you go for the "empire building" mode, the AI will keep up with you.
In short: I dig the game and don't regret that I picked it up at the full price. It's a worthy successor of AoW2:SM and didn't disappoint. The devs are active in the community and listen to suggestions. The excellent random map generator and map/scenario editor guarantee variety, and the game actually has multiplayer!… Expand
Apr 28, 2014After spending a few hours to get accustomed to the game conventions and flow of the play, I have been totally sucked in. I did play AoW2 back in the day and loved it, but it had been a while and I was concerned the game style would not hold up to todays standards. Fortunately I was wrong, and the "wonder" of surviving in a fantasy world of mystery and danger is back. The artwork and battle grounds are fantastic and evoke feelings of treading through a world steeped in deep lore.
I started with the campaign, but it wasnt until I tried the random map generator that I really got hooked (I'll have to get back to the campaigns at some points.. just .. cant.. seem to find the time!). The random maps are beautifully done and are unique adventures everytime. Early game is about exploration and leveling and questing, mid game is about skirmishing and getting a good position to face the AIs and then finally taking out the AI's. This is as I see it anyway, and makes for a very satisfying experience!!!… Expand
Apr 8, 2014This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I am a big fan of the series, but I was disappointed here.
The UI is very clunky compared to the older versions. It now takes too many clicks to get a lot of basic tasks done.
One big pet peeve of mine is that you can't cycle between cities (or i couldn't find how to). You have to manually click a city and then find the next city to click too. Which would be fine, if the map was not so cluttered.
Another problem is that the building description is a tooltip rather than a fixed menu on the right.. like the old games. So, more often it is too much of a pain to figure out what exactly does the building do.
The unit screen is a total mess, with again no unit description menu.. So, i have to hover my mouse over the unit name and wait a few seconds to see what the unit's powers actually are. Plus there is no differentiation in the UI over tier1 -tier2 - tier3 units.. so I have to right click a unit and check its wiki before I know what tier the unit is off. In the old game, the units were organized so that the cheapest 3 were always tier1, and so on.
There is no mini-map in the battle... Yes, let that sink in for a while.. no mini map in the battle screen. So, battling in any zoom level but the lowest is too slow and annoying.
They have removed the strategic aspect of attacking the city from 4 sides. Now you only attack from one side.. the front.
The hero upgrade screen is just chock full of upgrades, most of them are useless.. and there is no upgrade tree.. So, you have no idea how to unlock the better upgrades.
I though do like the new buildings as they do offer a lot of different strategies in what buildings to build first.. but the UI is just so horrible, all the joy of city management goes out of the window.
Too many things in the game are a mix and match between right and left clicks. Your attacks in battle would only hit if you right click.. even though you select the unit using left click. Heroes can be equipped using right click, even though you left clicked on the inventory.
It gets tedious to constantly have the wrong click.
It is a playable game, but not unlike AoW2 where tasks were fun and not a chore. I have played AoW2 nonstop for 10 years.. but AoW3.. i am just going to play because i paid for it.… Expand
Apr 15, 2014This is my first review, so please bear with me.
I've been rocking AOW3 for the last couple of weekends with a couple of friends in hot-seat mode. And when I say rocking, I mean full on day in - day out marathons with tiny brakes for sleep. We must be at the 30 hour mark by now, which seems a good place to voice opinion.
First the basics. The AOW series were strongly inspired by the HOMM series and "Masters Of Magic", so it comes to no surprise that they sport game play that is a mix and match from both. You build and develop cities (MOM/CIV), to produce armies (MOM/CIV/HOMM). These armies are led by great heroes (HOMM) into tactical combat with the enemy and independent mobs (HOMM). There is a research tree based on your leader's class and specializations (MOM) and of course powerful strategic spells (MOM/HOMM).
I won't go over graphics, sound and interface since I find those irrelevant if they are capable of getting the job done without distraction and they seem to be in this case (sans the bloom in some combat locations, it's just mehhh...). The sole fact that me and me palls have been afflicted by the "just one more turn" syndrome is reason enough for me to rate this game as high as I did. But let me go over what I actually find so appealing in AOW3. Even with it's multitude of combat units the game somehow manages to find balance in chaos. All games we've played thus far have been "on the edge of your seat" close. Each player is constantly grasping for the win until the bitter end when the true winner is revealed through greater cunning, strategy or tactics. An example for it's good balance is that when two similar strength armies engage, often only just a few units survive. Note that similar strength doesn't mean the same army composition, four well developed heroes versus a plethora of regular units are also evenly matched armies. I also very much enjoy the choices the game provides, should I make my heroes into leaders or combatants? Should I focus my cities into military development and get my racial units or build up research and mana so I can get my class units? Should I summon an additional guy for the next fight or preserve casting points for combat magic? The game is full with interesting choices like these and what makes them interesting is that both paths are viable. The random map generator is excellent, it creates gorgeous maps with a lot of interesting locations and good starting positions. This for me translates into infinite number of maps available for play.
Enough praise, lets go over the bad parts. First of all the AI is atrocious. I'm playing on the hardest possible difficulty setting and all it does is spam cities. When war pokes it's ugly head, it either sends lone units/heroes or in the rare occasions when it actually has a sizable force it divides it into small armies that are ripe for the picking. Mob encounters start to get very similar very quickly. The game has tons of different units and I don't see why mobs should be so limited in their choice. And that goes double for scoundrels, every game I've played thus far has had me slaughter uncountable amounts of scoundrels - scoundrel villages, scoundrel patrols, scoundrel guards, etc. It's a minor issue with me that the game deploys one of a full army's units behind the battle line and there seems to be no way of picking which unit that is or to move it's starting point. Most of the time you would have time to get into position before the actual battle begins, but it's a silly thing to have left in what is otherwise a very polished game.
Finally, to end on a good note. Triumph (the developer of this game) seem devoted to their player base and have already released a patch that addresses a bunch of issues pointed out by players. This is a good sign and perhaps the game will only get better with time. I strongly recommend this game and my suggestion, as of now, is to stick to multi-player on small/medium maps.… Expand
Sep 27, 2014Age of Wonders 3 is a gorgeous, amazing TBS. Like in previous games, engaging an enemy unit stack on the strategic world map zooms you down to a tactical battle map, based on the terrain and structures. And the tactical battles are rich! There were balance issues and bugs on release, of course, but Triumph has been consistently on-target with their patches, and now the Golden Realms expansion. Bought it on GOG, so I'm not sure how much time I've put into it yet, but I'd guess 400+.… Expand
Sep 27, 2014Solid 4X game with a rich fantasy setting. With continued support could easily become the go to game in turn based strategy.
With a class and race system that allows a good amount of variety in play style (with the movement between good and evil depending on in game actions) A good magic system that may have been better served without the limitation on spells per tun , but due to the strength of this games spells understandable.
All in all a good entry for people looking to get into a 4x for the first time with enough depth in combat to have experienced 4x's tweaking there tactics to maxmize damage.… Expand
Apr 7, 2014A winner for those who like turn based strategy games with individual combat engagements between your armies and those of your enemies. My only knock on the game is the excessively long load times between turns if your playing on a large map with the max number of players.
Apr 13, 2014After reading some reviews where the game was praised as a perfect mixture of HoMM and Civ (which I both love), I bought this title... only to be bored quite quickly.
The UI has some shortcomings like missing "effective" range indicators and the "all-knowing" Tome of Wonders does not contain any info on some searches that I did.
While the graphics esepcially in the overview map are very aesthetic and the soundtrack is well composed, the proclaimed tactical combat lacks eye- and earcandy... the animations and spell effects are lackluster, the sound doesn't feel very impactful... things that imho were better even in older HoMM titles.
My biggest contra is the empire management where the best procedure seems to be to stomp out as many cities and units as possible while not bothering all that much about your resources. Meaningful decisions about which buildings to get in your cities? Hardly. There are also few incentives to recruit weaker units as you can quickly progress to the highest tiers... if you know what to research. And while I normally love random elements in such games, it doesn't feel right in the research section of AoW3.
Some of these things (like gettings many cities asap) might be changable in the random map games, but first I'd like to finish the singleplayer campaigns to get a feel for the game. And while the story with it's good english speakers can induce some atmosphere, the levels just cannot motivate me to play through them.
On the plus side: The AI of the game seems to be well programmed, both in the strategic and tactical section.… Expand
Apr 7, 2014The tactical battles are really fun and the ways you customize your heroes are great. The strategy leaves a little to be desired. Then again I haven't played the multiplayer yet so maybe that's what it's all about really. Already sunk a lot of hour into this title and I'm loving it.
Apr 20, 2014Wow everything in some of the negative reviews is just factually wrong about stuff. Regardless, this game had one of the best launches I've seen in a long time. The AI is rather competent and capable of making your life miserable, and it doesn't appear to cheat. The auto resolve battles seem to actually play an auto-match instead of just calculating victory on unit stacks, so sometimes when it predicts defeat you'll win and vice versa.
The Campaign is surprisingly good, it's got it's problems and it's extremely difficult but the art between scenes and the story are really well done, and some of the minor heroes are genuinely interesting. The campaign also features a decision at some point that effects the rest of the campaign and the outcome and ending too.
The real meat of the game is in the custom scenarios and random maps. The largest map size is so massive that it can take days to finish a single game, while small maps are best for multiplayer and rush battles can be surprisingly fun (I expected them not to be).
The game allows you to customize your sandbox wizard rather extensively, choosing from a variety of race/class combinations, selecting abilities influencing research trees, spells, and empire passives, and it allows you a great deal of control over how your wizard looks. Unfortunately the schools of magic are somewhat lacking from previous games, with earth and water magic being entirely underwhelming at least as of the vanilla game.
The game has a variety of classes and each race has a variety of units, including irregulars and tier 3 units that are different for every race. Archers and priests are also fairly interesting as they tend to differ a lot between races, unfortunately melee and base mounted units tend to be generic.
If the game had more victory conditions it would probably be a lot more fun, especially if there were better victory screens or scenes at the end of a random map. Some will find it more combat focused than they might prefer, but the same was true of past Age of Wonders games, and the 4x city building/expanding elements are still quite addictive, with terraforming options and a variety of spells.
Devs have announced many changes and features they plan for the future and it appears that they're working on bring back old races and possibly new classes. The future looks bright for this game, and it's well worth the lower than average price they're asking for it. Players who actually like 4x games and stick with it enough to learn what it has to offer will get their money's worth.… Expand
Apr 7, 2014I had never heard about this game until its release date and after watching a few review videos and lets plays i decided to pick it up. I have to say so far i am really impressed with ~15hrs played. The game beautifully combines the grand strategy of games such as civilization with the turn based combat of games like Heroes of might and magic to create a overall brilliant experience. Not for everyone of course but if you enjoy games like Civilization i definitely recommend giving this game a try, i assure you that you will not be disappointed.… Expand
Apr 9, 2014I was between a 6 and 7 for this guy. I went with the 7 mostly because I think the game has unrealized potential. If you segment in the game into its Tactical Combat, RPG, and Strategic components my ratings for these components vary substantially.
The Tactical Combat is some of the best when compared with similar games that provide this type of instanced tactical combat. The tactical combat is similar to Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes and the Dominion series. IMO it outshines this games by allowing larger armies, facing, flanking, zones of control, cover, and line of sight. The game is very solid in this regard.
The RPG components are not bad as well, with a variety of choices for how you improve and manage your hero characters.
Where the game really falls down IMO is the strategic layer. Despite a number of different races, the units you build end up feeling much the same. That said, the units are not the biggest issue here and TBH there is some synergy to be gained by constructing certain units and armies that work well together.
The cities themselves are pretty much postage stamp representations of each other despite being from different races. There are very few decisions to make here since your building all build in a couple turns and there is little reason to specialize. City management on large maps become a tedious and somewhat boring chore. Until changes to the strategic layer are made I feel smaller maps which tend to focus more on the tactical battles provides the best play.
As I said, the game has potential and it will be interesting to see where it ends up after a few patches.… Expand
Aug 5, 2014Remember it is a turn by turn game so don't rage about difficulty. Conversly this makes the game one of the best publication of this 2014 year with a full encyclopedy of diversity and game time.
In an absolute silence about this game release I've bought it because I enjoyed the previous versions and I am now surpisingly happy I have selected the deluxe edition because of the beautiful background music in FLAC.… Expand
Aug 31, 2014have you ever heard about "city management"?. if you had you hadn't heard it from AGE OF WONDERS III.
how about different playstiles? nope, just rush em all and we'll be fine. becouse if you dont rush then the AI will send some OP armies to crush your forces and they are "nasty" becouse i can handle some of those tier V monsters but i cant when they are like 18 and you cant deal proper damage to them.
ok so maybe its a little bit boring to clean all the map of those bandits. and i dont want to play every single battle becouse its a waste of time. so i use the autoresolve button and voila, i lost 2 or 3 units to kill 3 bandits. so you have to fight every single battle or you are going to lose units or maybe a hero.
graphics are no good or bad. sound its no good or bad too. magic is a little bit useless, like 85% of the spells you are going to use em like 1 or 2 times at most.
my veredict: only play it if you are a fan or a bored gamer. excuse me if my english is bad.… Expand
Sep 27, 2014My review is of the game after the 1.4 patch. Triumph has made great strides after release to improve the quality of the game and it shows! Post patch, the game has improved in many different facets including the unit/city morale system, city growth and racial unit diversity. I feel that they have made a game that equals their previous title, Age of Wonders Shadow Magic, and may soon succeed it as one of the best tactical, TBS games.… Expand
Nov 12, 2014I'm new to this game. It took a while to get some kind of control and start winning levels. But all the time I could not stop playing. It has been a while that a game has screwed up my private life like this. But I'm hooked. A fantasy world, dragons, armies, magic, giants, war what else do you want?
Oct 23, 2014I think it's very important to note that this is a combat heavy TBS. The empire building is pretty bad... each different faction has the same buildings, with only one difference, and there are very few buildings. Your cities will build everything very quickly, and then you have no choice but to expand. On harder difficulties, expanding is the ONLY real choice. You can't build tall, because cities have such few buildings and reach their maximum population level very quickly. There's also very little downside to settler spam, and the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
The empire building also moves at a very, very fast pace. On normal mode, for example, you typically complete a building in 2-3 turns, and most military units in 1 turn. However, the maps are very big. This creates a problem... by the time you're done exploring the map (especially on larger map settings), endgame will be here. And endgame is very, very stale. It usually consists of spamming your hero class's tier 4 units, and supplementing them with stun units. Virtually every race and hero class does this, because there's no downside to having t4 units other than upkeep, and they're very easy to get. You can get t3 units by the 20th turn, if not earlier, and if you take the time to try and expand you're going to get swarmed on harder difficulties or in multiplayer.
Ultimately, the game boils down to battle after battle. When it's late in the game, if you're fighting a player that's equally as strong as you are, it often comes down to a deadlock. Both of you might have 5-6 cities pumping out strong units every 1-2 turns. Sometimes these fights can take hours, especially if they involve multiple armies. You can autobattle, but it's not recommended, as your units seem to behave like morons.
Thus, the game has a flow problem; the empire building and research happen very quickly, but because military units are produced so quickly, you just end up with hours of t4 units fighting other t4 units.… Expand
Jul 13, 2014A fun and good-looking 4X game, that unfortunately does not last very long in the hands of those familiar with 4X titles. Even though there is a wide variation in spells, races and classes and the seemingly 'infinite' amount of combinations and games this should offer, every game essentially plays the same.
Age of Wonders has a few major flaws that make the game boring very fast:
- Class balance is off. Certain classes are capable of destroying most others, while other classes, in particular those that rely heavily on spellcasting, are virtually powerless against a gold-based class with a good army such as the Rogue or Warlord. With a smart mix of racial and class-specific units, these two become even more overpowered. The simple fact is, players can only cast a single spell each turn of combat, while they can move and attack with every separate unit on the field - this makes physical combat by definition far more influential than spells could ever be.
- Lack of depth in development. While building your empire, with a few lucky early resources, you can rush straight to 'endgame'. If you'd really want to, 'endgame' units are easily achieved and there is a glaring lack of depth to the tech trees and units that become available. There are four tiers of everything, which means that a research-oriented player can whip out maximum tier units within 30 minutes of play, or possibly even faster depending on your luck with resources. After those first 30 minutes, there is no longer any kind of stronger unit available. Not a single 4X game presents such a flat tech tree, because of the simple fact that are those 30 minutes are over, the game stops being interesting and surprising.
These two key points will, eventually, and for me already after about 4 games, destroy the entire experience and lead to a dull, boring game that revolves around simple rush tactics to win. Sure you could make your life difficult, but then you notice that the AI utilizes said rush tactics as well - end of story.… Expand
Apr 12, 2014First off, I can call myself an Age of Wonders veteran. I have been with the series since its inception back in 1999. Age of Wonders III, like its predecessors, is a TBS game with a fair amount of RPG flavor set in a wonderful world of magic and adventure. Like before, the fourth game in the series is a meticulously mixed blend of MoM and HOMM, with greater emphasis on global strategy and warfare. Mind you, it is not a full 4X experience as some believe it to be. Some folks over on the the official AoW forums keep comparing the game with Civilization V, which is really not fair IMO – Age of Wonders III and its older siblings are significantly more combat-oriented. Some have criticised the game for being rather basic in diplomacy and for its supposedly simplistic city development. In my opinion, both these elements are fine and work sufficiently for the game’s purposes despite being a little austere in their appearance and functionality. But then again, this is not a Civ-level empire building and diplomacy. The game mechanics are solid and can stand on their own and they are clearly more fleshed out in comparison with HOMM and some others in this regard.
Anyway, the game’s foundations lie in a progressive empire building and managing your cities. A city serves as an essential economic unit here, and without a properly managed city your armies may not prosper as well. You can also do research, level up you heroes, who make their hard living by killing monsters and hordes of opposing armies. Unlike HOMM, the AoW series is an actual strategy game, encouraging you to plan ahead and consider you next moves carefully in the context of a bigger picture represented by your developing realm.
As mentioned above, the core element of the series is warfare, and the new game is well-prepared for that. It sports an improved tactical combat that rewards clever tactics and puts a strong emphasis on unit positioning. Every unit on the battlefield has unique abilities you need to take into account, and exploiting them in the right way is a key to success in any encounter. Plus there is flanking now, which the AI likes to use against you when you expect it the least. The improved combat also encourages cooperation of your ranged and melee troops and there is a new scissor-rock-paper formula introduced (pikemen, cavalry, infantry units with their strengths and weaknesses).
The game itself plays very smoothly and familiar, so if you have played an AoW game before you will easily slip into these new and shiny pants. The class system is cool and classes themselves varied enough to secure a very solid replayability. The level of leader customisation here is beyond all you have seen in a TBS game. You would need so much time to explore all the possibilities! If you are not an expansionist type you can effortlessly adjust your experience through many various RMG settings to suit your play-style. Here lie infinite hours of fun for everybody…
The only downside to the new game that I see ATM are some unit and resource balance issues, though not serious, but they can sometimes be annoying, particularly in late-game. Not a deal-breaker in any way. The devs are currently hard at work to deal with these and are ready to send more updates, features and new content in our direction.
The AI could also have been better, sure, it does not but at a strategic level it does a decent job of keeping you on guard, and so does in TC. There are some minor changes that seem to have already upset some core fans, namely mountains are passable now by practically any unit, fliers land in TC and can be attacked by any unit, only six units allowed in a single stack etc., but they do not by far distract from an overall great and rewarding strategic experience. In fact, these changes were made to keep the game balanced as possible, and the „six units in a stack“ change particularly contributes to a more strategic approach when it comes to composing your army.
Well, I seem to have left out a thousand other things that come to mind when thinking about AoW III, but firstly there is not enough space to put them here and secondly, and more importantly, I have been engaged in playing it for more than 25 hours and the joy of doing so has not by far worn off. And I honestly believe that I will enjoy the next tens of hours as much as I have until now, the game has so much to offer! By the way, have I made a mention of a lovely cloth map like the one in Fallen Enchantress? Or completely unique class units and spells? An excellent in-game manual/encyclopedia called Tome of Wonders?
My recommendation for this game is quite simple: if you want to immerse yourself in a beautifully crafted world of magic you can feel at every step (even with wizard towers gone this time), you like to engage in epic battles for the fate of your empire, you have played some HOMM but found it shallow at global strategy then this is the right game for you. And it has rogue dire penguins!… Expand
Apr 9, 2014Well, I must confess the game looked better watching the gameplay than the fun I had playing it since its release... There are some good tactical stuffs, like flanking units in battle,...but your heroes are so involved in the storyline, that loosing one will result in loosing the game :-/...boring! The battles start with all your units on a straight line, which is really not what to expect from this kind of strategy game!!! The cloth map is pretty but not really functional (at least not as much as in Fallen Enchantress...a shame!)...and AI sends units which are just running away when you chase them with stronger units...resulting in a stupid hide and seek game which really kills the fun imo. At least there is the multiplayer part, which is definitely the best part of this game!… Expand
Apr 10, 2014Actually i' ve become really happy for this moment. It happened! The Legend returned and the genre was reborn!
I was so sad about latest parts of such monumental series like HoMM, Disciples, etc. It was so many new ideas, decisions but no perfection - all were crashed on reefs of bugs, monotony and unbalance. But in this game one can see strong elegant balance, a wide variety of tactics and ways to victory.
Comparing to previous part - there is no effect of superfactory in metropolia of empire, when you could extremely quickly make strong troop, cast some spell over them and crush all on your way. The strongest units can overcome by mass and adequate combinations of common units. So the key - is to rule all your Empire. There is no more absolute combinations.
For newcomers it can take several hours to get bases. But, i'm sure, then it can be a wonderful journey for years, as Heroes III was.… Expand
Apr 22, 2014This is a mix between Heroes of might and magic and Civilization, but definitely a failed one, you have so much options and things to care that it's a commplete mess, i feel like playing a different game everytime i go from a screen to another... The world map is also a mess, i feel stupid to say that but...it's too colorful.
Jun 7, 2014AOW3 is an OK game, but not much more than that; For me I think the main attraction was it being a turn based strategy game, which there are not many off, and I had much fun with AOW2. However, AOW3 does not in any way live up to either AOW2 or the HOMM series.
Maps are extremely boring, with few resources, points of interest or other goodies. The "dungeons" you can explore are quite fun however. The graphics in general are lackluster, and it's very hard to see on the world map where resources, POI's etc are located.
Hero building is pretty good and diverse, and the fact that your hero is a unit is something HOMM could learn from. The larger scale combat maps and siege type combats work well too.
However there're just too many cities to conquer, be they from another faction or from independent parties, and large and huge maps are just not very enjoyable. It's the same stuff - fight 3-4 mobs manually (because the auto combat function is **** 5 times or so every turn and then build a few things.
The only break in monotony is boss battles where you fight e.g. 18 vs 18; those are fun and requires just a minimum of strategic planning - all other battles don't as the AI is horrible.
In conclusion, I'd say that I'm fairly disappointed by this game and that it doesn't reach HOMM 4-6's level at all. Your money would be much better spent getting any of those games.… Expand
Sep 30, 2014A well polished, good looking and enjoyable tactical strategy game. I enjoyed the challenging AI which always seemed to keep me on my toes and forced me to think through every move, battle and turn.
What did frustrate me about the game however was the length of the campaign. I easily put 80 hours into the game and by the end I was getting bored and felt very relieved to have it finished.
Oct 17, 2014One of my favorite games on steam!
Prepare to be sucked in with Age of Wonders 3. An amazing turn based strategy game that will continue to hold your attention and WOW you with attention to detail, depth and rich battles.
The game features a series of campaigns with different routes, fun hand crafted scenarios and a random map generator with different modes to play.
You pick a race/class/specializations which are all interesting, fun and create different synergies.
Orc warlord? Human Dreadnaught? Elven sorcerer?,
Goblin Archdruid Specializing in water magic to create a swampy empire?
You name it! the combinations are plenty!
Each race starts off with a variety of units that for the most part fill common roles,
Infantry, Archer, Pikeman, Cavalry, flyers, and support. All these units per race ARE UNIQUE and different, it just might not appear that way on the surface. Orcs are great at melee, elves great with archers etc.
Classes affect your spells in and out of combat, and units that you get.
Your leader and Heroes units level up and can customized.
Units can level up.
Different sub factions that can be conquered and used to your advantage. Like dragons and giants.
I can go on and on but the combinations and situations to be in are plenty and it never gets dull.
MUST PLAY! 9/10… Expand
Nov 20, 2014Amazing game, I became addicted really fast to it. The type of game where you say: "just one more turn" and then you realize 3 hours went on.
The campaign is fun and it changes depending on your choices, the random generated maps are awesome and the battles are unique, I have never felt so good assaulting a city.
Jul 30, 2014Age of Wonders III offers a very good option for turn-base strategy fans, continuing successfully the legacy of the series. It offers many hours of play, especially if you want to taste every bit of detail. Some further improvements which would force the player to ponder of his strategy before acting are needed. Nonetheless, Age of Wonders III is an amazing game that will always keep you thinking "one more turn".
Jun 28, 2014There was nothing in the way of Age of Wonders III maintaining the quality level of its predecessors. But that did not happen and instead of another solid title we got a game that will make every armchair strategist cry... tears of joy. [05/2014, p.52]