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80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

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7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 421 Ratings

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  • Summary: Age of Wonders 3 marks a modern reimagining of the series, where players join a clash of kings, queens and dark lords for the spoils of an ancient paradise. By introducing unique RPG-inspired classes and specializations, players are able to craft empires of their own design, developing unique strategies and play styles. The world-changing conflict plays out on sweeping landscapes, loaded with mythical locations waiting to be uncovered, conquered and exploited. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Jun 28, 2014
    95
    There 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]
  2. Apr 8, 2014
    89
    Once you have maybe 10 hours of gameplay under your belt, you will start to appreciate the subtle changes that the upgradable heroes and combat mechanics bring, and thus the equally subtle innovations that Triumph Studios has made throughout the game.
  3. 85
    Since I never played the earlier games, I can’t make the call as to whether or not this game was worth waiting 11 years for. Saying that, I’ve been waiting since I saw the game at GamesCom last year to get my hands on it, and it was definitely worth it.
  4. Apr 1, 2014
    80
    Triumph Software is a skilled bunch of people that have created a really good strategy game. You could have some reservations about the graphics, very minimal portrayal of different castles or not strong enough focus on diplomacy, but none of these issues spoils the fun. Age of Wonders III is a well made, extremely playable game.
  5. Apr 15, 2014
    80
    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.
  6. Apr 9, 2014
    80
    All that long waiting was worth it. Age of Wonders III is not only a game about magic but it's a magical one at the very same time. Fight, invent, conjure, and enjoy its endless gaming possibilities. Just... we would like to forget its lazy game engine along with flaws in its game interface.
  7. 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 doesn’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.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 67 out of 96
  2. Negative: 18 out of 96
  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. 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.
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  2. Apr 3, 2014
    10
    Age of Wonders 3 is a game worthy to his predecessors! The game is everything I have hoped for and more! The whole idea of simultanious turns works awsome and the complete vibe of the world and the story of the campaign blew me away! A game worth playing! Expand
  3. Apr 1, 2014
    10
    What 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!
    Expand
  4. Apr 15, 2014
    9
    I 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
  5. Apr 5, 2014
    9
    I'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
  6. Aug 8, 2014
    7
    The game storyline is good. However nothing special in this game. I think this game just normal rpg strategy game. But the graphic is pretty good. Overall this game is not bad. Expand
  7. Aug 5, 2014
    0
    Game looks nice but unfortunately the difficulty is insane even on easy. I barley manage to build 2-3 cities and don't have time to produce any army before I'm overrun from all sides so what the f*** am I supposed to do. This is BS. Expand

See all 96 User Reviews