Dominions 4: Thrones of Ascension Image
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  2. Second Review
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User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 32 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Jan 14, 2014
    92
    Learning how to play Dominions 4 is not easy, but the endless hours of fun you'll get out of it are more than worth the effort.
  2. Pelit (Finland)
    Mar 11, 2014
    89
    Dominions 4 is a turn-based strategy game set in a non-traditional fantasy world filled with various nations inspired by mythology and religion. As a player you first pick a nation and then customize your god. Then you just need to wipe out all the other factions and their false gods. Isn't that simple? The game really shines in multiplayer mode because fighting against real humans feels much better than dealing with AI factions that can't even use diplomacy. The best thing about Dominions 4 is the fact that it has tons of depth and replayability but it's a shame that the graphics and user interface are outdated. Well, I guess you can't have everything. [Dec 2013]
  3. Oct 28, 2013
    80
    Nevertheless, if you’re able to look beyond the simplistic graphics to the fantastic game underneath then this one is a real treasure.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 2 out of 11
  1. Apr 29, 2015
    10
    This game is obviously not for everyone ... But if that's for you, then nothing out there would compare in terms of variety, strategy andThis game is obviously not for everyone ... But if that's for you, then nothing out there would compare in terms of variety, strategy and background. The races are very nicely inspired. Even some would seem less attractive from the description, manage to create an atmosphere in the way you play them. Expand
  2. Aug 14, 2017
    10
    I play this nearly 500 hours. Awesome! A lot of spells, items, units. You need to plot your strategy very well, you need specific tactic forI play this nearly 500 hours. Awesome! A lot of spells, items, units. You need to plot your strategy very well, you need specific tactic for every nation, against every nation, against every unit or player. So every game in Dominions 4 is unique. I recommend this for everyone who love turn-based strategies. Expand
  3. Jun 4, 2014
    10
    Dominions 4 can be favorably compared to getting a Bachelor's degree in Wine Tasting. It's difficult to get into, ridiculously time-consuming,Dominions 4 can be favorably compared to getting a Bachelor's degree in Wine Tasting. It's difficult to get into, ridiculously time-consuming, and ultimately a ton of fun. But, like a Wine Tasting degree, it requires a lot of effort and will cost you considerably without getting a great deal back beyond pure enjoyment (and maybe better reading/memory skills). Besides the steep price tag, it will eat into your precious free time and your mental stamina. But, at the end of the day, life is short and you should spend a large part of it doing something that you enjoy. If you like 4X/adventure/strategy/imaginatively rich games, then this is absolutely something that you will enjoy. Now you just have to decide if that enjoyment is worth the cost... Expand
  4. May 15, 2017
    9
    This is a great game. If you do not mind an outdated graphics you will enjoy the immensely deep, rich and satisfying game. I am playing it forThis is a great game. If you do not mind an outdated graphics you will enjoy the immensely deep, rich and satisfying game. I am playing it for years and still haven’t tried all the factions. For those interested into world mythologies plenty of surprises there. You want to be Pharaoh of Egypt to take conquest of Greeks? Or play with vengeful forest creature taking the revenge against industrious kingdom of Man? Maybe Aztecs and Incas can defeat sunken continent of Atlantis? Perhaps Slavic deity Perun will become one and only God to rule the world? Some nations have elite blessed troops while others use powerful magic and the third could use thousands of cheap hordes of undead soldiers. Must have game for those who enjoy deep strategy game. Expand
  5. Dec 20, 2013
    8
    I was initially impressed with droves of playable factions, unique monsters, and customizable armies. The game certainly has all of thoseI was initially impressed with droves of playable factions, unique monsters, and customizable armies. The game certainly has all of those features but some are much better represented than others.

    There are a few factions that feel uninspired, but given that there are so many to choose from I am impressed that many of them are so unique. As of writing this review, I have not played *every* faction but I have clashed against the majority of them and each enemy warrants a slight change in the strategy I take when attacking them. Some factions will swarm you with summoned undead units, others have single monstrosities, and a few have units that are all capable of flying.

    Every faction has access to certain special units, a pool of vanilla units, and a spellbook teeming with shared conjurations. I have spent 40+ hours of this game experimenting with every spell in the book and units on the field but still have not found a combination that was not exciting; however, watching your super cool wizard knights act like complete tools on the battlefield will make you sad. I think some serious overhaul with regards to combat controls would improve the game immensely. Understanding the importance of playing your units in the right spots and giving them a broad strategy works to an extent but I would really like more control over the situations where you want your spell caster to hit the right spell at the right time.

    There's not much to say about treasure or province management. Some of the game's charm lies in the system in place. There is very little effort, outside of casting positive or negative spells, to keep your provinces where you want them.

    The main problem I have with this game is the interface. Spells can only be arranged by school of magic, and not even alphabetically in that list. I would expect, for as many spells as are available, there to be a more advanced method of sorting through them.

    My 8 score is a combination of the game being a really solid 7 but the niche gameplay it provides, and the fact that I have spent over 40 hours playing it with no signs of slowing, force me to recognize that as an intangible positive.

    8/10 would bang
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  6. Feb 10, 2016
    8
    That is my first Dominions, so I cannot compare. Important to mention that I'm not a 4X newbie, I mean, I master completely Hearts of Iron andThat is my first Dominions, so I cannot compare. Important to mention that I'm not a 4X newbie, I mean, I master completely Hearts of Iron and annexed Russia with Germany in Very Hard Furious. I'm multi+Emperor in Crusader Kings in Ironman. So I'm not to be taken as a random dumb player that unlikes difficulty.

    I gave Dominions a try since I was missing 4X after having massively played Endless Legend and Endless Space. Endless Space has the best interface I ever saw but completely lacking immersion. I wanted something immersive as Endless legend, but different and I have to admit that, despite the very minimalist graphics, it is a GREAT game. It is a pearl. It is super immersive. And as all people say it is the most hardcore 4X I ever played. Easy to understand, impossible to master... At least for me.

    The problem of this game is that you have to take care of thousands of things. Is that a problem? No! The problem is that the interface doesn't follow what is required from the player. This game could be for me 20/10 but it is too hard. Not too hard because I'm stupid, too hard because if you miss a single thing between the thousands of things you have to do you are very likely to lose about 10 turns.

    Example! You start an Invasion Campaign with 400 troops and overhyped Heroes. You are new to the game and you didn't know that assassins can easily kill your General. Bham! General assassinated. The 100 troops he was commanding are unusable. Unfortunate. Ok but I'm in a learning process. Next time my Hero will be always followed by some spies.

    After some turns, you start again an invasion Campaign. During the Campaign, everything goes smooth. But on a SINGLE turn you forgot to move your spies along with the armies. Your General gets killed. One mistake = 20 turns lost. AI gets the advantage.

    Ok and that is now the point I'm rather upset with. Since the Interface is badly done. You don't really see out of the map where your spies are, so you can miss them out. Why not allowing heroes to be "linked" together? So that when an army moves, all the linked Heroes move together without asking you to move every single Hero? You make a mistake (forget to move your spy), you lose... Ok it's super Hardcore. It is Hardcore in the sense that it requires you to think about a lot of stuff, about a good strategy, about a good management taking into consideration hundreds of factor. Not only that! But the game will severely punish you not only on a mistake, but equally on a simple error like forgetting to move your heroes.

    And the entire interface is done that the chances you forget to move a hero are HUGE! You don't see them properly on the map. You cannot give "chain commands" like “move from here to that other region 5 regions away"... No no no! You have to order a move every turn. But you have loads of armies! Loads of things to do. And interface is so manual that in the end you (at least me) forget what was your plan... "Wait... What did I want to do with this army again? I forgot!!! I forgot because every single turn I have to take care of 1000 things!!". Then you screw up and at that moment you remember "yeah... That is what I wanted to do... And I just lost, again, 20 turns".

    That is the kind of things that will happen. But this is only related to "move your armies". Now add to this research; crafting; construction; dominion expansion; spy hunting; spying missions; unrest missions; recruiting, regiment battle orders and sooooooooooooo many more things. And every of this move needs to be ordered and places manually on EVERY turn. Chances you forget to do something are just too huge. The only "interface help" you get is to be able to automatize a recruiting pattern!!!

    Wow... Thank you! At least I'm able to automatize something without having every turn to go by each of my 10 forts to see what they are recruiting and if I didn't forget to ask for an army recruiting...

    But if you have a wonderful memory, if you are looking for a game that requires you to think about 1000 things, if you want a super immersive game with thousands of magical objects, spells, skills and so on. Go on!!!

    The only thing I miss is "wonderful memory". I have an awful one... It's a pity because adding just some features in order to help the player wouldn't make the game easier, it would make it, according to me, more enjoyable, like: linking heroes; obliged regiment instructions upon army creation; something allowing you to see how many heroes you have, where they are, what are they orders; being able to chain order etc.

    That would immensely enhance the game, without making it more casual, and be the best 4X ever.
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  7. Oct 21, 2013
    3
    Not a good sequel to the great Dominions 3, and certainly not worth the high price being asked for what is basically the exact same game. (theNot a good sequel to the great Dominions 3, and certainly not worth the high price being asked for what is basically the exact same game. (the game badly needs a complete code re-write for it to meaningfully make progress, but that doesn't seem to be something the devs want to do, preferring instead to make some easy money from yet again re-using code that is now 10+ years old, mostly legacy, and largely a mess)
    ///

    Some areas of Dominions 4 have been improved over its predecessor, such as repeat recruitment, but other areas have been made worse, and some unfathomable changes have been made to core aspects of the game (movement, communions, slow recruitment, forts, blood hunting, scales, bless). Many of these changes make no sense at all, and in several cases (communions, movement) do nothing except make the game flat out worse than Dominions 3.
    ///

    And there seems to have been a concerted and intentional effort made to slow the game down considerably, which is a seriously bad idea given that most MP games last 60+ turns anyway, and suffer badly from player drop-out/lack of interest in the latter stages. And the changes that have been made will likely extend the average MP game length to past 100 turns. so I can only imagine how bad player drop-out rates will be in Dominions 4 MP games (I think it's quite clear the devs do not play MP games at all, or at least not in anything like the same manner as most Dominions MP players do, and so they devs simply have no idea of the negative consequences their design changes will have on MP games, in particular the length of a typical game and the drop-out rate of these games. As all they see are how the changes look on paper, but have no practical MP experience to understand how the changes will work in practice)
    ///

    The Dominions community have been very patiently waiting for several years for a 4th version of Dominions, and even though many will praise this game no matter what, deep down they will know this is NOT the game they were waiting all these years for. And even though it's still hands down the second best MP TBS game there is, it can't even compare to the best MP TBS game, which is Dominions 3.
    ///

    Illwinter, next time try listening to the MP community BEFORE you make huge changes to core areas of the game because perhaps then you'll make only good changes that the community badly needed and have been asking for for years, and not liek you did with Dominions 4 which is mix a few good changes in with a dozen or more terrible ones that nobody asked for, were not required, certainly don't help, and only make the game worse for players.
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