Thursday, July 6, 2017

Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic - Initial Thoughts

About the Game (From the Steam Store Page)

Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic is the third entry in the award winning fantasy strategy series. This fan-favorite enhances the series' praised fusion of empire building, role-playing and tactical combat with the eerie Shadow World and battle with races never before seen, across new and diverse landscapes.

Combined with the option of creating a totally unique environment with the map generator and rewriting the history of this world through the enhanced campaign editor, you are ensured a constant stream of completely new game experiences.

Previous Playtime

 19 minutes

What Was I Thinking When I Bought This

Well, it was in a bundle with two other Age of Wonders games for 66% off, and my assessment, based on the store page, was that they were more like fantasy 4X games than they turned out to be.

Expectations and Prior Experience

Let me be real for a moment - I have been dreading this game. It is a standalone expansion for Age of Wonders 2 and that game made me miserable. I know, even now, that it is going to have a primitive, unpleasant UI and an excessive (for my tastes) focus on warfare. There's no escaping that.

My main (and perhaps only) hope is that the map design has gotten better from the base game, and I no longer have to worry about defending a huge front line from nuisance attacks by mostly-defeated enemies. If it solves the whack-a-mole problem, I can probably at least enjoy it as a strategic war game.

I'm not optimistic, though. I expect before these 20 hours are up that I'll wind up doing the same thing I did for Age of Wonders 2 and dick around with a hotseat game instead of facing AI opponents. That's not my plan, though. I really am going to give the campaign mode my best try. I'm just worried my best won't be good enough.

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