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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Age of Wonders 4: The fantasy strategy series ends an inglorious chapter

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Dragons, monsters and magic at last: Age of Wonders 4 marks the return of one of the oldest turn-based strategy series to its traditional setting. In the luggage: old strengths and new ideas.

Adé science fiction, welcome back fantasy: With Age of Wonders 4, the popular turn-based strategy series returns to its original genre. The freshly announced fourth part will soon celebrate its release: 2 May 2023 is given as the date in the first trailer above.

Fans had to wait nine years for the announcement; that’s how long it’s been since Part 3 appeared. In the meantime, the series took a detour into the science fiction genre with Age of Wonders: Planetfall!

The greatest innovations of Age of Wonders 4

Developer Triumph Studios promises that part 4 will offer more variety and long-term fun – by borrowing a few tricks from publisher Paradox Interactive’s games. For example, there are now numerous small story events in the course of the game that occur dynamically and present you with decisions (hello, Crusader Kings 3!). In this way, apart from the campaign story, which revolves around ancient awakened gods, you experience your very own plot, complete with later consequences.

This fits in wonderfully with innovation number two: For the first time in the series’ history, you can create your own faction and main hero completely free of any race requirements. A corresponding editor allows you to combine body shapes, social characteristics and arcane powers. According to the announcement, this makes a variety of empires possible (hello, Stellaris!), “from cannibal halfling clans to mystical moon elves”.

All of this is meant to make you feel like you have your own personal experience in the game, and indicates that Triumph Studios wants to increase the role-playing portion of the turn-based strategy game. Your decisions are to have an impact – and the replay value is to be greatly increased compared to the predecessors.

The maps in Age of Wonders 4 are procedurally generated

  and should thus offer infinite supply – you can set the parameters yourself when starting a new game, see Civilization. There is also talk of mod support.

You’d rather wait? Just in case, we’ve put together a gallery of high-resolution 4K screenshots of Age of Wonders 4 for you to click through:

This is what else AoW4 has to offer

In terms of gameplay, Age of Wonders 4 is also divided into two spheres: The world map focuses on city management and the movement of your hero figures, which also represent armies of fantasy creatures. With them, you collect resources or fight the warriors of AI opponents and other players.

When two armies meet, it comes to tactically challenging battles on separate hex maps. This can also involve the siege of cities, but in any case your heroes support the units with spells. The main characters are all powerful mages whose spells also have an effect on the global view or influence the appearance and abilities of the soldiers.

Age of Wonders will be released on 2 May 2023 simultaneously for PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.

Age: 31 Origin: Sweden Hobbies: gaming, football, skiing Profession: Online editor, entertainer


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