Age of Wonders: Planetfall

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Age of Wonders: Planetfall
Age of Wonders Planetfall cover art.jpg
Developer(s)Triumph Studios
Publisher(s)Paradox Interactive
Designer(s)Benny Arents
Programmer(s)Tom Birds
SeriesAge of Wonders
Platform(s)
ReleaseAugust 6, 2019
Genre(s)4X, turn-based strategy
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Age of Wonders: Planetfall is a 4X turn-based strategy video game developed by Triumph Studios and published by Paradox Interactive. The game is the fifth installment in the Age of Wonders series and features a sci-fi setting. It released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in August 2019.

Premise[edit]

An unknown cataclysm brought the demise of Star Union, an intergalactic human government. Factions rise and battle for dominance as they carve a new future for humanity, and in the process, unwind the cosmic mystery behind the Union's collapse.

Gameplay[edit]

The game features six different factions at launch, with each having different units and gameplay. For instance, the Amazon is an all-female human faction who uses dinosaurs as their mounts and weapons, while the Kir’ko is a group of insectoid species which uses melee as their main form of offense. The player assumes control of a commander of one of the factions: a customizable leader figure that can explore the planet, engage in diplomacy, endorse covert operations and spying activities, and declare war. The world's map, which is procedurally generated,[1] is broken down into different sectors. Each sector has two different biomes, which can be exploited for production, food, research, and energy. These expectations can be further boosted by placing landmarks structures in a biome.[2] As the players expand, they will control more cities, each of them can be managed separately.[3] Players can scavenge resources in the map for research and invade hostile camps to seize their technology. In the map, players will encounter neutral factions, who can ally with the players' faction and provide additional combat support. The game introduces the "Doomsday tech", which is a skill tree that ultimately unlock a weapon of mass destruction.[4] The player can also build navy fleets and airforce to further strength their faction's military power.

The turn-based ground combat uses a top-down perspective. The player controls different military units and troops by guiding their position in the warzone and instructing them to take cover, open fire, and use tactics such as overwatch. In a turn, each unit can perform three actions. Players can "stagger" an enemy, which disrupts their special attacks and causes them to lose one action point. A new mechanic named grazing was introduced, in which missed shots will land half damage. Military units can be upgraded with different mods and equipment in order to increase their combat efficiency.[5]

Development[edit]

The game was developed by Triumph Studios and published by Paradox Interactive, which acquired the studio in 2017.[6] Development of the game begun in mid 2015.[7] It abandoned the fantasy setting of the Age of Wonders series for a sci-fi setting as the team wanted to experiment with new themes and ideas, having worked only on fantasy games since the first Age of Wonders title.[8] The expanded diplomacy was inspired by Paradox Development Studios' grand strategy games. Warzones were made more complex as they were more vertical and destructible when compared with Age of Wonders III.[5] The team evaluated the feedback of Age of Wonders III and made various improvements, such as increasing the economic system's complexity by offering players more gameplay choices. The team also tried to make each faction more unique by giving them different gameplay advantages and features. Triumph Studios' initially found creating the game's setting a challenge until they settled on the concept of Star Union, which tied all factions and units together as it was their shared origin. Star Wars, Fallout, and Hyperion were the team's inspirations when creating the game's lore.[9]

The game was announced on May 19, 2018 by Paradox Interactive.[10] The game released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on August 6, 2019. Players could also purchase the Deluxe Edition, which includes several new cosmetics, and the Premium Edition, which includes access to three post-release expansion packs.[11] The first of which, Revelations, was released on November 19, 2019.[12]

Reception[edit]

The game received generally positive reviews according to review aggregator Metacritic.[13]

Accolades[edit]

The game was nominated for "PC Game of the Year" at the 2019 Golden Joystick Awards,[14] for "Best Strategy Game" at The Game Awards 2019,[15] and for "Game, Strategy" at the NAVGTR Awards.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Donnelly, Joe (May 30, 2018). "Age of Wonders: Planetfall steers the strategy series in an exciting direction". PC Gamer. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  2. ^ Scott-Jones, Richard (February 23, 2019). "Age of Wonders is mining new opportunities with Planetfall's shift to science fiction". PCGamesN. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  3. ^ Peel, Jeremy (May 20, 2018). "Age of Wonders: Planetfall brings Fallout-style sci-fi history to 4X". PCGamesN. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  4. ^ Hafer, T.J. (February 22, 2019). "Age of Wonders: Planetfall preview: Sci-Fi 4X With XCOM-like Tactical Battles". IGN. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Brown, Fraser (May 25, 2018). "Age of Wonders: Planetfall makes a great case for leaving fantasy behind". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  6. ^ Grubb, Jeff (June 30, 2017). "Paradox Interactive acquires Age of Wonders dev Triumph Studios". VentureBeat. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  7. ^ Donnelly, Joe (May 19, 2018). "Age of Wonders: Planetfall goes sci-fi, due 2019". PC Gamer. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  8. ^ Kent, Emma (February 20, 2019). "Age of Wonders: Planetfall devs talk snappy tactical battles and space fish". Eurogamer. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  9. ^ Scott-Jones, Richard (February 25, 2019). "How Age of Wonders: Planetfall is embracing deeper 4X gameplay, broader unit diversity, and penguins". PCGamesN. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  10. ^ Vasquez, Suriel (May 19, 2018). "Age Of Wonders: Planetfall Brings The Series To The World Of Sci-Fi". Game Informer. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  11. ^ Kent, Emma (February 19, 2019). "Looks like Age of Wonders: Planetfall releases in August". Eurogamer. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  12. ^ Marzano, Anthony (September 10, 2019). "First Age of Wonders: Planetfall DLC will bring ancient beings back to life". Destructoid. Retrieved November 11, 2019.
  13. ^ "Age of Wonders: Planetfall review for PC". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 11, 2019.
  14. ^ "Golden Joystick Awards 2019". GamesRadar+. Archived from the original on September 28, 2019. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  15. ^ Winslow, Jeremy (November 19, 2019). "The Game Awards 2019 Nominees Full List". GameSpot. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  16. ^ "2019 Nominees". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. January 13, 2020. Retrieved January 25, 2020.

External links[edit]