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Age of Wonders 3: Pre-Alpha Gameplay Demo Footage

By on March 27th, 2013 8:18 am

Age of Wonders 3 | Fantasy turn-based 4X strategy game

Triumph Studios released a pre-alpha gameplay video of their new fantasy turn-based 4X strategy game Age of Wonders 3 on the scope of GDC (Game Developers Conference).

Looks wonderful. But, wait a minute… if I didn’t know what game this was my best guess would be that a new Heroes of Might & Magic game was in the works :) The book separators, the spell book itself, the loot, the mines, the complete look and feel actually. Of course, this isn’t so surprising though, as both HoMM and AoW series were heavily influenced by Steve Barcia’s Master of Magic.

This pre-alpha demo looks very clean and combat looks awesome, and sounds promising gameplay-wise too. I look forward to get more information on this one as soon as possible. The plan is to have a preview up as soon as Triumph Studios releases preview builds, and as soon as Keith Turner, our fantasy strategy Hero, decides so.

Age of Wonders 3 should come out for the PC in the Autumn of 2013. The trailer suggests that the game will be released on Steam but also in DRM-free form on GOG.

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  1. Towerbooks3192 says:

    Autumn? When is autumn? I know winter is on its way here.

    Wow! a lot of games that I am looking forward to. I mean we have Fallen Enchantress Legendary Heroes, Eador: Masters of the Broken world and now this? wohoo!!

    • Adam Solo says:

      You’re right. And, you know, I thought about that. The devs should avoid using the Autumn/Fall/Winter tags for release dates because of Hemisphere differences. Quarters or months are always the best options.

    • Keith Turner says:

      It’s going to be a great year for strategy game fans, no doubt about it.

      I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Triumph Studios after all this time, but I’m quite impressed with what they are showing in this pre-alpha footage. There are still tons of things not shown in this video, but if the details I saw in the tactical combat are any indication, I feel they are going in the right direction.

      I’m certainly looking forward to spending some time with this game in the future.

      • Towerbooks3192 says:

        I have to say that I am crossing my fingers triumph will ‘triumph’ this time since AoE always has a special place in my heart. I love Master of Magic, Heroes of Might and Magic 3 and the newer Fallen Enchantress and Eador but there is something that I really wish were in those games that I saw in past Age of Wonders.

        I love the fact that a single outpost could become a huge city and was disappointed that it wasn’t in fallen enchantress.

        Anyway I am looking forward to a lot of things this year (especially Europa Universalis 4 and Crusader Kings 2 Old god expansion). Its a great year for strategy games.

        Crossing my fingers Uni wont be so cruel as I could only sneak a few minutes of playing Monster hunter on my 3ds and Persona 4/atelier totori on my vita in between bus rides and lectures. I do miss my PC and I am already falling in love with FE legendary heroes when I spent 30 minutes on it just now.

    • salvo says:

      there are two other fantasy strategy games to add to the list, sovereignity by slitherine and worlds of magic by wastelands. The first was announced last year and then planned to be released some time this year though there has been little progress on the forum by now. The second has been recently announced but there is a lot more forum activity by the developers.
      Btw, I still hope for illwinter making a dominions sequel one day :-)

      • Towerbooks3192 says:

        For the love of God!! seriously? I know slitherine is good in the war games department but I am not sure about their fantasy one.

        Well cross my fingers Illwinter would get the good parts of Dominions 3 and Conquest of Elysium 3 and release a polished game.

        and to all Fantasy lovers out there. Dominions 3 for $7.95 at Gamersgate the time I posted it.

      • Keith Turner says:

        Thanks for letting us know about these. Sovereignty looks like it is headed for Q2 2013, but I have found very little information about it other than what they list on the developer’s page. A quick list of some features and a few art pieces mainly. I’m interested to find out more.

        Worlds of Magic looks interesting. It looks like we will be getting more info about it in the near future. It appears they are going for an even stronger MoM vibe than other 4x fantasy games, but time will tell.

  2. Benji says:

    I am so incredibly looking forward to this game! I played the first two a lot and they were awesome. One of those games that somehow ‘clicked’, even though the bullet-point features weren’t that out of the ordinary.

  3. TimmY says:

    Looking good. I was a bit disappointed about the short gameplay video of M&M X but this is nice.

    The first two AoW games have great music&atmosphere.

  4. zigzag says:

    Anyone else get a Civ V vibe from the UI? (Not that that’s a bad thing in my opinion.)

    • Adam Solo says:

      Totally. The UI layout reminded me of Civ5 instantly. But also the clouds (fog of war), and some of the tiles to some extent.

      A Civ5 + HoMM vibe cannot be a bad thing.

      I was blown away by the combat perspective. Very pretty. But, could it be tiresome on the long run with so much rotation and zooming going on?

  5. DevildogFF says:

    Oh dear god. What a year to be having my first child. I love him to death and I can’t wait for him to be here, but I cannot remember a better year for strategy gamers.

    The line up of quality games is absurd. Between Stardrive and Legendary Heroes, I barely have time for Bioshock or Starcraft…and it only appears to be getting worse.

    What a time for our chosen hobby. The quality of games is just absurd.

  6. Eno37 says:

    Warlock Master of the Arcane is homm+Civ5 (homm 1-4 mind you; not the ubisoft garbage)..this one has hexes but also stacked units so I dont think the civ5 connection applies. What really please me was the little damage pop ups..they implied there was really a working system in there under the pretty pictures. I didnt like the age of wonders series..mostly due to the graphics..but this one looks really good and I’m exicted about the wizard/race proffesion system.

    • Adam Solo says:

      You know, I feel that I should have given Warlock: Master of the Arcane a try already. I didn’t because of lack of time and other games, but being a HoMM+Civ5 hybrid as you say, it surely sounds promising. I understand that some people say it’s more light on the strategic side in favor of tactical combat. What’s your opinion?

      • killias2 says:

        I’m not OP, but I have my initial thoughts on the game here:

        Choice quote: “Warlock steps into this timeline by marrying the two divergent trends in 4x gaming. From Civ 5, it takes the interface, the combat system, and the general flow and look of the game. From Master of Magic, it takes additional races (undead and monsters are added to humans), portals to other worlds, RPG elements, and the general fantasy setting. However, despite the prevalence of borrowing, Warlock ends up feeling rather singular. The game comes across as far more about combat and exploration than, say, Civ 5, and less about RPG elements and tactical combat than Master of Magic and its ilk.

        This all boils down to an interesting truth about Warlock: it’s basically a 4x-lite game. For all the borrowed elements from deep, long, ambitious games, Warlock just isn’t meant to be played with that sort of scale or attitude. This is a game where you’ll spend far more time fighting than developing or exploring. In fact, I’d argue that Warlock -almost- feels like a blown up 4x version of a game like Master of Monsters or Dark Wizard or even Advance Wars at times. The focus on combat is really this strong. From the first turn until the last, you’ll be controlling a significant (and growing) military, and all the incentives are placed on continual warfare. There are non-military ways to win the game, but even this depend on a robust military presence. Good luck getting the resources necessary to defeat a God or take all the Holy Lands without having the strongest military in the game. ”

        I haven’t really played it lately, so it’s possible it has changed some. My impression of it was really, as I said, that it was a 4x-lite game, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

  7. Eno says:

    Warlock is a great game..very broad with lots of great ideas but very shallow exploration of those ideas. If it came out for the tablet they’d call it game of the year. It got a lot of flack for being too much like Civ5 and for having a weak AI. The AI isnt going to beat a human but does knows how to play the game, unlike the civ5 AI for most of its existence. I personally play it for its RP/fantasy aspects and find that the AI gives me a good game and more importantly a good story. I’ve never played it Multiplayer but I imagine it would be a fantastic multiplayer game. The Armageddon DLC solves the majority of the not enough of a challenge complaints. I’d call it a tragety of the year, as Paradox isnt signaling any more development money for the indi-russian developers. There are a lot of comcepts in the game (artifacts, heroes, terraforming, alternate dimensions) that are solid but very much could benefit from addon packs that add depth and variety.

    • Adam Solo says:

      Thanks a lot for your feedback. I was intrigued by Warlock, and your input gives me a good idea on what to expect. Too bad what you say about not more content planned, at least for now. It could be a good excuse to take the train and perhaps even write something about it. But, at this point in time … I don’t know if we can include it in the editorial. I mean, we could, it makes sense, but there are much more games to cover now, and the workforce is small :)

      • Eno says:

        It might make a case study contrasting the “old school” publisher-based development system for games vs. this new kick starter age. But being left on the vine as it could prob find a more relevant candidate. Shame too..paradox doesnt know whats it got rotting away in their backyard. Makes one want to start a reality show called “flip this software”.

  8. JohnR says:

    HOMM? No way! I tried the HOMM demo six months ago and thought it was nothing like AoW. I hated the boring and grindy attrition-based combat system of HOMM. To be fair though, there are areas where they probably have similarities.

    I agree with Eno about Warlock being an excellent game, though I still like Aow better. It’s funny though with Warlock. I played it for about 3-4 weeks and mostly liked it, but have not felt moved to return to it, even with the numerous DLC’s.

    I dislike this “new kickstarter age” of open betas. I don’t want to play a half-baked game, nor do I want to pay for a game twice (which is essentially what you’re doing when you back a Kickstarter project).

    I would add though that AoW3, StarDrive, and Distant Worlds: Shadows are the only games I can think of being released this year that may draw me away from my current mmo infatuation. ;)

    • Adam Solo says:

      I meant the previous Heroes of Might & Magic installments. Particularly 1-3, which where the ones I played heavily. I didn’t play the last one, if that’s the one you’re referring to.

    • Keith Turner says:

      I had actually pre-ordered Heroes VI and cancelled during the beta period. It just lacked the magic for me that the series once had. Reading through the fansite forums for the Heroes series, it appears that there were a lot of issues going on behind the scenes.

      I’ve not followed the game’s development, but I do know that Steam shows an upcoming standalone expansion in the works that will add back one of the factions. I had thought Ubisoft was going to give up on the game, but it seems they may value the franchise more than I thought. I’m not super excited about it, but I’m curious. Heroes II and III ate years of my life between single player and hot seat. Also, can’t go wrong with the music in that series.

      • Towerbooks3192 says:

        Too bad they sell us maps and factions that should have been included in the game in the first place
        I would have been happier if they only upgraded the mechanics and just give us thr HD/upgraded sprites of lets say HoMM 2. The most unfortunate thing is the dynasty system revolves around being online and you wont be able to use it if you play offline.

        I abandoned the game because of the lack of a random map generator. I only bought it because it was bundled with HoMM 5 and that other MnM game for $30.

  9. thrangar says:

    Was it just me or did the camera seam abit overly sensitive?

    • t1it says:

      I can actually wait for this for years, I just wanted to know the game exists :P

      And it can’t fail, it’s Triumph studios. People hating on AoW (not seen in this site) are going to suddenly “vanish” back to the rotten woods they came from. Funny they’re often fanboys off the EXTREMELY overrated HoMM series.

  10. Eno37 says:

    HoMM has been crap since New World stepped down and Ubisoft took over. Heroes 4 was IMHO the best and the last New World made. Same goes for the Might and Magic Series btw. 4 holds up very nicely for a 10yo old game and its graphics are significantly better than Fallen Enchantress or AOW 1-2. Another game that belongs on “Flip this software: The REality Show”. A little spit and polish on the UI, a multiplayer matching lobby and you have a game that could easily compete with anything offered today.

  11. vmxaesa says:

    I am a massive fan of AoW and Homm, so good to hear Triumph is still cooking.

  12. Thiosk says:

    This looks to be substantially more fun than Fallen Enchantress.

    We’ll see how it pans out. I just can’t seem to get into FE…

  13. Mark says:

    I spent more hours than I care to admit playing Age of Wonders Shadow Magic (AOWSM). I cant tell you how happy I am to hear that they’re continuing the franchise with #3.

    AOWSM was the closest that anyone ever came to re-creating the amazing DOS game Master of Magic (MOM). Still not as good mind you, but close. I wonder if AOW #3 will be the one to finally eclipse MOM as the best tactical fantasy game every made? Thanks for the news Adam.

  14. asadex says:

    i will buy this game mostly for the great tactical battle mode that remembers me a real tbs boardgame (not like the crap of elemental and all the initiative-based gameplay ) really epic!

    • AstralWanderer says:

      AOW’s tactical combat was its strong point – the downside being the relatively small number of units involved. Any indication of whether AOW3 will scale up on that? (e.g. by allowing units to be combined into larger groups).
      And a big cheer for a GOG release – no PITA DRM. :) Just hope they include PDF copies of their (excellent) manuals this time round.

  15. Ace of the Stars says:

    I spent so many hours on Shadow Magic… Guess I will “waste” many more on this one. Anyone know when we can pre-order the game? Of course I’ll wait for a few previews, hands-on, alpha reviews and so on before I actually buy it. :)

  16. Gary says:

    I’ve been looking forward to Age of Wonders 3 since it’s announcement :)

  17. Serge says:

    HOMM lineage is not of MoM. It originate from first King’s Bounty, all it’s mechanics from there. I don’t see any noticeable influence in HOMM from MoM, it’s other way IMHO – MoM was influenced by King’s Bounty too.

  18. Visvald says:

    Until the world is full of fools
    They’ll never dry, our money pools…

    C’mon, throw it into recycle bin. Corridor maps with curly clouds… Don’t make me laugh. The second game in series was already worse than the first one. They should better stay pumping the money out of their Overlords.

    If you want some strategy then play Dominions 3. It has no curly clouds and dynamic camera though… Alas :)

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