Age of Wonders: Planetfall – Revelations
Triumph Studios / Paradox Interactive
Having played all of the Age of Wonders games, I was really cautiously optimistic about how the latest game—called Age of Wonders: Planetfall—would fare. Luckily, it was a critical success. Its new science fiction setting was something that I felt probably had to happen because they’d been re-creating the same thing (high fantasy theme) over and over, and Triumph Studios probably thought that it was time for a change.
Age of Wonders: Planetfall – Revelations is the first DLC to be released since the base game’s debut just a few short months ago in August. A lot of the content really seems to fit naturally with the already abundant content contained in the main game. The new stuff comprises a new secret technology called Heritor, a new NPC faction, some new AI creatures native to the planetary environs, and whole slew of new weapons, effects, and mods that you can tinker around with to your heart’s delight. There are also new unit types that are based on the Heritor secret tech and they blend in seamlessly with the rest of the fascinating world-building aesthetics and lore of Planetfall.
The backstory of the new DLC has to do with a faction of ancient entities that have been entombed in a slumber for a long, long time. The present-day leaders of the Heritor secret tech have been tasked with enabling their rather crusty masters to rise once again and rule the galaxy. Not surprisingly, they all have a distinctly ancient Egyptian vibe going on, but if you’re thinking that they’re just re-skinned Necrons (from Warhammer 40K), you’d be dead (no pun intended) wrong.
You see, the purveyors of Heritor secret tech can utilize Essence attacks which are somewhat similar to psionic abilities. They drain their enemy’s life forces and then transmute this energy into Essence points which they can then use for such things as weapon augments, shield buffs, and rejuvenation of their own life forces, among other things.
This whole leech-like theme is pretty darn cool and does enough to distinguish itself from the other psionic-like secret techs already in place, and it all feel fresh and unique. For instance, some of the strategic ops enable you to haunt entire enemy settlements in order to frighten them into submission. You can even unleash a super-weapon upon the hapless citizens of your enemies which degrade them until they transform into your undead slaves.
Meanwhile, on the tactical ops side of things, there are some abilities that allow you to vampirically suck the life force out of foes and turn them into puppets that you can control. Think of them as vampires with the powers of necromancers and the aesthetics of futuristic mummies.
The aforementioned NPC faction is even more twisted. They are essentially the entities that were deemed unworthy to be entombed with the “superior” mummy guys. Hence, they’ve become highly malevolent entities that have a more direct approach at dispatching their enemies, including eating their brains and innards. They also have a really horrid-looking appearance and let’s just say that their abilities are fitting for their grotesque looks. Fun stuff.
As cool as this all sounds, one of the even more exciting new additions (at least for me) is the inclusion of Anomalous sites that are randomly scattered throughout the maps. These ancient sites offer some really interesting role-playing opportunities because they allow your heroes to go on “pick your adventure” quests that are always intriguing to see unfold.
For instance, one of my heroes ran across some sort of ancient tomb buried underneath the sands. After I made him dig at it for a few turns, he discovered that the tomb was still relatively intact. It had some ghostly shadows flitting about on its walls, which was pretty creepy. He had a choice—should he run through the tomb, thereby disturbing the tomb’s slumbering inhabitants, or, should he just offer the phantoms some of his valuables in order to honor them in their afterlife? This system kind of reminds me of the archaeological dig sites introduced in Paradox’s recent Stellaris: Ancient Relics Story Pack.
All told, the Age of Wonders: Planetfall – Revelations DLC is a no-brainer if you’re a fan of the base game. It adds some new goodies that fit right into what has already been established and also represents a deepening of the game’s superb world-building. I definitely recommend trying Revelations out.
Age of Wonders: Planetfall – Revelations has some pretty nice looking graphics that make its science fiction-based gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:
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