Those longing for another brand-new 4X strategy game can have a reason to be excited: it is the release of Age of Wonders: Planetfall by Triumph Studios and Paradox Interactive. This time we are offered a futuristic setting and sci-fi atmosphere instead of traditional fantasy. The main aim is to expand the empire by discovering other worlds, defeating enemies, and disposing of any potential dangers. What is more, you will need to combine all of the above with the development of new technologies and taking care of how happy your citizens are.
What is 4X?
Let’s start with the term to denote the genre itself, which goes back as far as the 1990s. 4X stands for its key components: eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate.
In most 4X games, the general picture is usually the focus of any battle, and you get as much as reading battle reports on results. In the Age of Wonders: Planetfall, however, the control over the units can be taken by a player, who will be in charge of the battle’s outcome instead of simply being a witness. That is possible due to the turn-based tactical gameplay, characteristic of Planetfall.
If lengthy gameplay doesn’t ward off, be sure that you’ve made the right choice, as a single campaign mission in Planetfall can take up as much time as a few hours, even without considering each brief minor battle in the tactical battle mode. A campaign mode is only one of the choices, along with a local or online multiplayer mode, or a custom mission one.
The gameplay is nothing too special and includes well familiar fighting with enemies, resource collection, and expansion of your empire. You can always find your specific way of playing it due to various systems of customization and upgrading of your commanders.
Although the Age of Wonders: Planetfall revolutionized neither of its two genres, 4X and strategy, at the same time, it combines the best features of both in the best and the most productive way. Thus, a player has an opportunity to appreciate the benefits of each of those.
You won’t have any trouble with the gameplay of Planetfall if you have considerable experience of gaming in a similar genre. Still, it may be somehow more difficult for beginners or those who are new to console gaming. To fully understand the main principles, a player may need several attempts.
Fortunately, you can always enable different hints and use the system to walk you through the campaign. But of course, mastering Planetfall itself can be much more time-consuming than just unpacking the basics.
Don’t expect much from the visual component of the Age of Wonders: Planetfall, as it’s nothing too special. However, it doesn’t spoil the overall impression either, which is more than enough for this kind of genre. What is more, the tactical battle mode offers a better, more detailed image of units. Another bonus is that you can also customize the appearance of each of your commanders.
Fans of 4X games can be sure to get many hours of quality time and content with the Age of Wonders: Planetfall. A unique experience with a lengthy campaign or customized single-player skirmishes or local and online multiplayer is guaranteed.
You should give Age of Wonders: Planetfall a go if you enjoy sci-fi tactical strategies in futuristic settings or 4X games packed with unusual creatures and settings.
• Tactical combat combines perfectly with building an empire.
• Replay value is quite high due to the options of customization and various game modes.
• Availability of two multiplayer modes, online and hot-seat one, is an advantage.
• User interface is not very convenient.
• Gameplay can be too long.
• Quite average A.I.