Analysis of Age of Wonders: Planetfall, a fun planetary conquest … turn by turn

Age of Wonders
Written by Kamran Haider

Explore, expand your domains and go to war in the new turn-based strategy game from Paradox, a science fiction title that captures with its exciting action and interesting plot background. In the Age of Wonders: Planetfall analysis we talk about a game that will make you enjoy big in the summer months.

You wait expectantly after a hedge, with the weapon ready, ready for a fight that promises to be devastating. And in front of you a delirious futuristic version of the Amazons … on the back of dinosaurs! Fierce warriors that load with force, that go with everything! using biological weapons capable of infecting and exterminating all your units. It is chaos; an exciting war against the most diverse armies that again and again forces you to change the way you proceed. It is one of the virtues of Age of Wonders: Planetfall, the new episode of this veteran series of turn-based strategy that abandons fantasy to enter the big door in science fiction. And the best thing is that these battles in the purest XCOM style they are only part of everything that the new work of Triumph Studios and Paradox offers because beyond the war there is also a lot of management; dozens of technologies to investigate, colonies to build and troops to train.

The reason why it costs a lot not to resort to the typical ” one more shift and I finish ” that you extend until the wee hours of the morning to describe the exciting strategic action of this new chapter of the Age of Wonders saga. Once you start the game you no longer think of anything other than the new weapons that you can investigate, the location of your next great colony, or the drastic measures you will take to defeat an opponent that does not stop bothering you. Because yes, there are atomic bombs and other weapons of mass destruction that help make games even more exciting. Are you not worth the good words? Well here you have the final judgment; enjoy it. And you continue and continue to take turns while discovering new ways to end your rivals, to expand your empire by relating to other factions that you don’t necessarily have to annihilate to achieve victory … although in the end, it is a war that takes center stage.

And suddenly … the war

Unlike other 4X strategy videogames, Age of Wonders: Planetfall presents an interesting story mode that is the perfect excuse to learn to lead the six leading factions. The essence is the same for everyone, yes, but there are subtle differences that in one way or another force you to adopt very different combat tactics. The Kirk, for example, are insects that quickly pounce on rivals vomiting acid, in the style of the Zerg in the StarCraft series, while the Vanguard humans rely on the coversand his firearms to exterminate anyone who gets in his way. There are armies capable of taking control of the enemies, of moving them from here to there with incredible technology, or those who envisage and destroy everything in their path, taking even the toppings ahead. Nothing is safe in the new Paradox! And I like that.

The fights in Planetfall are fun and exciting because they allow you to be creative when dueling with rival armies. The number matters, of course, but here the difference makes you. Even in disadvantaged situations, you can be victorious if you play your cards well. What options do you have? At the outset, you can customize each and every one of your combat units by modifying the type of ammunition, its defensive equipment, the range of attack, the accuracy … or you can even equip them with a propeller backpack that allows them to move around the battlefield at high speed. As you investigate new technologies, your army’s customization options will grow, but the thing does not end there because you will also have access to call special operations, which are very limited strategic actions that can make the difference between success and failure.4X strategy

Unlike other 4X strategy videogames, Age of Wonders: Planetfall presents an interesting story mode

They act similarly to magic in traditional Age of Wonders, that is, once the first turn is over you can use these special operations to bombard the enemies, send troops in aid of the wounded, create protective shields, invoke allies of great power or even burn the rivals with flares and orbital attacks. There is a great variety of these war tactics; an ace under the sleeve limited in uses but essential to overcome the most difficult confrontations. Not only that. Also on the strategic map, you can use these special measures to, for example, spy on enemies; discover hidden areas of the map or even cause revolts in the colonies of rival armies. If you can accuse others of committing atrocities to justify war … by being a lie!

In the line of the Civilization series, when managing your empire in Planetfall you will have to take into account resources such as productivity, science, energy or food to make each and every one of your colonies prosper without risk of suffering riots or hit of State. With the passing of the shifts the options will increase, you will have to choose !, allowing you to specialize your cities in the production of a specific resource, or improve them to be more effective by training a specific type of soldier, like all those equipped with serial modifications. Because that is another. If I said before that you can customize the troops, the good news is that you can create a template that will give you immediate access to soldiers with these serial improvements. This saves you time, and it shows, because the pace of the action is quite agile with fast shifts that help keep the action interesting from beginning to end.

With lots of side quests to face during the course of the game, it will be rare when you see yourself taking turns doing nothing, waiting, looking for that moment to deal the final blow. Time and again the independent factions will ask for your help, which will allow you to gain confidence with some armies that you can end up joining your empire if you take good advantage of diplomacy. In this sense, the options fall somewhat short compared to other video games of the style; you can establish alliances, non-aggression pacts or open borders to explore the lands of neighboring nations, but in the long run you will see that although there are several victory conditions, it is war that ends up imposing itself; it is the battles that have the greatest role in Age of Wonders: Planetfall.Planetfall

The fights at Planetfall are fun and exciting because they allow you to be creative.

More than half of the technologies you investigate are directly related to the war, which obviously limits the strategic options on the game board. Even to achieve the scientific victory you must fight with nails and teeth because it is about investigating and producing the final judgment device, which once you have built you will have to protect with tenacity for several turns. As I say, everything is war, and it’s a shame, because although the fighting is exciting and also spectacular, there will come a point where you end up choosing to resolve them automatically, without fighting directly, since they lack more variety; combat situations that force you to change the way you proceed. There are areas with environmental hazards such as fire, yes, and of course the story changes a lot depending on the army you fight against, but that bit of extra variety is missing to reach the level seen in the work of Firaxis Games. Both in management and in turn fighting.

The artificial intelligence of the enemies is surprising during the battles, they know where to strike to do more damage, but on the strategic map, they are somewhat more clumsy. Although the threat of the final judgment is in the making in most cases it is difficult for them to react on time, showing a passive excess attitude. It is true that when proposing agreements they are intelligent and follow an acceptable logic, they do not show crazy attitude changes (now the war! Now sign the peace!), But they lack some more initiative to put us in serious trouble. Luckily there we have the multiplayer to compete against other players, which is where you really take advantage of all the tactical options of the game.

It intelligently combines XCOM’s own fighting with the strategy and management of the Civilization saga.

That the map is divided into provinces also contributes to creating interesting territorial disputes that will lead us to negotiate with other nations, or independent factions, for the control of lands with important strategic advantages. It is to gain the trust of others, to please them with missions, to offer them gifts or to directly use diplomatic points to sweeten their ears. Would you rather go straight to the point? Skip the rules of courtesy, build your buildings over disputed territory and see how much fun when they declare war on you. So exciting can be the action of Planetfall, a video game that also has a fantastic plot background. It’s not that the story is a genius, it’s interesting and little else, but you can tell that the Triumph Studios team has had a great time giving life to the civilizations we control.

Even based on clichés, it is hard to resist the charms of a swarm of insects that crave freedom, or those cyborgs that are looking for fresh meat to continue expanding their power and reach a new evolutionary state. Each nation has enough distinctive features so that you want to explore its tactical advantages in the more than 10 missions of history mode, with dozens of hours of play ahead. If this knows you little, you can also play scenarios or dedicate yourself to multiplayer; without forgetting, of course, support for PC mods, which will obviously give us the opportunity to expand the gaming experience with countless content created by the fans themselves. In this sense, it highlights the great work done in the artistic, with scenarios of great beauty that surprise by its colorful and variety of environments.

The design of the armies is also striking yet not being especially original. The battles? They look frankly good, with scenarios that will suffer the inclemency of combat, which will allow us to see how the coverages and other elements of the environment jump through the air before the rain of explosives. Although sometimes the action can suffer from some slowdowns, and at the moment there are certain errors that hinder the game somewhat, in general, Planetfall works like a charm on both PCs and consoles. Do you like the strategy? Then you have few excuses for not getting this Paradox video game, which intelligently combines the XCOM fighting with the strategy and management of the Civilization saga. A great cocktail!

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With science fiction as a backdrop, Age of Wonders: Planetfall is a great turn-based strategy game that successfully combines empire management with XCOM-style turn-based fighting. Its action is exciting, the variety of armies is commendable, and also includes an interesting story mode to deepen its plot background. With the option to mold and customize the armies to your liking, once you start the game you will deceive yourself by repeating the now mythical “one more turn and I finish”. There is no better compliment than that.

  • Six features with which it is very fun to play and fight
  • Great balance between turn-based fighting and empire management
  • Extensive customization options for heroes and combat units
  • The fighting can end up being somewhat repetitive
  • Diplomacy falls short of options compared to other games

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Kamran Haider

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