It’s scary to think, but five years have passed since the release of Age of Wonders III. During this time, we received several parts of Civilization, a carload of games from the Total War series, and so on and so forth.
Age of Wonders: Planetfall is a kind of spin-off and at startup, it surprises, and not in the most positive way. Despite statements about the Creator Engine upgrade, the new game not only graphically does not differ much from the prequel, but in some aspects, it looks even worse. Most of all went to models of heroes who flaunt blurry textures, however, maps look no better. Especially tactical, in which the background can simply disappear, forcing the player to admire the trees hanging in the air.
It is also perplexing that at the start of the ” Planet Fall ” very much gives Civilization: Beyond Earth. As in the work of Sid Meyer, the game session begins with the landing of the spacecraft on the surface of the planet. The only difference is that Firaxis offered only one planet with several customizable parameters, while Triumph has several types of planets with flexible zone settings in stock.
Due to the change of setting, AoW began to accelerate longer, and the similarity at certain points with Beyond Earth even frightens off. But you need to endure and get comfortable, after which Planetfall rises to the usual tracks and begins to unfold.
The player is presented with a number of modes. As part of the story campaign, a pack of missions for several races is available. In Planetfall revealed to us the time period after the collapse of the Star of the Union. Because of the apocalypse, the once-powerful cosmic power fell to pieces. Taking control of one of the factions, we have to solve the pressing problems facing them.
More familiar scenario mode. You can choose a hero, determine the location parameters and victory conditions and immediately plunge into the thick of things. This is where the first feature is revealed. The class system went to landfill. Now we can independently choose a factional hero and customize it to our liking. I personally chose local Russians who turned out to be space gnomes. They look pretty hilarious: the tubes of the masks are stylized as beards, you can install body-suits on the suits in the spirit of a post-apocalyptic west coast custom, put on a beret or a cap of a boyar and so on.
Graphics and Features
Of interesting races, there are also constructs (a variation of the undead in the form of half-humans, half-machines), insects-psionics ker’ko, bioengineers-amazons, and so on.
But the main thing is not new races, but the possibility of flexible adjustment of the fraction. Yes, several basic archetypes are available to us, but no one bothers to pick a hero to taste by choosing certain perks.
A set of vices is also available. In exchange for the negative effect, we get another skill point. In my case, it was the starting discontent of the population with the conditions of the dictatorship.
Having started the game, Planetfall gets on the usual track. The planet is divided into small sectors consisting of hexes, on each of which you can build a city. As the population grows, we are allowed to join nearby regions. If the population is insufficient, then an outpost can be built in place of the sector, thereby staking out a place for itself.
Additional cities can be built only if there is a free sector between the two settlements. The city can be assigned specialization: energy, science, agriculture, and industry
The zones themselves are of different types. For example, green is best to build agricultural facilities. At the same time, a unique structure may be located in the sector. For example, a teleport, allowing you to move to another part of the map.
However, there are also negative areas: radiation zones, an ion storm, and so on. If you connect such a sector to the city, you can get a fine and provoke a riot, so it’s best to send an army there that will launch the clean-up project.
It is important that there are resources. For example, the energy that is spent on unit production and so on. And the primary resource is local diplomacy points. We can not only interact with neighbors on them but also build forts, clean cells and much more.
Diplomacy is very strong in Total War: Three Kingdoms. We can also become vassals or subjugate. Your actions influence the attitude of other races. By observing the agreements, you get bonuses to relations with allies and a fine to relations with enemies. A discount is also available at the unit kit.
To develop relations, it is also possible and necessary to spend diplomacy points, making compliments or vice versa, insulting enemies. Violating agreements or rude to others, as well as capturing disputed territories in which neighbors look like, they accumulate claims points, thanks to which you can start a war and bypass fines. However, it is also a resource for trading. Say, in exchange for intelligence, you can forget your neighbor’s sins.
Interaction can also be hindered by prejudice. For example, some factions do not like aggressive military leaders. To overcome prejudice, you have to fork out.
The development of the colonies is divided into two branches: military and social technology. The former is needed for military operations and the latter for the development of their colony.
By learning the points, you get access to the so-called operations that replaced the Book of Miracles. They are divided into three categories: tactical (act only on the battlefield), strategic (act on the global map) and doctrines (political course). Most often you will use strategic operations.
The airborne call, artillery strikes, terraforming of the terrain and even reconnaissance were piled into this category. The point is this: you are free to learn certain operations in advance and engage them as needed.
The simplest example is to prepare a landing, which can be thrown into the desired sector in case of an attack. Or strike with an underground rocket.
When the fighting nevertheless overtakes, an army cannot do without. Here everything is more familiar. As in the prequel, one army in Age of Wonders: Planetfall is limited to six units (the hero is considered to be one unit), but nothing prevents you from attracting additional militia units and soldiers protecting the sector as support.
The commander has a set of skills, but there is no class division: we can develop it in the right direction. For example, making a character a melee master: with a hammer at the ready and a shot in a jump.
For additional customization, there are five slots: the main weapon, which can be either a rifle or an airplane or a tank, auxiliary (usually a grenade) and three modification slots (armor and the like). We can get some items by completing quests of neutral races, while others can be purchased with resources.
To clarify the relationship is still allowed in two ways: auto body and tactical map. In general, everything is familiar, only tactical battles due to the sci-fi setting now resemble the simplified XCOM. There are even very similar insectoids.
An outdated engine also makes itself felt: a very poor environment and weak animations do not play a plus.
However, Triumph didn’t get anywhere. It seems that they are crazy about old cartoons. My favorite among the units is the dinosaur riders who came from the cartoon of the same name. They can scare even the tanks with their roar for one move, causing them to panic in panic. You can even come across fighting penguins.
As mentioned above, if necessary, you can use tactical skills. True, the number of points for their use is strictly limited.
In general, the battle system has not changed much since the days of AoW III, although there is one very important “but” – the templates. By studying the tree of skills, you can access basic units. Each of them has three modification slots. By selecting a specific set, we can make it active for all units if there are enough resources. Or save as a template, making it available for training. A new modification of a unit will cost more, but it will also become effective. It can also be sharpened for specific tasks. For example, to fight in radiation conditions, which will give an advantage in conjunction with the hero’s perks and during active operations.
A review for the PS4 version was provided. If you have a Pro- console, then you can choose from two modes: high resolution and performance. Most importantly, do not try to switch between them during battles on a tactical map – in this case, the game crashes. The same advice is relevant for changing the scale of the interface. The latter is not recommended to twist to the maximum, because then it goes beyond the boundaries of the screen.
I also want to scold the panel of diplomacy. When you switch the interlocutor, the game freezes, and at that moment the selector can slip to the next fraction. As a result, attempts to choose the right leader can drag out, which is very annoying.
The last point is music, which there are clearly not enough stars from the sky. It is clearly the most saved.