Oh, glorious day! Triumph Studios, developers of the Age of Wonders "trilogy" and the modern Overlord franchise, have officially announced Age of Wonders III. Yes, the studio is returning to its strategy roots with glorious modern HD graphics and plenty of new features as well. With the introduction of RPG classes on top of the variety of playable races, Age of Wonders III will have a depth and complexity that's just what a new generation of gamers needs.
Here's Triumph director Lennart Sas making a pitch for Age of Wonders III:
"In Age of Wonders III, we extrapolate RPG style classes to be the leaders of fantasy empires. For example: as a Goblin Theocrat you can build your own holy empire, recruit little goblin crusaders or cute winged goblin angels equipped with flaming weapons, and wage war on your heathen enemies. We want players to be able to choose between lots of different play styles, without being restricted by fantasy clichés, like All Goblins Are Evil."
As great as the feature list is, and it's rather extensive so fans should be excited about that, how about a bit of generic excitement for the return of turn-based strategy games? Not just a return, hell, the genre is thriving once more. Gosh, it's good to be a gamer right now. Here's that feature list, by the way, because that's pretty great too:
- Explore, expand and exploit a living fantasy world. Discover wondrous locations and gather legendary heroes.
- Develop your domain, with many classes having the ability to change terrain and climates to suit your needs.
- All new 3D graphics that provide a crisper and more detailed overview of the world and battle maps.
- New styles of play are possible with the introduction of RPG style leader classes like warlord, theocrat, rogue and sorcerer, along with a wide selection of specializations.
- Command a variety of races. Pick your starting race and shape your people’s destiny using your leader’s unique skills.
- A brand-new tactical battle system renders each battlefield and siege in great detail; new rules include flanking and a massive set of special unit abilities.
- An epic story campaign with two playable factions;. Choose the mighty Commonwealth Empire or join the Court of the High Elves, founded after the reunion of the Dark Elves and Wood Elves.
- Compete online in extensive multiplayer modes and scenarios.
- High replay value through random maps, difficulty modes and tools allowing user created content.
As huge as Triumph's Age of Wonders III announcement is, what I really have to give them my respect for is actually the message they posted prior to this morning's announcement. Essentially, the team wrote up a message to the Overlord community, almost an apology really, stating while they love the franchise it's currently on the backburner while Age of Wonders III is being made. Take heart though, as the team has done extensive prototyping on future projects that may very well interest Overlord fans. Mad respect.
Back on topic, Age of Wonders III is scheduled for a late 2013 release on PC. Word is they've got a pretty good publisher behind them that they'll announce at a later date (Epic back?). In the mean time, check out this teaser trailer and some gorgeous early in-game shots. A lot to be excited about here.