NOTE: Since people will see this game and say: "this looks like Civilization 5." I will say it right now that the only similarity between this game and Civilization 5 are the Hexagon Based Grid Map, Leadership Choice and User Interface (UI). Everything else is completely different.
Warlock: Master of the Arcane, despite sharing the same look as the more popular Civilization series, is definitely NOT the same game. Warlock: Master of the Arcane plays differently with its own mechanic that delivers a lot of fun to strategy and fantasy world players alike.
It is an X4 Strategy game originally released in 2012. It lets the player take the role of one of several 'Great Mages' who vie for control of the world of Ardania (from the Majesty Series of games) using vast armies and mighty spells to aid them in their struggle.
+ Fantasy Theme: -This game places you in a fantasy world populated by different mystic and magical creatures. Raise an empire of the Undead, Monsters, Humans or Elves and utilize a wide variety of magical spells to buff your forces or smite your foes.
+ Combat Focused Gameplay: -The Empire building on this game is based primarily on combat, fighting with the other factions and the different monsters that constantly threaten your borders. It delivers a very satisfying gameplay since most Magical Spells will make for some very interesting strategy. (Ex. Having problem crossing that lake? = Waterwalk.)
+ Extensive Upgrades: - Each military unit has so many upgrade choices each time they level-up that once they reach max level, they can be called Hero units in their own right. Add to this your Tech upgrades and Spell buffs, then you will have beast of an army.
+ Epic World: -The game offers your standard Small, Medium, Large and Huge map sizes but it also allows you to add more 'Worlds' that you can invade. Just look for the portal that goes there and fight extremely dangerous monsters inside before reaping the rewards.
- No Vsync: -This is inexcusable. The game suffers greatly from Screen Tearing and yet the options menu offers no Vertical Synchronization option to mitigate this. The player will be forced to use manual Vsync provided by the Nvidia Control Panel (or its AMD equivalent).
- Brain-Dead AI: -The AI really needs some more work to be done. I have seen the AI countless of times mobilize for an invasion, only to cancel it the last moment and just have its army run around in circles rather than coordinate a proper attack. The monsters roaming the country side poses more of a threat than the Faction AI. (It might be different on Hard or Impossible)
- Lack of Variety: -There are 16 different Great Mages you can play OR your own Custom Mage, but the bonuses or faction specialty is so negligible that it almost makes no difference. Add to this, there are only THREE, playable starting races in the game.
- Poor Research Tree: -Instead of Tech, you research Spells, which is good, but there is no Research Tree available. as far as I know, the game randomly generates 5 spells and will require the player to choose one of those spells to research.
In its own rights, Warlock: Master of the Arcane is a very refreshing take on the 4X Turn-based Strategy Genre. I definitely feel this game deserve your attention if you are a 4X or Strategy fan in general. It provides a fun and enjoyable experience.