Age of Wonders III is the long anticipated sequel to the award-winning strategy series. Delivering a unique mix of Empire Building, Role Playing and Warfare, Age of Wonders III offers the ultimate in turn-based fantasy strategy for veterans of the series and new players alike!
User reviews: Very Positive (2,161 reviews)
Release Date: Mar 31, 2014

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Includes 4 items: Age of Wonders III, Age of Wonders III - Deluxe Edition DLC, Age of Wonders III - Eternal Lords Expansion, Age of Wonders III - Golden Realms Expansion

 

Recommended By Curators

"An excellent 4x, reviving the classic series. Tactical hex-based battles and city-building combine in a wonderful fantasy setting. Evil-aligned penguins"
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (49)

April 14

Age of Wonders 3: Eternal Lords Expansion now available

Embrace forbidden powers and prepare to reign for eternity, as today Triumph Studios launches the highly anticipated Eternal Lords Expansion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KfC8b2vxow
Eternal Lords is the major, second expansion for Age of Wonders III, marking one year of continuous development since its release. With the introduction of the Tigran and Frostling races and the new Necromancer class, players must adapt to a world on the brink of cataclysmic change. New mechanics include the Race Governance system, which allows players to tailor the features of each race in their empire to meet their strategic needs, and adds new layers of depth to empire development and diplomacy.

The expansion is accompanied by the free V1.5 main game update introducing Vassals, the New Play by Email multiplayer mode, Mac/Linux support, Race Relations, improved AI, and more racial unit diversity.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/329530

9 comments Read more

April 14

Age of Wonders III V1.5 Update now Available

Welcome to the all-new Age of Wonders 3, as today we release the massive free V1.5 update to accompany the Eternal Lords expansion. V1.5 is the biggest free update since release and allows you to develop new playstyles. Major new features include:

  • The Vassal city mechanics
  • Race Relations system
  • More diversity among core racial units.
  • Improved strategic and tactical AI
  • Random Map Generator Overhaul
  • The New “Play by Email” multiplayer mode
  • Mac/Linux support
For a full list of the 500+ additions and fixes in V1.5, see the patch notes post.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/226840

http://store.steampowered.com/app/329530

23 comments Read more

Reviews

“This is a deep experience backed by intricate mechanics and a concerted polish that makes gameplay immediately intuitive and rewarding. Age of Wonders 3 will keep you up until the wee hours of the morning, constantly muttering that you'll crawl into bed after just one more turn.”
9/10 – Joystiq

“A war worth sinking your teeth into”
83/100 – PC Gamer

Digital Deluxe Edition

Get the game and also the Dragon’s Throne Stand-Alone Scenario and the two hour Official Soundtrack.

Dragon’s Throne Scenario
An extra large Stand-Alone Scenario. Legend tells of dragons who ruled the fabled Sea of Flames at the dawn of time. However nobody has seen a True Dragon in living memory. The isles are still loaded with treasure and have become popular with adventures, merchants, scoundrels and sightseers. Now eight rival lords have found a mysterious dragon’s egg, and each sees it as proof of their claim to the Dragon’s Throne. The sages warn they risk unleashing the wrath of the Dragons, but the Lords pay no heed as they prepare for war. You can play the Dragon’s Throne versus AI opponents or in multiplayer with up to 8 players.

Age of Wonders III: Original Soundtrack
The two hour Age of Wonders III Original Soundtrack is composed by maestro Michiel van den Bos, of Unreal, Deux Ex, Overlord and Age of Wonders 1 fame. The OST features thirty one crisp, high quality 320kbs MP3 & FLAC tracks from Age of Wonders III and five exclusive bonus tracks. To top it off the OST includes liner notes by the composer - english only - and jewel case CD inlay jpg files. Be enchanted!

Songs and OST materials will be placed in your AoW3 folder in the Steam Directory: "...Steam\steamapps\common\AoW3\OST"

You can get there using your favorite file manager or by following these step:
1) Right click 'Age of Wonders III' in your Steam Library.
2) Select 'Properties'.
3) In the 'Age of Wonders III - Properties' tab, go to the 'Local Files' tab.
4) Select 'Browse Local Files...' to open the folder that contains the game.
5) Here you can find the 'OST' folder that contains your music.

About This Game

Age of Wonders III is the long anticipated sequel to the award-winning strategy series. Delivering a unique mix of Empire Building, Role Playing and Warfare, Age of Wonders III offers the ultimate in turn-based fantasy strategy for veterans of the series and new players alike!

Create an Empire in your own Image
  • Rule as one of 6 RPG style leader classes: Sorcerer, Theocrat, Rogue, Warlord, Archdruid, or the tech-focused Dreadnought.
  • Research powerful skills unique to your class to develop your empire and arsenal.
  • Choose your allies from among the six main races - Humans, High Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Goblins and Draconians - and fantastical monster dwellings.

Explore and Exploit a Living Fantasy World
  • Explore a rich fantasy world that is more detailed and alive than ever with over 50 location types to raid for treasure.
  • Expand your domain by building new settlements, forge pacts with monstrous allies and capture valuable resources.
  • Wield earth shattering magic and terra-form the lands for your needs.

Fight In-depth Tactical Battles
  • Recruit legendary heroes, equip them with magical weapons, and let them lead your armies into battle.
  • Crush your enemies using the detailed 3D turn-based Tactical Combat System.
  • Become a master tactician. Crush city defenses. Learn to use flanking and master your army’s hundreds of abilities.

Master Age of Wonders III’s many Modes!
  • Immerse yourself in a rich single player story campaign, playable from two sides of an epic conflict.
  • Create endless scenarios using the random map generator.
  • Compete in multiplayer wars with up to 8 players online.

Please note that:
  • Level Editing Tools are provided as a courtesy to fans. They might have different system specifications from the Age of Wonders III game, are not tech supported and have an English only interface.
  • Coop: Random maps and stand-alone scenarios can be played using player alliances versus computer opponents.
  • Local Coop: Random maps and stand-alone scenarios can be played using “Hot Seat” mode on the same computer using player alliances versus computer opponents.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 2.4 Ghz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ @2.6 Ghz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia 8800 / ATi Radeon HD 3870 with 512MB or Laptop integrated Intel HD 3000 with 3GB system ram
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 10 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9 Compatible
    • Additional Notes:
      • Requires a 1024x768 screen resolution.
      • Requires an open IPv4 connection for online multiplayer.
      • A Triumph Account is required to use the game's online services. The game's single player and Hot Seat modes are fully playable using the guest account.
      • Please note that the Editor is Windows only.
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.4 Ghz or AMD Phenom X4 9900 @ 2.6 Ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia Geforce 460 1GB or AMD Radeon HD 6850 1GB
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 10 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9 Compatible
    • Additional Notes: A 1920x1080 screen resolution.
    Minimum:
    • OS: 10.9.3 (Mavericks)
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 2.4 Ghz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ @2.6 Ghz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia Geforce GTX 250 / ATi Radeon HD 4870 with 512MB or integrated Intel HD 4000 with 3GB system ram.
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 10 GB available space
    • Additional Notes:
      • Requires a 1024x768 screen resolution.
      • Requires an open IPv4 connection for online multiplayer.
      • A Triumph Account is required to use the game's online services. The game's single player and Hot Seat modes are fully playable using the guest account.
      • Please note that the Editor is Windows only.
    Recommended:
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.4 Ghz or AMD Phenom X4 9900 @ 2.6 Ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia Geforce 460 1GB or AMD Radeon HD 6850 1GB
    • Additional Notes: A 1920x1080 screen resolution.
    Minimum:
    • OS: SteamOS, Ubuntu 14.10
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 2.4 Ghz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ @2.6 Ghz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia Geforce GTX 250 / ATi Radeon HD 4870 with 512MB or integrated Intel HD 4000 with 3GB system ram.
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 10 GB available space
    • Additional Notes:
      • Requires a 1024x768 screen resolution.
      • Requires an open IPv4 connection for online multiplayer.
      • A Triumph Account is required to use the game's online services. The game's single player and Hot Seat modes are fully playable using the guest account.
      • Please note that the Editor is Windows only.
      • Not running SteamOS or Ubuntu 14.10? That doesn't mean your machine won't run the game, it just means we haven't seen it run on those distributions in the office. Visit the various AoW3 forums to learn more and share your experiences. Please post feedback on how the game runs on your system to help your fellow gamer and to help us improve our Linux build.
    Recommended:
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.4 Ghz or AMD Phenom X4 9900 @ 2.6 Ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia Geforce 460 1GB or AMD Radeon HD 6850 1GB
    • Additional Notes: A 1920x1080 screen resolution.
Helpful customer reviews
447 of 473 people (95%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
723.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 8, 2014
This game is absolutely incredible. It stays true to the style and feel of the previous games in the series, while also embracing some of the more modern elements in the 4X genre. Some may find the game a bit "simplistic" compared to other 4x games, but this is misleading. While this game is very easy to learn, and keeps most of the numbers and math pretty simple, there is an incredible amount of strategic depth to this game, and even after over 500 hours played, with 90% of that focusing on just *one* class, I am still learning new things.

The game itself takes place on about 3 different levels. The most prominent level is the tactical combat itself. This is unmatched by any other game in the 4x genre. In truth, it's more akin to the Total War series than anything, except turn based. It is not an understatement to say that this is the best combat system in any of the modern 4x games, bar none.

The second level is strategic movement. Many reviewers and players alike who only play this game for a bit do not understand just how much thought goes into something as simple as moving troops around. Each hex has different movement costs, which affects how fast units can move across them. But the movement costs are variable based on race, unit type itself, and even what the player has researched. Furthermore, different types of units may benefit from terrain features, such as Druids and Rogues who have units with Concealment. This allows some of their units to be rendered invisible in forest tiles. Compounding this issue is how classes and races interact. For instance, Dwarven Rogues are the only combination in the game with access to mountain concealment from the beginning, and this allows for some rather unique strategies involving raiding parties in the early game. While many will say that the tactical combat in this game is what stands out, at the intermediate skill level, the strategic level may actually be more important. After all, you can't actually GET to tactical combat if your enemy utilizes terrain to outrun you, or to reach your cities before your main army can get there to repel them.

The third layer is the empire management layer. This layer is pretty much what your typical 4x player expects to be the bulk of the game, as games like Civ largely ignore the first 2 to focus entirely on management. To those who have played and enjoyed the Civilization series: be warned. Age of Wonders 3 handles city management *vastly* differently than most other 4x games. The key difference lies in how cities work. Unlike civilization, there are no wonders or structures that can be built in cities to give them a specialized role. But don't worry, there absolutely are ways to make cities unique. Where this game differs from most others is that cities are largely defined by the terrain features within their domain. This creates a very different feel to empire management than other 4x games, in that the single most important factor of a city lies in where it is placed. In fact, a city placed on the right structure can often unlock units that cannot be accessed normally, or allow unusual and powerful modifiers to your armies. Some even give massive bonuses to income, or research.

While each layer is important, it is worth noting that this game is still very much different from many other 4x games. The focus is of the game is, at its heart, a wargame. While the diplomacy is functional, the predominant strategy will always be to crush your enemies, and annex their cities. Make no mistake, though. Although the goal is the same in every game, the methods are as variable as your imagination.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that there are players in the multiplayer community who have reputations for using an iconic style or strategy, that is almost entirely their own. The sheer number of options in character creation means that a player could very well run a strategy that is truly unique.

So if you're looking for a fantasy 4x wargame, you will not find a better one out there. Age of Wonders 3 is simply the best at what it does.
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82 of 95 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
336.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 18, 2014
This game really captures the 'just one more turn!'-feeling.
It is addicting and the game becomes better with each patch & DLC.

Pros:
  • A beautiful strategic map
  • Combat is fast, brutal and entertaining
  • It is fun to level your Heroes and Leader; it adds RPG to the game. Also quests that can be gained from independent cities or dwellings add to RPG-feel.
  • Concept of Race & Class for your Leader provide much variety in play. For example, you can play as a Orc Sorcerer, Dwarven Warlord, Elven Rogue etc.
  • Classes are really different from each other; this applies to gameplay, spells and units. See this wiki for an overview (click the class name for more info).
  • Nice campaigns with different outcomes
  • A pretty good Random Map generator with tons of options
  • Users make custom scenarios and challenges with Map Editor
  • Great music
  • Triumph Studios listens really well to the community and has fixed (almost) all bugs/issues

Cons:
  • In general races could be more varied. The good news is that Triumph is working on this and it is expected to improve in the next patch. See this official dev journal (nov 2014) --> *EDIT april 2015* - this has been addressed in the latest patch 1.5!!
  • Although the idea behind alignment is nice (good/neutral/evil is based on your actions and not on your race choice), it remains a bit shallow imo. --> *EDIT april 2015* - this has been addressed mainly in the DLC Eternal Lords!
  • MOD-tools are not released at this moment (nov 2014). They most probably will in the future though.

Other comments:

Overall I recommend this game to anyone who has an interest in Turn Based Strategy games.
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100 of 125 people (80%) found this review helpful
71.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 22
AGE OF WONDERS III - Good Turn based tactical combat, Hero RPG elements and Empire building 4X strategy

|| 8 ||
Score Comment
Graphics 8 Nice graphics and detail on the strategic map and even better graphics for units, terrain and magical effects in combat. UI is nice, detailed and easy to use
Audio 6 Music gets a little repetitive - maybe a little more variety needed, sound effects are good but nothing special.
Gameplay 8 Age of Wonders III is a turn based, 4X strategy game based in a fantasy setting. The tactical combat view (when your army's battle) is excellent, you really feel like you are head to head with the AI (which seems to do a good job most of the time) in a battle of wits. Casting a well timed spell or outmanoeuvring your enemy can sometimes turn the tide of a battle, unfortunately usually the outcome of a battle is a forgone conclusion due to the relative strength of the units involved, but even when this is the case its still fun to crush your enemy and minimise your losses. The strength of the Units in your army really plays such a large part of the battles that you can actually choose to skip the tactical battle entirely and have the computer automatically calculate the results. Some of the units have somewhat of a balance issue with the higher level units often being able to take down whole armies by themselves with little damage or risk. This inevitably results in a race to upgrade your city buildings to create these higher level creatures. AI at the strategic level is a little predictable but there is still fun to be had placing your cities and grabbing as many resources as possible to fund your economy. One thing I noticed at the strategic level is there doesn't seem to be any downside to city spamming (covering the map in loads of your cities) as you gain resources (mana, gold, research) for each city. Ruins, shrines and artefacts are scattered throughout the maps and these will often require you to fight a monster to claim the reward for your Hero. Hero's are your army leaders you get a main one and then can hire more for gold. Hero's have a selection of spells they can use to aid you in battle, summon monsters or benefit your cities. Items you collect / make can be given to your hero's to increase their stats and they also get skills as they earn xp through battles.
Story 7 The game contains a number of well written scenario's which are fairly fun to play through. Overall I think I preferred playing the random maps though.
Replayability 7 If you enjoy the game you will probably want to play it again, random maps and steam workshop adds more community made content.
Overall
8 A fan of this genre will probably get a lot of enjoyment out of this game. While not as complex or detailed as others of the same type what it does it does well. Hotseat mode (a mode I loved from Civilisation) is a great addition to this game and playing with friends is a lot of fun.

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29 of 29 people (100%) found this review helpful
118.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 16
Although Age of Wonders III features story based campaigns and scenarios (many of which are obviously balanced for multi-player), the real meat of the game IMO is the Random Map mode. This is equivalent to the default mode of most 4X games like Civilization, and that's what I'll talk about here.

Unlike most 4X games which start you off with a single settler in a mostly empty undeveloped world, the default mode (normal game flow) of AoW3 starts you off in a populated world which already has roads, cities and armies. In these games you can get stuck into the action quickly and may not need to build any cities at all, just capture existing ones. These games can be a lot quicker to play than other 4X games.

However, the random map games are extremely customisable, much more than Civ. There are three other preset modes - Battle, Empire Building and Adventure - which provide very different game experiences. Better still, go into the advanced setup screens and you can tweak the details to your heart's content. You can start with nothing more than a settler and a leader in a completely empty world, just like Civ, if that's what you want, or you can fill it with as much or as little of the different options that are available. You can also tweak the geography, altering the quantities of different terrain types that will appear on the map.

The graphics are superb, they blow away the old AoW games and are better than most current 4X games IMO. The music is excellent too, one of the best soundtracks I've heard in a game, making it well worth getting the Deluxe version for the 2 hours of music, not to mention the huge 8 player scenario Dragon's Throne.

The huge variety of units in the game, and the many different unit abilities and spells, provide for an awesome variety of strategy and tactics. The game is far more detailed than previous versions, and while the older games were great in their own right, AoW3 takes it to a whole new level. I can't go back to the old games anymore. It's a game you can get sucked into for many, many hours of your life.

The two expansion packs - Golden Realms and Eternal Lords - are real expansions, not shallow cash grabbing DLCs like in many games these days. They add a lot of real content, not just new races and campaigns, but many new rules and game mechanics.

I highly recommend this game, one of the best 4X games ever in my opinion.
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241 of 406 people (59%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
605.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 28, 2014
Edit: 03/14/15: Apparently the v1.5 beta that will be released mid-April deals with some but not all of the issues mentioned below. When full release happens, I will have to play a little to update this review.

Disclaimer: This review almost exclusively covers the multiplayer experience. If you are here for the single player experience, disregard this review entirely.

This is a game I really wanted to like. It's a game that puts emphasis on war. It's not the best way to win, it's the only way to win, and the game reflects that. It had a lot of things in it that give it a lot of charm and a lot of fun. Alas, however, the game suffers from a myriad of balance issues that encourage cheesy strategies to win.

First, the positives:

-Tactical combat: This is what the game sells itself with. The concept, how it's designed is actually quite fun on its own. If you like Endless Legend's combat, you would like this.

-Race/Class combos: One of my favorite things for the longest time was the different race and class combos would actually cause you to play slightly differently based on what race you put with what class. However, not all races are equal (meaning, the overall balance of strengths and weaknesses of different races are not equal), and this has never been adequately addressed.

-Map generator: More often than not, I enjoyed the randomness, aside from predicible positioning of capitals. (Hint, opposite of you, and if there's someone above or below you, another person is opposite of him. Locations are very predictible.)

-Diverse Units: Not much to say here. Units are diverse, and even units from the same class may have differences between races.


Now for the bad.

-Balance: Dear god, balance. Heroes have always meant to be powerful, and that is fine. But the majority of experiences players you meet will use heroes as spell casters. This doesn't sound so bad, right? Well, spells, in tactical combat have infinite range. If your hero is on the battlefield, it can hit anything. Your leader can do it even if he/she isn't there for double cost. The majority of matchups will be determined by spells. If not that, you will see tactics such as run and heal. In short, play to the utmost efficiency, no matter how cheap it seems, because everyone else will. In addition to all this, certain races (the ones that come with healing) will almost always win out against those that don't because healing from units also heal a unit in the army for the full amount every turn. This is actually pretty neat, but a fair amount of races/classes don't have easy healing, which impacts your early game. I could go on, but length...

-Scouts: Generally scouts are necessary for war, and things are no different here. But in this game, things revolve around scouts. Why? Because a single scout can burn down cities, forts, watchtowers, you name it. They can be summoned near towns or heroes. Defense in this game is ineffective because offense is so much more efficient. You'll see things like 3-6 summoned scouts come, attack your city, 2-3 spells blown on your units, and you'll just lose. This can be prevented with enough archery units, but if you lose anything (and you will), it's gold loss on your side, mana loss on the enemy side. Defending with your own scouts will often result in a loss against these tactics. Burning down a city takes 2 turns, period. An opponent doesn't need to hold it for longer than that. Watchtower and fort destruction is INSTANT. You can imagine the cheesy strategies that come from this.

-The community: Now, I'll give them credit, this is a mixed bag, because nearly all the community is actually very nice. Nearly everyone that is left are people who enjoy the above strategies now though, so I personally don't consider it a positive.

-Autocombat: To be frank, to manually do every battle yourself is not feasible in this game in multiplayer. Unlike Endless legend, which is very fluid about its manual combat for the most part, manual combat in this game stops all other action for every player that is not in combat. You either get to watch or not depending on what the host decided before the game starts. So you have to use autocombat... except that the AI in autocombat tries to resolve things as quickly as possible by having both sides rush at each other, tactics be damned. Therefore the losses are always higher than they should be, and unless you've played for as long as I have, you shouldn't expect to accurately predict the results, which to my knowledge is not a common skill.

--------------------------------------

My experience with the game can be summed up as "An amazingly cool idea that fell short of what it could be because of poor implementation." It's unfortunate, but true. And it kinda sucks because I like the people I met (mostly) on the game, and I liked the devs at first because they're great people. They lost me, however, because they no longer address balance issues except with expansion releases. I understand that they need to work for a living like the rest of us, but you can't expect your would-be fans to wait for you to fix things that ruin the game experience for them because you want to make more money. I know I'm not the only one who feels the way I do, the online community is much smaller nowadays. Still, I had a lot of fun with it before I fully understood all the issues (I had the game since release). If you can overlook or would not be bothered by the above, then by all means, do buy the game. It has a lot to offer, and it can be a lot of fun for the demographic that it hits. It is not for me, however, and I think that holds true for most people.
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28 of 36 people (78%) found this review helpful
45.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 12, 2014
Having not played an AoW game since the first one, way back in about 1995, I wasnt quite sure what to expect with this.
What I found was a delightful cross between two of my other favourite franchises - Heroes of Might and Magic, and Civilization.

Age of Wonders III features many elements from the above and adds in a few ideas of its own, the result is a very solid turned based strategy/RPG hybrid of sorts. Certainly one to watch out for on the Steam Sale if you are considering getting it.
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23 of 29 people (79%) found this review helpful
53.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2014
A welcome addition to the franchise, with some new additions and some drawbacks.

Pros:
+More strategic layers than previous Age of Wonders games with Race/Specialization/Class combinations
+Unique balance of over-world construction, exploration, conquering/destruction, and tactical battles
+Strong RPG elements for a strategy game with Heroes and Leaders' leveling and meaningful choices along the way
+Interesting strategic variety with interaction of terrain and races
+Many and meaningful strategic options/choices in units (skills, abilities, looks, interactions) and cities (city types, upgrades) and empire quests
+Relatively easy to use map editor/maker

Cons:
-Less friendly fire (I enjoyed how friendly fire was handled in previous games) and height advantages
-Less atmosphere than age of wonders games through slightly weaker lore, presence of magic, racial uniqueness, and music/sfx
-Story is a bit weak
-3D Models are a bit ugly
-Less races (Currently) than in other age of wonders games

Differences from other 4x Strategy-Fantasy Games:
-More tactical battle focus
-Less focus on construction

The Future:
The community is strong and kind enough.
The developers are continuously working on the game and listening to the players.
New races and classes are coming out.
New race relations coming out.
New balances and bonuses coming out.
More modding coming out.

Buy or No?
If you are experienced with 4x strategy games... I would get this game.
While the genre probably could use a game to revolutionize it a bit, this game does enough new things to keep your interest if you are captivated by 4x genre. You may be annoyed with some things here and there, but overall the balance is strong enough and they are working on improving the balance and adding more content to sink your teeth into.

If you are interested in fantasy lore, role-playing/story-making, primarily and racial interactions... I would get it on sale or wait.
Do some research on the game first; if you find the lore interesting, purchase it if you haven't played any game in the genre or wait to see how the updates improve and add to the game in a few months. Keep in mind you can also create some interesting quests with the map editor/maker.

If you haven't really played much strategy 4x fantasy games and are curious... I would get this game now or on sale.
Your enjoyment of the game will be higher if you have an open-mind and like intricate game systems.

If you are looking for a fast-paced, mind-blowing, competitive game... do not purchase the game or do more research. The pacing is similar to other strategic games like Civilization. Also, there is nothing in here that will take your breath away, at least immediately. The engagement relies on the stories and histories that are created from the complex systems and events that occur.

Overall...
AOW3 is a quality game that could use some improvements. Fortunately, the developers care so improvements are on the way. There isn't too much else in the genre being made at the moment either and is better than its nearest fantasy-strategy competitors. But feel free to check out games like Warlock, Fallen Enchantress, and Endless Legend as they offer slightly different fare if tactical combat is not entirely for you.
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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
2,477.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 28
It has been almost one-year since release, I've been playing this game constantly for almost the full year. Incredibly addictive coupled with vast replayability and a veritable smorgasbord of options, units, spells, structures, and game mechanics... and the developers have only expanded on the deep content with Golden Realms and the upcoming release of Eternal Lords. I am not normally a review-writer or poster but this is hands down the best game of the genre I've ever played, including Master of Magic.

Only a few fairly minor issues - mostly having to do with requested features such as added victory conditions, more customization options, and more gameplay options have been addressed by the developers or are in the process of being addresed. Kudos to Triumph. They've certainly earned the name.

A long-time player of other 4 x games I would enthusiastically recommend this for any fan of the genre. I definitely encourage anyone on the fence to try it out!
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12 of 16 people (75%) found this review helpful
50.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2014
I really recommend this game for any 4X fans who enjoy nice tactical battles. I really like the design choice which mixes race and class of a main hero, because this helps to create huge variety of combinations (and of course - many different units to choose from). I'm glad that I started playing this game about 6 months after release, because most of annoying bugs and problems has been fixed and corrected. So this is a great moment to jump into this beautiful and very addicting game.
BTW - looking forward for a new expansion which will add a new class ^^
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15 of 22 people (68%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
1,715.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 23, 2014
I keep finding myself playing this game over and over again to see what I missed. I love the imagery and I cannot wait for the next DLC.

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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
36.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 22
It feels a lot like Heroes of Might & Magic had a baby with Master of Magic.

I HIGHLY suggest reading some of the reviews here. The negatives aren't all bashers, the positives aren't all fanboi's. You'll get a good picture of what this game offers and where it is lacking. This is my take.

Pro's:
The hex-7 combat. You can flank prior to engaging, but you may leave an army vulnerable to attack (it affects placement in the battlefield.. except against a city)

The hero "Leader" capabilities. Each army (group of 6 units including hero) can have a hero as a leader. Heros can pick from abilites to strenghten themselves or provide army-wide bonuses.

The Dreadnaught Class (while overall not high on my personal list) is really neat. They are mech-based, rather than magic. If you use their higher special units, you need other special units to heal them. This matters most if your empire included multiple races. Healers can't heal machines, and workers can't heal normal units. I like that concept. :reusgreed:

Spell options are "random" which helps split up the monogamy of game play (with a few exceptions).

Underground & above ground, + teleporters, water tunnels, and 6v6 "dungeons" with unique item (Strong, Epic, Legendary, and Mythical difficulties. :ghlol: )

The graphics.

Con's:

The basic race & class units are carbon copies of each other. Slight differenced being pure damge vs a resistance-based damage type)

The buildings are all exactly the same (except the T2 & T3 class buildings.. but the resource from them isn't a game changer).

The spell system is lacking, in comparison to Master of Magic. There are obvious "winners" for large maps/games, which are to be avoided in smaller/shorter games.

As above, there are several abilities/spells which only have true functionally in MP... thus wastes a spell slot.

Again, as above, the spells are generated "randomly" based on your leader choices. While not entirely bad (MoM was like that also), the MultiPlayer-biased or large map-biased abilities aren't balanced out of the choices. Likewise, they don't recive more weight in those circumstances.

So that's really just one big one, split into 3 parts and the last being a pro & con.


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I've not gotten the xpac.. but that's supposed to add a few more nice things to the game. Worth the expansion price? Not sure yet. Next sale though.. ;)

There are a few things they could do differently, from a deisgn standpoint, but given the origins and overal gameplay.. It's definitely a good $20-30.00 game. Not sure about $40-45 (not counting the expansion)

Apparently there is a bug that can crash and lose all of your data. I haven't run into that one yet. It does have occasional "lag" on the large + maps.

I defenitely enjoy it, so far, I'm just a bit picky about things.
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What they could do to "fix" some of the holes in the game:

Make a couple of "difficult" races, that are OP'd, but cost more.
Make a couple of "easy" races, that are weak, but fast to max out.

Mix up the complexity of the city structures. Maybe Orcs only get a shrine, not a grand temple, etc... then balance it out other ways. (can tie into above)

Get rid of the "Knowledge Points" resource. It becomes 100% worthless at some point in the game. :angrytitan: Merge "Mana Income" and "Knowledge Points" and let the player balance the resource between the two. (mana income if dor spell upkeep, unit purchase, initial spell cast, etc.. Knowledge Points only go to how fast you research spells)

Unbalance the spell system some more. Let a Mastery level always yield a really bad@$$ unit and global power.

Weigh out some of the spells that favor different game maps and MP vs SP. There shouldn't be a clear "winner" for them, on that front. (These are in the Class-specific spells, regardless of your focuses, and the one focus realm of expansionisim.) If a balance can't be reached easily.. simply making a counterpart (with a note on each as to what they favor) that is equally beneficial in the opposite playstyle is fine.
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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
414.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 15
Long story short: Simply the best turn-based 4X game in years.

The good bits:
* Competent AI
* Huge variation in races, classes, spells, abilities and units
* Excellent tactical battles that keep you on your toes.
* Great soundtrack
* Vivid fantasy setting
* Plenty of options in the robust random map generator to drastically alter every game you set up
* Exploration is a blast

The weaker bits:
* Diplomacy is servicable, but it's nowhere near Civilization levels
* No more naked Nymphs :(

Extra bits:
* Very dedicated support from the developers
* New expansions bring crazy amounts of content
* Regular free patches with new mechanics and additional free content

Am looking forward to some PBEM games once the system goes live!
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
48.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2014
Great Turn-base fantasy game! Took me a little while to get the hang of it. . . But it is totally worth it!
I can't stop playing! Kind of reminds me of the orginal Master of Magic game with updated graphics.

Pro's
-Lots of Units
-City Upgrades
-Hero's
-Cool Spells

Con's
-Easy Battles
-Limited bulding.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
25.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 29
The sequel to one of the best fantasy turn-based strategies that ever hit the digital world. Still great, still addictive, still includes Dire Penguins (which are Dedicated to Evil). Makes me rather sad that the development is already coming to an end due to disappointing sale figures. Shame on you, people. Shame on you.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
380.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 4, 2014
I've been a fan of Age Wonders since the first time I played Age of Wonders: The Wizard throne in 5th grade. Since then, Age of Wonders have been the one game I have played continuously throughout middle school, high school, and college. In my opinion, Age of Wonders III is the best of the franchise.

One of the greatest strength of Age of Wonders is its combat. In my opinion, Age of Wonders III is the best of the series in this regard. AowIII introduces new mechanics like flanking which make unit position incredibly important. A smaller army can quickly gain advantage of a stronger army just by utilizing flanking to their best ability.
One of strengths of Aow is the wide variety of units. AoWIII continues this trend. Abilities include dominate, seduce, faerie fire, hurl fire bomb, web, assassinate, hurl boulder, phase (teleport), and much more. These abilities make combat a very engaging and enjoyable.

AoWIII introduces a new class system. These classes include the dreadnought, archdruid, rogue, sorcerer, theocrat, and warlord. Each class as their own set of combat spells, empire upgrades, and units, giving all classes a unique playstyle. As of this review, Triumph is working on a necromancer class. More information on the classes can be found on at http://ageofwonders.com/category/news/.

Like previous games, AoWIII has a variety of races that the player can choose from. The original AowIII has elves, goblins, orcs, humans, dwarves, draconians. Halflings were added in the Golden Realms Expansion. Each race gets an irregular, an archer, an infantry, a cavalry, a pikeman, priest unit, and special final unit. Upon first glance, the races appear to be quite similar. However, there are subtle differences that can end up really impacting one strategy. As an example , consider the archer unit. Elf archers suffer no range penalty, allowing them to do full damage even at distance. Draconian archers laugh firebombs which damage all units in small area. Goblin archers shoot homing mosquitoes which can go through obstacle. Dwarf archers have crossbows which do better damage when they are at close range. Orcs have the worst archers with the worst range; however, they can cause units to bleed which does damage overtime. As one can see, there is a clear difference in the unit abilities.

Along with their class and race, players also choose specializations. These specializations revolve around elemental magic. Player can choose between air, fire, water, earth, creation, and destruction. Each specialization has global and combat spells as well as enchantment and summons. In the original game, there are two non-magic specializations-explorer and expander. These specializations add another level of strategy. When one considers all the race, class, and specializations, there is an astounding number of combinations and strategies to use to destroy one enemies.

In my opinion, AoWIII is the best in the series. It’s one of my favorite games. On a final note, the devs are really involved in the community. They really listen to players and incorporate suggestions in the gameplay. Triumph Studios is an amazing studio. They have put a lot of work into this game and continue to do so.
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8 of 13 people (62%) found this review helpful
94.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 28, 2014
When I was a wee lad I played a DOS game called Master of Magic, which I enjoyed utterly. AoWIII, to me, is the successor to that game, what with the combat mechanics, spell casting, creature summoning, and empire building. Me Gusta!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 15
I didn't like this at first, played it for a few hours and was upset that i wasted more money on a ♥♥♥♥♥♥ game. Decided to give it another go and found out that I loved this game, great buy for the midweek madness that I got it on.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
54.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 6
In the era, when the huge companies are either streamlining the previous games with usualll tendency to loose anything from the atmosphere of the old best sellers (yes, Heroes, im talking about You...) or even trying to squeeze Your wallets with so called HD feature stripped reedition (Yes, again Heroes of Might and Magic) asking You to pay a full price there it is - something out of the today standards.

Despite always being somewhere in the shadow of HoMM series, AoW series is nowhere behind the legacy of turn based fantasy strategic games. And even if it obviously was overshadowed by allmighty Heroes III (which is probably the best game ever for majority of players reading this review - me included) at the times where Age of Wonders 2 was published (even, despite my opinion it was pretty much equally good in some terms), its no longer a case.

Heroes series lost all of it glory throughour the years. Age of Wonders, resurrected not so far ago. And in a contrast of really average attempts to recover HoMM franchise, Triumph Studios made it done. This is the game every AoW fan was waiting for, and this is the game all the turn based fantasy strategic games fans should head into now. There is absolutely no other game in the genre with so much detail, fun and polish.

Of course, the game has some issues (like multiplayer connection which for no reason tries to establish p2p connection which is kind off archaic method) but developers are constantly updating the game based on our feedback.

So if You really enjoyed playin HoMM 3 twenty years ago, and You would love to feel something similar today - go grab it. You'll love it.

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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
246.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 6
Good game, and heading to a sleeper greatness.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
144.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 13
Now that I've completed both campaigns, I would have expected to be strongly recommending this game to others.

Unfortunately, I have a real love/hate relationship with this game. Much of the game is great - the grpahics, interface, music and basic gameplay elements. You certainly won't lack for gameplay, the two campaigns took me well over 100 hours to finish, although I never use auto combat so battles made up most of that time.

The hate part comes from the lack of documenation and a few really terrible scenarios in the campaigns. All games should have a manual, especially games this complex, but there is no manual.

Three of twelve scenarios in the campaigns are awful, some of the worst scenario designs I have encountered in decades of playing strategy games, the rest of the scenarios are lots of fun. One is horrible because it has a hidden timer. The other two, the last scenarios in each campaign are horrible because they are mind numbingly frustrating. You have far too many enemies to fight, your basic task is to fight two leaders and attack them with a particular hero. Finding the two leaders is a slow, boring process. It's an idiotic idea which pretty much ruined both campaigns for me. If you are lucky you won't have to play these scenarios, it depends on choices you make earlier in the campaigns.

I do recommend this game if you are willing to put up with some frustration.
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