Extraordinary amount of content (75 factions, 2.5k units, hundreds of spells and items), in-depth mechanics with many unique ideas (like the combat system in which you can deploy your troops and give them scripted orders instead of having direct control over them, placing emphasis on careful planning and predicting enemy tactics), factions primarily based on historical nations and real-world mythology from all around the world (and lore being superbly represented by the mechanics: I'd go as far as saying Dominions has the best worldbuilding in video games), great multiplayer experience (simultaneous turns, works really well in play-by-e-mail format, typically played with machiavellian diplomacy), good modding-support...
I've personally been a fan since Dominions 2 (although I didn't pick up multiplayer until recently) and despite ridiculous pricing of the time (I think I paid $80 for both Dom2 and Dom3 when you include postage fees), it was worth every cent and then some. After all, in what other game can you have a deathmatch between Gods that lead nations such as Spanish Inquisition, Atlantian Eskimos, Man-eating Giant Jews, The Mongols, Undead Romans and the like? What other game allows you to have reality-altering magic or armed-to-the-teeth titans capable of wiping out armies single-handedly while remaining "balanced"?
Now, it should go without saying that Dominions 4 has low production value and it's not a stellar single player game. Some veteran players have also raised concerns about a couple of changes (like removal of reverse communions) that might end up hurting it in the long run (I don't dare to make a claim for either direction myself). However, as far as I can tell, Dominions 4 is still an upgrade over its predecessor, and even if some of the issues come to haunt it in the long run, there's only one game that even compares, and that's Dominions 3, a proven masterpiece. Dominions 4 is probably even better, and with the bulk of MP-games being made to it right now and improvements to single player being noticeable (even if not huge), it's the obvious choice if you want some Dominions action.
Posted: December 5th, 2013