Paradox Interactive (God bless them) have sent us a preview code for Warlock: Master of the Arcane, a turn-based fantasy game set in the Majesty universe. That is a beautiful combination if I ever saw one. So! I delved in to bring you some news on how the game is progressing and I can tell you I am pleased.
Now note that the game isn’t due for release until Q2 2012. This meant that the version of the game I played really wasn’t finished, lots of tooltips missing, the spell system wasn’t working properly and there were some balance and optimization issues. All of which easily fixable before general release.
What about the game itself? Well I can describe it simply in one short sentence. Civilisation 5, in a fantasy setting (Majesty’s setting to be exact). Saying that, it doesn’t feel like a rip off and turn based strategy on this scale mixes well with fantasy. It is satisfying to build up armies of ratmen spearmen and archers and to buff them with magic powers and heal them rather than your traditional humans fighting humans. The way you develop your cities and towns is also very much like civilisation, buildings and units taking a few turns to complete except your building is limited to how large your city is. Increasing the size of your city increases the number of available hexes which you can build on. This results in a bit more tactics, should you build your goblin cave early to get out some troops or use that space for a farm to try get your city larger quicker. Its a small but nice mechanic and your cities can end up looking very impressive.
The combat is a numbers game between the two units involved but this is supplemented with some nice visuals of the two groups of units engaging in combat and there is the opportunity of your units leveling up and gaining perks which is always a big plus for me. I love to see my units become veterans and beat impossible odds time and time again.
So I keep mentioning the fact that Warlock is based on Majesty. To be honest you can tell that some of the lore is the same, and even some of the artwork for the units are very similar to that of Majesty 2 but that is all. It is a nice touch for a hardcore Majesty lover as myself but it has no effect if you don’t know anything about Majesty. It could be any fantasy setting but its nice for older players who remember the good old days of the Gnomes in the first Majesty.
I honestly think this is a game to look out for. I’ll definitely be giving you a full review when available because I in fact really want to play the finished product. A fantasy based Civ game is something right down my street… And it should be down yours too!
Scheduled for a Q2 2012 release at $19.99