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Age of Wonders: Planetfall

Njorhg

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Today is the release day of Age of Wonders: Planetfall.

Emerge from the cosmic dark age of a fallen galactic empire to build a new future for your people. Age of Wonders: Planetfall is the new strategy game from Triumph Studios, creators of the critically acclaimed Age of Wonders series, bringing all the exciting tactical turn-based combat and in-depth empire building of its predecessors to space in an all-new, sci-fi setting.

Build your empire with one of six unique factions, ranging from the militant Vanguard to the dinosaur-riding Amazons and the cyborg-zombies of the Assembly. Progress through each faction’s missions using your wits, military strength and diplomacy, exploring planetary ruins and encountering other survivors as you unravel the history of a shattered civilization. Fight, build, negotiate and technologically advance your way to utopia in a deep single player campaign, on random skirmish maps, and against friends in multiplayer.
I know some people here have been waiting for the game. I certainly have, being a fan of the entire series since the start. This looks to be the most polished iteration of it yet, and it brings in many things that are novel to the title while expanding elements of gameplay with a deeper economy and more varied factions than its predecessors. It should be good fun.
 
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Njorhg

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There's a new lore video that takes a more serious and in-depth look at the background of the game. It's probably good as an intro, if you want a deeper dive into the setting of Planetfall.

 
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Guvmint Helper

Starbelly Geek
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I've got this on pre-order. I hope they've fixed my Internet access by the time I get home in three hours...
 

Thanaeon

Mostly simulationist
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Well, I already watched a bunch of gameplay video which looked good, and so far based on my brief hands-on with the game, it's not disappointing.
 

slickam

Registered User
Validated User
I ran into a bug when I tried to launch the game. It started to display the loading progress bar, locked up, then crashed. It did that 3 times in a row, so I tried launching in debug mode to send a log to them, and that seems to fixed the problem. Now even if I don't launch in debug mode it doesn't crash.

Thought I'd give people a heads up in case anyone else runs into this.
 

Breogan

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I'd really love to see detailed opinions about this. I loved the first 2 games but bounced badly on AoW III, so I'm hoping whatever that was I dont feel the same about this.

And well, I would be getting it anyway but I just got the Switch for Fire Emblem and the budget for vice and decadence is all tapped out for the month :p
 

ResplendentScorpion

neither glitter, nor substance
Validated User
I'd really love to see detailed opinions about this.
Keep in mind I hated AoW2 before Shadow Magic and loved AoW3(but disliked the base campaign of AoW3).
Gameplay wise, Planetfall is fine. Both the strategic and tactical layer feel nice, but it's more or less AoW3 with extra bits, less races, less distinct classes and in space.
It's too early to say exactly how busted the balance is, because there are so many options, but it's probably a bit busted, because there are so many options. Operations are too same-y compared to the diversity of spell effects in fantasy AoW, but Doctrines add some strategic depth.
The setting is the worst part so far. I just can't take barefoot bow-wielding amazons seriously next to the generic sci-fi soldiers of the Vanguard and the tyrnannid-like aliens. The space dwarves have a similar problem with a lot of their units. The problem might actually be the Vanguard and Kir'Ko themselves, since the amazon archers feel perfectly in place next to the sillyness of the dwarfs and most NPC factions (bees, robotic hoplites, weaponised gardening robot, psi-fish, violent gamers).
The campaigns, from what I have seen so far, are great. The storytelling is nowhere near the level of AoW1, but the choices are more and more meaningfull than ever before (I was surprised to lose an NPC because of ignoring their story input).
 
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Knaight

Registered User
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I'm really liking it (download time notwithstanding, but that's on Century Link and their blatant lies about internet speed, where 1000 mbps somehow turned into an average of 0.9 MG/s). It could probably use some optimization, and there are aspects where it feels clunkier than AoW III did late in development, but it generally works really well and the early campaign has been fairly solid. Notable stuff:

I was worried I would dislike the reintroduction of accuracy; the guaranteed hit for attacks plus variable chance for conditions was a really cool feature of AoW III. In practice though the existence of multiple attacks per turn on a lot of units really mitigates that heavily.

The population mechanics are a lot more Civ. It works, and I get why they switched to sectors, but the old radial cities that grew to take in sites was a lot of fun and is definitely missed. That said the sites themselves are still there in full glory for the most part, and the battlefields are straight up better. The dramatically increased verticality in particular is really nice.

I'm liking the fights in general, and that's even with having pretty much just played Vanguard so far (with a splash of other units), with them being aggressively conventional. The whole action point economy where they revive on your opponents turn was brilliant in AoW 3, and it's both stronger and clearer here. There's strong visual indicators for costs, there's a lot more ways to knock action points around at range, there's the prevalence of the overwatch mechanic (which I'm pretty sure is a Vanguard thing specifically, but comparable stuff has shown up elsewhere), and it all just sings.

It took some getting used to, but the whole operations structure is a lot of fun. Mostly this is the siloing - yes, technically it reduces options. The way it does this encourages using all of them though, which often wasn't the case in AoW III - sure, battlefield spells had their place, but they were comparatively marginalized. Some of the costs do seem a bit weird though.

I'm also liking the changes to air units. There's clearly an engine change there with a true air and ground layer, and some interesting overlaps. For instance, I had a burning ship I was going to lose, so I put it directly above an enemy unit, shot at a different unit, burned, then crash landed on the first unit. That's tactical depth that wasn't there earlier, as is a lot more that interacts with air units in particular, beyond just pike block and the like.

On a downside, Autocombat seems to be no better. As with AoW III situations will come up where I'll think "this is really one sided, surely autocombat can't mess this up". It can, remarkably well - and just looking at results is enough to tell me it's up to old tricks. Still, that's a mild thing at worst.

Map size also seems to be running a bit higher. I personally consider this a negative, but I also like compact knife fights in strategy games, and while I tend to favor a bit more room for a 4x this is seeming a bit much. On the other hand movement is also mostly up, especially for air units (where the differences in map design around roads is a bit more irrelevant). There's also a new richness to some map features; rivers that interact with naval movement to some extent especially.

Then there's my favorite thing, which is that I actually like the factions thematically. There were a few cool things before, where a generally repetitive format was broken (e.g. goblin swarm darters, which are genuinely creative and not just your bog standard generic fantasy element), but it was still overwhelmed by generic fantasy right down to the name. There's recognizable tropes in abundance still, but the setting feels a lot more distinct and I am all for it. The lack of a generic tech tree is also really appreciated here; that's expected from series tradition but stands out pretty dramatically in the space fantasy 4x scene.
 

Guvmint Helper

Starbelly Geek
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I did about an hour of the tutorial last night. It's not the prior three games, precisely, but I could feel the engine of those games underneath things. The tech tree and unit mods feel a little like call-outs to SM Alpha Centauri. The combat feels to me a lot more AoW-ish.
Looking forward to many more hours on the game this weekend.
 

Ferrus Animus

42
Validated User
Having played a bit I think way too many special abilities are tied up in operations, and there's a definitive lack of interesting synergies.

All in all I think it is an interesting game, but there's some refinement it still needs, especially with some information. Though Triumph tends to really work on their games, so patches should be fun.
 
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