Another sunrise, another day of toil. Food must be grown, industries built, science and magic advanced, and wealth collected. Urgency drives these simple efforts, however, for your planet holds a history of unexplained apocalypse, and the winter you just survived was the worst on record. A fact that has also been true for the previous five. As you discover the lost secrets of your world and the mysteries of the legends and ruins that exist as much in reality as in rumor, you will come to see that you are not alone. Other peoples also struggle to survive, to grow, and perhaps even to conquer. You have a city, a loyal populace, and a few troops; your power and magic should be sufficient to keep them alive. But beyond that, nothing is certain… Where will you go, what will you find, and how will you react? Will your trail be one of roses, or of blood?
There isn't any way around it, this is a much more in-depth fantasy version of Civilization 5. Aside from all the depth and such, the setting feels far more fitting than the "insert X historical leader as the figurehead of X nation" of Civilization. The "world gets periodically buried in an ice age" lore simply works well, where that historical stuff is fun but wears quickly; at least in my experience. It generally helps the diversity of the world, factions, and even is a gameplay element with the onset of a punishing winter for elongated periods of time.
City placement isn't dictated by distance between cities but rather they're divided by generated provinces you can claim with a single city, entirely doing away with gamey nonsense and weird broken borders typical to Civ5. Technology is organic, only divided into tiers rather than mandatory lines of progress more like a loading bar as a manifestation of your needs. After having played a number of Paradox strategy games, I've come to appreciate a good UI and this game certainly isn't hard to navigate through; everything's where it should be, no hassle.
Diplomacy isn't the typical limited rigid enemy/neutral/friendly set either. By default nations are in a state of "cold war" from which point they can either become friendly or fight their opposition's armies over control of neutral territory. You can also compliment and insult, among other things to decrease or increase the cost of certain types of diplomatic declarations and agreements. No longer are the days of "I really want to kill that guy's settler but I really don't want to declare war on him" as now you can simply slaughter them along with everything else.
Units are one of the finer points of this developer's games, at least compared to most generic units in strategy games. Each faction has three basic units but you can drastically alter them by creating(renaming kinda) a new unit with better equipment, along with any minor faction's units you pick up along the way. You could make your ranged units more durable than any generic mele unit, create a berserker unit, or even the most expensive upgraded thing you can get your hands on.
Heroes play a role much like characters in more recent Total War games. They can be given the finest equipment your nation has like any unit and eventually level-up to be anything from a skilled administrator to a glorious commander through a very Total War-esq tree of passive boons. In battle, they also play a role as a most effective unit.
Faction diversity's easily among the strongest features of this game, going against the current trend of making factions very much the same as each other. For instance, one of them can only build a single powerful city and subjugate distant minor faction villages which then occasionally supply that faction with free units. Another can only increase its population and heal units through using dust (magical money). The trader faction can even uproot its cities and set down somewhere else at will. This vast difference between factions is only further supplemented by the ability to create custom factions, with a limited point system providing you a series of boons along with crippling debuffs to choose from; ensuring balance.
If you've enjoyed Civilization, you'll probably find this game surpasses it in pretty much every way—though the character limit on custom names is truly criminal.
Игра очень понравилась. Я давно хотел цивилизации в стиле фентези хорошего качества.
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