Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Hands-On With Cyborg Trash Zombies

Whenever a strategy game gives me the option to choose between several distinct factions, I'm always faced with a petrifying dilemma. Do I choose the stalwart mech-using humans known as the Vanguard that are always reliable and familiar? Do I change things up and go exotic with a race of bug-like aliens called the Kir’ko that are eager to defend their newfound freedom after centuries of enslavement? Wait a minute — is that a faction comprised of undying dumpster divers who meld whatever tech they can find or kill for and graft it onto their bodies? Yes please!

That's right, in my hands-on demo with Age of Wonders: Planetfall, I got some time in with the faction known as The Assembly. True to their name, they love manufacturing: slapping together pieces of people and machinery, engineering virulent diseases — you name it. Somehow, they feel right at home next to the dinosaur-riding Amazons and insectoid aliens all vying for a slice of planetary conquest. So far, each faction I've seen is more than just eye candy, as they all have their compelling backstories in a world reeling from the collapse of an imperious galactic civilization. Even the tech trees and upgrades tell a story of your faction's desire to stand apart and evolve, and you'll have a major role in choosing how they grow each time you play.

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