Age of Wonders never ceases to amaze me with its fantastic storytelling, new content, and necromancy/vampirism… I mean, new factions. In November, Triumph Studios released their first DLC for Age of Wonders: Planetfall – Revelations. It added tons of great features to the stellar 4x Strategy game, and it has sucked me in with its beginning plot hook, new tech, new factions, challenging creatures, and new world features. After playing through the game for several hours, I found myself so engrossed in the story, that I didn’t notice the time passing. Revelations has in depth lore, has a beautifully interwoven story, and excellent music. Triumph Studios has done well by its fans and I can’t recommend Age of Wonders with its DLC enough.
I’ve dumped a decent amount of time in Age of Wonders: Revelations so far, and I have to say that I’m pleasantly surprised by the content in this first DLC. It is very easy to get sucked right into the story of discovery, helping out different factions that you haven’t dealt with before, and analyzing the new anomalies scattered throughout the world.
Let’s talk about the world, shall we?
Firstly, players begin on a different planet in efforts to help a Kir’Ko friend. While hunting for these secrets that the Kir’Ko speaks about, a familiar face opens communication with you. She heads to your location but crash lands, leaving no survivors. You push forward, hoping to find out about an ancient faction known as the Es’Teq. And this is the point that I was hooked on Revelations, because Triumph Studios gave me a mystery to solve, with potential of hidden riches.
Right off the bat I noticed some new features like resource nods that would give minor boosts in research or energy. These are free for the taking so long as other factions haven’t grabbed them before you arrive at the location. Already, I found this to be a great addition to Age of Wonders: Planetfall. Often times, it can be a struggle to keep your energy up when different factions start demanding a certain amount of energy per turn. Every little bit helps, I always say.
Next on the new additions in Revelations are anomalies that players can discover and search through. When the screen pops up, players might note something in the bottom which tells them how many steps there are to completion, like 1/3. For me, this is a helpful bit of knowledge because it allows players to strategize whether they want to take the amount of turns to unveil the mystery or risk forcing through it. If a player goes through the anomaly to get the rewards at the end, then they will not have that group available to defend their territory from the wild creatures roaming around. It’s a neat concept that required me to think about my actions, especially at the beginning of the game. I tended to complete the anomalies for the additional rewards.
While playing through Revelations, I encountered some of the new creatures, and painfully got my ass kicked. I have to say that one of them is quite entertaining, if not brutal, like the MegaSow and it’s youngens. Yes. The giant pig thing is called a MegaSow and it hurts when you fight it. Trust me. I lost the battle the first time because my units didn’t have enough army value. (I mean, it was worth a shot, but I knew that there was a high chance I’d fail the encounter.) Eventually, I was able to take out the MegaSow and its Piglets but not without getting a bigger army!
I spent a fair amount of time immersed in wonder throughout my time in Revelations because I was presented with the mystery of the Es’Teq faction. During my time, I made enemies with people that began as neutral. It ended up that they formed a defensive pact with another faction that I was not on good terms with. The only person that is currently friendly with me is none other than Jack Gelder – the Syndicate member you play in the base game. Well played game. Well played. I guess I understand his motivations better than the other factions? I don’t know. Maybe I took on too much. Regardless, I’ve been having a great time playing through Revelations.
With the new content added, combined with the features already included in the base game, Revelations is a worthwhile DLC because it adds a fair amount for a decent price point. And, not only is there more than ten hours worth of gameplay added, but there are new mechanics, factions, and technology to sweeten the deal. I may be still getting used to the Age of Wonders series, but I can’t help but marvel at its story, gameplay, and features. The Revelations DLC makes an already great game better in many ways – apart from the odd game crash (which hasn’t been frequent and I only ever lost one turn or two.)
Revelations DLC Features
To give readers and idea of the content added to the game, here is a list of things that players can experience in the Revelations DLC – some of which I mentioned above:
- Story Content: The Revelations DLC comes with another 10+ hours of story content through two campaigns. This extra content brings players through the story of the Es’Teq dynasty, a mysterious group that has its secrets. Throughout gameplay, familiar faces can be seen like Jack Gelder – the Syndicate member that you play in the base game of Age of Wonders: Planetfall.
- Secret Technology: Heritor – This is an energy draining tech that effectively makes units act like necromancers or vampires. It consumes energy and can be used to gain creatures like Golems.
- New Faction: The Forgotten – A recruitable faction with new units and abilities that can be helpful against the other NPCs – or potentially terrible because you’re allied with them…
- Another Faction: Reapers – Reapers, robotic units, now roam the world in search of Heritor technology. They used to be affiliated with the Heritor cause but will now stop at nothing to get their technology back. This group brings some new threats to the world…
- New Threats: There are brutal wild creatures that can ruin a players day known as MegaSow’s. With them come the babies which can take out certain units with ease, known as Piglets. These creatures are bio-engineered and can be quite brutal in combat. Sometimes they swarm and can gain an extra melee attack when fleeing their attacks. I did die to this group at least once…
- Anomalies: On the map, players can see one of the new features at the beginning of the game, which are known as anomalies. These have the potential to reap rewards or trap players with some nasty surprises. Each anomaly is different and tends to take a few turns to explore, depending on the choices that a player makes. In one of them, I dismantled a security system and gained rewards for doing so, instead of kicking open the door to a potentially awful fate.
- Resource Pick Up Spots: Revelation adds a new perk for players. They can now gain a small boost in resources from certain areas of the map. Sometimes this means players gain energy while other times its a boost in research. Though these boosts aren’t significant, they help with the players economy in the short term.
- Essence Gashes: Also present on the map are spots known as essence gashes which will give units different combat effects or abilities. This can players dramatically throughout gameplay.
- New Scenario: Tomb World: This is a scenario where players can experience the new factions and creatures with a multiplayer quest line.
- Free Content: Players have the ability to take over imperial defenses by unlocking operations. Combat effects will augment the player colonies because of this fact.