The pros and cons of any Early Access game is that there is still a lot of work to be done. So criticism can be addressed before the full release, which is of course great. So such articles dealing with such a game are difficult. After all, there is no guarantee that what we write now will still be in effect next week.
With that in mind, let’s first mention that the version of Age of Darkness: Final Stand we reviewed for this article is version 0.8. It is mainly based on existing content, with the addition of new units and capabilities. New is the Armor Shred mechanism, whereby enemies wearing armor take less damage, but may lose it if they get enough Shred Damage.
But what is
The above is kind of a context for people who have been eyeing the game for a while, but you’re probably reading this because you want to know what the age of darkness is now. In short, it is a mix between a survival game and an RTS, where the goal is to survive as long as possible against huge groups of enemies. Think they’re billions, but with fantasy rather than post-apocalyptic zombie horror.
Humanity has pretty much fallen into this setting. A strange mist covers the kingdom and is full of hideous beasts who want to add our species to the list of extinct species as soon as possible. In a last attempt to survive, unite the remaining humans in a fortress that you will be in charge of. This comes with a story, but is not yet available in the current version. Same goes for multiplayer, by the way, so we were only able to have fun in survival mode.
scared in the dark
The name of this fashion says exactly what you should do: survive. You start with almost nothing, knowing that hordes are on their way. You don’t know where they come from, how many units and what kind of units, but as soon as night falls, chaos breaks out without a doubt. So you should make the most of the daylight to gather resources to strengthen your base, hoping you won’t come from one side where you can’t put up a new tower.
Fortunately, you won’t be surprised the first night. To keep the gameplay fair, the number of enemies builds up steadily until you finally reach Death Night. Then hell explodes and thousands upon thousands of enemies will come upon you. The question is what are the limits of the game. But the engine could theoretically conjure up 70,000 units on the screen. You’ll kick your clothes for less!
eye in sail
Under these conditions, you can of course not leave anything to chance. Age of Darkness gives you plenty of tools to steer things in the right direction, so you can manage units in detail. This is a must especially with hero units, very strong fighters, because you don’t want to risk losing these powers. But it does eventually, because survival mode has one end: yours. I’m very curious if the campaign will bring something different with these heroes. Something tells me it won’t be long before we find out, because when it comes to polishing and optimizing, the game actually looks more than done.
Even with version 0.8, Age of Darkness looks like a title that could be on many storefronts. It’s polished, all the mechanics are built in and just the gameplay loop works. So it is plausible that it will be the campaign and the multiplayer that will enrich the final game. Are they as good as surviving? Then I see a light in the dark.
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