Warlock: Master of the Arcane Review
Warlock: Master of the Arcane is a turn-based, world conquering strategy game set in the magical realm of Ardania, as featured in the popular Majesty series of fantasy kingdom sims.
There are a few epic turn-based strategy games on the market, the most well-known being without doubt, Sid Meir’s Civilisation series. Developer Ino-Co Plus have taken this popular format and injected a wonderful element of RPG style magic. Warlock: Master of the Arcane puts the player in the role of a great mage, whose task is to build a mighty empire, develop powerful spells and dominate the vast lands.
Paradox Interactive seem to have an eye for high quality products and this is no exception. W:MotA is a high-quality, thoroughly entertaining and polished game. The sense of immersion into a mesmerizing reality of magic and wonder is bewitchingly created. The over-all style of W:MofA is highly original and thoroughly entertaining . The graphics, animations and effects are absolutely beautiful; the attention to detail and sheer quality of the visuals is astonishing. The sound design exceeded my expectations by a surprising margin; ambient sounds are particularly impressive and effectively create spooky and hypnotizing immersion into the arcane world of Ardania. The music is orchestral, rousing and perfectly matched.
I found that success required climbing a daunting yet satisfying learning curve; this is a deep game containing a plethora of units, spells, buildings and weaponry. Don’t fear the complexity though, as the developers have done a stunning job of creating an intuitive, user-friendly and balanced experience, which rewards the player with unfolding complexity and expansion. Among the many available units are Minotaurs, Werewolves, Vampires, Two-Headed Dragons and of course, Great Mages. Successfully expanding your kingdom and defeating rivals involves careful economic balancing, resource gathering and selective expansion. Currently, W:MofA is single-player only, which is a shame, as it would be huge fun in multi-player mode, but who knows, maybe this is planned for the future. There are presently two DLC packs available, which add new units, races and all manner of fantastical delights. A bonus for the multi-tasking gamer is that it can effectively be played with one hand by navigating the landscape effortlessly via zooming and scrolling with the mouse. Yeah. Other highlights include a Cheese Cave and the welcome return of the Scottish, Sean Connery-esque narrator of previous Majesty games, bringing a sweet touch of familiarity and lineage. Also worth a mention are the totally comprehensive game settings, which can be used to change your persona, race, alter world size and type, number of rivals, spells, perks and much, much, muuuuuuch more.
Warlock: Master of the Arcane brings a remarkably original, entertaining twist to a tried and tested genre, plus it’s great value for money to-boot. Procrastinators will be pleased to know a demo is readily available.
Developed by Ino-Co Plus
Published by Paradox Interactive
Release Date: 8 May 2012