The danger for 4X strategies is that, inevitably, they'll be compared to Civilization. Although, to be fair, many games are openly inviting that comparison. Galactic Civilizations, which yesterday released its own set of screenshots, contains the word "Civilization" in its title, for instance. Then there's the fantasy 4X, Warlock 2: The Exiled, which has successfully differentiated itself by name, if not entirely by look. Judge for yourself, by browsing the game's first selection of screenshots.
First though, here's a sample of the game's feature list:
"Spelling Counts – Over 150 spells to add to your tome, allowing command over powerful enchantments, nasty hexes, and elemental forces
"A Crass Menagerie – Hundreds of different mythical and magical beasts to deploy on the battlefield with distinct tactical uses, from giant rats and dwarven prospectors to werewolves with hats on them
"Friendship is Magic – A multi-player experience as robust as the single-player experience, including PvP, Co-op PvE, and every combination in between
"Warlock 2: The Playstyles – Fight your way through the shards to reclaim Ardania in new ‘Exile’ mode or dispatch opponents the old-fashioned way in ‘Sandbox’ mode."
With that information seared into your eyeballs through arcane magicks, here be screenshots.
Okay, to be fair, Civ 5 doesn't have Polar Giants.
And, if the game's anything like the first Warlock, it'll be a much more combat focused 4X, with its fantasy trappings increasing the chances for violent conflict and destructive spells.
Warlock 2: The Exiled is due out Spring 2014. For an earlier look, check out the Paradox Twitch.tv channel, which will be livestreaming the game from 7pm tonight.