Posted: November 26
I haven't reviewed many games, but I've logged more hours into this game than any other in my library so far, including Skyrim. It's a very detailed strategy game that includes Civilization style kingdom/empire building from a starting date (after a world-shattering cataclysm) until you achieve one of multiple possible victories over the competition. Similarities to Civilization include focusing research to unlock new city improvements, resources, units, and abilities; expanding your country through exploration or conquest; making trade agreements, treaties, and war with other factions; and turn-based actions for all levels of the game.
However, this game also includes a lot of plot. There are some default scenarios you can play to see what the underlying relationship is between each of the sovereigns. Even if you choose to just do a custom map or pre-set map without a scenario, you are able to control a soverign character and heroes s/he recruits to complete quests, explore the map, and level up customized ability trees. This comes into play into the larger faction planning because leveling these characters unlocks abilities and bonuses that can boost any other aspect of the game and can lead to extremely powerful units that can trounce through ordinary enemies. There's not as many factions as similar games, but the bonuses are fairly unique to each sovereign and allow for enough variation that trying different game types is a good way to learn new strategies.
The fantasy theme is also very fun. There was a lot of effort and creative writing with the incredible number of quests and lore that is inlcuded in each game. The DLC adds even more.
Overall, I just haven't gotten bored with this game. It's a lot of fun and worth the full price, though I did find it on sale when I purchased it. That said, if I had played a demo beforehand, I would have gladly paid the full price if no sale was offered. I had no qualms about paying for DLC, each of the ones I have so far were worth it.