Author Topic: Planetfall review  (Read 128 times)

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Offline BlaneckW

Planetfall review
« on: September 08, 2019, 01:31:48 PM »
Age of Wonders has been my favorite series, and Planetfall is probably a good game. Maybe I even like it apart from being irritated, since it’s my series. It’s just not what I would have hoped for, partly because the empire building you would expect of the sci-fi genre simply isn’t there beyond a rudimentary level.

While I don’t demand the nitty-gritty of Alpha Centauri (not that I don’t like that), significant global and city strategic descion making might have been warranted, unless that would just be a complete turn off for their fan base. I like to think I am part of that fan base. And I know wargamers like war games but this iteration is definitely a little more civilization-esque, and it kind of would have been the place for it.

On the other hand, the Age of Wonders series was always a war game, so I suppose I could have been fine with it.  However, unlike previous games it expects me to care about war gaming on a gritty level, and I don’t.  At least not for if I don’t get the global strategy or empire building I want. 

More than past AOW games, Planetfall is made more for (practically revolves around) fans who want tactical battles. Not that you have to play them, but unlike previous games the tech tree is a bunch of weapon and other unit modifications I know little about or care little about, because I play games on the strategic level. AOW has always been a global game to me; I can enjoy tactical here and there to improve battle results.

In terms of other differences with past AOW games, I suppose I like the new province system. Past AOW maps kind of just had structures splayed around, here the map is tied together. But again, it feels like there’s not much strategy there (on the global level).  I also like the independent factions you can do “diplomacy” with, though I’ve only seen a couple of them. 

In closing, Planetfall reminds me a bit of other Paradox war games; I used to play the World War 2 games Hearts of Iron 1 & 2, and well, I’d probably be willing to design a unit in it, but Hearts of Iron lacks other stuff you might want like a political system, which you get in the Kaissereich mod. I know it’s supposed to be a “war game”, but you start to wonder if designers are just complete a-holes for not giving you something with more than one dimension.  I can only guess that one dimension must be what wargamers want.

Maybe I will learn to enjoy Planetfall as just a wargame if the AI or campaign presents a challenge. Although it seems unlikely, I wouldn’t be surprised if Triumph made a more empire building game, or overhauled the current one with an expansion or sequel. The AI of AOW3 for instance was overhauled, and I enjoyed the Frostling expansion’s campaign and content.  I expect great things of Triumph, and remain hopeful if irritated, unless they intend to service only the people that like this kind of thing.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2019, 09:17:09 PM by BlaneckW »

Offline Raaf

Re: Planetfall review
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2019, 01:27:40 PM »
Age of Wonders is not CIV. And it doesn't want to be.

Offline BlaneckW

Re: Planetfall review
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2019, 06:31:58 AM »
Age of Wonders is not CIV. And it doesn't want to be.
I know that, and apart from liking Alpha Centauri I haven’t been into Civ since Civ 4 unless I wanted to try Beyond Earth.  I just think it could have used more of it - or more of something.

As I said, I don’t expect it to go there to the same degree.  But it introduced more war game stuff that hasn’t added anything for me without a little more empire building game on the side. You build an empire in breadth in terms of numbers of cities but there isn’t any depth to that empire. 

AOW was a simpler series, classic games with good stories and (mostly) good campaigns, and I enjoyed it for what it was. This isn’t simple, and my expectations are higher.  Simply saying “it’s not Civ” isn’t enough for me anymore in such a circumstance, you have to have something more there unless you want a mediocre review from anyone other a wargamer.  So that’s what I gave it, with qualification.

Offline DrazharLn

Re: Planetfall review
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2019, 12:02:21 PM »

Offline Raaf

Re: Planetfall review
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2019, 11:23:31 PM »
Age of Wonders is not CIV. And it doesn't want to be.
I know that, and apart from liking Alpha Centauri I haven’t been into Civ since Civ 4 unless I wanted to try Beyond Earth.  I just think it could have used more of it - or more of something.

As I said, I don’t expect it to go there to the same degree.  But it introduced more war game stuff that hasn’t added anything for me without a little more empire building game on the side. You build an empire in breadth in terms of numbers of cities but there isn’t any depth to that empire. 

AOW was a simpler series, classic games with good stories and (mostly) good campaigns, and I enjoyed it for what it was. This isn’t simple, and my expectations are higher.  Simply saying “it’s not Civ” isn’t enough for me anymore in such a circumstance, you have to have something more there unless you want a mediocre review from anyone other a wargamer.  So that’s what I gave it, with qualification.

Your Empire is not measured by the number of your cities, but by the build of your army. You must not outgrow your enemies, you must beat them in battle.

So when the military aspect of the game doesn't capture your interest, the game is not aimed at you. Doing silly amounts of damage in battle is where the designers concentrated the fun, for those who enjoy that kind of thing.

Offline BlaneckW

Re: Planetfall review
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2019, 08:12:54 PM »
Your Empire is not measured by the number of your cities, but by the build of your army.
Which of course I am not prepared to care about in a 4X empire building game that doesn’t have empire building or really much global strategy.  This isn’t hard.  If I want to customize an army I will load up Final Fantasy Tactics or something.  It doesn’t bother me on Alpha Centauri because AC is otherwise a good game (and of course unit design is not as complex).  Planetfall is a bunch of weapons disguised as an empire building game.

 

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