Age Of Wonders III/3/three/iii/³ Announced

There is to be an Age Of Wonders III. Or 3. The press release calls it both. I shan’t commit until I see a box cover. The Dutch devs, flush on the success of Overlord 2, have announced their next project… hang on – didn’t Overlord 2 come out four years ago? What have you been doing for four years, Triumph?! Making Age Of Wonders iii it seems, 11 years after the last one.

It’s to be a “modern reimagining” of the series, which presumably means it’s no longer set in those old fuddy-duddy times of wizards and magic, to, um, the modern wizards and magic? There’s word of RPG elements sneaking their way into the RTS, with leaders of empires based on such classes. Development Director Lennar Sas explains,

“For example: as a Goblin Theocrat you can build your own holy empire, recruit little goblin crusaders or cute winged goblin angels equipped with flaming weapons, and wage war on your heathen enemies. We want players to be able to choose between lots of different play styles, without being restricted by fantasy clichés, like All Goblins Are Evil.”

Thank goodness, an end to the awful representation of goblinkind in gaming.

It’ll be in a shiny new engine (as you’d hope, with the last game coming out in 2002). Would you like a feature list? I bet you would.

  • Explore, expand and exploit a living fantasy world. Discover wondrous locations and gather legendary heroes.
  • Develop your domain, with many classes having the ability to change terrain and climates to suit your needs.
  • All new 3D graphics that provide a crisper and more detailed overview of the world and battle maps.
  • New styles of play are possible with the introduction of RPG style leader classes like warlord, theocrat, rogue and sorcerer, along with a wide selection of specializations.
  • Command a variety of races. Pick your starting race and shape your people’s destiny using your leader’s unique skills.
  • A brand-new tactical battle system renders each battlefield and siege in great detail; new rules include flanking and a massive set of special unit abilities.
  • An epic story campaign with two playable factions;. Choose the mighty Commonwealth Empire or join the Court of the High Elves, founded after the reunion of the Dark Elves and Wood Elves.
  • Compete online in extensive multiplayer modes and scenarios.
  • High replay value through random maps, difficulty modes and tools allowing user created content.

And here’s the announcement trailer:


  1. Hobbitmolester says:

    I peed a little.
    The Age of Wonders series has always been the closest thing to a Master of Magic spiritual succesor and probably my favourite fantasy TBS series.
    With this and Eador on the horizon this is going to be a good year.

  2. Enterprise2448 says:

    Is it turn based? It better be.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      I’m really hoping it is.”There’s word of RPG elements sneaking their way into the RTS” indicates no, but it could just be that Walker isn’t familiar with the series. The intro video doesn’t exactly make things any clearer.

      • Sebmono says:

        I have to think that was a mind brain mistyping. Age of Wonders has always been TBS and the feature list even drops “Explore, expand and exploit….”

    • killias2 says:

      I’d assume TB until you hear otherwise. I’m pretty sure the RTS comment was just a mistake (or due to ignorance about the series).

      Also, if you look at some of the screenshots, it looks TB. link to – Look at this for example. To these eyes, that looks like a TB 4x interface.

      The Eurogamer coverage also calls it a turn-based game: link to

      • default_name says:

        Maybe the strategy screen will be TB and the battle screen will be RT (with pause)? Like in Total War.

      • Necroscope says:

        The trailer suggests the units in a solid formation as if there are hidden hexes/shapes beneath their position, not the looseness of a real time battle. Sorry, bit vague. Hard to tell with so little information. I think it’s much like the old games yet the tech has been modernised
        edit: saw the screenshot in full, hexes and all:)

    • JiminyJickers says:

      There are hexes in the first screenshot, so it must be turnbased.

      Very excited!

  3. Fede says:

    I thought Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic from 2003 was number 3.

    But anyways, hope it’s as good as the other ones (which I got thanks to KG’s recommendation… so thanks, KG!).

    • Snargelfargen says:

      Looks like the only things being changed are the battlefields no longer being hex-based and a slightly more restricted hero development. Mildly worried about the first change, but the second is probably a good idea. Heroes could become insanely powerful in the late game, to the point where it removed all challenge.

  4. mrmalodor says:

    Those “crisp” 3D graphics are actually very blurry. I prefer pre-rendered high-res 2D art, it looks much better. Also, no turn-based (or simu-turn-based) = no buy.

  5. Arglebargle says:

    Hope it’s moddable. The modding community made a bunch of nice variations for AoW. I still play the Runequest one on and off, even today.

  6. nimbulan says:

    I can’t tell you how excited I am to see this announcement. I loved Master of Magic and Age of Wonders 2/Shadow Magic. Warlock is the only game I’ve seen since then that’s attempted this style of gameplay but I felt like it fell flat in a few areas. I can’t wait to hear more information about this game to see what improvements they’ve made.

  7. Drake Sigar says:

    Okay? I love the series, but this sure is an unexpected return!

  8. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    Even though the trailer is mostly useless, I like the steampunky gentleman.

    Apart from that I am tentatively excited. I’ve played many, many hours of the first two AoW (and Shadow Magic), but that was a very long time ago.

  9. mckertis says:

    “It’s to be a “modern reimagining” of the series”

    Ah ! So we will be getting 2-action system and cinematic cut-ins ?

    • LintMan says:

      “Modern reimagining”?

      I’m guessing that means
      – turning it into an FPS a la Syndicate!
      – adding an “awesome button”!
      – “MMO”/online only!
      – F2P/microtansactions!

      OK, I’m giving myself nightmares, I better stop.

  10. Vorphalack says:

    Got some nostalgia hearing the intro music to AoW1 in that trailer. I loved everything about that game, AoW3 cannot come soon enough.

  11. Col Sanders says:

    I am so confused had I not heard the music off AoW I wouldn’t be so mixed emotionally… This is like christmas only with a 50/50 chance of it being either awesome and crack-liek or bad and making me cry…

    In all seriousness I hope the game takes more after the first than the later ones which never held the same magic for me. Also scenario generator sounds cool but I hope there are a ton of pregen ones ala AoW with fluff to ease you in..

    Oooh oh and Azracs that’d be nice…

    • OpT1mUs says:

      Wow, I finally met the second person on Earth that prefers 1st AoW to later ones.

      I also like Disciple 1 more than 2, but there was less of a difference than between AoW 1 and 2.

      AoW was pure magic, AoW 2 was maybe a better game mechanically, but something was just missing.

  12. Bhazor says:

    At first I was disappointed because I misread it as Age of Mythology 3 and saw it wasn’t. Then I re read it and realised it’s even better.


  13. Riaktion says:

    Aw yes!! This is great news!! Huzzah!

  14. LintMan says:

    Definitely great news – far better than an “Overlord 3” announcement.

    But now for the burning question:

    Yea or Nay on Nymph Nipples?

  15. Reefpirate says:

    “There’s word of RPG elements sneaking their way into the RTS”

    I’m hoping this is just what happens when Mr. Walker reports on a 4X fantasy game, and not the horrible thought that AoW 3 will be an RTS.

    And… HOLY CRAP. Fallen Enchantress was kind of fun, but I’ve got a feeling this is what I REALLY wanted instead.

    • DK says:

      Yeah no other game managed to capture the Master of Magic style sheer power of magic. Fallen Enchantress doesn’t even come close.

      But Age of Wonders did. Summoning Angels of Death that literally turn the ground they walk on into wastelands. Stacking half a dozen buffs on your wierd half-dragon turtle thing.

      And of course the brilliant system where mages have special in-battle mana pools (in addition to the empire mana pool) to encourge lots of combat magic being thrown about.

  16. JackMultiple says:

    Spotted the GOG.COM logo at the end of the vid… DRM-free, baby!

  17. Gira says:

    “RTS”? Glad to see RPS is still holding itself to the highest journalistic standards. Perhaps it’s time to dedicate any surplus freelance budget to a dedicated research (read: Google) team.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      What do you think we’re here for?

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      You can’t expect a busy games journalist to hold such arcane knowledge as which genre a game belongs to.

      • Nick says:

        or the fact its always had RPG elements.

        But John Walker doesn’t do fact checking, it interferes with whatever his latest moral crusade happens to be.

  18. Beybars says:

    Oh the memories of playing Age of Wonders Shadow Magic…I only played Elves because I had a teen crush on their lead (Julia).

    I’ve been hoping for this for so long, that I lost hope.

  19. Eddy9000 says:

    Oh good god i would kill a man for Overlord 3.

  20. rsanchez1 says:

    I really liked Age of Wonders 2, but I hope they don’t overdo that 3D in AoW3.

    Now, unlike what RPS states, AoW is NOT an RTS, it is turn-based. It’s similar to Civilization, one of the best 4X series, in that both use grid systems, feature upgradable units, and allow you to expand your empire with settlers.

    The great thing about Civilization is that it still makes the grid system work. Civ 5 improves to a hex grid and works great. That’s why I want AoW3 to keep the same style. If they overdo the 3D, as in making the camera able to move freely and breaking the sense of a grid, it just won’t be something I’ll look forward to. This 3D style makes it look like it will be an RTS instead of 4X turn-based.

    I love Civ 5, and I hope I’ll love AoW3 too.

    • socrate says:

      Civ 5 is just one of the worst game ever and i hope they actually do that because quite frankly i wouldnt care if camera aren’t stuck in a position since its just that…i can still put it in a position im comfortable with.

      Civ 5 as horrible AI that was never fixed and made the game a dumb retarded thing to play in the first place and the implementation of having to put almost all city in a puppet state was just an horrible move that made the game even more boring and uninteractive,it was just the same game over the past one…not including the expansion of course since they made the same dumb expansion to make even more money out of retard that bought it to bring it back to the same game as before minus alots of stuff and minus the complexity that you could do with religion and spying then the previous title since well…the people its aimed at is apparently a bunch of drooling idiot oh and lets not forget leaving a bunch of civ out of the game to make people PAY for them out of DLC…WTH!!

      They just want to remove all the micromanagement and make the game a dumb ass 10 min rush to kill all civ…oh sure you can win by using the dumb border or politic…but seriously its way to much a pain in the ass with the horrible AI then its worth when the game is clearly made to push you to just rush with an army and not be clever at it at all,

      Back to Age of wonders 3…i really hope they push that Master of magic vibe a bit more because although i did like age of wonder 2 shadow magic alots of the stuff that made Master of magic so awesome weren’t really at the same stage of awesomeness…and sure you can turn invincible in both of them almost but really thats the AI problem of reacting to these tactic not really about the game balance imo…i really hope we can feel like a really powerful sorcerer in this one also and not be restricted by some poor AI that doesnt react or do the same kind of crazyness.

      3d is also really good imo and i think ive never had a problem…i mean wtf is up with people that don’t like 2d or 3d..its never a bad thing both are just different style of art and only show in a visual way what is happening in the game it never affect what really happen and its only a visual way to show it…both can be beautiful and i don’t even consider 3d as an evolved way of 2d i just think of it as different art style..sure it might not fit in alots of game but in AoW i think its totally fine as long as the main concept dont change…just like HoMM did

  21. ezekiel2517 says:

    WHAT? Fantastic!

    Now I only need a new Legacy of Kain game.

    • RedViv says:

      Given how Metroidvania-like Tomb Raider seems, we’ll have a modern engine ready to go for that. And vampires, gore, and elder gods are as rad as ever.

  22. Ysellian says:

    yeaaah! :) I hope it’s as good as the last.

  23. guygodbois00 says:

    Great news, indeed. If it’s turn based, that is. If it is not, then meh.

  24. El_Emmental says:

    I’m quite surprised Overlord II worked that well (loved the concept, but the actual implementation wasn’t that good imo) – an excellent news they’re doing well indeed.

    A year ago, the question would have been “but most importantly… can we talk to the Goblins ?”

    Nowadays it would be “but most importantly… is there a playable female Goblin (with full-plate flat armor) ?”

    What will be the next year question ? (I’m genuinely curious, a lot of things can happen in 12 months)

  25. Prime says:

    I could be reaching here…but those animations look very reminiscent of Rustmonkey’s work on the Thief series…

    Hugely anticipating this one. i own Shadow Magic but bounced off it a couple of times, so I’ve not yet found anything to plug that fantasy 4X hole in my life. This certainly looks like it could be it!

  26. JohnS says:

    The only thing I really wish for in this game is elaborate/entertaining descriptions and hand-painted portraits for each unit/hero. And that goes double for the goblin angels.

  27. b0rsuk says:

    As long as it’s TBS – awesome news ! These guys are competent.

  28. prowlinger says:

    I just jizzed in meh pants!

    Please keep the world destruction, flooding, etc aspect ! :)