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Age Of Darkness: Final Stand is a strategy game that can draw 70,000 units on screen at a time

Boring name, exciting game

Read the name "Age Of Darkness: Final Stand." Now go make a cup of tea. By the time the kettle's boiled, can you still remember the name?

It's a shame, because name aside I like everything Age Of Darkness is doing. It's a survival RTS in which you're attempting to reclaim a world from hordes of monsters and a deadly fog, and its art direction is lovely.

The fog drains health from your units and hides swarms of green monsters, called Nightmares, within it. During the day you expand, using light and fire to push back the fog, and at night you must defend yourself from the swarms using your units and your defensive structures.

Age Of Darkness can reportedly render 70,000 swarming units on screen at a time, which is impressive, but not as impressive as how legible it is in screenshots and trailers. It's a dark game, and it predominantly features green monsters swarming in great numbers against a background that's a different shade of green. And yet those monsters always pop and I can always pick the player's units out of the crowd. These are things that weren't true for me in They Are Billions.

There's a lot more going on, too. The maps are procedural, and there are randomised "Malices & Blessings" which can give you new things to think about. For example, a malice could cause a certain percentage of every soldier you train to come out as one of the monsters. There are also hero units, boss monsters, and skill trees.

Age Of Darkness is available in early access now, where it shall remain for at least a year. Its developers have released a roadmap of what they have planned. If you decide to buy it now from Steam, it'll cost £14/€19.80.

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Graham Smith


Graham used to be to blame for all this.

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