Warlock 2 The Exiled is a fantasy, turnbased, strategy, 4x game developed at the Ino-Co Plus studios, published by Paradox Interactive and waiting for you on steam since 04-10-2014. Although I still have a couple up my sleeve, todays review isn’t a space game but a needed change of category. Originally I intended to review Smugglers 5 but the loyal SteamFirst readers will know my last reviews all contained galactic warfare so forgive me but I needed this. Don’t be sad space junkies my next review will be another non gravity adventure.
But back to the review. You start choosing one out of five difficulty levels, from “what is a strategy game” up to “impossible”. There are three game modes, the exiled mode: which is storyline, sandbox mode: you will battle great mages on one world, and there is battle for the outplanes: this will make you battle great mages on all worlds. Victory goals depend on the game mode you choose. You can choose world size and the number of rival mages and after all these choices you only have to choose your mage. There are 14 mages, all with their own perks but you can customize them and add some perks via DLC’s. Finally we reached our hex grid world were we have nothing other than a castle, a farm and two level one units. There are up to 19 different worlds to explore and conquer and you can reach them through portals. Every world has its unique landscape like a lava world, an ice world and so on. The hexes themselves have different landscapes too, like mountains, plains, desert, living forest and many, many more. The landscape can heal or damage you, give a defense bonus and can influence your money, food and mana production. So it is wise to choose your path carefully and pay attention where you construct which building.
City building is a major factor because this is where you get all your supplies and fresh units. there are also special cities, like a fortress, a temple to honor a god and a free town. Special cities won’t grow and you can’t construct buildings there. But they won’t create unrest amongst your citizens and they don’t count in the number of cities since you can have only so much. Some hexes contain a resource on which a unique building can be built. Your units are very diverse from simple spearmen and bow fighters to a giant bear man and court werewolves. The court werewolves are my favorite unit so far, very powerful and they wear a top hat, they just look cool. There are 4 slots for lords, extremely strong individuals who can take on several units or a castle by themselves. They can be equipped with artefacts you can find on the maps or craft yourself. What’s a great mage if he can’t cast spells? You start with none, one or two spells and through research you can add quite a bit, meaning a lot. Healing units, attacking foes and changing landscapes are just a few examples of what your magic can accomplish.
Graphically the game looks very appealing, with an eye for detail. Fish swimming in the water, birds flying in the sky, moving plants in the living forest and even sandstorms in the desert. If you zoom in closely your units and building are very well made. The cut scenes and loading screens look very good. I just can’t find a negative here, and that’s how we like it. Sound is great, many different voices from funny and wacky to serious and bored. One of the healers in a game frequently replied “if we must” after giving her an order, I like that. You can choose one of three narrators and the default voice is a Sean Connery like voice. Background sounds change with the world and are good just like sound effects of your units. No complaints in this department either. Gameplay is solid and because of the diversity in every possible way it has a high replay value, even more so because there are 70 plus steam achievements, That will keep you occupied for a while. A long while.
replay value 4.5/5.0
There is a manual on steam explaining exactly how to create mods for the creative people amongst you. In my personal humble opinion the game is underappreciated by the community mainly because it doesn’t add enough difference from the first part, I haven’t had the pleasure to play part 1. I have quite some hours of gameplay and encountered only one bug, when I wanted to make fertile lands on a certain hex in the lava world the game crashes immediately with an error message. (I tried it more than once with the same result) Personally I can live with that and it doesn’t make the game unplayable. all in all this is a great game, definitely worth its money. For every strategy, 4x fan a must have and a certain recommendation to anyone looking for something else or who thought strategy games are boring because this one certainly isn’t. stop reading and get this title on steam.
overall score 4.5/5.0