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Is it Worth Getting: Warlock: Master of the Arcane

Updated on July 9, 2012

Warlock: Master of the Arcane

When you see a trailer for a game nowadays, it almost always consists primarily of cinematics or a very brief glance of the real game-play. When considering spending your own hard-earned cash on any new, shiny game may seem like a great idea, it's always best to actually be able to see what your purchasing and see if it's just another re-make, or if its the next best game in the industry. When game trailers alone aren't enough, I always go on Youtube and search up gameplays, but sadly these never really seem to highlight the pros and the cons of the game. So I have decided to try and fill that role by providing you with enough information to answer the question "Is it worth getting?". The first game subject to my simple examination is Warlock: Master of the Arcane. The first point that I'm going to point out right off the bat is that if you don't like turn based, long-winded, strategy games, much like Civilization 5, you probably wont like this game. That said, they are only similar in how they are turn based, the combat is unit versus unit, and minor mechanics such as settlers, and building and unit construction taking a consistent tole on your income. While those may seem like what makes most of a game, the changes that Warlock: Master of the Arcane delivers gives it a refreshing twist to the mechanical consistency of games like civilization.

There are some minor changes that should be known, such as there are three resources, gold (used for mainly retaining human buildings and units), food (used for monster and human), and mana (used for all three but mostly for undead). Also, and i have found this particularly annoying, you cannot buy tiles to expand your cities, which has on many occasions left me with a near useless city encompassed by resources that I would like sooner, rather than later. On even more important notes, there are eight all powerful gods that will give you quests, send their very hard to kill disciples to reach havoc on on your populations, allocate powerful spells for your use, and if you anger one of them enough, their very own all powerful avatar will attempt to destroy your empire, but defeating a god itself does give you a victory, making it a path to consider. Keeping to the subject of gods, it should be know that each god has its opposite, order and chaos, light and darkness, so it shouldn't be too surprising that if you gain one's favor, you lose another's. And the gods aren't the only ones with powerful minions, if you gain enough favor, you can build a temple on holy ground that gives you access to a extremely powerful unit. The holy ground is actually a certain kind of special resource, along with the common iron, gold and silver, you can also find dwarven settlements, and Minotaur palaces(among others) to train exceptional units. These do come with another option though, instead of getting a Minotaur training center, you can create a center that gives a very powerful "Tired by the Labyrinth" buff to all units coming from that city. Just as a silver mine could also be used to create silver armor. Even a magical portal to another realm full of powerful units and vast resources can be found scattered about the land.

While the argument could be made that those changes aren't enough to be considered a drastic change from the norm, the addition to magical spells can create game changing moments. With a random selection of spells given for you to research, if gives both players and computer opponents the ability to create elemental units at there will, or obliterate an army that is assuming they are your absolute doom. You can buff your own units to adapt them to a certain enemy, or send down a fireball when you know it will hurt the most. Or maybe you would rather summon a pack of ghost wolves right on the high ground your opponent was just considering retreating to. The applications and uses of these spells are almost endless. I have found that the addition of these magic spells has completely warped how I thought I should have been playing these games. When I try to create a two pronged attack with the intention of distracting the powerful units and pulling them out of position while I come from below with a band of anti-range buffed warriors designed to take the city, I lose them to a firestorm spell that takes advantage of the lack of elemental resistance that I applied.When caught in between two great mages that turned out to be more than I could handle, instead of having to sacrifice a city for the sake of another, I can summon an earth elemental capable of protecting my city with ease. The addition of the magic feature in Warlock: Master of the Arcane has been a nice splash of new to the dull picture that has become modern turn based strategy games.

Some cons I have found in this game are a very restricted amount of "regular units". While the special units one can acquire have spiced up the battles, most of my army for the game was stuck as tier 1 units, and I have yet to find any unit passing tier 2 besides the special ones. Also these basic units don't have a chance at holding their own against even the most basic Minotaur squad when it has the uphill advantage. Do to the necessity of using the special resources and given units accordingly, the beginning of the game has always reverted to "who gets the most new cities the quickest". The current price tag on steam right now is twenty dollars, making it defiantly cheaper than your average game. While there are certainly more flaws and more advantages to getting this game than what I have outlined, I do hope that I have aided you in providing a third party view of Warlock:Master of the Arcane.


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