Sins of a Dark Age dawning in 2012

Ironclad Games' follow-up to Sins of a Solar Empire tackles free-to-play action RTS genre beginning with closed beta next month.

Four years on from its critically acclaimed Sins of a Solar Empire, Ironclad Games is lifting the curtain on its next project. Today, the independent developer announced Sins of a Dark Age, a new action real-time strategy property headed to the PC in 2012.

In SODA, gamers can assume the role of a four-armed behemoth or a creepy set of eyes.

Ironclad is taking its cues from the increasingly popular multiplayer online battle arena genre, whose primary players include League of Legends and DOTA. As in those games, a small contingent of players face off against one another or an artificial intelligence enemy in a fantasy setting, aided by waves of helper minions.

Sins of a Dark Age will be riffing on this formula by introducing a "hero-and-commander" element. Players who choose to play as a hero will mix it up on the field of battle as in other MOBA-style games. Those who play as a commander will operate in a general's role, constructing bases, erecting defenses, and directing helper minions.

Ironclad will be following a free-to-play business model with Sins of a Dark Age. The game's base experience is free, and players can augment their game by purchasing various post-release content, including new heroes and commanders. Post-release content also includes new factions, units, maps, and character skins.

Those interested in beta testing Sins of a Dark Age can sign up through the game's website. Ironclad expects to open up the game's closed beta in March.

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