E3 2001 Preshow ReportAge of Wonders II: The Wizard's Throne

GodGames and Triumph Studios will show their turn-based strategy sequel at this year's E3.

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Age of Wonders II: The Wizard's Throne will be the fantasy-themed turn-based strategy sequel to the original game, which was released in 1999. The sequel is currently in development at Triumph Studios, the creator of the original game, although another strategy-game developer--PopTop Studios, the creator of Railroad Tycoon II and Tropico--is also providing creative input into the sequel's development.

Like the original game, Age of Wonders II will be a turn-based strategy game that'll let you collect resources, research magic spells, and gather armies of fantasy creatures to conquer territory and defend against enemy attacks. However, the sequel will feature enhancements to just about every aspect of the game, including its interface, combat, diplomacy, and management systems, and will also feature enhanced role-playing game elements.

For starters, in Age of Wonders II, you won't simply begin a game with a hero unit and a small army; you'll play as the young wizard Merlin, and you must compete for control of the powerful Wizard's Throne. To that end, you'll need to recruit heroes and armies to aid your cause and develop your heroes' combat abilities and skills as they gain experience, but you'll also improve your own wizard's skills in the arts of negotiation and trade. And unlike in the first game, you won't be restricted to playing as a single fantasy race; as long as you manage healthy diplomatic relations with the races you join with, you can recruit units from any allied race. And Age of Wonders II will not only feature the original game's races--like dark elves, frostlings, halflings, and dwarves--it'll also feature new player races, like the draconians, some of which can breathe fire, cast magic spells, or even fly.

Age of Wonders II will also feature enhanced tactical combat that'll take the game's new polygonal terrain into account. The sequel will also feature improvements on the original game's multiplayer play, including more streamlined interfaces and an enhanced version of the first game's simultaneous-turn play mode.

Age of Wonders II: The Wizard's Throne is currently scheduled for release early next year. We'll have more coverage right from the show floor soon.

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