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Warlock: Master of the Arcane PC preview, ratings, trailer and credits
Read the preview of the game Warlock: Master of the Arcane and know the pros and cons of the game revealed from the preview. Watch the graphics and game play of Warlock: Master of the Arcane and a lot more about the PC game Warlock: Master of the Arcane
A turn -based strategy game in the most old-fashioned sense of the term, Warlock: Master of the Arcane struggles to grab our attention at first. From the hex- based movement to the generic title, Warlock seemed like 1,000 other games.
Warlock: Master of the Arcane starts with the selection from 3 races with their unique set of race and leader. Each leader has their own specialities and then you have to take over a randomly generated world.
A quick tinker with the latest build of the game was enough to correct that, however; before long, we'd lose track of the time and sink hours into drawn-out matches against admittedly ropey AI. The combination of dry humor and bright caricatured graphics works wonders when it comes to fusing character into the game, making Warlock so much better than the same-old feature set might suggest.
Much of that humor is hard to pinpoint in the preview build, though; this distinctly alpha version is littered with spelling mistakes and placeholder graphics, so most of the fun comes from how the game pokes fun at the genre. One of the first enemies we encounter is a group of giant cockroaches in junk-pile warrens— a sarcastic alternative to the rats that are usually so ubiquitous in fantasy worlds. Meanwhile, the launch trailers are narrated by someone performing a laughably poor imitation of Sean Connery
It's the game that matters most though — and while Warlock: Master of the Arcane fails to amaze, it also doesn't disappoint. It's a traditional and straightforward strategy game in the same vein as the old Warlord series, except here you're a powerful wizard trying to restore order to the realm. The realm in question is Ardania, by the way, which is also the setting for the Majesty series.
There are a few nuances layered on top of the usual action too— being an omnipotent sorcerer means that you can impact on the world directly by healing troops or raining fireballs on your enemies. Understanding how to use magic properly plays an important part in achieving victory too, as thunderbolts aren't effective against lightning or some of the other wild beasts that roam the land, for example.
Ultimately though, most of these features are much of a muchness and Warlock: Master of the Arcane does little to deviate from the conventions of the genre. Building mines, churning out units and charging down tech-trees are still the order of the day, and the occasional debuff spell doesn't change that. This might sound like a criticism of the game, but for devotees of the genre, it's definitely good news, even if the screenshots make it look like little more than a Civilization V mod.
We don't know how the final version of Warlock: Master of the Arcane will turn out, as many of the menu options in the preview build refused to work. There are all manner of hints towards spells and features that may show up in the eventual release too. But so far, though, Warlock is shaping up to be an intensely enjoyable, tongue-in-cheek strategy game; along the Larian Studios Dragon Commander, it could be a sleeper hit for 2012.
Other Specifications of Warlock: Master of the Arcane
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Developer: Ino-Co Plus
Pros of Warlock: Master of the Arcane
• Good turn-based strategy game.
• Dry humor and bright caricatured graphics.
Cons of Warlock: Master of the Arcane
• Ropey AI.
• Littered with spelling mistakes and placeholder graphics.
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