By all accounts, Warlock: Master of the Arcane was a game that took a number of cues from Civilization V, setting out its turn-based strategy atop sprawling, hex-based maps. But it was a rather more light-hearted affair than most strategy games out there, freely combining the fantastical and the ridiculous with often hilarious effect, and just about managing to avoid a decent into wacky, random humour just for the sake of it.
Now, its sequel is almost here. The world has been torn asunder, ripped into shards connected only by magical portals and its your job to find your way back to the world of Ardania from the far-flung shard upon which you find yourself at the start of the game. The maps are all dynamically-generated, every playthrough is going to be different, and there's a new race in the form of the Planestriders, whom we take control of here.
I'll be honest, I never played the original Warlock game. But I've long been a fan of the Civ series (who hasn't?!) and my favourite strategy series of all time is the Heroes of Might and Magic franchise, and there are a few pleasant parallels to Ubisoft's TBS in here as well, so I rather jumped at the chance to get an early hands-on with Warlock II. I completely lost track of time, which bodes rather well for the finished product, and in a week where I've had Titanfall and inFamous to get stuck into, it's a testament to Warlock II's systemic quality that I can't wait to play it again.
So here's a rather lengthy Let's Play video charting my first half hour with the game. You'll get a little taste of the heroes, the new Planestriders, the revamped UI and progression options, and how the shard-based maps work.
There's another video already in the pipeline, and if people respond well to them we'll keep them coming.