Review: Warlock 2: The Exiled

Warlock-StoryYou are a great mage who has been exiled from your homeland and sent to one of the many shards spread out across Ardania. The time has come to seek vengeance on the enemies who sent you there by leading a force of fierce armies back through fractured shards filled with hostile mages and terrifying creatures in an attempt to reach your homeland once again.Warlock-PresentationThe game is aesthetically pleasing, cities you build look pretty and the land around it has a charm that isn’t like any other game I’ve played. The HUD is clean with obvious features to point you in the correct direction and the format in which you access new buildings to construct or new champions to train is also well done. One thing I’d like to also mention is the fog of war feature that is used to hide parts of the map that you have yet to discover, looks fantastic. The fog is pretty and it’s a nice touch.

The gameplay is quite slow paced with a lack of general player interaction, as it is a turn based game after all, I find it really difficult to be completely engaged in something like this but each to their own. A few of the dilemmas I ran into consisted of the tutorial being extremely lacklustre in the beginning of the game, not what you want first thing out of the box and the player/enemy turn phase. Basically it came down to the tutorial not doing its job properly, as I completed what was required of me with very limited knowledge on what exactly I was supposed to be doing in an actual game. I found it lacking direction, for a game that is obviously complex and requires a rather big time sink to get good at playing, for it not to have an in depth tutorial is a big no no for me, which brings me to my other point.

Once you finish your turn you are forced into watching the enemy AI finish their turn, which can be quite a lengthy process given the amount of allies/enemies you may acquire in any given session. Something that really frustrated me was the way in which you finished your turn and also sped up opposing players’ turns, the action button ‘enter’. Now when you’ve made all decisions to be made with your troops at any given moment, to pass your turn onto the next player you must hit the action button, doing this does 2 things, finishes your turn (obviously) and skips your enemies turn so you don’t have to sit through every single movement made by the AI. However, the issue I found myself facing over and over again was during enemy turn phase AKA spam enter as quickly as possible phase. Every time an enemy would finish their turn I would press enter once more (by accident or stupidity) and completely give up my turn, without making any moves on the map, destroying any advantage I had built during the session. The deeper I got into a session the longer the enemy turn phase went for, the more times I spammed enter, the more times I accidentally forfeited my turn. There was no other way of skipping enemy/ally turn phase and there was no meter or length timer to let you know that your turn was coming up. To be honest, this gameplay flaw literally destroyed any replayability that this game has for me.

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