An In-Depth Look at A Game of Dwarves Including Our E3 Experiences and Beyond
- By: CM Boots-Faubert
- Posted 12th Oct 2012
When the subject of Dwarves cropped up in the planning sessions over at Paradox we can only imagine that the conversation went something like this: "Hey Dwarves are the new Goblins mates! Yeah, err, and the new Pirates!" says a PR weenie. "We could make a game in which Pirate-like Dwarves dig deep into the earth like Dwarves are want to do, where they encounter lots of dangerous enemies and uber rare resources with which they can construct more effective Dwarven Stuff," a developer offered. "Dwarves are cool!" declared Johan Andersson (and everyone at the meeting immediately decided that the future contained lots of Dwarves and it was a bright future down in those Dwarven Tunnels).
The thing about discovering new games at E3 is that it can be a surreal and often disconcerting experience at times, and in the case of A Game of Dwarves there might have been an unintentionally intentional juxtaposition in the form of a mental connection between the game and its title and another similar story that featured a Dwarf as a main character and which you know, is based on a series of most excellent books though really there is absolutely no connection at all but still, there you have it... The point being that one result of that purely coincidental connection might have been that we paid closer attention to this new Dwarf-centric title and, naturally, as it is fairly impressive in scope and structure, ended up impressed by it. Yup, that is why E3 is cool... It probably helped that the trailer that we were shown was created using paper dwarf dolls and took the form of a bedtime story, but still, very impressed we were!
Of course telling you that we were impressed is not quite the same thing as explaining why we were impressed, so let's do that now, shall we?
First and foremost the important thing to take away from this is that A Game of Dwarves is much more than simply a revival of classic Dwarven battle prowess and the tradition of Dwarven Miners encountering ghastly beasites in the underworld, rather it is a shining example of the age-old adage what is old is new again -- and in this case what is old is the unique combination of traditional combat strategy play and the sort of resource management of the sort that brings classic games like the original Sim City to mind!
In A Game of Dwarves the need to balance your offensive and defensive capabilities is just the starting point, because while you do indeed need to strike a balance there to be truly successful you must also find the finely-honed balance point between combat and research -- because this is a focus-rich game, and among the key activities in it is finding the path towards new tech and new capabilities. The learning curve is really not bad, and it is very clear both from the initial impressions that were obtained at E3 and the hand's on game play that we have experienced with this title since then that the game offers a highly addictive and difficult to put away level of complexity in play that does not simply leave the average gamer wanting more, but leaves them deep in thought about the strategy they used -- and what they might have used -- and you can take this as a matter of faith if you like but when you encounter that rare game that has you thinking about what you did (and what you will do) in it long after you put it away for the night, well, clearly you have found something special.
Significant progress has recently been made in defining the importance of fantasy, game play, and fantasy visualization in the very young, and how that all relates to intelligence, the speed by which a person learns, and their learning effectiveness (and maybe their IQ, that part is still a bit hazy) says much about why we should let our children play when they are young rather than forcing them to conform to a more regimented approach to learning -- and if you happen to be interested in that subject (we are because it involves game play) the leap between fantasy visualization in the young and the effect of being prompted to explore strategy in this title through fantasy visualization as an adult, well, the significance of that was not lost on us.
Offering gamers a fusion of sandbox, traditional combat strategy, and resource management, A Game of Dwarves is very like to end up being THE strategy game of the new gaming season, and it honestly earned a solid two-thumbs-up from us. The measure of how much we wanted to continue to play the game beyond the carefully metered and democratic fairness that was employed by our hosts from Paradox in presenting the game to the games media at the different events at which we were able to experience it is of such notable strength that it is safe (and fair) for us to say that here we have found something special. In spite of the Long Island Iced Tea. We're just saying.
Useful Game Details
A Game of Dwarves is being developed cooperatively by Paradox Interactive and Zeal Game Studios, and published by Paradox Interactive for Windows PC, with official release dates of 23 October 2012 for Europe and the USA, with official release dates for Australasia, Asia, and elsewhere in the world To Be Announced.
Recently the gnomes at Paradox confirmed the release date data for us, and let us know that a special pre-order price of $10 USD has been established, with an additional bonus for gamers who pre-order in the form of access to special DLC content in addition to having the game a bit earlier than everyone else!
"Every pre-ordered copy of A Game of Dwarves will include access to the Ale Pack DLC, a delectable and delicious add-on that introduces dwarvenkind's favorite drink to the game and is a must for maintaining happiness in any well-to-do underground fortress," was the official word from Paradox PR HQ. The game has an average set of system requirements that include a Pentium 4 1.6GHz / Athlon XP 1700+ or better, 1 GB of RAM, and a decent video card that fully supports Direct X 9 -- which is to say that system requirements for the game are more than reasonably low!
For more information on the game -- including when the demo will be made available -- you will want to check in at the official game website every now and then in the days leading up to launch, or keep your eyes on our AGOD coverage here at Gaming Update. AGOD has is available for pre-order now from PC Digital Distribution Channels that include Steam, GamersGate, GameStreamer, GameTap, GamesPlanet, GameStop, and GameFly, among others. Check your preferred source to see if you can pre-order it there today. All pre-orders for AGOD will receive The Ale Pack DLC, which includes the Ale Tree and Mead Barrel -- both of which increase the Happieness of the Dwarves and keeps them at peak productivity. To learn more about the Ale Pack, Click Here.
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