Warlock 2: The Exiled (Review) PC

Warlock 2: The Exiled (Review) PC
Review Score:

Warlock 2: The Exiled is the sequel to the critically acclaimed Warlock the Arcane. For those of you not familiar with the Warlock series – Warlock 2: The Exiled is an in-depth 4x strategy game. While I dislike making the comparison, Warlock 2 can be compared to the Civilization series for sharing similar gameplay mechanics (even though Warlock 2 can be placed in a league all its own).

The real difference between Warlock 2 and Civilization is that the gameplay is more combat orientated; it focuses on the annihilation of your opponent(s) rather than diplomacy. The game does allow the player to negotiate with their enemies, but the gameplay is designed to reward the player for taking the more violent approach.

From the start, Warlock 2: The Exiled includes a plethora of customization options. When beginning a single-player campaign, the player can choose from the following three modes – Exile mode, Sandbox mode and Battle for Outplane mode. Exiled mode is your standard single-player campaign where you work toward a common goal to defeat your opponents; Sandbox mode allows for more freedom, as you can play the game the way you see fit;  and Battle for Outplane mode has you battling AI controlled enemies to capture the Outworld shards.

A feature to customize the ‘victory’ types is also available. The player can store up to five of these ‘victories’ for winning the game. For example – defeating the Great Mage, capturing the Holy Grounds and casting a unity spell are considered three of the many different objectives that you can setup for winning a match. Warlock 2 caters to gamers of all skill levels with five difficulty levels that range from Relaxed to Impossible. Newcomers to the series might want to consider playing the game on either Relaxed or Casual until they have a  basic understanding of their Warlock.

The gameplay mechanics are turn-based; everything from combat to researching spells will cost the player valuable turns. Just like other 4x strategy games, gathering resources and building a large, powerful army is important to your survival. Expanding your cities and focusing on research is the only way to gain the upper hand against your opponents. Spells also play a major roll in the world of Warlock; maybe more than in most other 4x strategy games.

The biggest improvement made to Warlock 2‘s gameplay is the ability to move freely between different planes via portals. Unlike the original Warlock where your movement was restricted, Warlock 2: The Exiled’s world is more expansive due to the portal system.

Combat is straightforward, as battles take place on the world map with no interruptions from cutscenes. In some ways, it resembles the  Civilization series. And while combat is a staple of Warlock 2, the game doesn’t place a lot of emphasis on flashy battle sequences.

You will quickly discover that Warlock 2 is an unforgiving game. In fact, diehard fans of the genre will find the game challenging at times. Luckily, Paradox Interactive implemented a tutorial to help gamers with the basics. Even veterans may learn a thing or two by trying the tutorial.

The graphics contain an impressive amount of detail that is staggering for a 4x strategy game. Environments come to life with robust shadowing effects, complimented by bright colors and multiple depths of shading. There are few strategy games available today that can match Warlock 2‘s graphics.

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Warlock 2: The Exiled is a brilliant game that provides the right balance of strategy and tactics. Newcomers and veterans alike will find that Warlock 2 has something to offer everyone, regardless of their skill level.

James ‘Daripp3r’ Pittaro
Platform: PC (Available on Steam)

System Requirements
Minimum:
OS: Windows Vista 64-bit, Windows 7 64-bit
Processor: Dual Core CPU with 2,66GHz clock speed or higher
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: nVidia GeForce 8600 GT or ATI Radeon HD 6570
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible

Recommended:
OS: Windows Vista 64-bit, Windows 7 64-bit or Windows 8 64-bit
Processor: Intel I3-3240 @ 3.4 GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 955 @ 3.2 GHz
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: nVidia GeForce 550 Ti or ATI Radeon HD 6850
Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible

Developer: Ino-Co Plus
Publisher: Paradix Interactive
ESRB: N/A
Price: $29.99

Warlock 2: The Exiled’s Official Website

Review Score
Graphics
A gorgeous array of textures, shading and colors.
Sound
The music is a pleasure to listen to.
Gameplay
Warlock 2: The Exiled provides the right balance of strategy and tactics
Overall
Even if you are not a strategy fan, Warlock 2: The Exiled is the perfect game to start with.
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