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Old 09-08-2009, 05:39 PM   #1
Ghostbear
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[PC] Elemental: War of Magic Impressions


Elemental, a turn based strategy game, will be released in 2010.

The world was laid waste in a cataclysm. During that time all magic was placed into elemental shards, with the exception of one, Life/Death magic. You play a Sovereign, who can control either Life or Death magic, depending on your alignment.

The demo began with the building of a town. In order to build it in the barren area that we
started in, we had to infuse it with some of our character's Essence, a finite resource. Once spent, the essence is gone forever, it never regenerates. Though leveling up does give you more.


The camera controls offer a unique element, whenever you zoom out, the game converts into "cloth map" mode, turning the map into a cloth map and turning your armies/Sovereign into pewter figurines. You can play the game like this the entire time. Which starts to become more necessary when you have larger and larger armies. Zooming in has a fun effect too, you'll see tons of detail that really makes your cities and buildings come to life, such as people, grass, barrels etc. We were informed that the beta will be done completely in cloth map mode, in order to make it the best it can be.

You have a limited amount of tiles that you can use to build your city up, depending on the city's level. You'll build things like house, farms, etc. All of these buildings contribute to your town rating, in what I assume will dictate how many troops it can hold along with other things.

Exploration is a large part of the game as well, you'll find dungeons, random encounters, treasure. What you really want to find are the elemental shards, once found you'll want to build an outpost and shrine, so that you'll be able to channel the magic it possesses. Once you have multiple elements you can cast spells that combine those elements, the example given was a combination of fire and earth magic, the result being a volcano that annihilated the enemy town. What really impressed me though, was that it actually deformed the terrain instead of being a temporary spell effect.



Elemental will cater those out there who like modding and creating their own maps. There will be tools that let you create pretty much anything you see in the official campaign. The map editor is the same tool the developers use to make the maps they will be releasing for the game. There will be a particle editor, Sovereign editor, map editor, tile editor and a family crest editor.

These editors are fully featured, you will find no shortage of tools available to make the game you want to play. You can create themes and settings. Want to make a Lord of the Rings map or perhaps you want to relive the world of Shanarra? You can do that with these tools. The terrain editor reminded me of a far more robust Simcity 2000 map editor.

I had a great time checking Elemental out and I am looking forward to playing it. I would like to give special thanks to Elemental's Art Director Paul Boyer for walking me through the game and editors.
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Old 09-08-2009, 05:45 PM   #2
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Fantastic write up, Ghostbear. You have me even more fired up to play this.
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Old 09-08-2009, 05:47 PM   #3
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You sir, have sold me on this game.
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Old 09-08-2009, 05:53 PM   #4
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The cloth map mode and editor really sold this game to me. I can think of a couple of settings that it would be fun to dream up scenarios for.

Plus, turn based strategy tickles my gaming g-spot.
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Old 09-08-2009, 05:53 PM   #5
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i need to stop reading about this game while on my laptop... the drool all over the keyboard can't be good for it
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Old 09-08-2009, 06:14 PM   #6
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Any word on how battles are fought? I know this is supposed to be a spiritual successor to Master of Magic, so I was wondering if there were similar tactical battles.
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Old 09-08-2009, 06:20 PM   #7
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Sounds right up my alley.... it looked really good at PAX too. This is probably going to be a digital only Impulse game, from the sound of it though.
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Old 09-08-2009, 07:57 PM   #8
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Really looking forward to this since I read it was the spiritual successor to Master of Magic. Did they give any specifics as far as the release date other than just sometime in 2010?
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Old 09-08-2009, 08:31 PM   #9
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As I mentioned at PAX...your enthusiasm + the general awesomeness of this game has my drooling over it.
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Old 09-08-2009, 10:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Really looking forward to this since I read it was the spiritual successor to Master of Magic. Did they give any specifics as far as the release date other than just sometime in 2010?
just 2010 I'm afraid.
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:52 AM   #11
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just 2010 I'm afraid.
If you are looking for any date to latch on to, the Impulse store lists its release as 2/15/2010. That likely wont be the actual release, but its at least a real date as opposed to just 2010.
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Old 09-09-2009, 06:08 AM   #12
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No Gnome sighting yet?

He may be the one guy more excited for this game than me.
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Old 09-09-2009, 06:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
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No Gnome sighting yet?

He may be the one guy more excited for this game than me.
I'm sure he's here already. He's just gone catatonic with excitement.
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Old 09-09-2009, 06:48 AM   #14
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No Gnome sighting yet?

He may be the one guy more excited for this game than me.
I'm here! I opened this in a tab yesterday, but I didn't have time to read it until this morning.

Great write up Ghostbear! As Clark said, I am super excited about this game. It's easily my most anticipated game on the horizon, and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

This looks like the successor to Age of Wonders that I've been waiting for.

Every time I see this game I nearly jump out of my chair.


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I'm sure he's here already. He's just gone catatonic with excitement.
Pretty much.
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:05 AM   #15
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Preordered since day one of the announcement.

Great write-up!
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:05 AM   #16
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Quote:
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just 2010 I'm afraid.
I actually heard 2H 2010 from the Stardock folks.

At least that means there'll be a nice long beta for everyone that preorders.
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:39 PM   #17
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I hunger for the beta. It almost sounds like this is going to throw in some Warlordsesque gameplay into the mix. Delicious. I'm looking forward to seeing the diversity of 'races' and such. I also am enjoying having more screens of the non cloth ground we can expect in beta.
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:28 PM   #18
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I hunger for the beta. It almost sounds like this is going to throw in some Warlordsesque gameplay into the mix. Delicious. I'm looking forward to seeing the diversity of 'races' and such. I also am enjoying having more screens of the non cloth ground we can expect in beta.
I played the original Warlords to death back in the early 90s! I still remember nearly every inch of the one map that the game came with. I must have played hundreds of games on that single map. We're all spoiled these days.
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Old 09-10-2009, 05:44 AM   #19
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Warlords 3: Reign of Heroes was pretty much my initiation into turn-based strategy and PC gaming in general. I haven't looked back since.
Civ 4 is king now of course. That could change with Elemental.
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:16 AM   #20
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Warlords 3: Reign of Heroes was pretty much my initiation into turn-based strategy and PC gaming in general. I haven't looked back since.
Civ 4 is king now of course. That could change with Elemental.
Civ 4 sits atop my pile of shame, angrily glaring at me and silently begging to be played.

I spent so much time with Civ 2 and 3 that I'm almost scared to dive into 4.
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