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Age Of Wonders: Planetfall – Invasions

Posted by GG Goblin On June - 3 - 2020

Bring on the lizards.

As is the way with many Paradox Interactive published games, Age of Wonders: Planetfall is the recipient of plentiful DLC. With some games, the addition of plentiful DLC can make the core game feel like it was incomplete in some way, and leave players feeling cheated. However, Triumph Studios’ Age of Wonders: Planetfall already proved to be an outstanding 4X experience. I mean, laser-shooting dinosaurs are never a bad thing. This means that the addition of any DLC can only be a good thing, further expanding an already great game in different directions. So now it comes to Invasions, the second DLC offering for Age of Wonders: Planetfall, and the introduction of the sneaky Shakarn.


Expansions always have the one stand out feature that will get the players excited, and throwing in a new playable race is always a winner. In the previous expansion, Revelations, players were introduced to the Es’Teq dynasty and their cool technology. For Invasions, players have the chance to step into the scaly skin of sneaky intergalactic lizard people, the Shakarn. Lizard creatures always tend to be popular, no matter what the game, but the Shakarn don’t only offer a unique scaly look and a cold-blooded nature, they also happen to be masters of disguise.

As is often the case, a new playable race brings with it a new campaign to play, and the Shakarn campaign is both enjoyable and an excellent introduction to this new race. The Shakarn are lizard creatures that live in a caste system, but the most interesting thing about them is that they conquer through infiltration more than anything else. Holoshifting means that they can take on the appearance and abilities of the races they are trying to overcome, which leads to some very interesting situations. Having the appearance of an enemy makes it far easier to infiltrate and sabotage the enemy, leaving a wake of paranoia behind them. Steal some opposing tech and use it as your own? Why not?

As a race, the Shakarn are pretty cool to play as. When it comes to battle, the lizard guys can use their ability to change their appearance to great effect, but they also field some excellent combat units that can pound the foes into submission. Their weapons can make use of both sonic and laser upgrades, and being lizards they can move across water, which is no small advantage. Throw in the fact that they can potentially regenerate, and you have quite the formidable fighting force.


As if the Shakarn was not enough, Invasions throw in plenty of other new content, rounding out what is an impressive expansion. A new NPC race, The Therians, will bring anthropomorphic joy to the players. This race has combined Human and animal DNA and worship a Deer, and while they may not seem to threatening in their description, players would do well to befriend the Therians if they can.

Voidbringer Invasions are a new addition that will mix up everyone’s games, no matter which race they play as. This late game addition, although custom games can offer the invasions at different points, basically involve an invading race coming along and causing all manner of trouble to both players and AI forces. Usually, at this point in the game the player would be able to relax a touch, but the Voidbringer Invasions will put a stop to all of that and challenge the player once more.

World Events make an appearance in Invasions, offering a number of different catastrophes that can strike the world and force the player to adjust their plans accordingly. Then there is the new Conquered Worlds game mode, in which one player will be given charge over an established colony, while at least three other players are challenged to topple them. While playing solo is more my thing, Conquered Worlds is a pretty fun new addition.


Anyone who has put the hours into Age of Wonders: Planetfall is going to get their money’s worth from the Invasions expansion. The obvious star of the show are the Shakarn race that will prove both interesting to play as and challenging to oppose. But the additional events, end game content, the new NPC race and the asymmetric game mode are all worthy additions. Age of Wonders: Planetfall was already a great 4X strategy game, and Invasions does its job and expands the enjoyment. A worthy addition for fans of the game.




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