Australian developer, Playside Studios, is back with another title – Age of Darkness: Final Stand. Playside Studios have not mucked around with the gameplay in this one. It is one of the toughest real-time strategies (RTS) games I’ve played in a long time.
Age Of Darkness: Final Stand is set in a dark fantasy-based world, where you start with the main base also known as The Keep. This is what you need to grow off in order to beat the hordes of Nightmares trying to destroy you and your base. The game features both a day and night cycle, which I thought was a nice touch, right up until I went and adventured at night time. The main idea behind the game is to build and forage during the daytime because the Nightmares come out during the night.
I was only able to access Survival mode for the moment, but we will add an update to this when Playside Studios adds more content to the game. They have talked about releasing a story mode soon, but I was not worried about only being able to play Survival due to the content being enough and keeping me occupied.
There is no tutorial mode for this one, and it took me a moment to get my bearings and work out that I could not control the villagers, though I could still get them to work if I had the numbers. After a little bit of playing around, I learned that if you hit the Escape button on the keyboard, there is a menu button with some hints & tips on how to play the game to its full potential.
One of the main things you need to remember when playing an RTS game is that every decision has a different outcome, and your choice could make or break your base. I learned quickly into the game that you need to be set up for nighttime or you’re screwed.
The day and night cycle is a feature I loved, but at the same time, I hated knowing that the Death Night is coming, and if you’re not ready, you know you are screwed. Death Night is the night where the Nightmares team up, get close to your base, and try to take it down. The first Death Night came and the Nightmares took out my base like it was nothing for them.
The graphics on this game were so much better than I first expected. It had that realistic look to it whilst still looking like an RTS game that we all love.
The character models even looked nice, and whilst I don’t normally pay too much attention to them playing an RTS, but in this particular game, they looked great and were something I was looking at more than I usually would. The buildings had an awesome feel to them as well with all the detail Playside Studios put into them.
The audio in this game kept you on your toes, having that old style of what I would describe as war music, which was calm and instrumental. When night came around, it went a little more upbeat to try and keep you on your toes and to make you check the surrounds of the base. When the Death Night starts, all you hear is a drum, which freaks you out, to begin with, and the music becomes increasingly darker. Once you hear a war horn, the music is super upbeat and you know it’s about to go down.
For anyone chasing a hard RTS game, this title is for you. It kept me on my toes the whole time, knowing some Nightmares were lurking in the fog, but there was also the challenge of knowing that the Death Night was coming, and that was going to either make or break me.