TL;DR – A game that sits in the middle between Civilization and Total War, taking things that work from both.
If there is one genre of games that I will always been drawn to, it is the 4x (EXplore, EXpand, EXploit and EXterminate) strategy genre. It can be in space, in a fantasy realm, in the past, or somewhere completely new, I don’t care just hook it up straight to my veins. When I heard that Soren Johnson, the lead designer of Civilization IV, was diving back into the genre my interest was peaked and now that I have had a chance to play the game I can see why. One thing I do need to point out before we proceed, this is an “early access” game in that it is not yet finished. This means that this is only a first look, a first impression of the game and not the full review, which is why there is not a score above.
So to set the scene, Old World (or as it is styled Ōld World) is a game set in the past charting the dawn of civilization through the classical era to almost the medieval era. In it, you play one of seven civilization/leaders from the dawn of time. Ashurbanipal of Assyria, Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia, Dido of Carthage, Hatshepsut of Egypt, Philip of Greece, Cyrus of Persia, and Romulus of Rome. However, unlike Civilization and other similar games, you don’t just hold on to the one leader for the whole game, because like in real life, leaders get old and die. This means as well as maintaining your expansion you need to make sure your heirs are ready to take over. This brings the game a little of the way into the territory of the popular Total War series. On the whole, I quite liked the dynastic politics in the game, however, has the game goes on and your heirs and siblings etc start popping out multiple babies a turn, it can be a bit hard to keep track of. Which is just about when your sister kills you in your sleep for ascending to the throne over her as what happened in my first game. You also need to keep different dynastic families from squabbling, giving you potential problems from afar and within.