Warlock 2 is a fantasy turn based strategy game that plays similarly to Civilization V. In Warlock 2: The Exiled you’ll build large armies, go to war, make peace treaties, trade for new spells, or just demand some gold from some poor soul that’s weaker then you. Warlock 2 has a wide variety of characters from you to choose from and that’s always a good thing in these kinds of games. You’ll spend most of your time researching new spells to learn and managing your kingdom. As your kingdom grows in power so will your army.
At first you might not want to make too many units because of the upkeep cost of them. Food also plays a factor. If you don’t have enough food to feed your army then you’re in trouble. You can also get heroes to fight for you in your army, but the chances of getting one is completely random. I played for 300 turns and only got 2 of them. You can hold a maximum of 4. Keep an eye on the requirements of heroes though. Some of them use a lot of resources that could be used to build up your army.
Heroes are stronger than the average unit. They can take more hits and do a lot more damage but they’re not unstoppable. Another great mage can easily kill your heroes with a well aimed spell and replacing them is hard. Warlock 2 has a good spell tree and each of them look really good when they’re cast in my opinion. I’ve frozen entire armies, struck down mighty fleets with lightning storms, rained fire from the sky on a small military settlement, and even had command of a ghost ship.
I love the diversity between the units. In my army I have werewolves, rats, goblins, humans, ogres, elves, and even some ghost. Each unit has their own strengths and weaknesses. The ogre can literally take on an army alone. He can hit multiple units with a single blow but does take a lot of spell damage so keep him away from wizards. Werewolves are fast and deadly in close range combat but they have little to no ranged defense and can die easily from archers.
The gameplay in Warlock 2 is just like Civilization V. You click on a unit to move them around the map and it could take up to multiple turns to get to where you’re going if it’s far. You click on other units to attack them or you can right click on them to cancel the last order that you gave them. Fighting is really simple. Just click on an enemy unit and watch your unit fight. Honestly the animations could be better. Most of the time it’s just a single swing and you’ll watch units from both sides take a little damage. This didn’t take away from the experience though. Warlock 2 is a fun game/addictive game that will keep you busy for hours.
I really like the fantasy setting of this game. Fighting dragons, ghost, demons, krakens, and even vampires is awesome. I love building goblins, werewolves, and wizards to go into battle for me. There are even healers in this game that can restore your unit back to full strength with a healing spell. After your unit gets enough experience it’ll be able to level up. After you level up you’ll be able to choose one new perk from a list of three. Do you want your archers to do more damage with their arrows or take less damage them. Do you want your Shaman to have better death magic resistance or be able to heal more hp in battle. It’s up to you and there are quite a few perks to choose from.
Warlock 2 also has a diplomacy window that lets you make demands or request to the other great mages of the world but honestly it just doesn’t work. Diplomacy in this game is a joke. You don’t get many options except the basic form a peace treaty or I’ll trade you this for that. Half of the time the other mage that you’re talking to will say no and a few turns later they’ll threaten you with war if you don’t pay them. There’s no way to talk them out of going to war with you. They just do it and that’s really annoying. Especially if you don’t have an army that’s capable of going to war.
Wars are fun though. Sending my troops across the ocean was an adventure in itself since I had to fight off multiple Kraken on the way to the Lich King. Spells play a big part in Warlock 2. A well timed fireball or firestorm can wipe out most enemy units. If you don’t want one of your best units to die because they’ve leveled up like 6 times then you can buff up their stats with spells. You can increase their magic resistance, melee resistance, and ranged resistance so they don’t take too much damage from anything. Those three spells are life savers and saved a lot of my units from dying from death magic when I went up against the undead.
In addition to spells that harm your enemies and heal/buff your own units there are also spells that can change the land around you. You can turn a wasteland into a lush green field with a single spell or into a frozen tundra if that’s what you prefer. If there’s a mountain blocking your path you can simply lower it. This will allow your units to safely cross without taking up too much time. If there’s a hole in the ground in front of you then you can raise it until it’s just a normal piece of land. Are you tired of building ships, and fleets because they take too long? Then simply cast a water walking spell on your army and watch them walk across the ocean. You can do so many things with the spells in this game and that’s easily the best part about it.
If your food supplies are short you can simply cast a spell that doubles the amount of food you can produce. You can even speed up the growth rate of your cities so you can build on them faster. There is a spell for just about everything.
There are two different modes in Warlock 2. There is Exiled Mode and Sandbox Mode. Exiled Mode lets you playthrough the game with a story of sorts. You’ll occasionally run into events in the world that you can choose to do or not. You can accept quest and get paid for doing them. Your goal in this mode is to defeat the United One. In order to do so you’ll have to cross into different planes. There are a variety of different planes for you to conquer. There’s an icy world, desert world, death world, etc.
In Sandbox mode it’s more open. There are no quest given to you and it’s a lot bigger than Exiled mode. In Sandbox Mode you can simply play the game the way you want to play it. You cannot fight The United One in this mode. The goal of Sandbox Mode will depend on the victory settings that you have. Think of it like Civilization V. You get to pick and choose your own rules to play as while setting the difficulty level that’s right for you.
Warlock 2 can be a hard game when the A.I. wants it to be. They’re not too bright and hopefully it’s fixed soon. I’ve seen the A.I. charge right into an un-winnable battle too many times. The logical choice would have been to retreat and come back with reinforcements but instead they sent a single unit into five or six fully trained ones. Another thing that I don’t really like is that you have a city limit. You can’t just go out and build as many cities as you want because you have a cap and it’s a low cap. How can I conquer all the realms if I can’t build cities in each one? Hopefully this is either removed or they patch in a higher city limit. This will actually make me want to use my settlers to go out and build new cities.
Right now I have 5 cities out of a grand total of 8. That’s not fun to me because I want a huge empire. Having only 8 cities really takes away from that feeling and makes me not want to expand so quickly. Warlock 2: The Exiled is an excellent game. This is my very first time playing one of these games and honestly I’m a fan of the series now. I love casting magic spells that can literally shape the land however I see fit. The gameplay is great and easy to jump into if you’ve played other games in the same genre. The diversity between each unit really makes me want to play as each faction to see them all and while the maps does feel tiny at times, even on the biggest map selection, being able to travel to a brand new realm is amazing.
I’ve never been able to do that in any other strategy game that I’ve ever played. Warlock 2: The Exiled does have some diplomacy issues that can easily be fixed either with patches or a well done expansion. The good far outweigh the bad here and this game easily earns our recommendation.
Our Verdict: 8/10