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Dominions 3: The Awakening is best comparable to an exam whereby you have to partake in a lot of extracurricular revision (the game manual is 300 pages long) and then take the test, which is the actual gameplay, and if you’ve done all your homework you will pass. If – like me – you don’t have the time and instead of revising slack off and just get on with it then Dominions 3 is an ordeal comprised of confusing statistics, poorly animated battle sequences with a generic and limited fantasy soundtrack.

The game itself is comprised of randomly generated maps that either come with a set amount of resources like gemstones and money or you can pick and choose what you have at your disposal. The main source of your power is in the shape of a ‘Pretender God’ who you create at the beginning of the game with the ability to forge weapons and use magic etc. You also command troops who have a range of actions including pillaging neighbouring territories and going out to find human blood sacrifices, which are apparently classed as a resource!

With your minimal army you set about to increase it, conquering the nearby lands and attacking enemy strongholds ala Command and Conquer however the action is mostly presented via text at the end of a turn. If your troops get caught up in a battle you do however have the option of watching the battle unfold.

I would suggest not selecting the option of watching the battle sequence. What takes place is a strange jittery animation of troops moving every other second and attacking a bit before either fleeing or getting annihilated by the opposing collection of pixels. I would have struggled to figure out which team I was cheering on were it not for my giant Dragon Pretender God that was definitely pretending to take part in the battle.

I would forgive the graphics were it not for the fact that the game came out in 2006 and looks like it should have been released around the same time as Diablo. Although they certainly do come second to the game play that, admittedly although not my cup of tea, is actually incredibly in-depth and has a lot to offer a dedicated player who is ready to take on the challenge. The just need to make sure they don’t have any immediate commitments first.

Dominions 3: The Awakening review info: