Ever since its first release in 1999, the Age of Wonders underwent several evolutions. \n \nNow, from a game with RPG and empire-building elements, Age of Wonders: Planetfall now has become a 4X title. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, 4X means to explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate. \n \nLennart Sas, Paradox co-founder, said in an interview that they learned a lot in making a grand strategy game. But one of the lessons only affirmed their previous decision to give players more control. \n \nIn Planetfall, they only realized the value of giving the platform for players to tell their own story. A grand strategy format gives them this opportunity rather than the traditional war game format. \n \nEven the original title that came out in 1999 was strictly a war game combined with empire-building. There is less room for creativity as the rules are preset, and the universe is limited. \n \nThe latest version of Age of Wonders employs a sandbox concept where the rules are eliminated. It means gamers can interact with the world as much as they like. Instead of a progression format like the original title, you now have tasks as you explore the world. \n \n \n \nWhereas games like Shadow Magic and Heroes of Might can be great games, they are still limited. Sas explained that at the end of the day, the preset campaigns limit the player from making their own story. They will follow the pre-established story within the game. \n \nAlso, one positive offshoot of this decision is that Paradox is creating even better maps for Age of Wonders: Planetfall. The designers arrived at this conclusion when they designed Age of Wonders 3. With the grand strategy format, the maps are created in support of the story. Of course, they are still following the script, but the sandbox format gave them more elbow room to be creative. \n \nInstead of pre-set directions where players have to follow the designer’s map, Planetfall dropped that restriction. This is quite evident in Age of Wonders: Planetfall’s expansion, Revelations, where the environment revolves around the quests. As a result, the quests are more dynamic. They can retrace their steps anytime they want without encountering event triggers that may kill their character. \n \nNevertheless, Sas said they would continue to explore new avenues to make succeeding titles under Paradox more exciting for fans. Age of Wonders: Planetfall is now available for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.