Gameplay

Flavour Starts

One of the game setup options allow you to start in an area becoming of your chosen civilisation. For the Scions, this put me on the edge of a desert and surrounded by Patrian Artifacts, a unique resource only visible by the Scions of Patria.

flavour-start.png
Notice also that the unit graphics are tailored to the fallow Scions of Patria.
patrian-artifacts.png
Patrian Artifacts are denoted by black rings on the game world and can be utilised by building a quarry. Collecting them improves the chances of generating an Awakened each turn and therefore improves the rate of population growth.

Details like these go a long way to pulling you into the game from the get-go, but they’re not all that’s waiting for you on Erebus.

Rich Fantasy World

One of the most amazing things about Fall from Heaven 2 and its modmods is the ability to suck you into this dynamic fantasy world. Erebus truly is alive, even at the start of the game.

Exploration is a real pleasure. Between the realistic map generation scripts, the flavour starts, the smart climate models, and the unique map features, you really feel like you’re exploring a massive fantasy world. I look forward to every break of the mountain pass, every desert trek, and every push through swampland.

Far from static map features, though, many of these landmarks can be interacted with. Units can explore, loot, and otherwise adventure within these fantasy settings. This balances great rewards against the risk of rousing something that you’d rather not deal with!

Beyond these features is a living, breathing world. There are threats around every corner; building a decent military in the early game is more in line with Civ VI than Civ IV to deal with the wild world around you.

Orthus, a barbarian orc, in Fall from Heaven 2 - Ashes of Erebus
Despite how it looks, I actually ended up winning this fight against Orthus, a barbarian orc who wandered into my lands.
Raptor packs in Fall from Heaven 2 - Ashes of Erebus
If barbarian orcs aren’t enough to get your juices flowing, then perhaps raptor packs are?

Beautiful and Consistent Artwork

One of the problems with giant mods like Ashes of Erebus is that they often scrape together art assets from various sources (other mods included) and the end result can look a bit messy.

AoE largely avoids that, particularly with some gorgeous leader artwork.

Playing AoE means immersing yourself in this extremely professional artwork. Meeting a new civilisation means discovering artwork as diverse as the civilisations themselves.

City artwork is also customised per civilisation. The cities of the Scions, for example, is an eclectic mix of Roman and Gothic architecture.

scions-city.png
Early Scions of Patria city guarded by skeleton archers.

Parallel Tech Tree Branches

The tech tree in Ashes of Erebus is highly parallelised, meaning its advantageous for you to choose a branch and finish it rather than diversifying. This means you might become particularly proficient with necromancy and its sister subjects, for example. This adds even more flavour on top of the civilisations.

Highly parallelised tech tree in Fall from Heaven 2 - Ashes of Erebus

Religion

There are seven all-new religions in Ashes of Erebus, which play a larger role than do the religions in the base game. They give you access to unique units, civics, buildings, spells, and affect your civ’s alignment.

ashen-veil.png

One that’s always had a particular draw for me is The Ashen Veil, which is heavily-aligned to doing evil and helps move the Armageddon Counter forwards. Tick this forwards enough and you can eventually summon Hyborem, leader of the Infernals…

hyborem.jpg
After summoning him, you can choose to play as the Infernals and bring eternal damnation to all of Erebus.

Continue reading this article!

Published
Categories Guide Modding Review

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