The Old World had our resident strategy fan frothing at the mouth, excited, I hasten to add, in a 4X that was actually doing some new things. In our review, Fraser described it as “a brilliant 4X, and one I would really recommend over Civilization right now. It feels like a real step forward for the genre, boasting so many inventive and clever design decisions.”
The game was released in July last year as an Epic Store exclusive and impressed us so much that it ended up winning our best strategy gong for 2021. Now the exclusivity period is over and the game out on Steam and GOalong with a 10% launch discount and new DLC that is released for free if you dive in within the next fortnight.
The DLC is called Heroes of the Aegean and it adds a bunch of Ancient Greece’s greatest leaders and warriors. Players can seemingly “lead Athens to victory at the Battle of Marathon, defend Greece from a Persian invasion like Leonidas and his 300 Spartans, and conquer the Hellenic world like Alexander the Great himself.” It features six freeform scenarios from the classical world and introduces the new Hittite faction.
Old World is essentially a game where the secret is that you are leading an empire across multiple generations, building your own historic dynasty of ruthless (or perhaps benevolent) leaders. Mohawk Games and designer Soren Johnson also reconsidered several 4X systems and simplified their approach without sacrificing complexity.
Either way, the 4X genre remains one of those quietly vibrant spaces in PC gaming, and Old World is one of the best recent examples as a game that looks at an established genre, shaking it up a bit, and achieving great results. It’s also a pretty quick experience, surprisingly, although I say that in the context of the often-considered 4X genre.