The Old God has left the world and the pretenders are awakening and coming out from hiding. You start the game by designing one of the pretender gods that will compete for true ascension to godhood. The type of god can range from a magically powerful arch mage to an ancient kraken or a mystic monolith that people pray to. Your pretender controls one of over sixty different nations and with the help of that nation he will spread his word and battle the other pretenders. Dominions 3 is a turn based strategy game. You can play single- or multiplayer (1 - 23 players) with simultaneous turns. There are more than 1500 different units, 600 spells and 300 magic items in the game. The game also features a medieval musical score by Erik Ask Uppmark and Anna Rynefors, both awarded the title of Musicians of the Realm by the Swedish Zornmärkeskommiten. Dominions 3 is a highly detailed game and a 300 page pdf manual is included in the download.
Undoubtedly the best game I own, and probably (nostalgia aside) the best game I've ever played. I paid $60 dollars for it 8 months ago and I'd have paid double, in retrospect. In those 8 months, I have played in-depth to the point I understand them with, err, one of the 50+ nations. So by that ratio, I've got 38 years left to go. And that's before we discuss the mod nations, as Warhammer nations clash on the fields of the Old World, and weird fungal things take on the might of the Avernum armies.
The only concern is once you've played MP you can never really enjoy SP again and it just becomes a testing ground. I don't know if that's a problem, though, or a sign of how utterly superb MP is.
Hundreds of different units. Dozens of Nations to play.
A mind boggling amount of spells to cast.
Equip your summoned Angels, Deamons or other monsters with different items you have forged.
Sacrifice slaves to perform the most vile of magics: Blood magic.
And all these options do not even include the hundreds of mods that have been made by the community.
If you like GRAND strategy games you should definitely check this out.
Proof that old school gaming lives on. Substance, depth, vision, endless replayability, Dominions 3 has it in spades.
Not for Dom3 the modern flashy graphics (though the graphics it uses have a certain charm of their own), the instant gratification and the quick congratulatory pat on the back upon completion of the pre-set and narrowly defined goals of some nebulous storyline. This game is what you make of it.
If you give it the time, what immediately comes across as an impenatrable layer of complexity, slowy but surely resolves itself into a tapestry of almost infinately variable possibilities, each unit, each spell, each magic item, each god and each nation all arrayed before you ready to be combined, arrayed and rearranged for any of a multitude of tasks that you could imagine for them.
Bound together with a rich and intriguing history revealed in the various objects descriptions throughout the games 3 ages, and possessed of that most damning and endearing quality of the turn based strategy game, be prepared to lose many an evening, day, and night to "just one more turn".
Not for the faint of heart, nor those looking for a quick fix to kill an hour or two, the more you put into it, the more it will keep giving back to you. The way strategy was always meant to be, no flash, no pomp, no hype, just the tools you have to hand and the power to let your imagination guide them to victory.
Simply put, this is the deepest strategy game I have ever played. It's actually very simple to play and implementing more advanced concepts into the basic gameplay is just a matter of reading som (ok... a lot) of guides.
But even though I like the single player, this game really shines in multiplayer. You'll be scratching your head and begging around for advice just to do one turn, because the choices and counters to certain strategies are many to say the least. One other thing that really makes this game pop is the diplomacy. In most MP TBS games, diplomacy is fairly static - we form an alliance or trade and keep at it for a long time. Thats because the gains of just taking something are small. In Dominions, you need to expect teleporting thugs and sneaking armies to come as a gift from your best friend any turn. If this is too cutthroat, there are plenty of games with binding diplomacy, so, as in other facets of it, the game is extremely flexible here.
Long story short - the game contains a lot of... content. But it's not the quantity that makes the game good, it's the fact that all those things at your disposal are perfectly viable.
Dominions 3 is quite literally the most interesting strategy game ever created in my humble opinion. If you are looking for a deep, complex, multiplayer strategy game with epic scope and almost endless variations of play, this is the game you've been looking for. The learning curve is tremendously high, but if you climb it you'll be rewarded with a game experience that surpasses the best that the Civilization series offered.
Be warned that the single player version is really just an extended tutorial for multiplayer and that the latter is played through a blind email based turn system similar to PBM / PBEM (play by mail / email) games. So if you are looking for RTS style game play, this may not be the game for you as you won't be starting and completing a match in a couple of hours - a typical game of Dom3 might take a couple of months to finish and you may wait 2 - 3 days between game turns.
But don't let that scare you off! If you truly get immersed in Dom3, you'll find that you are filling the hours and days between turns with out of game diplomacy with other players, planning and testing new strategies in single player mode and researching things like Communions, Thugs and Global Enchantments on the various Dom3 forums. You'll find yourself playing in half a dozen multiplayer games and spending all your "free" time thinking about new strategies before you know it.