Kotaku’s AJ Glasser got a first hand look at Stardock’s upcoming turn-based strategy game, Elemental.
Developer Stardock has mentioned many inspirations for the game from Tolkien to George R.R. Martin.
Amongst the major strategic elements to the upcoming PC-only game is the new diplomacy system in which the player, who exists in the game as the immortal sovereign of their kingdom, can have children who in turn can have children and so forth and can thus build diplomatic relations with other factions by arranged marriages. These marriages have off-spring who may (or may not) be friendly to different factions based on their family ties. These off-spring also exist in the world as playable characters setting the stage of players having to choose whether to place a particularly gifted family member into a battle even if it risks the ire of related factions.
The demo focused strongly on the new 3D engine that has been developed by Stardock over the past 3 years that makes extensive use of level of detail to ensure that the game can look beautiful even on relatively low end hardware thanks to the object-oriented scenery which can intelligently pick when to display “eye candy” based on the hardware.
As a result, a user can zoom in all the way down on an individual building on the map and see citizens living out their lives or zoom all the way out in which the world becomes a cloth map but still completely playable. It’s “strategic zoom” taken to the next level.
Elemental is scheduled to go into public beta this Summer. But be warned, the betas are intentionally being crippled early on to only play on the cloth map so that the focus of the early betas will be on the game mechanics. Later betas will enable the stunning 3D engine that will be on display at PAX in 2 weeks.
Modding has been integrated deeply in the game with players literally able to create their own worlds and design their own units, buildings, all from an in-game interface that can then be shared with other players from within the game.
To learn more, visit www.elementalgame.com .
View full preview: Kotaku Elemental preview.