0 A.D.

Ver­sion: Al­pha 22 Web: http://play0ad.com

Linux Format - - LXFHOTPICKS -

It’s been a while since we last ad­mired the beau­ti­ful 0A.D. strat­egy game. Ev­ery Al­pha ## re­lease brings a mas­sive set of up­dates, so the cur­rent Al­pha 22 has hun­dreds of new fea­tures com­pared to the Al­pha 17 from LXF193.

You in­stantly no­tice the im­proved graph­ics, in­clud­ing tex­tures, model an­i­ma­tion and weather el­e­ments, and crisper, more de­light­ful mu­sic tracks. Dur­ing play, you can en­joy other nov­el­ties, such as the new ‘cap­ture the relic’ mode, de­signed for mul­ti­player. The relic is a wagon con­tain­ing the sa­cred re­mains of a great leader; it boosts con­struc­tion and gives var­i­ous dis­counts, and there­fore is price­less.

The best way to get started is with a sin­gle cam­paign, play­ing against an AI bot. By de­fault, the game chooses a map and the civil­i­sa­tion you play for, though you can set ev­ery­thing man­u­ally. The goal is to de­velop a sus­tain­able econ­omy, with work­ers and war­riors, and to find the right bal­ance be­tween civil and mil­i­tary de­vel­op­ment. You need more peo­ple to col­lect food, wood and stone, while si­mul­ta­ne­ously pre­par­ing for a fight, be­cause as soon as your AI coun­ter­part is ready, it at­tacks.

The graph­ics are stun­ning and in­vite you to zoom in to ex­am­ine ev­ery pixel of cloth­ing, wav­ing flags, dust un­der mov­ing horse­men and other beau­ties. It’s worth play­ing as dif­fer­ent na­tions to ex­plore their dis­tinc­tive fea­tures, as well as some of the new ad­di­tions — for ex­am­ple, Ptolemi­ans now have in­fantry cham­pion pike­men, Ro­mans have the new Tem­ple of Vesta and Per­sians ben­e­fit from the Gate of Ishtar.

At over 600MB, 0A.D. is pack­aged for many dis­tros and takes lit­tle time to get in­stalled.

“The graph­ics are stun­ning and in­vite you to zoom in”

Our swords­men pre­pare to de­feat the en­emy dic­ta­tor.

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