When you live in a fantasy universe, it’s important to remember that things are often not what they seem. Yes, you may live in a land of unicorns and rainbows, dancing with fairies, but there’s always something lurking in the shadows waiting to get you. In Age of Miracles 4 those shadows are quite literal and the brand new expansion is all about whether you fight them or embrace them.

The Umbral Abyss is the not-at-all scary name for the location of this new DLC, titled Age of Wonders 4: Eldritch Realms. If you couldn’t tell from the name (and the introduction), this is a dark expansion, unleashing a new map to explore and conquer in a nice 4X gaming style. This purple land is dedicated to destroying anything infected with the light, and that includes most of your forces which will take damage the longer you stay. You choose to fight this corruption, or you embrace it by transforming your troops into something more sympathetic to this bleak zone.

The unveiling of this new area has also brought forth a barrage of evil magic. If you decide to be seduced by the powers on offer, you will become an Eldritch Sovereign, a nightmarish lord of the night who dominates the minds of lesser creatures and twists the flesh of your creations in unholy ways. There are new books available for you to study, allowing you to learn both corrupting powers straight from the Umbral Abyss and spells designed to bring light to dark places so you can keep eldritch abominations at bay. There are even a bunch of new events that will be integrated into the game, and completing them will allow you to turn a hero into a terrifying monster.

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The Eldritch Realms expansion also coincides with the release of the game’s next patch, the Mystic Update. The Mystic Culture has undergone a complete overhaul, introducing three new schools of magic that should provide more flexibility and more options for spellcasters and battle mages. You can start a new game in a hidden unknown realms mode, where all features start hidden and are only discovered through the game. Or take control of your AI allies in battle and say goodbye to the frustration caused by the AI ​​deciding to do something you absolutely don’t want to do. Check out the full patch notes on the official site.

Age of Wonders 4: Eldritch Realms is out now and the full game is currently 30% off until Monday June 24, so expect to pay $34.99 / £29.39. Both are available here on Steam.

You can also check out our recommendations for the best strategy games to play, as well as our guide to the best fantasy games available right now.

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