The First Gameplay From That New Australian RTS Looks Pretty Good

The First Gameplay From That New Australian RTS Looks Pretty Good
Image: Playside Studios

We don’t get many homegrown strategy games in Australia, so Age of Darkness was always going to capture some attention. Especially when it looks this good.

Age of Darkness: Final Stand is one of the new projects from ASX-listed Melbourne developers PlaySide Studios, a company that’s traditionally done more in the mobile/tablet gaming space. But your past doesn’t stop you from doing something cool in the future, and on Friday morning the company showcased the first actual gameplay from their horde-based RTS.

The hooks here are that the game can support around 70,000 units on screen at any given time, and that you’ll be slowly battling back nightly waves of undead as you try to push by a dynamic “death fog” called “The Veil”. You build your base up during the day, foraging for resources, and in the night you prepare for battle.

Some of the defences in the gameplay trailer include flaming barriers, your usual mounted turrets and ballistae. It looks like there’s hero characters (called the Champion) and, from what I can see, a focus on using your buildings and pathway to funnel the massive hordes into tight chokepoints.

Every night you survive, you’ll be given one of three blessings. Based on me quickly hitting pause on the trailer below, those blessings might include XP buffs for your champion, the potential to get two units for the price of one, faster build times, better vision radius for your buildings, and the chance to pick up resources every time you slay the undead at night.

Best part of all: Age of Darkness will be playable real soon. Like, in a fortnight’s kind of soon. The game is only launching in early access, but if you want to give it a whirl it’ll be available on Steam from September 15. That could end up being September 16 locally — PlaySide are probably advertising a global launch date on YouTube, but the Steam page isn’t updated at the time of writing, which is where we’d usually get the Australian launch date from. Update: The Steam page has now been updated, and it’s a September 16 launch down under.

Anyway, we’ll hear more about this game soon. It’s been a long time since we’ve had Aussie RTS games like Dark Reign or KKnD to look up to. (There is a bunch of Aussies, with some international support, keeping Dark Reign alive today, but that’s a story for another time.)

If you’re interested, head here for more details.


  • Its pretty well known that Orson Welles hated his role in the movie. He sadly didn’t finish his lines before he passed, the last sequence with Unicron were voiced by Leonard Nimoy.

  • I don’t know why but when I look at the end info graphic it just screams “Warhammer 40K”. I don’t know if it’s the font, the Necron-like creature or what.

    • Now that you mention it, I can’t un-see it. Mostly for the font. The creature makes me think more Heroes of Might and Magic 5. But both HOMM5 undead and the Necrons use the black/light green energy style

    • Yeah true, although I think even Warcraft 3 used that style for its undead characters. I think it’s maybe just a recognisable visual shortcut for the undead at this point. I mean they even did it in the Lord of the Rings movies.

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