Game play is a lot like Warcraft. You create Basal Golems to generate mana, the source of all your power, and then use the mana to transform Basal Golems into other creatures. You have a large selection to work with, from Rangers and Fighters to Mages and Druids, and a host of others. Your Basal Golems are also the foundation for new buildings. Gather four golems together on a foundation and they can be transformed into on of several different building types, each capable of transforming a Basal Golem into something unique.
As you create new creatures, and kill opponents, you gain experience points. These experience points are then used to research even more new creatures. Some are offensive, Fighters, and some are defensive, Clerics and Gnomes, but all have their uses. The graphics in Blood & Magic are great. Each creature is modeled in great detail, and hearing a golem scream as it dies is great.
I was also impressed by the AI seen in the preview demo. While it didn't take too long to find a weak spot and exploit it, I did spend a couple of days mastering the Puzzle Palace scenario. Blood & Magic also allows multiplayer play. The only thing I did notice that may be a problem is the pausing in the game. When you get a lot of action going on all over the map, the game tends to slow way down once in a while to get the background housekeeping done.
Overall, Blood & Magic is looking like a great real-time strategy game. For those of you that found Warcraft impossible to stop playing, you might want to check out Blood & Magic later this month.
-- Steve Gerencser