ancient shadows.pngAncient Shadows... it does sound kind of ominous, doesn't it? It is after all a title that can't help but allude to the darkest of cosmic secrets, forgotten horrors and, apparently, the forthcoming (also, fourth) expansion of the excellent AI War sci-fi strategy game. Ancient Shadows will feature all sorts of new ship classes, maps, map types, tunes, AI types, sub-races and factions, but will above all herald the arrival of Champion units. You will thus be able to set a player to the "Champion" role and, instead of a home command station, start said player off with a single, massive, modular, upgradable ship.

AI War: Ancient Shadows has just entered its beta phase and access to it will be offered to all pre-orderers, who will also get a 20% off the $4.99 release price. You can download the Ancient Shadows demo for Windows and Mac and a preview of the new soundtrack here.

As for the expansion's release date, here's what Arcen's Erik Johnson told IndieGames: "Our plan is to launch Ancient Shadows in October, prior to the release of AVWW's art rework and our new game Shattered Haven in November. In December we'll be looking into a potential new platform for a couple of our games, if we're not too tired!"