Heroes of Might and Magic III

Developer: New World Computing
Publisher: 3D0
Game Type: Turn-Based Strategy
Similar To: Civilization, Alpha Centauri

_____Wow. It's been a long time since I've written a game review, probably since I get so few games, but anyways... for fans of the Heroes of Might and Magic series this game needs no introduction. As a matter of fact, as a fan, you shouldn't even be reading this review in the first place, because you already know how damn good this game series is. The 3rd in the series takes everything good from the 2nd, and adds eye-candy plus awesome gameplay. Currently, only 3 games have held my attention for 5 straight hours, and two of the three come from the Heroes of Might and Magic series. What's the other game you ask? Half-Life, a.k.a. Pipe-Life (inside joke).

_____The story is set in the world of Erathia, where the old king has died without an apparent heir to the throne. All chaos insues, and enemy tribes move in to conquer unprotected territory. Other campaigns feature deeper storylines, but I forgot what they were, since it really is just an excuse for you to dive right in and kick some butt. Basically, the goal is to wipe out your enemy kingdoms nearby, or to find an artifact that holds so much power that it determines the outcome of the campaign. Like I mentioned before, the story is not an important aspect, and it doesn't really have to be for a game like this.

_____I'm trying to think how to really promote this game to the public, so instead of spending a lot of boring time on the features and what-not the game provides, I'll briefly narrate my experiences with the game:

1. I first come into contact with a game called Heroes of Might and Magic 2. My first few minutes with the game was filled with confusion and uncertainty of what to do and how to work the interface. After a few more minutes, I begin to get the hang of it and start off on my first campaign.

2. After the first hour of playing, I really get the hang of it. I continue on with the campaign... interested in what other features the game offers. Different types of monsters and magic spells look really cool, and hero battles are especially interesting.

3. I keep playing and playing... after a while I look at my watch, and I realize it's 5 A.M. in the morning. Holy shiznitz! I have school tomorrow!

4. For the next week I steadily ignore all homework and tests and do nothing but play Heroes 2 when I get home. I beat the game in one week, and proceed to play single missions.

5. I hear of the development of a sequel for Heroes of Might and Magic, and I eagerly await for more than a year. In between I acquired the expansion pack for Heroes 2, called "The Price of Loyalty".

6. Heroes of Might and Magic III is released, after a year and a half in development. I begin to play, and once again, I kill off 5 straight hours of doing nothing but playing. I begin to formulate a plan, which is to never play Heroes III after 8 o'clock, or else I'll be stuck on the computer for way too long.

7. I beat Heroes III in 2 weeks, gawddamn longer and harder than Heroes 2, but twice as fun. =)

_____Let me tell you, the first three things you'll notice about the game when (if) you ever acquire it: Graphics, graphics, and graphics. Don't be disillusioned about graphics, because it's not incredible 3D rendered OpenGL realistic environments. Rather, it boasts a lush land full of life and beauty. The artists of the developer did an excellent job in drawing the landscape, the environment, and the surrounding vegetation. Once you enter the fort, it's even more amazing. Everything you see is drawn down to the very detail, and it absolutely enhances the experience of the player. The knight castle is rendered in a Scottish country side, while the Necromancer's castle is dark with ominous red clouds hanging over the purgatory, etc...

_____For beginners and un-experienced players, there's a tutorial and an Adobe Acrobat .pdf file included in the game that walks you through and shows off some of the features of the game. It's a great way for novices to start off in the world of Heroes of Might and Magic, and a great way for veterans to re-familiarize themselves with the game. If you've never played Heroes of Might and Magic, think of it like Starcraft meets Baldur's Gate. If you're a lover of the game series, you'll definitely want to grab this edition. Bottom line, one of the most addictive and entertaining games I've ever played, period. For those that know me as a Quake/3D first person lover, this should be even more of a revelation to how good this game is.

Final Grade: A+

The Scale is as follows:
A+: I almost never give out A+ to anything at all, not even women. If something gets an A+, you KNOW it kicks total ass.
A: Very top notch, and I had a good experience with it. Must make my top 10 list to qualify as an A.
A-: Not too shabby. Entertaining and overall good. 90% of the population will enjoy it.
B+ to B-: Still above average. Recommend for people that enjoy the particular genre.
C+ to C-: Average stuff... weak recommendation on my part. Make your own decision.
D+ and below: Crap. Don't go for it, unless it's for a special occasion or something.

Screen Shots

Inside the Knight Town
Heroes III Intro Screen
Turn-Based Adventure Screen