The Spellforce series has been around for many years, and for people such as myself, who have never experienced the amazing fantasy world of Eo before, this will be a great opportunity to be introduced to the lore of the game because Spellforce 3 is a prequel to The Order of Dawn, making it much easier for newcomers to understand what this series is about.
The unique gameplay of Spellforce 3 separates it from any other strategy game in recent memory; having this interesting mix between role-playing and real-time strategy gives the player such a wide variety of elements to work with, and I enjoyed it immensely. Think of it as a hybrid between Diablo and Warcraft. An ambitious effort by developer Grimlore Games, conveying an interesting story with some of the most beautiful graphics I’ve seen this year, offering a very solid control scheme for players to appreciate, and that is not even mentioning the brilliant soundtrack.
You kick off the campaign by playing as Senteza Noria, Commander of the Wolf Guard, sent on a mission to stop a group of rebels and their leader, a mage by the name of Isamo Tahar, who plans to overthrow the Crown. The starting act works as a tutorial for the player to understand the mechanics and how to utilize their resources. Of course, if you want to skip the campaign and just follow your own journey, you can do that by selecting the Skirmish option. I would recommend playing the campaign because it offers, a very compelling and dynamic story. Just like any other RTS game, you start off with your main base with a specific number of workers, expanding your military forces and resource gathering. The very cool aspect of Spellforce 3 is that you can create 3 heroes to help you in battle. Each with its own abilities and stats. You use your heroes to explore the world and help them gather experience, so you can later upgrade them, depending on your gameplay style.
There are quite a few different quests to tackle, ranging from delivery missions to all-out assaults on massive enemy encampments, and that is only scratching the surface. The RTS aspect might throw some for a loop, but for those who have been around for the last several years, the hero strategy should be familiar. Your character has much more diversity and control over your respective actions, but it doesn’t change the fact you have to pay attention to resources to build your bases, units and so forth. Depending on the faction you go with, you will have access to a wide variety of units, which all feel balanced despite being unique in their own right. You are given dialogue choices throughout the campaign, making you more involved with your characters and the story.
Visually, Spellforce 3 is a gorgeous-looking game – it does seem like the developers abandoned the cartoonish-style, bright-colored environments, from the previous titles, for a richer set of textures and colors. The attention to detail gives the vibrant locations, characters and architecture life, making the world itself so much more fascinating to explore because of how the layer of believability that this is a living, breathing, world. Further enhancing the visual appeal, are the well-done effects. The fire effects in particular are mesmerizing. The heroes themselves look great with their gear on, and it really helps that you can zoom in out to really observe the dripping detail on some of these armors. The game itself is very well optimized. I was capable of running the game on ultra settings with no drops in FPS and everything in the game runs as smooth as butter.
The music definitely needs to be brought up, as it is one of the best ones this year. I am actually blown away by how amazing every piece of composed music for Spellforce 3 manages to impress and give its fantasy world a really epic feel of wonder. I would recommend purchasing the soundtrack once it’s available. The voice acting for most of the NPCs that you encounter is nicely done. One voice that stands out is Doug Cockle who plays Sentenza Noria, who you also may remember as the voice of Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher 3, and it’s honestly hard to separate him from that character whenever he speaks. Overall, the auditory department is strong.
I’ve had a lot of fun with Spellforce 3. I think this game does a fantastic job of blending RTS with RPG. The main campaign is pretty lengthy, with great depth to it. The skirmish mode that allows you to tackle on your own free adventure. The game also comes with co-op and multiplayer mode, opening up to even more hours to sink in Spellforce 3, making this one beefy game for its current value. The combat might be a little hard at first, but once you get over the first hour of gameplay, you will have a hard time letting go. The game gets really addictive, especially when you start getting more involved in your hero building, spending hours upon hours discovering and learning about the world, but most importantly having a fun time doing so.
Spellforce 3 is one of the best strategy games I’ve played this year, offering so much replayability because of its unique approach to the genre and offers a great experience for any fantasy fan. I do hope that we will see more factions in future DLCs, maybe patch out the mechanics, tweak the HUD and work on improving the A.I. system. Other than that, this is a really good game and I strongly recommend you check it out.
One of the most polished strategy games of the year! A fun mix of RTS and RPG that will keep you coming back for more.
- Original Gameplay
- Great Story
- Amazing Music
- Gorgeous Visuals
- Some Unbalanced Enemies
- A Few Bugs Regarding Chat Dialogues
- Tedious Resource Gathering