SpellForce is a series that was born in 2003 thanks to SpellForce: The Order of Dawn, a title developed by Phenomic Game Development that tried to combine the best of strategy games with the best of European role-playing titles that were so fashionable around that time (after the successes of Planescape Torment, Baldurs Gate II or Neverwinter Nights ) creating a unique mix that managed to catch on among a large part of PC gamers.
This installment was followed by several expansions and a second installment that failed to catch on as much as the first did, paralyzing the saga for several years until, at the end of 2017, Grimlore Games and THQ Nordic brought it back to life.
Between two lands, you are…
Spellforce 3, as the Heroes of Silence song says, moves, once again between two lands, trying to take the component of resource management, troops and base expansion of strategy games with magic, progression, inventory, decisions and plot branches of western role-playing games.
During our games, we will have to carry out actions typical of strategy games, such as building buildings, creating “commoners” who work on our different sources of resources, managing them, expanding our bases and making the most valuable units on each occasion, highlighting, above all, how crucial it will be to build bases or outposts in strategic places that will allow us to dominate the field of play and make our lives much more accessible.
Beyond this, the strategic component of the game will not have too much crumb, based, as we say, on resource management and our expertise to choose the best troops or to expand our domains in specific vital points that will increase our chances of victory.
The other side of the balance is the role-playing part of Spellforce 3, which allows us to colour our hero by choosing between special abilities, powers or magic that we can use intuitively at any moment of combat by assigning pretty intelligent buttons.
As a general rule, our hero will be accompanied by three companions also with their unique abilities, advantages, and disadvantages, which we must take into account and use wisely if we want to succeed in each mission, especially in all those that leave an aside the strategic part of the game to focus on the role-playing elements.
Demanding combat, a story that takes place before the first Spellforce and many secondary
The combats that we will have to fight throughout the campaign drink from the role components mentioned above, in which we must know how to manage both the use of our troops and the abilities of our main hero and his companions.
This difficulty is evident from the first moment, especially if we start the game with an additional scenario called Ancient Haalayash that tells us about some events that happen shortly before the “adventure” of SpellForce 3 and that already makes it clear to us that the game is going to be a sweet treat for all those who are looking for something challenging.
This difficulty is usually reason enough for many players to get hooked on Spellforce 3, which also has a campaign that is attractive enough to keep us trapped in the game wanting to overcome zone by zone, “level by level,” although far from the complexity and tricky twists of deeper RPGs.
The story places us years before the events of the first SpellForce, at a time when the wizarding rebellion has been neutralized by the Crown, paying a high price in return, since a few regions have been plunged into anarchy, causing many families to seek refuge in other regions, helping to spread a mysterious plague known as the “blood boil.”
On our way through this story, we will meet certain characters who will offer us secondary or alternative missions that will give us more details about everything happening in the world beyond the Crown’s control.
Exciting cooperative mode
In addition to its peculiar combination of strategy and role-playing game, SpellForce 3 has another exciting addition that can attract many users: its particular concept of multiplayer mode.
This mode will allow us to face other players in various game modes that combine classic elements of strategy or, what is more interesting, to enjoy the campaign cooperatively, with another friend, through the internet or even a local network if we want to play with our brother or with our partner in our own house, making the adventure, in a company, more interesting.
Something that will please lovers of good graphics is that SpellForce 3 is visually more attractive than many of the role-playing or strategy games we can find in this style, with an excellent artistic direction, well-crafted landscapes and terrain and a rich colour palette. Wide and showy.
We also want to highlight the work at the musical level of the game and, above all, where an excellent job has been done.
SpellForce 3 is a good, fun game with a story that, despite not being great, engages enough and with a very successful mix between a strategy game and a role-playing game that has its charm.
Its main problem is that being between two lands is not quite deep enough in either, moving away from the excellence of great role-playing or strategy games that have come out this year.
Despite everything, we find ourselves with a good delivery that promises to shine again on a saga that seemed lost and that can keep us trapped for a good handful of hours, especially if we decide to share the game with a friend in cooperative mode.
We prepared this review with a digital copy of the game provided by Evolve PR.