SpellForce III Released, Reviews

You can now purchase SpellForce III, the RTS/RPG prequel to 2003's SpellForce: The Order of Dawn from Grimlore Games and THQ Nordic on both Steam and GOG for $49.99 or your regional equivalent. In SpellForce III you will participate in an epic fantasy story, create and customize your hero, assemble a party of trusty companions, and lead massive armies of Humans, Orcs or Elves in battle. You will also be able to put your micro and macro skills to the test in multiplayer, and even play through the game together with your friends in co-op.

Check out the release trailer:

And the official description:

It is the year 518. The rebellion of the renegade mages, known as the Mage Wars, has been quashed by the Crown. However, it was a Pyrrhic victory: Whole regions have fallen into anarchy, refugees roam the lands in search of shelter, and a mysterious, deadly plague called the “Bloodburn” has arisen and is spreading rapidly.

In times like these people cling to any sign of hope they can find. The Purity of Light, led by a charismatic man called Rondar Lacaine, claims that mages are the source of all misfortune – and that only the second coming of Aonir, the father of all gods, will return Eo to its former splendor.

The story takes place before the acclaimed SpellForce: The Order of Dawn.

  • Innovative Mix: Unique gameplay blending RTS and RPG naturally together
  • Create & Customize: Create your own hero and choose between distinct skill trees
  • Build to Fight: Raise your own army and fight epic mass battles
  • Epic Storyline: Immerse yourself in a rich world - Unravel the secrets behind the current situation in Nortander. Explore Eo, a fully-realized world filled with interesting characters and heart-wrenching stories.
  • Make new friends - assemble your party from a diverse cast of companions that not only complement your skills in interesting ways but also have an impact on the narrative. Manage their skills and equipment to ensure victory on the battlefield.
  • Choose your side: Strengthen and command one of three factions – Elves, Orcs and Humans. Prepare your troops and fight the mother of all battles. Play strategically, taking advantage of terrain, troop formations, visibility, scouting, etc.
  • Experience an epic tale: Enjoy a fully-voiced 30+ hour campaign on your own or with friends in the campaign coop mode. Face opponents of all skills in the online battles.
  • Multiplayer: Strong multiplayer component with various modes - Compete against each other in the PvP and Domination mode or play cooperative either together on one faction or classic where everybody plays a faction.

Several fairly positive early reviews are already available. Have a look:

PC Aficionado 9.1/10:

Spellforce 3 is one of the best strategy games I’ve played this year, offering so much replay ability 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.

Hardcore Gamer 4/5:

SpellForce 3 has delivered on the potential it showed while still in development. Enjoying the layered gameplay and story requires a decent time commitment, but for an experience of this type and scope, diving right into it proves surprisingly easy. It might not be the deepest individual RTS or RPG experience ever created, but it’s no slouch in either department and the successful merger of the two game styles creates a rather unique experience. Hardcore CRPG or RTS fans might find the game systems for the respective genres less complex than some of their favorites, but as far as complexity is concerned, less is more was the way to go. A good analogy of the playstyle for SpellForce 3 for RPG fans is to think of it as a dual class; it may not reach pinnacle of either genre, but does good at both where the combination is greater than the sum of its parts. The idea of magic users being used as a scapegoat for the world’s problems and being hunted isn’t the most original idea, but the development team put enough of their own spin on this concept where it doesn’t just tread over the same familiar themes. 2017 was already a great year for RPGs and SpellForce 3 adds another entry on an already impressive list as the year comes to a close.

GameSpace 8/10:

While not game breaking, there are some bugs and problems with selecting units and issuing orders where the game seems to hic-up and not “take” it. Heroes’ abilities often fail to trigger which can lead to quite dangerous situations on the battlefield. Sometimes it is necessary to place the protagonist practically on top of an interactable object for it to work.

The thing that almost killed my wish to play was a Zerg-like behavior that AI has shown during a couple of quests that would require you plunge into RTS mode. If you do not charge out at point blank to wipe the NPC faction out or at least severely cripple it, in about 15 to 20 minutes you would get attacked by dozens of units from all sides at once, and the second you suffer a setback is the second you cross a point of no return.

While playing in the “RPG mode” you feel like you are competent and can take on almost anything the game throws at you. However, the moment you start in the “RTS mode”, you feel like you are already behind and the first part of your construction would be catching up to the enemy that seems to not have such problems. To expand, you need resources. To have more resources, you need to expand. All of that while continuously under attack by the Zerg-AI and without an opportunity to replenish your own forces.

Altogether, 15 hours in SpellForce 3 left me with mixed feelings. The game is far above the average, but with little things like control issues, bugs and AI behavior met frequently enough to sour the impression.

GameWatcher 7/10:

In the end, SpellForce 3 is a unique mix of strategy and RPG mechanics that miraculously loses very few of either. It asks no knowledge of the previous titles, and features co-op and PvP multiplayer modes in addition to the rather long single-player campaign. Ironically, in an age of MOBAs and strategy-less strategy games, this years-old staple of game design feels surprisingly refreshing.