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Would you like to check out some fresh reviews for Grimlore Games and THQ Nordic's RTS/RPG threequel SpellForce III? Of course you would. Especially considering that for the most part they're quite positive, just a tad shy of glowing, albeit with one notable exception. Have a look:
There remain a few technical issues with SpellForce 3, though they seem to be decreasing in scope and number rapidly. Some players have reported performance issues, but I have to say that I had none at all, just the occasional instance of disappearing functionality in the UI, where units that were necessary to progress couldn't be summoned. That's not been an issue for a couple of days, however, and with two or three small updates currently being rolled out on a daily basis, the developers are nothing if not dedicated. Frankly I wish they'd take a few days off - they probably need it.
While the script and delivery is out of whack in a few places and genuine asymmetry between the playable races would be warmly received, there's really very little about SpellForce 3 that warrants getting upset about. Perhaps there isn't a wide open world to explore and the routes to victory seem more focused on which heroes you recruit along the way, but there's enough more freedom in pace and plenty to enjoy just exploring the maps. Then there are the the multiplayer options - a main campaign can be played in tandem and an unspectacular but fully-featured skirmish mode. There's certainly far more to enjoy than there is to endure and for fans of RPGs or RTS games who might only have a passing interest in half of what SpellForce 3 has to offer, I can assure you that you won't be disappointed.
I'd even go so far as to say that SpellForce 3 is the best Baldur's Gate meets Age of Mythology ever.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun Scoreless:
It’s so bleeding long that I’ve barely had an opportunity to dabble in the multiplayer, aside from a few skirmishes, but so far they seem to work surprisingly well. I wondered if, without the greater context of the adventure and its myriad quests, these discrete battles would feel a little hollow, but with tactically interesting maps full of chokepoints and fortresses and the ability to summon pre-made heroes that differentiate the factions, they’re actually quite robust.
SpellForce 3 is a game that, when pulled apart, doesn’t always come out looking great, but that I’ve still really enjoyed. I get a sort of primal delight in seeing two of my favourite genres blended together competently, and that’s definitely SpellForce — competent. It probably seems like I’m damning it with faint praise, but it’s a cautious recommendation. So many RPGs give you positions of power and authority but then just throw a few arbitrary choices your way; SpellForce lets you actually wield that authority, both as a sword and a hammer.
Hooked Gamers 8.5/10:
On the positive side, all that rotating does mean you’re taking in some of the most breathtaking sceneries to ever grace an RTS. In this area, the game compares favourably to RPGs. The quality, detail and design of the maps is almost up to par with those found in Pillars of Eternity and invokes similar awe inspiring moments. And that level of care can be found throughout the campaign. Spellforce 3’s well written story brings you to a variety of locales and has a rather wonderful tendency to switch you to another mode of play at exactly the right moment.
Spellforce 3 is one of the best blends between RTS and RPG in gaming. Staying true to its roots, the game is - first and foremost - made for its fans but it is welcoming to those who are new to the series. A well fleshed out campaign, excellent writing, and satisfying combat are the hallmark of any great RPG. Spellforce 3 adds conquest, base building and RTS battles - what’s not to love.
Part RTS and part RPG, SpellForce 3 doesn't excel at either genre it tries to incorporate.
The RPG segments, while interesting, are marred by some truly terrible voice acting (Geralt's voice actor's the lone exception) and huge and hard to navigate areas. The game's RPG dungeons are its gameplay's crown jewel.
The game's RTS segments are fine for what they are, but ultimately do not serve up much of a strategic challenge and eventually turn into deathball matches.
SpellForce 3 excels in both its graphics and overall sound design, and its RTS segments will give most gaming rigs a real run for their money, but it's difficult for me to recommend this game as it stands. Grimlore Games tried hard here and it really shows in all the details, but the game needs some sizable quality of life changes to make it worth investing the money and time needed to play it.
And while the reviewers all note how the game suffers from various bug-related issues of varying severity, the developers keep working on fixing those bugs. In the last couple of days, the game has received two meaty patches - 1.09 and 1.12. Here's the changelog for the latest one:
- New item graphics
- Heroes are preselected when entering a new map
- Fixed a questlog bug in Aonir's Blade when the player did not choose any side
- Fixed a dialogue bug that would stop an intro dialogue in the final mission
- Fixed a dialogue bug that would stop an important dialogue in The Nexus
- Fixed a dialogue bug that would stop the player from completing The Golden Road
- Fixed player not being able to talk to some NPCs for Corrupted Hearts quest
- Fixed essential NPCs for the Corrupted Hearts quest not being immortal
- Fixed player not being able to turn in Fragments of the Phoenix after collecting all of them
- Fixed player not being able to talk to Undergast for the "The World Within" quest
- Fixed player being permanently uncontrollable after talking to Angar after making certain story choices
- Fixed several issues causing your companion's personal quests to become stuck
- Fixed workers having issues approaching fish resource deposits after loading a savegame
- Fixed selection frame remaining visible when casting spell while dragging
- Fixed incorrect directions being displayed when trying to turn certain pillars
- Fixed savegames in Iskander Wilds where Angar is missing
- Fixed item "Noria's Command" to now apply its bonus to all weapons
- Fixed rare bug that could lead to factions not being correctly restored after loading a game
- Fixed possible memory corrupting bug that could lead to crashed or desyncs
- Fixed players being able to travel directly from Unknown Island to Iskander Wilds (unfortunately you will have to load a savegame from the Unknown Island or before if you were affected by this bug)
- T3 Enemy RTS units damage in campaign scales properly to difficulty levels now
- Fixed an issue that would cause the game to crash immediately on startup on certain systems
- Reworked most enemy RTS heroes in campaign
- Efficiency of Leadership Auras reduced
- Clarity: Reduced amount of focus gained when the effect triggers. The effect can now also only trigger every 2 seconds.
- Avatar: Cooldown increased to 30 seconds from 15 seconds