Disciples III: Renaissance E3 Preview

GameSpot has gotten around to posting their impressions of Disciples III: Renaissance based on the strategy/RPG's showing at this year's E3.
We then jumped into the first single-player campaign as the human empire to begin our journey. Like in previous games, you can choose one of three hero character types to be the leader of your first army--the warrior, the mage, or the guildmaster. Again, your primary objective in each campaign will be to escort the mysterious angel character, but you'll also have plenty of secondary objectives. These include exploring and conquering 3D overland maps that house treasure caches, resource nodes that provide magical crystals to power your magic spells, and additional settlements that may be controlled by enemy forces. We're told that the game's art is now more or less final, and it looks great. The overland maps are highly detailed, but they're stylized with muted, faded colors that seem to fit well with the Disciples series' dark fantasy theme.

We tried out a handful of the standard activities you'd expect from a Disciples game, such as upgrading our town by purchasing a new structure to unlock upgrades for a certain unit type. Hometowns in Disciples III will also have item stores that will grow in size later in the campaign and let you purchase a great variety of different items beyond just healing potions. Every location in a Disciples III town is rendered in full 3D with a swooping camera that circles past a waterfall around your mage guild, for instance. We also dived into a basic battle against a couple of goblins, whom we dispatched without difficulty. Disciples III is a turn-based game, just like its predecessors, and so is the combat, which, as usual, begins with your war party on the left side of the field and the enemy off to the right. However, combat now takes place on a 3D positional map where you must move your melee units within range of your foes in order to attack them, similar to something like the Heroes of Might & Magic series. Battlefields may also have special nodes on the ground between both armies that grant combat bonuses to any unit that stands on them. So it's important to make sure you occupy them with your most powerful units to make sure your foes can't get to them first.