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View Full Version : Disciples III: Resurrection, or a Budget-Minded Alternative to HoMMVI



Drinking with Skeletons
02-11-2011, 04:07 PM
After all the uproar about Ubi's DRM, I thought I'd post a brief review of the recently released Disciples III: Resurrection.

Since the purpose of posting this is to compare the two, let's start with how this game compares with HoMM. Like that series, you control groups of units under the command of heroes as they roam about maps. The game is played in turns, there is a capital city to be upgraded, there are neutral stacks to defeat, and there are treasures to be found. Par for the course.

The biggest difference from HoMM is that there is no unit stacking. That peasant? He's just one peasant. The largest party you will field will be eight soldiers (one hero and seven units). Longtime Disciples fans will probably be alarmed to hear that no stacking is the biggest difference and, yes, the combat now takes place on a hex-based grid, a la HoMM or King's Bounty. However, all of the franchise's units--at least for the Empire, Legions of the Damned, Elven Alliance, and Undead Hordes--return, and have been overhauled to function in the new format.

As your heroes gain experience, they will level up using a system reminiscent of the License Board from Final Fantasy XII. There are a variety of useful skills available, but the primary targets will tend to be the precious leadership points, which allow the hero to bring more troops into battle. Units will also gain experience. If you've built the appropriate buildings in your capital, your weak troops will be able to upgrade into ever more formidable forms. These buildings tend to be part of a branching hierarchy, and you'll have tough choices to make. Do you want a powerful, health-absorbing Blood Lord or an even-more-powerful Archlich? Or maybe you'd rather trade out the ability to hit every enemy at once for weapon immunity and invest in the Wraith path? But then there's the choice between the debuffing Nothingness and the heavy-hitting Reaper! GAH! That the units have been re-balanced significantly from Disciples II so that there really aren't any duds only makes the choices more difficult.

You'll certainly want to see all of the different units the game has to offer, as the game is simply beautiful. It's not technically amazing--and there are some odd lighting-related bugs--but the art direction is fantastic, and you'll find yourself consistently impressed by the creatures on display, be they Demonologists with an ever-roaming eye bulging from their chests or beefy Elves charging forward on burly, armored unicorns.

Unfortunately, the content is a bit limited, particularly compared with previous entries in the series. There is only one campaign, focusing on the Undead Hordes. If you want to get caught up with the plot--which isn't amazing, but is admittedly more involved than in the earlier games--you can watch the lengthy (and poorly narrated) opening video or hunt down the (buggier) Disciples III: Renaissance. Or you could hope that the upcoming Disciples III: Rebirth (basically an overhaul of everything Disciples III) makes it out of Russia. That said, the campaign is pretty good. The opening missions are too slow and limited for their own good, but by the third mission or so the unit selection and opposition have expanded enough to make for a more compelling experience, and you'll likely have a lot of fun completing sidequests, upgrading your Deadmen, and leveling your Werewolves. You may want to play on the Easy setting, however; the game is extremely punishing on the Normal setting. Outside of the campaign you can play against the AI or a friend or three in the hotseat mode. Sadly, these maps aren't as unique or enjoyable as those found in Disciples II, and are limited to capturing the capital cities for each other player. There are also a few single player scenarios, but these are just some of the hotseat maps in a different menu and with no race selection. Exactly what the devs were thinking here is beyond me.

As mentioned the game is a bit buggy. The translation in the sole campaign occasionally experiences a critical failure and produces pure gibberish. I've had relatively infrequent problems with the sound cutting out and weird graphical corruption, but if you practice good saving habits they are easily handled. There are some oddities with the Elven capital--the mage buildings tend to disappear after a while--but nothing game-breaking.

So, for 20-30 dollars (depending on where you get it), you get a decent turn-based strategy title with no constant online DRM. It does require a one-time registration with Kalypso, but there's nothing else to get in your way. Feel free to ask me any questions you'd like!

KauhuK
02-11-2011, 04:28 PM
I bought the original Disciples 3 from Gamersgate sale. The tutorial is broken and the human empires first mission is one of the hardest (thats what i read from internets). After several tries I quit and uninstalled. Dont know about the Resurrection. Is it better than the original?

Drinking with Skeletons
02-11-2011, 04:33 PM
I bought the original Disciples 3 from Gamersgate sale. The tutorial is broken and the human empires first mission is one of the hardest (thats what i read from internets). After several tries I quit and uninstalled. Dont know about the Resurrection. Is it better than the original?

I was able to complete all three campaigns for Disciples III, so I might not be the best judge. However, on Easy the campaign missions provide you with a Werewolf in every mission. They're immune to Weapon-based damage, which makes the early parts of the maps much more manageable. Werewolves lose their effectiveness during the later stages of the longer maps--when high-end mage units really come into their own--but by then you'll have a Hell's menagerie of undead monstrosities to make up for the loss.

Flint
02-11-2011, 05:49 PM
Gameplay-wise sounds gorgeous and just the sort of thing I'd love, but the lack of proper single scenarios is very off-putting as those are what I usually play in games like these. What a shame.

Thanks for giving the info though, might have to keep an eye on it.

vinraith
02-11-2011, 06:12 PM
Slightly off topic, but has anyone had any luck getting Disciples 2 Gold working under Win 7 64? I recall quite liking that game (I'm deeply skeptical of D3), and would love to play it again.

Giaddon
02-11-2011, 06:19 PM
I've had no problems with GOG's versi--

Oh wait, 64 bit! I have 32bit, and it's fine. Is there a big difference?

vinraith
02-11-2011, 06:20 PM
I've had no problems with GOG's versi--

Oh wait, 64 bit! I have 32bit, and it's fine. Is there a big difference?

I think there must be. I have GOG's version as well, but it doesn't seem to be willing to play nice.

Giaddon
02-11-2011, 06:22 PM
Hmm, GOG's gamecard (http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/disciples_2_gold) for D2 lists it as compatible with Win7 64-bit. Maybe it's some other issue?

vinraith
02-11-2011, 06:23 PM
Could be. I'll have a look around their forum.

Side note: Damn those screenshots are still pretty. D2's art style really was outstanding.

Giaddon
02-11-2011, 06:35 PM
D2 is one of my favorite games. It has some HUGE design flaws, but I still play it fairly regularly.

Anthile
02-11-2011, 06:53 PM
I think you're better off with the Age of Wonders and HoMM games which are mostly available on GOG. Both series are vastly superior in my opinion.

archonsod
02-11-2011, 09:00 PM
Problem I had (with Renaissance) was that it was just somewhat bland. It felt to me like they were trying to create a slightly less cartoony version of Heroes of Might & Magic without ever really having played HoMM. There's nothing in there that really makes it stand out. Can't put my finger on what it is precisely though.
I'm not exactly a big fan of the combat in the original Disciples either, but I'm pretty sure the route they've taken isn't the best way to go. Possibly increasing the number of units fielded might help.

Casimir Effect
02-11-2011, 09:06 PM
@Vinraith

No problem with D2 on Win7 64 here. Maybe the odd freeze now and then but I remember that always happened on XP back in the day.

D2 is always a favourite. The first turn-based strategy game I really got into, it had great atmosphere, more story than most and really addictive gameplay. The amount of replayability was excellent too, being as there were 4 campaigns through which you could choose 1 of 3 types of Leaders to make your main character, and could yourself choose 1 of 3 types of Lord to be. There were a couple of balance issues as has been noted, and some missions were very unfair or had silly time limits, but otherwise it's great.

This D3: Rebirth is intriguing. Anyone have any good info on it? Heard a lot of bad stuff about Renaissance but have always planned on getting it but if there is going to be an improve version I'll hold off for it.

vinraith
02-11-2011, 09:13 PM
@Vinraith

No problem with D2 on Win7 64 here. Maybe the odd freeze now and then but I remember that always happened on XP back in the day.

Very interesting. I can't get it to start, period, it hangs on start up every time.

Are you running windowed? Stretched full screen?

Casimir Effect
02-11-2011, 10:02 PM
Stretched out to fullscreen 1920x1200 automatically, which looks a bit crap so if I ever replay it I'll enable windowed. Otherwise it's just installed (onto my games drive - which is seperate from where Windows is - and not in Program Files, in case that means anything) normally and running either Disciples 2 - Dark Prophecy & Gallean's Return or Disciples 2 - Rise of the Elves loads the game up fine.

I actually just tried to change the config file in the Rise of the Elves folder to allow for windowed play:
[Disciple]
; 0 = full-screen, 1 = windowed
DisplayMode=0
ie. I changed the 0 to a 1, and the game wouldn't start. Error box with "Can't initialize Disciples 2". Sound familiar?

EDIT:
OK, the game will run after enabling windowed mode like that if you switch your display to 16 bit beforehand, although I still can't find a way to run the Disciples 2 - Dark Prophecy & Gallean's Return version in a window. Regardless, I'd hazard a guess that setting your display to 16 bit might make the game work.

vinraith
02-11-2011, 10:11 PM
Stretched out to fullscreen 1920x1200 automatically, which looks a bit crap so if I ever replay it I'll enable windowed. Otherwise it's just installed (onto my games drive - which is seperate from where Windows is - and not in Program Files, in case that means anything) normally and running either Disciples 2 - Dark Prophecy & Gallean's Return or Disciples 2 - Rise of the Elves loads the game up fine.

I actually just tried to change the config file in the Rise of the Elves folder to allow for windowed play:
[Disciple]
; 0 = full-screen, 1 = windowed
DisplayMode=0
ie. I changed the 0 to a 1, and the game wouldn't start. Error box with "Can't initialize Disciples 2". Sound familiar?

EDIT:
OK, the game will run after enabling windowed mode like that if you switch your display to 16 bit beforehand, although I still can't find a way to run the Disciples 2 - Dark Prophecy & Gallean's Return version in a window. Regardless, I'd hazard a guess that setting your display to 16 bit might make the game work.

Yeah, I'm wondering if setting it to windowed mode as described was the problem. I'll have to reinstall and give it another shot.

Hensler
03-11-2011, 12:19 AM
I know it's just a number on the screen, but I think not having stacked units would bother me. Just having 8 guys would kill the epic feel for me. Still, I like these kinds of games, and I'll probably keep an eye out for this or D3: Reborn when I need something to play in the future. It looks like Heroes VI will keep me busy for a long time, though :).

Drinking with Skeletons
03-11-2011, 04:15 PM
Problem I had (with Renaissance) was that it was just somewhat bland. It felt to me like they were trying to create a slightly less cartoony version of Heroes of Might & Magic without ever really having played HoMM. There's nothing in there that really makes it stand out. Can't put my finger on what it is precisely though.
I'm not exactly a big fan of the combat in the original Disciples either, but I'm pretty sure the route they've taken isn't the best way to go. Possibly increasing the number of units fielded might help.

I can respect that. Certainly I think the devs didn't entirely understand the appeal of Disciples I&II. There's an interview floating around in which one of the devs says that they didn't understand the purpose of the hero import feature, as it ruined the balance of some maps; talk about missing the point.


This D3: Rebirth is intriguing. Anyone have any good info on it? Heard a lot of bad stuff about Renaissance but have always planned on getting it but if there is going to be an improve version I'll hold off for it.

This (http://disciples3.org/d3rebirth.html)fan site (mostly in Russian) has a lot of info about Disciples III. Apparently the original DIII devs had the license yanked from them (or maybe went bankrupt) and a new team is working on it. Promised features include the reintroduction of naval travel, Steam-based multiplayer, better AI, the works. They're also apparently working on a Mountain Clans expansion. Clearly the franchise has descended into a nightmare realm of revisions and retcons, but hopefully something good will come of it. At least Kalypso seems to feel that the series is worth all this trouble (or at least that they spent enough money acquiring the license to try to salvage it).