After a few delays, SpellForce 3, Grimlore Games’ RTS/RPG hybrid, is finally a thing that you can play in its entirety. I’ve been traipsing around the fantasy land of Eo myself, though you’ll need to wait until Monday for my review. In the meantime, chow on the launch trailer below, and then read on for some quick impressions.
I’ve been delighted to discover that, though I remember the last game being just fine, if not particularly special or memorable, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying myself in SpellForce 3. For the most part. Neither the RPG layer nor its RTS counterpart quite stack up to their inspirations -- namely Baldur’s Gate and Age of Empires -- but together they create something that’s more than the sum of its parts.
Also, it’s painfully pretty, as you’ll no doubt have already noticed. It’s simultaneously one of the best looking isometric RPGs and one of the best looking RTS games. It’s just about striking enough, and novel enough, to make you forget about how very Modern Fantasy the story is. Bigotry, mages being demonised, big ol’ moral choices to make -- there’s nothing new under the sun, but SpellForce 3 still plays it a bit safe.
I’ve only played the single-player campaign so far (it’s meant to be about 30+ hours long just for the critical path), but there’s also co-op and multiplayer skirmishes. Are they any good? I guess you’ll have to wait until Monday to find out.