SpellForce 3 review
SpellForce 3 is a traditional top-down RPG with a mixture of RTS mechanics. If you have enjoyed RPG games such as Pillars of Eternity and RTS games such as the Warcraft series than you will very much feel at home with SpellForce 3.
In terms of combining the two genres, SpellForce 3 makes sure neither genre overstays there welcome, while the RPG setup takes up the majority of the game the transition to RTS mode is handled well and doesn’t break up the flow of the game. In fact to best accommodate the transition SpellForce 3 offers two control schemes -which you can change with the simple click of a button- to best suit the mode you are in i.e. RPG or RTS.
In terms of story, SpellForce 3 takes place on Eo, a medieval fantasy world populated by Elves, Orcs and Humans, at the beginning of the game you witness the end of the Mage wars, a brutal rebellion led by a powerful mage called Isamo Tahar. While the rebellion failed the scars of the war live on with mages been persecuted and a religious order known as the Purity of Light making it their duty to eliminate or depower rogue mages. While the humans focus on persecuting rogue mages, a powerful plague known as the Bloodburn slowly creeps across the land, infecting every race on Eo.
In SpellForce 3 you play as Isamo Tahar’s child who after escaping his control joined the royal army in an effort to fight back against him and undo the damage he caused, but one day while investigating the Bloodburn you learn that there is more to the Bloodburn than meets the eye. However, your superiors disagree with your discovery and throw you in prison where the Harbinger of the Purity of Light offers to help you further investigate the Bloodburn and a possible cure.
SpellForce 3 is a massive adventure that sees you uncover ancient civilizations, learn about the world, and recruit various Elf, Human and Orc allies. While stopping the plague is your highest priority it is a good idea to have an army ready because who knows what will happen once you uncover the truth behind the plague.
In terms of characters, the game offered a diverse cast of characters from Isgrimm a Dwarven scholar to Ianna a Dreamweaver and assassin who only goes after the guilty. Each character has their motivations and personalities well fleshed out, although there are one or two occurrences of characters acting completely against their set of values.
In terms of gameplay, the RPG elements have you control up to four heroes, each of which has a wide array of skills to unlock and attributes that determine what gear they can use, this means you can make certain characters tanks or damage dealers, for example, if you want a good tank find a character who has a defence based ability tree such as discipline and focus their attributes on constitution and strength.
The strength of the RPG gameplay continues with an incredible storyline and long list of fully voiced conversation options. Conversations are an important part of the game with the right choice of options leading to a new hero joining your ranks and the wrong set leading to murdering potentially innocent men. With that said a lot of the major conversation choices don’t affect the game, for example, early on in the game you must decide to either burn down a village or leave it be, and while you might think your decision could affect the game, both choices see you thrown in prison.
Moving onto the RTS gameplay, it is relatively easy to pick up. As a person who is legendarily bad at RTS games such as StarCraft II, I found SpellForce 3’s RTS mechanics easy enough to understand. The RTS element is all about building up resources and creating an army to complete the task set before you, which is usually take out a specific fortress.
I will say this about the RTS gameplay, it is very easy to get bogged down and confused as you can easily lose track of your barracks, your outposts and where you can gather more of an important material. It is also worth noting that many building options are arbitrarily locked for a certain length of time.
Now, let’s see if the game has any major issues or bugs? Well, unfortunately, it does. In my time reviewing SpellForce 3 I encountered two game breaking bugs, i.e. two bugs that prevented me from continuing the main story, one bug was fixed by Grimlore in a post-launch patch and the other has yet to be fixed, thankfully I managed to find a workaround for the still bugged story mission. Some minor issues with the game include characters getting stuck on terrain and conversations failing to trigger.
Finally, before reaching my conclusion let’s look at the graphics and audio. In terms of audio, the voice acting is impressive with each actor sounding exactly as I would expect from the grizzled Lord Marshall to your character’s monotone voice. In terms of graphics, the game is beautiful to look at, but the beauty hides a severe performance problem. For example, my computer, which has a GTX 1070 and i7-7700, struggled to run the game at a constant 60fps. Other players who have more powerful computers than me have also reported a poor frame rate.
SpellForce 3 is a great RTS/RPG hybrid with easy to understand controls and amazing story. Unfortunately, the game is marred by game breaking bugs and performance issues.
|+ Great story||– Game breaking bugs|
|+ RTS and RPG mechanics blend well together||– Game suffers from minor performance issues|
|+ Easy to understand controls|
|Grimlore Games||THQ Nordic||RPG/RTS||18+||PC||December 7, 2017|
For more information on SpellForce 3, visit http://spellforce.com/.
Author: Aaron Meehan
Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.