The 100% Pure Slav’s Review Of Heroes Of Might And Magic III

The 100% Pure Slav's Review Of Heroes Of Might And Magic III

Алло, today we will be taking a look at the national video game of not only Rossiya (Novorossiya included) and Poland, the famous Amerikansky-made turn-based strategy game Heroes of Might And Magic III: The Complete Edition, nahuy. Any Slav born between 1985-2005 almost absolutely has played or knows someone who actively plays/played this game, and just like Americans love to play baseball, every Slav loves to open up a bottle of vodka, put in their CD copy of Heroes III and play through a competitive, 8-hour long trog to conquer a small sliver of Antagarich in the fantasy world of Enroth.

The mystical world of Antagarich, on the planet known as Enroth, is home to a variety of races including humans of Erathia, the Elves of the nation AvLee, the Dungeon Masters, the Barbarians of Krewlod, necromancers of Deyja, the gnolls of Tatalia, the Kreegans (an interplanetary race of demon-aliens) of Eofol,  the wizards of Antagarich, and the elementals, who appear in the DLC called Armageddon’s Blade due to the events which take place in the role-playing main series, Might and Magic VIMight and Magic VII, and Might and Magic VIII. These various nations are, seemingly, in an all-out war, which sets the stage for the “strategic” combat that takes place in the main campaign and in skirmish mode.

Story aside, the main basis of Heroes III is moving your characters, known as heroes, around a large grand strategy map which features resources, settlements, and other interactable locations such as obelisks, wells, and wizard towers, which can provide stat boosts to your Heroes or offer you quests, which can reward you with experience or artifacts. Artifacts can provide your hero with stat boosts, while experience can level up your character, improving either their might or their magic, and allowing you to choose or level up smaller skills such as Logistics, Diplomacy, Offense, or Navigation. Each hero can carry seven stacks of creatures, which serve as the basis of an army. Creatures can be recruited at a town, a specific den around the map, or can join your army provided your hero has a sufficient diplomacy skill. These creatures are used by your hero to explore the map, flag resource outposts, and most importantly, attack wild stacks of creatures and battle with the other factions.

Image result for heroes iii map
The Heroes III map and layout, showing a hero (in this case, a necromancer), his units, and the map at large.

In battle, your hero commands the unit stacks to attack or defend against other units. While the hero can cast spells which can positively or negatively effect your units, the enemy’s units, or the terrain, they are otherwise uninvolved during battle. Each stack has certain stats such offense, defense, and health which are multiplied by the number of units in a stack. Some units have certain abilities such as resisting magic or negating enemy retaliation, others do not, but almost all units have their strengths along with their weaknesses (except for peasants, who serve no other purpose than to be harvested as Power Liches by high-level necromancers).

The game’s main focus is winning the grand strategy campaign through multiple means- in some scenarios, you must achieve total victory by capturing every settlement on the map, while in others, you must flag all neutral creature dwellings on the map. All in all, the game offers a wide variety of playing, but most importantly, can be easily exploited. For example, by finding an artifact known as the Cloak of the Undead King, a high-level necromancer can raise back units who would normally be revived as skeletons and turn them into Power Liches. Should this player find a wild stack of peasants somewhere in the map, and give them a few in-game months to grow and replenish, your hero can walk in, easily decimate the peasants, and revive thousands of them as Power Liches, some of the most powerful ranged units in the game. Rinse and repeat, and your army will be so powerful it will crash the game if you try to split your stacks of hundreds of thousands of power liches. Another exploit is diplomacy which, is leveled up to expert, will allow your hero to effortlessly walk across the map and recruit the likes of high-tiered level seven units such as Green Dragons, Azure Dragons, and Black Dragons, all of whom can decimate enemy units. Additionally, expert Diplomacy will enable your hero to basically talk any enemy hero into surrendering without opposition, typically tending to let your hero march across the map with an unstoppable horde of level seven dragons. And to the Inferno’s credit, you can take what is typically the weakest town in the game and turn them into one of the most powerful by learning the Armageddon spell, recruiting several Efreets, and marching your hero around like a suicide bomber, constantly casting the Armageddon spell and killing hundreds of thousands of enemy units which took weeks upon in-game weeks and countless resources to recruit in a single turn. The Efreets, thanks to their resistance to fire magic, will be completely unaffected by Armageddon.

This game is completely broken, and it knows it. Even without the inclusion of Heavenly Forge faction, which would have added laser guns and tanks to the game in-line with the main series’ sci-fi elements, the unit diversity in this game can be ridiculous at some times, and the game-breaking exploits you can easily do ruin the game’s balance even further. It’s addictive. It’s addictively fun. The soundtrack is probably one of the most beautiful in video game history, on par with a game like The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and the art design is beautiful and can really help to immerse you in this game and its world. It’s beautiful from start to finish, and the countless hours of fun and replayability makes this a game well worth the $5.99 you can get it for on Good Old Games.