|Publisher: 3DO Genre: Strategy & War|
|Min OS X: Not Supported CPU: G3 RAM: 64 MB Hard Disk: 450 MB Graphics: 800x600 @ 16-bit|
|Heroes of Might & Magic III Complete|
February 20, 2001 | Richard Hallas
Almost precisely a year after launching the Mac conversion of Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia, 3DO has followed it up with the ‘Complete’ version of the game, which includes not only the full original game but also the two newer expansion packs from the PC: Armageddon’s Blade and The Shadow of Death.
The basic Heroes 3 game has already been reviewed in IMG, so you should refer to that earlier article if you need to know more about the fundamentals of the game. This review only covers the new material in the Complete edition.
Armageddon’s BladeThe first Heroes 3 expansion pack to be released for the PC was Armageddon’s Blade, and it was a very important expansion because it really added a lot of new features to the game. The most important of these was a new, ninth town type, the elemental Conflux, with lots of new creatures and heroes to accompany it.
The Conflux TownThe creatures available for recruitment in Conflux towns are as follows, in their standard and upgraded forms:
• Pixies and Sprites (the latter can attack without retaliation);
• Air and Storm Elementals (the latter fire lightning bolts);
• Water and Ice Elementals (the latter shoot ice tridents);
• Fire and Energy Elementals (the latter can fly);
• Earth and Magma Elementals (no special new abilities for the latter);
• Psychic and Magic Elementals (attack all adjacent creatures; the latter are also immune to all magic);
• Firebirds and Phoenix (the latter resurrect a few of their number after they have all been killed).
That range of creatures provides a very interesting and well-balanced selection of troops for the Conflux town, and I found that it was very refreshing to play games with mainly Conflux troops. In common with most other low-level troops, Pixies are all but useless, but Sprites, with their non-retaliating strike, can be an asset. Both of the shooting troops are very effective range attackers, and the Psychic and Magic Elemental attacks can be quite devastating. The Earth and Magma Elementals are probably the most disappointing of the creatures, as they’re quite expensive and too slow to be among the more useful troops available, but they’re tough in large numbers. The Firebird and Phoenix are also a little disappointingly under-powered, and don’t fare too well against dragons.
Overall, the Conflux troops have a lot of strengths but are not always as powerful en masse as troops from other town types. This certainly makes for interesting and varied games, and I would say that the Conflux is now my favourite of the nine kinds of town.
The Conflux town has particularly attractive graphics, and its unique building is the Magic University, which you can use to teach any of your heroes the Earth, Air, Water or Fire Magic skills. The grail structure is also particularly interesting: it’s an aurora borealis which, if present, places every single spell in the game in the mage guild. Any hero subsequently visiting the guild will gain a permanently full spell book.