|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
Of maps and editorsNow for the bad news. This Complete pack on the Mac is not as ‘Complete’ as it is on the PC, because the Mac version lacks the map and campaign editors.
This is undeniably disappointing, but not the end of the world. In reality, creating good Heroes maps takes many hours of patient editing, and the number of users who would actually want to make their own maps is probably very small. So whilst I’d like to see the editors appear on the Mac, their absence is really only a minor drawback. However, it does make me reduce this review’s ‘Value’ rating to 9; I’d have given it 10 otherwise.
The consolation is that the random map generator (first introduced with Armageddon’s Blade), being part of the game itself and not a separate utility, is included in the Mac conversion. Now, this random map maker is clever and works well, but it does have its limitations. In general it creates the basis of a new map, which you would then want to edit further yourself, and on the Mac you simply can’t do that. Entirely random maps certainly won’t be in the class of the preset ones, or what you could create yourself; but they’re a lot better than nothing.
ConclusionsAs far as I’m concerned, Heroes is by far the best strategy game on the market at present, and it really ought to be vastly more popular than it already is (even on the PC). Frankly, I’ve never felt that these games have been marketed very effectively; certainly not on the Mac platform. If Heroes had been published by the likes of Blizzard, it would undoubtedly be selling in vast quantities the world over, and would be widely and deservedly recognized as one of the very best games around.
The quality of the Mac conversion really is top-notch, and the absence of the editors is the only point against it. (There are in fact a few very trivial bugs, but a patch to fix them will be released any day now.)
So, if you bought and enjoyed the original Heroes 3, then there’s no question that you should buy this version as well. Yes, you’re getting the same game again, but it’s very much expanded in terms of features, are there’s three times as much material in the form of new maps and campaigns, not to mention the random map generator.
If you’re new to the series and aren’t sure whether it’s really your kind of thing, then you MUST give it a try. Even if you don’t think you like strategy games, take a look; Heroes is in its own class, and even the most skeptical generally say, “Wow! I wouldn’t have believed that this game could be so addictive!”
Pros• The perfect game design: exquisitely well balanced gameplay in every respect
• Exceptionally good computer AI which will give you a challenging game every time
• Immense value, with many hundreds of hours’ worth of playing time
• Virtually limitless replay potential, and vast numbers of extra maps available on the Web
• Outstanding graphics and music
• Absolutely perfect for playing on an iBook (just make sure you have enough RAM)
• GameRanger and local network support
Cons• Playing leads to a chronic lack of sleep
• No map/campaign editors in the Mac version
• Saved game files are not compatible across platforms
Heroes III Complete Giveaway:Inside Mac Games and 3DO are giving away three copies of Heroes of Might and Magic III Complete. Enter today and you could win one of these copies! Winners will be picked Monday, February 26th, 2001.