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Heroes of Might & Magic V Review (PC)

Overview

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating

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Heroes of Might & Magic V is a grand turn based strategy game whose overall look and feel stays true to previous titles in the popular series. Hardcore Heroes fans should be happy with the updated graphics and familiar gameplay style but at the same time a little disappointed with some minor bugs and noticeable game play flaws that can become an annoyance at times.

Pros

  • General game play virtually identical to previous Heroes of MM games.
  • Good storyline with plenty of single player game-play.
  • Updated graphics and artwork look terrific.

Cons

  • Uninspiring multiplayer.
  • Minor bugs/game play flaws.
  • No map/scenario editor.
Ever since UBI Soft obtained the rights to the Might & Magic franchise, there has been a great deal of anticipation and input from Heroes of Might & Magic fan community. With Heroes III now a classic, how would a new sequel turn out especially with New World Computing, the original Heroes creator, now defunct? The task of creating the newest sequel was put to Nival Entertainment, well known developer of memorable strategy games such as Silent Storm and Blitzkrieg, as well as forgettable ones such as Hammer & Sickle.

Gameplay & Graphics

In Heroes of Might & Magic V you command a single hero from one of six factions; the Academy Faction, Haven Faction, Dungeon Faction, Inferno Faction, Necropolis Faction, and Sylvan Faction. Each faction has their own special abilities, units and powers but are played in the same manner. You control a hero character of the faction and explore various maps, uncovering treasures and artifacts as well as recruiting armies and fighting enemies.

The style is very similar to the most popular Heroes game, Heroes of Might & Magic III. In all, the single player portion of the game includes some 30 missions across six different campaigns, making it one of the more lengthy games I have played in some time.

Throughout the campaign your hero will gain experience and gold which are used to upgrade your army, skills, and magic spells. Heroes V includes over 200 new skills and 40 spells which can help in both in combat, recruiting and exploring. In addition, there are new buildings, town centers, and artifacts that can also help increase your power and experience. Unfortunately information on a lot of the unit abilities, artifacts, and more are not documented well enough in the manual or in the in-game descriptions. Many times you may have to use the trial by error method or research by searching online.

The new 3D graphics in Heroes of Might & Magic V is one of the game's strong points, the high level detail and artwork come to life when units are zoomed in on during battle and map exploration. The ability to zoom, pan and spin the game camera really brings a new dimension to both the units and buildings. Battle maps however are limited in the freedom of camera movement. The camera can be zoomed and pivoted around the center of the map but if your unit ends up fighting in one corner you'll have to zoom out in order to see where your units are located.

Combat

With that said combat and exploring maps can become quite addicting and playing just a few missions can easily chew up an afternoon before you know it. It appears that Nival took the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it..." attitude when it came to combat in Heroes of Might & Magic V. That is a good, since it plays out almost exactly as Heroes of Might & Magic III. Each side places units on opposing ends of the battle map and then takes turns maneuvering units around the map in hopes of inflicting the most damage on opposing forces until one side is defeated.

There are a number of different strategies used in combat, some battles can easily be won with brute force and shear numbers while others must use more advanced strategies if you hope to succeed. Having a good handle on your unit's special bonus and abilities as well as flanking, ranged attacks, hero abilities, magic and more must always be taken into account.

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