Heroes of Might and Magic 3 HD came out January 29th of this year nearly 16 years after the games initial release. With a brand new game coming out in September let’s take some time to get more in touch with the series, and let’s see if this HD remaster is worth your time and money.
Watch how Nate goes in-depth into Heroes of Might and Magic with a comparison to the original game, recommendations, and even a few tips and tricks to get you started, below :
A Little Background History
The Might and Magic series is rather colossal at this point. They have numerous series with many installments in each of them. Their core series is just called the might and magic series which is a dungeon exploration based series where you control a party fighting and looting through dungeons. They have other sort of spin of games from these series that follow similar story lines but implore different forms of game play from a dark souls elder scrolls esque game play to an almost bejeweled like game.
The games differ in quality with some being regarded as masterpieces to others being considered forgettable to just plain bad. The only history you really need to know is of the Heroes of Might and Magic series. The series installments have been pretty basic from one to six and with the new game coming out soon. For a series with so many games over the years it has been surprisingly fresh and each installment changes things up enough. The series has mostly had positive improvements and the remastering of this game makes it interesting to compare the many games. But to get to know the changes better you’ll need to know the games and how they play.
One thing that always stays the same is the style of the game. The game is a turn based strategy game. The game is like a more combat focused Civilization. You still develop your cities but instead of the in depth building system the amount of things you can build is much smaller and the focus is not so much on developing your civilization but your army and getting your troops to defeat the opposition through brute strength and not diplomatic relations or science discovery.
Starting out the game opens up with what I believe to be the original opening of game but scaled down to look a bit better. Unfortunately 3-D animation has not aged well in the last few years and looks pretty painful as well as a little bit less than tasteful. Thankfully you can skip past this to the menu. The menu is again nothing remarkable but it does look nice and is simple enough for anyone to navigate around. There are three modes of play. The single player single games, the multiplayer single games the campaigns. Honestly all game modes are fun and are equally all balanced out for what you like.
Campaigns are story and progression based having multiple games in them progressing to get harder and harder. Single player is for someone who doesn’t want to commit to playing through all the different levels of a campaign or who knows what class they want and how hard they want the opposition to be. And of course multiplayer is great if you want to play it with your friends but it can be kind of difficult as you and your friends all have to have copies of the game.
Starting out we can either take a look at single player or campaign as they play out similarly. In most single player games you will start out with generally one character and one castle. Your class and amount of other monsters you have or other starting bonuses depend from game to game. Ultimately most start out like this though.
A Few Tips And Tricks To Get You Started
At first this game is more than a bit overwhelming. Starting out by focusing on your castle and building your buildings to get more creatures buffs resources and benefits, there are many different strategies about how to go about getting the best creatures and defeat your enemies the fastest. You should focus on getting as much money from your city and as many creatures as you can. Some structures include increases in how many creatures you get or other resources or just help you defend your town better.
Now from the sound of this the game does really sound like it is a meticulous and tedious game to play but it really doesn’t have to be. The game can be really easy to play but the cool part is that you can also be very careful and plot out all of your purchase moves and attacks in the game. It works for all skill levels of gamers.
You have to manage your money in the form of gold, your raw materials which are wood and ore and then your rare materials which include mercury, gems, crystals, sulfur. The buildings need different amounts of each and you’ll find some classes need certain resources much more than others. To get resources you either find yourself a mine which produces resources daily or you can find resources scattered around or use the trade system if you are in great need of one resource and have enough of other resources to trade.
Everything then feeds into ultimately building up your army and conquering your opposition. The collection of resources and building of your castle is ultimately feeding in to producing the best army you can and then taking that army to take over other castles and clear out the other monsters scattered across the land. Now these creatures are not like pokemon, you don’t do anything to train your monsters other than buy more of them and upgrade them.
There are different tiers of monsters and the amount of them that there are is pretty great, it always was one of my favorite parts of getting a new heroes of might and magic because the monsters get their art updated some get more powerful and new monsters are introduced. As far getting them in game you build settlements in your castle that allow you to purchase a fixed number of them that replenishes weekly.
Now when you do get into a fight either with random monsters or another player you’ll move into a battle screen which fits your environment you’re in currently and can have certain blocks and environmental differences depending on the location. Each creature takes up one hexagonal square on the environment, larger ones taking up two. Then depending on your creature’s speed and other stats you will get to move them either sooner than others or later. The game could get very vanilla here but with all the differences each creature manages to feel pretty different with certain shooters having explosive blasts to dragons attacks going over two squares allowing for double attacks. The combat is probably the most fun part of the game especially when you get your castle fully upgraded and have a huge army.
HD Versus The Original
But this game is not just Heroes of Might and Magic Three, this game is Heroes of Might and Magic 3 HD. What did they add with this supposed re-mastering well here is where we actually get into the cons of the game. The whole game is missing a good amount of things. Neither of the two expansions are included in the remaster whose source code supposedly has been lost. There are 13 missing campaigns and a whole faction has been left out. I briefly played heroes three when I was younger, I mostly stuck with heroes two, and I was sincerely confused because the faction I remember the most was completely gone. There also is no longer a random map generator.
So it definitely is missing a lot in the re-master, but what does it do right? Well the remaster allows for the running of the game in 16:9 format and touches up the textures. That really is about it. The reason the game stands so strong is because the original was so good. It kind of really is ridiculous that they even re-mastered it as they still are making new games. A lot of the games still look very good too with the last two still looking good and the second looking FANTASTIC. The switch from pixel sprite to 3-D model happened between the two with the third taking 3-D models and then turning those into 2-D images.
The Heroes two pixelated sprites still look great and better even than a lot of pixelated games today, the third kind of looked like that but with the re-mastering you can see exactly what they would have looked like with better technology. Objectively the games creatures look better as low resolution sprites the creatures models can be kind of ridiculous and really show the clumsiness of early 3-D animation especially in games. one neat inclusion that I do really really like is the ability to switch between the older graphics and the touched up version very easily from the menu
The final sin of this game however is the price, the game is 15 dollars on steam, not unreasonable. But if you aren’t overly particular over getting the revamped HD version you can get the game on good old games for just 10 dollars which includes all the original content including the missing faction as well as the two expansions. Many reviews on steam point this out giving the illusion that the game is awful but this really isn’t the case. I only had a short run in with glitches and the game does look good but why pay more for less.
If you are interested in this I HIGHLY recommend checking it out it’s a great way to get into the series and quite frankly the game is wonderful check it out on GoG for the classic version or wait for the steam HD version to go on sale I personally love this series and highly recommend playing it.
Video and Transcript by Nathaniel Stewart