Review by Vic

"God, I hate this game. I'm never playing again once I beat this mission."

If anyone ever asks me what I think of the Heroes of Might and Magic series(affectionately referred to as HoMM), I tell them the truth.

I hate it.

I also own a copy of every chapter.

Now, before you laugh, let me assure you that I'm neither rich nor stupid.

Ok, you can laugh, now.

Why do I hate this game so much? It's too heavily centered on resourcemanagement and other tediums of strategy. If I wanted that, I'd be playingCivilization 2. The graphics are just a little under par. While they don'tneed 3D graphics, they really could have done a little better with the sprites.Heroes of Might and Magic III (and, indeed, the rest of the Might and Magicseries) is also in desperate need of a new engine. HoMM3 feels like anoverpriced expansion pack for HoMM2.

In addition, combat strategy really does get reduced to hiding and defending until you've built the Unstoppable Army of 4,000,000 Creatures. If I wanted that, I'd be playing Starcraft. For turn-based strategy, I expect a little more.

In actual combat, the battlefield is so small that your only option is to rushthe enemy head on. And your creatures just look silly, their animationscondemned to the South Park construction paper feel. The combats are alsoneither particularly strategic nor exciting. It feels like the game wasdesigned to be a Civilization 2 clone, and the actual battlefield level combatwas added as an afterthought.

So why have I spent so much time and money on this series? Because it's sostupidly addicting. Everyone who has played this series knows thefateful phrase, "Just one more turn." More so than any other turn-based gameI've ever played, this trap is particularly lethal. Perhaps it's because theturns are so short, and so much happens during a single one, that it gives thefeeling that the next turn will be When Things Change And I Can Be A RealBadass.

And, I have to admit, while the sounds do suffer from poor quality at times, onthe whole they are enjoyable. The music has a very middle-age feel to it,although it's not exactly the most energetic and adrenaline-heaving.

The controls are stupidly simple, as well. You can just put your keyboardaway. But make sure your mouse won't die on you. To be safe, you might wantto buy a backup mouse.

Just kidding.

The last major bonus that HoMM3 brings out of the box is the cut-scene cinematicquality. The rendering is done beautifully, and the cinematics are fun towatch. The storyline is interesting, as well, and the final cinematic is awell-done climax to the story.

If you've played and enjoyed the other HoMM games, prepare yourself for more ofthe same. If you didn't enjoy it, or don't think you will, stay very far awayfrom this game. It's like cocaine: you know it's bad and bad for you, but youjust can't stop yourself.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 11/01/99

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