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SpellForce III

Platform(s): PC
Genre: RPG/Strategy
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Developer: Grimlore Games
Release Date: Dec. 7, 2017


PC Preview - 'Spellforce 3'

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on July 29, 2016 @ 1:30 a.m. PDT

SpellForce III blends the best of real-time strategy and role-playing game genres with a rich, deep backstory.

Pre-order Spellforce 3

Spellforce III is described as part RTS and part RPG, and it's easy to understand why. Our demo at E3 2016 started off with the developer showing us how city building works. It's quite light on the micromanaging. You pick the building you want to build, choose a location, and if you have the supplies and control the territory, it's built. From there on, it basically functions autonomously by sending out workers to gather supplies and processing supplies into the materials you choose. The developers didn't want heavy micromanaging to be a major part of the game, since they wanted to emphasize the larger levels instead.

Buildings will be upgradable over the course of the game. At lower levels, they use common supplies like wood, while at higher levels, they may require smelted iron. There are three races in the game — elves, humans and orcs — and each with its own distinctive units. Each race also have a special one-time-only "super" unit that can completely change the tide of the battle. In the case of the humans, it's a giant mechanical titan. Each race also has a higher tier that grants them access to magical abilities.

While the town is being built, you must form an RPG party with up to four members. The party is comprised of characters who you can recruit from the game world, and each individual has distinctive abilities and a backstory. You'll send these heroes to explore the world and slowly expand your territory, so new towns can be built and greater resources can be collected. You'll also clear out dangerous monsters, such as giant spiders, to make your town safer and more productive.

It's a back-and-forth game. Your RPG hero party ventures deeper, and once you've claimed the land and slain evil, you'll build on the land they've cleared. Doing this allows you to make more productive towns, raise armies and create powerful items that your heroes can use against greater threats.

New to Spellforce III are dungeons, which the heroes can explore in order to power up. Players can also play the main story line cooperatively, with other players taking control of some of the RPG heroes to allow for more flexible combat strategies. It's important, since the game has some quirks. For example, rather than the usual circular fog-of-war, the game is based entirely on a line of sight system. If your heroes can't see something, you can't uncover it, so it's vital to have a strong RPG party.

We only saw a little of Spellforce III, but what we saw looked interesting. The combination of RPG and RTS is fairly distinctive, and the gameplay looked quite enjoyable. Focusing on the larger tactics instead of the smaller micromanaging means there's a lot of potential. While it's got a lot of similarities to previous Spellforce games, we're told there's a lot of time and emphasis being put into making it the most polished and refined version to date. Spellforce III is exclusive to the PC and due in 2017.

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