Warlords III: Reign of Heroes

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Warlords III: Reign of Heroes is video game released in 1997, and the third release in the Warlords video game series.

Warlords III: Reign of Heroes
Developer(s) Strategic Studies Group
Publisher(s) Red Orb Entertainment
Series Warlords Edit this on Wikidata
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release
  • NA: 31 July 1997
Genre(s) turn-based strategy Edit this on Wikidata
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer
Warlords III: Dark Lords Rising
Developer(s) Strategic Studies Group
Publisher(s) Red Orb Entertainment
Series Warlords Edit this on Wikidata
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release
  • NA: 31 August 1998
Genre(s) turn-based strategy Edit this on Wikidata
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer

Gameplay[edit]

After a four-year hiatus, SSG developed Warlords III: Reign of Heroes.

The game was released for Microsoft Windows and used new system capabilities to dramatically improve graphics:[1]

The heroes acquired the ability to cast spells to receive the temporary benefit. Each spell has its price expressed in mana points, which became the second (after gold) resource in game.

The campaign system also became more advanced: the heroes from the previous game of the campaign followed the user to the new game, keeping their experience and items.[2]

Another new feature of the Reign of Heroes is the flexible races concept: every player had a number of pre-defined units he was able to produce, and an additional number of units that could join him. This allowed for more consistent storyline in the campaigns and made players' advancement more challenging, as the natural production of the further cities normally wasn't matching the player's race.

Unlike the previous versions Reign of Heroes provided several hero classes. Each class has its own upgrade paths and costs of upgrade options. The upgrade options themselves became user-selectable, giving the player more control over the heroes' development.

The city levels in Reign of Heroes became more important, as in battles it equaled to city bonus. The players received ability to promote cities to next level for a fixed amount of gold.

The units received hit points, making more powerful units the harder targets for the weaker, and bringing more diversity to the army sets. The increased number of army bonuses led to more complicated battle outcome calculation. Furthermore, several army bonuses allowed respected armies to kill the more powerful enemies from the first attack, which made the battle outcome yet less predictable.

The concept of diplomacy was further refined by adding new state of diplomatic relations: Treaty. This state allowed players trespassing each other's cities and winning the Allied victory exterminating all other parties. Another diplomacy-related feature introduced in Reign of Heroes was the ability to bribe enemies, thus influencing their diplomatic decisions. The amount of bribe was fine-tunable; the more substantial bribe was, the greater chances of needed decision were.[2]

In addition to the previously available multiplayer modes (hotseat and play by email) the Reign of Heroes introduced the ability to play over network.[3]

The game CD included the soundtrack in CD-DA format.

Expansion[edit]

Shortly after releasing Reign of Heroes, SSG followed with Warlords III: Dark Lords Rising — a stand-alone expansion pack. It featured the new maps and units and contained the sample graphics to facilitate development of alternative tile, army and city sets. The plot of the main campaign continued where the previous game had left off.[3]

Warlords III like Warlords II had a campaign editor and realistic terrain model.[3]

By the time of Warlords III games' releases the real-time strategy game genre was in full-swing, so there was less of a market for turn-based games. The oncoming rush of first person shooters and first generation MMORPGs also didn't help the popularity of the series. The turn-based strategy genre in general would take a hit during this period.[4]

Reception[edit]

Reign of Heroes was a finalist for the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences' 1997 "Strategy Game of the Year" award,[5] which ultimately went to StarCraft and Age of Empires (tie).[6]

The editors of Computer Games Strategy Plus named Warlords III the best turn-based strategy game of 1997.[7]

Warlords III was a runner-up for Computer Gaming World's 1997 "Strategy Game of the Year" award, which ultimately went to Myth: The Fallen Lords.[8]

Darklords Rising was a finalist for Computer Games Strategy Plus's 1998 "Strategy Game of the Year" award, which ultimately went to Railroad Tycoon II. The editors wrote that Darklords Rising "continued the Australian company's well-deserved reputation for quality games."[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sengstack, Jeff (7 February 1997). "Warlords III: Reign of Heroes Preview". GameSpot. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Kasavin, Greg (2 September 1997). "Warlords III: Reign of Heroes Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Shamma, Tahsin (18 September 1999). "Warlords III: Darklords Rising Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 5 May 2009. 
  4. ^ Wojnarowicz, Jakub (22 February 2001). "Editorial: What Happened to Turn-Based Games?". FiringSquad. p. 6. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "The Award; Award Updates". Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Archived from the original on June 15, 1998. 
  6. ^ "The Award; Award Updates". Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Archived from the original on June 15, 1998. 
  7. ^ Staff (January 19, 1998). "The winners of the 1997 Computer Games Awards". Computer Games Strategy Plus. Archived from the original on February 6, 2005. 
  8. ^ Staff (March 1998). "CGW Presents The Best & Worst of 1997". Computer Gaming World (164): 74–77, 80, 84, 88, 89. 
  9. ^ Staff (February 11, 1999). "The Best of 1998". Computer Games Strategy Plus. Archived from the original on February 3, 2005.