Another game I checked out at E3 2017 was SpellForce 3, an real-time strategy/role-playing (RTS/RPG) hybrid title being developed by Grimlore Games and published by THQ Nordic. It is a prequel to the 2003 game SpellForce: The Order of Dawn that takes place in the fantastical realm of Eo.
E3 2017 Impressions: SpellForce 3
In the presentation I saw, the demo opens with four heroes in a party, systematically wiping out standard RPG enemies like bandits, bears and wolves. You have an isometric view of the world, so players of classic RPGs like Baldur’s Gate will feel right at home. Equipment and skills can be customized for each character, and you’ll gain new party members as you progress through the story.
In the world of SpellForce 3, the land of Eo has been ravaged by war with a renegade mage and magic has been outlawed as a result. You play as a member of the royal army, finding your way in the world and forging alliances while uncovering dark secrets. The world looks incredibly detailed and is filled with items, characters and more. Lush forests, murky swamps, dark caverns and more all look great. That said, it’s worth noting that the game was running on an extremely powerful computer however, the developers noted that it will scale well across a variety of hardware.
The next segment I watched showed how the RTS elements come into play. At certain points, you will have the option to take over settlements and cities, whether through force or intimidation. At this point, you can begin constructing buildings, managing the workers and building an army to conquer the region. The incredible thing is, this is entirely optional! If you so choose, you never have to touch the RTS side of the game. That said however, if you do, you’ll have a far greater experience and variety of tactical options available to you.
The single player campaign will take around 30 hours to finish, according to the developers. Obviously it will take far longer if you choose to explore more, complete side quests and build up your towns. The campaign can also be played completely in co-op. In multiplayer, there will be three playable factions: The Humans, Orcs and Elves. You can join teams or fight in free-for-all matches.
SpellForce 3 certainly appeals to an old-school mentality of RPGs. Combined with its fantastic RTS elements that have been implemented, it’s a nice breath of fresh air compared to many other releases. SpellForce 3 is clearly focused on appealing to hardcore fans of the genre and so far it looks like it will succeed.