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    dkirschner's Disciples 3 (PC)

    [October 30, 2010 04:08:29 AM]
    I've downloaded a handful of demos the last couple weeks for some games that looked neat but got bad reviews, or that I've heard about in the past and am curious to try out first before committing cash. Last weekend I tried out Disciples 3, a strategy RPG like Heroes of Might & Magic. I played some of a HMM game maybe 4 or 5 years ago, and thought it was cool, but boring. I get a similar sense here after toying a few hours with the demo.

    The graphics are very nice, especially for a strategy game. The maps are colorful and full of treasure, buildings, and enemies. Your characters are quite detailed, and the battlefields, spell animations, and so on look pretty nice. I also liked the music and sounds, though I imagine they will quickly get repetitive.

    Another thing that already became repetitive after clearing like half of one map in the first Human level was the fighting. This is very, very, very unfortunate because fighting, and the thinking about the fighting, should be the most important thing in a strategy game. There's an 'auto-resolve' or something button that will finish out the battle for you, but the AI is apparently really dumb. I put auto-resolve on a few times and my ranged archers or casters would mysteriously die, when they didn't come anywhere near death while I was controlling them.

    There are three interwoven story lines for three races, and they seem very unbalanced in the first level. In the demo you can play the first level of each race's story arc. I first played the Legion, and was stunned at how difficult the battles were. I had enemies killing my characters in two hits, and I seemed very outmatched. I died miserably a few times before switching to the Human campaign, which was surprisingly much more forgiving. I completed half the map before dying, a process begun by the auto-resolve system killing off my ranged. Ranged, by the way, seems the way to go since they can attack anyone on the battlefield from anywhere on the battlefield. The computer regularly would just huddle their ranged into a far corner and make my melee chase them down while being pelted with spells and arrows. It felt both cheap and tedious.

    So, there are various objectives on the maps, like rescuing some peasants or whatever, just like any normal quest objectives in an RPG or RTS. You control a unit, which is a main story line character and a few support characters. You can equip armor and things on the main character, which is cool, and everyone can level up and get stronger. You also have a castle, which is like your base, and you can spend money, of which you get a certain amount of the various resource types per turn, to upgrade it. Upgrading is very RTS-tech-tree-like. You can build a Mage Tower to learn spells, build buildings to upgrade your squires to knights, your clerics to archbishops (not exact names, but same idea), etc. You can perform one action at your castle per turn, including training troops and deploying new leaders. Instead of one army running around the map, you can have more.

    I really like the idea behind the game, like the general design principles it follows, like exploring giant maps with all sorts of unknown treasure and peril, leveling a main character and support army, going through a tech tree, using spells, fighting battles on a grid, and so on, but the game just feels flat and dull. The same thing happened with HMM all those years ago. I specifically remember at first being like, Oh cool, this is so awesome!, and then a week later having become incredibly tired of its repetitiveness. Disciples 3 just seems like a lesser version of HMM, but with so much potential.

    Oh, and the voice acting is atrocious. I am willing to bet my savings that they got someone from the dev team, or some friends who are really into fantasy, to do the voice acting, specifically the story exposition. It's that bad. And the voice volume changes from normal to really quiet on loading screens. It doesn't make sense.

    I won't be buying this one, but it looked interesting enough to try.
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    dkirschner's Disciples 3 (PC)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got Bored

    GameLog started on: Saturday 23 October, 2010

    GameLog closed on: Saturday 30 October, 2010

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    pretty boring, nice visuals, nice music, but repetitive. just seems like a very basic strategy rpg like heroes of might & magic but, if i can imagine, more boring, and with weird difficulty differences among factions

    Rating (out of 5):starstar

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