previews\ Nov 23, 2003 at 7:00 pm

SpellForce - The Order of Dawn - PC - Preview 3

I was privileged to be able to go to E3 this year to get to see all of the really nifty titles that will be gracing retailers. There were a lot of them that really stuck out to me, and a lot of developers that I really wanted to meet personally and see what they had lined up. One company in particular that I’ve always been a big fan of since I sat down to play Cultures 2 is Jowood, and while my meeting with them showed off some really nifty titles like Soldner … one that particularly stood out in my mind for a few days afterwards was Spellforce. Well, I’ve finally gotten the chance to preview it, and I will say that I was not disappointed.


Spellforce at its core is both an RPG and an RTS title. When you start up, you create a main avatar out of a pretty good sized list of fighters and spellcasters, and then get to go in and change appearances and whatnot. From there, you enter the world where you will lead your avatar on a journey to complete quests, and soon will begin building your own settlements and building your personal army.


There are a couple of unique things about Spellforce, the first of which being the overall camera or viewpoint ability. In typical RTS fashion, a simple click will select your main character or one in your army, or you can select multiple units by dragging the mouse over them. OK, we’ve all been there done that … but lets say that your 50 man army is charging down a hill and into a ravine to meet a goblin army head on. You can then change the camera to a 3rd person perspective to control the avatar in action style format and offer more of an action based gameplay element … not to mention give you a front row to the unraveling chaos and war that is spreading out in front of you.


Another nifty thing about this is the fact that gamers who are more action based can enjoy Spellforce as well, since a lot of the missions and gameplay up front allows you to utilize this 3rd person perspective for play. Ultimately, people like me who are fans of both styles will really get a kick out of being able to quickly change back and forth on the fly.


Spellforce is shaping up to be one heck of a good title, and while the graphics look decent and the sound is good … the massive army battle potential that unfurls as the game progresses (I saw a scene where hundreds of creatures and soldiers were going at it with no graphics issues) can really make this one of the more action packed RTS style games that will be coming out this year. If you happen to like fantasy RTS or 3rd person titles with plenty of action and good gameplay then Spellforce is going to be one that you need to get … period.  

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