Disciples III: Renaissance
If You're The sort of person who likes to put things in boxes, you can have this one for free - Disciples III: Renaissance is King's Bounty: The Legend with better visuals. You control hero characters who travel around on a large world map as oversized pieces, amassing armies, collecting items, quests and gold, before fighting hostile forces in a hex-based strategic view. It's a formula that works perfectly well.
Developers Akella (well, an internal development house within the bowels of the larger Akella company) have served a bountiful platter for RPG/strategy fans to sink their fangs into. The core of the game revolves around three campaigns, where you can choose from controlling the Empire, the Legion of the Damned or the Elven Alliance, each with their own visual style and storyline to follow. There's also a decent tutorial mini-campaign to ease you into things. One thing that's done well is how the usually complex and arcane machinations of this sort of game have been condensed into easy-to-follow video examples.
Combat itself works adequately and there's plenty of strategic options to play with. One major problem that'll turn off those with only a slight curiosity is the leaden pace of the action, with very little excitement beyond the giddy thrill of turn-based strategy. It's not impossible to imbue this sort of game with visual treats, and while there are some neat little sparkly visual effects when spellcasters lob a fireball, or when a big Titan unit clobbers a goblin with a tree, it's all delivered so slowly, there's little to no emotional reaction.
If you can overlook the tedious combat, and have a couple of friends who like the game, you might get something from the three-player mode. Here each player has to take their turns on the same PC, as Disciples III, unforgivably, can't be played online or even over a LAN. Disciples III is maddening, because it could easily have forged a trail past its competitors, but the combat really lets it down. This isn't because it's bad at all - it works easily as well as King's Bounty in terms of the fundamentals -but it's tedious to sit through due to the lack of pace and panache.
Essentially things fail to get moving in Disciples III, although there's a lot to love here, if you can stay awake as your knight chips away at a goblin in a generic wooded glade.
Download Disciples III: Renaissance
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP