'Spellforce 3' Combines RTS And RPG Genres Without Screwing It Up

spellforce3

The real-ime strategy and role playing genres of video games rarely mesh well. It’s like oil and water; it’s hard to control hordes of troops while also building a character who happens to be one guy in a wave of A.I. NPC bodies. At PAX East, I managed to find a game that managed to cross the two streams and didn’t seem to fail miserably, called Spellforce 3 . It’s a cross between Baldur’s Gate and Skyrim, with just a splash of Neverwinter Knights.

Development Director at THQ Nordic, Reinhard Pollice, walked me through Spellforce 3 and a few of the game modes. Spellforce 3 can be played a few different ways; there’s a campaign where you take a group of heroes through an undiscovered map and a multiplayer mode that’s like a normal RTS game, but with a twist. Heroes you pick up in the campaign can be played in multiplayer fights, allowing the game to have a sense of progression while keeping its RTS identity. Pollice said there will be around 10 heroes available at launch.

In my PAX East demo, I got to see a little bit of both game modes and how they interacted. My mage, warrior and archer traveled through an ancient, medieval, clicking on Godstones which count as the game’s checkpoint and resurrection zone. I slapped the crap out of spiders and people, but struggled to defeat a group of skeleton knights. Turns out I didn’t have any abilities, which can be unlocked through leveling up your skill tree. I still got my butt kicked by the main knight after I got a few skills, but I at least managed to put up a fight.

The multiplayer mode is a normal RTS game. You have builders who craft houses, training facilities and the other generic buildings you find in games like Age Of Empires . Your base can be upgraded up to three times, allowing you to get stronger and better units, which is normal RTS fan fare. There are three races: elves, orcs and humans, though I only got to see the orcs.

The cool part was when we jumped into the multiplayer mode, my warrior was chilling in the base. The same guy, with the same abilities, was leading my army of orcs into a whirlwind of destruction. Overall, Spellforce 3 might get me to play an RTS again when its beta comes out at the end of April.   

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