Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia Demo
Along Black Isle and Looking Glass, New World Computing was one of the most devastating losses for the video games industry, due to the fact that almost every single one of their games was positively received by the gamers and a great deal of those managed to leave an imprint on history. From the first King's Bounty title that basically invented the fantasy-TBS genre, up to the hugely successful Might and Magic RPG franchise, the studio left behind a phenomenal legacy and plenty of happy fans.
Erathia is in grave need of a hero
Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia is by far one of the most iconic video games ever released, because it spawned a cult following that even today stands strong, regardless of the many other titles that have tried to come up with a better alternative. By combining turn-based strategy elements with RPG-style character development, as well as a sturdy and tactical combat system, the game managed to reach insane levels of replayability.
Thus, the very same map can be played in a variety of ways and you can choose different army compositions, follow other skill trees, or even hire more heroes to distribute your troops more efficiently. Basically, the amount of options that are put at your disposal is almost endless, as long as you are creative enough to see the different approaches and make proper use of them.
As far as the story is concerned, it all revolves around war and different races trying to conquer each other, coupled with the fact that the continent of Atagarich is in a constant state of turmoil, after the disappearance of King Roland Ironfist of Enroth. In The Restoration or Erathia, the story is actually told from multiple perspectives, in order to give the players the chance to experience every race and take advantage of every hero and unit available.
Gather resources, build and army and rally them into battle
While the gameplay is very similar to the one seen in the previous episodes of the series, or even in the original King's Bounty, a lot of work went into improving every part of it and balancing the different factions out. Thus, you start off with one hero and one castle, which actually differs depending on the race and the alignment, such as Tower, Necropolis, or Fortress. Since every castle comes with a different collection of units, the strategies must differ as well.
The heroes themselves can also level up and gain experience along the way, either by winning fights out on the map, or by picking up bonuses. Artifacts can be equipped as well and they greatly improve various skills, although they can also grant certain bonuses or magic spells. Speaking of which, magic is an important part of the game too, with dozens of spells available to use out on the battlefield, whenever your troops need a boost, or you want to deal some damage.
Lastly, the graphics themselves are incredibly detailed as well, even if they are based on an old-school isometric engine. Nothing is really moving in the true sense of the word, so there are no animations to talk about, other than the units themselves during combat and some small sprites out on the map. However, the environments are packed with detail and every object has stood the test of time, since they look as good now as they did a decade ago.
A gem that keeps on shining
All in all, words are not the best way to describe the game, because there are so many things that just need to be experienced in order to be appreciated. The always-challenging maps, the crafty combat system, the inspiring background story and even the graphics are all working together to make Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia one of the best strategy games out there.