Disciples III: Resurrection Review
A turn based game that you’ll keep passing on.
Having decided to give myself a bit of a console break to see what’s been cooking on the PC front, I was given the task of playing Disciples III: Resurrection. Having read up a bit on the franchise and decided that a strategy game was just the ticket to get my grey cells ticking again, I popped the disc into my PC and began my quest. Or at least tried to begin.
For a game that boasts a wonderful opening clip of the nvidia logo, I had a glorious time applying all kinds of ridiculous patches to my graphics card before the game stuttered to life. The game requires that you create an account to the launcher software before it can start – I’m assuming this is so that it can legally apply patches and other content. So though my adventure had a rocky start, the game came to life and I was ready to prune my army to greatness.
Disciples III: Resurrection decides to introduce the mighty undead Horde into the game world. What that exactly means I haven’t the faintest clue, but I’m guessing to fans of the franchise it’s a big deal. The game is a classic turn-based strategy game where you control a hero on an interactive map, and press forward through forests and the like to grow your army and plod through the mundane storyline. The concept is simple enough – you’re allotted a certain number of ‘move points’ per turn, which will allow your hero to navigate around the map, pick up discovered resources, and also challenge enemies. When you come across a challenge, the game switches to a view of your hero and your current army, spread across a hexagonal grid. Each unit takes a turn to either attack or move, with certain hexagons giving your units boosts such as defense or attack, or providing cover for sneak attacks when enemy units come near. It’s a straightforward formula that has worked through the ages, and the game mostly stays true to this form. Each character and unit in the game is designed quite well, with a dark gothic theme featuring throughout the game. It just is a bit of a waste that you only get to see this level of detail when the characters are in combat – once you’re back on the map you’re just left with your hero to navigate around with.
To help grow your army you’re of course assigned a castle, which you can upgrade and construct additional buildings to gain various unit benefits. You also gain experience with each battle won, which you can use to upgrade your hero’s skills. But unfortunately the skill tree looks more like a complicated tarot card spread, and navigating around it may prove to be quite a chore, making it one of the more complicated skill trees that I’ve seen in a game.
And it’s this complexity that brings me to the game’s ultimate flaw – it’s just ridiculously and unnecessarily complicated at times – the game can get absurdly difficult even on the easiest setting. Anyone who’s played the previous Disciples III games will have no problems with the game, but for everyone else there’s a ridiculously steep learning curve. It’s not helped by the fact that there’s no proper tutorial on how to do ANYTHING. If you need help there’s a quaint help icon you can click on, which then provides a list of instructional videos which you can watch and hopefully learn something from.
The second and far more gaping problem with the game is just how terrible the voice acting is. And I mean TERRIBLE. All I remember about the introduction video is something about a star falling and I think a mermaid – the rest of it was drowned out by the narrator who sounded like the Eyore the donkey from Winnie the Pooh (not that anyone cares). The same drab voiceovers continues into the game during the load screens, and even the unit sound effects are pathetic. Part of the joy of this game is supposed to be in the way each unit behaves, but the stellar art and unit design is ripped apart by the mediocre audio.
Essentially, that’s all the game has to offer – there is a Hotseat mode to distract from the tedious campaign mode, but this too mirrors the flaws found in the single player. The game could have been a real gem, but its unholy learning curve and stupefying voice acting kills that dream early on. Fans may appreciate yet another game to add to the franchise, but for everyone else there’s nothing to see here.