by Derk Bil
reviewed on PC
Disciples III recently expanded in to Resurrection. It will see you walk many a mile in the shoes of Salaar and Amina, lead characters in the newly announced Undead Hordes faction. The events in the game take place right after Renaissance where - if you remember - a girl who later turned out to be an angel had fallen from the sky and was being chased by just about everybody and their mom. The game is advertised to offer 70 hours of gameplay. Having sped up combat and movement animations, you’ll complete the main campaign in half that time.
A standalone expansion, the game builds upon the rock solid gameplay and artwork of its predecessor. A lot of work has gone into creating the new character classes and ‘bestiary’ for the Undead Hordes and some of them are a joy to behold. The wyverns resemble the gargoyles of Renaissance quite a bit and the lich seems to be influenced by Warhammer 40k’s Necron race but that does not take away from the fact that the character art is nothing short of stunning. Salaar vaguely resembles a mummified Roman Legionnaire, Amina looks very much like a banshee, Vampires look the part and Lich Queens look absolutely haunting. And let me warn you: nothing prepares you for the summoned headless horseman which is easily my favorite in the game.
The advanced abilities of Amina and Salaar really spiced up the tried and true Disciples formula. Leveling up of your characters, even your foot soldiers, is important and satisfying. With each battle won, all surviving characters share equally in the experience and - when enough points are gathered - will automatically change into the next stage of development. The guild upgrades in your stronghold determine the direction in which your characters develop, allowing you to manipulate them into the role that you prefer them to have. Some classes aren’t particularly versatile but the Mage guild has enough options to develop your mages into something different for each and every time you play a map. Your lowly mage can either blossom into a Vampire, a Lich, Reaper or Nothingness (home of the Marilyn Manson look-alikes).
Commanders can put their experience towards primary stats like intelligence to bolster their magic abilities and endurance to boost health. The Mahjong-like skill tree lets you customize your characters further, offering upgrades that increase leadership (increasing team size) and enable you to raise fallen warriors and more. In order to get to the really good stuff, you will need to pick up a few mundane skills such as resistance to earth damage or faster movement on the battlefield first.
Seeing your commanders and creatures maxed out, however, is no easy feat. Even when revisiting crypts and dungeons numerous times, the last stages of development are difficult to reach. The chances are that the only times you will see the ultimate Lich or Vampire is when the AI pits them against you.
The good old gameplay of Disciples III is back.
The gameplay is buggy and the storyline fails to hold your attention.