Disciples III: Renaissance - PC

Release Date:

July 13, 2010

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.


In Disciples III: Renaissance, gamers battle to restore their deity to power as a member of three playable races: the Empire, the Elven Alliance, and the Legion of the Damned. Each of the factions offers unique units and is based out of a different city, and together they combine to offer three campaigns and 19 single-player missions spread throughout a vast and varied landscape. Players take on the role of a powerful Lord, who can be customized with more than 450 different weapons, spells, and artifacts. There are a number of different characters and classes that can be recruited to contribute unique skills to the battle party, such as Paladins, Mages, and Healers.

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Super Gamer Dude

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There are some substantial changes in this, the third game in the Disciples series, but the basic formula lies beneath the surface. There is still a hero unit leading a group of lesser ranking characters through a story-based campaign. As your units gain experience, they each must choose a specific path along which to evolve. The big change is where you are able to zoom in on a tactical battle map and what was once a simple grid with static units is now a 3D hex map with free turn-based movements. Your units can occupy power-up spots that boost their attacks. Melee units may need to chase their quarry across the map, so battles can take a lot longer than they used to unless you trust the quickbattle button which is not advisable until your hero and his party hit double-digit level status.

Eventually, you hit a point where progress in the game expects you to be either a military genius or to have the combination of runes or units exactly right. If you spend your best runes on one tough battle, the next serious encounter will require either hammering the AI with strategic map level spells, again and again, or a long trek back to the rune vendor. This the point where there will be a lot of reloading, a lot of backtracking and a lot of head scratching about whether this is the map where you actually need a second army, if only for suicide missions to soften up hard targets.

The battle maps present some interesting challenges with broken terrain and random power spots, but the scenario missions themselves involve running around grabbing power nodes to keep your magic economy going. You can get quite a long way with only a couple of spells, but then you reach the opening mission of the second campaign with no city, no way to learn spells or to heal, and every road out is closely guarded by an enemy.

With a better story and less repetitive tactical battles, you might find it worth struggling through the three campaigns to see what subtle differences each has to offer, which mostly only become apparent at higher level encounters. But despite the stylish art and challenging battles, Disciples III: Renaissance is a slow runner that never quite reaches full speed.

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Release Date:

July 13, 2010

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