Heroes Of Might And Magic 3 Review

Heroes Of Might And Magic 3 is an addictive turn-based strategy game set in medieval times. Hunt for treasure, fight mythical creatures, build an empire and conquer all to stand victorious. This Heroes Of Might And Magic 3 Review will show you why this classic game is still considered as one of the best strategy games of all time. 

GENRETurn-based Strategy
RELEASE DATE1999
PUBLISHER3DO
DEVELOPERSNew World Computing, Jon Van Caneghem, DotEmu, Loki Entertainment
GAME MODESSingle-Player, Multiplayer, Hot Seat
LAN PLAYYes
SINGLE PLAYER CAMPAIGNYes
ONLINE PLAYFor HD Version
SETTINGFantasy
Heroes Of Might And Magic 3 CD Cover
Heroes Of Might And Magic 3

Heroes Of Might And Magic 3 – System Requirements

MinimumRecommended For Complete version
CPU: Pentium 1
CPU Speed: 133 Mhz (166 recommended)CPU Speed: 1.4 GHz
RAM: 32 MBRAM: 512 MB
OS: Windows 95/98/NTOS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10
VIDEO CARD: DirectX 6.0 CompatibleVIDEO CARD: DirectX 9.0 Compatible
3D: Yes3D: Yes
SOUND CARD: YesSOUND CARD: Yes
FREE DISK SPACE: 200 MBFREE DISK SPACE: 1 GB

Presentation

90%

Exellent

Fun Factor

94%

Epic

Overall Game Score

92%

Must Play

Might And Magic

I love fantasy and this probably stems from amazing weekends playing Dungeons and Dragons with my friends when in high school. It is a different world where you get to be the hero, fight powerful creatures and acquire untold riches from your adventures.

The Heroes Of Might Magic series is just that for me but less complicated with fewer rules, more restrictive of what your hero can do and combines it with strategy. It focuses on addictive fun where you still play the hero but raising armies with which you conquer territories. 

Normally you will pickle along a Fighter (Warrior), Wizard/Cleric (Magic user) and thief on a Dungeon and Dragons game. In Heroes Of Might And Magic you will have a choice between two types of heroes: Warrior (Might) and a Magic user (Magic) and hence the title of the game series. 

Even though I played Heroes 2 and loved it, Heroes Of Might And Magic 3 is a vast improvement to its predecessor. I will highlight some of the improvements as we go along.

Fight and command mythical creatures like the Medusa, Beholder, Manticore, Wyverns, Dragons, Hydras going right down to Gnolls and Lizardmen! This alone tempts me to play a quick round of Heroes Of Might And Magic 3, but I know it will never end with just one measly round. 🙂

Heroes Of Might And Magic 3: The Restoration of Erathia

The original Heroes Of Might And Magic 3 is titled: The Restoration Of Erathia also popularly known as HOMM3.

Two expansions was released for this game: Armageddon’s Blade released in September 1999 (A few months after the original game’s release)and The Shadow of Death released in the year 2000.

The complete game with its 2 expansions can be bought as one package called: Heroes Of Might And Magic Complete.

Heroes Of Might And Magic 3

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A remake of Heroes Of Might And Magic 3 in high definition was released on Steam in 2015 but I will not recommend it and I will tell you why in a minute.

This review will focus on The Restoration of Erathia.

Heroes Of Might And Magic HD

Is it all bad? No of course not. It is the exact game with pretty HD graphics. So if you got a kick from the original HOMM3 then the HD version will probably have you hooked too.

What makes the HD version great is that it playable on iOS and Android which means you are not bound to your computer and can play it from anywhere. The graphics is much better and fits your screen resolution nicely.

In saying all of that, why am I not recommending it? My reasons may be trivial to you and by all means: If you are new to Heroes Of Might And Magic, it is worth a try.

I think it was not well explained by Ubisoft what the HD version will contain and what not. Since it was released in 2015 (16 years after the original) many HoMM3 fans expected the complete package – that is: The original game with the two expansions. Disappointment set in when learned that the HD remake only contained The Restoration of Erathia and not the other two expansions.

The Restoration of Erathia is no doubt a hoot to play, but for the price you expected the expansions to be there. The reason they are not included is that the source code of the expansion packs are apparently lost.

I have mentioned that the HD version is available on iOS and Android but it will take up a fair amount of space on your mobile device of about 1.1GB which complicates matters a bit.

Steam offers online play but it is a bit buggy to my mind.

As mentioned before, you can purchase the complete edition: Heroes Of Might And Magic 3 Complete for the same price or less and if you still want to play it in HD, then simply download the HoMM2 HD Mod. It may not look as clean as the HD remake by Ubisoft but you will have loads more content that equates to loads more fun and the random scenario generator.

The Story

In short:

Queen Catherine learns of the death of her father, King Gryphonheart, and she leaves for Erathia with a fleet of warships. This is where the campaign kicks off as Queen Catherine sets foot at the shores of Erathia seeing the devastation of a battle. After assessing the remnants of the battle her suspicions of foul play is confirmed and she starts to restore order to her homeland and make work on finding out the truth about her father’s murder.

You are the commander of Queen Catherine’s army, fighting her enemies, reclaiming lost lands of Erathia and forming allegiances with neighbors.

The story gives the game some purpose and a bit of background but hardly essential for playing the game. Some may not be interested in the story but I appreciate it and can picture a good book or film born from the plot.

Obviously there is more to the story but just in case you haven’t played the game yet and would like to give it a try, I will not spoil the rest of the story.

Now onto the actual review of the game:

Heroes Of Might And Magic 3 Review

You are in control of a hero or multiple heroes tasked to develop your town, raise an army and capture enemy towns. Towns are not all the same and have different themes. Once you capture a town, you are able to train and recruit creatures fitting to the theme of that specific town.

To develop your town, you will need resources. There are loose resources (like gold) that you can pick-up on the adventure map which will then disappear once picked up. Mostly you will claim a mine or structure that will produce some of that resource per day. When you claim a resource or building, your color flag will be raised next to it.

Combat can take place on open field, on water with ships or outside a castle – or town wall when laying siege to it. There are wandering creatures on the map you can bump into with valuable pickups usually protected by creatures. Creatures may choose to rather join your army than do combat in certain situations. It is your choice then to accept or reject the offer. There are also creature dwellings like caves, chapels and lairs.

Each game scenario can have a different objective. It may be defeating a specific hero, gathering a certain amount of resources, capturing a castle or finding the Grail to name some.

Being a strategy game, you need to give some thought to your actions and this is where I am thankful for the game being turn-based. (Not everyone performs well under pressure you know. I can think of at least one such person. :-)) This also allows for playing the game against another human player on the same computer. I grew up with games allowing for split-screen play or same-computer multiplayer games. (Super Kart Racing and Star Reach comes to mind) There is just something about that kind of interaction that simply doubles the fun. The expressions, laughter, smirks when finding a super artifact and the look of dismay and unbelieve when you conquer his/her ‘untouchable’ town. Yes, there were occasions when a punch or two unexpectedly landed on my shoulder or rib cage, but it was still worth it.

Heroes Of Might And Magic III

You can find information on almost anything by right-clicking on the object. Information will also be displayed in the rollover bar at the bottom when hovering your mouse cursor over the object and it is present on nearly every screen. This is a valuable feature to have and you quickly realize how much you rely on this information when some descriptions are not available for some items in games like Heroes V.

Micro management is not overwhelming and does not take away from being totally engaged in the game. In fact, you may wonder why it went suddenly dark outside and the only noticeable sound are those of crickets. It may be that the sun fell from the sky and it is the end of the world or it may be that the day passed by in a blink of an eye and it is already 03h00 in the morning!

The Restoration of Erathia campaign features six fairly short scenarios and a seventh scenario (Seeds of Discontent) is unlocked when you complete Song For The Father.

Gameplay is smooth, the sound and music is very good and I am hard-pressed finding something to dislike. But as I said before: No game is perfect (not any I know of yet anyway) and I will get to that a bit later in the review.

Now that you have the basic idea, let me take you through some of the mechanics of this highly successful strategy game:

Heroes

Heroes Of Might & Magic 3 Units

You start with one hero and a negligible amount of troops/creatures under his/her command. The hero will either be proficient in magic or close combat.

There are sixteen different types of heroes. Two for each of the eight town types. Each hero will start with their own unique skills and abilities.

A hero can have 7 stacks of creatures under his command which can be acquired from creature generating buildings inside a town you own or on the playing field. There are therefore 7 slots next to the hero’s portrait where you can allocate creatures to and you can stack the same type creature without having to put them in a separate slot.

Apart from being able to stack the same creature type in an available slot, you can also split them into groups or swap them with creatures in another slot. Creatures can also be dismissed altogether.

Heroes Of Might And Magic 3

In order for heroes to do magic they will need a spell book. Magic users normally starts with one, else you will need to purchase a spell book in town. Warriors can also use magic but they will be much better suited learning martial arts.

Your hero gains experience points when winning battles or when you find treasure chests that gives you the option to choose experience instead of the reward. With enough experience gained your hero will level up and two things will happen:

  1. You will gain one point to your primary skills (Attack, Defense, Power or knowledge)
  2. You get to choose one of two secondary skill options to learn.

Heroes can trade inventory items and troops with one another. A hero can also be garrisoned in a town to protect it while another hero visits the town.

There are more to say about heroes, but I will leave some for the promised ‘New Features’ introduced in HoMM3.

Movement

Your hero’s movement is restricted by the slowest creature in his army. Speed ranges from 15 to 20 tiles on the map. Different terrain influence your movement speed as well. Roads are the best to use in general of which Cobblestone roads have the fastest movement speed.

The Pathmanship skill can reduce the negative influence of some terrain while the logistics skill also increases your movement range.

Resources

There are seven resources:

  1. Gold
  2. Wood
  3. Ore
  4. Mercury
  5. Sulfur
  6. Crystal
  7. Gems

Gold, wood and ore forms your basic resources of which gold is arguably the most important resource. You simply cannot have enough gold; since it is used for everything as well as for recruiting and upgrading of your units.

Wood and ore is essential for most buildings and it is a good idea to secure a sawmill and ore pit early in the game.

Mercury, Sulfur, Crystals and Gems are magical resources required for several buildings and recruiting different magical beasts like Dragons, Devils, Giants, Titans and Angels to name a few.

Buildings

Each town can construct a total of eight buildings. A building will typically be a creature generating building or a resource generating building. There are also eight different towns with different building names, different creature generating buildings and a unique building for each town but the construction of buildings and the development of the town works exactly the same for all.

Buildings can be upgraded to produce more of its resource or producing better units. Not all buildings produce resources or creatures: Mage towers, for instance, is where you learn your spells or purchase a spell book from. Taverns are where you will recruit heroes and spy on your enemy by paying for information.

Most creature generating buildings you can construct in your town can also be found on the adventure map from where you can hire more of that particular unit. Capturing such a building will also increase the population growth of that unit.C

Combat

Entering combat will place your units on the left of the board and the enemies on the right. Depending on your army formation selection (At the bottom right of the Hero Inventory Screen), your units will be placed in a tight – or more loose (predetermined order) formation on the left. Acquiring the Tactics secondary skill will allow you to manually place your units on the combat field.

Combat is turn-based and the order of the unit that gets to go first is dependent on their movement speed.

Your hero is not part of the units that can be attacked and is safely tucked away in the corner but he/she can still partake in combat by using combat spells if available. The hero can cast one spell per turn.

Having a Ballista and/or a Catapult (Purchased from the Blacksmith in town or War Machine shops on the adventure map) present, will each launch one attack per turn. Ballista’s will automatically choose an enemy unit to attack and catapults will automatically attack town and castle walls in a siege battle. If; however, you have the Artillery secondary skill, you are able to manually select your targets.

Ranged units can normally shoot from one end of the map to the other end, but distance will influence the overall damage caused to the enemy unit by the missile.

Melee units will need to be adjacent to one of the enemy units in order to launch an attack.

Ship-to-ship combat will show the two ships next to one another side by side with two boarding planks giving access to your troops on either side.

HoMM3 Combat Tactical Map
Heroes Of Might And Magic 3

Combat ends when all your units are wiped out or if you defeat all the enemy units. There is also an option to Retreat or Surrender. When you surrender, you will be offered surrender terms for you to accept or decline. If you accept, your hero will keep his remaining army and artifacts but will disappear from the adventure map. The hero will be relocated in the tavern for possible. When you retreat, you will loose your army but keep your artifacts. The hero can later be recruited again in your tavern.

The Grail

As mentioned before, finding the Grail and building a grail building can also be a victory condition for a scenario but even if it is not, you really want to find the Grail as it gives you a huge bonus.

The primary bonus is an extra 5,000 gold per day and 50% creature growth per week. Be sure to guard your town well because it can be taken and your enemy will then have this bonus. Every town also receives it own unique bonuses from the Grail.

The Grail is normally buried in the ground somewhere on the adventure map. To find the Grail, you will need to find all the obelisks scattered around the map. Each obelisk will reveal a piece of the puzzle map. When all puzzle pieces are found, an X will mark the hidden location of the Grail.

To retrieve the Grail, you need to figure out its location from the map and move to where the X is indicated on the map. Now you will need to dig for the Grail using the ‘D’ key on your keyboard. Digging takes a whole day and you will need all the hero’s movement points to recover the Grail.

New Features

Apart from many features that you now have more of or things that are bigger like: The combat screen is bigger, there are more artifacts, more creatures, more stackable slots, etc. – there are a couple of easy noticeable additions:

HoMM3 Paper Doll Inventory
HoMM3 Hero Screen

Your hero now have a ‘Paper doll’ inventory system. Now you can only have one item per slot. No more carrying two pairs of boots for instance.

You can now scroll the map and view your town and heroes when it is not your turn. This allows for some strategic planning while waiting for the other player to end his turn.

There is now an underground map. I loved this addition. It gives me that dungeon crawl feel and feeling like Batman when having a town underground. Lol! But above all, it instantly makes the adventure map much bigger.

All building construction are now done from the Town Hall. Upgrading the Town Hall will increase your income. Before you had to build a castle.

Perhaps not so noticeable is that you can now limit the time per turn. Some people can take their sweet time before ending their turn and this is the perfect solution. I like to take a bit of time myself but there is a line dammit!

The Negative

You will carry your heroes over from one scenario to the next when playing the game and that is good. But where did my artifacts and army go? I understand that it is probably for balance’ sake but it makes little sense to where these just disappear to or why.

I have mentioned that when in combat, you have the option to retreat or surrender (Unless you watched the movie No Retreat No Surrender in which case you will stick it out come what may!) and then you should be able to find your hero in the tavern again. Yeah – it is not always happening for me. I found one of my heroes (that retreated) in the tavern after several turns but many a time they do not show up for me whether they surrendered or retreated.

Perhaps that is just my experience but a bit of an annoying one for me.

Heroes Of Might And Magic 3 Manual

Download HoMM3 Manual
Heroes Of Might And Magic 3 PDF

Conclusion

Will I say that Heroes Of Might And Magic 3 outshines Heroes 2? A thousand times yes.

There are many improvements including up to eight players allowed for a multiplayer game which increases the fun factor. Staying with multiplayer: The game is beautifully balanced and I cannot think that I stumbled upon a bug even once. This makes for excellent coding and a job well done.

The game itself is very fun and addictive to play. You may want to clear your schedule for the day when playing HoMM3! I can live with the graphics and it is actually really good for a 1999 title and with the HD Mod, it is even better.

In all the hours of gameplay, I haven’t noticed any annoying repetition of a music soundtrack and that is quite good. Overall the music is really good and in quality MP3 format. Sound effects are convincing and fun.

If you are into fantasy, remember: This game contains Dragons, dungeons, Beholders, Wyvern, Harpies, Manticores, Medusae, Gorgons, Basilisks and about a hundred more! Command them in one of your armies and destroy your enemies!

What is there not to like?

Thank you for reading my Heroes Of Might And Magic 3 Review. Please share your experience with this game or let me know if there are any questions in the comment section below.

Heroes Of Might And Magic 3

PLAY IT NOW!

Pros
  • 8 -player Multiplayer support
  • Can multiplay on one computer
  • Easy yet fun combat system
  • Explore tunnels and caverns below ground
  • Exciting spread of mythical creatures to slay
Cons
  • Artifacts and army to next scenario not carried over
  • A surrendered or retreated hero not always available in the tavern
Review Overview
4.20
Overall Score

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