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Spellforce 2

01/05/07

  10:23:06 pm, by Nimble   , 572 words  
Categories: Reviews, Games

Spellforce 2

Spellforce 2 is the sequel to the Spellforce game that I quite enjoyed.

For those of you who have never played Spellforce games before, they are a combination of a party-based adventure game like Baldur's Gate, and a resource-and-building RTS game like Starcraft. You have a party that you can outfit with new equipment, select their skills, etc.

The story is set past the era of the rune warriors, and the RTS aspect of the game feels a lot more "ordinary" than in the original (conjuring beings out of monuments was a favourite aspect of mine in the original). It's a fairly epic story, although confusing at times.

Some of the aspects I didn't like:

  • You hit the maximum level of level 30 a little too early. It's disappointing running around near the end getting 5,000 experience points and having it do nothing
  • Too many mediocre items. You want to clean out all the treasure you can, it's true, but you can really end up sifting through a lot of crap in short order
  • If you leave the other party characters on auto-pilot for their skills tree (my advice: don't!), then they will frustratingly reset their spells, and the spells that they choose seem often the crappiest
  • Amount of resources get reset when you use journey stones between lands, but the raw resources don't reappear

Some of the aspects that I did like:

  • I really still like their click-and-fight system, where you click on the target, and can set the action of all of your party members by clicking appropriate icons under their portraits
  • Getting and improving your own fiefdom is cool; I wish it lasted even longer
  • It's pretty and the variety in landscape and the quality of voice acting is pretty good
  • The party member summoning system is really neat.
  • The save function keeps all your buildings around
  • Holding the mouse over quest items with a destination will 'ping' where the quest item is

There are some fun opportunities for "cheating". If you have other non-player characters tagging along, use them to best effect by letting them help explore everything.

My favourite "exploit" in the Iron Lord's territory is to give the spirits memories of a priest (as well as others), and then have them wait just outside the arena as you fight. The arena is tough - having outside healing help is great ;)

If you find a staff with Ice Comet ability, equip it to your main character. It really helps!

There is a high-level earth spell that does damage not just to units, but surrounding buildings. It is an excellent spell to have. Some towers can be taken down completely in 1-3 castings of the spell.

The skills tree takes a little getting used to. You pick your path up the skill tree, and certain abilities come along with them. You will only reach a high enough level to get a few of the best skills, so choose somewhat wisely. Earth magic, healing magic and armor are quite nice skills to have. The future add-on, Dragon Storm, may up the maximum level, though.

Like the original, do not try running this on an old machine with a slow video card.

I spent an intense period of time playing the game in single-player mode, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have not tried the 'free campaign' mode, multiplayer modes, or the modding/editing tools, though the single player game is where Spellforce likely shines.

Recommended.

3 comments

Comment from: Bryan Ewert [Visitor]
Bryan Ewert

Hey Ritchie,
I was intrigued by your mini-review and downloaded the Spellforce 2 demo. However, after installing I was surprised to be prompted with a “must install copy protection to run” dialog. Huh? Copy protection? To run a demo? You must be joking. A quick search revealed that said copy protection was of the StarForce ilk. Thanks, but no thanks. I cancelled the dialog and immediately uninstalled the demo.

01/13/07 @ 14:03
Comment from: Adam [Member]  
Adam

Copy protection for a demo? That’s insane.

01/13/07 @ 18:47
Comment from: Nimble [Member]  

It’s been quite the sideshow with the Spellforce demo having the copy protection.

They make further explanation, though:

“We wanted everyone to know that Starforce will not be included in the retail release of this game. Starforce is being used in the demo in cooperation with the European publishers of the title, JoWood Productions. This is to help prevent reverse engineering that could lead to our product being put up on illegal software networks. We apologize for any inconveniences Starforce may have caused and would again like to reassure everyone that we have chosen alternative copy protection software for our final release product.”

Nnnnnuts :)

Spellforce 1 plays about the same, so if you haven’t played a Spellforce, it gives a fairly good indication of gameplay, though there are some incremental improvements.

I’m just wondering… if they ever make a science fiction game, what the heck are they going to call it, what with Starforce being taken?

01/13/07 @ 23:29

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