The RTS part is decorative at best and this game is truely nowhere close to Warcraft 3 level.

User Rating: 8 | SpellForce 2: Shadow Wars PC
The reason I write this review is that I'm so surprised to see so many reviews from other players comparing this game to Warcraft 3 and even consider it one of the best combination of RTS and RPG. With my experience with the game, I don't think the developers even intended to emphasize on the RTS factors. Indeed, this part of the game is very shallow if you compare it to The Frozen Throne or Dawn of War: Dark Crusade. Let's see:
- First off I want to discuss the AI. I have no idea why some of you consider the AI good. Try to command your units to follow the hero right after they are spawned from barracks, I'm sure they will either attack enemies or get lost along the way. Sometimes, for some weird reasons you units just stand still when hostile creatures attack although you don't tell them to "hold the ground" or something similar. Not only your units but also your machine opponents are very goofy. For example, if you surround their base on top of the hill, they will become "meat bags" for you to hit and don't know what to do. In fact, the words "retreating", "reinforcement" or "hero focus" don't exist in the AI's vocabulary.
- Secondly, have a look at the maps and resource location. How long a skirmish or multiplayer game will last with this amount of resource? In any decent RTS the resource plays a role of restricting the time of the game, forcing players to make decision after a while. Moreover, resource should be recalculated between main and minor mines to create more strategic points on the maps. One more flaw is that there is no means of transport troops for a long distance ( like "Overlords" in starcraft), plus the huge size of some maps, so you spend too much time watching units moving around.
- Thirdly, there are very few strategic scenarios in this game. You ever played Warcraft 3 or Dawn of War? If yes, you will see these game forcing players to continually making choice between several types of building and units of the same tier. This restriction relates to the amount of resource require and timing. In this game, although the number of unit types is impressive, there are hardly any upgrading options for them. The number of building types is also too small so you can train anything you want at any time of of the game. It probably doesn't matter when playing versus silly AI but in multiplayer this flaw can't be tolerated.
- Last thing I want to say is the cooperation between heroes and units. There is over 100 different skills for each hero to choose, but it takes a huge amount of time to unlock enough skills to make your hero significantly different from others. It means every factions start off with the same heroes and there is not strategic choice at beginning of the game. Moreover, the collection of items for these characters is big but has no certain effect on the strategy you choose. They are merely decorative.

Few last words: I don't blame the developers for the shallow RTS part because as I have said, they intended to make this one basically a RPG. But it's obviously ridiculous to compliment this game as if it were a great strategy one or compare it to classic RTS like Warcraft 3.

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