My favorite game series produces another gem! I've been playing for a month now and love it!!!!
From the beginning they have consistently gotten more complex with each new version. VI is the exception, most of the gameplay, not all(the new character-abilities tree is much more complicated) has been simplified. I really like this in most cases because for me it generally improves the game play.
I also believe this is the first version that has come close to balancing the power of the factions. In the older versions the magic oriented factions were far more powerful at the higher levels than the might oriented classes. I have finished 3 campaigns so far and am still trying to fully figure out the ability tree (for me it has too many options). In every earlier version I always developed a formula to develop a character that was practically unbeatable and nothing was a challenge after that (i.e. in version 3--get the Town Portal spell...develop Logistics and Earth Magic skills for your best hero...then stack all your armies and magic on that hero-- jump around the world willy-nilly destroying/defending everything)...so far, I believe version 6 has been thought out well enough to avoid a "winning formula," you have to play each scenario individually and figure out the best way to play. The play balance just seems superior to all previous versions.
The campaigns do a much better job of giving purpose (other than the usual "get powerful / kill everything" in the previous versions) and story lines are far better than the previous versions. The maps are better thought out than 4 and 5 (they were also very good in 3). And I believe V6 has more hours of play time included than any of the previous versions.
All in all I really like Heroes 6 and it is my second favorite version (behind 3) with the potential (with further game play) to become number 1. What I don't like about it, is that playing stand-alone and playing while connected are completely separate entities. I played the first two campaigns away from my Internet Connection (after activating the game on-line). When I was home again I was eager to try playing with the extra weapons and other functionality that conflux offers, only to find out, much to my chagrin, I had to start completely over (even to the point of being forced to replay the boring tutorial campaign). I wonder why this was done like this...why can't I transfer my off-line games on-line? Is this an oversite or a glitch? Whatever it is..it makes no sense to me and I don't like it. After reading the reviews about the inconsistency of Ubisofts servers I think I'll stick to the off-line mode.
Incidently I play on a lap-top with no problems.
One more note...UBI Soft left out the class with elves :(( I miss playing the elves--I used to love to sit back and put arrows through everything.