SpellForce 2: Shadow Wars

Review

posted 6/27/2006 by Tyler Sager
other articles by Tyler Sager
One Page Platforms: PC

The heart of Spellforce 2, the single-player campaign, is certainly a meaty one.  There are oodles of quests and a large number of huge maps to explore.  While players can plow through the just the main quest, the many and varied optional quests will keep players revisiting old maps and hopping about the scenarios for quite a while.  A much-improved “Journey Stone” system allows for simple map hopping.  As long as there is no direct combat, the heroes can instantly teleport to any activated journey stone from anywhere on the map.  With a good sprinkling of these Stones out there, players can quickly and efficiently get exactly where they need to be. The quests are good mix of both RTS and RPG-type tasks, from the simple “Kill Monster A and bring Item X” to delivery quests to some in-game contests.  A solid quest log keeps everything in order, and the location of each active quest is highlighted on the minimap, a feature that I found useful but some may find overly helpful.  Expect to put in a good 40 or so hours in the single-player campaign alone.  After that, there are free-play options (alone or with a friend) and the typical multiplayer skirmishes to keep the Spellforce 2 goodness flowing.

Spellforce 2 looks pretty good, with very colorful fantasy trappings.  It’s a bit more cartoonish than its predecessor, but I found that the scheme fits the overall feel of the game.  Most of the sound effects are quite good as well, and the music is pleasing.  However, the voice acting is not up to par with the rest of the game.  While it’s not nearly as poor as the voice acting in the original Spellforce, Spellforce 2’s vocals are still occasionally cringe-worthy.  I found myself skipping the spoken scenes as quickly as possible. 

Overall, Spellforce 2 is a great improvement over the intriguing (but flawed) original.  Spellforce 2 does achieve a good blend of RTS and RPG gameplay, and has gone far toward finding that perfect balance.  While some may decide that these worlds should never meet, I found myself enjoying the experience quite a bit.  Fans of the original will be pleased, and most of those looking for a good (and unique) blend of RTS and RPG will find exactly what they’re seeking. 




B
A solid blend of RTS and RPG fantasy goodness. It’s not perfect, but it is definitely worth a look for those wanting something a little bit out of the ordinary.


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