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Author Topic: Need some opinions on Spellforce  (Read 2894 times)
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Sharpshooter
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« on: December 14, 2004, 04:20:20 PM »

I'm thinking about buying Spellforce: Gold Edition and I'm just wondering if its any good.  Some of the bad things I've read about it is that it has poor performance with ATI cards and that multiplayer is buggy.  Were these ever cleared up and is the game fun to play?
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Daehawk
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2004, 04:44:03 PM »

Well Im no help...when I saw your thread title I got it mixed up with Spelljammer.
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2004, 05:08:47 PM »

I never played multiplayer, I never had an ATI card but I thought the game was a lot of fun to play.  The graphics looked nice and ran well on my meager system.  I thought the game itself was a nice blend of role-playing and real-time strategy.  I never finished it (and I understand it's a long game) but I enjoyed what I played of it.

There is a demo which I'd recommend you try first.  It takes you through the boring but helpful tutorial and I think gives you a mission or two to play after that.
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Ralph-Wiggum
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2004, 05:12:34 PM »

I thought the game was pretty fun. I have an ATI card (9500 Pro) and didn't notice any problems. Didn't try the multiplayer, though.
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Dreamshadow
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2004, 05:24:29 PM »

It's not bad...but it lacks a skirmish mode. (Though this has supposedly been corrected in the EU/UK edition with Breath of Winter.)  I liked the game, but I found the story to be so slow, I didn't want to bother.  Does the gold version come with Breath of Winter?
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2004, 08:25:15 PM »

This is a great hybrid RTS game.  Don't let it fool ya, the RPG portion is nothing more than picking skills for your main character.  You accomplish quests, and there are TONS of them.

The main gripes for me were...

Travel times.  Sometimes you'd have 10 quests solved and have to travel all over the map and back to various other towns to talk to someone.  Also, there is no notations on the maps of where people are.  You just have to remember.  

Buildup times.  In typical RTS fashion, most maps are walk here, get town started, build up massive force and blow away the enemy.  Some maps were a bit different, but don't expect much more than that.

The good stuff...

You can end up with some varied character types.  I had a bow wielding cleric with light armor who kicked but in the background while healing.  the flip side is if you make a jack of all trades, you won't be able to wear the higher level armor/weapons.  Name of the game, focus early.

Tons of play time.  This game will give you 80 hours of play with just the first game alone...the expansion another 20 or 40.  YES, the gold edition includes the expansion.

Dylan
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corruptrelic
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2004, 08:47:02 PM »

With Dreamshadow on this. The lack of a skirmish mode doesn't give the game much replayability at all. You shoudn't have to pay for an expansion just to get a skirmish mode.

Maybe Spell Force 2 will fix the things that should have been in the first one. (Ground Control is a good example.)
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Autistic Angel
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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2004, 09:39:27 PM »

I played a great deal of Spellforce on my Radeon 9800XT video card, and it ran beautifully for me.  I was having a great deal of fun with it until I reached a point in the campaign where my main character was supposed to sneak through a maze-like landscape without getting petrified by any demons and I just lost interest.  It wasn't that I had trouble with the mission, mind you...I just had no desire to play though it so I stopped.

The voice acting in that game needs to be heard to be believed.  It isn't House of the Dead II-level bad, but it's atrocious enough to make you wonder how the developer was even able to find people who could read their lines without any emotion whatsoever.

-Autistic Angel
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Roguetad
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« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2004, 10:12:16 PM »

I put a lot of time into spellforce, and ultimately it lost it's hold on me due to the really slow pacing of the maps and the sheer length of the game.  You'd think that a long game would = better value and bang for the buck, but I just couldn't stay focused.  It absolutely does not lend itself to relatively short 1 hour gaming sessions, as many of the maps can take 2-4 hours to clear all the objectives (and even more if you want to finish all the quests).  Considering there are a lot of maps, this is a long game.

If you have the time, focus and commitment to play this one through, and aren't easily distracted like me, it might be a good purchase for you.
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Butterknife
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2004, 10:41:31 PM »

Quote from: "Roguetad"
I put a lot of time into spellforce, and ultimately it lost it's hold on me due to the really slow pacing of the maps and the sheer length of the game.  You'd think that a long game would = better value and bang for the buck, but I just couldn't stay focused.  It absolutely does not lend itself to relatively short 1 hour gaming sessions, as many of the maps can take 2-4 hours to clear all the objectives (and even more if you want to finish all the quests).  Considering there are a lot of maps, this is a long game.

If you have the time, focus and commitment to play this one through, and aren't easily distracted like me, it might be a good purchase for you.


You know, that's almost the exact same reason why I stopped playing too.  It was pretty fun, but in the end I just couldn't devote hours to finishing off one level.  And I mean hours -- 2-4 I think is a little generous, for me a level might take 4-8 hours to complete.  That's way too much, and it was way too intense to keep that kind of fighting going for that long.  That sort of thing wears me out too much.
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-Lord Ebonstone-
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« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2004, 10:41:55 PM »

It's pretty meh.  I wouldn't recommend it.
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Big Jake
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2004, 12:35:16 AM »

Yeah, but LE, you hardly recommend anything .

But Sharpshooter, you should note the number of people stating that they got bored with it.  There are two separate times where I really had to *FORCE* myself to contniue (the maze level Autistic angel mentioned is one, the psychotically hard Stoneblade Mountain is the other).  This game does get VERY long, and after a while the RTS portions keep seeming the same.  

I did really like the game, however, and I would recommend it if you don't feel you have to finish the game.
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« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2004, 02:55:34 AM »

Quote from: "Big Jake"
Yeah, but LE, you hardly recommend anything .

Well that's because recommendation threads are less common than disappointment threads.

Here are some games which I found myself wishing I was playing instead during a given Spellforce session:

-----

RTS
-Rise of Nations + Expansion
-Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War
-Warlords: Battlecry 2

RPG
-Gothic / Gothic 2

'Hybrid' Games ala Spellforce:
-Sacrifice
-Battlezone 1
-Uprising (old, more action-based)
-Hostile Waters: Anteus Rising

-----

I just really can't recommend Spellforce.  Not only is it just flat-out boring, it doesn't mesh the RPG and RTS genres very well at all.  Indeed, it feels more like a single-player MMORPG with the capacity to order around guards or groupmates.  And while that actually sounds kind of cool, the execution is just... sloppy.

Want an RPG?  Play an RPG.  Want an RTS?  Play an RTS.  Want a hybrid game?  There are many hybrids out there better than Spellforce.
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redman5427
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« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2004, 05:09:59 PM »

No, ignore these guys, they all play shooters. this game is great and with the Breath of Winter add-on it's very fun with Co-Op added on. I had a problem because I was going thru the levels too fast, you really have to be high level to finish the later maps. Plus, the next expansion due out in Febuary lets you use your character to continue. if you find it's too hard to play, check with the official site because someone did a great guide/walkthru for the game. Most games don't get rccomended because they are too easy, this one is not because it's too hard? The voice acting is not great but the music is especially in the add on and has a good story.
Just make sure you patch the game and you should have fun!
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-Lord Ebonstone-
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« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2004, 06:21:02 PM »

Quote from: "redman5427"
No, ignore these guys, they all play shooters.

Yeah, we're all meatheads.  Listen to Redman #5427.  His cherry has yet to be popped in terms of shooters, and therefore, his opinion is worth 200,000x more.

Not a good way to make a first impression, injun.
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Autistic Angel
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« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2004, 06:43:26 PM »

Yes, I agree with -Lord Ebonstone-'s bitter and racially-charged snarl: if redman5427 came here expecting a forum where civilized expressions of opinion are tolerated, he's very, very mistaken.  I suggest we not only re-edit redman5427's post to mirror the majority opinion in this thread, but that we also have the mods change his username to a more acceptable caucasianman5427.

-Autistic Angel
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Big Jake
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« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2004, 06:54:58 PM »

And suddenly, we're no longer discussing Spellforce.
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redman5427
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« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2004, 09:35:41 PM »

hehehe
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« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2004, 09:42:15 PM »

For the record: I have the biggest penis.  And I can pee farther than anyone else.  Argue amongst yourselves all you want but it's an established fact.

Back on topic (remember the topic?): Sharpshooter, really you should download the demo if you want to know if this is the game for you.  We can all give you opinions - and that's all we have to offer.  Opinions.

The demo gives you a pretty representative sample of the game (not the add-on).  Let us know what you think.
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Autistic Angel
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« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2004, 10:42:20 PM »

Quote
Back on topic (remember the topic?): Sharpshooter, really you should download the demo if you want to know if this is the game for you.


The only thing I would add is the fact that the first demo was based on one of the most challenging levels in the game.  There are two different demos which include a different single-player mission each, so I'd recommend checking out both before making up your mind.

-Autistic Angel
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Sharpshooter
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« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2004, 05:51:04 AM »

Whoa... good to see a lot of responses.  Looking through them, I'm definately seeing some stuff I like such as the game length (more bang for my buck) and the coop play.   Looks like I'll be downloading the demo tonight and see if its something worth buying.  Thanks for all the opinions folks.
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Lord Percy
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« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2004, 01:51:04 PM »

I loved the game, although I didn't bother with the RTS bits much. The enemy doesn't start attacking you or producing units until you claim a monument, so I just sent my guy at the enemy camps by himself to try and clear out as much as possible. More often than not he ended up clearing the whole map by himself. *shrug*
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Koz
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« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2004, 02:43:05 PM »

I really liked the game as well. It doesn't have replayability, but the game is so freakin long that I was in no rush to go back into it once I finally beat it. And when you do beat it, it feels like you accomplished an epic story, which I liked.

The story isn't wonderful but I really liked the setting and the individual maps are very nicely done.

I thought the hybrid was also well done. I'm not a hardcore RTS player, so the "warcraft lite" aspect of it was very welcome for me. Added to this a very customizable main character, and I think you get the best of both worlds.

I would definitely recommend it (haven't played the expansion though), and since LE doesn't like it, then it should only reinforce your desire to get it.
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Gorath
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« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2004, 02:38:22 AM »

Koz, while I also didn´t play the add-ons I couldn´t avoid to read many reviews. There´s nothing to worry. Both Breath of Winter and Shadow of the Phoenix are MOTS plus a few enhancements. Improved MP - okay, there was a lot to improve slywink - and a "pseudo skirmish mode" which lets you play every map of the game with a certain choice of options. Real skirmish was not possible because the whole game is scripted.


Sharpshooter, SpellForce was a forum favourite at GG. There were some controversial discussions about the game. Quite a few people considered it their GOTY, others thought it´s just another RTS.

I doubt the demos can really show you what the game is about. Just read the descirption below and you´ll understand that it´s impossible to pack all this in a demo.


The developer Phenomic wanted to create a new genre: RPS - RolePlaying Strategy. Their aim was to blend RPG, RTS and base building together seamlessly. And that what they did, SF is one third of each.

The RPG part is the anchor. You explore the map alone or with a small party of summoned heroes (-> hero monuments). When you´ve found a race monument you have the option to build a base with the set of units and buildings of this race which you currently know about.
Enemies start spawning when you active a race monument! The critical question is: can you do it alone or do you need an army? If you decide that you can´t do it without an army you activate the monument and start building things ....


Game length:
SpellForce is beyond the point where replayablity matters. The campaign is easily 100 hours for the average player. I´m at 120 hours and I´m only 80% through. The add-on is another 40+ hours.

Bugs:
I played ~v1.05 and had only one serious bug - which I only ran into because I hesitated to install the next patch which fixed it. Now it´s at least at v1.35. I bet it´s nearly bug free and rock stable.

Graphics:
Gr. were excellent one year ago. You can zoom in with the mouse wheel until you look over the hero´s shoulder. Likes DX9 cards and fast CPUs.
Uses the Aquanox 2 engine.
Especially this over the shoulder view (with your party/army ordered to automatically follow you) is _highly recommended_. Learn it and use it as often as possible.



Sound:
Nothing to complain.

Music:
Superb. It was chosen by a famous Japanese conductor to be performed live by a big orchestra at last year´s Games Convention, along Final Fantasy and other classics.

Controls:
Two options:
-standard RTS: works.
-the new "click 'n' fight controls": Takes some time but they´re highly efficient. very good job. Impossible to fully understand in a demo.
You switch to the targets with TAB, then the game shows who can do what to it and how far he is away.


Game Pace:
Usually rather unhurried. No frantic click fest. There are a few exceptions of course.

Map length:
~5 hours on average.

Map design:
Usually very good.

Combat:
"organized chaos". You only have a limited influence on your army. "hold ground", several different attack options, building mixed groups - that´s about it.

RPG:
Think your typical action-RPG.

Base building:
3 light races, 3 dark races. Both can be on the same map - and they hate each other. ~6 resources, limited to certain races.
I would have prefered a less complex model.


Negative points:
-craptastic voice acting
-waaaaaaaalking; somewhat compensated for by 100% reliable path finding. Just click on the target and do character management while your guys walk over half the map.
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Sharpshooter
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« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2004, 11:45:36 PM »

Thanks for write up Gorath.  Between your review and playing the demo, I've decided to give this one a shot.   Hopefully I'll have some time next week.
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