TITLE: “Heroes of Warspire”
DEVELOPER: Silverlode Interactive
PLATFORM: Microsoft Windows and MAC.
RATING: Rating Pending.
STATUS: Open Beta
Not too long ago I received an invitation to participate in the Closed Alpha for Silverlode Interactive’s next major MMORTS, most likely because I also had participated in the Closed Beta for “Saga” back in 2007. It had been some time since I had played “Saga,” so I was curious to see what this latest title had in store for the players.
I’d first like to say that “Saga” was, and still is, a fun and entertaining game to play. It presents its players with a high-fantasy world to enjoy, the fun of building up their own city-state, and fairly realistic (despite the fantasy setting) combat, both player-vs-player and against the computer. The game was free-to-play and driven by microtransactions, but this was done in a way that made sense. Essentially, you spent real-life money on “booster packs” that added various units to your standing “deck.” Essentially, this made the game like a virtual trading-card experience.
In many ways, “Heroes of Warspire” is a true successor to “Saga.” The game features vastly improved graphics, fleshed-out controls, a great sound-track, and very solid gameplay. Yet, the main difference that people who play “Heroes of Warspire” will notice is that the game has shied away from the single-player campaign (or cooperative gameplay) and instead has become one focused on individual PvP matches. Gone is the individual city-state system and your ability to manage them in the style of the Sim City games, and gone are the individual missions you could do in order to level up and gain more territory. Instead, your nation boils down to the army that you lead in each round, and success in each battle raises your rating.
This, of course, makes the game not all that different from “League of Legends.”
The game presently reminds me of a slightly watered-down version of “Age of Empires.” In each round, you are given your own keep to defend and from there you use your resources, and those you gain by exploring and combat, to build things to help you achieve victory. This is an oversimplification, of course, but that is essentially what the game boils down to.
Yet, there is one thing that completely sets the game apart from “Saga:” The game is totally run on distant servers through the use of the Unity3D plug-in. Thus, it is yet another game to use cloud-computing to bring high-resolution gaming to systems of all types. Is this destined to be the future? Only time will tell, but if companies keep putting out games with this level of graphics and low-demand on your system then it seems a possibility.
Now, “Heroes of Warspire” is in Open Beta, and what you see is likely going to be very close to the final version. In fact, they are confident enough in their product to have already opened the online store, which you can use to exchange real-life money for additional troops, spells, etc. to use in your battles.
So, will “Heroes of Warspire” be worth your time? That’s hard to say. If you are looking for a game that is totally like the first “Saga,” then the game might not be for you. Yet, if what you enjoyed from the original game was the combat elements, and particularly the PvP, then this might be the game for you.