Pleasant Surprise(s)

Sometimes the answer is sitting there on your shelf collecting dust.

I decided to reinstall SpellForce the other day. This is a title I’ve not spoken about here on Moggie @ WordPress before because I’ve had it about six years, I’ve not actually started the main campaign until now, and I didn’t even know if it would work on Windows 7 or Windows 10 to begin with. The last time I installed it I was back on Windows XP with my old machine. Which, I might add, was an underhanded marketing strategy on Microsoft’s behalf- there were no experience points in Windows XP at all!

It does work, though. Oddly enough it works without much tweaking besides setting administrator privileges for it.

SpellForce comes as quite a surprise. I wasn’t really expecting what was waiting for me when I roughly planned out the new character for the main campaign. The way you build your avatar- and the freedom you have over it- is quite unique for a title of this nature. Equally, how they develop later in the game as they begin to accrue precious levels is also quite interesting. I started a two handed weapon fighter who was primarily going to just hit things and be hit in return. I was expecting, as experience has suggested, that he would likely continue down the road of improving damage or defences or resistances.

However, on gaining his very first level there were so many more options I could choose. Such as taking healing magic to heal himself and allies. Or branching out into buffing capabilities. Which is odd considering you’re never usually afforded that kind of flexibility, freedom, or unique development when you play an RTS (in my experience).

Stationed on either side of the settlement is a few soldiers to protect the main road(s).

Stationed on either side of the settlement is a few soldiers to protect the main road(s).

Building armies and settlements is handled rather interestingly, too. You can summon additional heroes via runes that you find/earn throughout the course of the game, who, if I’m not mistaken, can take advantage of equipment and other goodies you have in your inventory. Which is another thing that’s pretty surprising- the inventory. It feels a little like an ARPG with requirements on equipment but a lot of freedom in what you use, who uses it, and whether it’s worth keeping. I’m not sure if the maps in the campaign flow and you’re going to summon a whole host of heroes and have a permanent core group with minor units changing. Or whether you’re going to maintain the same list of equipment or what have you between maps.

Still, whichever way it progresses, it’s still a rather welcome surprise to find something so interesting after installing it on a whim.

I also decided to pick up Sacred 2 in a sale recently. This is a title I’ve spoken about a few times here and it’s one that I purchased with much hesitation as I have read of many issues regarding it, which, according to most, require the community patch to fix. However, it was quite cheap so I took a gamble. So far it’s working and it has actually managed to impress me even with as little as the character creation screen. There are a lot of options, choices, and classes to choose from. The new systems enhance these choices to give quite a strange but welcome experience.

Admittedly it’s still early days (and the camera has thrown me off a little) but I am enjoying it. It definitely feels like an improvement on the first in the series with the same open world, exploration heavy, getting lost for three hours at a time vibe.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

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