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This review was submitted by Felix Hong. If you’ve played Disciples III: Renaissance, or just want to ask Felix more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Disciples III: Renaissance (PC)
The last we saw of the Disciples series was back in 2003, with the 'Rise of the Elves' expansions being released for the second game. It’s now 2010, and Disciples III: Renaissance is attempting to prove that the series has been ‘reborn.’ Much alike the previous two games, Disciples III’s gameplay consist of conquering lands to gather resources that you’d use to build up your capital. Certain structures will upgrade your units, whilst the Magic Tower will enable you to learn spells that can put you in an advantage. You can select from four leaders (warrior, magical, ranged and thief) and from a range of party members, who will carry out your bidding.
New battle system (instead of the old static one): Disciples III now allows units to move around on the battlefield, where they can get up close to an enemy to launch a sword swing, or to run as far away as possible and snipe an arrow. Specific tiles can also increase the attack of certain units, thus Disciples III does require a brand new tactical mindset that we haven’t seen before in the series.
Units: All units in Disciples III are quite detailed, with a great range of complex branches you can select from when it comes time to improve them. For instance, you can choose between a Knight or Witch Hunter once your Squire has levelled up, which then lead on to other branches, leaving quite a good amount of replayability for players - who can explore all branches, and mix and match with other party members.
Graphics: Although not groundbreaking, the graphics are quite sound, with all units drawn in a nice, nostalgic, old-style Gothic fashion.
New material? Meaning ‘rebirth’ in French, the Renaissance was about radical change and thinking. None of this exists in Disciples III. All the units, buildings and spells are identical to their Disciples II counterparts - save the graphics, and minor tweaks. Not only that, but only three races are playable (as opposed to Disciples II’s four) – and of the three races, nothing about them has changed at all since Disciples II!
Modes? Disciples III has no online multiplayer mode, nor does it have a map editor. What makes this worse, is that there are less than ten maps outside of the campaign, meaning that there’s not a lot of options if you’re just looking for a typical free/skirmish game.
Bugs and glitches: Quite a lot – such as the witch, who inflicts damage an entire party, when she’s only meant to be capable of targeting a single enemy.
Although Disciples III clearly does have some alarming shortcomings, the game is still worthwhile, as it does revive the old single-player fantasy–strategy, nostalgic charm that a lot of us were familiar with a decade ago.
Reviewed by: Felix Hong
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