The high-definition remaster of Heroes of Might & Magic III was released a few days ago, updating the much beloved classic for modern systems. Unfortunately, it's an average product and has copped a lambasting from fans, with a little over half of the Steam reviews being positive. There's another option though, one that's been available for a while, if you want to enjoy HoMM III in impressive detail: grab the original and apply the HD mod.
If you're keen for some multiplayer action, then the Steam version does have something going for it -- integration with Valve's online services. However, if you're willing to get your hands a smidge dirty and you want to play solo (or use the original's multiplayer capabilities), then modding is the way to go.
The first step is to get the game. The "Complete" edition is available on GOG for a paltry $13 (Australian dollars) and includes the Armageddon's Blade and The Shadow of Death expansions. I should note the HD mod isn't compatible with Armageddon's Blade, but that's not so bad -- the Steam version has no expansions at all and costs $US16.95.
Once you have HoMM III, waltz on over to the HD mod's page on Google Sites and hit that download button. The 10MB unofficial patch, once applied, will add the following features:
- 800x600 original game still works as it should after HoMM 3 HD installation (no need to make any copy for backup)
- HoMM 3 HD changes game resolution to any from 800x600 to 4000x4000
- Adds 32-bit color mode support (read more...)
- Extends the functionality of the standard windows and control elements in the game (read more...)
- Adds new functionality for tournament play (read more...)
- Fixes some original bugs (non-gameplay bugs..., gameplay bugs (HD+)...)
- Detects and automatically fixes map errors which occurs during playing the game (read more...)
- Reduces CPU Load
- Uses newer versions of libraries Mss32.dll and Mp3dec.asi (that prevents frequent game crashes on some PCs)
- Plays music in the game in 44 kHz stereo instead of the original 22 kHz mono
- Plays sounds in the game in a parallel thread (that speed up game actions)
- You can turn off most of the HoMM 3 HD features using HD3_Launcher.exe utility
And here are some screenshots:
The mod is also still being updated (well, at the very least attended to recently) with the last modifications made in November last year.
Heroes of Might & Magic III HD [Official site]