After buying Heroes of Might and Magic 5: Gold Edition somewhere in August 2007, I have finally just finished it! Yes, the game lasted me 8 months! I grant you it’s 3 games in one (Heroes of Might and Magic V, Hammers of Fate Expansion Pack & Tribes of the East Expansion Pack) but you can’t beat it in value for money. It did last 8 months.
Even without the value for money, HOMMV is still a good game, especially if you like strategy games. Anyone who had play the earlier Might and Magic games will know what to expect. Gameplay hasn’t change much, meaning it’s as addictive as ever. Remember a game when you just had to have "one last turn”, followed by another "one last turn”…HOMMV is one of those games.
However there are differences. The greatest difference from all the previous HOMM games is the graphics, this time in 3d. The graphics are impressive with some solid environments. Also when you switch to the tactical map during a battle, the tactical map will take into account the location of the main map. Once I met an enemy along a cliff, and ho-and-behold the tactical map showed a long drop-off at the side. Compare to the older games, this is a breakthrough.
Another difference is a story. Might and Magic games had always treated the story as nothing but background, but that’s not the case here. Yes, the campaigns actually make sense now. Not only that, there is an epic feel to it. The story is about a demon invasion and it go through the 3 games. Heroes show up at various points of the 3 games to move the story along. There is victory, loss, betrayal, double-cross and everything in between. One thing I do like is that you play the main campaign through the various characters. You get to play the hero, the villain, the mad and the conflicted at various points and most of the characters are pretty memorable.
However, it’s not a perfect game. Get ready for massive cheating by the AI. The sheer troops and resources it has can get pretty ridiculous at times. At the very last map of each game, the enemy hero is a super cheater. Your special abilities all but disappeared while theirs come out most of the time. Also be ready to be outnumbered 2, 3 to 1 at times. However, most players of the old HOMM games will know this as well. It’s not really new.
HOMMV is a solid, long, old-fashion game. Pick it up for an enjoyable time.