Znork's Heroes VI Preview

I was invited by Ubi to go to Budapest and test the press teaser version the last weekend of January.

What I got to play I would say was a pre beta version of the game and it was just to get a feel for what they where trying to do. So we have to remember that this was for tired press people who are not hardcore fans who have beta tested a lot of games.

In my opinion, I feel that the game has a lot of promise. I believe that some of the things they have changed are very good and makes the game better. But there are also some issues that worried me. But all these things set aside I had fun playing the game in the 3 hours I played - it was just gone to fast. And in itself I belive that sums up what is most important in any game. So yeah I had fun playing the game - I truly enjoyed it. But there is a long way to go before we have a finished game. So there are still lots of things we can change.

The good stuff then:

I liked the story outline they have made for this game. It's credible and it keeps to all the other stories in Ashan. I also liked that there was only 1 rescouce; it worked well while playing the game. There are som really awesome creature graphics in the game - the attack, the movement and so on. The maps are stunning; you have seen the screenshots already, but when playing the game you truly feel it. Other good news is that you can choose which race's campaign you would like to play, and you play them until they are finished.

There were a lot of things that concerned me too. The gameplay was too slow - its maps must be a lot faster, it just takes too long and there is to much to do and to little movement speed. I believe that this has something to do with the fact that the heroes just see to much of the map. There is also a big issue with the level up; I did get the feeling of my hero becoming stronger. This might have to do with the complicated skill system. There were just too many choices and aspects to think about. This should be cleaned up and simplified. The user interface also had some problems; they where not user friendly enough. I think this will improve becuse it was in large part unfinished.

We also got to see the cutscenes for the first map, although they were not finished. What we saw had a better quality than in H5, but it's not Blizzard quality either.

New things that the Ubi people were very proud over (but I'm not really sure how important this will be) is the introduction of two different moral ways. The way of the the Blood and they way of the Tear. If you follow the way of the Blood you are more aggressive. You will use force to solve problems and you will attack fleeing creatures and so on. If you follow the way of the Tear, you like to heal, you like to buff the creatures and so on. These choices will lead to your hero changing and getting different skill sets. And will also lead to a different map that ends the whole campaign.

There will be castles and there will be forts. Forts will control the area around it. You can take the mine but when your hero leaves, it will go back to the owner of the fort. So you need to control the fort to control the mines and the other buildings.

So will this game be better than HoMM 3? That it will not. Because now it's fighting against a memory of what that game was. It's like a good childhood memory. And H6 will not be able to compete with the icon which is Heroes 3. I always said H5 should be judged on its own merits and so should Heroes 6. Heroes 6 will be different becuse there is a lot of new stuff in it. My hope is that with the feedback we have given Black hole, and with Ubis deep pockets, we might be on to something. So to end this post - this might be good, people.

Playtesting 28.01.11, 12:30-18:00