The Round Table Proposal

Part 4: The Heroes V Artwork (part 1)
by Angelspit

The discussion about the Heroes of Might and Magic V artwork released last December dealt with the gender of angels, mythology, technological advance in fantasy, creatures upgrades and anime. Heroes players are serious about the look of their game, and they have the knowledge to back it up. As shown in the poll below, which covered the first five pieces of artwork only, the creatures easily got most of the attention of the fans:

Which piece of artwork is your favorite?

Answer Votes Percentage
Archangel 33  31.4%
Archer 29  27.6%
Cavalier 19  18.1%
City 23  21.9%
Map Building 1  1.0%

Instead of trying to summarize everything that has been said, I will let the fans speak by themselves. Below are the most interesting quotes from the forums. I decided to stick to the first impressions mostly, and left the nitpicking, the theological debates and the off-topic discussions out. Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

The Coastal City

  • If that's a town, i'm very interested in how they will use this in game. Can't wait to see the other images. (Sisko)
  • The shear number of individual structures visible in the drawing suggests to me that this is more than a mere barricade. (Helcaraxe)
  • It's hard to imagine that this would be a town design, because building such a thing would be an engineering marvel of the highest order. A bunch of settlers don't just find a likely spot and decide to throw a dam up! (PeteusMax)
  • It cannot be a town. At least not fully upgraded. Come on, if it is a town, it must only be a part of it, without dwellings etc. I believe it is a kind of quest guard. (Pitsu)
  • Lots of interesting details and that -- european maybe? -- feeling, looks charged of history, of the wishes of many governors that were trying to make their town shine amongst the other. It's position, in the middle of a great river or a sea pass, brings up the intriguing part on how towns in general will be and were they will be placed... (Dragon Angel)
  • It would be great to have some towns we could put in different places, like over water, between moutains, or with a built-in garrison (Shadow Hydra)
  • Imagine this great drawning rendered for a 3D Heros game. (Fidanas)
  • Taking a closer look at the bridge like structure it appears to possibly be a gate into a castle. The mechanical contraption to the side might be a device to raise and lower the gate. I think this could be very cool. (Bacchus Tydral)
  • I'd love to have more action on the water and if this is a type of water town, there'd be a real reason to have your heroes hop into a boat. (Erica Marceau)
  • We must go back to the ‘living’ animating cities of Heroes 1 where people walk, talk & everything moves, and not just do a bunch of dead boring buildings with smoke coming out like in Heroes 4. Seeing those flying birds and moving ships in your concept art gives me hope... (Blake)
  • It looks just like the picture of the south/north gate from the final fantasy ix art book, page 95. I don't know if that was intentional or not. (Dragon Lady, former NWC artist)

The City on a Hill

  • Looks like one from lords of the rings. (White Wizard)
  • I'm especially intrested in the peak to the far right surrounded by flyers... Dragons? Griffens? Thunderbirds? This one painting suggests several various dwellings, not just the castle. (ScarlettP)
  • It seems we have here the 'knight' castle - so the bridgie town could be the 'mage' one... or perhaps that points we'll get to see different factions from the used ones. The pictures look much more Disney than Anime for me. (Dragon Angel)

The Archangel

  • Perhaps I am a bit prejudiced because I loved the Archangels in both H3 and H4, and this is quite different, but it doesn't strike me as something very powerful, but rather leaves a feeling of awkwardness. I think it has something evil about it, too... (Dragon Ranger)
  • Why is Angel hiding his/her eyes? Where is the power of Ultimate Life warrior? Sorry, it's no Heroes. (Dalai)
  • The style looks like the usual anime (everything is overdone. I mean, who can walk with at least 50 kg of metal strapped to your shoulders). In HoMM, they always tried to make things look as naturally acceptable as possible. (Marelt Ekiran)
  • The angel looks incredible, but fits more into Disciples than Heroes. (Bacchus Tydral)
  • I don't think those colours are the best either. Blue and white worked very well in previous HOMM games, and red and white too. (Vitirr)
  • The dress, the cape, the wings, the gloves, the sword and especially the Halo and the golden Armor are unbelievable. (Svetac)
  • While the proportions of its hand needs to be fixed, it finally looks to be angelic and the design of the sword is fantastic. I dislike units being upgraded into the opposite gender so I'd hate if this is a female angel and she was upgraded into a male angel or vice-versa. (Erica Marceau)
  • To make the AAs some divine muscular hunks is not a bad idea at all but...isn that already done before? Twice? Try something for a change. (Lichie Lich)
  • Has anyone noticed that the angel is left-handed? (Lord Haart)
  • She looks unbalanced, with all the armor at the top and a long, feminine skirt on the bottom. It's all about proportion, really. If I were going into battle, I would want armor and a kick-ass sword, too, but not so much armor that I couldn't move around, or so big a sword that I couldn't lift the thing. (Vaudy)
  • If the Archangel is to be Jewish (which may not necessarily be a wise decision, since, to my knowledge, none of the Abrahamic religions per se exist in Enroth, Antagarich, Jadame, or Axeoth), then it must be male, because the Angels of Biblical mythology are not the fair, golden-haired maidens that we are used to in popular culture. Rather, they are buff, powerful men. (Xenophanes)
  • As a cartoon, this archangel looks like a bellaminette from bellamy to me (Cyll)
  • I took the picture to my wife, who has hundreds if not thousands of anime and manga titles in her library, on her computer, on video, on dvd, etc. She took one look and said, "That's not anime." (Bandobras Took)

The Cavalier

  • I think that the cavalier looks as if he wrapped his tie around his head. (Marelt Ekiran)
  • That [picture] makes me think about a barbarian that have stolen a horse from a jousting tournament... I would like the Cavalier/champion to have lots of armor. An armoured head with an armor mask for the horse. (Campaigner)
  • Really cool with the details (the hair) and I also like how it is yellow, really seems to represent the good side of things. (Echo)
  • The cavalier is really great, but doesn't his spear look somehow wooden? He could also wear more armor and take that ninja-like thing off his head. (OLoRiN)
  • Maybe the guy's just practicing? (Erica Marceau)
  • The color combination, that someone have opposed to, it's fantastic for me, I'm tired of bluish knights, black-yellow it's a welcome change. (Dragon Angel)
  • I'm inclined to think that this represents a Knight Errant rather than a full-blown Knight (hence the lack of a helmet). The colors are nice, and the proportions are suitable. Nice... very nice... (Lwaren)

The Map Building

  • The other building doesn't really look very good. I know it's just an early concept art, (and maybe this can look good in the real game engine), but here it just look too simple and colours too... pale?. (Vitirr)
  • The smoke is cool. I also hope that the whole thing is going to move. (OLoRiN)
  • The mechanical building looks as if it doubles as a store and a factory and I think it's great since it can be so many different kinds of store. The big mechanical wheel is great. (Erica Marceau)
  • I am proudly in the camp of people who want to see a liiiittle steam-powered machinery in Heroes V. I approve of this building. (Lwaren)

The Archer

  • The artists clearly have great knowledge on armors and weaponry. (Svetac)
  • He has a chainmail or splintmail armor which is perfect. The only platemail is the knee pads which I don't think is a necessity. I don't agree that they should have crossbows instead of bows. If he's an archer then he uses a bow. (Radwar)
  • I don't really give a rip about longbow versus crossbow. It all depends on the context. If the storyline includes some sort of breakdown of civilization, then it would make sense that some of the more technologically sophisticated weapons would be "forgotten." (Vaudy)
  • Look at his feet and hands, They are huge. It wouldent suprise me at all if it was the same person that drawn [the Archangel]. (Olorin)
  • With the big bow and those big arrows the desing reminds me of the famous brittish longbowmen. Simply breathtaking. (Kole)

The Mine

  • It looks really nice, almost as if the cart is meant to be tipped over and the contents dropped into the water or maybe that device is used to put the rocks into the cart and the handles used to pull it away. Whatever the use, it's a very interesting device and it definitely has an air of Dwarvish about it. (Erica Marceau)
  • The only thing I don't like is the pond looks too small compared with the rest of the drawing. (Dragon Angel)


  • It seems that it's not Hoeroes style but I think that developers shouldn't copy New World Computing and make their own look of the game. (Valerdos)
  • None of the pics posted are Manga. Manga is adult anime. I don't feel any of the pictures are anime looking anyway. Just because it has a cartoon feel to it doesn't make it anime. (Bacchus Tydral)
  • This might seem somewhat un-American, but I am far more interested in content, story, variety and quality of game play than the "look" of the new version. Substance first. (Gurney)
  • And if this game lives up to the quality of the games that Ubi Soft has been releasing this past year, I say were all in for a big surprise when this comes out... (ShPhoenix)
  • NWC, where for art thou? (Ryder)
  • UbiSoft should be trying to maintain the elements that made Heroes so successful in the past, as well as adding exciting new things that are in keeping with the existing series. For people who have never experienced the existing Heroes games to come along and design new artwork/gameplay/music/whatever for the next in the series is a recipe for disaster. (Richard Hallas)
  • What I like most about the artwork is the simplicity. Fewer details but great skill - still. Whereas HeroesIV was a thousand details and colours everywhere. (Holger)
  • It nicely hybridizes western mythological and historical themes with a style that is slightly anime inspired. very contemporary! (Hambone)
  • I would like to see some evil creatures too. Can't wait to see some ghosts, skeletons, and dragons of course! (Vortex)
  • In general, one of the things that always attracted me to the HoMM games was the bright, saturated colors. Gave me the feeling of playing with some bright new toy. (gmknobl)
  • I absolutely cannot stand Anime or Manga. But I'm loving this artwork. (Bandobras Took)
  • If they can make 40+ creatures of this quality, i'll be overwhelmed with joy and humbleness. Love them and... yeah i have put one of them as my desktop image. (Fantasizzlin)
  • LOTR LOTR LOTR! (Emperor Yohon)
  • Actually, what Ubisoft's art team is trying to do is create an atmosphere that Eastern, Western, male, and female minds can relate to; they accomplish this by incorporating certain styles (in this case, anime and Disney) and certain genders (female angel). (Hero the Sandwich)  

I wish to thank all Round Table members who joined the discussion. Look for more artwork by the time the game is officially announced.