All Features


  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One


Heroes Chronicles: Clash of the Dragons

Score: 70%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: 3DO
Developer: New World Computing
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Turn-Based Strategy

Graphics & Sound:

Unsurprisingly, Heroes Chronicles: Clash of the Dragons looks just like the previous titles in the Chronicles series. The map design isn't as amusing as Masters of the Elements was, but it's certainly not an ugly game. The maps are back to having lots of pretty 'clutter', which is nice. When you have a 2D graphics engine like the Heroes III engine, you've got to do something to make your stuff stand out when it's been used as much as it has. And, while the maps in Clash aren't the best looking, they certainly look nice enough.

The rest of the game, with the exception of a few unit types you may have never seen before, looks just like every other Heroes III-based title. Interface, units, everything looks just the same. I've always liked the look, and to be honest I'm not sure how much it can be improved on, but I'm sure there's something that can be done to make it more interesting.

As for sound, don't expect anything new. The music and sounds should be familiar to anyone who's played previous games in the series, and the minimal voice-acting is the only real difference you'll note. If 3DO uses the same music in the next Heroes game, I'm going to crack some heads -- as good as it may be, there's only so many times you can listen to it before you get downright sick of it.


And there's only so many times you can play the same game before you get irritated. Going from being a wizard to being a member of the 'fantastic' types (elves, dwarves, pegasi), Tarnum is out to see just what made the good dragons in the world turn e-vil. Along the way, he'll encounter the same challenges that he faced in the previous 3 (or five, depending on if you count the freebie Chronicles) adventures, with nary a real improvement in sight.

For some reason, though, I found myself interested in the story of Clash more than any of the previous Chronicles games. It seemed a little more personal, as Tarnum lived with the Elves for years before embarking on the quest rather than being thrown into the situation because of the Ancestors. There's less of the 'I hate being on this quest' angst than in any of the previous Chronicles titles (well, with the exception of the first), and it makes for decidedly better reading.

Aside from that, however, you'll be meandering Tarnum and his compadres around the maps doing the same things that we've been doing with him for ages now. Fighting enemies, building armies, and keeping areas secure has become something of a rote measure for me, and a few inventive map ideas don't save this game. I love Heroes III, mind you, but passing off a few maps as an entirely new game just doesn't cut it in my book. And with none of the added functionality of the true Heroes titles, you'll be putting this one down a lot faster than the rest.


For whatever reason, I found a few of the maps in Clash of the Dragons more challenging than most of the others in the Heroes series. Perhaps apathy had set in, and I wasn't playing at my best. Perhaps the triviality of the first map or so made me soft. Whatever it was, I actually had a tough time with a few of the situations in Clash. That's not to say that it's unbeatable. Perseverence will get you through, as always, and certainly easier than some of the absolutely hellacious situations that Heroes III threw you into.

Game Mechanics:

Vive le revolution! Or not, as the case may be. This is a stripped-down Heroes III, folks, with all of that game's quirks and not enough of that game's solid variety. You'll be right at home if you've ever played any of the other Chronicles or Heroes titles, and those new to the system shouldn't have too tough of a time with the built-in Tutorial. Of course, any self-respecting strategy gamer should have been playing the Heroes games since they were called King's Bounty, but that's completely irrelevant.

What isn't irrelevant is that Heroes Chronicles: Clash of the Dragons is yet another overpriced and underpowered attempt to cash in on the Heroes III engine. Veteran gamers will finish it quickly, and non-veterans would do just as well with Heroes III Complete, which offers infinitely more gameplay with only a slight mark-up. When all of the Chronicles games get bundled together (perhaps with a few extra scenarios) as an entire time, it'll be worth a gander, but as it is only the absolute hardcore Heroes folk need to pick Clash up.

-Sunfall to-Ennien, GameVortex Communications
AKA Phil Bordelon

Minimum System Requirements:

Win9x/NT4, P133, 230MB HD Space, 32MB RAM, 4x CD-ROM, Sound Card, Keyboard, Mouse

Test System:

Athlon 1.1GHz running Win98 SE, 512MB RAM, GeForce 2 GTS w/ 32MB RAM, SoundBlaster Live!, 8x DVD-ROM

Windows Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Windows Heroes Chronicles: Masters of the Elements

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated