While I didn’t get into the SpellForce series until the sequel was released, it’s amazing the games are still going strong after its debut in 2003. While the latest entry has been on PC since 2017, console players can finally get their RPG RTS fix with SpellForce III: Reforced. It takes some getting used to using a controller, but it’s nothing but spell flinging fun after that.
Once you’ve played through a tutorial stage (which I highly recommend doing) and getting used to the controls being mapped to your controller, figuring out what button and command does what and so on, you’ll be on your way to the campaign. Taking place a few hundred years before the original title, it’s up to you and a small band of heroes to lead your army to one victory after another as you try to figure out who is behind a deadly plague following the mage war that’s killing everyone who isn’t a mage.
I was sent a PlayStation 5 review code, and the game looks and sounds amazing as though being played on a high-end PC with shiny, beautiful 4K visuals, a buttery smooth framerate even when there’s a ton of chaos on screen, awesome fantasy music, and great voice acting from famed actors such as Doug Cockle aka Geralt from The Witcher game series.
Everything you could want for a RPG RTS is here, from building your base and structures, to gathering resources to make and upgrade them, to leveling up your heroes and granting them new skills and abilities via a skill tree and more.
Once you’re done with the campaign or just want to do something different, there’s Journey Mode where you get to make your own original character and use assets from any of the races and classes to do so. From there you can pick up contracts to complete that will put your RTS skills to the test and make your hero and army stronger.
Then there’s Skirmish Mode where you can take your journey mode hero online and play against other players, much like the StarCraft and Age of Empires series. Needless to say most who play will find themselves coming back to these modes to get the most life from this title, though there are two DLC campaigns running at about 20 hours each that you can purchase should you want more single player action.
If you love RPG RTS titles and have always wanted to play them on your console, then SpellForce 3: Reforced is your best bet to get your fix. It looks and sounds great, plays just as good once you’re used to the controls and actions, and has plenty of replay value with extra modes and DLC to keep the force strong with your spells.