When I review games, movies, or books, I try not to get carried away by nostalgia. After all, it can influence our feelings quite strongly and improve the experience of even fairly average works. Launching Songs of Conquest, it’s hard not to shed a symbolic tear of emotion, because it’s a production that perfectly recreates the magic of the cult series Heroes of Might and Magic. Not only does it match the legendary original, but it also surpasses it in some respects.
Magic at its best
Already after launch songs of conquest I knew I was home. This amazing music is a deliciously kitsch background menu in the atmosphere of classic fantasy, several campaigns, the possibility of multiplayer games with a single computer, map editor! The first production from the Lavapotion studio screams straight to the screen that this is a game made for everyone who fell in love with “Hirołs” years ago.
Nevertheless songs of conquest it doesn’t just refer to the aforementioned nostalgia. This is clearly a fan made piece Herobut designed wisely. I wouldn’t call it bad copy – rather it turns out to be a title that respects its “ancestor” and isn’t afraid of interesting and fresh solutions.
During the game, we promote our trustees several times.
At the moment, this production provides the opportunity to launch two campaigns – the Arleon and Wound series of missions. The first of these factions is a human kingdom, whose forces consist of many knights, archers, and allied mythical creatures. The second is a specific race of reptilian tribes inhabiting inhospitable swamps. There are also two other factions in the game: Barony Loth, which will appeal to fans of necromancy, and Baria, a country based on wealth and gun power.
Each faction has its own strengths and weaknesses. They all differ decisively and focus on a different style of play. Gameplay is also influenced by heroes (called “confidants” here), who have a variety of skills. Some are better at magic, others are good at commanding huge armies. Thanks to this, I already know that in the future, players will surpass themselves by coming up with unique and often absurd strategies, as was the case with the iconic Heroes 3.
The graphic design of Songs of Conquest is beautiful and it looks better in motion.
The campaign itself is a nice set of missions that introduce you to the basics of the game. The plot isn’t extremely high level, but it has a really charming atmosphere of a typical fantasy, in which the frontier between good and evil is as wide as the Grand Canyon. You don’t have to rely on moral dilemmas or hard choices here, but you’ll get a satisfying introduction to a larger adventure. This one will likely get a boost after the game premieres.
The soundtrack definitely deserves special attention. It’s been a long time since I played a production with such an awesome soundtrack. The music that plays on the menu and during gameplay is simply a masterpiece. The individual pieces perfectly emphasize the heroic mood, occasional darkness and mystery of the colorful fantasy world. I rarely listen to soundtracks for sheer enjoyment, but this one pops up on my playlists almost every day as part of my regular daily activities. If you also want to read it – many songs can be found on the official channel SoCs on Youtube.
Surprises at every turn
Playability w songs of conquest at first glance, it looks very familiar. During individual missions and skirmishes, one lands on a vast map filled with treasures. At each step, we come across a chest, an obelisk, a temple, an observation tower or even a pile of resources. The game constantly encourages exploration, as while straying off the beaten path, you can find plenty of valuable items.
Of course, we move between them in a turn-based system, guided by a confidant who is accompanied by a whole army of units. We develop the hero regularly, choosing from a long list of skills. Some of them increase our command abilities, others affect unit stats, and others allow us to unlock powerful spells. Trustees also have equipment. During the game, we regularly have to choose between various magic items, swords, armor and other clothes.
In clashes, we will often use many effective spells.
We are expanding our army in the castles along the way. Here, however, the first big difference appears, compared to the one mentioned several times Heroes of Might and Magic. Cities vary in size, for example. Some centers are just small settlements with at most three building slots. Others, on the other hand, are huge fortresses that can be fortified with walls and densely built with barracks, markets, or special items.
Important choices have to be made all the time. Individual buildings have different requirements. Some will only be erected on large construction sites, while others will require additional infrastructure. We can also build resource-generating facilities in cities. The development of settlements is therefore much more complex than in “Hirołsy”. There is no correct expansion scheme here. Instead, we can play and test many combinations that guarantee the recruitment of other units.
Songs of Conquest maps are dotted with treasures and special items.
Buying them also works differently than you might expect. In songs of conquest no need to wait for monday. New units become available each turn, but in much smaller numbers. The approach to recruitment is therefore changing. The day of the week is not an easy indicator of when we should return to town. In fact, there is no timeline at all in Lavapotion’s game.
I have the heights
Many changes have also taken place in skirmishes with the enemies themselves. The fights continue in small arenas divided into hexagons known from the past, but they are not as empty as before. The battlefield is full of obstacles, small ponds and makeshift fortifications. However, the topography seems to be the most important. Units in superior position have better stats than soldiers in difficult position. The appropriate distribution of our forces can therefore decide victory or defeat. Thanks to this, the numerical advantage does not always translate into a certain victory.
The units themselves (in their upgraded version) are equipped with special skills that add complexity to battles. Can be used during your turn instead of normal attacks. Some of them are able to boost allies’ stats, and others, like sappers armed with crossbows, build a palisade limiting enemy movement. Thanks to this, we have even more options when conducting battles.
As befits the heir to Heroes, the game allows for single-screen multiplayer sessions.
Magic also works in a specific way. Our administrators can cast spells and use special skills, but they don’t use traditional mana resources. Instead, they have essence that they accumulate in battle. Each action performed generates a certain amount of this resource. This forces you to plan your trips in advance. You can refrain from using the skill to charge the essence and cast the most powerful spells over time. It is also possible to activate a whole bunch of skills that require much less expenditure of the local equivalent of mana.
Overall, the combat turns out to be much more satisfying and addictive. I rarely used the option to quickly resolve skirmishes. Even the little clashes were so interesting that I wanted to do them myself. It is also influenced by a really decent AI, which can surprise you many times. The artificial intelligence is not even afraid to use dirty tactics, such as suicide attacks with small troops and the Armageddon spell.
Back to childhood
songs of conquest it is already a great production, which not only survives comparisons with the best views Hero, but also wins with them in many areas. I hope the game will give as many people a chance as it deserves it. The creators have done a great job and created a work that you can spend tens, if not hundreds of hours on. I didn’t even notice the afternoon turn into evening, and a moment later I had to quickly turn off the game because it turned out it was already midnight.
So, as soon as possible, you should gather a team of friends and encourage them to play together. The production of Lavapotion can restore the magic of the long sessions that many gamers had years ago with their friends on a single computer. I’m getting back to playing because I still have the Wound To Go campaign.