I base this on the version that comes with the Complete release. This is one of the two expansion for The Restoration of Erathia, the third release in the series. It does and is about what one would expect from such. For example, it patches up stuff that were bothersome before. Not that there were actual bugs to fix, nor are there any in this, though the changes are very welcome. You can reuse stuff you're already standing at by pressing the Space Bar, instead of moving out and then back into it. Post guards at mines, comparable to leaving them in a garrison, once you've flagged them, a marvelous new strategic possibility. Choose between getting the upgraded or the regular creature, once you can gain the former. These are helpful tweaks. An addition is the Border Gates, that do not disappear, thus truly limiting the access they grant to certain players, another thing that really changes the possibilities, for the better. There are 23 new beings, which *really* sounds like nothing when you take into account that there are 14 per each of the 8 fortresses that there already were. 10 of them are Elementals, the ones that there were already one of per natural, well, yeah, Earth, Wind, Fire and Water, and they are given their own Castle, the so-called Conflux, and, to match what lives in it, it is different and pretty cool. Did I mention that one of those ten is the Phoenix? Sweet. Two of the new ones are upgrades for familiar ones, namely the Sharpshooters(which is officially the new way to spell "awesome") who suffer no penalties from distance or barriers when firing, and they are "made of" Elvish and/or human ones, and the Enchanters, that automatically cast beneficial stuff on their fellow warriors. Then there are several new types of dragons added, including the Fairie(!) one, that, apart from their supposedly "cute" exterior attack by no other means, at all, than offensive magic. I won't divulge further information on those, seeing as how you finding and, of course, slaying them, is the entire focus of one of the six new campaigns. The other five are also completely self-contained. They vary in quality, and whether you prefer them like this or all connected, separate sides and portions of one overall conflict is of course up to the individual(it is notable, however, that there is a tendency towards this when they come out with something to tide you over until the next full game). One of them is the quirky tale of a continually unlucky well, he refers to himself as a "fragrance alchemist", something I can only presume is an early term for "perfume-maker". What's odd is that this entire thing is titled after one of them. Although it's not bad, it does suffer rather obviously under them trying to squeeze it all into one package. It's long, as are some of the others, longer than the original that this is built upon, and it's jarring the way it, sometimes, switches back and forth, one level to the next, between both sides. There may be a CGI cinematic, that all look good, if some are simple, per each bit you complete. The level design is nice, and there are specific, stand-out efforts. One asks you to utilize guerrilla tactics. The new things are well-animated and tend to be well-done. All the stories are well-thought out, and there are unexpected and nifty twists. The difficulty almost invariably starts right where the last one left off. Voice acting is slightly inferior to it, at times. The sound in general is mostly the same as before, and the added ones are as well-done. Music in this remains a beautiful, orchestral score. This comes with 38 fresh stand-alone scenarios, to provide challenge. And if you want something that hasn't already been put together, there's the Random Map Generator for those who just want to adjust the overall amounts of stuff in what they're making, and those who love spending hours perfecting it can either go from there, or start from the beginning, and alter all the small details. Now, with this, you can even tie several ones together, using the Campaign Editor, and put in cut-scenes, etc. This whole thing was probably mainly made to provide more hours of enjoyment of Heroes of Might and Magic III to those who already owned that, and if that's the measure of success for this, it does quite well. There is new to explore and play around with, to try out and to pit against each other. Many of the things this brings with it are organic, and feel as if they could have been there before this. If this was meant to reinvent the game-play, or drastically alter the overall experience, then it comes up short. There frankly wasn't much at all to introduce, what this is meant to better really didn't leave much room at all for improvement. They made a "species" out of four of the few beings not affiliated with any particular force. It turned out fairly well, and is used in one of the 6 plots, yes, and neither of those change the fact that it's a last-ditch effort at coming up with something they can advertise this with. There are no new artifacts or spells, as far as I can tell. The new added fighters, and their abilities, can be out of place, and/or not come from any mythological background, and while that makes sense, since they may very well have covered them all already, it is a shame, and takes away from this, in spite of there being imaginative stuff in there, and them still remaining reasonably distinguished. All in all, this is fine. If you're dying to play more, without getting the fourth, this will do the job. I recommend this to any fans of turn-based role-playing strategy gaming, if you already own, and want something more and different out of, the original. 7/10
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