Fantasy RTS and RPG hybrid series SpellForce is getting its third major installment in December, and to celebrate, GOG is now offering a free preview of the title until November 27.
For those not familiar, SpellForce came to life in 2003 as SpellForce: The Order of Dawn at the hands of studio Phenomic - bought in 2006 by Electronic Arts and then closed in 2013. Phenomic was also responsible for the two expansion packs of the first game, The Breath of Winter (2004) and The Shadow of the Phoenix (2005), as well as SpellForce 2: Shadow Wars and its Dragon Storm expansion. The development house was later credited for titles like BattleForge, Lord of Ultima, and Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances. As those who followed Phenomic may also be aware, it was founded by ex-Blue Byte dev Volker Wertich, who worked on The Settlers and The Settlers III.
From this point on, things get a little tricky. Also yes, the narrator in the trailer above is Doug Cockle, the same one who voiced Geralt of Rivia in CD Projekt RED's The Witcher series.
The original game was published in Europe by Austrian label JoWood Entertainment - publishers of the Neighbours from Hell and Gothic series, among others - whose IPs were acquired by Swedish company Nordic Games. The latter also acquired the THQ trademark and some of its properties after THQ's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and subsequent liquidation of assets. In 2016, Nordic Games became THQ Nordic to take better advantage of the historic name it had bought. This brings us neatly to SpellForce 3.
This third major entry in the series isn't THQ Nordic's first experience with the title, having also developed SpellForce 2's Faith in Destiny (2012) and Demons of the Past (2014) expansions. It's worth noting that THQ Nordic actually has two internal dev divisions: Rainbow Studios and Grimlore Games. The former, based in Phoenix, Arizona, was known under the name THQ Digital Phoenix as a subsidiary of THQ, then it regained its original name under THQ Nordic. The latter is a relatively new studio based in Munich, and the one responsible for SpellForce 3.
If you wish to try out the game, head over to this link, but keep in mind that the free preview is only valid until November 27, 11PM UTC (3PM PT, 6PM ET). Furthermore, as per the description, you get access to:
Features of the Preview:
Enjoy the player versus player multiplayer part in 1on1, 2on2 and 3on3.
Play a single player skirmish against the AI
Ability to play coop – even play one RTS faction together.
Play all three factions – the Humans, the Orcs and the Elves
The preview contains 4 maps:
The Mystic Valley
Note: The beta doesn’t contain the final experience especially with regards to balancing and potential issues. Please bear with us and provide us feedback. Get a glimpse of the single player experience by playing the prequel to the SpellForce 3 story in the Old-Haalâyash map. Enjoy!
- RTS/RPG Mix: Unique gameplay combining RTS and Top Down RPG genres
- Create & Customize: Create your own hero and develop his skillset as you prefer!
- Build to Fight: Build your own army and fight epic mass battles with it.
- Epic Storyline: Unravel a deep and epic story in the SpellForce universe that doesn't require having played any of the former SpellForce games. Fans will still find a lot of interesting connections.
- Rich universe & lore: Explore the world Eo and discover intrigues, secrets and a lot of loot for your hero.
- Apply some tactics: Use advance tactics with your RTS army to defeat your enemies
- Play on your own: Long Single Player Campaign of 30+ hours
- Multiplayer: Strong multiplayer component with various modes - Play cooperatively or compete against each other
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