Top critical review
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
27 June 2014
I'd like to start by saying that ever since I can remember I have been a massive fan of the Heroes series, I played parts 1-4 from start to end, sideways and spent endless hours on 3 and 4. I always thought the way they did those parts of the series was just perfect - there simply was not anything I could complain about. Admittedly I have not given Heroes 5 that much of a chance but it seemed to be a step in the wrong direction - this game being the direction. I am also a big fan of the saying "if it ain't broke - don't fix it", which I think is the perfect title for my review.
I have only played about 5 hours so far in the tutorial campaign and this game has been extremely frustrating. Mostly this isn't even due to the core gameplay and changes in things such as heroes powers, units, towns etc. The biggest problem so far, and bare in mind I have only just purchased this game and am playing the most up to date version with all the patches, is that very often when I go into a town, or leave one, as well as starting a battle (though this has only happened once), the game freezes - but it's a strange freeze, as I can hear all the sounds of what I am doing when I click on things, but the screen is frozen and does not change. This leaves me with little option but to ctrl+alt+delete, shut it down, launch again, load autosave, try again, get frozen again, get frustrated, go on here and write this review.
Seriously, this game came out in 2011, how can it possibly be freezing on a very modern computer?!
The second biggest issue I have is the idiotic uplay/conflux/essentially being pushed to play whilst online system. First of all, IT DOES NOT CONNECT! And this isn't my internet's fault, the game just doesn't connect to "CONFLUX" whatever that may be. It did connect at first, which led to yet another problem - I played a bit of the game, did quite a bit, saved it, then when I came back to load the save it had mysteriously disappeared. At first I thought the game was genuinely incapable of saving games, or had deleted it, but it was even more silly - I had to be online and connected to load that save game, so I had to start again and keep playing offline.
This was never necessary in the previous parts, so why insist on shoving it down our throats? It's stupid, it does not work and I think it's fair to say that most Heroes fans do not want it as they just want to sit down and get to the playing the game business rather than messing about with whatever connecting to the online thing gives us.
I must say that whilst I appreciate what they tried to do with new creatures, I do not like the look of some of them - have a look at cyclops, they look like a joke. Either way, I find it impossible to tell how powerful creatures are - in the previous versions it was easy to tell after a quick look at the stats, in this one I'm really struggling, also it can be frustrating when a stack of 85 level 1 creatures causes hardly any damage to a similar size stack of level 1 creatures - just makes some battles drag a long time.
The next thing I can't work out is what happens with creature production - at first I thought it was like the old system, where each week you produce a certain amount of creatures. But now after a week I can produce only a few creatures in one, the normal amount in another, and none in another???? No real explanation of how it works has been found.
The interface itself is pretty poor to me. It sometimes takes longer than it should to find things, information etc., in general it does not look very user friendly - again all they had to do was follow the old interfaces but perhaps "pretty them up".
After only a few days I am already feeling like giving up on this game, I will try to google a solution to the freezing problem and play it a bit more to get into it and maybe understand how everything works better, but so far I am very unimpressed with this effort.