Game Over Online ~ Heroes Chronicles: Conquest of the Underworld

GameOver Game Reviews - Heroes Chronicles: Conquest of the Underworld (c) 3DO, Reviewed by - Elliot Blitzer

Game & Publisher Heroes Chronicles: Conquest of the Underworld (c) 3DO
System Requirements Windows 9x, Pentium 166, 32MB Ram, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 58%
Date Published Tuesday, October 24th, 2000 at 08:16 PM

Divider Left By: Elliot Blitzer Divider Right

Conquest of the Underworld is the second in a series of Heroes Chronicles games based on Heroes of Might & Magic III, the popular turn-based fantasy-themed strategy game from 3DO. There are a total of four Heroes Chronicles titles in the collection, beginning with Warlords of the Wasteland and wrapping up with Clash of the Dragons. Both Warlords of the Wasteland and Conquest of the Underworld are currently available in stores, with the remaining two titles in the series due for release in November. Here's a quick listing of the four titles (be sure to check out our review of Warlords of the Wasteland if you missed it):

  • Heroes Chronicles: Warlords of the Wasteland
  • Heroes Chronicles: Conquest of the Underworld
  • Heroes Chronicles: Masters of the Elements
  • Heroes Chronicles: Clash of the Dragons

    Heroes Chronicles tells the tale of a young barbarian, Tarnum. As told in our review of Warlords of the Wasteland, Tarnum was slain shortly after becoming King. However, the mighty barbarian is deemed unworthy to enter Paradise by the Ancestors and is reincarnated in order to redeem himself. Tarnum must earn a reprieve from the gods by completing a succession of quests, adventures that are recorded in the Heroes Chronicles. In Conquest of the Underworld, Tarnum must swallow his pride and anger by saving the soul of Queen Allison's father, which has been kidnapped from Paradise. Why is this task so difficult for Tarnum? Because he'll be saving the soul of the very King who killed him in his past life. Tarnum must escort the Queen through the cursed grounds of the land of the dead in search of her father, all the while coming to terms with the irony of the situation.

    Conquest of the Underworld plays out in a series of eight linked missions. Much like Warlords of the Wasteland, the missions do a credible job advancing a rather interesting storyline, but they offer no improvements over Heroes of Might and Magic III. Once again, everything from the game mechanics to the interface and sound effects has been recycled. Heroes Chronicles is simply a trimmed down version of Heroes of Might and Magic III. Missions consist of the usual tasks; gathering and managing resources, building towns, exploring the land, recruiting troops, and destroying enemy heroes and threatening armies. Similarly with Warlords of the Wasteland, Tarnum and his best heroes will advance from one scenario to the next with all their experience, but without their items.

    Conquest of the Underworld falls victim to the same problems as Warlords of the Wasteland. For starters, the game places restrictions in terms what's available to you. Keeping in vein with the plot, a number of units and town types are not available in Conquest of the Underworld. In most of the missions, Tarnum will begin with a castle town, developing such troops as pikemen, archers, monks, cavaliers and the all-mighty angels. Keeping in theme with the Underworld, Tarnum will rage wars against the undead and a trio of town types: inferno, necropolis and dungeon towns. Skeletons, Vampires and Werewolves, oh my! The result is a rather repetitive set of missions due to the lack of unit and town variety. Much like Warlords of the Wasteland, the storyline is one of the few reasons to play through each scenario, a plot that is advanced using text boxes that pop up periodically throughout each mission. Cinematic sequences, much like the introductory clip, would be much more worth while in this regard. On the bright side, Conquest of the Underworld does offer another reason to keep trekking through the land of the dead, that being in order to find and assemble all six pieces of an all-powerful artifact. Once compiled, Tarnum's armies become practically invincible to any enemies.

    If you're looking for something new from Heroes Chronicles, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed. Conquest of the Underworld doesn't offer any unique units, no new sound bites, no improved presentation, nothing. It's more of the same, although I guess that's not such a bad thing considering how solid Heroes of Might & Magic III. Still, without a map editor and any kind of multiplayer features, Conquest of the Underworld comes across as an expansion pack with little to no replay value.

    Like Warlords of the Wasteland, Conquest of the Underworld comes with a budget price tag of $20. Once again though, this is only one of a series of four tales, so if you're looking to redeem Tarnum completely, it's going to cost you four times that amount. Does $20 sound like a sound investment for 8 missions? How about $80 for 32 missions? Neither sounds that great to me and you just know it's only a matter of time before a product along the lines of Heroes Chronicles Collection comes down the pipeline, undoubtedly at a very reasonable price. If you can wait that long, I suggest you do.

    [ 20/50 ] Gameplay
    [ 07/10 ] Video
    [ 06/10 ] Audio
    [ 08/10 ] Controls
    [ 07/10 ] Plotline
    [ 10/10 ] Bugs


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