Here's another Warcraft 2 clone to sink
your teeth into, unfortunately its a few years to
late..... Hesperian Wars is an overhead real time
strategy game with a medieval theme to it. There is
a big story, but as I played the game I felt that the
story wasn't even intertwined with the game, so I
ignored it. There are four different races to play as:
Druids, Mages, Giants, and Pygmies. Each with
different spells and units.
-Graphics: The graphics are extremely
simplistic and really don't live up to today's
standards. The character graphics are very blocky
and lack realism, on the other hand the landscapes
were cartoonish and are poorly done. One thing I
did like about the graphics was the side bar, with a
different piece of art for each character or race; I
found this really helped the game atmosphere. In
some cases the graphics are a step up from
Warcraft 2, but in others a downgrade. This is the
age of 3d graphic accelerators practically every
game that comes out now has some support for a
3d card, unfortunately the makers of Hesperian
Wars totally ignored 3d cards. If you're trying to
make a clone of an old game at least show some
effort buy including 3d-card support!
-Sound & Control: Hesperian Wars
definately lacks good sound, there is no
background music and the sound effects are just
outright annoying. Most of the sound effects are
cheesy and don't really help to add to the
atmosphere of the game. The control is fine just
like any other game of this genre. I really had no
problem adapting to the control due to the handy
dandy in game tutorials.
-Gameplay: I found the game play to be
very tedious and boring, I played through each
race's campaigns in less than 2 hours on medium
level. Another drawback to this game is the AI; it's
dumber than a rock, making the game frustrating
at times. The missions are typically destroy
someone and protect a guy. When you kill other
races they leave behind gold and if you come upon
a house or blacksmith you can upgrade your guys
or buy new men. I thought this was kind of cool
because it's not like a typical RTS game, where you
must first build a base. One mission I was given
the assignment of seizing a castle, cool I thought,
but all I did was break down one wall and kill four
guys and I had "sized the castle." A feature I did
enjoy about this game was the ability to cast
spells, different spells for each race was a nice
-Fun Factor: Oddly at first I was having
fun with this game, but then as I played some more
missions I got bored really fast, due to the lack of
mission goal variety. After playing it for a few
hours I really felt like I had enough of this game.
There is just about zero replay value, other than
multiplayer. Hesperian War's is just a few years to
late in my opinion.
-Multiplayer: Hesperian Wars supports a
variety of connection types including TCP/IP play.
The game features normal multiplayer options, and
lets up to 8 people play at a time. The multiplayer
play was just like single player, BORING.
-Overall impression: This game has NO
replay value, single play is one bore after another.
One might think multiplayer would be a replay
value, but good luck finding some other sucker to
play it with! I can't recommend this game to
anyone, because it is just no good and another
one of those useless clones.
Hesperian Wars is yet another RTS style game to
thrust itself into the overcrowded market
already dominated by Starcraft, C&C, and Total
Here's a little synopsis of the plot.
After wonderful years of its great prosperity, the
Hesperian Empire suddenly collapsed with
the unexpected death of its emperor, there was no
heir for the throne. The emperor's
advisors unrightfully took power, causing great
anger among the aristocracy which protested
and soon formed their own government. Stunned
by this development, the Smarts accepted the
aristocrats' protests and invited them to negotiate
and create a Common Board. During the
night, the aristocrats and their companions were
murdered. Battle soon broke out across the
land as groups formed into armies. The ensuing
battles became the Hesperian Wars.
Not a real unique or catchy plotline, but few RTS's
have managed this. You get to choose
from four races, Giants, Mages, Druids, or
Pygmies. It says it has 40 different unit types
but I think that actually means 10 for each race and
then it's probably also figuring in
the three upgrades you can do to each type
because there really doesn't seem to be a lot of
HW has some serious flaws. It has a 2d sprite
engine with poorly implemented shadowing
effects. We are talking "graphically challenged"
here since this game looks a lot like 96's
game of the year Warcraft II except even WC2 had
smoother graphics then this game. The
console is nice and detailed though, menus are
pretty enough to add a little to the game.
There is at least one night mission which adds
some placed lighting effects which aren't
too bad, but they're from lampposts and the spot
lighting still shows up if you destroy the
lamp. It also has an irratating intro avi movie which
you can't cancel out of and have to
waste 20 seconds of your life to watch everytime
you go to play it. The game also runs
surprisingly slow for the results. This game took
way too long for my P200 to load up to
start out with and the menu animations tended to
be choppy. I didn't really notice any
performance problems on my PII 300.
I don't know what Modern Games was thinking
when they did the sound. This has, by far, the
most annoying sound effects I've heard in an RTS.
Units acknowledge you with grunts no
matter what race you are. I know there's supposed
to be dialects in the game, since other
than the Giants you get coherent briefings, so I
can't really figure out why they don't talk
back instead of the mindless grunting. There's also
only one sound for each different type
of unit, which gets real repetitive and makes the
poor sounds even more annoying.
Hesperian Wars does something that's not real
common by combining RTS with some roleplaying
style aspects. Fields of Fire is one of the few
others I can think of. This, I think, should
be a way to make a hit game if someone actually
put some effort into it. Characters can pick
up items like potions and armor and use them to
do various things throughout the game. It
also has quite a few spells/special abilities that help
give flavor to the game, though it's
not enough to really give a great RPG feel. Unit
advancement is done through the "garage"
method. Spend some money, throw your guys in
the shop and they come out upgraded. It works
nicely enough compared to the "Development"
ideas used in games like Warcraft and Starcraft.
It's fun enough for an RTS but with the poor audio
and graphics, even semi-decent gameplay
won't hold your attention for very long. It's just
enough to beat out borderline dull, but
it sure isn't close to exciting.
The multiplayer supports all the usual connection
types. It has a VERY POOR interface for
setting up multiplayer. No graphics or anything, it
looks like you're in a windows database
with your gray buttons and dropdown menus. It's
not real fun either.
Overall, Hesperian Wars is not impressive enough
to go out and buy it. It has some decent
ideas but graphics and audio kill any desire to sit
there for too long. I also have yet to
figure out why they used the word "Hesperian" for
a game that has nothing to do with the
real historical time period.
Highs: Interesting attempt to make an RTS/RPG
Lows: Incredibly annoying sound, subpar
graphics, slow on older PCs