HOMM 3 vs 4

Gogamer is running a deal on both games. 3 is the collecter’s edition (complete). I can’t tell if the other 2 games in the package are expansions or those cheezy side adventures that were supposed to be unfun. 4 is cheaper. Is either deal worth it? I play 3, but it has been a long time, and I never got any expansions or anything. I never played 4 because I heard bad things about it.

I just reinstalled 3 last night, and I’m getting right back into it again. If you don’t have a copy around it’s probably woth it. 4 bored me, too easy.

4 sucked. 3 Complete is a good package.

Buy HMM3. HMM4 was a disaster.

Although if you like god mode, there is a pleasant effect in HOMM 4 in the later scenarios of a given campaign where your heroes become so powerful that they can wander the map alone and take on anything short of a stack of dragons.

In HOMM 3 you can lose a scenario to the AI. In 4 the only way to lose a scenario is to play the barbarian one where there’s no way to beat the behemoths at the beginning.

The other two games in the package are likely to be Armageddon’s Blade and Shadow of Death. AB is a straightforward expansion, SoD was an seperate game that could be used as an expansion and can be a bit fiddly to install as an expansion. I had to install HoMM3, AB, SOD and then HoMM3 again to recreate some stuff that SoD had replaced. They may have tidied this up in the gold edition.

Heroes 3 Complete or whatever it was fixed the install so it all came together seamlessly, in one install.

In that case anyone who hasn’t got it should get it like a shot.

There are loads of downloadble maps for HoMM3 still available on the Net, some arguably better than those in the game, but just playing the campaigns will keep you occupied for a good while.

3 is clearly superior to 4 in every way, plus there are many wonderful player-made maps for 3, and few if any good ones for 4, at least that I’e played.

However, that being said, 4 is not quite so bad as is generally claimed. It does have a couple of serious problems, namely:

  1. UI is weird. It seems horrible until you’ve played a few games, then it becomes much more natural. Of course it should have seemed natural to begin with, since it’s not such a complicated game.

  2. AI sucks. AI is pretty weak in the other games, too, but it’s even worse in HoMM 4. In some scenarios this is glaringly obvious, in other more RPG-ish ones it doesn’t much matter.

Of course 4 is a serious disappointment after the first three versions of the game, but then, what do you expect from a 3do spiralling down the tubes… It’s certainly playable though, and I prefer it to every version of Warlords, for example, and to most other games in the genre.

I notice that 3 is more expensive than 4, even with the discount - take that as the indicator of quality that it is.

I went ahead and ordered 3. I actually had 3 when it first came out and played it a bit and liked it. But I never got the explansions, and I no longer have the game. So, I know I will like it. I’ve just been in the mood. I thought about reloading HOMM2, actually, which has a nice feel to it. But this works better, and is cheap.

That pretty much sums up my own feelings about HoMM 4, I even bought the first expansion. I still dig it out now and again and play a game, but I’ll go back to 3 about once a month. I liked a lot of what they were trying to do with 4, but it was rushed and didn’t work as intended. On the other hand I’ve seen worse games.

In a straight comparison with the other games in the series, it falls well behind both 2 and 3 though.

Another vote for HOMM3 here. I quote the readme I got with it:

The Heroes III Complete game comes with all of the Heroes III: Restoration
of Erathia, Armageddon’s Blade™ and The Shadow of Death™ campaigns
and single scenario maps.

Days worth of fun.