Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Price of Loyalty Image
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  • Summary: The Price of Loyalty expands the realms of Heroes of Might and Magic II with four new campaigns and a slew of critical enhancements. Discover new heroes and artifacts as you explore and conquer 24 new campaign maps and numerous stand alone scenarios.
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  1. Sep 6, 2013
    Heroes of Might and Magic is the definitive turn based tactical strategy game. The first release was pretty good in and of itself. The secondHeroes of Might and Magic is the definitive turn based tactical strategy game. The first release was pretty good in and of itself. The second takes everything about the first and simply makes it better (the third improves in the same fashion upon the second). It's a perfect sequel. It's awesome to see developers take a winning formula and merely tweak and improve instead of overhaul and ruin it as they often do. Here's a rundown on the gameplay.

    You control heroes and each hero leads an army of units. Heroes don't actually engage in combat but they can cast spells and their stats improve the units in their army so a wizard hero's army is going to be more reliant on spell casting and less adept at fighting while a barbarian's army will not be as effective casting spells and will go for more brute force attacks. The battle system is very simple yet surprisingly deep. It's turn based on a hex grid. Units are divided into stacks based on their types so you might have a stack of archers and a stack of dragons. Each stack performs actions one at a time, with the fastest unit types moving first. Speed is a huge tactical advantage. The basic action is to attack, after which the attacked unit gets to retaliate. Each unit has an attack and defend value which determine how much damage they do or take when attacking and defending. Units also have health points and damage ranges. Some units are capable of ranged attacks and others have special abilities like magic immunity or double attacks. In all the combat is very simple to get the hang of but there's a lot of strategy like protecting your ranged attackers, when and what spells to use and so forth.

    Battles are the main part of the game but there's also a world map on which there are towns and resource camps you must capture in order to buy your army. There's six town types each containing different units. When you own a town you buy different buildings to allow production of more powerful units. You control your towns and move your heroes on your turn. Each turn is a day and if you own a resource camp like a lumber mill you get more resources every day. And the end of 7 days more units spawn in your town for you to purchase. There's a lot of strategy with knowing what resources to try and capture, what units to build as it's all cost vs benefit. Do you want to save your gold for a stack of really expensive but powerful titans or will a bunch of cheaper swordsmen do?

    The graphics are great for a game from 1997. While the first game's graphics were very cartoony and not consistent style wise this one has really good looking sprites. The dragons look like dragons, not disney characters. There's also a lot more units, more hero types and the battle maps are a lot bigger which is great. More spells and the spell casting has been revamped to use spell points instead of charges per spell which is better. The sound and music are also really good.

    The only downside really is difficulty and consistency. Some campaign missions are easy, some are brutal. Some have specific tricks which are the only realistic ways of winning. So you may have to play the same mission several times trying different things which can be frustrating and long. At times I felt the game was too hard and needed a difficulty setting.

    In all this is one of the best heroes games, despite being the 2nd in the series, it still holds up today. Extremely addictive and fun.