SpellForce: The Order of Dawn Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 42 Ratings

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  • Summary: In their immeasurable greed and constant thirst for power, the thirteen most powerful Mages of all time doomed the land, hurling it into an endless spiral of chaos and despair. Entire countries were wiped out in the blink of an eye when the devastating power of the Elements was unleashed ? Elements summoned by dark rituals. Continents shattered like glass, the pieces strewn about like leaves in the wind. Huge armies, bound by the the power of ancient runes, brought war and destruction to the lands that survived the initial onslaught. All that was left were a few islands, connected by magic portals. Now, only a few years after the end of the Convocation, evil is back - stronger and more powerful than ever before ? to finish what was started. Yet there is still hope. The prophecies tell of a human. A human damned to immortality, bound forever by the power of the blood runes... Soon, the time will come when the power of one may change the destiny of many. For better or for worse. [JoWood] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. SpellForce enlisted my involvement and playing dedication with the incredible opening cinematic, the brilliant tutorial and, ultimately, the absolutely captivating game adventure itself.
  2. A title that deserves credit for breaking the cookie-cutter mold that RTS games have fallen into. Even maps with simple goals can turn into endeavors that last for hours, if you take time to smell the roses and just enjoy playing with powerful, fully customizable avatar with the ability to raise a monstrous force.
  3. 82
    There haven't been a lot of games that manage to combine large scale strategy and role-playing together and be successful. Phenomic has made a damn good stab at it with this one though.
  4. The RTS portion of the title, which is mostly very well-done, suffers from one problem that almost utterly kills my enjoyment of it: Unit AI is freakin' terrible. [Mar 2004, p.113]
  5. The AI of the game is its most irritating aspect. The computer’s strategy always involves sending small sallies of units to die on your defenses every couple of minutes until you have built up a large enough force to attack and overwhelm them.
  6. But as a hybrid of the two genres, SpellForce has a funky sort of synergy that elevates it above the sum of its ho-hum parts. [May 2004, p.58]
  7. 45
    A disappointing compilation of ambition without practical delivery. It's a game broken into several fundamental components that never work on their own and never contribute to a whole that can be appreciated.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 8
  2. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. Jan 3, 2014
    its one of the best games i had ever played.this game is the perfect example for the time where the games were made with love.its 2014 now but this game is so good that you can buy it even now Expand
  2. ChrisB.
    Feb 2, 2004
    It´s the best Game I´ve ever played, no more to say!
  3. AlexP.
    Mar 24, 2006
    Has given me weeks if not months of fun. The combination of RTS and RPG is the best seen so far and the beautifully programmed sceneries and story make for perfect gaming hours. Expand
  4. Jun 27, 2012
    Very few games have such great immersion as this game, from my personal opinion I can only name the original farcry and deus ex, half life 2 but for an rts and rpg fan this one is the best. It is the type of game that allow you to wholly immerse yourself into the gameplay and storyline in a way that isolates you from the real world and becomes the only reality the matter for the duration of the game. I had the fortune of having one week holiday when started the campaign, and for four days straight I played this game, stopping only to make dinner and breakfast. This game also allows you to play while you sleep, since you gain experience for every kill on the map you can create a solid defence before going to sleep and then wake up 2-3 levels higher.

    To summarize the reason I give it 8 instead of 10 I will give my opinions on these points about the game.

    The music is very good, excellent ambitient music with good combat music. The graphics are awesome for its time, though the characters looks retarded when their talking and flapping their arms while wielding a huge warhammer/swords, it is the terrain and sky graphic that gives excellent immersion. The sound is very mediocre and you will come to hate the battle notification sound that screams at you because a goblin is walking past your city. The combat sounds are decent but few so they do get tedious. The combat is very good for a warrior, ranger and any class that does not focus wholly on spellcasting. For a pure wizard though you will find your character utterly useless in this game. Clumsy spell targetting system and lack of mana will find you only using your good spells against special monsters. The storyline is very good thanks to the dialogue and voice acting (though some are questionable) and it will keep you interested in progressing nonestop, though I will be honest and say I only understood about 80% of what was going on and why things were the way they were, you hear allot of references to the circle mages but not much substance. The cool and original thing is that you go from controlling all the races, both evil and good while if you gather your Human army and Orc army at the same place they will start attacking each other. The place this game shines is character progression and gear, you get to spend ability points to increase your stats which is something I love and that all modern day rpg lack, you get to drool at epic items and build your character for wielding them. If you do it correctly you will go from low class warrior to an unstoppable champion, though you will never be overpowered. Even though the combat system is clumsy, the actuall battles is beautifull to watch thanks to aggressive AI, watching hundreds of warriors and mighty monsters battle on a grand scale compared to many other RTS games, and for a RPG style game it has the biggest battles I have ever seen. The maps are revisitable and often have new quests which is great for longevity and gives you a non linear approach to a linear storyline, this is one of my favorite aspects of this game. The sad thing is the multiplayer is horrible, as this has the potential to be the best coop game in rts/rpg history if you could do the campaign with friends or have friends control the enemy camp. Another boring aspect is you will be running, and running and searching and talking with many people in the cities you have absolutely no need for which is the most tedious thing in this game, too many interactable npc's that dont give anything.

    So the game is not perfect, but damn its enjoyable and I hope to see future developers learn from this game when creating a more dynamic RTS/RPG crossover. Thanks Jowood.
  5. StevenG.
    Jan 13, 2004
    This game has some minor flaws with the control mechanism, mainly when you have lots of troops under your control. Assigning actions at this time is not easy, and the player heros are not great at getting involved in the combat themselves. But... letys not get away from the fact this game is very good. It matches RPG and AOE-esque gaming very well. The story is detailed and the lands involved huge. The graphics are also superb. In all this game is a good blend of Dungeon Seige and Age of Mythology without trying to do too much. Expand
  6. ChristianE.
    Jan 22, 2004
    It is a good game for those with a lot of time and patience. Most bugs are gone by now due to patch 1.05, so now would be the time to buy it. Downrated for: Slow action, missions beeing almost always the same and so on. You can have quite some fun with it, but do not expect too much. Expand
  7. MarkD.
    May 16, 2004
    There are some major technical problems with this game...it crashes a lot. I went so far as to play it on a system with just Windows 2k, NOTHING else running. That helped but it still crashes my system and requires a reboot one an hour or so. JoWood basically has no technical support so you're on your own. FYI I've been playing games since The Bard's Tale ('87) and making a nice living writing software since '75 so I'm no pilgram when it comes to computers. Good luck if you buy it. Expand

See all 8 User Reviews