D3 preview on Gamespot - release date is Q2 2008
E3 07: Disciples III Impressions - First Look
We take a look at the third game in the Disciples turn-based fantasy strategy series.
By Andrew Park, GameSpot
Posted Jul 13, 2007 4:30 am GMT
SANTA MONICA - One of the many games being shown at this year's E3 is Disciples III, the third game in the turn-based strategy series. Unlike previous games in the series, Disciples III will be a fully 3D game with polygonal graphics to represent its huge monsters and warriors onscreen, though a representative from Akella, the game's developer, assured us that the game won't have particularly demanding system requirements.
Disciples III will feature more than 150 different "characters" - the war heroes, monsters, ghosts, and other beasties that can make up a war party in the game, and like in the previous games, the size of your war party will depend on your leader character's leadership skill. Apparently, some monsters in the game, such as dragons, will be absolutely huge, and will take up to 12 squares on the game's combat map, which has been retouched as a grid-based map divided up into two halves - yours and your opponents'.
We had a chance to see only the demonic legions of the damned faction in action, and they're as scaly and red-skinned as ever. However, the sequel will apparently ship with only three playable factions out of the box: the legions, the human empire, and the noble elves. Apparently, subsequent expansion packs will add additional races at a rate of one race per expansion - with any luck, we'll see the return of the original Disciples factions of the dwarven mountain clans and the undead horde.
The version of the game we saw was an extremely early one, so there was very little in the way of content to see. We did have a chance to see some parts of the overland map, which is now fully 3D, but is still populated by static monster spawns, various structures your parties can visit (or ransack), and still consists of different terrain types, which can be still converted to your faction's land type by using a rod-placing unit. We also had a chance to see the legions' home town, which was essentially a gigantic floating rock formation suspended above rivers of red molten lava. Both the overland view and the town view seem strikingly reminiscent of Heroes of Might and Magic V, though the towns in Disciples will have the familiar interface options to upgrade various portions of your stronghold to strengthen the specific unit types you choose; for instance, like in the previous games, you can choose to upgrade your melee units' barracks, which lets your basic melee units develop into a stronger character class once they gain experience levels. Upgrade options for melee, archery, magic, and miscellaneous classes at strongholds all appear to be intact.
Disciples III is currently being developed as a joint venture between Canadian publisher Strategy First, which is providing much of the game design, and Russian developer Akella, which is providing most of the production work. The game is scheduled for release in the second quarter of 2008.
D3 preview on IGN - date release is Q2 2008!!!
E3 2007: Disciples III Tech Demo
The return of the popular PC strategy series is a long ways off, but showing promise.
by Hilary Goldstein
July 13, 2007 - It's been five years since the release of Disciples II. The well-received fantasy-themed strategy title was a major improvement over the original, which helped it grow a solid fanbase. Those fans will have to wait at least another year for Disciples III: Renaissance. Akella - taking over development from series creator Mistland South - showed off a tech demo of Disciples III at the Barker Hanger at this year's E3.
Disciples III features three different races, each with its own campaign. All three campaigns - The Empire, The Legions of the Damned, and the Noble Elves - will be 10-15 missions long. All three races will be playable online as up to eight players can go at it in multiplayer. But it's far too early for Akella to talk about online play. Akella wants a game as close to perfection as possible and is therefore going to spend at least nine months polishing multiplayer once it's up and running.
The most noticeable change in the tech demo is the switch to a full 3D engine. The Disciples series has never been known for it's visuals, and that appears the case even in the limited E3 tech demo. The creatures, of which there's some 150 varieties, have nice designs, but there's no real visual pop to the world yet. An Akella rep told us that part of the reason for a less than eye-popping presentation is that the engine has issues with NVIDIA cards (on which the demo was run) and looks better on an ATI card.
The world itself exists on a grid map. Each unit is assigned a different size, taking up a certain number of squares. It's all pretty simple and easy enough to understand from the get-go. Every unit is also upgradeable. It's possible to boost a unit enough that, by game's end, it can actually take on an entire army on its own.
Battles introduce new strategic features. Terraforming is one of the focuses. Players can form land around their cities, both to offer protection and to gain an advantage on enemies. It sounds as if you'll be able to terraform an area and lead enemy units into advantageous positions. That means you may be able to set up ambushes.
The switch to 3D is taking some time. Disciples III's game engine still is not finished, though it is nearing completion. Mission creation and scripting haven't begun, meaning Disciples III won't be around until late '08. Akella is taking it's time, but promises, "we won't disappoint anyone."
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