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E3-Preview: Heroes III: Armageddon's Blade - Impressions
14:15, 17 May 1999

New World Computing appeared at the show in full force and displayed some early shots and a trailer of the upcoming expansion to their wildly popular turn-based strategy title, Heroes of Might and Magic III.

Armageddon's Blade's most notable feature is its inclusion of a new town type and two new hero types. The new town, the Forge, is a technological marvel, and is home to futuristic, hi-tech troops. Six Forge town units were available for a look at press time: the cyber-dead and cyber-zombies (zombies with rotating chainsaws for hands), grunts and foot soldiers (souped up goblins and hobgoblins with heavy artillery) and pyros and pyromaniacs (humanoids armed with backpack flamethrowers).

In addition to the new town and monsters, Armageddon's Blade also adds a great deal more ground for players to cover. It will include an enhanced version of the powerful Heroes III map editor, including a random campaign editor, with which players may generate random scenario maps and link them together to make their very own drawn-out campaigns. The randomly generated campaign maps aren't just all same-looking patches of similarly-shaped land sparsely populated with the odd monster or bit of treasure, either - each map is huge, unique, and, depending on the player's choice, can be as empty or as packed with much or as little treasure, monsters, castles, buildings and events as desired. Armageddon's Blade also features six brand-new story-based campaigns, in which a single hero (of a different town type for each campaign) takes center stage in a long-term quest. On top of all that, Armageddon's Blade will also feature 64 stand-alone scenarios that will no doubt be as well-designed and fun to play as those in the original game.

Armageddon's Blade looks fantastic, and should hit the shelves in time for the next round of all-night Heroes III marathons this Christmas.

Andrew Park

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