SpellForce 2: Demons Of The Past is an RPG and strategy game by Hungarian developer Mind Over Matter, under the command Nordic Games, who also published Faith in Destiny, the second SpellForce 2 expansion.
With a new single player campaign offering 25+ hours of gameplay, SpellForce 2: Demons Of The Past provides the cherry on SpellForce 2’s cake. In a game where nearly all Races are playable — Pact, Shaikan and even the Undead, Demons Of The Past provides a rounding-off experience of the series. The standalone expansion also features the popular free multiplayer game mode, where the events of the single player campaign can be experienced with friends and adversaries alike. Further than the multiplayer aspect, a new survival mode has been created with distinctive objectives and gameplay.
And what’s it like?
In one word: let-down. One of the issues that strikes me with Demons Of The Past is the apparant lack of effort that went into the game. Whilst the storyline carries on in applaud-able fashion, with the threat of seemingly endless armies of The Nameless Evil, with the expected appearances from dragons and formidable unearthly forces, the quality and initial ease of play is enough to make playing the game nothing short of painful. The storyline carries the game well, with some frankly beautiful digital artwork in the cut scenes, but it is impossible to ignore the dummy-like mouth movements of the characters in conversation, who stop talking even though the audio of their voices carries on warning of war and treachery. All this and more interruptions occur whilst you try and build defences from skeleton warriors, and lament for the lack of simplicity in some of the gameplay aspects.
The graphics feel rather outdated in Demons Of The Past, perhaps a little too close to the early Age Of Empires games, linked too buy the high camera angle during gameplay. Their similarity continues in their similar gameplay functions of defence and house building and population caps, although the Age Of Empires series had the visuals befitting of their release year whereas Demons Of The Past feels out of place amongst it established and sleek compadres.
The final verdict
The loose-end tying offering to an 8-year long game both satisfies its fans in storyline and artwork, and gives an excitement for the next release in the SpellForce series. Whilst the storyline of the game caters to SpellForces’ long-standing fans, it can also be enjoyed by first-comers to the series, although the events and gameplay will be confusing, and you will get more and more frustrated with the ineffectiveness of other troops, who seem to be unable to kill anything until you run your glitchy way over. It is an interesting and challenging experience, but repetitive and annoying for the most part. A player’s patience with SpellForce 2: Demons Of The Past depends on who’s behind the keyboard and their attachment to the franchise.
Words by Louise Egan