Heroes of Might and Magic III is the latest continuation of the award-winning Heroes of Might and Magic series published by The 3DO Company and developed by New World Computing. This turn-based, strategy war game is set in the fantasy world of the Might and Magic role-playing games. Like these games, Heroes III features a rich magic system, intense character development, a bestiary of fantastic foes and allies, quests, a world to explore, and gripping story lines. It is, however, focused on elements of strategic conquest -- the building of mighty armies, territorial expansion, siege warfare, and the clash of battle.
In Heroes III, you control the actions of Heroes to complete mission objectives in a variety of conflicts taking place in the mythical land of Erathia. As Heroes travel across the land with their armies, they can explore, seek artifacts and find treasure, as well as lead their armies into battle. Towns can also have armies garrisoned for their defense and act as centers for recruitment and the learning of magic spells, and trading. Towns you conquer become part of your territory. You can develop your towns to provide yourself with offensive, defensive, and logistical advantages.
Missions can be self-contained single scenarios, linked together into multi-scenario campaigns, or played as multi-player scenarios against other human players across a network. While a vast array of pre-designed scenarios come with the game, you can also create your own using the provided Map Editor tool.
- More Town Types. There are now eight town types.
- More Hero Types. Each town type now has two hero types—one of might and the other of magic. This brings the total number of hero types up to sixteen.
- More Skills. Heroes may increase their abilities in 28 secondary skills.
- More Artifacts. There are now 128 artifacts.
- More Spells. There are now 64 spells arranged into four schools of magic.
- More Creature Types. There are now a total of 118 creature types.
- More and Enhanced Town Structures. You may build seven creature dwellings in each town. All dwellings can be upgraded to produce upgraded creatures. Also, each town type has an increased number of non-dwelling buildings, most of which may be upgraded, and many with new types of enhancements.
- More and Enhanced Adventure Objects. There are 25% more Adventure Map locations and objects in this game. Objects are more configurable in the Map Editor, making them more interesting to encounter and use. Further, new object abilities have been created to enhance play possibilities.
- Subterranean Map Layer. Heroes may enter passageways to explore caverns and tunnels.
- Grail Buildings. You may now seek the Grail instead of ultimate artifacts. Finding the Grail allows you to construct special Grail buildings which greatly increase and enhance a town’s economic output and other town variables.
- Graphic Resolution Increased. The game now displays in 800x600, 16-bit resolution, resulting in a richer, more detailed display.
- Game Graphics Rendered in 3D. All non-interface graphic elements and game objects have been modeled and rendered in 3D.
- Larger Adventure Map Display. The Adventure Map now displays 44% more of the world at a glance.
- New Terrain Types. New types of terrain have been added, including a variety of road types, each with their own effects on movement and combat.
- Clearer, More Informative Screen Layout. Taking advantage of higher graphic resolution, the game interface display provides more, easier to read, information. Mouse hot spots are identified in a rollover text bar at the bottom of displays. Right-click information is also available for all gameplay hot spots.
- Battlefield Size Increased. The combat battlefield is now 15 x 11 hexes, a 67% increase!
- Heroes Command More Creature Stacks. Heroes can now have seven stacks in their army.
- New War Machines. Each town has a blacksmith where one of three war machines may be purchased. War machines appear on the battlefield and may be attacked and destroyed.
- Heroes Can Arrange Stacks on Battlefield before Battle. Heroes with the secondary skill, Tactics, can rearrange stacks on the battlefield before the first round of combat.
- Heroes Can Lead Garrisoned Armies. Individual heroes may now lead creatures in a town’s garrison.
- Heroes “Ghost” When Passing Behind Tall Adventure Screen Objects. Objects, like trees and mountains, that would normally hide heroes now become semi-transparent.
- Mini-Quests and Quest Log. Now, you can participate in non-mission essential quests to gain experience or items. Additionally, you can access a Quest Log for information about quest items your hero has gathered.
- Taverns. Heroes are now recruited at taverns instead of castles.
- Paper Doll Inventory System. Now heroes must outfit themselves with an item before they can benefit from it.
- Flying Creatures Have Movement Range Limits. While flying creatures can still pass over battlefield obstacles, they no longer have an unlimited movement range.
- Six Mini-Campaigns. Six campaigns portray the story from three perspectives.
- Enhanced Multiplayer Features. The most recent version of DirectPlay has been incorporated to allow for lobby access and eight players. Chat messaging has been added and players waiting for their turns may view the Adventure Map, Kingdom Overview, Hero Screens, and Town Screens.
Official fact sheet from 3DO.