Warlords III: Darklords Rising is the follow on from Reign of Heroes and this version that is currently available has it all! By that I mean, you are not just getting all of the new content that Darklords Rising introduced, you are getting what the original game, Reign of Heroes offered as well. So, think of this as the ultimate Warlords III experience.
How to Download Warlords III: Darklords Rising
You can download the game from GOG. If you’re interested in other classic Warlords titles, be sure to read our review of Warlords I + II package.
The Game Review
Warlords III: Darklords Rising offers the same kind of strategy-based gameplay with RPG elements that the series had become known for. The extra development time that this game had, as well as the advances in computer hardware of the time really let the developers go wild. The graphics are clearly improved, but the whole scale of the game has been kicked up several notches.
There is so much to do here that I am kind of at a loss for where to start. There are five campaigns that you can play through, along with these extra scenarios, of which there are 15! If that was not enough for you, you can also play the campaign from Reign of Heroes and the 13 extra scenarios that the game had!
The overall goal is still domination of the map, but there is a ton more here for you to consider. The first thing worth noting is the new heroes and units, you now have a selection of 15 heroes and 95 units! This gives you a ton of strategy to play with. There is also a new magic system that is great and uses mana points kind of like what you would get in an RPG.
Diplomacy plays a big part in Warlords III: Darklords Rising and if I am honest it was the one new addition I was not as keen on. Do not get me wrong, I can see why bribing other places and the new “treaty” state that was added made things more interesting for those that like diplomacy in their games, it just did not click for me.
The AI in this game is much more aggressive than it was in the previous two Warlords games. I was quite shocked the first time I played this at how challenging the game was, but I mean that in a good way. There is no way that you are just going to steamroll over the opposing forces in this game like you could in the other two.
The multiplayer component of Warlords III: Darklords Rising is once again fantastic. This time you can still do the hot seat thing which is so much fun! However, as this was released in the latter half of the 90s. You can play this game online with other people as well. I have never done this, but I am sure it is handy if you do not always have people on hand to play the hot seat mode.
Visually, this looks remarkably better than its two predecessors. The 90s were a weird time in PC gaming, things were moving so fast and I think they did the best they could with the tech available. Everything has more detail in this game and as a result, it helps get you more invested what you are fighting for.
I really like the steps they took with Warlords III: Darklords Rising. They certainly beefed the game up considerably over the second game. The difficulty may be a sticking point for some players as it is much, much harder than the first game. It has a ton of single-player content, but just like the second game. You really must try and play the hot seat mode with your friends.
- The different campaigns each have their own fun story
- Plenty of new spells to use which are cool
- It has more RPG elements this time around
- The graphics are notably improved over the previous game
- A pretty rocking soundtrack!
- The difficulty has been kicked up severely
- I cannot decide if I like it better than the second game