Heroes Of Might And Magic II: The Succession Wars– A Review Of The Sequel To The Best Strategy Game

Heroes Of Might And Magic II: The Succession Wars– A Review Of The Sequel To The Best Strategy Game
Credit: SsethTzeentach via YouTube

Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Succession Wars (‘HOMM’ going forward) is the second game of the series, which went to improve the central concept of the first game in many ways.

It was released in October 1996 by New World Computing and featured an expansion pack in 1997, The Price of Loyalty.

HOMM 2 maintained some core aspects of the first game but overhauled most of it. Aside from the updated look, Heroes II added many new features that would become staples in the Heroes of Might and Magic franchise. Heroes II added the Necromancer and Wizard factions, joining the original four factions (Knight, Barbarian, Sorceress, and Warlock) from the first game. These two new factions also come with an army of creatures and a themed town that ties the faction together, and the six are divided down the middle to have 3 ‘good’ and 3 ‘evil’ factions.

Each hero maintained the primary skills, but could also learn secondary skills, allowing the player to customize the character more. The skills could be developed through 3 levels: Basic, Advanced, and Expert. Another significant feature introduced in Heroes II is the ability to upgrade specific army units, granting them improved statistics and, in some cases, essential skills.

Positive Aspects:

  • Diverse units, which can be upgraded to a higher tier;
  • Colorful visuals;
  • Engaging gameplay, from choosing a faction to selecting the way you customize the hero;
  • Challenging opponents.

Negative Aspects:

  • Difficult to master;
  • A couple of overpowered tactics, which nullified the gameplay aspect;

The sequel built on the core aspects, which attracted the player base in the first game of the series and improved it. The Price of Loyalty expansion added new campaigns, new artifacts, scenario maps, in-map buildings, and a better map editor for players to create their adventure.

The game received multiple awards, such as Strategy Game of the Year (nominated), Best Strategy Game (nominated), Best Turn-Based Strategy Game, and Best Strategy Game of the Year 1996.

The gameplay was different from every match; it was not repetitive and allowed for multiple tactics to be used in mastering the available towns. The colorful visuals made it a joy to be played, and the updates mechanics compared to the first game allowed good players to shine more.

The strategy involved in the game separated good players from the best players. The units you had in your army, the way you manage it, the timing of your spells, all minor details impacted the way the game was played. The game is rich and deep and allows for a lot of exploration. The improved spell system in HOMM 2 created more engaging gameplay.

The game was more polished compared to the first HOMM game and felt more engaging and allowed for more in-depth customization for players. The game was highly praised by critics and won multiple awards over the years.