Heroes of Might and Magic IV (‘HOMM’ going forward) is the fourth game of the series, which was developed on a tight budget, and the poor ratings by critics showed this. \n \nIt was released in March\/April 2002 New World Computing and featured two expansion packs: The Gathering Storm, and Winds of War. \n \n \n \nHOMM 4 maintained some core aspects of the prequels but overhauled the Heroes system. Unlike previous games, where they had a little active role in combat, heroes became present on the battlefield with their troops. They can attack and be attacked. If a hero is killed in battle, he\/she must be brought to a friendly town to be revived. It is possible to have armies with more than one hero, or with no heroes at all, although troops without a hero are incapable of performing specific tasks, such as capturing. \n \nThe skill system also underwent a significant overhaul, and all Heroes of a given class start with the same skills. The player has significantly more control over the development of the Hero than in previous games in the series, and Heroes "evolve" into over 40 different specialized classes. A Hero can select up to five of the nine available primary skills, and each fundamental skill makes available three secondary skills. Each of these 36 skills has five levels of progression as opposed to the three levels in the previous games. \n \nPositive Aspects: \n \n- Heroes have an active role in combat; \n \n- Troops can explore the map and pick up resources; \n \n- Deep customization options; \n \n- Multiple difficulties in choosing from. \n \n \n \nNegative Aspects: \n \n- Tight budget, which can be seen easily if played other games of the series; \n \n- Troops can no longer be upgraded like in the previous series; \n \n- Map exploration made trivial due to the ability of units to explore it easily. \n \n \n \nWhile the reviews were generally favorable for the game, it did not pick up steam as the previous games of the series. The tight budget and financial bankruptcy of New World Computing forced them to make a rushed product, and while the game is decent, it could have been much better. \n \nThe game maintained some core aspects, which makes the game exciting and fun, but the overhaul of the map exploration and heroes system might not be for everyone. Instead of sitting in the backline and casting spells, heroes have an active role in combat and can tune the tides of battle one way or another. \n \nHOMM: 4 is the last game of the series to be developed by New World Computing before they bankrupted and sold the rights to Ubisoft. \n \nIt cures the itch of turn-based strategies but is not that much played by HOMM fans compared to the other games of the series. Stay tuned for more HOMM reviews in the upcoming days.