Looks like Shadow Of War isn't the only game of orc-bothering worth checking out this week. Also, has anyone else noticed the weird glut of Dungeon Keeper-inspired games over the past few years? The entire Dungeons series, War for the Overworld, even KeeperRL. There's clearly something about that old Bullfrog formula that tickle's peoples fancy - or at least slaps their minions, and the developers keep on trying.
The latest shot at the old Keeper's crown is Realmforge's Dungeons 3, and by all accounts, this one is really rather good.
It's good to be king. Or an evil overlord. However you dress it up, bossing little soldiers around is the best, so check out some other strategy picks over this way.
While I could expound at length on what Dungeons 3 is, you're better off just clicking the video above. It's very handy, information-laden, and voiced by the narrator of The Stanley Parable, so you know it'll be at least good for a smirk.
Once again, the game is effectively split into two halves - the defensive and economic game of dungeon management and hero-farming, and the overworld game of aggression and conquest, with the two halves feeling almost like seperate games. Previous games in the series suffered from the split elements not quite gelling, but it sounds like they've finally nailed it this time.
While the previous two Dungeons games saw fairly patchy critical receptions, the initial ~400 user-reviews on Steam have nearly universally nice things to say, putting it just shy of the coveted Overwhelmingly Positive 95% ratio. The general vibe seems to be that they've fixed up most of the core design issues of the series, making it both a decent RTS in its own right, and also close enough to Dungeon Keeper in spirit to please old Bullfrog gaming alumni.
The only really divisive point brought up with any regularity is the humor, which is of the heavy-handed and fouth-wall-breaking variety. Granted, this is largely how it was in the original Dungeon Keeper (anyone remember it chastising players for staying up too late?), but I guess you can't please everyone, eh?
I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this one, and hopefully giving it a bit of hands-on attention over the coming weeks, assuming that I'm not sick of death of anything vaguely orcish after Shadow of War. The series has traditionally seen strong post-release support in the form of DLC, expansions and regular updates, too.