SpellForce – Conquest of Eo review (PC)

When THQ Nordic announced SpellForce: Conquest of Eo, we first thought it was the next expansion for SpellForce 3, which we enjoyed. Instead, it’s the next chapter for the franchise, and we were keen to check out this PC exclusive.

This year the SpellForce series is twenty years old already, meaning it has outlasted tons of other franchises with its mix of RTS and RPG gameplay – even Command & Conquer only lasted for about fifteen years, depending on how you count. And yet, despite a ton of spin-off and DLC releases, its blend of genres still feels relatively fresh today – more accessible than hardcore strategy games and less quest-heavy than most RPG titles.

Interestingly enough, SpellForce: Conquest of Eo breaks with that tradition somewhat – focusing more on turn-based strategy mechanics and less on storytelling and narrative. For longtime fans, this might be a tough sell, as they can’t really get their RTS x RPG fix anywhere else. The story and lore aren’t completely out of the picture, but there’s a definite shift in emphasis here, and this one’s more for strategy fans than other games in the series have been.


In SpellForce: Conquest of Eo, you play as a protagonist who’s seen his teacher/mage get killed by a group of sorcerers looking to bend the world around them to their will. In order to strike back at them, you have to first build an army for yourself, rebuild a magic tower, and then set out to strengthen your position and drive them from power. There’s a good deal of replay value as well, since you can play as either an Alchemist an Artificer or a Necromancer – which affects your skill tree and abilities and all feel quite distinct.

The initial emphasis on resource gathering, exploration and ‘base’ building certainly feels close to what SpellForce fans are used to, but as time goes on you’ll find that the majority of your interactions are combat-based this time around. This leads to less of an emphasis on adventuring and more on building your arsenal of spells and abilities. Once you head into combat, the visuals zoom into the battlefield, and a turn-based scenario unfolds in which you move, attack or defend – using magic abilities to turn the tide of battle when needed.


But with so much emphasis on the combat, it struck us that the combat itself doesn’t feel overly original or impactful. It’s functional but somewhat generic until you start layering in some of the more RPG-inspired units like heroes and apprentices – units that can be upgraded and give combat a more “SpellForce feel” than the generic minions you can recruit. In the latter case, they’re hard to relate to as well.

And although Conquest of Eo feels less narrative-driven than the more RPG-like games that came before, the story will still entertain those who are invested in the SpellForce lore. That’s mostly about the main story though, as many of the optional quests you’ll come across feel underdeveloped from a narrative point of view – especially compared to some of the rich RPGs that you might have played. Some of the moral choices you need to make are interesting, but we couldn’t escape the sense that a lot of our assignments came down to simple fetch quests and/or kill orders.

SpellForce: Conquest of Eo certainly isn’t a bad game though. We enjoyed its story, the combat is functional and gets better as new mechanics are layered on over time, and there are sparks of the old SpellForce magic here as well. It’s a decent new entry, but doesn’t feel as unique as earlier games in the series did.

Score: 7.5/10

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