Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes is a fan-favorite tactical RPG that is receiving a new lick of paint several years after the original release. This Definitive Edition comes with graphical enhancements and adds many quality-of-life improvements, and the real kicker is the I Am the Boss DLC: Switch to the side of Chaos. But did the game age well mechanically since it was first unleashed into a tactical-hungry crowd in 2009?
Despite the notable absence of gems, candy, or other sort of colored items, Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes – Definitive Edition is a match-3 game at heart. No number of replacements would be enough to fool a keen eye, nor was that ever the intention. Subsequently, there are some rules in common with the age-old genre, but also a few twists to result in its own thing.
You can expect the same colossal length of the original for the main story, with over 20 hours of adventure and tactical battles, with improved character artwork that really makes the heroes’ personality shine through their portraits. This build allowed us to play a very short prologue featuring Anwen’s story, a small taste of the vast campaign that comes right after. This is where the tutorial kicks in, teaching you the basics of the gameplay, but this is a case of learning and improving as you go, since there are many factors to consider.
Match goals are simple, consisting of using your army to attack the enemy zone, defined by a colored line behind their troops. You have a few moves per turn, and you can only change the position of the unit at the bottom of the column. Joining three units of the same color in a column will form a chain attack that triggers the next turn.
When your side of the battlefield is nearly empty, you can call on reinforcements and again organize them to create more attack patterns. But matches are as much about attacking as they are about defending, so you can place three units of the same color horizontally to form a wall. Another important strategy is to remove a unit from a column, potentially creating a chain just by doing this action, and the more chains you create, the more bonus moves you earn.
But this is just on the surface, as you must go deeper when you select a hero and its corresponding units for 1v1 or 2v2 battles. Matches can easily last over 30 minutes, and some may even hit the hour mark if both players are balanced and continually keep pushing back the antagonist’s efforts. With units such as vampires that restore the zone’s health, it’s easy to see that there’s no such thing as a lost match, and while there’s always this unpredictable factor from the way your reinforcements drop, skill and combos play a major role in Clash of Heroes.
Each hero comes with a special ability that while rare, can turn the tide of battle. From shield walls that devolve into projectiles to arrows that randomly strike the enemy’s army, this move requires perfect timing to work to its best, since wasting it could spell defeat in a few moves.
You can also join efforts with another player for 2v2 matches, doubling the chaos and confusion, but also the combos and synergy, as it requires a lot of joint effort to defeat the opponent.
Clash From the Past
The need for a Definitive Edition for Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes may be up for debate, but it’s a valid way of introducing newer gamers to an addictive and exciting puzzle game that possibly ended up lost in time. The simple mechanics harbor complex strategies and it’s easy to lose hours trying to overcome the enemy hero. The campaign with over 20 hours of adventure is another factor that can’t be ignored, and all of this adds to a game that may not break any new ground, but knows perfectly well how to encourage you to use your gray matter for hours on end.
MP1st was given access to a preview build of Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes – Definitive Edition for our hands-on session. Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes – Definitive Edition is set to release July 20, 2023 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.