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Hesperian Wars

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:Michal Janacek & Jarek Kolar



Copyright 1998, Pterodon

Hesperian Wars is a neat real-time strategy game from Czech developers Pterodon, best known for Vietcong first-person shooter. Set in the fantasy world of Hesperia, the game lets you choose which of the four tribes to lead, each with its own strengths, weaknesses, and plots. Leading the mages, for example, naturally involves casting a lot more spells than the giants.

The game has many good points: a very nice tutorial, the availability of inventory (so you can, for example, save that spell scroll found on a dead enemy for later use), plenty of magical items to find and spells to cast, and many different types of units. I also like the option of choosing where my next battle would be – in contrast to most other real-time strategy games, you can usually choose from 5 choices or more in Hesperian Wars, thereby greatly increasing the replay value. Unfortunately for all these promising features, Hesperian Wars is bogged down by too similar units, too similar missions, a not-so-bright AI, and the lack of personality (Battle Realms heroes come to mind) that would maintain your interest. The game overall feels too rushed – not enough play-testing time on play balance or plot development. Indeed, the history section on developers’ website admits that “…owing to low budget and short development time (8 months), the final game [of Hesperian Wars] did not achieve great success nor players’ popularity.” Too bad for yet another missed opportunity for something that starts out promising. Worth a look, but by no means a keeper.

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