This Brutality

The Inferno Campaign has been the second most enjoyable campaign of the game so far. Necropolis was a ranged powerhouse and easily my favorite, and Inferno is the opposite: a melee powerhouse with some of the most enjoyable mobs so far. They cover all the basic devil/demon tropes -cCerberus, succubus, pit fiends, maniacs, lumbering rampagers and swift tormented beasts are all represented in some way.

I played a magic hero with Necropolis, might with Haven, and magic with Sanctuary so it was time to return to might with Inferno. My experience with Haven was a little harrowing, and had really put me off the concept of might heroes, but as I’ve always said: I’ll try anything twice. I rolled up a might hero, and started off into the great unknown, hoping to not hate the game. This time, though, I was rewarded with an enjoyable experince right from the go. Having the experience of what didn’t work as a might hero in Haven really helped, as I was able to build a solid might hero right from the start.

Each campaign features four maps. On the first one, your limited to your basic three creatures, called Core Units. You might get an Elite level as well if your lucky. The second map allows you access to all of the Elites and Cores, and the third gives you access to Champion units. Each of these units has to be earned and found on the map. Sometimes its a simple stack hanging around that you recruit, and sometimes its a quest. Each creature has a basic form and an upgraded form, as well. The third map never gives you access to your Upgraded Champion; that is the purview of the fourth and final map. Whats so fun about the fourth map is that you get to have access to all your creatures from the get-go. You have to spend the time and resources to build their recruitment centers, but its up to you to pick and choose when to get what units.

Each recruitment center generates a certain amount of units each week, 7 turns, so preserving these is paramount. In the Necropolis and Haven campaigns you have access to replenishment with necromancy and healing respectively. In Sanctuary you just have a million-billion units so you care less about losses. In Inferno, you have no access to anything, and your units aren’t super-plentiful, but they hit plenty hard, and seem to have a decent amount of HP among them. Magic Heroes allow you to pummel your enemies with powerful spells, which is good for armies with weaker units like Necropolis and Sanctuary, but the hardier units of Inferno have really enjoyed the plentiful buffing that goes on with the might heroes. From the ability to counter-attack before being hit instead of after, to the ability that lets you summon extra guys based on the size of your army, to the ability to call out a unit to go immediately, might heroes have some very compelling abilities.

The style of play that Inferno has is a no-mercy, hit first, hit hard melee beating. They have only two Ranged units, one Core and one Elite, but they can’t hold down the fort for you unless you do some serious work on them. Instead, you summon a huge amount of extra demons and charge them into the face of the enemy until there is no enemy left. Speaking of summoning demons, each faction has its own unique ability and Inferno probably has the best. When you build the requisite amount of points, you can designate a place on the board where a new stack of one of your units will be summoned in a turn or two. This area of the board is impassible to all units much like a rock formations. It can also be destroyed with enemy attacks similar to how you can destroy castle walls. As a final benefit, it occupies the same space as the unit stack does. Placed properly, this will block enemy advances, funnel them into your stronger units, and distract enemies as they attack the portal. Its control, offense and defense all in one, and is by far the best ability that I’ve had so far.

As cool as the Inferno Campaign is there is a downfall. The main character, Kiril, is supremely effeminate and could be labeled with a strong Emo title. His voice is grating, he has a pet name for the demon in his head, and he is completely unphased by the two succubus who are hitting on him the whole time. Its a little strange and off putting, but who plays these games for the characterization, right?