Era of Chaos Review and Guides
Forge your Legacy!
Is it worth playing in 2020?
Note: Use buttons in the lower right corner of the screen to jump to the Review or Guides.
If you are an advanced player and want to learn in-depth tactics on heroes, units, and best armies, use the links below.
If you belong to a younger generation of gamers, then you perhaps aren’t fully familiar with Jon Van Caneghem’s Heroes of Might and Magic series and the lasting impact it made on the genre of turn-based strategies. Set in the enthralling world of Enroth, the home of supreme might and high magic, for almost two decades it masterfully weaved the tales of bloody succession wars, betrayals, strife, age-long interracial struggles, until it had become one of the true household brands of the gaming world, and dully deserved its own blazing star on the gaming walk of fame.
In the meantime, the Heroes franchise evolved and changed owners, publishers, and developers. New World Computing, the series’ original developer, led by the one and only Jon Van Caneghem, relinquished the baton to Ubisoft (in the producer’s role), and Nival Interactive, Black Hole Entertainment, Limbic Entertainment, and Virtuous succeeded one another as competent and talented developers. In 2011, for some mystifying reason, Ubisoft somewhat permutated the name of the franchise, dubbing it Might & Magic Heroes – but it still essentially remained true to the spirit of the original series, while maintaining the high level of quality and bringing the visual presentation and, to a certain extent, the gameplay up to date with modern standards.
When it was originally released in November 2019, it immediately polarized fans and gaming critics…
And now, finally, a dream come true – a proper Heroes mobile game before us! The one which – at least in theory – should reinvent the franchise, and reintroduce it to the new generation of gamers. And not just any Heroes game, but a mobile remake of the beloved third installment of the series.
One thing is for sure: a game with a pedigree and formidable legacy such as this one must fulfill many expectations, be modern and trendy, appealing to the new audience, yet at the same time managing to satisfy the refined taste buds of longstanding – and inevitably to an extent conservative – classic Heroes fans. Certainly, a developer and publisher of Ubisoft’s high caliber haven’t taken lightly the tremendous responsibility towards Heroes fandom and this daunting task of transferring Heroes franchise to the mobile phones. Right?
However, when Era of Chaos was originally released in November 2019, it immediately polarized fans and gaming critics – the latter in particular reacted mostly negatively about it. Let’s see how things are going in 2020 and did Ubisoft managed to correct some of the issues that critics begrudged them the most, or not. Is this game a worthy successor to one of the best turn-based/RPG games of all time? Or – as some of the more severe critics called it – just a pale shadow that falsely represents itself as a true Heroes game, an irreverent rip-off designed only for the sake of profit?
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The plot of the game is loosely based on the campaigns of original Heroes of Might & Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia…
The plot of the game is loosely based on the campaigns of original Heroes of Might & Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia. As in its much-revered predecessor, the story of Might & Magic Heroes: Era of Chaos takes place in Erathia, a land caught in the bitter conflict between several classic Heroes factions. The Sylvan Elves of Avlee, the Necromancers of Deyja and demons of Eofol are at each other’s throats, and it seems that the forces of good are at the receiving end. As long as the mighty king Nicolas Gryphonhearth of Erathia was alive, he was able to hold back the tides of darkness. Now that he had been deviously assassinated, the capital of Steadwick has proven as easy prey for the malignant forces. The continent starts to boil with animosity and war once more.
Amidst all that hatred and chaos, a young queen Catherine Ironfist, the daughter of the slain king, arrives with her war armada to the troubled shores of Erathia to claim her birthright once more. Soon, she hears the unsettling tidings about the events that had been transpiring all over the war-ravaged land and realizes the magnitude of the challenge that lies before her. She’ll have to use all her might, tactical skills, and diplomacy – as well all the help she can get from her would-be allies – if she hopes to break the advance of the darkness and restore her homeland to its former glory.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The first thing that will strike you is that practically nothing remained from the once famous complex and tactically challenging Heroes of Might & Magic combat system…
Ok, so the story is obviously intentionally a bit Deyja voodoo…err Deja Voo…but that’s to be expected from the game which pretends to be the remake of the famous Heroes III. However, let’s check out the game mechanics and in which respects it differs from the classical gameplay we all know and love. At first glance, almost everything is here and pretty much the same – if we don’t count some strange designer’s decisions concerning the visual identity of the game, but we’ll get to that in due time.
The Era of Chaos is still a strategy with a lengthy campaign and a strong RPG vibe. That means that you’ll be prancing around the countryside on your proud war mount – flowing red hair and all – wearing that familiar skimpy, skin-tight armor. You’ll be collecting resources, befriending allies and conquering various strategic posts, such as resource deposits or fortified cities. Once, you’re in the city, you’ll be able to upgrade it, as well as your fateful troops, in a similar manner as in the previous games. Of course, you’ll also see a plethora of new options that are obviously introduced because this is mobile with multiplayer possibilities. Up to this point, everything is still very tolerable, but once we get to the thing that for most of us is the crux of the whole Heroes experience – and that’s combat – we couldn’t help but be slightly disappointed.
The first thing that will strike you is that practically nothing remained from the once famous complex and tactically challenging Heroes of Might & Magic combat system. In previous iterations of Heroes, you could control every single unit in attack and defense, casting swarms of beneficial magic which augmented them, or raining fire and other destructive spells on your enemies until you’ve pounded them into the ground. Now, we’ve got a simplistic, reduced and heavily streamlined combat which reminds more of the fights from some JRPG (at least when the spell casting system is concerned) than on the classic Heroes experience. The battle will be conducted automatically, and all you’ll be able to do is to pause it, toggle the speed, and cast a few spells.
True, there’s a mitigating circumstance that you’ll be able to adjust the formation of your troops before the combat to take advantage of some of their special abilities. That also means that you’ll be able to sneak peek at your enemies’ formation, so that you can find some weak spot in their defense, or find some other way to exploit their inherent weaknesses, but that’s about it. For instance, when you encounter the Firebird for the first time, your weaker units will most likely be easily destroyed by its powerful fire-based attack. However, you’ll also probably perceive that it attacks in the straight line. Thus, you’ll change the formation of your units, moving your weaker ranged units to the side, which will get them out of the way and provide you the necessary support. Unfortunately, these kinds of maneuvers will almost be your only tactics available regarding combat. This is rather strange, that designers decided to skimp on what was always one of the most attractive and addictive segments in all Heroes games, while still including lots of micromanaging and other similar stuff that can sometimes be quite overwhelming and boring.
Of course, in all honesty, these gameplay aspects are flaws only from the perspective of the die-hard Heroes fan who expects a very specific type of experience. If you’re willing to overlook them for the sake of fun (which is what we’d wholeheartedly recommend) – or if you’re a newbie Heroes player – then you’ll be able to partake in the game with more gusto. And if you wait a bit until you get the opportunity to sample what multiplayer options have to offer, you even might be pleasantly surprised – keep an eye on Guild Adventures and Guild Wars which can be especially engaging.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Catherine Ironfist and other heroes passed into some strange Anime dimension…
As for the visual presentation and overall design…we’ll how can we put it? Do you remember those movies where a normal, live-action protagonist somehow enters into some kind of cartoonish dimension, suddenly becoming a toon himself? Well, here’s a kind of the same thing. Those players, familiar with how the original Heroes of Might & Magic III – or, for that matter, any other game from the series – looked, will have an eerie feeling that Catherine Ironfist and other heroes passed into some strange Anime dimension, which transformed them into gacha versions of themselves. At best, the whole thing looks weird – at worst it’s borderline uncomfortable, like some particularly strict taboo that has just been broken before your very eyes.
Of course, if you aren’t an old Heroes fan, and therefore don’t entertain any preconceptions about how a Heroes game should feel and look, you probably won’t mind the graphics at all. On the contrary, you might even enjoy its pleasing and flowery color scheme, slick presentation and admittedly very cute characters. If there’s an objective flaw that we might point out, it’s that visual presentation, despite its evident qualities, doesn’t exceed the average level of this type of game, which, unfortunately, also goes for most other aspects of the game. In other words, it severely lacks its own unique visual identity.
A Heroes game should be anything but average, and in the graphical department, as well as in the rest of the game, this acute lack of vision and good taste is evident. In any case, we feel that in the context of a Heroes game, the gacha presentation is completely uncalled for and inappropriate. Sure, the rationale behind this seemingly controversial decision is based on the fact that the game was initially intended for the Asian market, and only later was released for the western audience. However, it’s also something that influenced its reception on the European and American markets.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Android owners will have to arm themselves with a device capable of running 4.4 or better, while for Apple users, iOS 8.0 or up is mandatory…
Might & Magic Heroes: Era of Chaos was released for Android devices, as well as iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Of course, you can get both versions for free from the Google Play and App Store. As for the specific requirements, Android owners will have to arm themselves with a device capable of running 4.4 or better, while for Apple users, iOS 8.0 or up is mandatory if they want to successfully run the game.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Non-paying players won’t be totally handicapped except for grinding…
Just as was the case with other segments of the game, as far as the free-to-play friendly experience is concerned, Era of Chaos also doesn’t particularly stand out from the crowd. This is one of those games which won’t particularly penalize non-paying players – in fact, you’ll be rewarded relatively frequently for completing various quests and challenges, which is certainly a step in the right direction.
Naturally, non-paying players will have to pay a different kind of price, if they want to be remotely successful as their paying compatriots, and that’s – you’ve guessed it – grind, grind and grind. However, at least, they won’t be totally handicapped. On the other hand, not only that paying players won’t have to endure the mortal coil of constant grinding, but they will also have a veritable arsenal of various bonus packages which will enable them a never-ending influx of gems and other goodies and privileges.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
It has lots of high-quality content to offer, from the truly gargantuan campaign to a plethora of multiplayer options…
Admittedly, it’s hard to evaluate Might & Magic Heroes: Era of Chaos objectively, because, voluntarily or not, we’ll always compare it to its predecessors. The amount of enjoyment you’ll derive from it will directly depend on your personal history and involvement with previous games from the Heroes franchise. Old fans who had been playing Heroes games from the very start and who had experienced the franchise in its heyday most likely won’t like it at all. In fact, everything from the way that the original story, characters, and gameplay had been treated in this revisionist mobile version will stick like a sore thumb to them. Most old players will find the graphics with its distinct anime aesthetics and especially the way that their beloved characters had been redesigned, pretty objectionable, to say the least.
However, new players, as well as all open-minded gamers without strict prejudices, will certainly discover lots of things that will keep them occupied in this latest Heroes game. All in all, Might & Magic Heroes: Era of Chaos is by no means a bad game. On the contrary, although it’s flawed by the dogmatic standards of hardcore Heroes fans, it has lots of high-quality content to offer, from the truly gargantuan campaign to a plethora of multiplayer options. Unfortunately, for all its qualities, this still isn’t an exceptional game we all hoped for, lacking both invention and oomph. Thus, it’s doomed to linger in the colossal shadow of its forerunners.
How to improve your gaming experience and gameplay…
Note: Use the button “GUIDES” in the lower right corner to jump back to this section.
Now, if you count yourself as one of those brave souls who aren’t afraid of broadening their horizons and experiencing Erathia in a new and exceedingly colorful way, this small guide is designed especially for you. Hop on your faithful steed, don your armor, adjust war gauntlets, open your spellbooks, and let’s get right to it – war waits for no one!
Use links below to jump to the guide sections. Use links in the lower right corner to jump back.
- How to use Gold Keys?
- How to Beat Elite Training Grounds Lord of Necropolis?
- How to Beat Elite Training Grounds Magic Worshipper?
- How to Leave the Guild?
- How to Beat Behemoth?
Gold keys are an expensive commodity in Might & Magic Heroes: Era of Chaos which can be acquired in several ways such as completing the main Campaign or some of the various events that game offers. Of course, they aren’t just shiny trinkets, but they have a very special purpose – they can be used as a type of currency for acquiring premium chests and receiving various units contained within. Just go to your main city screen, enter the Altar and click on the right-hand card, the golden one which is reserved for obtaining units.
There are two ways of using gold keys. If you click on the Purchase button located on the left, for the price of one gold key you’ll get one random unit. On the other hand, clicking on the right button will cost you ten keys, but you’ll get a set of ten, among which will be at least one guaranteed SR drop. In the earlier versions of the game, you could use two currencies for these purchases – diamonds or gold keys – and to use gold keys as currency, you were required to check them in the little box at the bottom of the Altar screen, which would prioritize gold keys instead of diamonds. However, for some reason, most gamers had some difficulties with this system, which is probably one of the reasons why developers finally introduced keys as the sole currency for this.
As in any combat situation in Might & Magic Heroes: Era of Chaos, the key to success lies in a careful assessment of the situation and preparation for the upcoming clash. It’s mandatory to check out the enemies’ units before the combat and to adjust the formation of your troops accordingly. Also, before the battle commences, you’ll get several useful tips concerning the abilities of your units and the hero you’ll lead in this particular training ground – which is no other than infamous death knight Lord Haart.
Now, several combinations will work in this situation and the army you’re up against, i.e. bunch of Swordsmen and Monks lead by hero Roland. Whatever you do, be sure to place your Wights somewhere at the back, because they are ranged units and they can be especially vulnerable to melee attacks. With other available units (Black Knights, Skeletons and Walking Dead) you’ll have a bit more liberty, although it’s advisable to place at least one of them in the front of Wights (Black Knights, for instance) so that they can have some protection when the charge begins. Obviously, in this constellation, the key to your victory will be Black Knights, since they’re Lord Haart’s specialty and he’ll boost their abilities considerably, making them almost unstoppable. That’s exactly why gamers on Reddit and other places on the web have been asking how they can recruit Lord Haart in their ranks.
Once the combat commences, the only other thing you can do to influence the outcome of the battle will be to support your troops with spells. For example, as you wait for the more powerful spells to become available, you can cast Sorrow on the Swordsmen, and lower their morale, making them less effective. The Air Arrow is also a good choice which will buy you some time. Finally, you can use what’s probably your biggest trump card in this situation – cast Kill Order and witness how your Black Knights dominate the battlefield. Congratulations – you’ve just won the day!
The same goes for Magic Worshipper training grounds – the preparation is the key! By now you know the drill: check out the training tips so that you can get familiarized yourself with your troops and their abilities. Pay special attention to the fact that, since these are Tower units, they are particularly magic sensitive and that the synergy with various magic and spells is your best advantage in this particular scenario. Therein lies a few nice combos which you’ll be able to use to your advantage. The other perquisite to success is the arrangement of your units. One of the characteristics of your Genies is that they’ll heal your troops constantly, which is why you have to save them at all costs. Obviously, there are several combos you can do, but here’s a formation that will work pretty well: Place Genies all the way at the back, with Arch Mages directly in front of them. They too are ranged units, but what’s more important is that they can increase the damage of units standing in their line, which is why this is probably the best position for them. In front of Arch Mages, you can place your Naga and Iron Golem all the way at the frontline since they are extremely hardy tanks who can sustain massive beating. You should also put Centaurs somewhere at the front, although they aren’t as important as other units.
For best results, as the combat goes into motion, activate Slayer magic which will not only increase the attack of your units but will also activate their passive abilities. As your melee units quickly deal with Goblins and Orcs, you can support them by casting Mirth for the increased morale or repeating Slayer for added damage. After the Goblin menace has been dealt (with, hopefully, Roc and Orcs as well), your remaining melee troops will engage the mighty Behemoth. There is a good chance that Behemoth is mostly unharmed up to this point, and that your melee units are pretty beaten. If that’s the case, don’t fret – now is the time to focus your attention on the Genies and Arch Mages. Treat them with a Slayer spell, so that they could support whatever remained of your Iron Golem and Naga. Genies will also heal them, which should get them through the end of the combat. Once the Behemoth falls, the battlefield will be all yours.
If you want to leave your guild, just go to your profile page. At the top of the screen, just next to the name of your current guild you’ll see the Leave Guild button. Click it and hey presto – you’re lone wolf once more!
Behemoths are hardy bastards, no doubt about it. Of course, that’s all well and good when they’re on your side, but it can also be absolutely frustrating when a couple of those mammoths are standing between you and the victory. Now, whether you have been asking this question purely for the sake of theory, or you’ve stuck yourself at the specific point in the game (for instance at that terrifying Chapter 10 Behemoth boss), you and scores of Era of Chaos enthusiasts just want to know one thing – how can you bring him down?
Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to this question, because it depends on the situation, your overall power, spells available and selection of your units. However, as we pointed out on our Might & Magic Heroes: Era of Chaos unit page, this gargantuan beast is susceptible to ranged attacks, so this might be the best tactic for all prospective Behemoth slayers. On the other hand, whatever you do, don’t attack him with weaker melee units. Not only you’ll be wasting them, but you’ll also just help him. Every unit he smashes will help him restore a percentage of his health. It will also increase his damage by 10% for 10 seconds, which will make him virtually unstoppable.
Therefore, it seems that the recipe that works best against Behemoth is to have one powerful tank to stall him until your spells become active. The rest of the units should be ranged, which you can additionally boost with spells such as the aforementioned Slayer. Also, don’t be shy about casting a profusion of destructive spells on Behemoth itself, particularly something like Earth Arrow which has proven especially effective since it also stuns him.