Considering the rabid fan following and the long wait, it's not a surprise that Heroes of Might and Magic V was picked apart by certain members of the hardcore fan base. It was criticized in more than a few quarters for a dull campaign, some glitches with the camera system and multiplayer, and simply for being too updated a copy of the late, great Heroes III. A series of patches helped a lot, though, and the game looked on its way to being one of the best in the history of the franchise. Now, however, the series takes another step sideways with Hammers of Fate. Like the original game on launch day, this expansion pack balances good points with bad almost every step of the way, resulting in yet another turn-based fantasy adventure that isn't all that it could be.
Battles still take place in arenas so atmospheric that you expect someone to shout 'Mortal Kombat!'
Patches won't be able to fix this one up, though. Problems here are deep rooted. The biggest issue is a by-the-numbers campaign that starts off slowly and sees you guiding Haven units in the entire first chapter. Even though the add-on features a brand-new dwarven race, Nival strangely chose to kick the campaign off with a thud by giving us five or six hours of been there, done that. This is a somewhat different Haven than the one you got to know in the original game, thanks to a mad queen who fancies herself a deity. But the units themselves are nearly identical to their predecessors except for some color changes, so the expansion still starts with what feels like outtakes from Heroes V.