History of Hungarian PC games, Part 2
We have already discussed the successes of Hungarian PC game developers in the ’90s and the early 2000s. Now let us take a look at five games from the more recent times. Strategy fans will be the most pleased with this list.
Haegemonia: Legions of Iron (2003)
Another space strategy by Digital Reality after Imperium Galactica II. This time, the player is involved in the intergalactic conflict between Earth and Martian colonists, which the player has to solve on either side. As the game progresses, these two human factions will be accompanied by some alien civilizations as well. Haegemonia is a much more complex game than it first seems: players can manage their economy by taxing smaller planets, terraforming newly discovered worlds, steal from the enemy and engage in climactic spaceship battles. The fully 3D interface might seem confusing at first glance, but the monumental atmosphere affects anyone interested in space travel.
Armies of Exigo (2004)
Andy Vajna’s Blackhole Entertainment development team was one of the most promising enterprises in Hungarian PC game industry. Armies of Exigo is a great proof of that. This fantasy RTS strategy game – depicting the conflict of the human-elven-gnomish Empire, the savage Beastmen and the otherworldly Fallen – received much inspiration from Blizzard Entertainment’s best-selling games, Warcraft III and Starcraft, but it also improved their concepts in multiple ways. These improvements include multi-levelled maps, complex tactical tricks and three well-balanced races, not to mention the stunning visuals. Unfortunately, the game had a quite poor marketing and it was released at the same time as the long-awaited Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-Earth, which hindered its sales, but Exigo still managed to gain a cult status among RTS fans.
Codename: Panzers series (2004-2009)
Another tank war game by S.W.I.N.E.’s Stormregion, but this time they moved to a more realistic topic: World War II. The Codename: Panzers series is a trilogy: Phase One was released in 2004 and followed the major tank battles between Germans, Soviets and the Western Allies; Phase Two followed a year later and added Italians and Yugoslavian partisans to the palette; and finally, Cold War was released in 2009, jumping several years in time and depicting the conflicts between NATO and the Soviet Union. These three games are currently holding the best ratings on critical forums like Metacritic that Hungarian PC games have ever reached.
Might and Magic Heroes VI (2011)
The Heroes of Might and Magic franchise is arguably the king of turn-based strategy games. This is why it was an honor for Blackhole Entertainment to be chosen to create the sixth installment of the series. Unfortunately, this promising request turned out to be the undoing of the Hungarian company. Though the game featured a spectacular design and some new ideas that refreshed the gameplay, the bulk of bugs and glitches and the lack of some functions from the previous installments due to the tight release schedule led to an unfavorable reception. This failure ultimately cost Blackhole Entertainment their promising career, crashing the company financially. However, the game received several patches and an add-on since then, and it is a compulsory play for the fans of Heroes ever since.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing (2013-2015)
The most recent success of the Hungarian PC game industry – namely NeocoreGames – is a hack’n’slash role-playing game similar to Diablo, Torchlight or Path of Exile. The player impersonates monster hunter Abraham Van Helsing, who might be familiar from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The game takes place in a 19th century Eastern Europe setting and an atmosphere that combines Gothic and Steampunk. The player completes quests, fights Gothic monsters and gathers treasures, while developing and customizing Van Helsing’s fighting skills. A sequel was released to the game in 2014, followed by the final installment of the trilogy in 2015.
Source: Daily News Hungary