Saturday, April 19, 2014

Heroes 5 vs Heroes 6 - which is better?

The games from the Heroes of Might and Magic (HOMM) series are among the most beloved titles by turn-based strategy fans. Heroes 3, especially, is one of the few games that has flawlessly passed the test of time and is still played by many gamers today, many years after its initial release in 1999. In this article, however, I'm going to make a comparison of the more recent versions Heroes 5 and Heroes 6 (which are great games, too) and reveal the pros and cons of each, so that you can decide which is the better game for you.


Heroes 5 features cartoon like 3D graphics and animations. The accent is put more on the units, the heroes and the towns and less on the terrain. The hero screen is better than the one in Heroes 6, because the item and equipment of the hero is drown exactly on the proper body part (head, neck, feet, etc.). The rotating camera when you enter your town is really impressive and you will find yourself spending a lot of time just watching how the camera rotates around your fortress and shows it from different angles. Yes, it's that good ;)

Heroes 6 is a newer game and as such it is designed for better hardware, which gave the developers the power to create an even better graphics engine. The 3D graphics in Heroes 6 are more realistic (not cartoon like as in Heroes 5) and besides the units and the heroes, the terrain of the map like water, grass, mountains and all looks impressive, too. The only place where Heroes 6 goes a step back instead of a step forward from Heroes 5 is the town screen - there's no rotating camera any more, you simply have a still picture of your town and its buildings.

Heroes 5Heroes 6


Both games feature nice background music and audio effects. Heroes 6 excels more at the battle and map sounds, while Heroes 5 has the edge in the town screen soundtracks.

Heroes 5Heroes 6


The gameplay is the most important part of every game, so I'm going to present the pros and cons of Heroes 5 and Heroes 6 gameplay in greater details.

Heroes 5 advantages include:
  • The option to upgrade every creature to one of a two more powerful ones. You have to choose wisely which upgrade to go with, which is a very nice strategic element.
  • Caravans - you can transport armies from other towns and buildings to your town physically across the map instead of directly buying them from your town screen as it is done in Heroes 6. Caravans take some time to arrive to their destination and can be intercepted by the enemy, which brings another nice strategic element to the game.
  • You cannot convert other faction towns to your own faction like in Heroes 6, which is pretty nice from a gameplay point of view as you will have to deal with more units and learn how to use their strengths to aid your cause.
  • You loose the rest of your movement points when you embark a ship, so the enemy can easily catch you up, which is another strategic element you have to think about.
  • More resource types - make the game economy more deep. You will have to capture more mines and resource production buildings in order to win.
  • Random map generator - helps you enjoy the game longer, as you will be able to generate more maps to play on.
  • No DRM crap - the game can be played offline and does not require internet connection and login in a launcher.
Heroes 6 advantages include:
  • Better heroes skill tree and abilities. When you hero levels up, you can choose exactly what ability to get, instead of being offered 3 random abilities to select from as it is in Heroes 5.
  • Dynasties - gives your hero access to dynasty weapons, pets and traits, which makes him more powerful and may give you the edge on hard maps.
  • Custom heroes - the game lets you create your own heroes by selecting how they look and what abilities they have, which makes it possible to create the perfect hero for your play style.
Heroes 5Heroes 6

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The AI of every game is crucial for the power of the computer opponents you play against in single player mode. Heroes 5 has four difficulty levels - Easy, Normal, Hard and Heroic. On Heroic the AI definitely presents a challenge and even though I'm a skilled Heroes 5 player, I occasionally loose on Heroic difficulty, which is great. Heroes 6 on the other hand has only 3 difficulty levels for the map and the AI - Easy, Normal and Hard. Unfortunately, I find them all too easy as I always win on custom maps against the AI, even on Hard. The conclusion is that the AI of Heroes 5 presents a greater challenge than that of Heroes 6. The only negative about the Heroes 5 AI is that it's very slow and on large maps with 4 and more computer opponents you may find yourself spending a lot of time waiting for the AI to complete its turn.

Heroes 5Heroes 6


Heroes 5 and Heroes 6 are both great games for turn based strategy fans, but each of them has its own pros and cons and is better suited for different types of players. Heroes 6 as a newer game has better visuals and is a bit more simple to play, so if you are a fan of fancy graphics and animations you should try it out. Heroes 5 on the other hand requires a more in depth strategy and has a more powerful AI on the hardest level, so if you enjoy games, which require more thinking and provide a real challenge, you should try Heroes 5.

Final Score
Heroes 5Heroes 6

So which game is better? It's a close one and more of a personal preference, but in my opinion Heroes 5 takes the edge, because of the better gameplay and the greater amount of strategy elements it provides. What do you think, is Heroes 5 the better game for you or you enjoy Heroes 6 more?

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