Nordic Games will summon a SpellForce 2 expansion that's been in limbo since 2009 from the aether and onto PCs in May.
Lots of promising games seem to vanish into thin air, and the ones that come back aren't always so good. Other pieces of vaporware are often just victims of circumstance. Take SpellForce 2: Faith in Destiny, for example. First announced in 2009, this second standalone expansion to the cult RTS/RPG hybrid sequel fell off the radar when its publisher declared bankruptcy, but managed to avoid cancellation for three years. The game's tenacity won out, as Nordic Games GmbH took the game under its wing, nursed it back to health, and plans to release it into the European wilds in May.
While the SpellForce series has never been a major hit, the quirky German series has attracted its share of fans on both sides of the Atlantic for successfully (if somewhat plainly) combining RTS and RPG trappings into lengthy quests with lots of units to train, gear to acquire, and enemies to fight. Faith in Destiny will follow the story of previous expansion Dragon Storm, pitting a new hero against a band of demons known only as The Nameless. As far as the game's three-year absence from popular media, Reinhard Pollice, a manager at Nordic Games, gives a no-nonsense explanation. "The development of SpellForce 2: Faith in Destiny... could neither fulfil (sic) our high quality standards in some departments nor the expectations of the community," he explains. "Therefore, we decided to ... comprehensively revamp several segments of the game."
Will Faith in Destiny be the SpellForce installment that finally breaks out and makes the series a mainstream success? Probably not, but its upcoming release is sure to please a small but dedicated fanbase. SpellForce as a series has withstood lukewarm sales and the bankruptcy of its publisher, but it still perseveres and lives to fight another day with a good central mechanic and solid gameplay. Faith in Destiny may not set the world on fire with a well-placed rune, but there's still a lesson in there. Nordic has not yet confirmed a North American release, but history suggests that it will arrive in the Western Hemisphere not too long after its European launch.