Spellforce is one of those few (or many) PC classic gaming gems, it's also one of those few good hybrids, this one mixes the one-man combat of an RPG with the strategy of an RTS.
This game is basically Lord of the Rings with a twist, the world is broken up into smallish islands and you play as whats called a Rune Warrior which are a group of people bound to a "master" that carries their rune, you can have a bunch of other Rune Warriors follow you too you start off with one and you get an extra slot every 5 or 10 levels.
There are sets of skills you can aquire by leveling up too, you start off when creating a character with one of these skills sets, there are 6 skill sets with 2 melee sets, 4 magic sets and a dedicated ranged combat set. Each combat set has an average of three skills per set, some have more and some have less.
To create a character you can chose to be a man or a woman and chose from a set of heads, aswell as your starting skill and stats, each skill requires a different set of stat(s) to level it up.
There are three campaigns, the Order of Dawn campaign (simply called "Campaign") which you play as the Phoenix Bearer (although at the time he doesn't know it)
The second campaign is the Breath of Winter you play as again a Rune Warrior who later in the game has a weapon called the "Shadow Blade".
In the third and fourth campaigns you can import a character from the Order of Dawn or Breath of Winter campaigns (asuming you finished them) there are two campaigns, you get a different character based on what campaign you did before, in the Order of Dawn you get the Phoenix campaign and in the Breath of Winter you get the Shadow Blade.
Aswell as the four epic campaigns there are two multiplayer modes, Free Game Mode which was added in The Breath of Winter expansion pack which allows you to go through maps that you see in the campaigns, aswell as a few maps made just for Free Mode, you can play solo or with another two friends through LAN and online through the now dead Gamespy server, (although i think some awesome person has made a patch to fix that (hopfuly), Playing in co-op is more enjoyable than playing by yourself, having buddies to play with has it's pros and cons like being able to have a larger force since each player has their own pop cap and you need to defend more than one base, although this isn't always a problem because in some maps you spawn fairly close to geather, in fact in some maps you spawn right next to each other.
Aswell as the co-op Free Game Mode you can play some PvP style multiplayer which up to two teams of three duel it out and in the Breath of Winter expansion pack you can use characters from Free Game Mode which gain XP and level up from kills made in multiplayer, even if an enemy kills some wildlife, although i havn't played much of PvP so i woulden't know too much about it.
There are two kinds of maps in freemode and campaign, there are what are called "RPG" maps which it's just your avatar(s) but even though it says RPG there is still a little RTS in it since you can use other Rune Warriors as i mentioned above up to 5 although they don't level up with you, so you have to do a bit of swapping out for higher level runes, which can be annoying especially when you have to ditch one of your favourate runes for a higher level one.
The second type is the "Standard" version which you get shrines (similar to the Hero shrine you summon your Rune Warriors with) there are 6 types of shrines each with their own slave rune which again doesn't level with your avatar but you find slaves every few levels, there are Humans, Elves, Dwarves for good and Dark Elves, Trolls and Orcs for evil each has different uses for the "standard" resources and uses one of the three "unique" resources, although some of the factions like Dark Elves will use more than one special or standard resource type with their structures, even very basic structures like the woodcutter's house.
When leveling up you get 2 skill points and 5 or 10 attribute points, after creating your character you can buy up to 8 more skills and skill sets, each skill set requires a different attribute level to be reached (the attribute that you have to level is different for each skill and most to all of them require more than one attribute to be leveled) skills can't be leveled higher than the skill set they are in, be careful what you spend your points on though because if you mess up you can't get your stats or skills back.
If you don't like controlling your units like an RTS don't worry you can take direct control of your Avatar although it is fairly clunky and selecting units can be a pain especially since you can still select your avatar in this mode, and attacking is annoying too, when selecting things there will be icons at the top left bellow your heroes icons showing what they can do, and the icon shows how far away they are from the target, you can also assign control groups to units but that probably wo't matter much since you won't be splitting your troops up as much because of the fairly restrictive population cap, and when you do it will be because you are leaving a few troops behind to help defend your base.
In campaign enemies can drop loot, from quest items to random jumk you can sell but in free game mode and multiplayer they don't which is especially bad with Free Game Mode but there is a dedicated marketplace map which sells a few special rune warriors, possibly every rune slave, a few special blueprints and loads of weapons, armour and rings and possibly every type of spell in the game but the worst part of Free Game Mode is trying to get the cash to buy everything.
Co-op in Free Mode is both harder and more rewarding, unless your really good it's best to stick to stolo in Free Mode, also the avatar (who represents you in-game) won't automatically attack enemies unless they attack him or he is ordered to.
In general i reccomend getting this if you are an RTS fan or an RPG fan or both this game is a must have.