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SpellForce: Conquest of Eo – Demon Scourge review: Oops, I teamed up with the Demonlord and conquered the world

No, this isn’t the newest isekai anime hit
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There are two things everyone who’s studied Latin at school has done at least once: One is to wrap a blanket around their body like a toga and pretend to give a speech in the forum, and the second is to pretend to summon a demon, chanting their vocabulary like an incantation. Aside from my cat, no one ever responded to my summons. In SpellForce: Conquest of Eo – Demon Scourge, however, I can fully live out the fantasy of summoning demons and bending them to my will until it catastrophically backfires on me, as these things usually do.

Demon Scourge is an expansion pack for SpellForce: Conquest of Eo, a turn-based strategy game that has you control a powerful wizard searching for his master’s legacy. You build up a mighty tower, assemble powerful military forces, and change the fate of the world with your adventures – and it’s up to you how to do that, with several playstyles and win conditions being available.

SpellForce: Conquest of Eo Demon Scourge keyart showing a wizard summoning demons.

Demon Scourge will have you enter love-hate relationships with Demonlords in no time.

This DLC adds an entertaining way of playing by introducing the Demonologist as a class for your wizard. As alluded to in the intro, this class is all about summoning demons and using them for your own purposes. You send out cultists to nearby towns, where you can establish demonic cults that serve as the basic “material” for your summonings. Using the established system of crafting in the game, you then add other materials as catalysts to summon a demon. What kind of demon you get depends on which materials you used and how rare they were.

Here comes the fun part: You can then select one of your units and break its mind (this uses some material as well with higher tier units requiring rarer items), which in turn lets the demon you summoned possess it. This allows the unit to gain all the properties of the demon, greatly enhancing its capabilities on and off the battlefield. What’s even cooler is that these demons level up as the units they inhabit win battles, essentially providing another avenue for them to become stronger alongside the standard unit level-ups. You don’t even have to worry about losing the demons in battle – if their current hosts are killed, the demons themselves survive and can be assigned to possess someone else, keeping their current level and bonuses. The flesh may be weak, but their spirits remain strong.

SpellForce: Conquest of Eo Demon Scourge showing the process of summoning a demon.

Would you like your demon shaken or stirred?

This is a satisfying system, as it allows you to massively buff weaker units and have them fight way above their normal weight class. As you progress through your Occultism research, you can even summon some combat demons directly, sacrificing a unit to make it happen. These more powerful demons, who bring their own bodies to this dimension, will inherit the promotions and properties of the sacrificial victim, giving you some truly fearsome monsters.

It’s not just you who’s playing around with demons, though. Demonlords have entered the world in Demon Scourge, establishing their domains and corrupting the area around their towers. The neat thing about these fellows is that you can either oppose or team up with them – if you fancy the risk of a deal with the devil. You need to be careful when traversing the world and visiting any landmarks with high demonic corruption, as these may trigger some rather unpleasant events. I’ve had one of my valuable apprentices snatched away by a Demonlord, who seduced them with their powers before I was able to put a stop to it. Rude!

Dealing with these new entities, each of which has different personalities, feels super thematic and as a Warhammer fan, I can’t help but liken the Demonlords to the Daemons of Chaos, giving these interactions some extra spice. A problem with the base game was that it lacked that immersion into the world a little bit for a few reasons. Demon Scourge helps make up for that by providing some cool new storylines and atmospheric set pieces. There’s nothing like taking control of potentially world-ending forces and using them for your own ends, overcoming them despite their resistance.

SpellForce: Conquest of Eo Demon Scourge showing a demon army.

Aren't these some adorable demons?

Honestly, this expansion would already be quite good if it only offered the new class and the Demonlords, but it packs a lot more content than that. Aside from the demons, the mighty trolls play a big role as well and introduce a second new faction you can fight or befriend. Altogether, there are 25 brand-new units to be enjoyed and over 30 new promotions to be discovered. Add that to the over 120 new adventures, more than 25 new tower rooms and expansions, and two fresh win conditions, and you’ve got a metric ton of additional variety at your fingertips.

It may just be that the Demonologist’s playstyle is a great fit for me, but I’ve had a lot more fun with the DLC than just the base game, which itself has been polished and fleshed out since launch. Coming with a ton of exciting content, SpellForce: Conquest of Eo – Demon Scourge offers fantastic bang for your buck and should give anyone who bounced off the base game a reason to come by for a second look – you might accidentally team up with the Demonlord to conquer the world and get hooked to play another campaign. Devious!

Score: 8/10

Version tested: PC

SpellForce: Conquest of Eo – Demon Scourge is launching on February 13, 2024, to PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S. It’s available for a price of $12.99 USD / €12.99 Euro / £9.99 GBP via Steam, where a 10% discount will be offered in its first week. It’s also noteworthy that the title works great on Steam Deck.

Technical breakdown

No demonic summoning rituals were necessary to make the game work smoothly on my PC or the Steam Deck. It has very quick loading times and I suffered no crashes. Some of the walking animations on the world map wouldn’t work correctly and projectiles regularly clip through terrain surfaces. Though these don’t exactly help with the immersion, they are minor visual issues. The game also features plenty of settings you can play around with, such as an FPS limiter.