TOTE doesn't really add anything spectacular to the HOMMV experience other than an acronym that reminds me of bags and the option of playing through a storyline with orcs, beasties and the types of creatures you're usually fighting against in these sorts of things.
Don't get me wrong, I love HOMM (all numerals), but this is a review of a standalone expansion pack for the fifth and is thus being judged on what it brings to the party. So while the base game remains the same - the undercurrent of fun and addictive tactical play is still ever present - that can't be chalked up to anything TOTE itself offers.
The much trumpeted 'orc-play' merely adds a blood rage factor to the mix that acts as a sort of extra shield for your orc army from time to time, but it's not a deal-breaker and the fact is this is an expansion in purely the most literal terms.
Hardened addicts who live online in multiplayer matches will no doubt be eager to snap up the new abilities, heroes and creatures to further pwn the n00bs, but for the rest of us sane mortals, all it does is provide a new bunch of maps and a new selection of graphics to play with.
It does nothing to expand upon the base game and therefore make itself worthy of notice, except for those of you with a burning desire to see how a sub-par fantasy story turns out who can't be bothered to look it up on Wikipedia.
HOMM's great. This isn't