Reviews by iberaider

95

A very good game!

iberaider | Nov. 25, 2012 | Review of Dark Messiah Might & Magic

I played this game back in 2006 when it released. It was buggy and broken so I left it.

In 2010 I came back to it in the hopes that it had been patched. It had and what became of it is one of the most enjoyable experiences I have had in an action RPG. I came back to it again in 2012 just before Arkane's next game 'Dishonored' hit the shelves just to get pumped for some awesome first person action.

Lets start with describing the game. Like its predecessor Arx Fatalis, it is a first person action adventure with RPG elements.

THE STORY The game focuses on the player character Sareth. After being trained by Phenrig for most of his life, he is eventually sent to the city of Stonehelm. Once there the shit hits the fan and so begins the adventure of Sareth. I know it is just a brief summary of the beginning of the game, but the story is intriguing and engaging so I don't want to spoil too much.

THE VISUALS The game sports a realistic art style, the textures and model quality are detailed on characters, weapons and most of the environment seems to be in enough detail to keep you immersed. Up close however environment texture can seem low res. Since the game is running on a modified version of the Source Engine, we have high quality water effects but fire effects leave something to be desired.

THE GAMEPLAY This is where the game really shines. The game is designed around letting the player choose how to approach situations and the game simply providing the tools to do so.

The RPG elements appear in the form of skill trees that give you a varied amount of abilities that are unlocked through the acquisition of skill points throughout the game.

The skill trees are split into Combat Abilities, Magic Abilities and Misc Abilities. The player has complete freedom for which abilities to unlock however not everyone can be unlocked in one playthrough adding to the re-playability of the game.

A lot of focus was put into the Melee combat of the game. It is heavily skill based, allowing you to perform different attacks depending on your movement and enemy position. Enemies deal a significant amount of damage making parrying and block effectively invaluable skills. A kick mechanic is also emplace for both tactical breathing room and pushing enemies into environment hazards.

The magic system is pretty standard, you have mana, you unlock spells through your skill tree however you can pick up spell scrolls to allow you to cast without mana cost or the spell unlocked. Where magic gets really fun is how you can apply them to environment hazards, splash some ice on the floor and make your enemy slip off a cliff or burn a rope and let a chandelier come crashing down.

The stealth in the game reminded me a lot of game like Thief, with lighting making a difference on how visible you are, you can also perform stealth kills and pickpocket for players who want a more stealth playthrough.

The game also has an adrenaline system that can give you some new options in-game. As you kill enemies your adrenaline meter will fill, once full you will be able to perform insta-kill moves called fatalities removing limbs and mowing through multiple enemies. Each magic spell has an alternate mode for adrenaline attacks as well.

MULTIPLAYER Unfortunately I could not play the multiplayer because Ubisoft have shut down the servers and refused to release the SDK. So if you were hoping for some MP Melee sword and magic fights you will be disappointed.

THE BOTTOM LINE Dark Messiah: Might and Magic was a hell of a lot of fun to playthrough and I felt compelled to playthrough again and again to try new things and take different approaches. Though the game has some visual set backs (mainly due to it being 6 years old now) and the voice acting could be better they did not detract for the core experience.

The game is great fun and is relatively cheap now. So pick it up and give it a go!