Reviews for Dark Messiah Might & Magic
Highly underrated classicGmen | Nov. 22, 2013 | See all Gmen's reviews »
The concept behind this is quite novel but probably nothing new. It’s a spin off of the famed Heroes of Might & Magic series, but instead of a strategy title, this is more of an action RPG. You take on the role of Sareth, a wizard’s apprentice who is sent on a seemingly harmless errand, but eventually Sareth ends up being involved in a much deeper plot, and is more central to the goings on in the game than he was originally aware of.
The game takes place in the first person perspective, and it would seem that this is nothing more than a linear hack and slash affair. But there are RPG elements involved. You can upgrade your character’s abilities, unlock powerful spells, or make him a force to be reckoned with in combat. Weapons, armour and items like rings also add to your abilities and grant you damage bonuses.
Melee combat is usually not the best way to go, and it’s a good thing that there are plenty of obstacles like barrels that you can use to throw at your enemies as well as traps that can work in your favour. Battles are therefore very bloody and engaging, challenging the player every time. One can also choose a stealthier approach, or use magic, or even a combination, to raise the odds in their favour.
The game uses the source engine which debuted in Half-Life 2. The characters aren’t very pretty and neither is the animation, but the surroundings and textures, especially in deeply atmospheric dark indoor environments, is where the looks of this game shine through.
The game is poorly optimised though and lag will be very apparent even on higher end systems. Long loading screens, freezes and crashes will also detract from the overall enjoyment of the game.
Overall, this is a highly underrated classic plagued by issues, that if overlooked, will reveal a decent game that will offer you several hours of fun. Unfortunately there isn’t much replayability value once you’ve finished it besides trying out a different skill tree (there is no fixed class system in singleplayer). Your best bet would be to try the multiplayer at this juncture seeing as there are no mods for this game, which is rather disappointing.
Fun, but where's the sequel?nemesis44uk | Aug. 6, 2013 | See all nemesis44uk's reviews »
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, or DMMM as it's easier known, is a "Fun with Physics" RPG that predates Skyrim.
At the time, DMMM was very impressive - allowing you to kick someone down the stairs, or into a spiked trap, or fire. Shoot the rope with an arrow and a bucket will fall on a troll's head.
Also, this is the first game I remember using bloom and HDR so effectively - they added a shine of realism to the graphics.
A fun little game which I was happy to support, but I find it odd that no sequel with improved graphics and physics has emerged.
Definitely worth a purchase, especially if you have a PC rig not quite up to spec as it is friendly in that respect.
Arkane's strange take on the Might and Magic seriesGanerumo | June 26, 2013 | See all Ganerumo's reviews »
Arkane Studios is not the kind of dev team to release a game every year. In fact, this French team has released a grand total of three games over their 11 years of existence : the most recent Dishonored, their oldest Arx Fatalis, and the strange one inbetween, Dark Messiah. Interestingly, each under a different publisher.
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic is kind of a weird one. While Arx Fatalis and Dishonored were entirely made by Arkane, both on the programming and conceptual side, Dark Messiah is based on a lore that was never thought up by Arkane, and it tells : while the gameplay is amazing, the universe is seriously lacking. Might and Magic being a rather dull universe compared to the eerie and almost lovecraftian designs of Arkane, Dark Messiah suffers from a lack of visual identity.
Gameplay wise, the game still holds up : everything is based around a very solid fighting system that feels sort of like Oblivion or Skyrim, but actually good : each weapons works in its own way and offers various types of gameplay, through aggressiveness or stealth. While magic alone is not exactly viable, it makes for some great fun when combined with proper swordfighting, or staff handling (casting a freeze spell on the ground to make people slip on it and fall down a bottomless pit is still one of my favorite moments in gaming history, hands down). This is probably the side of the game that survived the test of time the best. Almost makes me wish Dishonored had a similar system, rather than its dumbed down sword fighting.
On the matter of technical speaking, the game does suffer a bit : made with the Source Engine, a rather primitive and recent engine back in 2006, the game suffers from frequent loading times (thankfully made much shorter by recent hardware), rather low resolution textures and most importantly small area limitations, which consequently greatly limit the freedom of action factor of the title. It's possible to play stealthy, aggressive or a mix of both essentially, but the level design often makes it hard not to bump into a pack of enemies while you're desperately trying to avoid fights. Most secrets can be ignored as the game is made way too easy by the constant placement of traps and other hazards (spikewalls, pits, fire, etc) which mean you can end most fights with a well placed kick.
The game still holds up well, though. It does feel like a prototype forced into a full game at times, but for its price it's well worth a shot. Just make sure to play in hardcore to avoid turning the game into too much of a cakewalk.
RPG all the way.drafek | June 20, 2013 | See all drafek's reviews »
This is a RPG, whatever everyone says it is a RPG, it's a older rpg though which where different, don't compare this game to TES Morrowind or Oblivion because It's different. The storyline is pretty good, but if you make one fault in for example a dungeon, you're stuck or dead. The story is interested but when you complete it it's over you can't do anything ofcourse you can replay it. Multiplayer also is nice, there still are some players. The voice acting is horrible, the dialogue is boring. The graphics are okay for the date the game was made.
Not great but not bad eitherDemilisz | June 9, 2013 | See all Demilisz's reviews »
First of all - this is more like fpp action adventure game with very little cRPG elements than "true" cRPG. There is plot, there are choices (two in game and three at the end), but both aren't that important. What is important are great physics and combat system. You can kick your enemy into deep abyss, you can kick them on nearby spikes. You can fry them with fireball or freeze them to death as mage. You can fight head on as warrior or lurk in the shadows and do some backstabbing as rogue.
And if you completed whole Heroes of Might and Magic V saga (so original game and boith add ons) then consider this game as large epilogue.
Simple dark game.brenker99 | June 4, 2013 | See all brenker99's reviews »
This game features a man who seek he's own destiny, Great storyline great combat and Great setting. You can chose 3 ways of fight you're way, 1: Melee weapons. 2: Bows . 3: Magic. Each way got it's own Skill tree ,That you chose for yourself while leveling trough the game. Overall this game desserve a chance. 9/10
A short and bloody trip to AshanHarbinger_87 | May 29, 2013 | See all Harbinger_87's reviews »
Pulling of hand-to-hand-combat from a first person perspective is a quite risky undertaking. It's not only hard to get a feeling for distances judging by a flat surface that simulates your viewpoint, most of the time it also lacks the punch, the viscerality of a true melee. So you might be glad to hear, that "Dark Messiah Might & Magic" gets it right. Whatever this game's flaws might be, they can't be found in the first-person-swordsplay-engine. But shades of it can be found in almost every other aspect of the game. The story and writing are beyond awful, giving away twists and turns at every possibility and never delivering any context to what might be at stake or how your character feels about any of this, which might be because you can somehow decide the outcome of the game by doing one thing or another at several key-positions of the game, but apart from that, your character, Sareth, talks and voices his opinion on things. Which makes a mockery of those choices, because they don't fit your character and vice versa. Apart from that, the game isn't pace that well. It starts off on a bang, letting you run rampant through a city under siege and fighting bad guys left and right. It all comes to a screeching halt when you reach the underground-crypts where you have to battle it out with pesky spiders and undead zombies. Or rather run past the zombies, since they are merely an annoyance and there's no benefit to killing them. Yes, you get experience points from time to time for advancing in the plot or doing optional side missions. But most of this hardly matters. The boni you get from leveling up are nothing compared to the equipment you find or the force of your mighty boot that can insta-kill enemies by shoving them down bottomless pits or into spike-traps. Fortunately, the game ends on a high note. The last few levels are artistically exciting, very well scripted and return the fun of battling clever foes that defined the first levels of the game. The bosses are a mixed bag, speaking from the difficulty, but most of them are quite fun. All in all, you can enjoy yourself with "Dark Messiah Might & Magic", although it is pleasantly brief, so it doesn't overstay it's welcome.
Game of my heart and lifePilgrim6 | May 14, 2013 | See all Pilgrim6's reviews »
First time I played this game was the year when it came out. I really enjoyed it but for some reason never got to finish it. After some time I decided to pick it again. Sense of nostalgia and epicness filled me. The game features of broad selection of weapons, stealth system, for it's time great graphics and story that really hooked me up. Mainly because it's characters. Xana is one of the most memorable characters in my whole gaming history. She is just perfect (and evil - so you will love her even more).
Even when hours into the game, combat still feels fresh and entertaining and at a point where it might get weary, you are given a new set of abilities. Bonus points are given for the fact that you can use environment against your enemies.
RPG elements are strong skeleton of this game and immerse the great joy you will have playing it.
There are certain moments where you can notice that the game could have been even more. Partial crafting system that has pretty much no use and et cetera.
This game has in my opinion unjustly missed the hall of fame of action RPGs. It was for Dark Messiah and my interest in Arkane Studios that I first spotted Dishonored few days after it was announced on their website.
Arkane studio did prove months later that they are destined to make great games. Dark Messiah belongs to one of my most favorite games up to date.
good game but not a rpgbritishlad | May 12, 2013 | See all britishlad's reviews »
This is a good action game. It has a very satisfying combat gameplay though there is not much to do other than fight; you are allowed to roam slightly in the town where the main story begins to find the house of the man you are supposed to find, but other than that, there is not much "free-roaming" or exploring. You have 3 distinct fighting methods; using melee weapons (swords, staves, daggers, etc), magic or archery.
Please note: this is not an rpg like The Elder Scrolls 3/4- Morrowind/Oblivion; the skill points you gain can be used to develop your character, but in a very limited sense since you will be limited to the skill tree provided in the game, which has 4 categories (skills based on the three fighting methods and misc. skills). Also, and perhaps most importantly, the game is very structured and expects you to advance in a particular way; you are not free to make your own decisions or choices and see the outcome (save for maybe at the end of the game) and so if you want to be able to proceed in the game, you have to do everything in a particular way. So, unlike some other rpgs, you cannot go through the game as you would like and in a free manner, but in a structured way that fits the script writer's storyline. Doing anything in any other way usually results in your death or for you to be stuck in that level. Even the skill system is indicative of this - you get skill points as you complete objectives and advance in the game. This is so that you can open up new skills and items as you advance in the game and the enemies get harder and harder and not before. The structured stroyline also means that once you reach the end of the story, its game over... Then again, you can always play the multiplayer against other players...
Also, keep in mind that this is an old game (2006) and thus the graphics are not state-of-the-art or fancy (looks similar to morrowind in the graphics aspect). Other issues are the fact that you only have around 20-24 inventory slots and no other so inventory space becomes a concern.
On the downside the story, voice acting and dialogue are dreadful and there are a few boring levels where all you fight are spiders and zombies. Other than that this is a good game
Simply an amazing game!.fable2 | March 10, 2013 | See all fable2's reviews »
This game is, without a doubt, containing one of the funnest fighting systems I have ever played in an RPG with its flawless physics, traps and balanced bows, swords, staves, and knives. The story is, believable in a fantasy setting but isn't great but holds the game well enough to sending you into battle against evil foes! The graphics are quite good for a game that was made when it was but the real strong point for me was the magic! Every spell is completely unique in its own way, fireballs being like homing missiles while frost spells could freeze enemies or terrain. They all add a very fun twist to the game that no other game has ever succeeded at before now! Definitely recommended if you're looking for an RPG with combat a cut above the rest!
Dark Messiah Might & Magic - reviewcarlyle | Jan. 3, 2013 | See all carlyle's reviews »
Dark Messiah has a system that allows the player to earn points as you progress through the adventure, and then assign them to certain skills that can be divided broadly into three categories: magical abilities, combat skills and stealth. The fighting with bayonets are pretty well implemented and to win even if the fighting is not required some kind of tactical skill, the resulting performance is always of a good standard and the fun never fails. The mixture is then enriched by the many spells available, which in addition to being quite useful, give a certain depth to gameplay, allowing the user to manage a fight in different ways: you can opt for a direct attack with fireballs , lightning or whatever, place stealthily traps and then lure over enemies, use telekinesis to use elements of the scenario, a hostile creature to hypnotize her fight on our side. To top it all there's a more than fair management of physics and the various "environmental aid" that programmers have spread throughout the game, so you can bring down statues on the unfortunate duty, make sharp spikes to impale, use tables, chests wooden chairs or as throwing weapons, or simply to fly an enemy off a cliff giving a kick
One of the best hybrid gameXibalba | Dec. 21, 2012 | See all Xibalba's reviews »
First-person action game with role-playing elements developed by Arkane Studio. The player controls Sareth, the apprentice of the wizard Phenrig, after he is sent to the city of Stonehelm to accompany an expedition trying to retrieve a powerful artifact known as The Skull of Shadows The game emphasizes environmental combat, using scripted traps or terrain features. include cutting ropes to release heavy objects, kicking enemies over a cliff or into a bed of spikes, and breaking support beams to collapse a structure and crush enemies underneath.
Better than Dishonoredabelfs | Dec. 15, 2012 | See all abelfs's reviews »
I think that it is the perfect comparison: same studio, same gameplay... Even the graphics are better regarding the technology used. The RPG component suits perfectly to the character progression, which can be divided in 3 aspects (fighting, stealth or magic) that affects the way you can play. 100% recommendable!!
A very good game!iberaider | Nov. 25, 2012 | See all iberaider's reviews »
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!